Ted's Analysis

Live 2013 NFL Draft analysis: First round

Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including managing an accounting team, golf, studying for the CPA exam, insulting various religious figures in writing, and generally, staying ahead of more than a few curves.  During the 2012 NFL Draft, he wiped the passion off of Jeff Legwold's face by nailing the Derek Wolfe pick, when Jeff had never even heard of him.  Ted 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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2013 IAOFM Rational Actor Mock Draft

I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypotheses can’t define how I be dropping these mockeries.

Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to my fourth annual Rational Actor Mock Draft.  This has tended to be the only bit of mockery that we do at IAOFM each year, and there’s a simple reason for that – any douchebag with a keyboard and Kiper-style hair cream can do a mock draft, and most of them do.  Then they each do 64 versions of it throughout the spring.  NFL mockeries comprise about 13% of the internet this time of the year.

Well, this is different.  In this exercise, I play the GM of each team, and do things that are rational for the situation each team faces.  Basically, Mel Kiper started jocking my style with this last year, and he did it again this year.  His is only three rounds, though, and mine is four.

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2013 IAOFM Rational Actor Mock Draft - AFC Analysis

AFC North

Cleveland Browns

DT Sharrif Floyd (6), QB Tyler Bray (68), LB Kiko Alonso (104)

The Browns strengthen their defense with the selections of Floyd and Alonso.  I think Floyd could pair with Phil Taylor and really make them difficult to run against inside.  I also see Floyd as giving them some interior pass rush that they haven't really had in a long time.

Bray is talented, and I think he's an excellent fit for Norv Turner's downfield throwing offense.  He just needs to grow up, and learn to be a professional.  The word out of Knoxville is that he was an entitled glory-boy diva there.

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2013 IAOFM Rational Actor Mock Draft - NFC Analysis

NFC North

Detroit Lions

OT Eric Fisher (5), DE Tank Carradine (36), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (65), OG David Quessenberry (128), RB Christine Michael (132)

For the Lions, this is a needs-based class that manages not to really reach anywhere.  Fisher and Quessenberry can start on their OL right away, and help protect Matthew Stafford, who they've allowed to get hit way too much.

Carradine isn't the pass rusher that Cliff Avril was, but he can play LDE for the Lions in base situations, at least.

Wreh-Wilson is a good player to add to their CB mix, which has a bunch of nickelback types at this point.

Michael has talent, but the reputation of being an unfocused clown.  He should fit right in with the Lions.

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Fat Camp: Expanding on the matchup safety idea

Happy Wednesday, friends.  I’m about to enter a period of personal radio silence, as I hit crunch time in studying for the most extensive and difficult section of the CPA exam, Financial Accounting and Reporting.

Since I’ll mostly be offline for the next week, I wanted to leave y’all a little sump’m sump’m to hold you over.  Once I’m past this part of the test, I’ll be back with some stuff about defensive backs in the draft class, and then kickers and punters.  Then, a few days before the 2013 Draft, I’ll be coming with my fourth annual Rational Actor Mock Draft.

Today, I want to expand upon the article I wrote on Monday, particularly after Greg Cosell’s well-timed piece that was linked in yesterday’s Lard.  I really liked Cosell’s comparison of the emerging need for what I call a matchup safety to how the need emerged (and was gradually filled) for quality slot cornerbacks a decade ago.

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Banging the table for the Broncos to draft a matchup safety at #28

Happy Monday, friends.  Yesterday, Jeff Legwold wrote a very Legwoldian article.  That is, it made a really obvious point, which is that the Broncos struggled to defend tight ends in the passing game during the 2012 season.

It also made references to what “people in the NFL” think, in sweeping generalities, and really didn’t go very far in suggesting real solutions for how the Broncos could solve the problem in 2013.

That way, if the Broncos draft anybody in the defensive back seven, Jeff will be able to say, see, I told you – they want to defend the TE better.  What would make me laugh (again) would be if the Broncos took somebody that Legwold had never even heard of (again) with their top draft pick.

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Draft Notes: LB superlatives and rankings

Happy Friday, friends.  With Doc continuing to work through the offensive and defensive line prospects for the 2013 Draft, today I’m skipping forward to the linebacker group.  I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to do this, and what I decided is that I’m only looking at players who fill a traditional linebacker’s role. 

That is, I’m leaving the edge rush guys who may play in 3-4 schemes to Doc.  I’m interested in all inside linebackers, and also outside linebackers who are more coverage players than pass rushers.  The way that some 4-3 defenses now play a lot like 3-4s, and a few 3-4s play like 4-3s, I’ve come to believe that it’s better to call a linebacker a linebacker, and an edge rusher an edge rusher.  The distinction between whether an edge rusher is a DE or an OLB is increasingly narrow and irrelevant.

As a side note, on my way into work today, I was thinking about how schemes in the NFL seem to be getting more simplified and homogenized.  There are really only about four different offensive schemes, and probably three different defensive schemes being used, if you think about them at a high level.  The level I’m referring to breaks on differences in staffing requirements.

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Draft Notes: TE superlatives and rankings

Happy Wednesday, friends.  Today, we pick up where we left off in our Draft Superlatives series with the tight end position.  In the modern NFL, most of the best innovations in the passing game are coming from teams finding creative ways to employ tight ends.  Do you remember how Peyton Manning said last year that much of the Broncos' game plan revolved around how teams play Jacob Tamme?

What he meant was that when a team has a TE who can flex out and run routes the way Tamme can, a defense is given an impossible choice; if they play base defense, and try to cover the TE with a LB, they’ll struggle with that coverage.  If they play nickel defense, and try to cover the TE with a safety, they may have better success in coverage, but it will tend to come at the expense of their success in stopping the run.

Defenses tend not to have many players who can both cover a TE and hold up in the run game.  That’s why a team like San Francisco, which has two such players in Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman, can look so dominant on defense.

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Mailbag: How about Margus Hunt or Tank Carradine?

Happy Friday, friends.  This morning, we received a couple of good questions on Twitter from two longtime readers.  Jared Still asked for our thoughts on simply relying on Robert Ayers to be the starting open-side DE, and drafting Margus Hunt from SMU.  Kriss Bergethon asked what we thought about signing Richard Seymour and drafting Cornellius "Tank" Carradine from Florida State.  This is obviously all about filling the hole left by the departure of Elvis Dumervil.

You've got questions, we've got opinions.  The first thing I would say is that we should probably step back for a minute, and think about exactly what that hole is.  Dumervil was a starter at open-side DE, which meant that he played on the side away from the tight end, and often lined up wide, with edge responsibilities in the run game, and edge rushing responsibilities in the passing game.  Like Jared, I'm very confident that Ayers can handle base downs at that position.  In fact, the Broncos will undoubtedly be better against the run with him out there, because he plays with a level of power that Dumervil doesn't have.

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Draft Notes: WR superlatives and rankings

Happy Thursday, friends.  Today, our positional tour of the 2013 draft class stops in the wide receiver area.  This is an unusually strong year at the position, in a deep overall draft class, and there’ll be a lot of opportunity for teams to bring in quality players  in the second and third rounds, and not pay them a whole lot of money for about four years.

Whether the Broncos are players in the receiver market will depend a lot on what they intend to do with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.  Decker is entering the final year of his contract, and Thomas is under contract through 2014.  The removal of Elvis Dumervil from their salary structure will help create room to pay at least one of them (presumably Thomas), but it will be tough to pay them both.

If the team doesn’t think that it can retain Decker after this season, then it may be looking for a receiver to replace him after a year.  Good teams have to let middle class players walk sometimes.  This is the kind of receiver class that lends itself to yielding a quality starter at the 58th pick, so you should consider the possibility that the Broncos do something there.

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