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 AJ HAWK ANYONE???? 
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There's no way Huff will be available in the 2nd round... He's decidedly the top FS in the draft and has been talked about as high as 9-15. I wouldn't mind passing on him as, like I said, Greg Blue and Jason Allen could possibly be had in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. I agree with the OL talent in this years draft... there are a # of good Centers and more than one or two good OG's, and 4-5 OT's that seemingly can start right away. However, when we pick in the first round I think we will be out of the running for one of the top two OT's, and will be reaching for the 3rd OT. I'm not talking about reaching one or two draft positions, but rather reaching about 10-15 draft positions. A huge mistake IMO. I don't think there is an OG worth a top 15 pick, and I would wait for the 2nd or 3rd rounds regarding the OG position. For that reason I would give serious consideration to drafting a MLB or a FS with our first round pick.


I am not sold on Huff being that good, i would rather see a bigger CB converted to FS, or if by some stroke of luck Jimmy Williams is available draft him as a FS. The safety class this year dont seem all that great anyway.

As we can see from the way the discussion went there are three prime needs on Defense.

-Pass rushing DE
-FS
-MLB

IMO, FS and DE are equally pressing needs and MLB the less of the three needs, and frankly with both DE and FS the need is for a prospect who can be a truely great player, in other words its not a need in the sense that we must fill it even if its with a average talent, we have near average players at those positions what we need is a special player.

As far as that goes i see two guys out there on defense who could be special, Mario Williams (DE) and Jimmy Williams (CB/FS), and if neither is available where we pick then we should take one of the OTs.

IMO OL is the biggest need, and with a outstanding class of OTs i can see at least 3 being worth a top 15 pick, but the OL thing is a whole different topic, to some it up we really need to take a top OT this year...


December 29th, 2005, 8:07 pm
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HunterMSU wrote:
I am not sold on Huff being that good, i would rather see a bigger CB converted to FS, or if by some stroke of luck Jimmy Williams is available draft him as a FS. The safety class this year dont seem all that great anyway.


Huff is plenty big enough to play FS at 6'2" and 220 lbs. How much bigger does he need to be? Jimmy Williams doesn't have the bulk that Huff does. Williams is likely going in the top ten unless he has terrible workouts or some other corners like Tye Hill and Charles Gordon move ahead of him in the draft. Huff may drop out of the top 20, but not much farther than that.

If LaRon Landry declares he is a solid free safety. He could add some pounds, but will develop well nonetheless. However, he is another that will likely be taken in round one. Darnell Bing has the ability to move to free safety in the NFL, but he lacks ideal speed for deep coverage. I believe he's faster than Holt though.

HunterMSU wrote:
As we can see from the way the discussion went there are three prime needs on Defense.

-Pass rushing DE
-FS
-MLB

IMO, FS and DE are equally pressing needs and MLB the less of the three needs, and frankly with both DE and FS the need is for a prospect who can be a truely great player, in other words its not a need in the sense that we must fill it even if its with a average talent, we have near average players at those positions what we need is a special player.

As far as that goes i see two guys out there on defense who could be special, Mario Williams (DE) and Jimmy Williams (CB/FS), and if neither is available where we pick then we should take one of the OTs.

IMO OL is the biggest need, and with a outstanding class of OTs i can see at least 3 being worth a top 15 pick, but the OL thing is a whole different topic, to some it up we really need to take a top OT this year...


Needs will be better defined after the Lions do two things; sign a head coach and his staff and sign whatever free agents they can get. The Lions MUST sign a reputable NFL coach to get some quality talent to come to Detroit. And that coach must be capable of developing young offensive talent as well as utilizing any new talent we get.

Offensive tackle is our biggest need going into free agency. Kelly Butler has shown the ability to be a good right tackle in the NFL as soon as he cuts down his mental mistakes. Physically speaking he's as gifted a player as there is at the position. I have high doubts that Jeff Backus is even willing to listen to offers Detroit will make. By everything he has said in interviews he wants out of here. Can't say I blame him.

The next most important position is to get a young, healthy middle linebacker who is capable in coverage. Part of what has hurt the Lions the most the past two years has been when Earl Holmes was relied on to cover. He is a great run stopping linebacker, but can't cover an old lady who uses a walker. There are capable players in this draft that should be available clear into round three that could start immediately and contribute. I really like Anthony Schlegel from Ohio State. He doesn't have great measurables, but the kid is like Chris Spielman's clone. He may drop to round three, but I wouldn't be disappointed if the Lions nabbed him in round two.

After a MLB, free safety is the position to take care of. Holt should be used as a backup at the strong safety spot. Jon McGraw should remain as a backup at free safety. The Lions need to find a free safety with speed to better be able to play centerfield in their Cover 1 schemes. Holt simply can't get there when the situation calls for it. Landry and Huff have that speed. Jason Allen has serious health concerns and will likely drop into the second day. Call me crazy, but I firmly believe he will unless he has some incredible workouts for the scouts. This is a very weak year for either safety position, and coverage safeties are very few. The Lions will either have to land a free agent, or spend a first or second round pick on the FS position. I don't think the Lions can afford to have another season with Holt as the last line of defense.

Cornerback is yet another concern. Goodman should be allowed to leave, and Fernando Bryant should be cut. Neither Kieth Smith nor Stanley Wilson were given enough playing time to really develop more. The Lions need a good cover corner, but not necessarily a shut down guy.

If either Mario Williams or Matthias Kiwanuka fall to them at their pick in round one, the Lions HAVE to take that player. While I don't feel that DE is really their biggest need, another fast pass rushing DE is on that list and these two guys could be special. I feel Williams has more upside, but Kiwanuka is a more complete player right now. However, I don't see either player getting past the seventh or eighth pick.

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December 29th, 2005, 8:41 pm
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Offensive tackle is our biggest need going into free agency. Kelly Butler has shown the ability to be a good right tackle in the NFL as soon as he cuts down his mental mistakes. Physically speaking he's as gifted a player as there is at the position. I have high doubts that Jeff Backus is even willing to listen to offers Detroit will make. By everything he has said in interviews he wants out of here. Can't say I blame him.



I was just thinking of this situation a few days ago.......and I know what I would do as GM.

I would slap Backus with the Fanchise Tag!

I know.....that sounds crazy as first, but there are some reasons.


#1 --- Backus is viewed by some as the best OLT in FA this year. WHY?....dunno! BUT, if the Texans or some other team is willing to trade even a 2nd rounder for his rights.......we'd have to be happy about that.

#2 --- If we sign Backus to the 1-year franchise tender, we'd have more flexibility in personnel decisions. We wouldn't feel obligated to reach on a OT in the 1st round if the chips don't fall our way. IF we have a chance at a great DE prospect, we could take him.......and not have to start a rookie 2nd round OLT.

#3 --- If Backus were back next year and we did draft an OT early, they could battle for the starting job. I would expect Backus to beat a rookie out (but you never know).......and the rookie would have a year to be groomed as Backus' replacement.


The Franchise tag for O-linemen is all that cheap........but it might be worth it this year.


December 29th, 2005, 9:32 pm
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phunnypharm wrote:
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Offensive tackle is our biggest need going into free agency. Kelly Butler has shown the ability to be a good right tackle in the NFL as soon as he cuts down his mental mistakes. Physically speaking he's as gifted a player as there is at the position. I have high doubts that Jeff Backus is even willing to listen to offers Detroit will make. By everything he has said in interviews he wants out of here. Can't say I blame him.



I was just thinking of this situation a few days ago.......and I know what I would do as GM.

I would slap Backus with the Fanchise Tag!

I know.....that sounds crazy as first, but there are some reasons.


#1 --- Backus is viewed by some as the best OLT in FA this year. WHY?....dunno! BUT, if the Texans or some other team is willing to trade even a 2nd rounder for his rights.......we'd have to be happy about that.

#2 --- If we sign Backus to the 1-year franchise tender, we'd have more flexibility in personnel decisions. We wouldn't feel obligated to reach on a OT in the 1st round if the chips don't fall our way. IF we have a chance at a great DE prospect, we could take him.......and not have to start a rookie 2nd round OLT.

#3 --- If Backus were back next year and we did draft an OT early, they could battle for the starting job. I would expect Backus to beat a rookie out (but you never know).......and the rookie would have a year to be groomed as Backus' replacement.


The Franchise tag for O-linemen is all that cheap........but it might be worth it this year.


IDK... I understand your thought process, but i believe we would have to pay him something like $7.6million dollars and by all accouts he's not worth it. Perhaps getting him a day one OG to play next to could help, but he has gotten beaten by his man alone on a number of plays this year. He has seemed to regress in regards to both physical ability and physical skills... maybe it's because of coaching?... Or maybe he's just lost something... Even if that "something" is love for Detroit, it might be better to just let him go. I too like the idea of not going into the draft with a gaping void at LT, but I'm not so sure I want to put the FT on him to fill that void.


December 29th, 2005, 9:38 pm
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The tag for Backus would be a lot more than he is worth. As for why he is viewed as one of the best LT FA's is because there are none in FA this year.


December 29th, 2005, 9:39 pm
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The tag for Backus would be a lot more than he is worth. As for why he is viewed as one of the best LT FA's is because there are none in FA this year.


Trust me..... I don't want Backus here as the long-term answer at OLT.

However, you can't get a mid-level OLT in FA for less than $4 million/year. Therefore, I don't see a better option for the Lions in FA b/c the others would cost almost as much PLUS you would have to give a guy like Ross Verba or L.J. Shelton a longer deal than the 1-year Franchise tender Backus would get.


I agree he isn't worth the franchise tender when you are comparing him to other OLTs in the NFL.......but what other options are there? If the Lions' O-line plays worse next year than they did this year.........it will be another ugly year that could set this team WAY back!

What is that worth?


Even if we get a good rookie OLT in round 1............they aren't always ready to start from day 1. Also, the fact that we might be able to trade Backus' rights for a 2nd or 3rd round pick would be enough for me to take a chance on tagging him. After all......if he really doesn't want to stay here, he won't sign the tender immediately and will cooperate when any team expresses interest.


December 30th, 2005, 10:39 am
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Huff is plenty big enough to play FS at 6'2" and 220 lbs. How much bigger does he need to be? Jimmy Williams doesn't have the bulk that Huff does. Williams is likely going in the top ten unless he has terrible workouts or some other corners like Tye Hill and Charles Gordon move ahead of him in the draft. Huff may drop out of the top 20, but not much farther than that.

If LaRon Landry declares he is a solid free safety. He could add some pounds, but will develop well nonetheless. However, he is another that will likely be taken in round one. Darnell Bing has the ability to move to free safety in the NFL, but he lacks ideal speed for deep coverage. I believe he's faster than Holt though.


Sorry i didnt mean it to sound like that, i didnt mean Huff is not big enough, i meant i did think he lacked elite ball hawking or coverage skills. With Kennedy at SS we cant have a FS that does not have great coverage skills.

Thats why i brought up a Jimmy Williams type CB to convert to FS, that way he know we have the deep coverage ability. With all the other top safeties in the draft coverage ability is a concern, Bing, Huff, Landry, none of them are all that great coverage FS prospects, they maybe solid all round safeties but none of them have that top end coverage ability that the Lions need at FS IMO.


December 30th, 2005, 7:32 pm
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HunterMSU wrote:
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Huff is plenty big enough to play FS at 6'2" and 220 lbs. How much bigger does he need to be? Jimmy Williams doesn't have the bulk that Huff does. Williams is likely going in the top ten unless he has terrible workouts or some other corners like Tye Hill and Charles Gordon move ahead of him in the draft. Huff may drop out of the top 20, but not much farther than that.

If LaRon Landry declares he is a solid free safety. He could add some pounds, but will develop well nonetheless. However, he is another that will likely be taken in round one. Darnell Bing has the ability to move to free safety in the NFL, but he lacks ideal speed for deep coverage. I believe he's faster than Holt though.


Sorry i didnt mean it to sound like that, i didnt mean Huff is not big enough, i meant i did think he lacked elite ball hawking or coverage skills. With Kennedy at SS we cant have a FS that does not have great coverage skills.

Thats why i brought up a Jimmy Williams type CB to convert to FS, that way he know we have the deep coverage ability. With all the other top safeties in the draft coverage ability is a concern, Bing, Huff, Landry, none of them are all that great coverage FS prospects, they maybe solid all round safeties but none of them have that top end coverage ability that the Lions need at FS IMO.


I don't know Hunter... Typically "ball hawking" tends to center around the FS's ability to read where the ball is going and when... To that I will admit that Huff isnt' great. However, the guy can defend WR's in space. He might not be great at playing the ball, but he's good at playing a man. IMO that is the opposite of Holt, but an upgrade. Holt can play a ball but not a man. From what I've seen it appears that Holt isn't agile enough to defend against individuals. It looks like he's not fast enough, but he can keep up with anyone in a straight ahead run. It's the turns he loses 'em on. Huff hasn't participated in the combine yet, but I have to believe he has better agility than Holt. At least it appears he does where it counts - on the field.

From Draft Blitz.....

Quote:
Positives


- Huff is a tremendous athlete. Has great instincts. Makes a lot of interceptions and might have the best play making ability of any safety in the Nation. Is dangerous anytime he has the ball in his hands. Has good size and has added muscle without losing his speed. Is speedy and quick. Reads well and reacts well. Great in coverage and an all around talented safety. Also a good special teams player, good at blocking both kicks and punts. Has been a starter since his Freshman season. Is a hard worker who continues to improve. Doesn't get beat very often. Solid tackler. Always around the ball. Plays the ball well. Has the ability to jump a route. Has good closing and recovery speed. Runs all over the field. Gets from point A to point B in a hurry. Smart player who plays with a passion and understands his assignments. Does not make many mistakes. Competed with the track team at Texas. Has played cornerback and safety and did a nice job at both.


December 30th, 2005, 7:47 pm
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HunterMSU wrote:
Sorry i didnt mean it to sound like that, i didnt mean Huff is not big enough, i meant i did think he lacked elite ball hawking or coverage skills. With Kennedy at SS we cant have a FS that does not have great coverage skills.

Thats why i brought up a Jimmy Williams type CB to convert to FS, that way he know we have the deep coverage ability. With all the other top safeties in the draft coverage ability is a concern, Bing, Huff, Landry, none of them are all that great coverage FS prospects, they maybe solid all round safeties but none of them have that top end coverage ability that the Lions need at FS IMO.


Since Huff played both corner and safety at Texas, to say he doesn't have good coverage skills is a mystery to me. While the field of prospects at safety certainly isn't great, Huff is the most complete player coming out. I feel he is a better coverage safety than a run support safety. He has excellent speed, which is exactly what the Lions need. Too bad he's not going to be available to them unless they swing a trade. It is entirely possible he could be taken before the Lions pick. The Rams need some secondary help in a bad way, and may pick Huff over Jimmy Williams. I'm not saying I would agree with the pick, but I wouldn't be surprised by it.

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December 31st, 2005, 12:18 am
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m2karateman wrote:
HunterMSU wrote:
Sorry i didnt mean it to sound like that, i didnt mean Huff is not big enough, i meant i did think he lacked elite ball hawking or coverage skills. With Kennedy at SS we cant have a FS that does not have great coverage skills.

Thats why i brought up a Jimmy Williams type CB to convert to FS, that way he know we have the deep coverage ability. With all the other top safeties in the draft coverage ability is a concern, Bing, Huff, Landry, none of them are all that great coverage FS prospects, they maybe solid all round safeties but none of them have that top end coverage ability that the Lions need at FS IMO.


Since Huff played both corner and safety at Texas, to say he doesn't have good coverage skills is a mystery to me. While the field of prospects at safety certainly isn't great, Huff is the most complete player coming out. I feel he is a better coverage safety than a run support safety. He has excellent speed, which is exactly what the Lions need. Too bad he's not going to be available to them unless they swing a trade. It is entirely possible he could be taken before the Lions pick. The Rams need some secondary help in a bad way, and may pick Huff over Jimmy Williams. I'm not saying I would agree with the pick, but I wouldn't be surprised by it.


Well the way the draft seems to be shaping up we are bound to see some elite talent fall to 10th or lower, i mean Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, D. Ferguson, A.J. Hawk, and Vince Young (if he comes out) are locks for top 10 picks, plus you have guys like Mario Williams, Jimmy Williams, Mathais Kiwaninka.

For Huff to not be available at #10 would likely mean we would be able to get either Kiwi or Mario Williams.


December 31st, 2005, 12:35 am
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HunterMSU wrote:
Well the way the draft seems to be shaping up we are bound to see some elite talent fall to 10th or lower, i mean Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, D. Ferguson, A.J. Hawk, and Vince Young (if he comes out) are locks for top 10 picks, plus you have guys like Mario Williams, Jimmy Williams, Mathais Kiwaninka.

For Huff to not be available at #10 would likely mean we would be able to get either Kiwi or Mario Williams.


I didn't correctly word what I meant to say. I don't believe Huff is worth the tenth or eleventh pick. If St. Louis takes him ahead of the Lions, it's a big reach. Rarely does a safety get taken that early (Sean Taylor and Roy Williams). If the Rams take Huff, it would probably be because Jimmy Williams is gone and they plan to use Mike as a corner and not at safety. But every year top prospects drop and lower prospects rise. Tye Hill is moving up some boards. Jay Cutler went from a second day prospect to first round material for some people. Look at Pac Man Jones from last year. He was a relative unknown until just a few weeks before the draft. I can't believe Tennessee took him ahead of Rolle. But at least Jones stayed healthy.

Also, I don't believe Vince Young is going to declare. Same thing goes for Brady Quinn and Drew Stanton. I don't believe any of those junior QBs will come out.

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December 31st, 2005, 12:41 am
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m2karateman wrote:
HunterMSU wrote:
Well the way the draft seems to be shaping up we are bound to see some elite talent fall to 10th or lower, i mean Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, D. Ferguson, A.J. Hawk, and Vince Young (if he comes out) are locks for top 10 picks, plus you have guys like Mario Williams, Jimmy Williams, Mathais Kiwaninka.

For Huff to not be available at #10 would likely mean we would be able to get either Kiwi or Mario Williams.


I didn't correctly word what I meant to say. I don't believe Huff is worth the tenth or eleventh pick. If St. Louis takes him ahead of the Lions, it's a big reach. Rarely does a safety get taken that early (Sean Taylor and Roy Williams). If the Rams take Huff, it would probably be because Jimmy Williams is gone and they plan to use Mike as a corner and not at safety. But every year top prospects drop and lower prospects rise. Tye Hill is moving up some boards. Jay Cutler went from a second day prospect to first round material for some people. Look at Pac Man Jones from last year. He was a relative unknown until just a few weeks before the draft. I can't believe Tennessee took him ahead of Rolle. But at least Jones stayed healthy.

Also, I don't believe Vince Young is going to declare. Same thing goes for Brady Quinn and Drew Stanton. I don't believe any of those junior QBs will come out.


Vince Young is the only Qb I am not certain of. It would be silly for Stanton or Quinn to come out this year. Quinn might be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but Stanton would likely fall to the 4th to 6th rounds after a dismal 2nd 1/2 of the season.

As for Huff/Williams, I agree whole heartedly. Espeically last year after the Rolle experience, if Williams has a poor 40 time I think it will really hurt his chances of being a top 10 pick. I too am not saying that Huff deserves to be picked that high, after all the only point I made to his draft position is there is no way he'll be available in the 2nd round. I am only saying that I can see a team reaching for him based on what I believe his 40 time will be, compared to that of the similar sized competition.

If Ferguson is gone (most likely), and Kiwanuka/Williams are gone, I would prefer the Lions trade down. I'm not sold on Hawk being able to play the middle.... I would prefer to move down 5 - 8 slots, pick up a 2nd or 3rd rounder, and draft Huff, Hodge, Hawk, or Max Jean Giles. IMO that is the best case scenario. We either get a top notch DE or OT, or move down and get a top notch LB/FS or OG. Anyone of the 7 players I mentioned should be able to start and contribute immediatly and be upgrades at their relative positions. I'm really not sold on any LT other than Ferguson.... is anyone else on here hell bent on grabbing any one LT??? Scott, Justice, McNeil are all possibilities, but from what I understand they are more RT possibilities than LT. IMO Eric Winston seems to be the next best LT and with his size and seeming lack of strength (he gets bullied around a lot from what I've seen) he's a 2nd rounder at best.


December 31st, 2005, 2:33 pm
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wjb21ndtown wrote:
Vince Young is the only Qb I am not certain of. It would be silly for Stanton or Quinn to come out this year. Quinn might be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but Stanton would likely fall to the 4th to 6th rounds after a dismal 2nd 1/2 of the season.

As for Huff/Williams, I agree whole heartedly. Espeically last year after the Rolle experience, if Williams has a poor 40 time I think it will really hurt his chances of being a top 10 pick. I too am not saying that Huff deserves to be picked that high, after all the only point I made to his draft position is there is no way he'll be available in the 2nd round. I am only saying that I can see a team reaching for him based on what I believe his 40 time will be, compared to that of the similar sized competition.

If Ferguson is gone (most likely), and Kiwanuka/Williams are gone, I would prefer the Lions trade down. I'm not sold on Hawk being able to play the middle.... I would prefer to move down 5 - 8 slots, pick up a 2nd or 3rd rounder, and draft Huff, Hodge, Hawk, or Max Jean Giles. IMO that is the best case scenario. We either get a top notch DE or OT, or move down and get a top notch LB/FS or OG. Anyone of the 7 players I mentioned should be able to start and contribute immediatly and be upgrades at their relative positions. I'm really not sold on any LT other than Ferguson.... is anyone else on here hell bent on grabbing any one LT??? Scott, Justice, McNeil are all possibilities, but from what I understand they are more RT possibilities than LT. IMO Eric Winston seems to be the next best LT and with his size and seeming lack of strength (he gets bullied around a lot from what I've seen) he's a 2nd rounder at best.


McNeil and Scott are not really suited to play LT in the pros, I agree. The one I like is junior Joe Thomas out of Wisconsin. If he declares, the Lions taking him at 10 or 11 wouldn't be too much of a reach. Winston Justice has too many character issues. Eric Winston is a very real possibility as a starting LT. However, he is more of a value beyone the first 15.

I keep saying this for our middle line backer-----Anthony Schlegel. He didn't get as much recognition as Hawk or Carpenter, but he is a solid throwback style middle backer with great leadership qualities. He may not have the athleticism of Odell Thurman, but he is going to be a very good NFL player, IMHO. He reminds me of Chris Spielman. He may slip to the third round, but I don't think he will. The Lions could snap him up in round two and he could start immediately. People may think he would be a reach, but those same people probably thought Lofa Tatupu was a reach also (as did I) for the Seahawks.

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December 31st, 2005, 3:35 pm
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wjb21ndtown wrote:
It would be silly for Stanton or Quinn to come out this year. Quinn might be a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but Stanton would likely fall to the 4th to 6th rounds after a dismal 2nd 1/2 of the season.


Quinn's not falling out of the top 10. But of course, it depends on how needs align. We all saw how Rodgers had a free fall last year. Anyways, he's not a second round pick.

I still think it's WAY too early to start targeting players that I want for the draft. Juniors haven't declared. The order isn't set. We don't have numbers for these players. Rumors haven't started coming out yet.

Anyways, I saw the name Winston Justice mentioned. In Len Pasquarelli's tip sheet, Pasquarelli noted that he spoke to scouts, actually, here's what he said:

Quote:
Mikey(Lackawanna NY): Who's gonna be a better O'linesman D'Brickinshaw Ferguson or Winston Justice?

Len Pasquarelli: the scouts i talk to think ferguson is a superb athlete, great feet, but lacks weight . . . they seems to feel justice is the best combo-guy, athletic skills and bulk, of the tackle prospects


Anyways, Mel Kiper also had Justice as his #1 junior offensive tackle, ahead of Joe Thomas, which many thought was somewhat surprising. And if Pasquarelli is noting that he's better than Ferguson, well, there's a name to keep an eye on.


December 31st, 2005, 4:00 pm
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Well as far as LT i know Ferguson will be taken in the top ten, and Scott maybe another top 10 guy.

IMO, Winston Justice can play both LT or RT, he is one of the better run blockers available and is still a good pass protector, i would take him over any other OT in the draft based solely on ability, but those character problems could make him a huge gamble. I would love to see him drafted if we get a coach who can straighten him out, but we dont know who the head coach is yet. If we get that coach i think Justice is very worthy of a #10 pick.

I really want to see a good run blocking LT taken, especially if we dont get a better Center or a great LG because that left side of the OL is consistantly dominated in games, we need to get at least some push from that left side.


December 31st, 2005, 4:29 pm
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