MCA wrote:There are 2 kind of spread offenses.
Bradford ran a throwing spread. I don't mean that.
But Urban Meyer's offense, Oregons, Auburn, etc., is really a running spread offense. the spread-option attack is what I mean.
MCA wrote:Seeing as how he sucks, he's my "exhibit A" for my point.
KW wrote:Nope. Some option stuff, but it was a "pro-style" offense*. Knock on him was that he wasn't a west coast offense guy because of his accuracy....which was 100% correct.
*pro-style = run up the middle twice then let McNabb pull a horseshoe out of his ass on 3rd down to move the chains, right Mr. X?
NFL scouts offer first-round insight
By Todd McShay
Final draft boards are nearing completion both here at Scouts Inc. and across the NFL, with only last-minute medical concerns and character flags likely to change things significantly from here on out.
I reached out to a pair of current NFL scouts (one from the AFC, one from the NFC) and both were nice enough to give up some of their very limited free time early this week to join me in running through a mock first round, and there were definitely some interesting results.
The ground rules were simple. A three-way coin flip determined the order of picks and the scouts did not pick for their own teams for obvious reasons. Trades were not a consideration for these purposes, and picks were made based on what we think will happen when considering a number of factors, including player evaluations, team needs, scheme fits and buzz from around the league.
The first thing that jumped out at me during the process was the scouts' discipline in terms of taking players based on where they stood on their actual draft boards. They believe in their rankings and when able to put on their general manager hats, the scouts took players who might not fill the biggest needs for certain teams but simply had to come off the board because of their value.
A perfect example is CB Patrick Peterson going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 6. Our AFC scout could have taken DE/OLB Robert Quinn or WR Julio Jones to fill significant needs but getting perhaps the best player on the board at No. 6 was too good an opportunity to pass up.
The same can be said of the Tennessee Titans getting Jones at No. 8. Our scout just believed in Jones' skills and potential too much to let him get by.
So which picks gave our scouts the most trouble and which were the most intriguing? Here are their thoughts:
AFC scout: "For me it was Blaine Gabbert to Buffalo at No. 3. The upside and possible reward are higher with Cam Newton if everything comes together for him, but he's a bigger risk (and off the board), and I give Gabbert the edge at quarterback anyway.
"The more difficult decision was taking Gabbert over Von Miller. The Bills need an impact pass-rusher almost as much as they need a quarterback and I actually grade Miller higher than Gabbert on my overall board. At the end of the day, though, the quarterback is the most important factor if a team is going to win it all, and Gabbert has all the tools to become a franchise-type quarterback."
NFC Scout: "I struggled with where to go for the Patriots at No. 17. The two five-techniques who fit what New England's defensive scheme likes to do -- J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan -- were already gone so I felt stuck a little and went with positional value in Adrian Clayborn.
"This pick would obviously hinge on the Patriots' clearing Clayborn medically and being comfortable with the nerve damage and limited range of motion in his right arm/shoulder/neck, but he has the size, strength and pass-rush ability to become a good fit as a rush end/ROLB in Bill Belichick's scheme."
Most intriguing picks
NFC scout: "I gave TE Kyle Rudolph to the Rams at No. 14, maybe a bit high for someone who missed most of the season with a hamstring, but I just believe in the guy. Rudolph has a chance to be an impact player and longtime starter in the league, and I think he could do for St. Louis what Rob Gronkowski did for New England as a rookie.
"I know the Rams have other needs but there is only one tight end in this class who's close to the complete package, and giving second-year QB Sam Bradford another weapon and a security blanket would make some sense."
(Note: this pick made me scratch my head initially given where I rank Rudolph, but the more I thought about it the more I could see the logic and envision it happening.)
AFC scout: "Everyone says the Cowboys need an offensive tackle, and that's true, but they could also have a major hole at the five-technique because of expiring contracts, and taking Da'Quan Bowers at No. 9 is something to think about. Bowers has been tagged as an ideal 4-3 end, but at 280 pounds why couldn't he play end in a 3-4 and be a guy who provides some pass-rush help both from the outside and inside?
"The final medical report on his knee is looming and that could change a lot of things, but if it checks out, getting a guy who may be a top-five talent with the ninth pick would be a good value."
It's always a helpful exercise to go through the first round with guys in the league. I do it all the time. But this is the first time I've gone through all 32 picks with scouts from different teams simultaneously. It was a good learning exercise for all of us, and the best part was picking for their respective teams. I'll admit it, my blood pressure got ratcheted up a few notches during those two picks.
Aside from those two selections, the toughest for me might have been San Francisco taking CB Prince Amukamara at No. 7.
I've had Peterson projected in that spot recently, but with the Browns ignoring need and taking the best available player one pick before, Amukamara made the most sense to me. The 49ers have bigger needs at quarterback and along the defensive line, but no one available at those positions was worth the pick. Amukamara carries similar value to a few other players at that spot but he does offer an upgrade at a position that is a secondary need.
• Jacksonville at No. 16 feels a little high for DE Ryan Kerrigan, but Jaguars general manager Gene Smith has earned a reputation in recent years for making safe picks, and you know exactly what you're getting from Kerrigan in terms of toughness, technique and effort.
• I was a little surprised to see UCLA OLB Akeem Ayers come off the board so early, but he is a good fit as a potential SAM linebacker for Tampa Bay and would bring even more youth to a defense that upgraded the line with DTs Gerald McCoy and Brian Price in 2010.
• DE Muhammad Wilkerson and DT Corey Liuget both carry grades in the top half of the first round on my board but there were enough questions that both fell into the mid-20s, and while I do believe RB Mark Ingram will slide a bit in the first round, I was surprised to see him available to fill a need when the Patriots went on the clock at No. 28.
• As much talk as there has been about CB Jimmy Smith falling because of character concerns, it's becoming clear that teams are getting more comfortable with his issues. One of Smith's biggest issues seems to be who he surrounds himself with and he's making it clear to teams that he's looking forward to leaving that behind and taking charge of his own life in a new city.
Smith going to Philadelphia at No. 23 jives with what we're hearing from others around the league and is more in line with the impressive overall physical tools he possesses.
• Finally, with no trades allowed for these purposes, we saw only two quarterbacks off the board. The only team picking in the second half of the first round with true need at quarterback is Seattle (No. 25), and if Jake Locker, Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton is to come off the board late in the first, it could very well take a team trading back into the top 32.
With all that being said, here's how things played out from top to bottom. Note that our scouts didn't necessarily make every pick for teams in their conferences, and the grade and overall rank listed for each player are from Scouts Inc.'s draft board.
Pick Player POS School Grade (Rank)
1. Carolina Panthers Cam Newton QB Auburn 93 (16)
2. Denver Broncos Marcell Dareus DT Alabama 97 (1)
3. Buffalo Bills Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri 96 (5)
4. Cincinnati Bengals A.J. Green WR Georgia 97 (4)
5. Arizona Cardinals Von Miller OLB Texas AM 97 (2)
6. Cleveland Browns Patrick Peterson CB LSU 97 (3)
7. San Francisco 49ers Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska 96 (6)
8. Tennessee Titans Julio Jones WR Alabama 95 (9)
9. Dallas Cowboys Da'Quan Bowers DE Clemson 95 (10)
10. Washington Redskins Robert Quinn DE/OLB N. Carolina 96 (7)
11. Houston Texans J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin 94 (12)
12. Minnesota Vikings Nick Fairley DT Auburn 94 (11)
13. Detroit Lions Tyron Smith OT USC 95(8)
14. St. Louis Rams Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame 90 (26)
15. Miami Dolphins Cameron Jordan DE California 92 (19)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue 91 (21)
17. New England Patriots (from OAK) Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa 91 (24)
18. San Diego Chargers Aldon Smith DE/OLB Missouri 93 (14)
19. New York Giants Mike Pouncey OG/C Florida 93 (15)
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA 88 (31)
21. Kansas City Chiefs Nate Solder OT Colorado 92 (20)
22. Indianapolis Colts Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin 91 (22)
23. Philadelphia Eagles Jimmy Smith CB Colorado 89(28)
24. New Orleans Saints Muhammad Wilkerson DE Temple 93 (17)
25. Seattle Seahawks Corey Liuget DT Illinois 93 (13)
26. Baltimore Ravens Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State 89 (27)
27. Atlanta Falcons Anthony Castonzo OT B.C. 93 (18)
28. New England Patriots Mark Ingram RB Alabama 91 (23)
29. Chicago Bears Phil Taylor NT Baylor 86 (40)
30. New York Jets Justin Houston DE/OLB Georgia 87 (35)
31. Pittsburgh Steelers Derek Sherrod OT Miss. State 86 (41)
32. Green Bay Packers Danny Watkins OG Baylor 89 (29)
Todd McShay is the director of college scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998.
MCA wrote:Mallet will be better than all of them. Trust me.
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