More on the Mock Draft

Posted: April 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 60 Comments »

Since not everyone may fully read the comments section, I decided to answer some key topics in the form of a post.  Today’s mock draft had a lot of people confused and curious.

Let’s start with the TE position.  Andy Reid is no longer the coach.  The days of having one good TE and one developmental guy are over.  Chip Kelly is going to do things differently.  There are 2 kinds of TEs.  The “Y” is a traditional TE.  He will be 6-4 or taller and 250 or more.  The other spot is the “F”.  This is a “move TE” or “Joker”.  I’ve simply gone with referring to him as the H-back.  This player will be approximately 6-3, 245.

The Eagles are set with Brent Celek and James Casey as the starters at these spots.  Kelly will want depth.  I think he’ll be especially interested in another “Y”.  That’s why I had the Eagles take Zach Ertz.  He is 6-5.  He’s only 249, but that is close enough.  He has good hands and is very natural catching the ball downfield. Ertz can line up in tight, in the slot, or out wide.  We know Kelly loves versatile, athletic players.

Many of you didn’t care for Ertz.  That’s fine, but understand that what you or I want is irrelevant compared to what Chip Kelly wants.  We all wanted Andy to run the ball.  Didn’t happen.  Some of you wanted a better blocking TE.  Others wanted a guy with longer arms.  Some thought using an early pick on a TE was dumb.  I think it is highly likely that the Eagles will take a TE in the 2nd or 3rd round.  The team has aggressively scouted the top TEs.  They’ve sent the TEs coach out to get a close-up look at the prospects.  That’s not an accident.  The Eagles have genuine interest.

Maybe the team will take Escobar or Kelce or McDonald.  I went with Ertz in the mock because that’s the player I think they’ll like the most.  Simple as that.

* * * * *

I had the Eagles take a WR.  A small WR at that.  Many didn’t like that move.

Marquise Goodwin isn’t DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin.  Those guys are outside receivers.  They are not comfortable in the slot.  Goodwin played outside and the slot at Texas.  He’s comfortable at working the middle of the field.  Kelly wants weapons in the slot.  Jason Avant is a good slot receiver, but I’m not sure anyone has ever referred to him as a weapon.

Damaris Johnson is quick and elusive, but lacks explosive speed.  Goodwin is a much better version of Johnson.  Goodwin is also a talented KOR.  That was a weak spot in 2012.  We hope that Brandon Boykin takes a big jump forward, but it would be nice to have some serious competition for him.

As to the size issue…Kelly is a new coach and things are going to be different.  Since taking over, the Eagles traded for Arrelious Benn and signed Ifeanyi Momah, 2 big WRs.  The team still has Riley Cooper (big) and Jeremy Maclin (average size) in place.  We don’t know who will make the final cuts, but this group has the potential to be the biggest set of Eagles WRs in a while.

Depending on Mac’s future, the Eagles could add a big WR as a starter in 2014.  We need to see how Mac does this year, as well as the other players.  The Eagles have looked at some big WRs this spring and could go in that direction, but they won’t feel the need to do that.  There is enough size in place for the Eagles to run some big receiver packages.  And if the team does add the right TE, that player could be like another big receiver in the mix.

* * * * *

What about DE?  The Eagles have Cedric Thornton penciled in as the starter right now.  That could change.  Thornton has the potential to do a fine job in that role.  He’s unproven so he could also struggle.

DE won’t have the same level of importance in this defense.  It isn’t a position where players are expected to get to the QB.  Are there exceptions to that rule?  Of course.  All teams would love to have JJ Watt out there.  Seattle did just fine with Red Bryant, a failed DT, as their starting 5-tech.  The Chiefs spent a Top 5 pick on Tyson Jackson to play DE for them. Wonder how much they regret that.

We don’t know how Kelly values DE.  Will he go for one early?  Will he go for a run stuffer like Star Lotulelei or a pass rusher like Datone Jones?  Does he go for an athlete like Margus Hunt or a big body like John Jenkins?

Part of the point here is that not everything can be the most important position.  Andy Reid didn’t value LBs.  In this scheme, LBs are critical.  That means the DL has to slide down a notch.  Deep Purple singer Ian Gillen once joked to the sound techs at a live show to “make everything louder than everything else”.  I think too often fans get caught up in that kind of a mentality.  You must have priorities.  We knew what they were with Reid.  We’re flying blind when it comes to Chip Kelly and his defense.

* * * * *

Some position will get ignored or “under-addressed”.

This is simply reality.  You only have 4 picks in the Top 105 range.  That’s where you’re most likely to find real help for your team.  We need the Eagles to go for talent over need (see Jaiquawn Jarrett for further explanation).  This means that DL or LB or CB or S or some other position is not going to be addressed as people want.

Please keep in mind that the Eagles are not a one-year project.  It will take time for Kelly to find the right players to make his systems work up to their full potential.  The offense is in better shape right now than the defense, but that does not mean that we’re going to see the Eagles load up on D.  Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman are looking at all kinds of scenarios.  They want to add as much talent as possible.  Depending on how the board looks, that could mean an offensive draft early on.

If that happens, it doesn’t mean Kelly is ignoring the defense.  It would simply mean that they liked the offensive players available better and felt that was the way to go.  As I noted earlier today, I do think seeing how Thornton, Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Antonio Dixon, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, and the other defensive players perform is going to be important for figuring out what to do long term.

* * * * *

I finally posted some positional rankings over at ScoutsNotebook.

These are not Eagles-centric.  These are generic rankings and based on a 4-3 defensive scheme.  I am working on Eagles rankings that will reflect what Chip Kelly likes in players and our hybrid defense.  I’ll post that stuff in the next week or so.


60 Comments on “More on the Mock Draft”

  1. 1 zbone95 said at 11:54 PM on April 12th, 2013:

    If Matt Elam is on board in second and safety is a need, wouldn’t it be better to draft him rather than Ertz because Elam is both super talented and is a need? I know Chip likes Te’s but he can find athletic TE’s in the later rounds like UCLA’s TE or others.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:57 PM on April 12th, 2013:

    We don’t know that Safety is a need. We’ve got Patrick Chung at SS. FS is between Nate Allen and Kenny Phillips. I am not completely comfortable with that group, but in order to take a S in the 2nd round the player would have to be clearly the best player on the board.

    I’d be more comfortable taking someone in the 3rd or 4th that could challenge for a starting spot, but could also be good value as a backup if the current guys panned out as hoped.

  3. 3 zbone95 said at 12:05 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Yes thats true but given the injury histories of Both Chung and Phillips, I thought it would be wise to have a potential stud at SS but I see your point. And one more question, any particular reason why you preferred Lane Johnson over Eric Fisher in your Mock Draft (I know it based on what you know about Chip but still Fisher could be a versatile stud with good athletic ability)

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 12:14 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Johnson is the best athlete of the trio. He has started at both RT and LT. He’s still learning OT and has lots of room to grow. Huge potential.

  5. 5 zbone95 said at 12:18 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Would be great if we can trade down couple of spots and still get him and then add a 3rd rounder in the process. And Thanks for all the work you do to write all these informative things. Go to this site everyday 3-4 times a day just to check on new updates.

  6. 6 ezgreene said at 12:59 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    very possible that three OTs go in top four picks

  7. 7 ohitsdom said at 8:53 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    If we trade down, I think we need to forget about getting one of the top 3 OTs. Any team trading up will probably be doing so to get one of them, and there are many tackle needing teams in the top 10.

  8. 8 Geagle said at 1:03 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    I’m a Dion guy, but I have to admit, Lane does it for me. I don’t really care as much as most for Joekel or Fisher. Joekel is the ideal pick if Andy Reid is asking his qbs to drop back and pass 50time( don’t think he is that great of a fit for us, of course I wouldn’t scoff at drafting him either)…Fisher is a better fit for us, and I like him to step in and play on day one, but I think there is a chance that Lane DWARFS Fisher as a player 4years from now. In, the infamous words of some Thugged out rapper, “Scared mOney, don’t make money”…So find the kid with the HIGHEST ceiling, who’s Charecter you believe in to work relentlessly until he is great!…..We aren’t up at 4 very often, I’m trying to swing for the fences

  9. 9 nickross23 said at 12:24 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Fisher very well could be gone before we pick at four.. seems like every mock has Fisher available but both Jax and Oak could take him, or very well could be setting up a trade with AZ,MIA, SD to take Fisher.

  10. 10 Geagle said at 6:52 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I don’t think we are going safety in round 1 either….if you had to handicap two names, one drafted to compete with Chung, one to compete with Allen…what two would you give the best odds to?

    I will say Swearinger for Chung(reminds me of a young Dashon Goldson), but not in round 2. Swearinger wold have to start slipping for me to see us drafting him…As for Phillips, I would say a lower pick like Rontez Milnes, because they probably aren’t ready to throw the towel on Nate Allen….I like the safety out of Nevada as well

  11. 11 nickross23 said at 12:19 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Really didn’t mind your mock Tommy, the point you made about the offense being targeted more since FA and trades helped fill most of the needs on D have me prepared to except anything come draft night. I have been on eaglesblob every day checking your updates on draft targets as well as over sites and where meeting with almost everyone it seems like, are scouting guys are leaving no stone unturned this offseason. All i want is them to bring in good quality football players to help this team no matter what position it maybe.

  12. 12 Neil said at 12:41 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Tommy, I was looking through the rankings section on scoutsnotebook. Every position has Dude McGee at the top. Why haven’t you been talking about this kid more?

  13. 13 Iskar36 said at 12:51 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I think that guy is Leon Sandcastle’s cousin.

  14. 14 Arby1 said at 7:12 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Sandcastle’s falling through the cracks.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 1:29 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I don’t share all my insider info.

  16. 16 Arby1 said at 7:14 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Extremely versatile player. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the Eagles radar.

  17. 17 Mac said at 12:52 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Just because a player is ranked high on “everyone’s board” doesn’t mean that player has the right measureables, personality, and scheme fit for Chip’s Eagles. There are too many variables at work. And just because another player works out for another team doesn’t mean he works out on our team. I’m not saying that to make excuses or set anyone up for disappointment, but to say this is a new day a new coaching staff a new front office a new draft that leads us to a new team in 2013. Disagreement is natural and can be fun and educational, but temper it with some hope that our team will make some good picks. I for one hope that we have a new staff in place that can shape our picks into what our team needs. Heck, i hope our old players can become better versions of themselves with a new culture. I guess you could say I’m willing to trust Chip, Howie, and Tom to get this ship right.

  18. 18 Neil said at 1:39 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I always find peace in knowing as bad as Chip and Howie could do building the roster I would do worse.

  19. 19 Geagle said at 11:42 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    i wonder if guys that don’t fit the chip Kelly mold for players he wants, get taken off the board completely, or just lowered significantly on the board?

  20. 20 xlGmanlx said at 4:39 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Don’t like the small WR, can’t ignore that Kelly hasn’t exactly gone after the “welkers” of the league as of yet. I would take the TE from SDSU over Ertz, but that is just me. A bonus is, you could bring in Johnson for a jumbo package and utilize either his or Peters previous TE experience at least that is what i would expect Kelly to do.

  21. 21 Geagle said at 7:10 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    That’s not just you…I would take both Escobar and Kelce over Ertz..Cossel said because of the off the field issues, he doesn’t think Kelce will be the 3rd TE taken..There is a plethora of TE talent available…so it’s not crazy to see a talented guy like Kelce mabe being the 5th or 6th TE drafted. if that’s the case, then I would love to have him..I don’t know if I would want him, if we had to draft him as the 3rd TE because that will be A very high pick…

    some people don’t think we need TE, I actually think a TE will be drafted somewhere by the 5th round..and, If a Talenteed guy like Furia falls to round 7, I could see us drafting a 2nd TE. Even if we draft two, I would still expect like 2-3 Undrafted TE to get signed…I think we are going to have like 5-7 TE’s at camp

  22. 22 Arby1 said at 7:10 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Wonder if Lane Johnson ever ran the read option? Hmmm.

  23. 23 Mac said at 11:45 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    That’s what I’m talking about right there.

  24. 24 RC5000 said at 5:06 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I don’t have a problem with Johnson and Ertz and I don’t think they need to be justified all that much as potential picks. I’m just completely mystified at Goodwin, he struggled a lot this year and was downright non-existent in conference play.

  25. 25 sew737 said at 5:29 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I hope the Eagles trade back and get more two’s and threes.I want at least one sleeper pick and that would be the young man from Arkansas,Terron Armstead.The man could play TE besides OT. Imagine a 300lb te who runs a 4.6-4.7 40yd dash. Go ahead cover him in the red zone.

  26. 26 Cliff said at 6:26 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    I want to ban a word from our pre-draft discussions: “stud.” Calling a man a “stud” is a little too Friday Night Lights for me.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 9:41 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    No promises.

  28. 28 xeynon said at 10:12 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Hey man, I love Smash Williams as much as the next guy, but with McCoy and Brown already set at RB I think adding another stud there is a luxury.

  29. 29 Mac said at 11:45 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Horse or wood?

  30. 30 Baloophi said at 12:41 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    There’s your porn movie title…

  31. 31 Cliff said at 12:42 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    If we’re talking about Buzz Bissinger, it’s most definitely horse.

  32. 32 Geagle said at 7:02 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    if I had it my way. I would want Kyle Long or Pugh in round 2, and if a TE like Escobar or Kelce fell to us in round 3, I would jump on that…The 3 picks in the first 5 rounds I would go defense as long as there isn’t a significantly higher graded offensive player available..

    someone brought up a great point on Sheil n Tim’s blog(can’t take credit for it):
    Cleveland and the Vikings swapped #3 for #4. The compensation was a 4th, 5th and a 7th just to move up one spot in the top 5….If Joekel goes to KC, Fisher goes to Jax, and Floyd goes to Oakland…We would be looking at Dion and Lane with the 4th pick. You have to think in this case Detroit would be kind of desperate for Lane. Howie could play chicken with Detroit, and try and force them to give up compensation so that they can get Lane at 4, and we would just take Dion at 5….If Dion is a player Chip really believes him, to be able to draft him, while also getting extra draft picks would be such a big time move for Howie.

    I also wonder if Nassib is still in the board in round 2, if we could let Bills move up to our pick, move back 5 spots while also getting the #105 from the bills. trading back 5 spots, you might still find Kyle Long on the board, but if he is snatched up, I’m sure Pugh would still be around. either way, we would be getting pick #105 while still getting our RG/RT

  33. 33 Baloophi said at 12:40 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    I think in that instance, Detroit might roll the dice and take Milliner if Johnson’s gone… I don’t think they’re dead-set on OT, even if they should be. They also need CB help.

  34. 34 Geagle said at 12:55 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Ansah possibly, no shot in hell Millner gets drafted 5th….

    Calvin and Stafford have been there for a while now. they just invested in Reggie Bush, I feel like its time for that team to shit or get off the pot..You have to think there coach is starting to feel the noose tighten, and will be begging the GM for one of these Tackles….Just my guess, no tangible evidence

  35. 35 Geagle said at 1:09 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    I think the only team that might take Millner in the top 10 is Cleveland. They have Hayden so they can afford to only have Millner max out as a solid #2(which is all he will be in my humble oppinion)…why would a team want to draft a number 2 CB In the top 10? I have no idea..but anything is possible so if I had to pick a team that would over draft Milner, Cleveland is he only team I could see

  36. 36 Arby1 said at 7:34 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Tommy, I agree the Eagles are showing too much attention to the top TE’s not to take one early. Let me ask you this: the rumor has it that the Eagles have Ertz at the top of their TE board, but in what ways do you think (they see) Ertz is better than Eifert? I thought the Combine put an end to those questions.

  37. 37 TommyLawlor said at 9:41 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Different styles of players. Eifert is a TE who uses his size to go up over defenders. Ertz is more of pure receiver than just a big guy. He runs good routes. He catches the ball downfield. Eifert is more physically dominating while Ertz is more of a part of the offense. All 32 teams will like Eifert. Ertz has to fit the offense to be at his best.

  38. 38 Arby1 said at 8:18 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Your choice of Johnson in the 1st is perfect for a team already loaded with Cox, Dix’, and Wang. Nice going, Tommy.

  39. 39 Geagle said at 8:35 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Tom, have you abandoned us on the Dion WARWAGON? Did you jump ship? Say it aint so

  40. 40 TommyLawlor said at 9:38 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    What makes you say that?

  41. 41 Geagle said at 11:53 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Just curious if you started seeing anything alarming lately that us Dion faithfull should look out for. I know the weight is a concern, but it’s incredible to me that he put on 10lbs of muscle since the season ended, while nursing a torn Labrum. how is that even possible? 3.5% body fat…Kid is going to be a freak!….Then again, 50% of front 7 prospects need to add weight and strength when making the jump to the NFL I feel like weight issue is just grasping at straws to justify an OT. I would be more concerned about a reoccurring Labrum issue, than I would about a 6’6 248lb UBBER ATHLETE who is about to hit an NFL strength Regimen, ability to add bulk..

    Jason Taylor was very similar in size coming out of College..averaged 7sacks per season…but JT doesn’t have the speed. not Dion Jordan type speed ATleast.

    I just want to see the Cowboys blow a blocking assignment, and Dion coming free from The blindside crashing into Romo’s lower back/Ribs at 20 miles per hour. is that really too much to ask? Lol

  42. 42 TommyLawlor said at 2:47 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Jordan is probably still my preference at #4.

  43. 43 Stevo said at 3:46 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    I have a sneaky suspicion that Dion is going to be available at #4. From what I’ve seen of Caldwell, Jacksonville looks like a team dying to trade down (coming from the Falcons, he also seems to me that he’ll be pretty aggressive, and trading down would be the right move for them). Since there’s been no talk of them trying to re-sign Monroe (smokescreen, imo), my guess is they’re trying to position themselves to trade down, so someone else can snag one of the top tackles.

    As much as you could project Gus Bradley seeing Jordan as this year’s Bruce Irvin, Irvin was a better pass rusher and Jordan is more versatile than an Irvin. Not as perfect of a comparison. I could see them targeting Mingo later in the first round.

    That leaves the Raiders, who my guess is will want Dee Milliner, given their horrid secondary. (Just speculating, the Eagles canceled their visit with Milliner, is it b/c they know someone’s going to take him before #4?).

    Of course, all is this is as much wishful thinking as anything.

  44. 44 Neil said at 5:50 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Mingo makes about a dozen times more sense as a leo. Better twitch off the line. No need for a guy who has coverage skills.

  45. 45 Geagle said at 9:21 AM on April 14th, 2013:

    I hadn’t thought of that as a possibility for why they might have canceled the Millner visit.. So I can sleep better at night, this is what I try to tell myself/convince myself about Jaxonville lol:
    1)there offense is pathetic. if Caldwell/Gus want no parts of Gabbert, maybe they do some dumb Jaxonville type Ish and draft Geno.
    2) If they are ready to give Gabbert one more chance, maybe they should get him some help so he ATleast has a chance to succeed(I’m shocked they didn’t extend Monroe, I like that kid). even if they do extend him, they still really need a RT
    3) Not Just Mingo, but I think Ziggy could play that Role. If you are going to draft Ziggy, and just ask him t pin his ears back and rush the passer, I think that significantly lowers his bust potential.

    I get the feeling that Oakland will go with Star or Floyd(so many people now assume that Star is no longer at top 5 pick, but I’m not ready to go there)..They certainly could use line help. I wouldn’t put it past them to take Geno”..

    but, I do also think both are trying to trade back. After KC takes Joekel, would anyone really be surprised if 2 teams jump ahead of Philadelphia to take Lane and Fisher?…

  46. 46 T_S_O_P said at 8:58 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    The team may have been worse, but wasn’t it a heck of a lot easier to mock last year.

  47. 47 BreakinAnklez said at 9:14 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Tommy, could you do a post on Goodwin? I am a little concerned by his lack of production. I get that he didn’t have great QB play, but other receivers were productive. Was this a case of him not being open? Was it drops? Was he ever matched up against opposing teams top corner? Sounded like a lot of his buzz came AFTER the Senior Bowl and Combine…you don’t seem concerned by his lack of production…

    And for the JMU plug, any thoughts on OG Earl Watford? From what limited video I saw, looked he was great at E/W game

  48. 48 A_T_G said at 9:14 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    We’re the tight end sizes funny on purpose? One style has to be 6’4″ and 250, but the other style can be 6’3″ and 245. And the guy that is 249 is “close enough” to 250? It made me smile.

    The discussion of downgrading positional importance for some positions made me wonder: if asked, what would Chip say are the least important positions on offense and defense? That might tell us more than the other end of the spectrum.

  49. 49 TommyLawlor said at 9:37 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    The TE sizes go in opposite directions. The Y ideally would be 6-6, 260. The other spot could be 6-2, 235. I did list them where they are closest.

  50. 50 Geagle said at 1:22 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Tom, I would love to see how you rank the Y TE’s in this draft class..

    I’m really hoping that the first TE drafted doesn’t go til the bottom half in round 1, prolonging the run on TE’s that we will probably see at some point during this draft. I hope Travis Kelce’s off the field issue was that he slept with the wife of 31 NFL GM’s (Howie’s being the only one he didn’t manage to sleep with)..causing 4 or 5 TE’s to get drafted ahead of Kelce, which could push him to round 3

  51. 51 RC5000 said at 4:39 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    So I realize it’s only 5 lbs. but Ertz was 244 at his Pro Day, considered to run in the mid 4.6’s now after this runs at Pro Day, 35 1/2 vertical which was much higher than Combine.
    So if you took him, do you keep the weight down or try to get him to put it on. Celek became somewhat different from Cincinnati to the Eagles in my opinion. Then there is always the question of naturally getting a little bigger often as you go through your 20’s.
    Course maybe you start him out in a kind of Casey/WR role but do you try to keep the weight down?

  52. 52 austinfan said at 10:10 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    You always have to project players, the greater the projection, the greater the risk, and the lower the player should be valued.

    If you’re projecting a 244 lb TE to a 260 “Y” TE, you have to ask, “how athletic will this guy be when he adds 15 lbs?”. Note the same question applies to Jordan, the difference between him working out at 263 lbs (Kearse when he was drafted) and 248 lbs.

    When the guy works out at his playing weight, you can have some confidence how he’ll move after your strength and conditioning coach is finished with him, when he works out 15-20 lbs lighter, uh oh.

  53. 53 Daz said at 10:00 AM on April 13th, 2013:

    Interesting reading the difference in approach from yourself, Tommy, who clearly knows the ins and outs of the game and tries to deduce what the coaches are likely to do – versus Brent over at eaglesrewind and his draft articles based 100% on historical statistics. Reminds me of how Derek use to analyse the game. Would be interesting reading to see if your take on what is going through Chip’s head lines up (or doesn’t!) with Brent’s statistical analysis of where you take which position in the draft…

    PS – top work keeping us entertained during a slow football news time of year!

  54. 54 austinfan said at 12:56 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    The one problem I have with your (and a number of other) draft analyses every year is you underestimate the importance of athleticism. How a guy plays in college doesn’t matter EXCEPT as part of the data set to project him to the pros. But in the NFL, you have to consider how his athleticism translates to roles. NFL coordinators make their living figuring out how to isolate better athletes on mediocre athletes and take advantage of matchups, in college, it’s easier to protect a smart, slow player. Draftmetrics has some nice data on the cutoffs for each position, some of which are surprising (SS more important for CBs, cone drill for safeties, for example).

    One reason I take any safety who runs 4.7 or so off my board, and even off my priority UDFA list, is that they have a limited role in the NFL. They can’t run with NFL WRs, and even on STs, what do you want, big fast guys who are hungry, not slow college starters who may have a sense of entitlement (see Rolle). A 4.5 guy with flaws, as long as he’s coachable and has the attitude for STs, can justify a later round pick just on his potential ST contribution, and that buys you two years to coach him up (if it takes longer, contract extension considerations may counsel replacing him).

    I think this mantra applies to just about every position after the 2nd day of the draft, smart, athletically limited players can be signed as UDFAs, and given a chance to win a job in camp, but don’t waste draft picks on them. A number of these guys have made the Eagles roster over the years.

    There’s usually three reasons a good athlete falls out of the draft, he’s dumb (no instincts), he’s raw (only started one year or small college or injuries interrupted his develop), or he has serious character problems. However, there are always numerous mediocre athletes who were good college players due to instincts and high motors who will struggle at the next level.

    This does not mean a great workout makes you a player, there’s a long list of combine champions who couldn’t make a NFL roster. But you can’t coach size or athleticism, you can to some extent coach instincts and recognition (if they don’t have rocks for brains).

  55. 55 Anders said at 2:28 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Well Tommy does have Johnson higher than Fischer, Ansah no. 1 for DEs, Jordan and Mingo higher than Jones, Brown higher than Minter and Te’O. He also got Scott higher than Manuel, Jones and Bray.

    Seems he value athletes over pure production

  56. 56 Neil said at 5:19 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    This is true. But austinfan’s I think referring to a more minor philosphical quibble. Tommy’s one of those guys who thinks that film is most important and all other things are secondary. It’s not that he thinks factoring in athletic ability is stupid, but he, similar to Cosell, will side with a player’s film usually if there’s a conflict. Austinfan’s argument is that film shouldn’t be so convincing when in workouts you see a player with limited athleticism. Basically, he contends under a certain threshold of athletic ability, good tape shouldn’t necessarily be trusted.

    But really, there isn’t a huge difference in the two approaches. I think austinfan would agree that if a player displays clearly good athletic ability on film but has bad workouts, that’s a situation for an exception to the rule I described.

  57. 57 austinfan said at 7:18 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Pretty much.

    And note I’m talking rounds 4-7, rounds 1-3 players will have at least average athleticism, and I’ll take a guy who can play who’s an average athlete over a great athlete who can’t play. There are a lot of solid NFL safeties who run 4.6, but almost none who run 4.7.

    The point of the draftmetrics study is below a certain level of athletic testing, guys almost never become reliable starters. So if you’re drafting guys you know are going to be backups on the third day, draft the guys with the potential to become starters, and the athletic skills to potentially excel on STs (Anderson is a good example, undersized for S, will never start, but fast enough to be a good ST gunner).

  58. 58 ACViking said at 2:53 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    With the Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson seemed to have the same drafting theory.

    DB Kenneth Gant’s a good example. Low round pick. But he was very fast, quick, and athletic.

    The ‘Boys coached him up into a pretty good nickel back.

    Nice argument.

  59. 59 Geagle said at 1:15 PM on April 13th, 2013:

    Question: what do you guys think of Warmack publicly stating that he wants to get drafted 10th to the Titans?

    PFT reports this via an interview Warmack did with ESPN..Warmack talks about he has never actually been coached by a former lineman(stating his past Oline coaches played TE) and that it would be his dream to play for two former lineman in Munchek and Bruce Mathews.. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that his college is only a few hours away.

    How do you think his agent felt about this interview? Good move, bad move, doesn’t make a difference?

    It’s not every day that I hear a top prospect say he wants to be drafted anywhere besides number 1 overall(unless his former college coach is an nfl coach)…and if you are the titans, and you hear this, does it have any impact on your decision?

  60. 60 早泄汤 said at 3:06 AM on April 15th, 2013: