Early look at 2011 NFL draft

Discussion in 'NFL' started by whiteathlete33, May 5, 2010.

  1. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Interesting news! Notice that only 2whites inChristian Ponder(whoI don't think should be on the list. Ponder has been tearing it up and he will be a late 1st rd or early 2nd rd. draft choice. Of course they list Kyle Rudolph but I think he'll be just fine in the pros.

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    <DIV ="cnnInlineT1Caption">Despite his top-of-the-draft talent, Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers has scared many teams with a knee that could be a drag on his career.
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    There's a lot of uncertainty heading into Thursday's NFL draft. If we ignore the off-field issues (please!), then we're left with a draft that has what some call depth and others call mediocrity. At almost every position, there's little delineation between the best player and the fifth best, leaving teams the opportunity to pick up solid talent into the top of the second round. With all the pro days, interviews, and processes behind us, teams are left to stare at magnets and files before making their last decisions.


    One voice teams are listening to more and more are those of the trainers and doctors who have evaluated the health of players. Injury risk is one thing for an NFL team, but acquiring that risk at the high prices of the first round is something most teams want to avoid. "Injuries are the biggest risk for bust," one NFL scout told me. "There are always going to be the things you can't predict but you can't get hit for something you can and keep a job in this league."


    These 10 players have the kind of risk that can kill the hopes of a GM or a team. All of them have been checked and re-checked, with many returning to Indianapolis in the last month for the little known but important medical re-check. On talent, each of these players is a first round pick, some at the very top of the draft, but each could drop some slots and some dollars based on how teams assess their injuries. With the help of several NFL talent evaluators and some top doctors, here are the issues surrounding these injury risks:
    <H3>Da'Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson. Knee)</H3>


    Thought at one point to be a possible No. 1 overall talent, Bowers' knees didn't pass the inspection of any team. Some worry he'll lose speed or need to be a passing-down only player -- and those are the ones that like him. Several teams have Bowers red-flagged, meaning that their medical staff would not sign off on the player being picked at all, let alone high in the draft. Let's be clear -- Bowers did not have microfracture in January, but the surgery he did have certainly points to degenerative problems, making it possible that Bowers would lose both speed and explosiveness both now and in the future. Teams playing on artificial turf seem especially concerned about Bowers. The best fit would be a team in the mid-20s willing to take a chance on Bowers, especially if they have a history with returning players from the procedure. Many have Bowers as a near-lock to Tampa at 20, but the Bucs lack the experience with the procedure. A better fit would be Philadelphia at 23 or Seattle at 25. He would be an absolute risk if he went anywhere near a No. 12 slot to Minnesota.
    <H3>Tyron Smith (OT, USC. Knee)</H3>


    The principle of scarcity alone forces teams to reach for players. They see a need, have a GM fall in love with a player. In this draft, there could be as many as six "Blind Side" tackles taken. That's not a surprise, given the focus on the position in the modern NFL, but it does make many wonder why Dallas seems focused on Tyron Smith at No. 9. Smith is coming off knee surgery in December, and when he wasn't ready to participate at the combine in February, it raised some concerns. An extra month of rehab allowed Smith to put up solid Pro Day numbers, but there are still concerns about future knee problems due to his rapid weight gain and the surgery. Smith played behind Charles Brown, who couldn't crack the Saints lineup, making many wonder if Jerry Jones will really use his pick on an unglamorous lineman, especially one that's not a left tackle by experience.
    <H3>Julio Jones (WR, Alabama. Foot)</H3>
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    NFL teams have a perfect comparable for Julio Jones' foot problems and that's helping Jones' draft stock immensely. "He's got almost the exact same issue that Michael Crabtree had coming into the draft," said a doctor familiar with Jones' injury and the surgery he had to correct it. "He was able to show good speed and productivity both before and after the procedure." "Teams have been able to see Jones both at the combine, where he ran a 4.39 with a broken bone, and some teams have traveled to see him run during his rehab process. He is already running, thought not quite at full speed. He will be good to go well before camps are scheduled to open this summer."His combination of speed, size and strength, as well as a productive career at Alabama make him sure to be no lower than the second WR taken, and some question whether or not he's better than A.J. Green. There's no reason for Jones to drop, with the Rams slot (No. 14) being his safety net. He's much more likely to go No. 6 to the Browns or No. 10 to the Redskins.
    <H3>Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama. Knee)</H3>


    Running backs aren't sexy picks any more, but the Heisman Trophy winner remains one of few backs that teams are looking at to change their running game immediately. If Ingram had come out after his Heisman campaign, maybe he'd go higher, because injuries suffered in his junior season have only dropped him. Ingram had his knee scoped early in the season, but didn't seem to have any issues once he came back. The knee got a thumbs up from Bama team physician James Andrews, which is good enough for most teams. The knee is more an excuse for passing on any RB than it is a real knock on Ingram. The 4.62 40 is the real concern (4.5 at his Pro Day) and why Ingram looks to slip to the Pats at No. 28 if the Dolphins pass on him at No. 15.
    <H3>Christian Ponder (QB, Florida State. Shoulder)</H3>


    Enough teams need a QB that there's a lot of movement in the lower part of the first round right now. One of the names that teams are trying to move to get is Ponder. He's being considered there only after extensive checks on his shoulder and elbow. Ponder had three surgeries on his arm during his final two seasons in Tallahassee, including two minor surgeries on his elbow and one major one on his shoulder. Ponder's helped a bit by Sam Bradford, who had a very similar procedure and great results in his rookie campaign. It's a good comparison, in that Ponder is more likely to re-injure the shoulder, but almost any QB driven into the ground would have the same problem, proclivity or not (see: Romo, Tony). Ponder could be the next Bills QB if he slides into the second round, but teams are looking to move into either the Pats' No. 28 slot or even the Eagles' No. 23 slot to pick a QB.
    <H3>Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa. Shoulder)</H3>


    Teams got a quick lesson when they started looking at Clayborn, learning what Erb's Palsy is and how it might affect Clayborn. The injury is caused at birth and damages the brachial plexus. One way of looking at this is that we have one other condition that causes brachial plexus problems in the NFL: stingers. "If you consider how many players deal with stingers and adjust, it's hard to see how this would be a problem for [Clayborn]," said one doctor who examined Clayborn at the combine. The intermittent issues that he has didn't stop him in high school or college. "He was durable in the Big Ten," said one scout who admits he thinks the issue is actually a positive for Clayborn. "This kid worked through something that would have stopped most from even getting on the field. I have to love that work ethic." Clayborn could go as high as No. 20 to the Bucs, but he won't go any lower than the Packers at No. 32, where he would pair well with Clay Matthews in the pass rush.
    <H3>Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State. Elbow)</H3>


    "If I needed him to pitch, I'd be worried." That was the assessment of one scout who loves Heyward, who seems to be dropping on many boards. Heyward tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, known as the "Tommy John" ligament. While this is a common injury in baseball pitchers (and occasionally in quarterbacks), it's not a major problem for ends. A doctor that regularly performs this surgery in baseball told me there should be no long term concerns over and above the risk a normal DE would have -- "and how often does this happen to them?" he asked. Heyward's pedigree -- he's the son of Craig "Ironhead" Heyward -- helps as well. "Hard for me to question his genes or his toughness," said one scout. Heyward wasn't overly reliant on strength to begin with, so any team with a 3-4 scheme and an outside need will be in the mix on Heyward. He could go as high as No. 24 to the Saints, but it's more likely that he falls to the later picks in the first round (Jets or Packers) and possible that he slides to the Bengals in the second round.
    <H3>Phil Taylor (DT, Baylor. Foot)</H3>


    At 6-4, 337, Phil Taylor's feet have a lot to hold up, but they've done so. Reports of a foot condition that has red-flagged him have been murky, but Taylor doesn't have a condition that required re-check. "There's concern," one scout said, "but it's about whether he'll hold up, not where he is now." Foot and knee problems are huge for players carrying as much raw tonnage as Taylor, but his bulk and good hands have several teams taking a look at the bottom of the first round. Comparisons to Kris Jenkins make many think that the Jets will take him at No. 30, but the risks that come with a big guy do seem to be weighing (no pun intended) on GMs. Taylor seems to be one of the guys that teams want to get into the top of the second round to get. All those calls late Thursday night could be for teams looking for Taylor.
    <H3>DeMarco Murray (RB, Oklahoma. Multiple)</H3>


    Murray did everything as a Sooner except stay healthy. He spread the pain around, having hamstring, ankle, knee and shoulder injuries during his 2010 season. He was durable enough to leave with a lot of Oklahoma records, but his long-term durability is the big concern for teams. "He's a changeup back, not a feature back," said one scout. "What I'm not sure of is which half of a committee he is." He's neither big and bruising, nor is he small and shifty. More than one scout called him a "tweener," which says as much about the state of NFL running backs as it does about Murray. In the right system and surrounded with the right personnel, Murray should be productive. The Saints would be a great fit, but are unlikely to take him at No. 24. The Falcons might see him as a replacement for Jerious Norwood at No. 27, but it's more likely that his durability will push him into the second round.
    <H3>Ras-I Dowling (CB, Virginia. Hamstring)</H3>


    While he sounds like a Batman villain, Dowling was more the arch-enemy of ACC offensive coordinators over the past few seasons. The only thing that hurt him was being hurt. Hamstring and ankle problems limited Dowling to only five games for the Cavs, but he put himself back in the mix for a first round selection with solid speed (4.40 at the combine) even though he strained his hamstring doing so. Scouts compare him regularly to former UVA standout Chris Cook, but the durability concerns trump his solid cover and good tackling skills. "Bigger receivers and harder hits make me think the injury problems are only going to get worse," said one scout who was high on Dowling prior to the combine. There's a small chance Dowling could be a reach in the later rounds, with some connecting him to the Ravens at No. 26. He's much more likely to be in the middle of the second round, with teams like Houston and Pittsburgh hoping the injury concerns slide him down to them.
    <H3>Kyle Rudolph (TE, Notre Dame. Hamstring)</H3>


    Rudolph is the top TE on the board for most teams heading into the draft. He has size and speed that many compare to Dallas Clark, but like Clark, there are durability issues. He missed much of the '10 campaign after tearing the hamstring away from the bone. His 4.8 Pro Day 40 addressed many concerns, but looking back at Rudolph's career show more issues beyond the hamstring. He missed games in '09 with a shoulder problem, and going all the way back to high school, he's missed time in almost every season he's played. Several scouts say he's "stupid tough," which is a backhanded complement in scout-speak. Most of Rudolph's injuries come when he's trying to play through something. That makes him a gamer up to the point he's out for the season. You'll hear comps to Rob Gronkowski, who missed much of his last college season as well, but Rudolph is more like Oakland's Zach Miller in both size and speed. Teams at the back of the first round don't seem to have need, but he won't drop past the Rams in the second round.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/will_carroll/04/26/nfl-draft-injuries/index.html#ixzz1KflcQooz
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    <DIV style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; COLOR: #000000; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none; transparent: ">***Notice how many hyped up black defensive linemen were on the list??Edited by: celticdb15
     
  2. Deadlift

    Deadlift Hall of Famer

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    Is that the Fridge from his Clemson days? [​IMG]
     
  3. Mighty Joe

    Mighty Joe Newbie

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    It would be great if 5 White wide outs were drafted which would match last years total but most 7 rounds mocks ive seen have only 3 or 4 some even 2.Their only mocks but with the caste system these mocks are most likely fairly accurate of how the draft transpires.Ive read a few times that its sometimes better for a player to be a priority free agent rather than drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he can then choose which team fits him best.I hope this is true and it worked out well for Blair White last season when he chose to sign with the Colts.Had he been drafted late by a team like the Bucs or Jaguers he most likely would have spent the year on the practice squad like Toone.

    As many as 20 DEs and LBs could be drafted aswell as a few safeties,numbers that are from the positional rankings and draft projections of the worst caste sites like NFL draft scout,walter football and draft countdown.

    Whats interesting is that far from being unathletic White players are the most explosive in this draft particularly at defensive positions and any position they are adequately represented which obviously excludes running back.The 'Explosion number'gives an overview of a prospects strength and explosion by adding the vertical jump,standing broad jump and bench press together to give a numbered total.Watt was the most explosive player at the combine with an explosion number of 81.Any number over 70 is considered great.Reed 70,Kerrigan 74.6,Homan 76.8,Bruce Miller 78.2.Some late round prospects Marc Schiechl 83.5 and Gabe Miller 78.6.Ayers one of the vaunted Black prospects had a combine number of 58.7.Other affletic 1st rounders Aldon Smith 63.7,Quinn 65.7,Von Miller 68.5.One guy thats the definition of a sleeper prospect is Dan Dierking.His 73.6 explosion number dwarfs Ingrams 62,he also has a faster 10 yd dash at 1.53 aswell.In a fair world he should be on an NFL roster next season if not as a running back then at least reciever.
     
  4. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    Actually it was six white receivers drafted last year: Shipley, Decker, Meier, Toone, Mariani, and Cooper. Jameson Konz is even listed as a wide receiver so you could even say seven, though it's still unknown if he'll ever get significant playing time in the league and at what position.
     
  5. Mighty Joe

    Mighty Joe Newbie

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    Whiteathlete i stand corrected their.It was six,i forgot about Mariani.Last year yielded a good increase with the six listed wide outs,seven including Konz that were drafted aswell as FAs Komar,Hall and White getting game action.Hopefully this year 5 get drafted with guys like Mcknight,Ellingson and some of the athletic small school guys making it onto rosters as FAs.
     
  6. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    I don't think we'll be that lucky this year. Salas, Sanzenbacher, Durham, and Whalen should all be drafted. Maehl will most likely catch on as a free agent along with McKnight.

    My worry with Durham is that they may try to move him to tight end being that he's 6'5. He's only around 215lbs right now but he can be asked to bulk up and we get screwed again.
    Edited by: whiteathlete33
     
  7. snow

    snow Mentor

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    I don't think Durham can handle more than 5 or 10 pounds to his frame, plus he has 4.4 speed. It would be pretty hard to convert him, its gotten better in recent years. The only problem is he will probably have to serve a racial apprenticeship like other big, tall, fast white receivers such as Jordy Nelson and Riley Cooper.

    I think Maehl is good enough to be drafted but Whalen might be an UDFA picked up somewhere. Thats just based of watching them play though. Whalen might be better, i know he has played through a few injuries

    I was watching some old footage of Andy Dalton and found a player that got screwed over, Ryan Christian. Originally a tailback, he rushed for almost 3,000 yards his senior year in high school, i believe in Texas. He was only given opportunities when other players got injured, and exceled every time. They used him as a tailback and wr, the last game I recently watched he was put in for an injured Kerley, he had 3 catches for over 100 yards and a touchdown. I didn't notice him when he came out last year but think he couldve done well in the NFL. He was signed to the CFL though, better than nothing.

    Edited by: snow
     
  8. Wolfman82

    Wolfman82 Newbie

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    Maehl is better than any black WR in the draft.
     
  9. Phil

    Phil Newbie

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    I don't think Maehl is the best WR in the draft, but he should be given a chance with an NFL team. Teams draft based on what the guys do in college. Maehl was excellent at Oregon.
     
  10. ToughJ.Riggins

    ToughJ.Riggins Hall of Famer

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    Best WR in the draft? I'm not sure about that. I don't have him quite that high. He should have been gone by the 1st half of the 3rd round though. He is better than Jonathan Baldwin who was drafted in the 1st round and better than some of the 2nd round and third round black WRs. He could have legitimately been drafted as high as late 1st round I guess.

    If Jordy Nelson came out this year he probably would be my #1 WR this year based on what I know now.Edited by: ToughJ.Riggins
     
  11. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    I agree with Tough. I think you are going a little too far with that one. Maybe he still catches on with some team.
     
  12. Deadlift

    Deadlift Hall of Famer

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    At the beginning of this thread, I recall posting the college profiles of Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore, Karl Klug and Bruce Miller.

    For Reed and Elmore, I said something like - "let's hope for big Senior seasons." They had solid seasons, but the reason it wasn't bigger is because D'Aundre Reed (no relation to Brooks..) was in the rotation, and he was also selected in the late rounds of this Draft.

    I think that's a major reason why there were some games that Brooks/Elmore hardly had tackles. Brooks Reed did start out the season strong against the run, and I think it then tapered off. Elmore improved against the run this year, but there was at least around 3 disappointing games.

    Good to see both get drafted, but they need to play at a high-level consistently now.
     

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