Browsing Posts in NFL Draft

Through the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, fans have witnessed unexpected trades, picks, and antics. We’ve been tracking each pick and have inputted the results into our analytics-based model. The model accounts for several inputs, namely weight-adjusted speed, agility, strength, and collegiate productions. Here’s a brief overview of the Top 5 drafts, by defense.

Defense:

  1. Green Bay Packers: Kevin King, CB (Pick 33), Josh Jones, FS (61), Montravious Adams, DT (93)
  2. New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB (11), Marcus Williams, FS (42), Alex Anzalone, OLB (76),  Trey Hendrickson, DE (103)
  3. Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker, FS (15), Quincy Wilson, CB (46), Tarell Basham, DE (80)
  4. Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB (16), Tyus Bowser, OLB (47), Chris Wormley, DE (74), Tim Williams, OLB (78)
  5. Oakland Raiders: Gareon Conley, CB (24), Obi Melifonwu, FS (56), Eddie Vanderdoes, DE (88)

After a tough loss in the NFC Championship, the Green Bay Packers addressed their secondary by adding Kevin King and Josh Jones. King, who ranked in the 95th percentile in Speed Score and Agility Score, is arguably the best athlete in the draft. Likewise, Jones is an excellent athlete. Both King and Jones did not grab many interceptions in college, so ball skills will be a priority. Adams was the third ranked defensive tackle in a weak class, but should help generate inside pressure.

The New Orleans’ Saints has been a laughing stock, but four new additions will try to change that. Lattimore is an excellent athlete and is one of the best playmaking corners in recent memory. Alike, Williams showed his play-making ability by grabbing eight interceptions in 2016. Anzalone is a speedy outsider linebacker that graded highly as a coverage player. Hendrickson is undersized as a defensive end, but showed big time production at Florida Atlantic. Will that carry over to the NFL? That remains to me seen!

With new General Manager, Chris Ballard in tow, the Colts have gone ‘all-in’ on defense in free agency and in the draft. In the draft, the Colts’ added the best free safety in recent memory, Malik Hooker. Hooker slid in the draft due to some injury concerns, but he’s a flat out stud that ranked in the 87th percentile (or above) in Speed Score and Production Score. Joining Hooker in the secondary will be, Quincy Wilson, a playmaking corner from Florida. Wilson ranked in the 78th percentile of Speed Score and 85th percentile in Agility Score. The Colts rounded out their first three picks by taking defensive end, Tarell Basham. Basham, alike Hendrickson, is undersized, but displayed playmaking ability at Ohio University.

The Baltimore Ravens keep churning out strong draft after strong draft. Humphrey ranked in the 80th percentile of Production Score, Speed Score, and Agility Score. He’ll play immediately and Baltimore got a steal at Pick #16. Bowser ranked in the 75th percentile of Production Score, Speed Score, and Agility Score. He reminds me of Brian Cushing. Baltimore finished their first three rounds of picks by selecting Wormley and Williams. Wormley, a large, productive defensive end from Michigan, ranked in the 90th percentile for Speed Score and Agility Score. Williams, who has some off-field concerns, was a bit of a reach, but shows playmaking ability.

The Oakland Raiders round out the Top 5 with three intriguing picks. As a player, Conley, a ball-hawing corner from Ohio State, graded out as a 2nd rounder after posting a 72th percentile Speed Score and 71th percentile Production Score. Melifonwu, a 225-pound safety who can also play corner, is big, fast, and intimidating. Melifonwu ran a 4.40 40-yard dash and a 7.09 3-cone. Vanderdoes, a former 5-star recruit, ranked in the 78th percentile in Speed Score.

Through the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, fans have witnessed unexpected trades, picks, and antics. We’ve been tracking each pick and have inputted the results into our analytics-based model. The model accounts for several inputs, namely weight-adjusted speed, agility, strength, and collegiate productions. Here’s a brief overview of the Top 5 drafts, by offense and by defense.

Offense:

  1. Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, WR (Pick 7), Forrest Lamp, T/G (38), Dan Feeny, G (71)
  2. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB (Pick 8), Curtis Samuel, WR (40), Taylor Moton, OT (64)
  3. Buffalo Bills: Zay Jones, WR (37), Dion Dawkins, OT (40)
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR (9), Joe Mixon, RB (45)
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB (4), Cam Robinson, OT (34)

The Chargers added two of our highest graded offensive linemen. Of note, Lamp, who graded out as our top-ranked linemen, was selected with Pick #38. Feeny, a player who started 45 games for Indiana and displayed elite agility, will compete to start. Mike Williams did not grade out highly in our metrics and seems somewhat of a redundant talent. Rivers, however, is a great deep ball thrower and having another big target will help this offense.

The Carolina Panthers need to limit hits on Cam Newton, so they added two super-agile, speedy players. McCaffrey, the third-highest rank player on our running back model, can play all four downs. He’ll bring elite pass-catching upside to Carolina’s backfield. Samuel, who graded out as a Top 10 wide receiver, has a similar skill set to McCaffrey, but will likely be split out wide and play on special team. Moton, our sixth highest graded offense lineman, has elite athleticism and started 44 games for Western Michigan.

With Sammy Watkins’ future in jeopardy, Buffalo selected speedy slot receiver, Zay Jones. Jones, who amassed 158 catches for Buffalo last season. Jones graded out as our sixth-ranked receiver after amassing a huge catch total and displaying 4.45 speed. Dawkins, who is arguably the best value in the draft, is a large, mauling, athletic tackle in the same cut as former first rounder, D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

The Cincinnati Bengals secured our second highest-ranked wide receiver, John Ross. Blessed with 4.22 speed and impressive deep-ball tracking ability, Ross has garner comparisons to Desean Jackson. Ross and Corey Davis were the only receivers that graded out as first rounders. Joe Mixon graded out as our fifth-highest ranked running back in a stacked class, but may be the most talented back in this class.

With Tom Coughlin in fold, many were expecting Jacksonville to become a more physical team. Coughlin didn’t waste any time changing the identity of this team by drafting Fournette, our highest ranked running back and Cam Robinson. Fournette ranks in the 92nd percentile (or better) in production premium and speed score. Mauling left tackle, Cam Robinson, brings toughness and physicality to the offensive line. Robinson graded out as our second highest ranked offensive lineman after starting 42 games for Alabama and posting an elite speed score.

Over the last two days, future NFL talent participated in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. After reviewing tape and listening to interviews, there’s no denying that this year’s draft class is super deep with high end talent. On NFL Scout mentioned that this is the deepest draft in 30 years! While there is obvious talent on both sides of the ball, this article will focus strictly on quarterbacks. Fantasy footballers are looking for the next big thing at quarterback. Let’s break down which players were impressive and disappointing during the 2014 NFL Combine.

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The New York Jets entered the 2013 NFL draft with countless needs on both sides of the ball. Coming off one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory, the Jets traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay for the 13th selection. Today, I’ll share my thoughts on each of the Jets’ selections:

Round 1, Pick 9: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Some mock drafts had Milliner as high as third overall, which may indicate value. Milliner was the consensus best corner back in the draft and will attempt to fill the void left by Revis. However, I’m not sure if this pick makes sense for general manager, John Idzik’s long term goals. By trading Revis, Idzik implied that no one corner back can be THAT valuable. Paying $15 million per season for a corner back may seem outlandish to an organization that values depth. The only issue is–the Jets don’t exactly have a ton of depth, so using a Top 10 pick on another corner back makes little sense. The public is not privy to medical reports, so the Jets may know that Revis won’t return to his level of dominance. However, this argument is a tough sell given Tampa Bay’s willingness to offer Revis a $96 million contract extension. Overall, the handling of the corner back position has been flat out odd.

MV Analysis: I’m not a scouting guru, but given Milliner’s track record and the need for a Revis replacement, the Jets seemed to get a good value at Pick 9. 

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I noted that the Jets needed to nail their first three selections and on the surface, they just didn’t do it. While they did address their three biggest needs, the players they selected make you scratch your head. Take first round pick, Quinton Coples. The Jets had their pick between Coples, Melvin Ingram, and Chandler Jones. Ingram and Jones were used to playing in 3-4 schemes while Copes comes from a 4-3 front at UNC. That didn’t slow the Jets down from selecting the much maligned Vernon Gholston 2.0. Outside of Coples, the Jets added 2 WRs, OLB, DB, RB, G, and S. I’ll go into more detail, but this Jet draft class isn’t anything special.

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The Giants wrapped up their 2012 NFL Draft class on Saturday afternoon. Overall, the Giants added 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 CB, 1 TE, 2 OLs, and 1 DT. Given the departures of Brandon Jacobs, Aaron Ross, Mario Manningham, and the injury uncertainty surrounding the tight ends, the Giants had a nice draft. I highlighted the Giants first rounder, David Wilson on Saturday and today, I’ll touch on the other six players selected. 

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The Giants may have surprised a few people when they selected Virginia Tech RB, David Wilson in the first round. Wilson, a 5’9″, 200 pound running back, compiled over 1,700 yards for the Hokies last season. Of his 1,700 yards, 1,000 of those yards came after contact, the largest amount in college football. Wilson impressed the Giants by running a 4.49, 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Known and respected by many for gregarious demeanor at Virigina Tech, the Giants were impressed by his selflessness and professional attitude. Finally, Wilson can do backflips. Yes, he can do 13 more backflips than I have my entire life. It’ll be fun to see him square off against Jason Pierre-Paul in training camp.

Wilson’s arrival will help fill the void left by the departed Brandon Jacobs. Wilson will compete with DJ Ware, Da’Rel Scott, and other for reps behind Ahmad Bradshaw. Wilson may also play on special teams.

Overall, Wilson is a very intriguing prospect. He’s very explosive in the open field and he’s a tough running back. For the Giants to select him in the first round means they have very high hopes for him. I can’t wait to see him in action this fall.

For the third straight year, we’ve done a lot of NFL Draft stuff. To summarize our thoughts, the links below will take you to appropriate page for each topic. Enjoy tonight’s NFL Draft!

Giants

Three Areas of Need For NYG

Prospect Profile: Coby Fleener

Prospect Profile: Dwayne Allen

Propsect Profile: Harrison Smith

Prospect Profile: Mike Adams

Prospect Profile: Zach Brown

Jets

Jets Should Move Up For Trent Richardson

Three Areas of Need For NYJ

Draft Success Is Imperative

Mike Tannenbaum has never been shy when he sees a draft prospect he likes. Mr. T strategically positioned the Jets to nab Darrelle Revis and traded up to the fifth pick to select Mark Sanchez in 2009. While the Jets effectively traded five players to get Sanchez, franchise quarterbacks are difficult to obtain and after suffering from years of quarterback futile, Sanchez was a no-brainer. Tebow-mania aside, Sanchez is an established player that has won four road playoff games and will likely have successful NFL career.

Going into this year’s draft, the Jets have another opportunity to move up and select another cornerstone player. Alabama running back, Trent Richardson is considered to be the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson–and moving up to get him should be another no-brainer for the Jets.

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The New York Jets have a lot of holes.

On offense, the Jets desperately need an upgrade from their lackluster right tackle, Wayne Hunter. In addition, if the Jets want to regain their ground and pound mentality adding a guard or two could desperately make up from the absent play of Matt Slauson. While building the offensive line is an obvious need, the Jets don’t have the running back personnel needed to log 30+ carries per game. Shonn Greene was able to log 1,000 yards last season, but has not been able to top six rushing touchdowns. On the outside, the Jets only feature Santonio Holmes and clearly need another threat. We won’t even dig into the quarterback mess, but clearly, the Jets are lacking an identity. Management can tell Jet fans that Mark Sanchez is their guy, but rumblings have already started about trading him away.

On defense, the Jets are very, very weak up the middle. Bart Scott is an older player that looked slow last season while the free safety position needs an obvious upgrade. The Jets did bring in LaRon Landry to solidify the strong safety position, but his health is an obvious concern. The Patriots can (and will) kill teams via the tight end and the Jets need obvious upgrades at both inside linebacker and safety.

Overall, the Jets have a lot of holes on both sides of the ball. By picking at #16 in the first round, the Jets will have their choice of play makers.  Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw and Mark Barron are obvious targets, but the Jets will need to plug a lot of holes with limited picks. Remember, the Jets gave up their fourth rounder for Tebow, so the Jets must nail their first three selections.

The Jets aren’t a deep team and if they want to keep up with the Patriots, they need to add sure-fire, impact talents in the first three rounds. Muhammed Wilkerson was a very good first round pick last year, but their Kenrick Ellis and Bilal Powell picks had very little impact.

The Buffalo Bills improved this off-season as they brought in Mario Williams and re-signed Stevie Johnson. Fred Jackson will be healthy for the start of the season as well. If the Jets do not solidify their team, they may miss the playoffs for the second straight season.