5 Draft Thoughts  

Posted by Walter

5 throwaway draft thoughts while wondering why every draftnik is in love with Matt Stafford…….

1) I don’t get the Stafford love. Sure he played three years in the SEC and has an absolute howitzer for an arm, but even playing with superior offensive talent he is only a career 57% passer and turned the ball over nearly 40 times in 39 games played. For all his physical tools Stafford is too erratic to be considered a Peyton Manning type prospect, and no team in the top 5 should even think about pinning their future on him.

2) If the NFL has taught us anything, it's that teams are far better off drafting QB’s late and letting them sit and develop. In fact, of the 10 most efficient NFL passers in 2008 6 were drafted after the first round (including 3 undrafted players and 1 seventh rounder). So who in this draft could turn out to be such a late round steal? How about Mike Teel from Rutgers. Yes he turns the ball over a little too much, but Teel is a winner who has NFL size and a good enough arm for the NFL. Most importantly, though, Teel is coachable as evidenced by the fact that he improved in each of his three years as a starter for Rutgers. Teel's completion percentage went up each year, and despite a constant increase in his attempts his interceptions stayed constant. Teel isn't read for the NFL right now, but he has shown ability to be a playmaker and should make some smart NFL team very happy down the road.

3) There seems to be a consensus that Beanie Wells is the #1 back in this draft. I simply don’t get why this is the case when Knowshon Moreno is clearly the better prospect. Beanie has far more mileage on him (nearly 100 more collegiate carries than Knowshon), plays a more punishing, and therefore career shortening, style, contributes virtually nothing to the passing game (15 career receptions as compared to 53 by Moreno), and comes from a program with a spotty recent history of sending running backs to the NFL. Am I missing something?

4) This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling Andre Smith might show up to the combine VERY overweight. If so, look for Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher, and Jason Smith to all pass him on draft boards. And while we’re on the subject, though this is a great year for offensive tackles for my money the best offensive lineman coming out of this draft is Oklahoma guard Duke Robinson. He’s probably not nimble enough to be consistent pulling in the NFL, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more powerful drive blocker from the guard position that wasn’t named Larry Allen.

5) Although he’s started to slip on draft boards, watch out for Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson. He won’t ever be a great run player, but in the NFL playing the 4-3 end is all about rushing the passer and I think Johnson could be the best of a shallow bunch of sack artists in this draft. All the players projected to be taken ahead of Johnson can best be best described as either “tweeners” (Orakpo, Brown) or flat out undersized (Maybin, English). Johnson, on the other hand, is a rangy 6’7’’ and 260 lbs., certainly big enough to hold the weak side edge in a 4-3. alignment). But Johnson's best attribute are his long arms which allow him to maintain sepration from offensive tackles and make him almost impossible to pass block. Johnson looks like a double digit sack guy in the mold of Simeon Rice to me.


Just a reminder, but Duke Robinson got WORKED by Florida in the title game.

Everyone has a bad game, but he looked terrible that night.

I disagree. He may have had a little trouble pass blocking (which all guards do....it's why they aren't tackles), but don't forget how well the Oklahoma running game performed in the first half before Stoops and Co. inexplicably abandoned it. You'll recall that when the Sooners were handing the ball off they were absolutely gashing the Gators, and all of it was behind the left side of Robinson and Loadholt on simply power and iso plays. Robinson is at his best as a run blocker despite his relative deficiencies pass protecting (which is why I inoked the name Larry Allen, who was similarly dominant in the running game but struggled in pass protection).

The bottom line is you pay your tackles to protect the QB, you pay your guards to open up holes. Robinson is still the best OL in America at doing the latter, and I think his performance in the 1st half against Florida proved that.

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