Last night I didn’t write too much on the 7th round picks. Let’s talk about them some more.
Joe Kruger is a draft pick that is all about potential. He isn’t a polished player at all. He came out of Utah a year early and did so after a solid, but un-spectacular year. You watch the game tape and see a talented young man, but one who flashes big time ability rather that consistently playing at that level. Kruger did suffer an ankle injury that really limited him in the middle of the season.
He played DE and the Utes went back and forth between 3 and 4-man lines. Kruger can get out wide or play 5-tech. He is athletic enough to come off the edge and get by OTs. He is strong enough to engage blockers and jolt them backward. There were some plays when Kruger stood upright and rushed the QB, but I do not think he can play LB in the NFL. He’s meant to be a DE.
Kruger is talented and hard-working. There is a play in the BYU game where he shoots the G/T gap and flushes the QB. Kruger then chases the QB from behind and sacks him. Kruger is athletic enough to shoot gaps and be a disruptive force, but he’s also big and strong enough to 2-gap and read plays. I think that versatility (and his size) is part of what made Chip Kelly so high on him.
There is a lot of work to be done. Watch the BYU game and you see Kruger able to overpower some blockers. Put on the Washington game and you see guys that are as big and strong as him and Kruger isn’t as much of a factor. He must learn to shed blocks better. His technique needs a lot of work. Utah played him at RDE and LDE. He used a RDE stance at both spots. That will be fixed.
The thing I like most is that Kruger is a big guy and seems to know that. Some big guys think they are Dwight Freeney, which drives me nuts. Kruger uses his size, strength, and power. He just needs coaching on how to do that better. And he’s young. Kruger hasn’t even turned 21. He’s still a kid. I think he’ll grow into his body and work hard in the weight room and look very different by 2015. I think you’ll see a change as early as next summer.
I do think Kruger can contribute as a rookie, but I would keep expectations low for him in 2013.
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Jordan Poyer is a CB I’ve been a fan of for a while, but especially since the Senior Bowl.
Here are some raw notes on him from one game I watched this year. Poyer is everything I like in a CB. He will play the run and tackle. He is a playmaker (13 career INTs – 7 in 2012). Poyer is smart. He shows good awareness and great instincts. He is a complete football player. He will play the slot or on either side. He is a gunner on the punt team. He can return punts. He isn’t the prima donna corner who wants to just do his thing. Poyer loves to play off and then jump routes, but he does it in the context of the defensive gameplan. He’s not Asante Jr. He seems to understand the importance of sticking with the assignment and picking and choosing carefully when to take chances. Poyer anticipates routes/plays and that enables him to get a great jump. He is very quick, but isn’t special physically. He makes plays because he knows what is about to happen before it happens.
Here are some raw notes from one game I watched this year:
“Shifted from his receiver to being underneath on another and made leaping attempt at INT. Broke up the pass. Great awareness. Sometimes will press. Can jam receivers and stick all over them. Played in the slot in certain matchups. Good feet. Blitzed off the edge and hit the QB. Almost got sack, FF, but was ruled an incomplete pass. Comes up quickly vs the run, even if he’s not the most physical guy.”
Here is a note from one day at the Senior Bowl:
“Jordan Poyer had a good day. He loves to play off, but showed the ability to really jam. He planted his hand in the chest of a receiver and really re-routed the guy. Poyer has excellent ball skills. I didn’t see any picks today, but he almost made one diving grab.”
Okay, so if he’s this great, why did he fall to the 7th round? Bad Combine. Poyer only ran 4.54. That’s borderline for a CB. Bill Polian said you had to be 4.55 or less to make it in the NFL, but his team ran the Tampa 2. The Eagles may play more man coverage. Does Poyer have the long speed to play in the NFL? We’ll find out.
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David King is a tough player to figure out. I watched a few games and saw different things out of him. Put on the Kansas State game and you’ll see him at LDE. Since OU feared QB Colin Klein as a runner, King would engage the RT, stay back, and read the play. Once he was sure the play was going away, he would pursue from the backside. His priority was to make sure to be disciplined and not let Klein leak through in his area. Most of the game King did this from a 2-point stance. He showed good strength. He was able to move both the TE and RT back on multiple plays. He didn’t get much of a rush when KSU did throw passes.
Put on the bowl game vs Texas A&M and King is inside at DT. The Aggies have a mobile QB, but are very much a passing team. OU wanted King to push the pocket from the inside. He was also trying to bat down passes when Johnny Football would start to throw. King blocked one and it was by design. He missed on a couple of others.
King has a cut body. He’s thick and muscular. He runs pretty well, but isn’t a speedster. He has good upper body strength. I didn’t see anything special in terms of quickness. He is smart and disciplined. The Eagles have him listed as a DT, which means he’ll likely be a 5-tech DE for us.
There is no denying his lack of production, but he was used in unconventional ways that didn’t let him rack up big numbers. I think the Eagles like his versatility and the fact that King is willing to do the dirty work. Some players want to attack and that’s it (cough*Jason Babin*cough). King will do what is needed to make the scheme work.
I have no idea what to make of King’s NFL potential. There is talent, but he’s hardly a compelling prospect. I’ll be interested to see how he does.
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I’ll post notes on the UDFAs in the next day or two. I’ll have up other columns as well. I don’t want to rush a bunch of material out there for the heck of it. I’m trying to do more research on some of these players that I don’t know enough about so that we can have a better idea of how they fit in and what the realistic future is for them.
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Jimmy Bama thinks the Eagles focused on character and I totally agree (don’t tell him that).