Our group of friends has began an interesting competition as a way to challenge our constant criticism of our teams drafting (like our 3rd round DT who might have lasted into the 6th). So we took the last pick in each round, and made a pick of anyone who was available at the time...then took 5 UDFA at the end. After the draft a few others who heard about it made picks based on who was not yet drafted, which makes it a little easier, but I took mine during the draft. After a few years it will be interesting to compare our teams and who has some real players. Here's my draft, which I wasn't too crazy about:
I've been reading quite a bit lately but not posting, and it is interesting to see the various views on different players. I am a draft junkie and spend alot of free time watching tape on players, as its so much fun to predict the unknowns who become stars (I love to boast about Miles Austin and Matt Cassel) or the "can't miss" blue chippers who turn out to be worthless (who didn't see JaMarcus Russell and Alex Smith coming?). So here is my top 32 players in terms of value, along with 10 Overrated and 10 Sleepers. Of course, there are some controversial picks, so I am curious to hear the discussion.
1. Patrick Peterson (DB, LSU)- He is just the best football player on the board, but at a very low level position. I believe he is a FS in the NFL, and will be an Ed Reed type game changer. At CB, he will be very good and could even be great, but I'd love to see him with more freedom to make plays at FS. Possibly a pro bowler as a rookie.
2. Jake Locker (QB, Wash) - VERY controversial here, but it appears that many more are agreeing with me after seeing him throw at the combine. This guy is a leader of men, high character, better on the run than any QB in the last 10 years (agrees Mike Mayock) and has a serious arm. I felt all along that he had terrible talent around him, and he willed these guys to a winning season and 2 straight wins over USC. He is the best athlete at QB in the draft, more accurate than people who only read stats realize, and he is a top level talent who can play from Day 1. In 3 years I expect him to be a top 10 QB.
3. Marcell Dareus (DT, Bama) - He's huge, fast and is known as a hard worker, all big things at the DT position. Can play in the 3-4 or 4-3, and seems to have the strength and quickness to adapt to many systems. Probably the safest pick in the draft.
4. Von Miller (OLB, TAMU) – Many feel that Miller had a down year in 2010, but forget that he played injured for the first month and a half. As a JR he led the nation in sacks and spent most of the year in the offensive backfield VS the run as well. He’s a pure edge rushing 3-4 OLB, but has shown enough agility to be competent in coverage. Primary rush moves are the best in the class. Very high character guy, will work hard and should be an elite pass rusher for years to come.
5. Julio Jones (WR, Bama) – I know many have AJ Green as the #1 WR, but I just see too much ability on tape from Jones to put anyone above him. Big, strong and fast with good awareness and body control, he is a nightmare for CBs to cover 1v1. Not great after the catch, but powerful enough to gain a few yards in traffic and fast enough to run away from most DBs. More of an athlete than a polished product at this point, but is sure to be a great WR at the next level.
6. Prince Amukamara (CB, Neb) – Elite instincts and coverage skills, and has proven to have better speed than one thought. Perhaps not a pure ball hawk, but Prince is the type who can take any WR in CFB out of the game plan. A safe pick as well, given his high character, he never missed a game at NEB, and ready to play immediately.
7. A. J. Green (WR, UG) – Clearly the best route runner and best hands of the draft at WR. Good size and speed and is very dangerous in the vertical passing game. The knocks on him are that he seems to be hurt a lot and really doesn’t do much after the catch. Even so, with a solid QB Green will see his share of Pro Bowl seasons.
8. Mike Pouncey (OC, FLA) – Perhaps a low level position, but is among the best football players in the draft. A very safe pick, he never missed a game in CFB and is known as a leader on and off the field. Likely to start from day 1, he has the intelligence and experience to be an asset right away. More athletic than strong, he will need to add strength to maximize ability.
9. Robert Quinn (DE, UNC) – More of a pure athlete than a football player at this point, but his measurables are off the charts. Lacks rush moves, especially after the initial block, but his motor and work ethic have never been questioned. I believe he will learn the skills to go with elite athleticism and become a top edge rusher, likely in the 4-3.
10. Ryan Mallet (QB, Ark) I have gone back and forth on this guy for months, however a couple of film sessions against bigtime SEC opponents will cure that. This guy torched the best defenses in college football for 2 years, and less than 5% of NCAA fans can name another player on his offense. He has elite size and arm strength, and his accuracy surprised me. I am cautious of what money will do to him, but he really seems to want to win, and his teammates love him. He will cause major problems for defenses who will now have to guard the whole field due to his ability to make every throw. Boom or bust pick, but most likely a boom.
11. J. J. Watt (DE, Wisc) – This is pretty high to rank a 3-4 DE, but this guy’s motor is off the charts. Playing the 5 technique is more about effort and strength, both things Watt excels at. You literally never see him quit on a play, and he often wears down the OL late in games. May never have big stats since he isn’t an elite pass rusher, but will be a solid anchor for a 3-4 for many years.
12. Blaine Gabbert (QB, Mizzou) – Blaine doesn’t amaze me at any aspect of QB play, but he isn’t weak in any area, either. He has good arm strength and though many doubt his ability to play under center, he’s played that way all through high school and the drops should come back to it easily. He seems to go through reads very well and has a good understanding of coverages, and has good accuracy to put the ball on target. Smart, hard working and good mechanics will overcome his slight lack of raw talent. Likely to be a solid starter and fringe pro bowler.
13. Tyron Smith (OT, USC) – Would likely be a top 5 pick next year, so some team in the late top 10 or early teens will get a steal in a year or 2. Very athletic with great feet, but like most top level pass blockers he must add strength to be a great OT in the NFL. All signs point to a dedicated player and should be the best OT in this draft.
14. Nate Solder (OT, Colo) – Just barely behind Smith due to the difference in athleticism, but Solder is the smartest player at his position in a long time. He has a great understanding of the game and assignments, is never out of position, and has a huge frame with which to add strength. Expect Nate to be perhaps the unsexy steady Eddie of the OL class.
15. Corey Liuget (DT, Ill) - Next to Dareus he is the best DT against the run, and as such will be draft very high. A true “in the trenches” guy who loves taking on double teams and still making plays. A great tackler and endless motor along with great instincts for the run game will keep Corey in a job for a long time. Wont provide much pass rush, so he is likely a 2 down player.
16. Marvin Austin (DT, UNC) – I always worry about guys who break major NCAA rules and what will happen to them when they finally get money, so this guy scares me. On talent alone, he is a top 5 pick, but he hasn’t played football in a year and is likely a character problem waiting to happen. He gets off blocks as well as anyone in the 1st round this year, and is dangerous in the passing game as well. Should be a beast when he is on the field, but work ethic is a definite concern.
17. Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Pur) – Many have Ryan as a OLB, but he has not shown any ability to play in space in my opinion to be anything but a 4-3 DE. Solid vs the run and a very good pass rusher, he doesn’t hurt you in any aspect of the game and will dominate inexperienced OL. Lack of versatility will hurt him on draft day, but on the field he will make plays from day 1.
18. Kyle Rudolph (TE, ND) A split TE in the mold of Greg Olsen, Kyle is as dangerous with the ball as without it. Great feet and can make people miss, he will cause a lot of problems for LBs who are too slow or DBs who are too small. Needs to develop his blocking, but with the way teams use 2 TEs now he will be a hot item on draft day as the clear cut #1 TE.
19. Aldon Smith (DE, Mizzou) – Smith is a pure pash rusher in the Jevon Kearse mold. Struggles mightily against the run, so I have him valued much lower than other edge rushers in this draft. Even so, he will cause a lot of problems on passing downs, and that is a very valuable skill in the NFL. Likely to have great numbers even as a rookie.
20. Muhammad Wilkerson (DT, Temp.) – Another of the unsexy but solid DL in this draft, Wilkerson really seems to be solid at everything. Elite against the run, he can likely start week 1 on 1st and 2nd downs. Really not much in the area of pass rushing, but run stopping ability will get him on the field as a rookie.
Martz had a moronic play call last week in the 3rd Q, up 20 or so, of a wildcat pass where Forte threw a terrible INT. Now, on 3rd and 3, that end around was so predictable I would expect middle school LBs to see it coming.
He is pretty well respected as a play caller, but these 2 were just bad.
I live in Texas, and virtually everyone is a Cowboys fan. Me and all my buddies love football, NFL and college, but the NFL is pretty much an addiction. It was kinda of interesting that me and several buddies were starting to enjoy following SMU due to their history, the amazing location of the campus, and the direction they are taking. Me and one other buddy came up with the idea that, as hardcore NFL fans (we have super competitive fantasy leagues, and 5 of us work together, most of us played in college or coached at a high level-I have one I coached in the NFL right now), it would be fun to choose to be a fan of a team that you just enjoy, rather than just the first team your parents showed you. So we came up with a competition.
We came up with a list of what are widely considered to be the worst teams in the NFL right now (using a local sports writer to decide on the teams allowed). The main criteria was looking forward, who had the fewest necessary pieces to win a Super Bowl: Franchise QB most of all, good coaching, dedicated front office, overall talent. Originally, the Panthers didnt make the list due to them most likely getting Andrew Luck, but were added when he pulled out. So, among our group of friends, if you had always wanted to really be a fan of one of the teams that made the list, you could join in. 8 of us wanted in, and we came up with a list of 9 teams to choose from....everyone put the team they wanted 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Everyone except 2 got their first pick, (tie breaker was the winner or Auburn/Oregon) and I tied with one guy as wanting the Panthers most (he choose Oregon), everyone else got their 2nd. The teams were: Carolina, Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Miami, Oakland, Arizona, Washington...and Cincinnati, but they werent chosen. You were not only choosing a team but a city/location you would enjoy traveling to.
Rules were this: We each pay $100 a year ($800 total), and the first team to win a Super Bowl wins the pot, then it starts over. Given that it could be 10-15 years before this happens, the pot could be really nice one day. On top of just that, you had to want to be a serious fan of this franchise....attending HOME games, training camps, all the like. We started a website with a blog for each of us to post our comments on roster moves, coaching hires, draft classes, game comments, ETC. Funny thing is 2 other groups have taken the same list and done their own group. Of course, we each knew quite a bit about that team since we already liked them some, but each of us are wanting to know as much as possible about our franchise. I liked several of the past players (Jake, Biakabatuka, Peppers) and several current (Clausen in college, Gamble, Smitty, D. Williams) and I'm pumped that I got the team I wanted. So I joined on here and its been pretty cool to see who you guys like and dont like, who yall want to bring in and who you want to get rid of. The GM/Owner are actually who I knew the least about, so that's been very interesting to learn.
So, I liked the Panthers since their first year, but pretty much became a fan last month. I've never been to NC, so I'm pumped to come to a game this year. My bro-inlaw went to UNC and said he loves it. I'd love to come for a couple of days and check out training camp or something like that as well.
So, I guess this was an intro thread, but I thought some of you may find the competition interesting. You could discuss the competition or it would be cool to learn how some of you became Panthers fans. Needless to say I want to win a Super Bowl BAD, not just to win the pot but bragging rights are invaluable among our group. Curious for your thoughts...