Archive for January, 2013

There has been a trend in coaching hires recently NFL, I would guess since about 2009 it has become more popular. Teams hire a collegiate coach straight from the NCAA and make them your head coach.  I think I have noticed a trend with those coaches, the coaches who come straight from a HC job in college to an HC job in the NFL are better drafters and just overall talent evaluators. What I am going to do is look at each of the recently hired straight to the NFL coaches drafting records and see how those players have produced.  Most people look at the amount of hits a coach has but I am going to focus on the misses. What I will call a miss is a player who is not on the team.  I think a good drafter is not just a person who finds home-run value but also finds solid role-playing value as well; for that reason I will not differentiate the hits from this misses.

Another thing to take into account that I will not be noting in this post is the value of the player in reference to the pick that they give.

The first coach I will be looking at is Pete Carroll who took over the Seahawks in 2010

His first draft
1. Russell Okung –
1. Earl Thomas
2. Golden Tate
4. Walter Thurmond
4. EJ Wilson
5. Kam Chancellor
6. Anthony McCoy
7.. Dexter Davis
7. Jameson Konz

In this draft they got both of their starting S in Chancellor and Thomas and arguably the best tandem of S in the league. Golden Tate has shown up this year for them, Walter Thurmond has shown flashes before injury.
Anthony McCoy has been a strong 2nd TE for them. Dexter Davis is on the team not entirely sure about his role

Only Wilson and Konz are not on the team

Misses – 2 

2011
Round 1: James Carpenter, OT
Round 3: John Moffitt, G
Round 4: K.J. Wright, OLB
Round 4: Kris Durham, WR
Round 5: Richard Sherman, CB
Round 5: Mark Legree, FS
Round 6: Byron Maxwell, DB
Round 7: Lazarius Levingston, DE
Round 7: Malcolm Smith, OLB

Carpenter got injured, Moffit is not starting currently but did start 6 games this year. KJ is a stud LB for Seattle. Richard Sherman is arguably the 2nd best CB in the league and was drafted in round 5. Malcolm Smith and Maxwell have both been solid contributes for Seattle. Doug Baldwin was undrafted but has put up numbers for the Seahawks

Legree is no longer on the team the same as Levingston

Misses 2

 

2012

Round 1. Bruce Irvin DE/OLB West Virginia

Round 2 – Bobby Wagner ILB Utah State

Round 3. Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin/ NC State

Round 4. Robert Turbin RB Utah State

Round 4. Jaye Howard DT Florida

Round 5. Korey Toomer ILB Idaho

Round 6 . Jeremy Lane CB Northwestern State

Round 6: Winston Guy DB Kentucky

Round 7 – JR Sweezy DE  NC State

Rounnd 7 – Greg Scruggs DE Lousiville

Bruce Irvin has been essentially a sack ace for the Seahawks coming in on pass rushing situations and lighting it up. Bobby Wagner had a 140 tackles and 3 interceptions, which are literally All-Pro numbers. Russell Wilson well I assume you already know the amazing season he had. Robert Turbin has been a good complimentary back to Lynch.  Jaye Howard played in 2 games.  Korey Toomer is on the practice squad. Jeremy Lane produced with 15 tackles throughout the season, Winston Guys saw minimal PT during the season. JR Sweezy was drafted as a DE and then switched positions to OG. Sweezy struggled with the transition at first but now has a stronghold on the job. Greg Scruggs produced 2 sacks as a 7th round draft pick.

Overall – Carroll only had 4 misses with a few players that still need to prove themselves to show up

I won’t call any players a miss yet because it is still their rookie year, in all honesty the jury is still out as most of them are still under 25.  But in Carroll’s 3 drafts he has found his 2 Pro Bowl  safeties, 2 starting LB’s, an OG, his franchise QB,  a lock down CB , really solid role players, an Ace pass rusher and a few talented lineman that the jury is still out on.

One thing i have noticed is that a lot of the players Carroll made moves after were players that Carroll coached against while at USC. Sherman and Baldwin went to Stanford, Brandon Browner the Offseason FA pick up went to Oregon State, Walter Thurmond for Oregon.

Could seeing those players in person against him and game planning against them given Carroll even better knowledge than the other coaches?  Scouting players to draft is one thing but scouting players to figure out how to beat them is another. The combination of the two could give coaches like Carroll and edge.

This is also a very small sample size, so let’s look at other coaches who was hired from the NCAA. The natural guess would be Jim Harbaugh but I feel that Harbaugh would be skewing the argument  and since he has only coached for 2 season it will be hard to gauge his players. Harbaugh also inherited a really strong D and didn’t have much work to do with that part of the team. Of course Harbaugh did have his share of questionable calls like AJ Jenkins in the first.

Greg Schiano is the only the other coach currently who was hired straight from the NCAA but he was a rookie coach this year but picks like Doug Martin, Lavonte David, Mark Barron could help. Schiano also drafted 2  former big east rival WVU mountaineers in Najee Goode and Keith Tandy, both of them didn’t produce this year but it will be interesting to see them grow and if Schiano knew something most didn’t.

Looking through the rest of the coaches none with any drafting history were straight from College. I thought about using Chan Gailey but he spent 2 years in between GT and a HC job. Nick Saban and Petrino were options but both of their body works were smaller than Carroll’s as well as the fact they drafted 8 years ago.

Overall, Pete Carroll is the only coach that a somewhat fair assessment can be done. This is a very interesting topic and it is one that I would expect to pick up steam as coaches like Harbaugh, Schiano, Kelly and Marrone build their teams through the draft.

 

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Missouri Tigers v Arizona State

Zaviar Gooden

College: Missouri

Position: Linebacker

Height: 6-3

Weight: 230 lbs

Position Rank:

Projected Round: Late 1st to early 2nd round

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF_nkE3iqUQ

Zaviar Gooden has not been getting as much recognition as he deserves so far, but watching Gooden on tape, he should definitely be projected higher than the 4th round grade that he has been given by some. Many scouts say he was the best linebacker of at the senior bowl and he also won practice player of the camp award at Mobile during the week. He is a bit undersized, as he is only 230 lbs but if he bulks up to around 240 lbs he should definitely see his stock rise. If he can do that and run a good to decent 40 time at the combine and or pro day he could come of the board day 1 of the draft.

 

Tackling

For someone his size, Gooden is a very good tackler. From the tape I have seen from him, he wasn’t would wrap and bring down the ball carrier on first contact and really didn’t have many missed tackles.

Size

His size is what is keeping Gooden from being a golden NFL prospect. He will need to bulk up a lot more before the combine and pro day without losing his speed and quickness.

Coverage ability

Because of his athleticism and instincts Gooden has superb coverage skills that should give him a lot of versatility on defense.

Finial thoughts

Gooden should be able to play the will in a basic 4-3 set but can also play the mike in Tampa 2 or cover 2 scheme. He is one of my favorite prospects in this year’s draft and should be taken somewhere in the mid to late 1st round based of talent and intangibles alone.

It’s that time of year, one of my favorite times of year. It is the Senior Bowl. The annual gathering of some college footballs best senior players, they come together to duke it out and fight for their name as well as their draft position.  I am going to give you a few of the prospects that I think should be watched carefully. A big week can help their draft stock and a poor one can ruin it.

Ryan Nassib QB Syracuse – His name as come up a lot in recent months, the rise of the Syracuse program has a had a lot to do with him and players like him. Nassib posseses a lot of the tools that you look for in a QB. He has a strong arm and has some accuracy. The kid is a gunslinger. What I am looking for from him is some fine tuning in his mechanics as well as his ability to read a defense and throw touch passes to the sidelines. With a good showing here Nassib could shoot up draft boards and with the value of QBs in todays game he could even be a Top Ten pick.

Other(s) to watch – Zac Dysert QB Miami of Ohio

Mike Gillislee RB Florida – Gillislee was the Offense on a Florida team that had a case for the NC game but got stomped by Louisville. When Mike was on the Florida Gators were tough to beat. Gillislee isn’t the typical get to the outside and burn players Florida back like Rainey or Demps. Gillislee posses the ability to run in between the tackles with power. He has a great build at 5-11 207  and that could surely make him an every down back in the NFL.  GIllislee is not just power but he is constantly overlooked for what I believe is one of the best 2nd gears  in the country, He has a burst that is unmatched and should be fun to see him play this week

Other(s) to watch – Stephan Taylor RB Stanford , Robbie Rouse RB Fresno State

Ryan Swope  WR Texas A&M – The rise of Johnny Football did not happen alone, he also had one of the best senior WR’s in the country.
People take one look at Swope and see that he is white and immediately relegate him to being a slot WR and comparing him to the Wes Welkers of the game. However, Swope posses the size at 6 ft 204 to be an outside WR, Swope displays reliable hands, a high football IQ and very very deceptive deep speed. I am looking to see Swope match up versus the great CBs of the Senior Bowl and display that he has the ability to be an outside WR. If Swope shows that he will have bumped his draft stock up at least a round.

Other(s) to watch – Terrance Williams WR Baylor,  Aaron Dobson WR Marshall . Mychal Rivera TE Tennessee

Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma–  With lineman like Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews going back to school it has left  a hole to be filled.  Lane Johnson is a tall , athletic OT who actually was a QB and a TE at one point.  I am looking to see if Lane can handle himself in the 1 on 1 drills, Lane has lacked the mean streak you like to see from a OT especially one that could be a LT, dominating the  1 on 1 drills would be major for him. I am also looking to see if his footwork and other mechanics have  improved over the season. Lane needs to show up big because after Joeckel and Eric Fisher the next spot for an OT is open and a good showing would be monumental for Lane.

Other(s) to watch –  Kyle Long OT Oregon, Justin Pugh OT Syracuse,  Dallas Thomas OG/OT Tennessee

The Golden boy of college football, Barkley came into the year ranked very highly and seemed to be a shoo-in for the #1 overall pick. USC seemed primed to make a NC game run, however, those dreams came crashing down as USC lost early to Stanford and then proceeded to lose 4 out of their last 5 games of the year.  Barkley’s USC career ends in a disappointing fashion to say the least. However, his draft stock still is up in the air.  Barkley possess a lot of the intangibles a team would look for in franchise signal caller but also lacks the tools that would make him a stud in the NFL.

Pre-Combine Measurables:

Height: 6 – 2

Weight: 230 lbs

40: 4.84

Scouting Video #1 – Matt Barkley vs Cuse

:45 – makes a bad presnap read and nearly throws an INT

1:33 – should have taken sack

1:46 – Climbs the pocket well, however needs to feel that pressure and find an escape route

2:00 – throw is off his back foot but still shows accuracy

2:17 – could have lead Woods better and gotten an extra 10 yards

2:40 – Nice strong throw to the sideline

2:50 – shows great poise under pressure and makes a smart decision

3:15 – recognizes one on one coverage pre snap and makes a impressive throw to Woods

4:20 – Not the smartest throw, had Lee coming off a curl at the bottom of the screen, he had sometime could have stepped up and gone through progressions

4:25 No pressure at all and makes an absolutely horrid throw, had the whole middle of the field to work with, should have lead Woods towards the deep center part of the field. 6 points if he does so.

5:22 – bad ball placement could have put the ball in front of WR, however catch should still have been made.

Scouting Video #2 – Matt Barkley vs Oregon Ducks

0:05 – Strong throw while on the run

0:19 – might be his best throw of the season 52 yards opposite sideline.

0:55 Had no sense of the pressure , released the ball due to pure luck

1:20 – Beautiful throw, great touch on that

1:45 – WTF

2:00 –Read preplay, good throw

2:40 – Throws  58 yards in the air, still not elite arm strength but it is NFL caliber, long developing play and had all the time in the world

3:15 – Nice job avoiding the rush

4:18- locks onto lee and nearly gets sacked, does not move through progression at all. Touchdown on the play but not what should be taken from the play

5:00 – It is better to take a sack or throw away than to force that

5:10 – steps up perfectly, eyes down field, delivers a strong accurate throw to Aguiliar. Touchdown

6:24 – Odd stance in the throw, you would like to see him step into that and to throw from a neutral position

7:23 – Good job avoiding pressure, very poor throw

8:00 – plain inaccurate

9:25 – Throw into triple coverage he was asking for trouble

10:00 – 5 step drop, should have seen Woods fall  and then adjusted accordingly. He made his decision to throw before the play. Lucky that  there was a PI was called ( there should have been no PI)

10:26 – what….

10:44 – ends up working out but that throw should not behind the WR

11:35 – Biggest mistake of the game. Look at the situation, it is 4th and 5 in the biggest game of your career so far. Indecisive if he wants to throw to Lee, which is okay but he does not go through his progressions, tunnel visions onto Lee and then forced a throw that was nearly picked off. You want to see him go through progressions or throw to Lee on immediately.  Did not execute the play.

Strengths

  • Mechanics are sound
  • Field General
  • Reads defenses incredibly well presnap
  • Avoids the pass rush well
  • Controls the pocket and steps up well
  • Can throw on the move
  • Generally Accurate in short and intermediate game
  • High Character

Weaknesses

  • Not the strongest arm, leaves a lot to be desired
  • Deep Ball accuracy
  • Decision Making is not up to par
  • Tunnel Vision- Locks onto WRs and waits for them to beat the CB
  • Does not go through progressions
  • Forces ball to WRs
  • Ball placement can be suspect
  • Has not played well in Big games

Conclusion – Matt Barkley might be the most popular QB in the nation. Barkley brings a good understanding of the game as well as all the intangibles and awareness needed to be a successful QB in this league. Where he lacks is in his decision making and his arm strength. Coming into the year those were what needed to be improved and he made marginal improvements.

I view Barkley has a 2nd round QB prospect and that is the talent level I think he is at. However, the NFL is a QB driven league and his value will be inflated due to that. I think you see Barkley go Top 25 picks in the draft. There is a chance teams pass on Barkley and he does fall to the 2nd round however. Barkley really hurt his stock by staying a year; he could have easily gone behind Griffin or Luck if he declared last year.

NFL Comparison – All of his tools match up with former Trojan Mark Sanchez.  Sanchez was taken 3rd overall.  Chad Pennington and Matt Cassell are other adequate comparisons