Prospects I was wrong about

Discuss your thoughts about anything draft related. Mocks, College and Pro. Knock yourselves out!!! RATING: PG-13
Prospects I was wrong about
Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:07 pm
  • I guess to keep this list short, I'm just going to focus on the players I was critical of that actually turned into quality NFL players. There are of course plenty of players I loved who didn't pan out like I hoped they might, but that's something you expect a certain percentage of. Even elite GMs might bat .300 in this regard. A few players that have really surprised me in the NFL, in a good way:

    Corey Liuget

    Liuget was a lesson in sample size. 3-tech DT is a position that is notoriously inconsistent game to game. I only saw two games of Liuget and in both he looked the part physically but simply didn't generate pressure. I remember Snohomie being really high on Liuget, I should have watched more games than I did. I thought Liuget would be terrible and I was praying we'd avoid him. He got off to a rough start in 2011, but in 2012 he emerged as one of the better 3-tech / 5-tech hybrids in the game.

    Andy Dalton

    I was half right, half wrong about Dalton. I hated how Dalton was a pure 1 read QB who benefited from a weak schedule. But I liked his cocksure personality and his deceptive mobility. Early on I thought Dalton was a day 3 pick, though near the end I began to understand why some where giving him 1st round hype. Dalton is not an "intangibles" QB, but something about him made me think he'd over-achieve. I still thought he was a terrible pick in the early 2nd round though.

    Yet so far, that's actually looked like a solid investment. Dalton had a better rookie year than I thought he would (meaning, he was non-horrible), and he showed real signs of progress at times during his 2nd season. He's finally got a decent RB that's worth handing off to in Bernard, and I really like his new addition at TE, Eifert. If Sanu and Hamilton can click, they might actually have a WR corps beyond AJ Green. You are starting to hear the beginnings of Super Bowl whispers for Cincy now, and that was unthinkable for an Andy Dalton team a couple years ago.

    Vontaze Burfict

    Quite possibly the worst prospect I have ever studied that carried top 10 hype at any point. Super slow, played out of control, a penalty machine, and dumb as a pile of rocks. Lacked character too. And Cincy got 100+ tackles out of him last year. Wut?

    Nate Solder

    Solder was a more extreme Breno Giacomini in college. He was a face melter in the run game, but could be Ashworth-helpless against competent edge rushers. I didn't think he had the lateral ability to play tackle in the NFL, and he was perhaps too tall to play inside. Ironically, Solder turned into a top shelf pass protector immediately in the NFL, and is now among the games better tackles.

    KJ Wright

    People talk about Wrights long arms, but what they don't talk about as much are his long legs, which made him look like a stiff mover in his college game tape. I thought Wright was a near certain whiff during the 2011 draft, similar to how I felt when they took Chris Harper a couple years later. His problems were glaring, his positives took digging. Well, Wright has looked more fluid as a runner in the NFL and while he's still a very average linebacker in most situations, he can actually be very nice at the LOS in run defense. He hasn't been amazing for us, but he's a lot better than I was expecting him to be, and I think we still haven't seen the best out of him yet, though I doubt he'll give us a peak performance at WILL which plays away from his strengths.

    RG3

    I had a hunch RG3 would succeed, but I thought he was insanely over-rated before the 2012 draft. I compared his mechanics to a spear chucking cave man, I noted that he played in an up tempo offense that erased defenses, and that he rarely had to look beyond his first read. He also couldn't stay healthy for very long, and had an alarmingly skinny frame with knees that buckled as he ran. I thought that with time, RG3 would become another Randall Cunningham, but I figured it would take roughly as long as it did for Michael Vick. Instead, he reached a higher level than I thought possible and did it immediately. He also tidied up his mechanics and showed real progress at checking reads. If he can protect his body, he's going to (continue to) be a superstar.

    Nick Foles

    At Arizona, Foles was the definition of being a product of the system. He put up very strong numbers against mediocre Pac-12 defenses despite being lead footed, exclusively pre-snap read oriented (with a ton of Jimmy Clausen / Charlie Weis type bubble screens), possessing a mediocre arm, and showing close to zero improvisation skills. He was the definition of mechanical, like Andy Dalton minus the sneaky mobility.

    It's still early, but I think Foles is going to be alright in the NFL. He's put up some very strong preseason performances in the last two seasons. I watched his 52.6 passer rating game against Carolina and came away impressed despite his low rating. He was checking reads with ease and at times looked unstoppable, but killed his numbers by Favre'ing a bad pass in the red zone after a botched snap.

    Brad Sorenson

    Sorenson had the worst game I've ever scouted, when I watched him earlier this year. Anything a QB can do horribly wrong, he was doing it. He was Inaccurate, overthrowing, zero poise, WTF interceptions, low YPA, low completion numbers, not flashing QB skills, etc. It was so bad that I did something I've never done before or since: I made up my mind on him after just one game and passed on the chance to watch some of his other offerings. I figured that if a guy was even capable of looking worse than Mark Sanchez on a bad day, there's no way he'd be worth a second look, especially for a guy playing for what amounted to a community college.

    It's still early, but Sorenson has nearly a 120 passer rating in two preseason games against very tough defenses (SEA, CHI), at least one of which has terrific depth (ours). Against us he was checking reads, making perfect throws and moving to extend plays for completions. He looked like a pro-bowl QB, and that was in his very first preseason game. It reminded me of watching a then anonymous Tony Romo cut our team to pieces in the preseason way back in the mid-00s. I came away from that game convinced that Romo was the real deal, and I lean that way after watching the skills and results that Sorenson flashed, too.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:29 pm
  • I don't think you're wrong on Dalton. To me, he's Jon Kitna. But, Kitna has never played with a team that talented.

    I really thought the Bengals should've rolled the dice on Barkley.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:58 pm
  • 2009: My biggest whiff was falling for workout warrior Jason Smith, he moved great on tape and weighed in much higher than I expected, I thought he was developing. Instead, he never really figured out how to lock out pass rushers (he could delay, but not eliminate them) and he became a mediocre at best RT. I was a fan of too many players that year, but most of the guys I didn't like have yet to pan out.

    2010: Definitely not my best year. I whiffed on Okung, didn't think he had good enough feet in pass protection. Unlike Smith, Okung was better at staying balanced and his long, strong arms neutralize most pass rushers before footspeed even matters. Whiffed hard on JPP, only did a couple of games but looked so lost out there I didn't even finish all the games I had on him. Wasn't a big Eric Berry fan at S either, I still think he'd be a killer CB but he has been a lot better at Safety than I expected. I whiffed more than Adam Dunn this year. This is worth a laugh now: Tate was so horrendous a blocker (disinterested) that even though I thought he would be good as a WR, I didn't want to touch him (WR blocking is something I value more than anyone else I know). I'm now pretty sure that was just a lack of emphasis by the coaches, hasn't been an issue at all here.

    2011: I also hated on Nate Solder. In the defense of Kearly and I, he had some seriously bad games. A little early to tell for most of these guys, but I don't think I was enthusiastic about the class in general - a lot of guys who have looked REALLY good in their 2 seasons, and I didn't see them coming. This was the year where I thought the talent didn't drop off midway through the first round like it usually did, I liked guys taken in the 50s as much as mid-first round picks.

    Embarassingly, I REALLY liked Blaine Gabbert. His college play still looks good, I just saw a highlight of him at Missou and there is a lot to like. But his potential flaws all came through with a vengeance: consistency with throwing motion/accuracy, never reading defenses in college, and no pocket presence. Simply got fooled by the offense he played in, it was really perfect for him.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:23 pm
  • I, like many, loved Aaron Curry. Thought he look instinctual, great tackler, fundamentally sound, fluid movement, all that stuff that he completely sucked at when he got to the NFL. A bull in a china shop.

    I thought Luke Kuechly was too small and hit too high and that those factors would outweigh his excellent instincts. Seemed like every game I watched he'd fill a gap full speed, meet the running back square in the hole and get drive back three yards. After one year, I think I might have missed on that one.

    I thought Golden Tate was too lazy and lacked real playmaking ability. Whoops. The Seahawks ironed out that first part pretty quick. The second part I was just flat out wrong.

    Max Unger, totally missed. I thought he was too high wasted and his pad level was consistently too high for him to be anymore than a serviceable starter. First couple years I was right as he had serious trouble with 3-4 nose tackles who got into his chest and pushed him back, but, quite obviously he's improved greatly and is now a complete stud.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:42 pm
  • Curry was one of the players that I hated before the 2009 draft and was 110% correct on. Snohomie and Rob were on that bandwagon as well.

    I loved Okung and really liked Trent Williams, and was excited enough by Berry's ball skills that I would have been fine with taking him 6th overall, especially once I realized that we were probably taking a safety early that year one way or another- might as well grab the best one. My big gaffe was not seeing the Thomas pick coming. All the pre-draft evidence pointed right at it (though I guessed the Okung pick right).

    As far as players I liked that sucked, there are too many to count, but you would expect that. Even GMs miss on most of their picks. Breaking into the NFL is so hard, and there are many things about players that can only be seen in hindsight (how they are effected by level of competition, new problems showing up, dumb luck, etc).

    I liked Blaine Gabbert too. Like Snohomie said, good tape, good skills, some pro-style elements (IIRC), good measurables, faced some good defenses in the Big 12.

    I also liked Mark Sanchez quite a bit, though in fairness to me, Rex Ryan is as clueless with QBs and offense as he is a genius with defense. I think Sanchez, in competent hands, could have been a solid QB. There is an article in the main forum right now that quotes Pete talking about how some of his USC guys were high draft picks and failed in the NFL because most NFL destinations are hard landing spots contrasted with how Pete created a really player friendly environment at USC. As soon as I read that, the very first player that raced to mind was Mark Sanchez.

    Liked Smith in 2009. Who didn't?

    JPP, I was almost as against that pick as I was against Curry in 2009. He's regressed recently which makes me feel better, and I still think he looks raw/unnatural out there, but he's probably justified his draft slot with just one great season, and he could always bounce back at any time.
    Last edited by kearly on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:07 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:51 pm
  • Wow! Way to man up and discuss your mistakes. Classy, guys.

    :th2thumbs:
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:01 am
  • Its a good thing no one remembers my Clausen fascination...

    I'd rub it in peoples faces about the JPP thing, but I'm a classy fella :)
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:22 am
  • Foles was a case where I really thought he'd be good after his junior year, then I hated him after his senior year. So I guess I get partial credit for that one.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:08 am
  • Add me to the Blaine gabbert fan club. I also really liked osweiller, I thought he was going to be the next Big Ben.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:32 pm
  • Kelly Jenning's is mine. I figured with technique that sound, his stature wouldn't matter. His technique was pretty amazing, for a girl bodied fella.

    I remember Rotak and I arguing Brohm and Henne (I was Henne). Each of us were idiots. And, each of us were threatened with bans the day Curry was drafted. At that time, saying anything negative about Ruskell was trolling.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:55 pm
  • Chris Spencer was another one I missed. He's turned into a serviceable guard but I thought we'd found our center for the next decade. All it took was one preseason game for me to realize I overestimated his ability.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:15 pm
  • seahawk2k wrote:Chris Spencer was another one I missed. He's turned into a serviceable guard but I thought we'd found our center for the next decade. All it took was one preseason game for me to realize I overestimated his ability.


    I blame logic, not you. You'd think a Center taken in round one would be great. You couldn't help it...
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:55 pm
  • I hated Unger.
    I hated Kelly Stouffer, before the Cards drafted him.
    I hated Gabbert. Now i kinda want him to succeed.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:41 pm
  • Scottemojo wrote:I hated Unger.
    I hated Kelly Stouffer, before the Cards drafted him.
    I hated Gabbert. Now i kinda want him to succeed.


    I know this, yet I still value Scotte's opinion on things? Maybe I do need help...

    I'm not sure if Marques Tuiasosopo really counts. Being drafted by Oakland should void it. Yes, I really mean that.

    I'll say Brock Huard's one. A lot of people forget, he most likely would've been picked between 12-20 if he came out his sophomore year. Huard's arm was AMAZING. But, he just didn't have a real passion for the game.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:46 am
  • pehawk wrote:
    Scottemojo wrote:I hated Unger.
    I hated Kelly Stouffer, before the Cards drafted him.
    I hated Gabbert. Now i kinda want him to succeed.


    I know this, yet I still value Scotte's opinion on things? Maybe I do need help...

    I'm not sure if Marques Tuiasosopo really counts. Being drafted by Oakland should void it. Yes, I really mean that.

    I'll say Brock Huard's one. A lot of people forget, he most likely would've been picked between 12-20 if he came out his sophomore year. Huard's arm was AMAZING. But, he just didn't have a real passion for the game.

    It's really just pity. I feel sorry for the Grossman, the Mirer, the Carr. Those guys who are drafted as saviors and then thrown into QB Hells. With instruction that usually amounts to some version of please save my job, young man. Except Grossman, who fascinates me because he played quite possibly the worst game of QB I have ever seen on a Monday night vs the Cards, yet is still in the league.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:12 am
  • Great topic, Kearly. Fun for all to chime in.

    This will get a laugh. Probably my biggest whiff was... Richard Sherman. :oops: :34853_doh:

    I was disappointed that the Hawks seemed to be taking a chance on him. My "sample size" on the guy was not really from watching him at Stanford, but primarily the post season pre-draft prospect game. Seemed like he got beat a lot and I vaguely remember the announcers questioning his game. I think they were camping on his switch from WR and assuming struggles. I learned a lesson. I shouldn't have been duped by announcers, but I think they were football guys. So, I questioned whether he would ever make an NFL roster, let alone start and become All-Pro. Probably more based on others' opinions, but I'll man up about it in this fun thread. (I also had reservations about Dan Marino coming out of Pitt. Whoops.)

    Fast Forward. I have responded as I should. I allowed my youngest son to buy (on sale ;) ) the first (new) football Jersey anyone in my family has ever purchased... #25 Richard Sherman! (They're expensive.) He's also a top-notch youth football player. He tried to get either #3 or #25 this year, but they issued him #33. (First thing we said to each other? That's Christine Michael's number! He will wear it proudly. Love that he looks at Jersey numbers according to the Seahawks roster.)
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:30 am
  • Regarding Andy Dalton:

    He's been better than I ever imagined he would be, but I'd caution that he's really close to the Coach Killing QB Zone. What does this mean?

    I read a series of great tweets from a football guy on Twitter who was talking about how a team having an average QB is actually much worse than a team with a terrible QB. With a terrible QB, you know that you need an upgrade and are not unwilling to make a move/take a risk when needed.

    With an average QB, you are always waiting for them "to break through." More often than not, that QB never "breaks through," meaning you have spent a lot of time/money on a QB who is nothing but average. Can you win a SB with an average QB? Sure, but it takes a pretty dominant team at every other position to do it. Your margin of error is much smaller.

    I'm not saying that an average QB is worse than a terrible QB. Not one bit. But, for the goal of winning a Super Bowl, an average QB can kill you because you are less inclined to make a move to upgrade the position for fear that "it could be worse." It's tantamount to having a decent paying job, that you don't love or hate. You are less motivated to take a risk for something better because your current situation is "good enough."

    I know this is an odd concept, but as soon as I started thinking about it in terms I can relate to (personal experience), I think it makes tremendous sense.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:05 am
  • Mtjhoyas wrote:Regarding Andy Dalton:

    He's been better than I ever imagined he would be, but I'd caution that he's really close to the Coach Killing QB Zone. What does this mean?

    I read a series of great tweets from a football guy on Twitter who was talking about how a team having an average QB is actually much worse than a team with a terrible QB. With a terrible QB, you know that you need an upgrade and are not unwilling to make a move/take a risk when needed.

    With an average QB, you are always waiting for them "to break through." More often than not, that QB never "breaks through," meaning you have spent a lot of time/money on a QB who is nothing but average. Can you win a SB with an average QB? Sure, but it takes a pretty dominant team at every other position to do it. Your margin of error is much smaller.

    I'm not saying that an average QB is worse than a terrible QB. Not one bit. But, for the goal of winning a Super Bowl, an average QB can kill you because you are less inclined to make a move to upgrade the position for fear that "it could be worse." It's tantamount to having a decent paying job, that you don't love or hate. You are less motivated to take a risk for something better because your current situation is "good enough."

    I know this is an odd concept, but as soon as I started thinking about it in terms I can relate to (personal experience), I think it makes tremendous sense.


    That's a great point and post. And, unlike Scotte you didn't mention Grossman.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:28 am
  • Chris Spencer, Max Unger. I wasn't alone

    So far Ryan Mallet. I sooo wanted us to draft him at 25.

    Golden Tate. I was looking right the first year, but fell head over heels for him last year. He is the anti-Braylon/Anthony McCoy. He never drops a pass.

    Von Miller. As much as I hated us taking Curry I thought Miller would bust too. They obviously have different skills. I just thought and to a degree still think taking a 4-3 OLB that high in the draft is foolish. Obviously he is the exception to the rule.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:44 am
  • I hated Mallett. Still do.

    On Sherman: his senior bowl appearance really hurt him. I admitted back then I didn't know anything about Pete and his love of tall press corners. In fact, I thought his defensive plan for the secondary was insane. I thought putting Red at DE would be a colossal failure.

    I thought Jonathan Dwyer was going to be incredible. Pfffttt.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:58 am
  • I was a gabbert nuthugger. I went and saw him at Jaguars TC in his rookie year and he threw a really pretty ball. Way more arm talent than David Garrard, the difference was clear even to a schmo sitting in the bleachers. Plus he looked the part. I thought he was gonna be really good.

    Then he took the red jersey off and well, we all know what's up with that. Although some are still holding out hope his testes will finally drop I guess.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:06 pm
  • I'd do a list like this but it'd take all night.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:18 pm
  • In 2009 I hoped we'd avoid:

    1. Brian Orakpo
    2. Percy Harvin
    3. James Laurinaitis
    4. Max Unger

    Guys I was high on:

    BJ Raji
    Michael Crabtree
    Clay Matthews

    Really wanted us to trade down and get Alex Mack. I even mentioned at the time that the Browns had the draft I wished Seattle had.

    2010:

    Nay:

    1. Trent Williams
    2. Joe Haden
    3. Dez Bryant
    4. CJ Spiller
    5. Derrick Morgan

    Yay:

    1. Eric Berry
    2. Russell Okung
    3. Mike Iupati
    4. Bryan Bulaga
    5. Arrelious Benn
    6. Taylor Mays
    7. Kam Chancellor

    2011:

    No:

    1. JJ Watt
    2. Aldon Smith
    3. Robert Quinn
    4. Ryan Kerrigan
    5. Gabe Carimi
    6. Christian Ponder

    Yes:

    1. Julio Jones
    2. Corey Liuget
    3. Phil Taylor
    4. Muhammad Wilkerson
    5. Jabaal Sheard
    6. Nick Fairley
    7. Rodney Hudson

    2012:

    No:

    1. Morris Claiborne
    2. Michael Floyd
    3. Quinton Coples
    4. Whitney Mercilus
    5. Andre Branch
    6. Bruce Irvin
    7. Zach Brown

    Yes:

    1. Fletcher Cox
    2. Luke Kuechly
    3. Shea McClellin
    4. Demario Davis
    5. Kendall Reyes
    4. Mychal Kendricks


    Lots of hits/misses. Looking back, it really looks like I just don't see DE talent very well. Much better on DTs. I really didn't like the Irvin pick and I'm pretty sure I still have some residual bitterness over that. Particularly since Cox was the one player in the draft I thought fit our need the best and he fell out of the top 10, as if by the hand of God himself. And then we traded out, and Philly took him with our pick. Then to get Irvin who I didn't even really want in round 2. I'm surprised my TV survived that draft pick.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:34 pm
  • Mtjhoyas wrote:Regarding Andy Dalton:

    He's been better than I ever imagined he would be, but I'd caution that he's really close to the Coach Killing QB Zone. What does this mean?

    I read a series of great tweets from a football guy on Twitter who was talking about how a team having an average QB is actually much worse than a team with a terrible QB. With a terrible QB, you know that you need an upgrade and are not unwilling to make a move/take a risk when needed.

    With an average QB, you are always waiting for them "to break through." More often than not, that QB never "breaks through," meaning you have spent a lot of time/money on a QB who is nothing but average. Can you win a SB with an average QB? Sure, but it takes a pretty dominant team at every other position to do it. Your margin of error is much smaller.

    I'm not saying that an average QB is worse than a terrible QB. Not one bit. But, for the goal of winning a Super Bowl, an average QB can kill you because you are less inclined to make a move to upgrade the position for fear that "it could be worse." It's tantamount to having a decent paying job, that you don't love or hate. You are less motivated to take a risk for something better because your current situation is "good enough."

    I know this is an odd concept, but as soon as I started thinking about it in terms I can relate to (personal experience), I think it makes tremendous sense.


    I agree with this logic 110%, but early last season Andy Dalton really did look like a lower-tier franchise QB. It didn't last and he regressed pretty badly in the second half of the year, but for a brief time, it looked like Cincy really had something on their hands. I see plenty of room for improvement with Dalton, whereas with Bradford I see a polished QB who is just thoroughly mediocre- the John Moffitt of QBs. Bradford is a weight around the Rams neck, and Dalton might be for his team as well, but Dalton is much better than I thought he'd be and until his late season slump he was on a very good career trajectory.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:38 pm
  • Scottemojo wrote:I thought Jonathan Dwyer was going to be incredible. Pfffttt.


    I wasn't in the Dwyer fan club. He was big, fast, and explosive alright, but stiff as a manikin. David Wilson was a similar story. I hated David Wilson and was paranoid that we'd draft him. I jumped out of my chair and cheered when the Giants reached for him.
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Re: Prospects I was wrong about
Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:31 am
  • kearly wrote:I agree with this logic 110%, but early last season Andy Dalton really did look like a lower-tier franchise QB. It didn't last and he regressed pretty badly in the second half of the year, but for a brief time, it looked like Cincy really had something on their hands. I see plenty of room for improvement with Dalton, whereas with Bradford I see a polished QB who is just thoroughly mediocre- the John Moffitt of QBs. Bradford is a weight around the Rams neck, and Dalton might be for his team as well, but Dalton is much better than I thought he'd be and until his late season slump he was on a very good career trajectory.

    Sounds like exactly what he was describing in his coach killing QB theory, haha.

    Always thinking he can, or has, turned the corner...
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