Thursday, April 19, 2012

Path to the Draft, 4/12

Appearing: Paul Burmeister, Charlie Casserly, Michael Lombardi, Mike Mayock

Player news: Show wastes a lot of time ceremonially announcing the players who will attend the draft in New York City in person, as if anyone cares.

Potential draft-day surprises: Chandler Jones and Shea McClellin could both be selected much higher than expected. McClellin's versatility shows on tape and he's making a late run up draft boards. Jones should be a solid mid-first-round pick. Mayock likes Jones better than Quinton Coples as a 4-3 DE, better than Courtney Upshaw, and better than Whitney Mercilus for his overall game. Can put on 15-20 more pounds without losing quickness. Quick-twitch, gets off well, gets upfield and to the QB.

Potential surprise droppers: Quinton Coples, Janoris Jenkins. Neither really a surprise; we've covered this all before. Jenkins just changed agents on top of everything else.

Casserly wonders if teams drafting based on need will cause David DeCastro to drop, because most need positions get ranked ahead of guard in the big picture. e.g. Teams that need a WR and a guard will take the WR, all other things being equal.

Mayock only has Cordy Glenn as a mid-SECOND rounder. Only a right tackle or guard in his estimation, lacks the quick feet to play left tackle. many Mock drafts have him in the first round based on his projected ability to play tackle; Mayock doesn't see it.

Back to positive reviews, Lombardi likes Nick Perry's potential to make an impact as a rookie. Likens him to Lamarr Woodley. Great initial burst and acceleration, good tackler, can get QB on the ground. Some teams are worried about his consistency. Mayock likes Melvin Ingram's potential, despite being short-armed, because of his excellent overall athleticism. Whitney Mercilus is also intriguing to Mayock. Has great bend and accelerates well. Needs to get stronger and isn't great against the run, but can be an impact 3rd-down pass rusher. Casserly likes Vinny Curry. Quick and explosive off the ball. Good punch and bull-rush ability. Has natural feel for pass-rushing, has good inside move, uses his hands well.

Potential inside pass-rushers: this show mentions Mike Martin for I believe the first time. 302 lbs, well-built. Former high school wrestler who understands leverage. Quick off the snap and has a great motor. Mayock seems to suggest he will be much better lined up on a gap vs. right over a man, but he can move the pile. RamView became a fan watching him scrap with Mike Adams Senior Bowl week.

Potential impact tight ends:
James Hanna - runs sub-4.5 at 252 lbs and catches naturally. Plays in-line and outside. Didn't have a lot of catches last year (27), but his sheer measurables, in a bad year for tight ends, could move him up into the 3rd-4th round.

Rhett Ellison - TE/fullback from USC, teams like his versatility. Effective blocker as an H-back or as a blocker at the point of attack. Projects as a fifth-rounder; his skills will make him a better pro player than a college player.

Taylor Thompson - 6'6", 259, all-conference DE out of SMU receiving mega-buzz because of his workout. He wasn't invited to the Combine as a DE, so he worked out at his pro day at tight end. He had been a wide receiver in high school. Ran a 4.58, jumped 37" and caught the ball extremely well. I think we have this year's Fendi Onobun. Unless it's Adrian Robinson from Cincinnati, who had only 29 career catches but is a physical freak. 6'4", 260, ran 4.5, jumped 39.5". Decent blocker as a H-back. Will be drafted by someone late based on his physical tools alone.

Where is Fendi Onobun these days, anyway?

Wide receiver values:
A.J. Jenkins finally gets mentioned on this show! 6'0", 190, ran 4.37 at the Combine. Above average hands and strength; size and speed are too good for him to last past the middle rounds. Did not run a lot of routes but is a dangerous outside receiver who can get deep. Returned kicks as a freshman.

Joe Adams - 5'10.5, 179, runs 4.5. Exceptional speed and change of direction. Can be dangerous from the slot and is an outstanding punt returner with 5 career return TDs. 3rd-4th round value.

Pro days:

Ryan Broyles came in at 188 lbs, jumped 32.5" and ran in the mid-4.6 range. Caught the ball extremely well. Did not get in and out of breaks well, protecting his knee. He is really not close to 100% yet; it's just remarkable he can do as much as he can already less than six months after surgery.

Broyles heals a little more quickly than Laurent Robinson or Mark Clayton, I'd say.


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