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 Post subject: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:35 am 
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#1: There is no clear cut elite talent in this draft

Verdict: Almost true.

Sure, there is no Andrew Luck "perfect" prospect this year at QB in the consensus view. There's no slam dunk ace pass rusher like Ndamukong Suh or Julius Peppers. There's no AJ Greene or Larry Fitzgerald surefire #1 WR.

But if you look back at the history of the draft, it's extremely rare to see drafts with even one "slam dunk" quarterback. Cam Newton has been great, but pre-draft slam dunk? Nope. Sam Bradford? Nope. Matt Stafford? Detroit tried like crazy to deal that pick. Matt Ryan? Didn't go until the 3rd overall pick (he was passed over for a tackle that has since left the team that drafted him). Jamarcus Russell? Vince Young? Alex Smith? You have to go all the way back to Eli Manning in 2004 to find a slam dunk pre-draft prospect.

Now obviously a great deal of QBs have panned out from 2005-2011, but they were typically not the first quarterbacks drafted and even when they were, they were not given the pre-draft respect of a "can't miss" player. Drafts with elite QB prospects are much rarer than people seem to realize. Comparing any year to 2012 (and only in hindsight for 2012 without the same benefit in 2013) is a blatantly unfair comparison.

Similarly, having a "can't miss" top pass rusher is not a very common occurrence either. 2012 didn't really have one. 2009 didn't have one. 2007 didn't have one. 2005 didn't have one. It's basically an every-other-year thing. Of course, there were excellent pass rushers that weren't considered elite before the draft that did become elite in hindsight (JJ Watt, Demarcus Ware, Aldon Smith, etc.). But again, that's in hindsight.

Receiver is a similar story. Going back to 2004, there have only been two true "can't miss" mega prospects at WR: Calvin Johnson (2007) and AJ Green (2011).

Point being, elite talent is rare. And guess what? 2013 has elite talent. In fact, it has probably the most elite talent at the top for offensive line that I've ever seen. I guess because it's at an unsexy position, that group isn't being hyped up as much as guys like Luck and Von Miller from previous years. Joekel, Johnson, and Fisher would all go #1 overall if the other two didn't exist. Some evaluators have called Chance Warmack the best prospect on tape in the draft. Still others have countered that Jonathan Cooper is better than Warmack. I think all five are elite talents. Five elite talents, on that alone I'd put this draft up to an "average" or better level for top shelf players.

I think Dee Milliner is an elite talent. He's like Joe Haden but better, and few people would disagree that Haden the actual NFL player is superior to Patrick Peterson the actual NFL player, as insanely talented as Peterson is. I'm hearing rumors that Milliner might not be the top 10 lock people think he is, but that's their loss. Whoever gets Milliner is getting a multi-time pro-bowler.

I think Dion Jordan could be an elite talent if he goes to a 3-4 team.

Sheldon Richardson is at least arguably an elite prospect at 3-tech, and those are extremely rare. At the very least, he's probably one of the 5 best 3-tech pre-draft prospects in the last 10 drafts.

I think Matt Barkley is going to be a franchise quarterback if he lands in the right situation. The future is clouded with Geno Smith, but in college he could be a surgeon. He's a QB first, athlete second. He also showed tremendous growth year to year. People seem to be forgetting that because his defense was terrible.

So yeah, this draft might not have a jaw dropping talent at a megastar position, but it does have elite talent, especially on the O-line.

#2: "This is the worst QB class since 2000."

Verdict: Ridiculously false.

How do Geno Smith and Matt Barkley compare to that list of QBs from 2005 to 2011? I'd say they compare pretty damn well. Maybe not "elite" in a consensus sense, but I rate both highly and I'd remind people that many of the top QBs in the league today were not treated like sure things before the draft.

I think no draft proves this point more than 2011 did. Cam Newton has been a worthy #1 pick, but that wasn't the consensus view on draft day. The way people talk about Geno Smith today is a lot like how people talked about Cam Newton back then. Mike Mayock had both in the 20s. Jake Locker has been slow out of the gate, Blaine Gabbert is all but a bust, and Christian Ponder's ceiling appears to be mediocrity. Yet that QB draft was saved by a pair of controversial 2nd round picks: Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick (two QBs Seattle rated very highly that year).

In retrospect, the 2011 draft class was one of the better QB classes ever, producing three star QBs. And those stars came from unexpected places. Does this mean that the NFL just "missed" on their evaluations? Or does it mean something else?

I think it's simply a reflection of how a prospect will thrive based on where he lands. The 49ers were the perfect team for Kaepernick, and Dalton had AJ Green to throw to and grow with. But more importantly, the gap between the NFL and the NCAA level isn't what it once was for QBs, with the college ranks now being the driving force of change for NFL offenses. This is the real reason why so many young QBs have found success in recent years, and why there were so many surprise successes, including Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins in 2012.

So with two straight years of this effect being plainly evident, why are people being stupid and refusing to see the potential of a very deep QB class in 2013? Matt Scott in his first year was a better QB than Nick Foles ever was. I'd take numerous QBs in this draft over Kirk Cousins. I don't see a lot of difference between Ryan Tannehill and the top quarterbacks this year, and I'd take Barkley over Tannehill if given the choice. Sure, there isn't a Russell Wilson. There may never be another Russell Wilson.

I'll predict there will be at least 2 franchise QBs from this draft, and the opinion of this group will be vastly different in a few years time.

#3: Defensive line is one of the 2013 draft's biggest strengths.

Verdict: I don't think it will be in hindsight.

I don't see Dion Jordan as a natural 4-3 DE. He's too stiff around the corner and too one dimensional as a pass rusher. Also, and I feel this is significant, the Pac-12 has an abysmal track record at projecting pass rushers to the NFL. Of the major divisions, the Pac-12s failure rate with pass rushers is by far the worst. I like him as a OLB, but that's not a DL position.

Sharrif Floyd is getting the Aaron Curry treatment. Curry never produced sack numbers in four seasons, and on tape there wasn't anything that screamed untapped potential to the trained eye. Floyd has short arms and no ability to penetrate. He's an elite gap controller and run defender, so he might justify a mid-1st as a 3-4 DE. He'll be drafted as a 3-tech by Oakland though. Just the latest bust for the Raiders.

Don't even get me started on Ezekiel Ansah.

Star Lotulelei has upside, but I'm suspicious of physical specimens that never really got it together after playing for years in the NCAA.

Margus Hunt could be a first rounder. He's a good athlete, but that's insane.

There are some guys I like. Nobody is a sure thing but Sheldon Richardson is a good prospect. Datone Jones is on a great trajectory and has the kind of rare speed that nearly every successful 3-tech has. I really like Bjoern Werner even if he's a high floor / low ceiling type. I respect Alex Okafor even if he has the same ho-hum projection that Werner has.

It's a deep group that will probably produce value from surprise places, but the group at the top is hands down the most over-rated I've ever seen and I think the overall group will be more solid than great.


Last edited by kearly on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:58 am 
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Kip, do you think either Sheldon Richardson or Datone Jones are good enough for the Hawks to trade up?


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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:27 am 
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If I am reading this correctly, this might have been a good draft to trade for Percy Harvin. Deep quality draft with many gems for PC/JS to uncover along the way!

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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:58 am 
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I look at this draft as a tool box draft, nothing thats going to get instant media hype, but lots that could unfold as depth and surprises depending on systems the players land in. Players in this draft given the right circumstances could bust out and be looked at as a surprise but it will be more of a right fit for skill set. Something we do well here in Seattle.

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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:22 pm 
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I think you are making a mistake on Ansah. His high profile didn't come from his insane athleticism, but from his game tape. I saw him play and do things I've never seen any other player do. And he is a terrible practice player, but put him in the game and he takes over.

I think there is a lot in common, in a general sense, between Ziggy and Devin Taylor except that Taylor has earned an undeserved bad rap. Sure Taylor didn't have the great stats this year, but when you have JaDaveon Clowney soaking them up, who would. For all we know, Devin was maintaining his gap while JaDaveon shredded the backfield. All I know is that in the East West Shrine Game, Taylor made his presence known. Ansah showed the same kind of game day dominance that I believe will translate to the NFL for two reasons, one his athletic ability, and two, his natural instincts. I believe Ezekial's first year will demonstrate struggles, interspersed with moments of dominance with improvement throughout the season.

But I couldn't agree more with the rest of your post, very well written and it shows just how influential group think can be. The powers that be have all melded their opinions and stories in to one overriding idea that this is a poor draft year when it wouldn't surprise me if this draft class turns out 5 starting QBs and more roster-worthy players than any draft in the last ten years.

It's easy to get caught up in the story line when there's only one, but thankfully there are people like Kearly that not only do their own research, but they have the data, and the historic integrity to back it up. It is pretty easy to see from the players that Kip listed that the main stream storyline is a lazy one. Take note of the authors that are regurgitating a story for future reference.

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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:00 pm 
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the Pac-12 has an abysmal track record at projecting pass rushers to the NFL.

I'd say Terrell Suggs, Clay Matthews turned out great. To be fair Matthews was a LB in college but Suggs was a DE.

Everson Griffin had 8 sacks last year in year 3
Cameron Jordan had 8 sacks last year in year 2
Akeem Ayers had 6 sacks last year as a 4-3 OLB.
Brooks Reed had 6 as a rookie, took a step back last year.

Tyson Alaulua and Lawrence Jackson never quite panned out.

I wouldn't not draft a guy at end just because some Pac-12 guys haven't turned out. I think it had more to do with the guys (example Kenechi Udeze - health issues) picked than the conference simply failing to produce talent.

Look at some of the other 1st round bust from other conferences in that same time frame.

SEC
david pollack georgia
marcus spears lsu
jamall anderson arkansas
jarvis moss florida
derrick harvey florida
robert ayers tenessee

Big 10
erasmus james wisconsin
vernon gholston ohio state
tyson jackson lsu
aaron maybin penn state

I think pass rushers are just a high risk bust group in general, regardless of where they come from.


Last edited by WestcoastSteve on Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Why wasn't Who?Leo Jones a can't miss dude?

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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Stiff huh? :177692:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkyGYvKz30g


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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:53 pm 
* Mr Random Thought *
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CPHawk wrote:


Dude, sports science is your rebuttal? Really?

He can't dip the hips. He plays very high and his long legs create clunky short area movement. That's the reason why he was a pure edge rusher. As a blitzing LB, I think that's fine because he does well when he runs right by blockers, but if he has to turn the corner in a hurry or recover when he runs by the QB, he's generally a non-factor. Bruce Irvin may have flaws, but his ability to bend around the edge and recover for hustle sacks is what makes him productive. If Jordan could bend like Irvin, he'd be worthy of the top pick type hype as a DE. But he can't. There's a reason why 6'7" WRs don't typically convert to 4-3 DE.

WestcoastSteve wrote:
I'd say Terrell Suggs, Clay Matthews turned out great. To be fair Matthews was a LB in college but Suggs was a DE.


There was a site that broke it down and the Pac-12 had something like 1/3 the success rate of the other major conferences among pass rushers in the NFL (despite the fact that the Pac-12 regularly produces the most sacks in college). That doesn't mean there aren't any success stories, but it was pretty shocking. If I can find the source I'll link it. Edit: Found it.

It makes sense if you think about it. Dexter Davis and Nick Reed put up monster production and did nothing in the NFL. The guy that holds Cal's single season sack record (14.5), Ryan Riddle, is a guy you've probably never heard of and now writes for Bleacher report. There's also Lawrence Jackson. As Seahawks fans we should be as wary as anyone.

That doesn't mean Dion Jordan will suck, it just means that sack production from the Pac-12 should be taken for what it is. And Jordan didn't even have much production, though he has talent. I'd really like Jordan if he was being viewed as a LB.


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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:17 am 
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I like it. I'd argue Julio Jones was a can't-miss WR in 2011 along wih AJ Green, but its not relevant.


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 Post subject: Re: Misconceptions about the 2013 draft that need to die
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:22 am 
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I wasn't intending that to come across as my proof he isnt stiff, I've got a chance to see him not just in game day, but during a lot of practices as well. The way he was used at UO didn't exactly display the type of dominat DE he is or could be. Aliotti used him to do a little of everything really.

The game I would ask you to look at was the 2012 sc game. Yeah he only played 1 quarter but he was unstoppable going against arguably the top LT in the country last year. UO plan was to just let him rush Barkley and before he got hurt, sc was doing nothing because Jordan was in the backfield so fast.

I agree Dion is a star as a 3-4 OLB but he could be very good as a 4-3 DE as well. Where we disagree is you see a one trick pony, but he isn't be has a array of moves but he used his speed and length so well that sometimes he neglected the others. One other point on what he knows or doesn't know. Jerry Azzinaro was his coach, he was also the same DL coach for Jevon Kearse and Dwight Freeny. Dion has been very well coached and wil be ready for the NFL. Also having had the privilege to see some practices I can say Dion is by far the hardest worker out there and will give 110%. Most guys that flop aren't described as the hardest worker on the team.


quote="kearly"]
CPHawk wrote:


Dude, sports science is your rebuttal? Really?

He can't dip the hips. He plays very high and his long legs create clunky short area movement. That's the reason why he was a pure edge rusher. As a blitzing LB, I think that's fine because he does well when he runs right by blockers, but if he has to turn the corner in a hurry or recover when he runs by the QB, he's generally a non-factor. Bruce Irvin may have flaws, but his ability to bend around the edge and recover for hustle sacks is what makes him productive. If Jordan could bend like Irvin, he'd be worthy of the top pick type hype as a DE. But he can't. There's a reason why 6'7" WRs don't typically convert to 4-3 DE.

WestcoastSteve wrote:
I'd say Terrell Suggs, Clay Matthews turned out great. To be fair Matthews was a LB in college but Suggs was a DE.


There was a site that broke it down and the Pac-12 had something like 1/3 the success rate of the other major conferences among pass rushers in the NFL (despite the fact that the Pac-12 regularly produces the most sacks in college). That doesn't mean there aren't any success stories, but it was pretty shocking. If I can find the source I'll link it. Edit: Found it.

It makes sense if you think about it. Dexter Davis and Nick Reed put up monster production and did nothing in the NFL. The guy that holds Cal's single season sack record (14.5), Ryan Riddle, is a guy you've probably never heard of and now writes for Bleacher report. There's also Lawrence Jackson. As Seahawks fans we should be as wary as anyone.

That doesn't mean Dion Jordan will suck, it just means that sack production from the Pac-12 should be taken for what it is. And Jordan didn't even have much production, though he has talent. I'd really like Jordan if he was being viewed as a LB.[/quote]


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