Re: ***2014 PATRIOTS DRAFT THREAD***
posted at 2/25/2014 11:39 AM EST
In response to PatsEng's comment:
In response to seattlepat70's comment:
All things being equal 1-2" in arm length makes a massive difference believe it or not.
In response to PatsEng's comment:
I don't know what to make of Donald. Extremely athletic and gifted, but his size concerns me a lot. He put up a lot of reps but he did it with some of the shortest arms for DL at the combine and everyone knows short arms gives you and advantage with the bench press. I'd be concerned with his ability in gap control in the interior. I think bigger interior OL will just push him around no problem at that pro level. If you move him to DE his short arms is going to give him trouble containing the edge and might give him some issues reaching around OT's to get to QB's. Now his speed and low center of gravity gives him an advantage in a straight rush but you don't draft straight rushers in the 1st and I'm afraid he wouldn't be an ever down player given his size. The talents are their but the body isn't and I'm not sure if I'd put faith into sucha weird tweener. But, he is the underdog type people around here love to root for
I understand your concern over his size for a DT.
As for your argument for why he can't be a good DE, I don't. I would completely buy an argument that focuses on him not having experience there and that not many have been able to make the conversion. However, I don't know what to say about your argument for someone's potential to become good DE being bad because his arm is 1 inch shorter -- even 2 -- than those of most DEs. I'd take talent, will, power and explosiveness over 2 inches of arm length any day?
How many finger tip tackles and sacks do we see all the time? That's a difference of inches. It's why teams like length DL, not to mention they bat down balls easier and obstruct the QB's vision. You give a guy 5" in height and an extra 2" in arm and suddenly not only does the QB have a huge blind spot to not see defenders or his receivers, but also if he has to make a pass it's an extra 7" he has to put on the ball that much higher. That's the difference between a lobe over and a bullett. There is a lot of advantages height gives to the DE, which is why you don't see many DE under 6'3". Now as a pure rusher on the outside as say an elephant that cn be at the line or drop back or rush standing up sure, it's less important but as an everydown DE that height can make a big difference
That's the point - NOT ALL things are equal.
Look the bottomline of the assessments is whether you think he would be a good pick or not.
You're saying that he's 15 pounds too light/ 2 inches too short to be a DT; his arms are two inches too short to be a good DE. I am putting words in your mouth, but to me, you are saying he would be a bust.
I am saying he is too good to let 1-2 inches or 15 pounds get in the way. I believe he would be very good in the NFL, despite those shortcoming.
We know he is a good pass rusher. He had 28 TFLs (top in CFB in 2013; behind him were 4 DEs with 22-24 TFLs) and 11 sacks (tied for 7th). How often do we see a DT rack up pass rush stats like that? And it wasn't as if he was a one-year wonder. He had 18TFLs and 5.5 sacks in 2012; 16 TFLs and 11 sacks in 2011.
Actually, I would not be surprised if he played DE a lot in his earlier years.
We know he has power. Benched 35. Yeah, he has the advantage of a shorter arm - i.e, the weight creates less torque that he has to overpower. Even if you takeaway 5 reps, he'd still be tops.
We now know he has speed. His 40 is faster than any DE this year not named Clowney, Smith, Martin or Webster. I cannot find his 10 split, but that 40 is good enough to know that his 10 split will be better than most DEs too.
IMO, those three attributes actually imply mental toughness. even with talent, you do not get to pull all those together in one package without discipline and determination. That combination of qualities is rare.
That combination fo qualities will give a team a team versatility. He can be moved inside/outside on a game to game basis, to create mismatches, depending on the opponent strengths/weaknesses.
On a more permanent basis, I can see him succeeding in a team with 3 other front four players who are more fast than strong -- the type of D that did well in SBs in 2007, 2011 and 2013. In a more conventional 43, I can see him being better than okay outside. I actually think he could also do well as 34 DE.