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 Currently, Suh/McCoy...who would YOU rather have? 

Who would YOU rather have?
Ndamukong Suh 81%  81%  [ 25 ]
Gerald McCoy 19%  19%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 31

 Currently, Suh/McCoy...who would YOU rather have? 
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Post Currently, Suh/McCoy...who would YOU rather have?
Lately, guys like Mayock and McShay have now gave Gerald McCoy the nod as the #1 DT on their board, if not the #1 period. Before, obviously, the hype was pretty much all Ndamukong Suh.

No matter what, most of us tend to usually disagree with these so called "experts" about one thing or another.

So..as of now, who would YOU want the Lions to pick?

If i were picking and had the choice, id probably still say Ndamukong Suh. I know McCoy is labeled as the better pass rusher, but that definetly doesnt mean Suh cant rush the QB. That was obvious this past year. Suh has the strength (can bench 470), quickness, and instincts. To me, thats hard to pass up.

Id be happy with either one, but right now, if i had to pick, Suh would be it.


February 15th, 2010, 7:57 pm
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McCoy is a great consolation prize but I'd take Suh if given the choice. Dood is a beast who has a great feel for the game that is hard to quantify. He seems to be in the right place at the right time almost all the time.

I watched the Oklahoma/Nebraska game very closely along the line multiple times. Impressed with both #93's but Suh stood out IMO out of the two. I like McCoy's ability to penetrate very quickly off the snap, but Suh's strength, hands, and awareness give him the edge.

I also think from a system-standpoint Suh is a better fit with the Lions given what they ask their DT's to do.

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February 15th, 2010, 8:27 pm
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I don't know if it even matters to me. Warren Sapp or Kevin Williams? Not sure if you can go wrong either way. It'd be nice to get pressure from the D-Line at all regardless of where it's coming from.

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February 15th, 2010, 9:51 pm
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I chose Suh. In the games I saw he was dominating. True difference maker.


February 16th, 2010, 12:06 am
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I know I've said this before, but it's worth repeating. Over the past decade, I've only seen three players that I felt were can't miss NFL prospects. They were Julius Peppers, Calvin Johnson, and Ndamukong Suh.

With that said, I happen to believe that Gerald McCoy is the second best player in the draft, so the Lions can't go wrong either way.

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February 16th, 2010, 11:45 am
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I chose McCoy. A gut feeling I think. It sounds like he's a bit faster, which in the NFL seems to be a great advantage.

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February 16th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Only per gut feeling as well, I think McCoy has a higher ceiling...

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February 16th, 2010, 7:35 pm
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jrd66 wrote:
I chose McCoy. A gut feeling I think. It sounds like he's a bit faster, which in the NFL seems to be a great advantage.


No gut feeling for me. The Offensive line goes backward in front of McCoy more consistently than it does for Suh.


February 16th, 2010, 10:43 pm
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Today "El Pelo" and McShay both had Suh #1 overall on their board. They had Suh to the CRams and McCoy to the Kitties.

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February 17th, 2010, 9:33 pm
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KC Joyner of ESPN, "the Football Scientist" examines the two top draft choices in seperate columns. Suh from a 12/01 column and McCoy from a 11/10 column. For more fuel to the fire. He has actually profiled about 10 defensive lineman and reading all of his columns, this is going to be a deep draft. To show what I mean I included two other DL profiles, Dan Williams of Tennessee and Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech. I would hope a first and third round DL in this years draft not only would start for us, but could move the whole unit to top 15 in the league.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/ ... id=4640597

Quote:
One of the rarest things to find in a defensive player is the ability to dominate a game. In seven seasons of breaking down NFL games, I have seen multiple skill position players carry their teams, but in that time I have seen only two defensive players -- Dwight Freeney in 2003 and Jason Taylor in 2006 -- impact the game like the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings of the world.

After looking at tape from six games of Ndamukong Suh's season (vs. Texas Tech, vs. Iowa State, vs. Oklahoma, at Kansas, vs. Kansas State and at Colorado), I can now add a collegiate-level defender to that list. To say that his performance in these games was superb doesn't even do it justice.

To illustrate the specifics, let's start with running game. The fifty runs directed at Suh's Point of Attack (POA) gained a meager 116 yards, or only 2.3 yards per attempt. That is impressive enough -- but Suh also won 18 of the POA blocks. That equates to an outstanding 35.3% POA win rate overall, but it gets even better when the 23 double-team blocks are taken out of the equation. Suh won 14 of 32 POA blocks when single teamed, which equates to a ridiculously high 43.8% one-on-one POA win rate.

It didn't even matter what kind of run teams directed at him. He won seven of the nineteen slant play POA blocks and six of the fifteen counter play POA blocks. Iowa State got the bright idea to try to trap him but he won two of the four trap POA blocks and the Cyclones ended up gaining only four yards on those runs.

As lights out as his run totals were, it was his consistent impact against the pass that stood out the most. To get a sense of just how great Suh was here, consider the splash play totals of the two other defensive tackles covered in the Draft Lab series up to this point (splash plays being defined as when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play). Gerald McCoy had 10 splash plays in five games and Marvin Austin had three splash plays in five games; both ended up getting TFS Draft Lab seals of approval.

Suh had 25 splash plays in his six games, or double the combined total of McCoy and Austin over a 10-game period. As insanely impressive as the overall total is, what was most amazing was Suh's per game consistency in this metric. He posted three splash plays against Texas Tech, four against Iowa State, five against Oklahoma, two against Kansas, five against Kansas State and six against Colorado.

The overall splash play numbers are great, but it also worth noting that ten of them came against some form of a double or triple team. That indicates Suh can beat multiple blockers but the fifteen single-blocking splash plays he racked up proves it is simply foolhardy to attempt to keep him out of the backfield with one blocker.

Suh also had an impact on special teams with two blocked field goals and a blocked point after touchdown attempt.

That should be enough, but my scouting eye also noted that -- believe it or not -- Suh may actually have some untapped upside potential as a pass rusher. He has a good swim move but he leans on the bull rush very heavily. It's almost as if he wants to do the bull move every time out and then decides to add a couple of extra moves on the fly if the bull isn't working. A guy like Albert Haynesworth can get away with that type of approach in the NFL because he's 6-foot-5 and 350 pounds. Suh is 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, which is big in real life but isn't overwhelming for a pro defensive tackle. Suh will need to learn mastery of other pass rush moves, but when he does that he'll be even better than he is today.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: Suh is hands down the best player I have graded in the Draft Lab series. It is said that this is one of the deepest defensive line drafts in NFL history and the metrics say Suh is head and shoulders above his positional competition. He should be the No. 1 pick in the draft and, if I had a vote, I would nominate him for the Heisman Trophy without hesitation. He easily gets a TFS seal of approval.




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When a player has numerous strengths combined with one significant weakness, it is often said that weakness is an Achilles' heel. The term works as an effective literary shortcut but often isn't apt because, unlike Achilles' wholly debilitating flaw, most detriments of college football players aren't enough to eliminate the player's value.

Consider Oklahoma's superb defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. He has a slew of positives combined with a single negative that -- although it doesn't come anywhere close to eliminating his NFL potential -- certainly will have to be addressed by whichever team drafts him.

Let's start with the best of his positives, which is how his physical prowess jumps off the screen. In the five games I reviewed of McCoy's 2009 season (at Miami, versus Texas, at Kansas, versus Kansas State and at Nebraska), there were numerous instances when he would time his move in perfect synchronization with the snap and get past his blocker in one second or less. He usually accomplished this with one of the smoothest swim moves I have seen. When most defenders do a swim move, they break it down into two segments: hit the blocker's shoulder in one move, then bring the arm over with a second move. McCoy does both moves almost simultaneously, and when it works, it is almost indefensible.

His metrics reflect this prowess. McCoy won 28.8 percent of his point of attack (POA) run blocks and garnered eight splash plays. (That's when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play -- sacks, holding penalties and knocking down passes are three examples.) McCoy's splash play total would jump to 10 if the two attempted pass plays that turned into scramble runs by the opposing quarterback thanks to his pass-rush pressure were included.

The Draft Lab series is predicated on the idea that a high draft prospect's college metrics should equal or surpass the metrics of some of the better pro players at that position, and McCoy's metrics in both cases do that. A 25 percent POA win mark typically ranks in the top third of the league among defensive tackles, and 10 splash plays would be a good mark for an entire season, much less a five-game period.

McCoy also displayed the relatively underrated characteristic discussed in last week's Draft Lab about Terrence Cody: endurance. He was on the field for 167 of the 171 pass plays and 156 of the 167 run plays. Add them together and McCoy participated in 323 of the 338 plays, or 95.6 percent, in those two contests. To put this into perspective, one of the reasons the Baltimore Ravens gave Terrell Suggs a monster contract this past season is he played 96.8 percent of their 2008 plays. Teams appreciate having someone they can count on to be out there for every snap; McCoy qualifies there.

If these favorable traits weren't enough, McCoy also does a great job at mixing up his pass-rush moves. His aforementioned swim move is the one he is most proficient at, but McCoy is nearly as adept at rip moves. His bull rush is good, but he could use a bit of work at getting under a lineman's pads and driving through him. His spin move looks to be technically sound, but he tends to use it against double teams. That might not be bad if he were spinning away from the second blocker, but he almost invariably spins toward him.

That bit of criticism leads to discussion of McCoy's un-Achilles-like weakness: overaggressiveness. His entire philosophy seems to be to get upfield no matter what, even if getting upfield will play into what the opposing offense wants him to do. This is a main reason that despite his strong POA win rate, runs at his POA were often very successful. Nineteen of the 52 POA runs gained at least 4 yards, and 10 of them gained 10 or more yards. Offenses know he is susceptible to draws, traps and counters, so they run these plays at him quite often.

As weaknesses go, this really isn't a bad one to have. It may not even be that McCoy is overaggressive on his own but rather because his coaching staff is asking him to get upfield at all costs and not to worry about the running plays. In any case, this potential weakness could be a strength if he finds his way to a team such as the Indianapolis Colts that shares the upfield-first philosophy.

The Football Scientist lab result: high motor, phenomenal endurance, superior pass-rush technique, impressive POA win and splash play rates -- what's not to like? McCoy gets a hands-down, no-brainer TFS seal of approval.



Quote:
One of the many memorable stories told in Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman's classic book, "The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football," detailed the brief NFL career of collegiate high hurdles champion Harvey Nairn. Then-New York Jets coach Weeb Ewbank was constantly searching for fast players; when Nairn sprinted past All-Pro cornerback Lem Barney in a preseason game, Ewbank was so impressed with Nairn's potential that he kept the speedster around for three years despite the fact that he never caught a pass in a game.

The cautionary moral of the Nairn tale is that it pays to not get too caught up on a single performance when grading a player. I bring this up because after one game of the tape review of Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan (No. 5 on Scouts Inc.'s top 32 list and No. 8 on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board), I had thoughts of grading him above the phenom Ndamukong Suh.

That dominant game was the Sept. 10 contest against the Clemson Tigers. Morgan had seven splash plays (defined as when a defender negatively impacts a passing play) in a mere 25 pocket pass rush attempts and very nearly had two others.

Those are Suh-like numbers. Equally impressive was the wide variety of pass rush moves he used to get them. He alternated outside speed rushes with inside rip moves, sprinkled in a measure of bull and spin moves and used the wrist club and shoulder club with equal effectiveness. The mixing of moves at this level is so rare that I can think of only two NFL pass-rushers whose mastery would be equal to this (Jared Allen and Patrick Kerney).

Morgan also had a dominant showing against the run in that contest. Clemson knew better than to try to test him very often, so the Tigers directed only five running plays his way. Morgan won the point of attack (POA) block on four of those runs and the Tigers gained only five total yards.

Having a negative impact on 11 plays in one game is a pace that even the aforementioned Suh would have trouble keeping up with, but Morgan generally kept up a strong pace in the other five games of the study:

Miami Hurricanes: one POA win in seven runs, zero splash plays in 11 pocket pass attempts

North Carolina Tar Heels: zero POA wins in two runs, two splash plays in 17 pocket pass attempts

Florida State Seminoles: two POA wins in five runs, three splash plays in 18 pocket pass attempts

Georgia Bulldogs: five POA wins in 12 runs, two splash plays in nine pocket pass attempts

Clemson Tigers in the ACC championship game: three POA wins in 10 runs, one splash play in 13 pocket pass attempts

Add them up; it equals 11 POA wins in 36 POA attempts and eight splash plays in 68 pocket pass attempts. It's not quite to the initial Clemson game level but it is the second-best performance level I have seen in this year's Draft Lab breakdowns (behind only Suh).

That would seem to make Morgan a slam dunk top-five pick, but there were a couple of negatives of note.

First among the drawbacks: Whenever Morgan failed to win a block directed at his point of attack, the ball carrier often gained a lot of yards. There were 15 runs that gained at least five yards; six of those went for 14 or more yards. To put it another way, opposing runners gained 221 yards on the 25 runs where Morgan didn't win a POA block. A lot of this is due to Morgan's zealousness to get upfield and that is something he will have to improve upon at the next level.

Another potential area of improvement is endurance. Morgan was on the field for 299 of the 356 plays in these six games, or 84 percent of the time. That is a quality figure -- but Morgan did seem to have some issues during the Miami game. He was on the field for only 17 of the 27 passing plays and only 25 of the 36 rushing plays in that contest. Those numbers are a bit troubling and the negative feeling was amplified when the camera did a sideline pan of Morgan that showed he was having trouble catching his breath on numerous occasions. That may have been only a one-time issue, but it is something that any NFL team considering drafting him should at least do due diligence on before completely signing off on selecting him.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: Ndamukong Suh is probably the best collegiate defensive line prospect to come along in a generation -- and, for a time, Morgan's tape review had him keeping up with Suh. The two areas of concern are relatively minor in comparison with Morgan's upside, so he easily gets a TFS seal of approval.



Quote:
One of the most difficult scouting projects is grading an inconsistent player. When a player alternates between performing well and performing poorly, the issue is no longer a matter of whether or not he has professional-level potential. The question that has to be answered at that point is why there is a performance variance and whether or not the issue causing the inconsistency can be corrected.

I bring this up because Tennessee senior defensive tackle Dan Williams (#32 in Todd McShay's Mock Draft 1.0 and #18 on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board) may be the most inconsistent player I have reviewed in the Draft Lab series.

I graded six games of Williams' 2009 season (at Florida, vs. Auburn, vs. Georgia, at Alabama, vs. South Carolina, at Ole Miss). He has a reputation of being a run-stuffer, but in the first two contests, Williams won only one of the seventeen Point of Attack (POA) run blocks he faced. It wasn't a matter of his being double-teamed, as he faced only one blocker on twelve of the seventeen blocks. In addition, it is worth noting that the runners gained 70 yards on the runs, so it also wasn't a case where Williams plugged the holes without beating the blocker.

Now contrast that performance to the Week Six game against Georgia. Williams faced seven POA blocks and won three of them. Georgia runners also gained only 11 total yards on those carries and five of them resulted in a gain of two or fewer yards.

The scouting eye and metric eyes were in agreement that Williams was hustling much more in that contest. Proof for this can be found in that all three of his wins came when he defeated a blocker on the backside of the run and then pursued the ballcarrier down. That is a rare and very valuable trait that shows just how good Williams can be when his motor is running.

One surprising finding was how good Williams did in the splash play department (a splash play being when a defender does something to negatively impact a pass). His 11 splash plays in six games isn't in Ndamukong Suh territory but it does rank quite well with the Draft Lab findings for Gerald McCoy (10 splash plays in five games) and beats the marks posted by Marvin Austin (three in five games) and Terrence Cody (three in four games).

Williams' high splash play total was generated in part because he has a very effective swim move. He also has a superb spin move that he wasn't able to get much success out of because the Volunteers faced so much zone pass blocking. If he gets with an NFL team that can put him into more man-blocking situations, Williams should be able to get more than a few splash plays with this move.

For all of the positives listed above, my scouting eye was consistently reminded of the inconsistency issue and it led me to ponder the question posed at the beginning of this article -- what is causing this issue and can it be corrected when Williams gets to the next level?

Some of the answers to this might be found in an interview Williams did with ESPN.com blogger Chris Low. Three questions in particular stand out:

How much better are you moving at the lighter weight?

DW: I'm around 320 right now and able to last a lot longer out there and play a whole lot harder. When I first got here as a freshman, I was 357, but I told myself I was never going to see that weight again. It was just too much good eating. I sort of fell off again after last season when I went home for the holidays and we didn't go to a bowl game. I got back up to around 340 and wasn't watching what I ate. But once spring came and the coaches talked to me, I knew had to get back down to be the player I wanted to be and for the good of the team.

What kind of impact has Ed Orgeron had on your development?

DW: He's been pushing me since he got here. That's the main thing, and I've also learned a lot from him film-wise and about offensive schemes. The main thing, though, is the way he's driven me every day in practice and helped me become a better pass-rusher.

Back in the preseason, they had you listed with the second team. Were they just trying to motivate you?

DW: I really don't know. I just know these coaches are going to play the best players. I guess my practice habits weren't as good, and I wasn't meeting their expectations. I had to change the way Dan Williams was practicing. The way I practiced with the old coaching staff wasn't going to get it. I had to get my mind focused and show these coaches that I was one of the better players on the team.

The upside of this is that Williams realizes his habits weren't what they should be. He also realizes that he does better when paired with a coach who will stay on his case on a consistent basis.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: Williams may be a high-maintenance coaching project but the on-field upside is tremendous and makes it worth the effort. He gets a TFS seal of approval as long as he is picked up by a team that has a fire and brimstone motivator ready to work with him from day one.


February 20th, 2010, 11:09 pm
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columbuscrowd wrote:
KC Joyner of ESPN, "the Football Scientist" examines the two top draft choices in seperate columns. Suh from a 12/01 column and McCoy from a 11/10 column. For more fuel to the fire. He has actually profiled about 10 defensive lineman and reading all of his columns, this is going to be a deep draft. To show what I mean I included two other DL profiles, Dan Williams of Tennessee and Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech. I would hope a first and third round DL in this years draft not only would start for us, but could move the whole unit to top 15 in the league.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/ ... id=4640597

Quote:
One of the rarest things to find in a defensive player is the ability to dominate a game. In seven seasons of breaking down NFL games, I have seen multiple skill position players carry their teams, but in that time I have seen only two defensive players -- Dwight Freeney in 2003 and Jason Taylor in 2006 -- impact the game like the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings of the world.

After looking at tape from six games of Ndamukong Suh's season (vs. Texas Tech, vs. Iowa State, vs. Oklahoma, at Kansas, vs. Kansas State and at Colorado), I can now add a collegiate-level defender to that list. To say that his performance in these games was superb doesn't even do it justice.

To illustrate the specifics, let's start with running game. The fifty runs directed at Suh's Point of Attack (POA) gained a meager 116 yards, or only 2.3 yards per attempt. That is impressive enough -- but Suh also won 18 of the POA blocks. That equates to an outstanding 35.3% POA win rate overall, but it gets even better when the 23 double-team blocks are taken out of the equation. Suh won 14 of 32 POA blocks when single teamed, which equates to a ridiculously high 43.8% one-on-one POA win rate.

It didn't even matter what kind of run teams directed at him. He won seven of the nineteen slant play POA blocks and six of the fifteen counter play POA blocks. Iowa State got the bright idea to try to trap him but he won two of the four trap POA blocks and the Cyclones ended up gaining only four yards on those runs.

As lights out as his run totals were, it was his consistent impact against the pass that stood out the most. To get a sense of just how great Suh was here, consider the splash play totals of the two other defensive tackles covered in the Draft Lab series up to this point (splash plays being defined as when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play). Gerald McCoy had 10 splash plays in five games and Marvin Austin had three splash plays in five games; both ended up getting TFS Draft Lab seals of approval.

Suh had 25 splash plays in his six games, or double the combined total of McCoy and Austin over a 10-game period. As insanely impressive as the overall total is, what was most amazing was Suh's per game consistency in this metric. He posted three splash plays against Texas Tech, four against Iowa State, five against Oklahoma, two against Kansas, five against Kansas State and six against Colorado.

The overall splash play numbers are great, but it also worth noting that ten of them came against some form of a double or triple team. That indicates Suh can beat multiple blockers but the fifteen single-blocking splash plays he racked up proves it is simply foolhardy to attempt to keep him out of the backfield with one blocker.

Suh also had an impact on special teams with two blocked field goals and a blocked point after touchdown attempt.

That should be enough, but my scouting eye also noted that -- believe it or not -- Suh may actually have some untapped upside potential as a pass rusher. He has a good swim move but he leans on the bull rush very heavily. It's almost as if he wants to do the bull move every time out and then decides to add a couple of extra moves on the fly if the bull isn't working. A guy like Albert Haynesworth can get away with that type of approach in the NFL because he's 6-foot-5 and 350 pounds. Suh is 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, which is big in real life but isn't overwhelming for a pro defensive tackle. Suh will need to learn mastery of other pass rush moves, but when he does that he'll be even better than he is today.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: Suh is hands down the best player I have graded in the Draft Lab series. It is said that this is one of the deepest defensive line drafts in NFL history and the metrics say Suh is head and shoulders above his positional competition. He should be the No. 1 pick in the draft and, if I had a vote, I would nominate him for the Heisman Trophy without hesitation. He easily gets a TFS seal of approval.




Quote:
When a player has numerous strengths combined with one significant weakness, it is often said that weakness is an Achilles' heel. The term works as an effective literary shortcut but often isn't apt because, unlike Achilles' wholly debilitating flaw, most detriments of college football players aren't enough to eliminate the player's value.

Consider Oklahoma's superb defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. He has a slew of positives combined with a single negative that -- although it doesn't come anywhere close to eliminating his NFL potential -- certainly will have to be addressed by whichever team drafts him.

Let's start with the best of his positives, which is how his physical prowess jumps off the screen. In the five games I reviewed of McCoy's 2009 season (at Miami, versus Texas, at Kansas, versus Kansas State and at Nebraska), there were numerous instances when he would time his move in perfect synchronization with the snap and get past his blocker in one second or less. He usually accomplished this with one of the smoothest swim moves I have seen. When most defenders do a swim move, they break it down into two segments: hit the blocker's shoulder in one move, then bring the arm over with a second move. McCoy does both moves almost simultaneously, and when it works, it is almost indefensible.

His metrics reflect this prowess. McCoy won 28.8 percent of his point of attack (POA) run blocks and garnered eight splash plays. (That's when a defender does something to negatively impact a passing play -- sacks, holding penalties and knocking down passes are three examples.) McCoy's splash play total would jump to 10 if the two attempted pass plays that turned into scramble runs by the opposing quarterback thanks to his pass-rush pressure were included.

The Draft Lab series is predicated on the idea that a high draft prospect's college metrics should equal or surpass the metrics of some of the better pro players at that position, and McCoy's metrics in both cases do that. A 25 percent POA win mark typically ranks in the top third of the league among defensive tackles, and 10 splash plays would be a good mark for an entire season, much less a five-game period.

McCoy also displayed the relatively underrated characteristic discussed in last week's Draft Lab about Terrence Cody: endurance. He was on the field for 167 of the 171 pass plays and 156 of the 167 run plays. Add them together and McCoy participated in 323 of the 338 plays, or 95.6 percent, in those two contests. To put this into perspective, one of the reasons the Baltimore Ravens gave Terrell Suggs a monster contract this past season is he played 96.8 percent of their 2008 plays. Teams appreciate having someone they can count on to be out there for every snap; McCoy qualifies there.

If these favorable traits weren't enough, McCoy also does a great job at mixing up his pass-rush moves. His aforementioned swim move is the one he is most proficient at, but McCoy is nearly as adept at rip moves. His bull rush is good, but he could use a bit of work at getting under a lineman's pads and driving through him. His spin move looks to be technically sound, but he tends to use it against double teams. That might not be bad if he were spinning away from the second blocker, but he almost invariably spins toward him.

That bit of criticism leads to discussion of McCoy's un-Achilles-like weakness: overaggressiveness. His entire philosophy seems to be to get upfield no matter what, even if getting upfield will play into what the opposing offense wants him to do. This is a main reason that despite his strong POA win rate, runs at his POA were often very successful. Nineteen of the 52 POA runs gained at least 4 yards, and 10 of them gained 10 or more yards. Offenses know he is susceptible to draws, traps and counters, so they run these plays at him quite often.

As weaknesses go, this really isn't a bad one to have. It may not even be that McCoy is overaggressive on his own but rather because his coaching staff is asking him to get upfield at all costs and not to worry about the running plays. In any case, this potential weakness could be a strength if he finds his way to a team such as the Indianapolis Colts that shares the upfield-first philosophy.

The Football Scientist lab result: high motor, phenomenal endurance, superior pass-rush technique, impressive POA win and splash play rates -- what's not to like? McCoy gets a hands-down, no-brainer TFS seal of approval.



Quote:
One of the many memorable stories told in Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman's classic book, "The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football," detailed the brief NFL career of collegiate high hurdles champion Harvey Nairn. Then-New York Jets coach Weeb Ewbank was constantly searching for fast players; when Nairn sprinted past All-Pro cornerback Lem Barney in a preseason game, Ewbank was so impressed with Nairn's potential that he kept the speedster around for three years despite the fact that he never caught a pass in a game.

The cautionary moral of the Nairn tale is that it pays to not get too caught up on a single performance when grading a player. I bring this up because after one game of the tape review of Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan (No. 5 on Scouts Inc.'s top 32 list and No. 8 on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board), I had thoughts of grading him above the phenom Ndamukong Suh.

That dominant game was the Sept. 10 contest against the Clemson Tigers. Morgan had seven splash plays (defined as when a defender negatively impacts a passing play) in a mere 25 pocket pass rush attempts and very nearly had two others.

Those are Suh-like numbers. Equally impressive was the wide variety of pass rush moves he used to get them. He alternated outside speed rushes with inside rip moves, sprinkled in a measure of bull and spin moves and used the wrist club and shoulder club with equal effectiveness. The mixing of moves at this level is so rare that I can think of only two NFL pass-rushers whose mastery would be equal to this (Jared Allen and Patrick Kerney).

Morgan also had a dominant showing against the run in that contest. Clemson knew better than to try to test him very often, so the Tigers directed only five running plays his way. Morgan won the point of attack (POA) block on four of those runs and the Tigers gained only five total yards.

Having a negative impact on 11 plays in one game is a pace that even the aforementioned Suh would have trouble keeping up with, but Morgan generally kept up a strong pace in the other five games of the study:

Miami Hurricanes: one POA win in seven runs, zero splash plays in 11 pocket pass attempts

North Carolina Tar Heels: zero POA wins in two runs, two splash plays in 17 pocket pass attempts

Florida State Seminoles: two POA wins in five runs, three splash plays in 18 pocket pass attempts

Georgia Bulldogs: five POA wins in 12 runs, two splash plays in nine pocket pass attempts

Clemson Tigers in the ACC championship game: three POA wins in 10 runs, one splash play in 13 pocket pass attempts

Add them up; it equals 11 POA wins in 36 POA attempts and eight splash plays in 68 pocket pass attempts. It's not quite to the initial Clemson game level but it is the second-best performance level I have seen in this year's Draft Lab breakdowns (behind only Suh).

That would seem to make Morgan a slam dunk top-five pick, but there were a couple of negatives of note.

First among the drawbacks: Whenever Morgan failed to win a block directed at his point of attack, the ball carrier often gained a lot of yards. There were 15 runs that gained at least five yards; six of those went for 14 or more yards. To put it another way, opposing runners gained 221 yards on the 25 runs where Morgan didn't win a POA block. A lot of this is due to Morgan's zealousness to get upfield and that is something he will have to improve upon at the next level.

Another potential area of improvement is endurance. Morgan was on the field for 299 of the 356 plays in these six games, or 84 percent of the time. That is a quality figure -- but Morgan did seem to have some issues during the Miami game. He was on the field for only 17 of the 27 passing plays and only 25 of the 36 rushing plays in that contest. Those numbers are a bit troubling and the negative feeling was amplified when the camera did a sideline pan of Morgan that showed he was having trouble catching his breath on numerous occasions. That may have been only a one-time issue, but it is something that any NFL team considering drafting him should at least do due diligence on before completely signing off on selecting him.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: Ndamukong Suh is probably the best collegiate defensive line prospect to come along in a generation -- and, for a time, Morgan's tape review had him keeping up with Suh. The two areas of concern are relatively minor in comparison with Morgan's upside, so he easily gets a TFS seal of approval.



Quote:
One of the most difficult scouting projects is grading an inconsistent player. When a player alternates between performing well and performing poorly, the issue is no longer a matter of whether or not he has professional-level potential. The question that has to be answered at that point is why there is a performance variance and whether or not the issue causing the inconsistency can be corrected.

I bring this up because Tennessee senior defensive tackle Dan Williams (#32 in Todd McShay's Mock Draft 1.0 and #18 on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board) may be the most inconsistent player I have reviewed in the Draft Lab series.

I graded six games of Williams' 2009 season (at Florida, vs. Auburn, vs. Georgia, at Alabama, vs. South Carolina, at Ole Miss). He has a reputation of being a run-stuffer, but in the first two contests, Williams won only one of the seventeen Point of Attack (POA) run blocks he faced. It wasn't a matter of his being double-teamed, as he faced only one blocker on twelve of the seventeen blocks. In addition, it is worth noting that the runners gained 70 yards on the runs, so it also wasn't a case where Williams plugged the holes without beating the blocker.

Now contrast that performance to the Week Six game against Georgia. Williams faced seven POA blocks and won three of them. Georgia runners also gained only 11 total yards on those carries and five of them resulted in a gain of two or fewer yards.

The scouting eye and metric eyes were in agreement that Williams was hustling much more in that contest. Proof for this can be found in that all three of his wins came when he defeated a blocker on the backside of the run and then pursued the ballcarrier down. That is a rare and very valuable trait that shows just how good Williams can be when his motor is running.

One surprising finding was how good Williams did in the splash play department (a splash play being when a defender does something to negatively impact a pass). His 11 splash plays in six games isn't in Ndamukong Suh territory but it does rank quite well with the Draft Lab findings for Gerald McCoy (10 splash plays in five games) and beats the marks posted by Marvin Austin (three in five games) and Terrence Cody (three in four games).

Williams' high splash play total was generated in part because he has a very effective swim move. He also has a superb spin move that he wasn't able to get much success out of because the Volunteers faced so much zone pass blocking. If he gets with an NFL team that can put him into more man-blocking situations, Williams should be able to get more than a few splash plays with this move.

For all of the positives listed above, my scouting eye was consistently reminded of the inconsistency issue and it led me to ponder the question posed at the beginning of this article -- what is causing this issue and can it be corrected when Williams gets to the next level?

Some of the answers to this might be found in an interview Williams did with ESPN.com blogger Chris Low. Three questions in particular stand out:

How much better are you moving at the lighter weight?

DW: I'm around 320 right now and able to last a lot longer out there and play a whole lot harder. When I first got here as a freshman, I was 357, but I told myself I was never going to see that weight again. It was just too much good eating. I sort of fell off again after last season when I went home for the holidays and we didn't go to a bowl game. I got back up to around 340 and wasn't watching what I ate. But once spring came and the coaches talked to me, I knew had to get back down to be the player I wanted to be and for the good of the team.

What kind of impact has Ed Orgeron had on your development?

DW: He's been pushing me since he got here. That's the main thing, and I've also learned a lot from him film-wise and about offensive schemes. The main thing, though, is the way he's driven me every day in practice and helped me become a better pass-rusher.

Back in the preseason, they had you listed with the second team. Were they just trying to motivate you?

DW: I really don't know. I just know these coaches are going to play the best players. I guess my practice habits weren't as good, and I wasn't meeting their expectations. I had to change the way Dan Williams was practicing. The way I practiced with the old coaching staff wasn't going to get it. I had to get my mind focused and show these coaches that I was one of the better players on the team.

The upside of this is that Williams realizes his habits weren't what they should be. He also realizes that he does better when paired with a coach who will stay on his case on a consistent basis.

The Football Scientist Lab Result: Williams may be a high-maintenance coaching project but the on-field upside is tremendous and makes it worth the effort. He gets a TFS seal of approval as long as he is picked up by a team that has a fire and brimstone motivator ready to work with him from day one.



Great reading Columbuscrowd. Kudos!


February 21st, 2010, 2:19 am
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The closer we get to the draft, the further we get from having actually having seen players PLAY. I have seen McCoy play 4-5 times in the last 2 years, and I watched Suh play 4 times last year because I was intrigued about what I had heard about him being so good early in the season. McCoy is a great DT, very consistent, but, Suh is a phenom. He makes great players look terrible, he makes plays he has no business making, and when he is on the field the QB is thinking about HIM. As good as McCoy is he is nowhere near as good as Suh.


February 21st, 2010, 12:19 pm
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Wackadoo wrote:
The closer we get to the draft, the further we get from having actually having seen players PLAY. I have seen McCoy play 4-5 times in the last 2 years, and I watched Suh play 4 times last year because I was intrigued about what I had heard about him being so good early in the season. McCoy is a great DT, very consistent, but, Suh is a phenom. He makes great players look terrible, he makes plays he has no business making, and when he is on the field the QB is thinking about HIM. As good as McCoy is he is nowhere near as good as Suh.


Nowhere near, huh?


February 21st, 2010, 4:20 pm
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Wackadoo wrote:
The closer we get to the draft, the further we get from having actually having seen players PLAY. I have seen McCoy play 4-5 times in the last 2 years, and I watched Suh play 4 times last year because I was intrigued about what I had heard about him being so good early in the season. McCoy is a great DT, very consistent, but, Suh is a phenom. He makes great players look terrible, he makes plays he has no business making, and when he is on the field the QB is thinking about HIM. As good as McCoy is he is nowhere near as good as Suh.


Yeah, your name fits.

I like Suh as much as the next draftnik, but he isn't THAT much better than McCoy. Suh may be stronger, but McCoy is more consistent and is quicker. McCoy also has more pass rush ability because he has a better arsenal of moves.

There is a reason why it is being reported that some teams have McCoy listed above Suh on their draft boards. And it's not because they're crazy. Consistency is under rated among people outside the NFL. But inside the NFL, it is the most important thing a player can bring to the table. Consistent effort, consistent ability, consistent mindset, consistent class room ethic......all make for a very successful NFL player.


February 21st, 2010, 4:56 pm
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m2karateman wrote:
Consistent effort, consistent ability, consistent mindset, consistent class room ethic......all make for a very successful NFL player.


Not only that, but it makes for a very COACHABLE player. Coaches LOVE when they know what to expect out of a guy. That's what allows them to do their jobs properly. You can't be a good coach without knowing what your players are capable of. If you have the greatest scheme in the world that can't be executed you're going to look like a jackazz.


February 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm
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