Some Draft Q&A

Posted: January 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 137 Comments »

Today’s Senior Bowl discussion generated lots of questions. Let me try to answer a few.

Compare Dee Ford to other recent pass rushers. Some of you want to compare him to Brandon Graham. Not a good comparison. Graham was a better prospect than Ford. We use a lot of revisionist history with Graham. He hasn’t panned out as hoped, but he was a terrific prospect. Graham led the nation in TFLs as a Senior. He then went to Mobile and dominated the Senior Bowl. He then had a good showing at the Combine. Brandon Graham deserved to be a high pick. He was coveted by a slew of teams.

We talk about him as undersized, but that’s not a great label. He was 6-1, 268. He was short by an inch. That’s it. One inch taller and he was the same size as Trent Cole. Graham didn’t have the arm length to make up for his short build. I do think that has affected him in the NFL. But obviously the biggest hindrance to this point was his ACL tear and microfracture surgery.

What about Ford vs Bruce Irvin, a 1st rounder from last year. Irvin is 6-3, 245. Ford is 6-2, 243. Those numbers are almost identical, but the bodies are very different. Irvin is a former WR. He is a sleek speed rusher. Ford has some thickness to him. His thighs are huge, which helps him generate the strength to be an effective power rusher.

Dee Ford should probably go in the 20 to 40 range. He had a very good Senior season (10.5 sacks, 2 FFs). He looked great in the Senior Bowl practices. He was the MVP of the game. And he’s got some personality to him. He is reportedly interviewing well.

I still have no clue if the Eagles will be interested. They won’t casually dismiss him. I guarantee you there will be some interesting discussions about him and how he’d fit at ROLB.

What about Trent Murphy as a fit for the Eagles?  I get this every few days. Murphy plays OLB for Stanford, but he is a limited athlete. I don’t think he’s got the explosion to be the ROLB. I don’t think he has the cover skills to be the LOLB. You could see about bulking him up for DE, but Murphy is 6-6, 261. He’d need to add 25 pounds to be 3-4 DE size.

Murphy is a great college player, but not a great pro prospect. He’s not even a good pro prospect. Some 4-3 team will give him a shot at DE. I’d love to see him end up with Lovie Smith (TB) or Rod Marinelli (DAL). Those guys put a premium on effort and would be a great fit for Murphy’s motor. I think Murphy has a major uphill battle to make it in the NFL. I hope he proves me wrong.

Should the Eagles have interest in Aaron Donald?  Jimmy Bama paid the ultimate compliment to Donald when we were sitting in the stands and watching practice. “I sure hope he doesn’t go to Dallas.” We agreed that it would be ideal to see Donald drafted by an AFC team. He is a flat out terrific player.

That said, fit is crucial. You only take him if you have a specific plan for how to use him. And as good as Donald is, I’m not sure he’s a guy you build your defense around. I love Donald as a prospect, but I have no interest in him for the Eagles 2-gap system. If we move to the 4-3 Under, I’m open to taking him. I just don’t think that’s going to happen. Chip wants a 3-4 team that mixes in some hybrid looks. You don’t spend 1st round picks on guys for that.

Would it make sense for the Eagles to take Lamarcus Joyner as a S when he’s played so much as a CB or in the box?  We’ve already discussed the size issue so we’ll set that aside for now. I love Joyner as a prospect and think it would be great to see him in Eagles green. He is a terrific player and big time playmaker. Joyner is tough as nails and plays with incredible confidence. Put his spirit into Daniel McCullers’ body and you’d have the #1 overall pick. Wouldn’t even be close.

Joyner played back more in his Junior season. This year he played close to the LOS most of the time. He excelled in both areas. Joyner can hit and tackle. He has good cover skills. He has good hands. I haven’t seen him play centerfielder a lot, but he’s fine when patrolling the deep zone. He closes to the ball and can be an impact hitter in space. I think Calvin Pryor is the only Safety I’d take over him.

Kyle Van Noy showed good cover skills as a Senior and down in Mobile. Any chance he could play Safety?  No. Van Noy is versatile, but he’s an OLB or ILB. You don’t want him chasing WRs 40 yards downfield.

QB update? I still have no interest in Logan Thomas as a QB. None. Not as a 6th rounder. Not as a UDFA. Might as well spend time trying to turn Jimmy Bama into a ballet dancer. Tajh Boyd did nothing to help his cause today. Mid-round guy. I might have interest in the 4th round. There is hope for him. The South QBs all had some good moments. Impressive trio.

* * *

I’ll write a Senior Bowl review tomorrow. The Eagles should be happy. Lots of defensive players looked good.

_


  • Weapon Y

    It seems like OLB, Safety, and Cornerback are the three biggest priorities in that order. Which player from each position performed the best?

    • Maggie

      Corner?? Wide Receiver, Safety, OLB, ST, a pass rusher somewhere, then draft backups for corner, and OL. Of course there will be some surprises.

      • GEAGLE

        Wouldn’t expect you to know that OLB IS THE PASSRUSHER

        • Maggie

          Accidentally upvoted. Yes and so are the front 3, or on some plays, front 4. On all-out blitzes, so are the DBs. A very good pass rusher could be playing anywhere on the defense. What the heck, in the old days the CENTER played on the D line and rushed the passer. Does Chuck Bednarik ring a bell? If they could get away with it, the team could put Mike Vick out there to blitz. After all, he tries to block on running plays, lol.

  • Mitchell

    Telvin Smith looked like he was on a good amount of plays today. Too bad he doesn’t want to play safety…. Baptiste was also had a couple good pass break ups today and I really like how he drove on a shallow cross today. McGill will be 25 in march but that kid looks like he can ball too. Plus there is Desir who had a pick today and finally the kid from Auburn looked impressive today as well. He also had a pick along with Loston who had the gimme pick, but as Tommy posted previously. At least he made it. Looking forward to the review Tommy.

    • Baloophi

      The kid from Auburn is Chris Davis, Jr. Hero of the Iron Bowl. Goat of the BCS Championship.

      For what it’s worth, his pick in the Senior Bowl came after a double-clutch from Stephen Morris. But yes, he stepped in front and caught it.

      Having watched him all season, I don’t think I can go to the mat for him. He’s inconsistent from a coverage standpoint, physical (which can be good, but is more often bad at the next level), prefers heaving his body at receivers vs. wrap-up tackling, and on more than one occasion was guilty of personal fouls after breaking up 3rd and long passes.

      Oddly, on that last point, I wouldn’t call him a hothead or anything, but on occasion seemed to have little game situation awareness. BCS game: decided to field a punt after it had bounced four times and with 6 FSU guys around him; PI on WR who was diving to catch a terribly thrown pass in the end zone on 3rd and 8 with 20 seconds left in the game. Hard to fault him too much with so much on the line, but then lined up against Kelvin Benjamin at the 1 yard line and gave him an enormous cushion, and you know the rest. Maybe he was told to do that?

      I will say he’s tough… or at least returns to the field after getting banged up… so maybe he’s just easily banged up? Ugh… that makes me think of Maclin.

      • Maggie

        “heaving his body” made me laugh out loud.

  • Joe Minx

    FWIW I completely agree about Logan Thomas. You’d be amazed at the number of scouts I’ve read talk about him like he’s some kind of unbelievable talent though.

    • TommyLawlor

      People fall in love with his body and physical potential. I get that. But he’s a QB prospect and having the right body isn’t enough.

      • A_T_G

        I empathize with Logan. Speaking from personal experience, it really is a curse to go through life being treated that way by everyone you meet.

        What about our minds? What about our hopes and fears and dreams? We have minds inside these bodies, you know?

  • Dave

    Tommy, just curious, but where would you rank Barkley (if he were coming out this year vs last year) to this year’s crop of QBs?

    • TommyLawlor

      Good question. After Bridgewater, Manziel and Bortles. Carr too.

      • Mitchell

        That deep ball by Carr was a thing of beauty.

        • shah8

          Be advised, though, the Carr is just a little too similar to his brother and to Blaine Gabbert. The one extended look I had at him was his bowl game against USC, and he was rather putrid. Carr doesn’t have a natural feel for the game–all of it, that is, and if you get in his face, he crumbles. He is also not a great deep passer, especially given his natural arm strength. All in all, I probably would rather have Boyd or Morris over Carr, in the sense that I don’t think Carr has game, despite his obvious ability to pass.

          • mksp

            you have to be just trolling here, right?

            boyd, MAYBE. Maybe if he wasn’t 6’0″ and maybe if he could throw the ball with ANY amount of accuracy. I was high on him coming into the season, but he’s been inaccurate and tentative all year, and thats with some pretty good weapons.

            Morris will be lucky to get drafted.

          • shah8

            Why would you think I’m trolling? Who would you rather trust to move the ball, Blaine Gabbert or Denard Robinson?

          • deg0ey

            Frankly, if those are my options, I’d punt on first down, try to pin the other team deep and hope the D can get a pick 6. More effective than either of those guys.

          • mksp

            If you just said Boyd, I wouldn’t think so. But Morris is just so, so, so bad.

            And doesn’t have half of the athleticism of Denard Robinson.

          • D3FB

            I’d actually have to go with shah on this. Carr absolutely shit’s his pants under any amount of pressure. Yes he has a rocket arm, but I just don’t see anyone being able to fix his absolute fear of pressure. He’s more afraid of that than Tommy is of a prohibition on PBR and pudding and Megan Fox becoming a citizen of France. It’s not just USC that he struggled with. When people started hyping him up midseason I went and watched the SDSU game. Jesus. It’s bad. Really, really bad.

          • Mitchell

            You can’t agree with him, you just can’t. More so out of principle than anything.

          • A Roy

            One up.

  • Insomniac

    What about Ford vs Attaochu?

    • James Adair

      Ford, by three lengths.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    Fantastic material. Better than anyplace else on the web. With all due respect to Jimmy ‘Bama.

    Can’t imagine what being an Eagles fan would be like without your posts. Just fantastic

    • GvilleEagleFan

      Can’t underrate Tommy’s straight answers when he has enough info to make an educated statement. Shockingly rare trait in sports journalism these days. Just converted one of my best friends to the midnight green, and having such a great resource to turn him on to has really helped seal the deal. Keep up the great work.

  • Sean

    As Eagles fans, we’ve had to deal with plenty of draft busts over the years, but it’s still important to make distinctions. Brandon Graham had all the makings of a really good pass rusher. (The fact that Earl Thomas has gone on to become a superstar should have no real bearing on the evaluation of BG). That pick is entirely different from the selection of Danny Watkins, the result of which you could’ve foreseen pretty easily at the time.

  • deg0ey

    People have been asking about Van Noy as a safety? That’s crazy. If you wanna draft a guy in the tail end of the first round to be a hybrid LB/S, surely Shazier is the obvious choice.

    • GEAGLE

      Telvin the FSU LB could move to safety

      • deg0ey

        I agree that Telvin is probably a guy to transfer to safety, but he’s smaller and slower than Shazier, so I’d still prefer him if we went with a hybrid thing. Van Noy, on the other hand, is a guy I have no interest in at all.

        • GEAGLE

          Would love him eventually replacing Meco..I just don’t know that he can rush the passer well enough at OLB to be on our roster for a few years before Meco moves on

          • Anders

            Right now Christian Jones is my preferred ILB target.

      • Mitchell

        Dnt worry, when we trade back in the first we will have an extra second round pick to get Van Noy for you.

        • GEAGLE

          Dunno man…with the run on QBs and OTs in the top 20, we could find a serious prospect on the board at 22…but I’m never opposed to more picks :)

          • Mitchell

            With the depth in this draft, can you imagine somehow acquiring 3 picks in the 3rd. Ladler, McGill, Loston….. BOOM

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah man, which is why I’m gonna be jealous of the Patriots. You know they will send Mallet to the texans for the first pick in round two…

            Think Atlanta is trading up for Clowney, and Minnesota and Cleveland will fight over who gets to trade up for Manziel. Rams and Texans will laugh, pick up a bunch of extra picks,move back and draft the two OTs,Mathews and the kid from Auburn

          • Anders

            Mallet is not worth more than a 3rd at max

          • GEAGLE

            QBs are inflated…and if he is worth a second to anyone it would be Obrien…but I would take the 3rd all day if that’s the best offer
            ..
            You know new coaches who aquired veteran QBs last year will look to draft a young QB this year..expecting Arizona and KC to take a QB in the first 3 rounds…Could see Andy wanting Fales

          • Anders

            yea, but what has Mallet ever shown? A few pre season passes? Of course BOB knows him better than most, but I really doubt they give up more than a 2nd at most.

    • theycallmerob

      safety? heck no. but ILB? I think that’s possible for him

  • Brendan Keeler

    You are such an enigma. You obviously have great scouting and football analysis skills, but you form sentences like a fifth grader.

    • GEAGLE

      Who gives a shit?

      • Mitchell

        Who is he talking about?

        • GEAGLE

          Tom….

          • Mitchell

            ……..

      • A Roy

        I believe the appropriate phrase would be WGAF.

        • GEAGLE

          The proper phrase would be stop acting like a snotty cunt..but it was early so I figured I’d tone it down :)

          • A Roy

            On his profile, there are only 4 comments, so either he’s been banned under a different name or he just graduated the 5th grade and understands the curriculum.

          • GEAGLE

            Tom has never banned anyone..Tom isn’t bitch made Ike most of the other pussies

          • Baloophi

            Mom? Are you posting under the name GEAGLE again?

          • GEAGLE

            Yup…now get off your computer and go shovel my driveway son

    • Mitchell

      You’re drunk. Go home.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve got a 4th grade education so I’ll take that as a compliment.

      • Rambler

        I would take it as a compliment too. Forming sentences be hard.

    • A Roy

      Tommy rights to the level his audyence unnerstans.

    • SteveH

      It’s because Applachan State Learnt him good.

  • GEAGLE

    I love Joyner, but I would hate to draft him as our starting safety next to Wolff. Much rather have Pryor or Buchanon….but say we were to pull off the coup and bring the Byrd to the nest, I would draft Joyner in a heartbeat. Joyner/Wolff/Byrd give us a mean 3 safety look, and we would even be able to implement a dime defense in our toolbox(which is rare in today’s NFL)..jOyner can play Dime CB, and Byrd is the all world safety you need to play Dime

    • Jean Souza

      Forget Byrd. The Eagles will not pay big bucks in FA – DRC and Aso ghosts.

      • GEAGLE

        Blah blah…you have no intel to say that

        • GEAGLE

          Front load the first two or three years to make it comperable to what the raiders are offering…if we handle our business this offseason, we won’t be major players in next years market, and we will just lock up our guys Longterm…If the raiders offer him 44, we offer him 41…and let’s see him sign with oakland

          • holeplug

            Byrd is 100% getting tagged if Bills don’t work out a long term deal.

          • GEAGLE

            Hahahaha yeah ok…so he can sit out another 5 games, milk his injury another few weeks, still get named to a bro bowl and have to go thru this all again next year? Not gonna happen. Much better chance that Ward gets tagged…Byrd will go ape shit if they tag him again

          • Anders

            Also Bills wouldnt give him 8 per year, but they are forced to give him 120% of last years salary, so why would they tag him for over 8 mill now?

          • GEAGLE

            No shot in hell… Just silly talk..

          • holeplug

            He would make $8.2 million this year if they tag him.

          • Anders

            So they are not tagging consider they wouldnt pay him 8 mill last year

          • holeplug

            They will tag and trade him if a long term extension can’t be worked out. They did the same thing with Peerless Price a couple years back when they couldn’t agree on a contract and tagged and traded him to Atlanta for a 1st round pick.

        • cliff henny

          nope, 1 contract, going on 4 yrs ago has howie and jeffy boy playing with scurrrred money. think howie is kid in candy shop, thanks to foles. he opened a ton of cap space in ’14 and ’15 thinking a strong possibility Eagles would need to leverage top part of next 2 drafts to get kelly a qb. use cap space to sign mid tier around that 25-27 age range to build team while grooming rookie qb. which was 100% smart in ’13. sure they talked about foles being ’14 qb, but no one saw 29tds/2ints. foles being foles changes freaking everything. not only might they have found a qb, but saved 2 or 3 1st rd picks, probably couple of 2nds.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah people are friggin retarded to keep mentioning nnamdi

      • Sean

        Why does everyone seem to remember DRC as a free agent? THEY GOT HIM BACK IN THE KOLB DEAL!!!

        • Baloophi

          I think we associate the word “free” with him since that’s how you’d best describe the receivers he was supposed to cover.

          • A Roy

            Excellent…

          • GEAGLE

            I don’t even blame DRC…I blame the joke coaches we had in place that let the inmates run the asylum…you don’t see DRC stinking it up in Denver…but I prefer the big physical corners who will tackle

          • Anders

            What about blaming DRC for having a terrible attitude? DRC did the same crap in Arizona, played great when he had a HOF QB winning games, but when they began losing, he didnt want to play.

          • GEAGLE

            Certainly don’t condone it…but those issues were KNOWN..when you decide to bring him in, I expect you to be able to manage him

          • Anders

            true, but we didnt expect the team to be 4-12, but like 12-4.

          • Baloophi

            Must avoid rabbit hole…

            Which would actually be a good nickname for the secondary that year.

      • Anders

        So we shouldnt draft a safety in the 2nd round because of Jarrett?
        What about the ghost of Samuel and Jon Runyan? Also DRC was a trade not a FA.

    • HazletonEagle

      Thing about Byrd, or Ward, or any of the top free agents is, we really dont have much cap space this year to re-sign some of our own and then go find new players. I suspect that they will approach free agency much the same as they did last year with a few more lower priced guys who can challenge some starters. Because if we sign someone with a name, he will be the only FA we can afford.

      • cliff henny

        21m under as they stand today. there’s 3 or 4 players that have high cap figures like peters, jax and ryans, that could use 2 or 3 yr extension and reduce cap numbers-save 8-10m. then have the tweeners, extend (or restructure-whichever) or move on from like celek, casey, chung and avant (not advocating either way, just options), another 5-10m here, easily. cutting Benn, 1m. eagles could go hog wild, spend every drop, which they wont, because next off-season cole, herremanns, grahan and williams come off books, this opens 18.5m. if really need money, Barwin can be moved, he’d clear another 4.5m.
        .
        say what you want about Banner-it’s official, god does hate cleveland, but howie learned from the best. not even sure Jerry Jones taking over for 2 yrs could mess up cap. well, maybe not that far, i’m still enjoying articles about extending kicker 7yrs and going from 28m over to 31m over.

        • GEAGLE

          Don’t you dare even think bout moving Barwin lol

      • GEAGLE

        If WE don’t have cap space, then who the hell does?

        • Anders

          About to say that. We have plenty cap and can even add 10 mill more very easy.

          • GEAGLE

            We can get up to around 35mil in cap space by restructuring a few guys(extending the years, or giving them there money up front)..Like Demeco, you can pay that man up front, knowing you can count on him to still do the right thing after he gets his money

          • A Roy

            Gotta save room (with carryover) for when FOles gets that big contract. We have several others who are all going to come due at the same time. I don’t break the bank for Byrd.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol signing Byrd isn’t keeping us from signing our payers in two years…so we carried over all that money to do nothing? Lol just keep letting Jeffry get away with pocketing 10 mil from the cap.
            ..
            People are nuts if Yous think we won’t ever be adding any impact players

          • theycallmerob

            Who, besides Foles, is due for a monster contract? I can’t see even Cox getting more than 6-7 against the cap. May be low-balling that a little bit, but Ced, Kelce, and Kendricks aren’t set to break the bank. Boykin wil do ok, but always slightly limited if not a full-time starter.
            Having to sign Foles to a big contract will be a great problem to have if that’s the discussion we’re having after ’14.

          • Anders

            Also we can use the 5th year option on Cox and get him cheap. Ced will get 3-4 mill, Kelce will get the same. Kendricks with another play making season might make 6 mill. Boykin will get 6 mill and Foles will not get more than 15 mill imo.

            Still by that time big contracts like Peters, Ryans and Williams will be off or they will be cut. We have over 50 mill in cap space in 2015 before carry overs and potential cap raise.

          • theycallmerob

            beautifully said, thanks

          • A Roy

            How much are you spending on a healthy Maclin in 2015? How much are you paying Cooper to keep him? I can’t see spending 8M on a safety, even with the increased emphasis on the position in the modern era.

          • Anders

            Im not paying Cooper and I hope we get a long term with Maclin in the 6-8 mill range already now.

          • A Roy

            I bet they give Cooper something in the 2.5-3.5 range. Maclin’ going to want at least 8. Dunno if anyone will want him for that, though.

          • Anders

            I doubt Maclin makes 8 mill unless he goes off next year, that is why I hope to buy low for 6 years already.

            Like 6 years 40 mill with 10 mill in guaranteed with some nice escalators so he might earn more after 2-3 years if he becomes what we think he can do.

          • A Roy

            If he goes off, it’d be worth it. Think Kelly wants one of these big 6’2″, 215 WRs, though

          • Anders

            Who knows, he never really had one at Oregon and he never really recruited one.

          • James Adair

            Zero

          • A Roy

            The going rate for a franchise QB these days is upwards of $20M. Even if Foles gets/takes/is worth 15, that sucks up quite a bit. All the guys we brought in in 2012 and 2013 are going to want substantial raises at some point.

          • theycallmerob

            The only 4 guys getting 20+ are Rodgers, Ryan, Flacco, and Brees; 3 of those 4 have a ring. Foles is not seeing that contract without a ring, and paythemanwhathewants if that’s the case next year.
            Even the 15+ contracts are pretty absurd, but at least built on a long history of success (Stafford, Romo, Cutler, Eli).
            http://overthecap.com/top-player-salaries.php?Position=QB

            I still think he’ll be in the guarantee/cap range of 12-15 per year, based on another great season in ’14. I trust Howie enough to know we’re not signing him to a contract that hurts the team.

          • A Roy

            I hope they can get him that cheaply if he continues as he did this year…within reasonable expectations, of course.

            Brady’s cap number is over 20M, so he’s gotta be close, even after restructuring. Manning’s at 19+. Yes, they’re both HOF. Shaub and Rivers are over 15. And I’ll bet SF resigns Kapaernick to something over 15, too. Rapelisburger is almost 15.

            By 2015, half the QBs in the league will be over 15M

        • HazletonEagle

          Im not sure who does. I havent looked around the league. Just looking at ours. This year we wont have much.

  • planetx1971

    Please try to forgive me fellas for this shameless tactic in advance ok? I’ve been trying & trying to find someone who may have taped the CHI-PHI game in all it’s splendid glory. I didn’t get to see it (the horror)
    So I’ve launched a campaign to try & find a sympathetic fellow birds fan that would be willing to send me a copy. So far the all the advice I’ve gotten is to use NFL rewind, which of course I have no access to. Strictly use my phone for internet amongst other issues. I have taped games throughout the years but I missed that bratty as well as the Lions game.I CAN’T be the only guy that tapes em. IAM aware the NFL forbids buying & selling games w/out permission. But if anyone can do this for me, have no fear, things will wok out :) So, if their is someone who would or could help me out, PLEASE hit me @ planetx1971@gmail.com? I’d be giddy as a schoolgirl! Sorry Tommy to post this her, I’m desperate brother! And this site has without QUESTION the highest collective IQ on all the Eagles message boards

    • Neil

      http://www.nhltorrents.co.uk/login.php

      Sign up here and you can download it via torrent.

      If you need a torrent tracker, google utorrent. If you really have no idea how to do torrents, reply and I’ll try to give you the rundown.

      • GEAGLE

        I live off of Utorrent and Piratebay…..have every eagles game this year on DVD

  • ACViking

    Re: Dee Ford – SEC Premium in His Draft Grade?

    Conventional wisdom holds that the SEC is the closest thing to an NFL minor league. Seems as though, in recent years, the SEC produces the more 1st-Rd picks than any other big-time conference.

    So I wonder if draft evaluators — like T-Law — add any sort of premium to the grade of guys like Auburn OLB Dee Ford.

    For what it’s worth, looking at the All Pro Teams voted by the PFWA, PFF, TSN, and the AP . . . you have to go back to 2008 to find someone who played OT in college for an SEC team. (Jason Peters was a TE in college, not an OT.) In 2008, the Titans David Stewart, OT for UTenn, pops up on the AP All Pro team but but then fades back to obscurity. That’s 48 possible slots and just 1 SEC OT.

    Looking at the past 4 drafts, though, more OTs in Rds 1-3 came from the SEC than any other conference.
    ________________

    T-Law . . . .

    A couple of questions for you.

    First, when you’re grading Ford, do you grade him any higher because he’s an SEC guy?

    Second, and more generally, what are the *specific* categories on your score sheet for grading Dee Ford . . . and any other player whom you project as an possible Rush-OLB?

    • A Roy

      When it comes to college coaches recruiting HS players, they take the level of competition into account. Players who have gone up against more difficult opponents, on average, are more advanced and will become starters/stars more quickly than those who have not been challenged by (and learned from) tougher competition.

      I would expect the same thing to hold true in the pros, although to a lesser extent. There, they are not necessarily looking at the level of development, but the ceiling. The player from the SEC will probably reach his ceiling a year earlier (or even two) than, say, someone from Saginaw Valley State. So I would think it would depend on: How soon do you need the player at his peak? What IS his peak?

      If I were drafting, both of these would have numerical values, with the ceiling being more important than readiness.

    • Anders

      Personally I do not care as long as the player comes from a major conference or ND. SEC is not that tougher to play in than the Pac-12 and not like the ACC or big 10 is a cakewalk either

      • D3Center

        There was some stat I saw last year around this time that the MAC is actually one of the top conferences in producing pro talent.

    • deg0ey

      Doesn’t address your question directly, but you might find this interesting http://www.sbnation.com/2012/6/27/3122572/is-the-sec-the-best-nfl-might-not-agree

  • ACViking

    Speaking of Joyner and other undersized players . . . .

    The name Seth Joyner comes to mind. Selected in the 8th Rd from UTEP by Buddy Ryan in his first draft as the Eagles’ HC. (One round ahead of DE Clyde Simmons from Western Carolina.) Joyner was a 220lb on draft day. But he had long arms and speed . . . and big wrists.

    Forgotten by some is that Ryan cut Joyner at the end of TC. But Buddy brought Ryan back after 2 games. And, by Week 10 Joyner was the Eagles starting ROLB.

    What OLB from some smaller college is out there this year who’s fast, has long-arms, has a frame to add size . . . and with a heart like Seth Joyners?

    • Anders

      If we only look at the senior bowl (because that is where we got weight ins for)
      http://www.draftcountdown.com/features/SeniorBowl/reports/Weigh-In.php

      Chris Smith of Arkansas, is a pass rusher, but is only 6-2 and 266 pounds but with 34⅛ inch arms and a wing span of 82½ and had 8.5 sacks.

      The question is, is those long arms more important than an extra inch or two in height?

      • Baloophi

        If his arms are long enough that he can stand on his hands then he gain that extra inch or two. He won’t be effective batting passes or anything, but if we slap him in that fly-swatter harness the sky’s the limit!

      • GEAGLE

        IMO the REAL question regarding the OLB we draft is: what’s more important to Billy Davis? Adding the most disruptive edge rusher he can find(in which some DE prospects will get a long hard look) OR is it important that he maximize Disguise meaning we would want our pass rusher to also be COMPETANT dropping back in coverage, so opponents don’t know who is coming or going between Barwin and the ROLB?

        • OregonDucker

          No question whatsoever, Chip wants disguise and Billy better deliver. Chip uses the same principle on defense as he does on offense, multiple looks and play confusion.

          • Anders

            True but are two barwins good enough for Kelly and Davis? Or do they prefer better pass rush and then lesser disguise?

    • theycallmerob

      I like DE Wynn (Richmond) and Webster (Bloomsburg), and LB Tripp (Montana). All played in EW-Shrine, and definitely NFL-capable frames.

  • greenblood0118

    Incidentally I think the biggest hindrance to Graham has been consistent playing time. Get him familiar with a system and then start him as a 4-3 DE and I think he’ll flourish.

    • A Roy

      Concur. He should be healthy enough at this point. I think he does need to be a 4-3 DE. Funny how careers go. Some guys fall into the right situation and flourish. Some get sidetracked with injuries. And some fall victim to constantly changing schemes. Graham hit two of these scenarios.

      You can make similar parallels to us everyday schmucks and our careers, too. It seems some people are born under a rain cloud and for some, with the same ability, are born on sunny spring days.

      • Baloophi

        It’s like that phrase “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Or, you know, you’re born with a lot of money or fail upward or are in the right place at the right time.

        • A Roy

          I have two kids of roughly equal talent and intelligence. The one who works harder is not the one who gets ahead easily. The one who doesn’t work as hard can step in shit and come up smelling like a rose.

          • Baloophi

            Ouch. I hope they get along okay…

            And why is there so much shit on the floor???

          • A Roy

            You must not have kids. There’s always shit on the floor.

          • Baloophi

            Ha! And correct.

          • suthrneagle

            Their names Charli and Alan?

    • Anders

      Graham in an attacking 4-3 as a RDE would be a 8+ sack guy imo, but he is not an OLB, he is meant to play with his hand in the dirt

    • D3Center

      I wonder what the trade value on Graham would be right now? He clearly doesn’t fit the system so I’d be willing to take a third or even a fourth for him in this deep of a draft.

      • D3FB

        A fifth would prolly be the most you’ll get for him. He’s only got 9.5 career sacks.

  • andy

    could you imagine a safety tandem of jairus byrd and calvin pryor? 3rd and long would certainly be different.

    • Mitchell

      Calvin Pryor and Kenny Ladler?

      • Anders

        Pryor+Jimmie Ward. Ward is the best cover safety to come out in years.

    • D3Center

      Calvin Pryor has a lot more flaws than people realize, while he has a lot of potential he is still a work in progress.

      • Stanimal

        I agree on a lot of people overrating Pryor. Watching him on film he would much rather go for the big hit than the sure tackle and quite often takes bad angles or lines up his hits wrong and misses the tackle. In two games I watched I think he made one form tackle while the rest were shoulder hits. I like his potential but that is something he needs to work and should be able to fix with the right coaching. Right now I like Bucannon better but think Pryor has more potential.

  • BobSmith77

    Still rather see a skills competition with various NFL players on teams where they compete for a top prize than the Pro Bowl game.

    Looking forward more to the Kitten Bowl/Puppy Bowl respectively next week than the Pro Bowl.

  • Mitchell

    Can someone help me understand the skill drop off between Mack an guys like Ford and Attaucho?

    • Anders

      I actually do not see such a big drop of between Mack and Attaochu consider the level of difference between the MAC and ACC

  • Insomniac

    Hey Tommy. Attaochu dropped back in coverage all gameor so I was told yesterday (hard to tell with so many golden helmets on the South team). How did he look? I haven’t heard his name called all game,

  • Sean Stott

    Can’t believe people’s blind spot for ILB. Bottom line, Demeco is a liability at this point. An expensive, $7mm liability.