May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
The 2013 NFL Draft Grades are in for all 32 teams!!
May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
Were you recruited as a quarterback?
No, I was an athlete, but I told them I can play safety.
When did you know that you have a knack for these interceptions?
I’d probably say backyard football. I played with my friends and they liked to throw it deep, and I’d just run it down. I used to play baseball, and I was pretty good at centerfield. So I just have the knack for seeing the ball and just running and go get it. And doing whatever it takes to go get the ball.
Were there safeties that you looked up to when you were younger?
I used to look up to Sean Taylor. Rest in peace to a great man, he was a great player. I really respected him, and I looked up to him. But right now, I’d say Ed Reed. I just like his playing style. I just try to do certain things like him, like reading the quarterback and just playing certain types of coverages. And just having that knack for the ball.
This safety class, you guys seem to be grouped together right now. Do you view this as an opportunity to separate? And as a competitor, is it important to you to be that first safety that comes off the board?
Yeah, it’s all our goal to be the first safety taken. So you got to go out there and do whatever it takes to be that first safety taken and just go out there and compete.
You have a great last name for a safety…
It’s all right. I was thinking about changing it. Nah, just playing!
You probably hear that a lot, huh?
Yeah, yeah. If I had a quarter for every time somebody mentioned that, I’d be rich right now.
You could retire already? But, if you’re in the NFL, marketing, that’s a great name for a rangy, hard-hitting safety, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s pretty nice. Thanks to my dad for all that. For chaining me to that. So, I give all the credit to my dad.
In college, did you play much in the box or were you strictly centerfield?
Mostly centerfield. We had another great safety, Shawn Williams. Most of the time he was in the box. He did a great job of just slipping in the box and helping with the run support. So that made my job a lot easier just knowing that I could just play in the middle of the field, reading the quarterback to make plays.
When you are out here at practice during a free moment, when other safeties are taking their reps, do you sort of eye them up and see what they’re games are like?
I mean, I take notes from everybody. You’re not too good to learn from anybody. So I watch those guys, and still learn from those guys. I take little things from them that they’re pretty good at. I know they probably do the same with me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from the Georgia coaching staff about this process?
Just work hard. Hard work pays off. When I redshirted from junior year to senior year, they told me I needed to put more time into the film room and just learn how to slow the game down and become a student of the game. That’s what I’ve been doing. I’m pretty good at just knowing what to do. Just getting in the film room, learning what to do, learning what routes some receivers run and just learning how some offensive coordinators think when it’s time to make a play.
Who’s the best receiver or tight and you went up against in college that you felt helps drive you to be a better player?
I’m going to have to say my friend A.J. Just going against him, I knew he was going to be doing great things in the NFL and if I can just compete against him, it allows me to know that I’ll be prepared for the NFL.
You mentioned Sean Taylor earlier and I’m from the DC area. The Redskins need some safety help. What would it mean to you to be drafted by a team that a guy you idolized played for?
It would mean a lot to me. It would be just such an honor just to play for them. I would really enjoy playing for them. It’s a great city and I know that I get a lot of love and support from a great fan base.
What’s the one part of Sean Taylor’s game that you really try to model yourself after?
His hard-hitting. He had great instincts and he was a hard hitter. So that’s something that I tried to put on the field along with the great ball skills by Ed Reed. So that’s two combinations of safeties that I tried to put together and bring to the table for my team.
What two skills you want to showcase to NFL teams this week?
Taking good angles, and just tackling really.
What does it mean to you to be part of this Senior Bowl process?
It means a lot. It’s such an honor to be here with all these talented seniors. There’s a lot of guys from the SEC. We just want to go out and represent our conference well. Me and the rest of my teammates from UG want to just go represent our program and just go out here and have some fun.
April 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
The Panthers don’t have a full stable of picks, which is too bad because they need to fix multiple areas.
Defensive tackle has to be the most important, and it wouldn’t be shocking if the Panthers used two picks on this position. Carolina has one of the best edge rushing pairs in the league, but their play is neutralized somewhat due to the fact that there is zero pressure up the middle. Expect Carolina to change that early in this draft.
Steve Smith has been a great weapon for the Panthers, but his time in this league is going to be coming to an end. Carolina could use a young receiver to grow with Cam Newton.
Two other areas that need multiple upgrades are the secondary and the offensive line.
-Geno Smith is a smart athletic quarterback with a good arm and strong accuracy. He really is the best quarterback to start right away from this draft making him a perfect fit in Jacksonville. The Jaguars lack a true starting option and with a brand new coaching staff in place, they are more apt to tailor their offense around a quarterback's strengths other than the other way around. Head Coach Gus Bradley saw up close and personal what a dual threat rookie quarterback like Geno Smith could do, when he was the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks last season, as Russell Wilson had a breakout season. Smith offers a great blend of arm talent and athletic ability which could make him an intriguing fit. New offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is coming from the college game, which favors the spread attack. He also spent his last two NFL stops under offensive coaches (Darren Bevell in Seattle and Mike Shanahan in Denver) who like quarterbacks with the mobility to roll out and buy time in the pocket as well as being of more of a run focused mindset. Given the Jaguars weakness along the offensive line, they too will likely look to move the pocket and utilize shotgun to buy time for their quarterback, two other areas that are a strength for Geno Smith.
-Under Bruce Arians last year the Colts were among the league leaders in downfield passing, and that is likely to be what the Cardinals are looking for from their passing game going forward. That is where Glennon fits in, as no quarterback in this draft is more tailor-made for a downfield passing attack than Glennon. He stands tall in the pocket, has a big arm, and fits best in a system that will allow him to challenge defenses vertically. He needs a system that won't ask him to be mobile and will allow him to spend much of his time in the shotgun formation. Given the Cardinals weaker offensive line and the mindset of their Head Coach Bruce Arians and Offensive Assistant Tom Moore, Arizona is likely to feature a lot of shotgun formations.
-Manuel offers a ton of potential, and has a great combination of size, speed and arm strength. He needs an innovative system that will allow him to utilize his mobility and his ability to make plays while scrambling. Manuel also could use a system with quick passing and a run heavy focus. That is basically new Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly to a T. Kelly loves to spread the field, run the football and have a mobile quarterback. Manuel is a guy the Eagles can draft to be their future and really build their offense around.
-This one isn't really much of a surprise as both Nassib's college head coach and offensive coordinator are the Bills new head coach and offensive coordinator. The Bills staff can easily structure their offense to Nassib's strengths and just their general philosophy to be a run first team makes Nassib a great fit. Nassib is tough has some familiarity playing in the North East (even with his home games being indoors). He may not start right away even with the coaches knowing him, but he's got good potential for the Bills in the future.
-Matt Barkley is a smart quarterback with good leadership skills and a strong work ethic. For a team in the middle of a major overhaul like the Jets that is exactly the type of quarterback they should be grooming. With the Jets moving to a West Coast Offense, Barkley would fit in well given his lack of a big arm. Barkley needs to work on some of his timing and anticipation, but has the potential to be good in that area. The biggest thing holding him back from being drafted by the Jets is the sticker shock that New York fans would feel drafting another USC quarterback after the Mark Sanchez debacle. Barkley though should be confused with Sanchez as he's shown himself to be a stronger worker and leader, which gives him a better chance of succeeding.
-The Raiders could use a young quarterback to develop behind Matt Flynn, and Wilson could be a fit. The Raiders coaching staff saw him up close Senior Bowl week (though they coached the other team), Wilson has a good arm and can challenge teams vertically as well as throw a lot of quick passes. New offensive coordinator Greg Olson, has shown a willingness to stretch the field in the past when he was the offensive coordinator in Tampa. Wilson dealt with a lot of controversy at Arkansas and while it definitely affected him, he battled through it, something he could have to deal with on a rebuilding Oakland team. He's also one of the tougher quarterbacks in the pocket who is not afraid to take a hit, which could help him given some of the Raiders offensive line woes.
-For me this is basically a done deal and will likely be finalized on the morning of the draft. Not only does it change the first round by giving the Jets the 13th overall pick, but I think it could have a ripple effect. If the Buccaneers were to keep this pick, they would likely select a defensive tackle or reach for a cornerback. Another pass rusher or taking TE Tyler Eifert would also be long shot picks for the Bucs. Of those really only a pass rusher would make sense from the Jets perspective (they would need a corner, but given their other needs probably wouldn't reach). That means teams look for a defensive tackle behind the Buccaneers, will feel more confidence in getting one. It also means that Eifert will slide into the 20's, and corners will slide a bit as well.
The extra first round pick could have the Jets getting creative as well. With just one first round pick they probably would have focused it on adding a pass rusher, but with two top 15 picks, the Jets could justify adding a top guard like Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper. The Jets could also look to take playmaker Tavon Austin despite it being a bit of a reach. New York may also look to trade back with that Tampa Bay pick to not only stockpile some extra selections, but put themselves in a position to grab their quarterback later in the first round. If the Jets trade back to the early-to-mid 20's, it could force a team like Arizona, Philly or Buffalo to try to trade up ahead of them so as to not let the Jets steal their top quarterback target.
It sounds crazy after just one offensive lineman went in the top 22 picks a year ago. Making it even more surprising is we are talking about two guards (Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper) and a right tackle only (D.J. Fluker) as three of those linemen set to go in the top 13. Assuming the Jets-Bucs trade above, you have the following teams in need of an offensive tackle: Chiefs, Jags, Raiders, Eagles, Lions, Cardinals, Chargers, Dolphins. Also you have the following teams in need of a guard: Jags, Raiders, Eagles* (it's either or for the Eagles, they just need an impact offensive lineman), Lions, Browns, Cardinals, Bills, Jets, Titans, Chargers, Dolphins. That means every team in the top 13 (remember the Jets have two of those picks), need at least one offensive linemen and could easily justify the pick. Now of course some teams will decide to fill one of their other pressing needs, but it is very realistic that about half of the picks in the top 13 will end up as offensive linemen.
Despite the fact that only one quarterback (Geno Smith) should even be considered with a first round pick, I think a total of three will be selected in the first frame. Too many teams have uncertain quarterback situations, and still too many teams show desperation in trying to fix the quarterback spot. Teams may also value the fact that if a quarterback "makes it", as a first rounder the team has an option for a 5th year of team control, something that wouldn't be the case as a 2nd rounder (or later). Another thing that could help facilitate trading up is the deep draft class and the low price to move up from the high 2nd to the very end of the 1st round. As long as it is within selection spots, it probably won't cost a team any more than a 4th and 6th rounder (if that, last year we saw two top 5 picks in the 2nd round move up into the bottom 5 of the 1st round for less than that).
Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Comments Off
March 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
March 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
March 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
-The Bengals could go in a couple of different directions here. While Poe isn't a 'need' pick, teaming him up with Atkins might be too tempting for Cincy to pass up.
The Chargers could use a corner back upgrade. Gilmore is moving up draft boards and while he's a bit raw, he does have elite potential.
-The Bears could look at some defensive ends, or even a WR to pair with the newly acquired Brandon Marshall, but they also need help in their secondary and adding a safety like Barron could be huge.
The Titans need to find a major boost to their pass rush and could target Perry here in the first round. Tennesse could look at WR or CB as well, but defensive end appears to be their biggest need right now.
-This would be a steal for the Bengals as CB is one of their biggest needs, and Jenkins is probably a top 15 talent on the field. While the off the field needs are a moderate concern Cincy has overlooked those in the past.
-The Browns should look to land a top WR to go with Greg Little. Floyd is a very talented receiver, with great size and physicality. Him and Little would give Cleveland the makings of a very good young receiving corps (that hopefully they will be adding a quarterback to throw to the pair later).
The Lions have some serious offensive line questions plaguing them this offseason and Martin would answer one of them. Matt Stafford should be lobbing the Lions hard for this pick, and I can't see them passing him up.
-The Steelers could look to move back here and stockpile picks, but they will highly consider adding a top inside linebacker to replace James Farrior.
-The Broncos could look at some other areas, but I think grabbing a top center to protect Peyton Manning is a good move.
The Texans could go rush linebacker, but if adding a WR complement to Andre Johnson has to be a priority. Wright is a nice fit next to Johnson, given that he is one of the top deep threats in this draft.
-The Pats need to focus on defense here and adding a pass rusher is key. Both Andre Carter and Mark Anderson had big years for them, but both are free agents and both are older veterans. Adding some youth here is key, and a player like Branch who could fit either odd or even man fronts is a bonus.
The Packers have to come away from this draft with a pass rusher, and Mercilus is a nice fit here. He'd be a solid complement to Matthews.
The Ravens lost Cory Redding in free agency and they could use another force along that defensive line to pair up with Ngata. Baltimore has bigger needs at this point, but Still is too much of a value to pass up.
The 49ers need to add weapons to their offense, and Fleener is a nice value here. Having him and Davis in the same lineup could be really tough for opposing defensive coordinators to stop.
-The Pats interior line is a bit soft after Vince Wilfork, so adding a complementary piece is key.
-The Giants don't have a pressing need at outside linebacker, but given their practice of taking top available players Brown makes sense here. He projects as a good 3 down linebacker and those aren't the easiest to find.
March 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
-The Colts finally have their head coach, so now we know who will be popping the champagne for landing Andrew Luck come April. This pick will be one of the easiest in NFL Draft history.
-The Redskins made a big trade to land a franchise QB in Griffin. It's a risk, but one that they felt they could take. Griffin does have elite upside, and his mobility should help him. This trade will come down to how quickly Griffin can become a top level NFL passer though, when it is all said and done.
-This is a no brainer pick for the Vikings. LT is their biggest weakness and Matt Kalil is the top LT prospect in years. Kalil is a top 3 talent easily and a tremendous pick here. While WR and CB are needs, the draft is filled with both positions so they can address it later.
-The Browns can go in a number of different ways here, and I could see them targeting Trent Richardson, Riley Reiff, Ryan Tannehill or Justin Blackmon, but adding a the best player available could be the pick (also trade back is an option). Claiborne teamed up with Joe Haden would give the Browns a scary CB pairing and really shut down opposing QB's. It's not a major need, but Claiborne is a major talent.
-The Buccaneers did add CB Eric Wright in free agency meaning, Claiborne might not be as big of a need. Given their investment in the offensive line with Carl Nicks, adding Trent Richardson could be the pick here. Richardson could give Tampa a true 3-down feature back, and a two-headed monster with Blount.
-The Rams could really do anything with this pick, including trading back again, but I think Blackmon could be the selection. St. Louis seems serious about adding a weapon for Sam Bradford, and while an offensive tackle would be smart, they could convince themselves that Saffold and Smith can hold up this year. Blackmon might not be a gamebreaker, but his is a very good, surehanded option.
-The Jags sign Laurent Robinson, and while WR remains a need, adding a top level talent like Ingram makes sense here. Ingram has a fantastic work ethic, and is one of the best talents in the draft. While many will overlook him due to his size, but he's such a talent they will regret that decision.
-The Dolphins could be struggling to find a QB, but they could luck out if Tannehill slides to them. He's got really nice upside, and if given a year or two could be an elite QB in the future.
-The Panthers are likely to choose between one of the top DT's and CB's. While both are needs, a potential stud DT like Brockers will probably win them over. Brockers will help shut down opponents running games, which means more time on the field for Cam Newton and the offense.
-The Bills need to give Ryan Fitzpatrick some protection, and Reiff at this spot would be a steal. He won't make as big of an impact as Matt Kalil, but he does have elite LT potential.
-The Chiefs probably have more needs on the offensive side of the ball, but don't be surprised if they take Kuechly. It's a need, and an excellent steal as he is easily a top 10 player in this draft.
-The Seahawks need to prioritize adding a pass rusher this year, and Coples is a great pick here. He's got great upside and is so versatile the Seahawks can find plenty of ways to use him.
The Cards need to beg, borrow and steal to ensure they land an offensive lineman (particularly a tackle) with this pick. Their line is in woeful shape and if they ever want to figure out if Kevin Kolb is the answer they should probably keep him on his feet. Even with the re-signing of Levi Brown this is a smart pick, because Glenn can find a starting role, even if it isn't at LT (though probably should be) on this line.
-The Cowboys secondary has gotten a little better in free agency, meaning Dallas could look to grab DeCastro with this pick. Decastro would be a huge get for them, and would really strengthen that line.
-This isn't the Eagles biggest need, but it might be too much value for them to pass up. Kirkpatrick has immense potential, and putting him in this secondary would be huge.
-The Jets need a star pass rusher to make this defense complete. Given how important defense is to their success, I don't know if it makes sense to use this pick on a luxury. Upshaw would be a great fit here coming off the edge and getting penetration.
March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized