Quick post for now. One thing I need to stress as we talk about draft prospects is that I’m watching players every morning and every night. I’m still working on my lists and figuring out what I think. I had to move this spring and that ate up a lot of time I would normally spend doing draft research and writing. Thank god they moved the draft back this year.
I am also watching tape on players to make sure I get a thorough understanding of them. Some of you don’t like what I say about Kyle Van Noy. Others disagree with my thoughts on Kareem Martin. And so on. That’s true for many players I comment on.
Understand that I don’t watch 1 or 2 games and then move on. I watch and re-watch the prospects to make sure that I didn’t miss something. When most of the draft world loves OLB Demarcus Lawrence and I don’t, my reaction isn’t that they’re a bunch of idiots but rather…what am I missing? I’ve watched several of his games in the past 10 days to see if I’m missing something. Lawrence has grown on me a bit, but I still think taking him in the 30’s is crazy. I just don’t see an explosive athlete.
Van Noy is one of the most talked about players. I just watched games of him last night. I love the guy, but just not as an OLB in the 3-4. I don’t see someone that I think can consistently beat LTs in the NFL. I see a tough, instinctive and productive player. I’d love him at either OLB spot in the 4-3. I’d love him at ILB in the 3-4. He simply isn’t a good enough pass rusher in my book to be a 3-4 OLB. Watch his tape carefully. Then imagine that guy going up against Tyron Smith on 3rd down in a crucial game. Is he really going to beat a good NFL LT at a critical moment? Maybe, but I’m sure not confident enough about that to draft him for that role.
Martin would be a terrific 4-3 DE, but I just don’t see an OLB.
I see a guy that has great size. I see a good motor. He will chase the ball and make his share of pursuit plays. I see good athleticism, but nothing special. I don’t see a player that looks great up on his feet. I don’t see a special pass rusher. If you want a 4-3 DE with terrific length and who moves pretty well, this is your guy. I just don’t see an OLB.
The Eagles might disagree. They might love his size and feel he’s worth the risk. We know they looked at Will Clarke, who has a similar build, as an OLB. Jerry Azzinaro was at the UNC Pro Day. I assume he was there to check out Martin. That probably means the Eagles are thinking of him first and foremost as a DE prospect. I think Martin could bulk up to 285 and might be a good 3-4 DE. Taylor Hart was a good player at Oregon for Azz and went 6-6, 284. Martin is a much better athlete than him.
We’ll see what the Eagles think in a few weeks when they start making picks and the picture unfolds. For now we can only speculate and make educated guesses.
Do understand that my opinions are written in sand, not stone. I’m continuing to watch tape of these players to make sure I have informed opinions and I don’t make a rush to judgment.