Draft

You Got Served: Live 2012 NFL Draft second-round analysis

Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including golf, MBA classes, and smirking about how much he's outkicked his coverage on the girlfriend front.  When his kindergarten teacher told him that he was advanced, what she was saying was that, with minimal effort, he'd be able to do better than "really passionate" people who try their hardest.  He also focuses on the NFL's business and legal environment, offensive and defensive schemes, going off on unrelated tangents, and all 32 teams in the NFL. Follow along as he offers his instant analysis of tonight's NFL Draft.

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Denver said to be focusing on linemen, corners

6:34 pm - Speaking on NFLN, Andrew Luck says Peyton Manning sent him a congratulatory text message last night. What are the chances it read, "Good luck, you have no shot at matching my legacy"?

6:09 pm - Jeff Legwold went over the group of players left atop the board; Mike Klis says the offensive line and cornerback are priorities, and he also could see Denver adding another second- or third-rounder, as we had suggested this morning.

6:09 pm - The Giants gave DE Mathias Kiwanuka a three-year extension

4:02 pm - Cecil Lammey: expect #broncos to address OL needs, Martin, Glenn, Silatolu, all options IMHO...plus Polk train hot/cold w/DEN..sounds hot again now

3:12 pm - Wes Bunting also lists top guys still on the board entering Round 2, and in his second-round mock he has Denver getting Jerel Worthy and Georgia TE Orson Charles.

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Gut Reaction: Broncos trade out of first round

When the Broncos' pick came at #25, they decided they could move back six spots, get their guy, and pick up a fourth-rounder in the process.

When pick #31 came, they decided they could still get their guy five picks later at pick #36 and gain 25 spots in round four by trading pick #126 for #101.  Throw all of this out the window.  In essence, the Broncos moved back 11 spots to gain a high fourth-round draft pick. The traditional draft chart says the Broncos should have ended up with a mid-3rd-round draft pick, but as we saw tonight, the traditional draft chart doesn't account for the recent rookie salary cap.  Still, I think they could have done better for themselves.

I also believe that had OT Riley Reiff or G David DeCastro not been picked at #23 and #24, the Broncos would have taken either guy.  Both players had tumbled down the board.  I am also shocked they didn't jump on ILB Dont'a Hightower, who went to New England with that original #25 pick.  I guess the $4 million they are giving Joe Mays really does mean something in 2012.

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You Got Served: Live 2012 NFL Draft first-round analysis

Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including golf, MBA classes, and smirking about how much he's outkicked his coverage on the girlfriend front.  When his kindergarten teacher told him that he was advanced, what she was saying was that, with minimal effort, he'd be able to do better than "really passionate" people who try their hardest.  He also focuses on the NFL's business and legal environment, offensive and defensive schemes, going off on unrelated tangents, and all 32 teams in the NFL. Follow along as he offers his instant analysis of tonight's NFL Draft.

Continue reading "You Got Served: Live 2012 NFL Draft first-round analysis"

Scouting the Draft - Worthy versus Still

You never know what choices you’ll have in the draft when you’re at #25 - or wherever Denver ends up making their first pick. I expect some movement - GM Brian Xanders has moved around a good deal in all three drafts he's run for Denver, and likely will again, so the first pick could be one other than 25. 

I’m a bit DT-centric in general at times, but a bit more so at the moment. I’ve made no secret of my feelings about the trenches, and DTs often take a few years to develop. Denver hasn’t made the move to deal with that in a long time, and the people they've wanted haven’t dropped to them. I understand that. Even so - each year you can’t find the right one, you are another year away from having one developed and in place. It puts more emphasis on free agency.

In the short term, that’s fine. I have no problems with the FA approach as long as it’s intentional, planned and generally fairly brief. However, it’s not a great approach long term to stick guys into holes because time is running out, and that’s shown for a long time with Denver. I’ve said this before - I think Denver should take two DTs in this draft. There are likely to be good RBs available in most rounds. The better DTs, though, are at the top. Like Willie Sutton, the famous old bank robber, said when asked why he robbed banks, "because that’s where the money is." That’s true of DTs, too, and it’s an unusual and deep year. Denver needs to fill their slots with the kind of talent that’s available this time. Claiming that this or that guy doesn’t fit your scheme has been overplayed. There are plenty of good guys this year that do.

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Denver Broncos 2012 draft picks

Rd Pick Player Position - School Notes
2 4 (36) Derek Wolfe DT - Cincinnati via TB (w/ #101 for #31 and #126)
2 25 (57) Brock Osweiler QB - Arizona State  
3 4 (67) Ronnie Hillman RB - San Diego State via CLE (for #87 and #120)
4 6 (101) Omar Bolden DB - Arizona State via TB (w/ #36 for #31 and #126)
4 13 (108) Philip Blake OL - Baylor via NYJ (Tim Tebow)
5 2 (137) Malik Jackson DE - Tennessee via STL (Brandon Lloyd)
6 18 (188) Danny Trevathan LB - Kentucky via NYJ (Tebow)

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Overspeed and Luke Kuechly

Take a likely top-15 pick at middle linebacker and add one trip to the Combine and what do you get? Good form on the testing. Luke Kuechly (KEEK-lee) produced such an outcome two months ago, and in doing so he showed exactly why the Combine’s best functions are to get medicals and interviews, look for outlying anomalies and serve to make sure that time will reward those expected to become higher draft picks with expensive semi-private training at the top facilities in the country, courtesy of their friendly, hopeful agents. His elite status also permits elite training. It showed. 

I say hopeful agents because those representatives put out the cash for that training, which runs to 20 thousand dollars, and sometimes higher. They front other funds as well, and often lose money on the endeavors, but they’re hoping enough good will to get the next contract to negotiate as well. Much as it surprises no one who’s been in business, the best agencies usually take the lion’s share of the top market. Everyone scrambles to try to be the next success story - among both the athletes and their agents.

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You Got RAMD: The 2012 Rational Actor Mock Draft

Are y’all ready to get RAMD?  For the third year in a row, I’m doing a Rational Actor Mock Draft, which assumes that I know what a rational actor would do.  Basically, if every team were run by somebody who thinks like me, this is what would happen.  Please note the following ground rules:

1.            Trades are allowed, and will generally stick semi-close to the Value Chart, despite its general stupidity as a tool.  I do this to keep things inarguably reasonable, even to devotees of the Chart.

2.            This is meant to describe what teams SHOULD do, not what they WILL do.  I’m not interested in regurgitating Peter King’s disinformed mock, and you shouldn’t be interested in reading something like that.  Take this exercise as me sharing my thought process, and hopefully, a bit of football insight.

3.            As such, I don’t care if this matches any actual picks, as they happen.  When PK or some other tool is patting themselves on the back for getting seven or eight right, I’ll be smirking at them.  When they bitch about agonizing over this pick or that pick for hours, I won’t be; there’s no agony to this whatsoever.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Turn your clothes backward, and Jump!  Jump! Because I’m the Daddy Mack, and I just told you to.

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Scouting the Draft: 2012 Defensive tackles

It's Lying Season for the NFL (moreso than usual), but it's no great secret the Broncos have a significant need at defensive tackle, again. Last month I profiled Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox, who is expected to be long gone when Denver makes its first pick at #25, provided they remain there. If that scenario indeed plays out, what will be the Broncos' options?

Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy has been talked about quite a bit. Certainly, cornerback is a point of need: perhaps of greatest need other than under tackle. Other folks will have other perspectives, but I think that in general, while interior OL, MLB (unless they like Nate Irving), RB, and possibly safety are all areas of need in degree, press-man coverage CBs and one-gap penetrating DTs might be the hardest to find as the draft moves on.

There are always the players who work out later in the draft, but my feeling is that the lines and the CBs are essential to Denver’s success this year. So is the Mike, but since we don’t know what Denver’s plans for Irving are, and we do on these two positions, I’m going to take the step of looking at the most desirable of the available DTs in Denver’s theoretical scope of scheme - the penetrating under tackle. Sadly, letting Brodrick Bunkley get away has also played hob with the nose tackle position, and some of these players make sense at either slot.

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Scouting the Draft: 2012 Defensive backs

I recently rewatched the Combine film from Indy to study the DB tests and drills again. Combine can be overrated, but there’s an aspect to the live views of players that’s very helpful to a guy like me who makes part of his living doing and teaching postural analysis. It comes into evaluating players - usually ones that i’ve seen before, but if not, it helps me to understand what’s being said about them and to look for those tendencies, even on highlight film (which is often terrible).

I enjoyed watching the various players through the drills - not as much the tests, although I always like getting a greater feel for the players’ posture, and build - before I went back for a second and third look purely out of the pleasure of it. Although I strongly agree with those that feel the Combine tests are often heavily overweighted, the opportunity to do some analysis of why you see the things that pop out on film of the drill segment is one that I don’t get all that often.

Say, for example, that you have a player who has problems in his backpedal. On your average broadcast film, the back end of the field is out of the frame more often than not. I get to see the guy as the snap occurs (usually), then there’s generally a point where they don’t show anything on the defensive backfield until the pass is thrown or the runner breaks into the second level.

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