In Response to Laz's Pre-Senior Bowl & Pre-Combine Prospect Hot List #1 for The 2011 NFL Draft Class
To ALL : Let's get started, shall We? MY CREDENTIALS : I've been following The NFL Draft for roughly 10 years now...And "by following", I mean that for me, along with a few select others here @ BDC, The NFL Draft is a 365 day a year love-affair, that is quite honestly, more enjoyable than The Superbowl (seriously). IF you want some further evidence RE: My Draft knowledge, and skill, There ARE some posters on here who can still recall that I dedicated an entire thread (whiich I NEVER have done prior), to whom I believed (and why), Was the very best Cornerback by far, from the '10 Draft Class (...and he WAS). Honestly though, I'm NOT puffing my chest out here, I'm merely sharing with the rest'a you ALL, a few select Draft Prospects whom I believe are trully (or "can be") exceptional quality players (and who WILL rise up NFL Team Draft Boards as the Draft nears); Guys whom I hope The Patriots take a strong look at for Our Team.... MY PREMISE : #1 /> My Overall Premise RE: Positional Selection, is twofold: I would (in an ideal NFL Draft), trully like for the FIRST of NE's Draft Selections, to be targeted & built, As they say, "From the trenches on out." NE NEEDS, now more than ever, Harder, Younger, and RE-vamped lineman, On BOTH sides of the ball, Defensively AND Offensively... The general reasons here, being that I (along with most), believe that the game is either Won OR Lost, right at The Line of Scrimmage...right at the front-line of the battlefield. The specific reasons as well, being just as obvious RE: The Patriots Team itself... ~ Offensively, I believe Sebastian Vollmer is the ONLY Offensivelineman, under 30 years of age... And Logan Mankins is right @ 30 (and still a big ? still on his future with NE). Further, NE has a grand total of a whopping 3! Offensive Tackles on roster (and 2 are on the field as the starters)... ~ Defensively, NE now has a few D-Lineman...BUT, in NO way (as evidenced as the season wore on)-do they have enough. AND, in NO way does NE have ANY number of "Impact Defensivelineman." Remember the days when Ty Warren was a wink-link to the Front 3 starters, and when Jarvis Green was a pretty decent enough sub? TO-day, these 2 would be hailed as SUPER-stars compared to whom NE currently has @ the Defensive End spot... #2 > HERE, Is My Overall Premise RE: Player Selection...and by this I mean, WHAT qualities exactly, Do I look for in an NFL Prospect. Now, as evidenced by an awful lull, In what I'll generally say were the 2005 (or '06)-2008 NE NFL Draft Classes, it appeared to me (I wrote a thread about it a year or so ago), THAT in many ways, Bill Belichick cut-short the "Overall Player Skill" aspect far, Farrrr too much... Bill Belichick jumped over vastly better prospects (talent-wise), and did scores of multi-round "Reaches" for NFL Prospects who were considerably less-skilled, yet Prospects, who wre simply loaded with what's known as "Intangibles." These NFL Prospects were "Bill-Belichick-type-of-guys"...Men who were "team players," and "selfless," and "studious." Unfortunately Imho, BB amazingly OVER-emphasized those "Intangibles" in place of ANY "Tangible" qualities... In my case here, I am looking for NFL Prospects who BEST emphasize ALL of these qualities, BOTH Tangible AND Intangible... Specifically now, For MY NFL NE Patriot Prospects, to incredibly OVER-simplify, I want the following 5 Attributes out of a guy is the following ( BIG Key : I want none more than any other ): ~ Player Skill (including mainly here, "Team-fit" AND "Untapped and/or Rising Potential") ~ Ferocity ("on field passion") ~ Fantastic Instincts ("nose-for-the-ball") ~ Physical Attributes ("Size, Speed," etc) ~ Care (lol, yes "care"-I want a player who's a good teammate, has great work ethic, even a good community member...one, who actually LOVES the game of Football *same thing btw, which made me target Devin McCourty over a year ago) **Final Note: Foremost , I apologize If some of these prospects I've chosen have been discussed already; I'm pretty certain that I've yet to read 1 single Draft Thread on this BDC Board in a long, long tiime (and I'm certainly not reading that entire 96 page one)... Secondly , and most importantly, RE: My selections themselves, THIS is How one should Read It: NOW, The first prospect given PER Position, IS whom I'd like NE to target (AND Positionally, WHAT I'd like NE to target in this order); I then offer 1-2 prospects per position, who I've chosen MY prospect ahead of and WHY...along with 1 last later round (further down on draft boards)-Prospect to keep an eye on. Finally, and either way, I expect a great number of these selections of mine to improve their Draft Stock during upcoming months (and specifically, after the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine)... Without further ado (just 5 pages worth), HERE are Laz's Hot Prospects... <<FIRST Position>> : Offensive Tackle Laz's Chosen PLAYER @ 1st Round, Selection #17? ~ GABE CARIMI : 6'7, 323lb OT out of Wisconsin ~ RANKING (currently): Earliest-Selection #23/Latest-Selection #43 ~~ WHAT I Like ~~ /> The ONLY, All-unanimous All-American @ OT this season. And won The Outland Trophy for EITHER, the nation's #1 Offensive OR Defensive Lineman. Big 10 O-Lineman of the year. Won All-Academic awards for Big Ten, 4! straight seasons. Civil & Enviromental engineering major; Deeply committed to Jewish Faith. Actually RE-placed Joe Thomas, tthe #3 selection from the 2007 Draft Class; > Amazing Amount of experience for a Wisconsin program known for churning out quality O-Lineman: Played against top competition, & Started 4 straight seasons; Team Captain for 2010. Was injured 2X in College (joint injury 3 years ago, and left knee 2 years ago)-And Carimi willingly played through injuries & pain. > When pass-blocking, Carimi protects BOTH the inside AND outside lanes equally well; Fantastic hand punch & length & nimble feet, And likes to protect his man with body & 1 hand, while ALSO knocking an edge blitzer off his intended path with other hand. Same great awareness & quickness on screens and reverses. > Elite run-blocking, As Carimi is well-developed in both upper and lower body. Uses great quickness on first step & angles to explode off ball onto his man, Then always tenacious in getting to second defender; Known to play AFTER the whistle...very confident, tough & possesses a mean streak. ~~ THE "Knock" ~~ /> Although Carimi's actually KNOWN for his fantastic run-blocking skills & strength, along with his pass-blocking nimble feet & technician-like heads up play & awareness, In some sense, The Big Worry NFL Scouts actually have on Carimi, IS exactly this... Carimi, In playing so tenacious & specifically within an extremely run-heavy Wisconsin Badger Offense, there's NOW a worry that he might not translate to Left OT in the pros, due to size & balance worries (much centered around Wisc's offensive system, and NOT Carimi's skill)... Guess what? Even though I'm of the thought that Carimi can do this no prob, Right NOW, NE doesn't need him immediately too (w/ more nimble Vollmer moving to LOT)...but NE DOES need right this second, a big-bruising Right OT, to take on the bull-rushers and to deter LBs on blitz schemes (recall: size, awareness, hand-punch, & skill @ picking up extra blitzing LB)... Carimi COMPLETELY fits Precisely what NE needs for the Right Tackle Position for their O-Line... QUESTIONS ... ~ Why NOT Anthony Castonzo (6'7 295lb OT, out of Boston College)? Answer: Currently, imo He's the #1 OT...long gone by #17. Further, imo Carimi CAN fill IN @ LOT (if asked), yet I'm not AS certain Castonzo can do the same @ ROT. ~ Why NOT Nate Solder (6'9 310lb OT, out of Colorado)? Answer: Currently, imo He's the #2 OT, and I believe HE'LL be gone too (maybe Carimi for that matter). Further, I'll take Carimi's 4 years starting @ LOT for Wisconsin, over Solder's 2 1/2 years AS an actual O-Tackle (converted TE). CONSIDERATIONS ... ~ Joseph Barksdale (6'5 330lb OT out of LSU) <prjctd: late 2nd-3rd> ~ Clint Boling (6'5 305lb OT/OG out of Georgia) <prjctd: late 4th-5th> <<SECOND Position>> : 3-4 Defensive End Laz's Chosen PLAYER @ 1st Round, Selection #28? ~ MUHAMMAD WILKERSON : 6'5, 302llb DT out of Temple University ~ RANKING (currently): Earliest-Selection #30/Latest-Selection #79 ~~ WHAT I Like ~~ /> Temple U Social Work Major active in community who's also interested in Business Administration; Promised Family & school to return to finish up his degree; Attended Hargrove Military Academy (HS); Played basketball & led HS to class championship; > All-MAC 1st team in 2009 & 2010; Started every game in 2009 & 2010; Named to 2010 Outland Trophy Watch List; Has played all over The Defensive Line (4-3 DE & DT, and has requisite size, strength & speed for 3-4 DE); Also started on D during/with the Punt & Field Goal Unit; > EQUALLY adept verses The Run AND Passing Game showing great awareness & nose for the ball (2009-61 Tackles/10.5 TFLs/7 Sacks///2010-70 Tackles/13 TFLs/9.5 Sacks)...extraordinary numbers for a DT; Also good w/ added extras (/09/'10=3 FFs + 7 PBs); > Overall has the bulk & considerable strength at point of attack as he anchors very well, while not forsaking on speed, quickness, agility, and penetration to get into backfield; Great at fighting through double-teams & stack/shedding to deliver hard hit; ~~ THE "Knock" ~~ > By far the biggest one here being that Wilkerson played against inferior competition, as Temple's part of the MAC; Yet, His Size/Speed, Instincts, Skill & Overall production (here: even against some Div 1A opponents), Are simply too hard to ignore. Not to be redundant here, But The NFL being a "copy-cat" League, and as more & more teams switch to a 3-4 Defense, finding the very few as it was already, 6'5 300lb D-Lineman, with size, speed along with (lmao) the selfless/hard-working/adept @ run AND pass Tangibles & Intangibles, becomes nearly laughable out of the very TOP-most of every NFL Draft Class (recall: Denver moving up into the top 8 spots 2 drafts ago, to select underproducing 6'4 285lb Tyson Jackson, b/c teams are trully getting THAT desperate for prospects who can even HOPEFULLY become even a serviceable 3-4 DE?)...Muhammad Wilkerson ALREADY shows VASTLY superior qualities both on and off-field than Top 8 Selection, Tyson Jackson-2 years ago. QUESTIONS ... ~ Why NOT JJ Watt (6'6 292lb DE out of Wisconsin)? Answer: Albeit for a less heralded team, Wilkerson is stronger, faster, and has more experience...and Watt'll be gone by #28 imo. ~ Why NOT Cameron Heyward (6'5 288lb DE out of Ohio St)? Answer: With Farley, Dareus, Clayborn, (& probably Jordan & Bowers) undoubtedly way off the Draft Board, Heyward might be there...Looks great on paper, but has been EX-tremely inconsistant in overall production (can take games off). CONSIDERATIONS ... ~ Jarvis Jenkins (6'4 315lb DT out of Clemson) ~ Lawrence Guy (6'5 300lb DT out of Arizona St) <<THIRD Position>> : Outside Linebacker Laz's Chosen PLAYER @ 2nd Round, Selection #33? ~ MARK HERZLICH : 6'4, 242lb OLB out of Boston College ~ RANKING (currently): Earliest-Selection #41/Latest-Selection #98 ~~ WHAT I Like ~~ /> 2008: ACC Defensive Player of the year. 1st Team All-American. Finalist for Butkus Award. 110 TTs, 6 INTs (4 retrnd for TDs), 6 more PDs, 13 TFLs, 2 FFs, 2 FRs; Top 10 Pick, until... > 2009: Diagnosed w/ Ewings Sarcoma (rare bone cancer); Underwent Chemo & had Titanium Rod placed in leg; During time, raised 100's of 1000's for cancer research, earned numerous awards for courage & outreach, still always a BC sideline fixture; Worked relentless to return early for 2010 Season, subjected himself to injury b/c still recovering (broke hand & fractured foot in preseaon); Played 1st half of season starting w/ cast on wrist/hand along w/ fractured foot; Each & every game for '10 saw his stats vastly improving across the board; Captain highly regarded by teammates, Coaches & Fans; > Freakish traits in 2 Areas in specific: Read & Diagnosis/Football IQ, And Agressive Play/Relentless Motor Always. Overall fantastic Instincts & Effort (Imo, better than ANY single OLB or DE 'tweener in Nation...by far); > Prototypical 3-4 OLB Body (for either strong OR weakside): 6'4 originally 242lbs, dropped to around 230lbs, and completed Senior year trying to increase muscle mass, weighing in now @ 250lbs; Was running a 4.67 40, then dropped considerably when ill, just ran a 4.75 40 (still good-excellent); Long arms, Very strong all-around build; > Best @ Open-Field tackling; CB-like pass coverage (reads QB); Superb hands; Able to hold edge extremely well (vs run); Relentless in pursuit & Fighting through trash; Hits hard and Does NOT miss; ~~ The "Knock" ~~ /> 1 Minor, 1 Major...The minor 1 being that Herzlich has always been able to use his freakish instincts, baiting other players (O-Lineman), aggression, overall strength, speed, and leaping ability, and has NOT considerably refined a multitude (RE: several), different pass-rush moves for blitzing (seriously...THAT is the "knock", b/c everything else is simply absurd); The BIG one...yup, YOU guessed it=HEALTH. Big-time...Last I heard, and this was about halfway through the season for Herzlich (on some interview), His Ewings, by now had only something like a 1% chance of ever occuring again in his lifetime. STILL, Is someone w/ pure will-driven desire to be the very best (here: in a very physical sport/training, etc) + someone who had a cancer that weakened his bone structure (then, at least)=A recipe for disaster? To me at least, He's already been checked and nodded by literally DOZENS of top docs...He gets a few dozen more nods, and he's simply too good to pass on. QUESTIONS ... ~ Why NOT Justin Houston (6'3 258lb, out of Georgia)? Answer: Von Miller's off the board, ET in many aspects what I don't want in Von Miller, I don't want 100X more outta Houston (even though Von Miller's overall instincts, far surpass Houston's)... I don't want a freakish pass-rusher @ OLB...there I said it; I'll explain: I WANT an OLB with ZERO considerable deficiencies...Houston: Mediocre vs run, overall instincts, pass-defense, read & react, open-field tackling, football IQ, SUPER-Duper-UPER at Sacking...No. It ain't gonna work in being a CONSIDERABLE liability EVERY where else in BB's D, but a great QB threat=Waste. I WANT a younger, and even BETTER Mike Vrabel: ZERO faults, most at the vast expense of others; ~ Why NOT Jeremy Beal (6'2 268lb OLB out of Oklahoma)? Answer: The minor "knock" on Beal, Is the EXACT same regarding Herzlich=A varied repertoire of pass-rush moves...ONLY difference is w/ Herzlich you're getting either a little-a lot better work ethic, Football IQ, Instincts, better open-field tackler, better pass-coverage, & better edge container agnst the run. CONSIDERATIONS ... ~Thomas Keiser (6'5 252lb, DE/OLB, out of Stanford) ~Steven Friday (6'4 252lb, DE/OLB out of Virginia Tech) <<FOURTH Position>> : Wide Receiver Laz's Chosen PLAYER @ 2nd Round, Selection #28? ~ GREG SALAS : 6'2 208lb WR out of Hawaii ~ RANKING (currently): Earlest-Early 3rd Rd/Latest-Late 5th Rd ~~ WHAT I Like ~~ /> It wasn't, wasn't WAS NOT Salas's freakish production, I KNOW Hawaii's WRs have padded stats (Salas, 2009: 106 rec/1590yds/15.0 avg/8 TDs; 2010: 119 rec/1889 yds/15.9 avg/14 TDs)...Honestly wasn't. I LOVE Boise St's Austin Pettis around here, and I LOVE San Diego St's Vincent Brown around here, YET I kept, again & again coming back to Salas... Why? > Extremely High Football IQ, Smart & Terrific Overall Instincts, simply KNOWS how to get open; Senses when QB is in trouble and/or terrific at feeling soft spots in defense on given plays; > Fantastic ball skills w/ soft very reliable hands to go along w/ big, strong & tough #2 possession wr body; > Athletic, Fluid & very Durable: Will go over the middle, With excellent body control to make the acrobatic catch & take tough hit; Above average route-runner & Above average YAC; ~~ The "Knock" ~~ /> Below average speed currently at around 4.5 40; Not a vertical threat...and seems to lack that initail seperation-burst of speed: Combine will be HUGE for Salas... QUESTION ... ~ " Laz, Why NOT Runningback or Cornerback Selected Right at this spot here ": I want to...I Really, REALLY Want To... In fact, these are my NEXT 2 positions of choice, but not here. Problem is with BOTH: I don't like ANY of the CBs, and 10X moreso, RBs here...and w/ Runningback ESPECIALLY, GOD do I ever want to. RE: Rb, I've looked at tape on ALL of them; And sheez, do I ever want an RB with the Physical Tangibles of either Daniel Thomas (6'2 228lbs) OR Mikel Leshoure (6'1 1/2 220lbs)...YET, Imo...they svck. And I DON'T WANT them TO svck. Leshoure, has ZERO open-field moves...I mean, He MIGHT, but apparently he doesn't actually USE them: Leshoure when in space, does 1 poor juke, and goes head on into the defender, AND he gets tackled/tripped up when doing so! AND he'll be gone by here. Thomas, has imo, ATROCIOUS field vision & instincts, GOD-awful... Of ALL the tape that I've watched, Demarco Murray is by far, the most athletic, explosive, and best-pass catcher WITH FANTASTIC Instincts & Moves...yet, he's been injured 163X already, scaring the he!! outta me (If I though his 6'0 212lb body would hold w/ NE's zone-blocking scheme...no doubt=Murray). CONSIDERATIONS (@ WR)... ~ Austin Pettis (6'3 205lb, out of Boise St) ~ Vincent Brown (5'11, 190lb, out of San Diego St) <<FIFTH POSITION>> : Cornerback Laz's Chosen PLAYER @ 3rd Round, Selection #10? ~ JALIL BROWN : 6'0 202lb CB out of Colorado ~ RANKING (currently): Earliest-Early Rd 4/Latest-Late Rd 5 ~~ WHAT I Like ~~ /> Long arms, Nice height & Thick (extremely strong) build to go along with Fluid Footwork; > Keeps eyes in backfield in order to read the Quarterback; Above Average Awareness; > Brown is the OTHER Colorado CB (not top 3 in nation, Colorado CB, Jimmy Smiith), and thus, With teams almost afraid to target Smith's side of the field, Brown was most often poised against the oppossing teams #1 WR; > Good speed, agility, & transition when covering his man; > Best trait: Press-man Coverage (what I LOVED in McCourty); Strength to jam man @ LOS, and fluidity, speed, and awareness to recover in bump and run coverage; > Special teamer (on both sides of ball); Lauded by teammates for leadership & work ethic; Extremely firey, competitive & aggressive (w/ short memory if burned on a play); Fights through WR blocks at LOS in run-support; Extremely experienced & battle tested vs top competition & plays through pain; ~~ The "Knock" ~~ /> Biggest One: Hands (didn't make many game-altering INTS in College)...and YET, that I was The very SAME BIGGEST "knock" on McCourty @ Rutgers... <<SIXTH POSITION>> : Runningback Laz's Chosen PLAYER @ 3rd Round, Selection #28? ~ ROY HELU, Jr : 6'0 223lb RB out of Nebraska ~ RANKING (currently): Earliest-Round 4/Latest-Round 6 ~~ WHAT I Like ~~ /> Foremost? Out of ALL the tape I've seen on this nation's top RBs, NOONE hits the hole as fast AND as Hard as Helu imo... > WELL Above Average Instincts, Football IQ, EX-tremely good Awareness and Decisiveness; > Improving EACH & EVERY Season...Last Season @ Nebraska, tallied 1245 yards running, for a 6.6 avg; > Not asked to be a big passing option his final season, YET his previous 2 seasons showed that he's a very good pass-catching RB, In those 2 seasons, Had almost 40 receptions for over 400 yards; > Fantastic body control, & extremely athletic here: Can stop, jump, contort and keep going w/ superb initial burst; > Finese runner in the body of a bruiser with Expectations yet to be fulfilled; Active off the field in community; ~~ The "Knock" ~~ /> Some People EXPECTED a Heisman year outta Helu, once a Top 3-5 Prospect...when he didn't OVER-produce exponentially, was labeled as not living up to expectations (all minor & not long however: ankle, shoulder, hamstring); Biggest Knock (imo): Even though, has played through pain, Has had some durability issues (not as much as Demarco Murray), but still...
Posted by LazarusintheSanatorium
How about the readers digest version.