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View Full Version : Merged: Shifting Gears: Croyle, Whitehurst, and...McNeal



ckparrothead
01-25-2006, 02:16 AM
This hype about Jay Cutler just will not stop. I'm starting to wonder if Mike Mayock is more of a prognosticator than we give him credit for, with him declaring very strongly that Jay Cutler will solidify as around a top 5 selection...who possibly could bypass the likes of Young or Leinart in the draft. As things stand I think the Tennessee Titans are quietly (and have been quietly) enamoured with Jay Cutler. He's a local hero to them just like Vince Young is a local hero to the Houston fan base. Also, consider that Jeff Fisher ADMITS that he put in calls to the league begging them to coach the Senior Bowl. Do you think it's any coincidence that he drew the NORTH squad instead of the SOUTH, even though San Fran is clearly far more northern than Nashville?

I think we've quietly got ourselves a Phil Rivers/Cadillac Williams situation going on, except nobody will crucify the Titans for this one whereas many crucified the Chargers for being in love with Rivers...because Cutler has ten times the physical ability of Phil Rivers. The last two drafts have featured senior bowl coaches that fell so in love with the ability of one of the players on their roster that they just had to make him a high draft selection. I don't think this will be any different. When it all is said and done I think the Titans are going to find a way to come out of the draft with Jay Cutler on their roster. This talk about Vince Young on the Titans, IMO, has completely ignored their offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who just does not run a system that is designed for Vince Young to be successful in.

This situation is turning out to be a lot like the Phil Rivers situation for Miami two years ago. Back then this board was aflame with debate over whether we should take Phil if he was available to us at #20. As we approached the draft the question became more and more of a moot point. So too will the Cutler question. Even Jay himself mentioned that he had a nice conversation with Nick Saban, but merely said that we might pick a QB, didn't say we'll get him. Jay knows he'll be long gone by #16.

So, we switch gears. And these are three of my top QB targets in the absence of Jay Cutler.


1. Brodie Croyle.

I openly speculated that when all was said and done in this Senior Bowl, Brodie would probably be the guy that has had more success than Jay Cutler. I still believe that, but I don't think we're going to see it until Thursday, and then in the game itself. This early in the Senior Bowl 2 years ago, JP Losman was whistling passes that sang to the scouts and Phil Rivers was not hot yet as he continued to digest the playbook and get timing down with the receivers. But, in the end, Rivers' better savvy shone through...and JP was caught playing playground ball, struggled, and got injured during the game. I still think the same could happen during the game for Jay Cutler...mixed results, a little playground ball, possibly an injury.

I also speculated that by the end of it all Brodie could end up in the very end of the first round. That appears to be off the mark, as scouts appear to be far too caught up in his skinny frame (which is plain stupid, if you ask me). Brodie will probably level out around the 2nd round...or if things do not go well through the rest of the Senior Bowl, possibly the 3rd round. I think we ought to consider him with either of those picks. The frame doesn't phase me. The injuries don't either, because it will be 2 years before he takes any serious stress to his body again and by that time he should not only be bigger and better equipped to handle the stress, but his knee will have been given plenty of calm time to heal up. You have to evaluate him based on his passing...which isn't flashy, but tends to be effective. As things stand, that I know of, he's the best QB at the Senior Bowl at beating the blitz with his arm by making pre-snap reads. He's also the best clutch performer that I can think of at the Senior Bowl, which includes Jay Cutler.

He needs some work to establish more accuracy, but he's a very smart, capable player with a very good arm that throws catchable balls (guys that throw it too hard will be victimized by drops their whole career, ask Brett Favre) and can read a defense very well and make clutch throws. He has worked in a pro style offense and knows what it means to make the most of your throws by completing the pass instead of getting homerun syndrome, where guys go for the homerun all the time figuring that they'll have two more throws to convert the first down if they don't connect on the big one.

When I've watched him, he could also move around within the pocket to buy time, although admittedly he doesn't often do much with throwing on the run when he does buy that time. As he beefs up when he gets to he pros (just make the man eat some catfish and cornbread for cryin out loud) his arm will probably get even stronger than it is right now. The nice part about his arm is it is obviously a very strong arm, but he does not seem to throw like he has too much confidence in it, unlike some other guys I'll get to in a moment. I think you draft a Brodie Croyle and you will see him on the field by the end of 2007. That is my opinion.


2. Charlie Whitehurst

This is a poor man's Jay Cutler if ever I've seen one. Jay strength profile fits Charlie's strength profile to a T. Jay has a fantastic arm, Charlie has a fantastic arm. Jay can run around really fast for a tall white boy, Charlie can run around really fast for a tall white boy. Jay has excellent height and an excellent body, Charlie has even better height and an excellent body. Jay has a habit of whistling passes into tight spots, Charlie has a habit of doing so as well. They both have a little too much confidence in their arms. Where the two begin to separate is in their care with the football, their delivery, and their field vision, IMO.

Jay is better in all three areas. Jay is pretty wreckless with the football at times, but Charlie can be even more so. Jay has a very compact delivery with no wasted motion, especially for such a young player, while Charlie has a longer over-the-top delivery. And while I would not say that Jay has displayed top notch field vision, Whitehurst at times has displayed outright miniscule field vision...tunnel vision if you will. It isn't that Charlie can't progress through his reads, that is not the issue. What I mean is, when he shifts focus, he really shifts focus....and that focus doesn't stretch 5 yards to the right or left of what he's staring at. What this means is that he'll often miss a safety or defensive back creeping toward the lane where he's about to throw the ball. I would imagine (though I have not seen it play out this way) that he would also be victimized by linemen or linebackers who get unexpectedly deep drops into coverage.

I once thought this was not something you could really change very easily in a guy. You either have the vision or you don't. I don't know how many of you saw though during halftime of the East-West Shrine Game that special on Brett Basanez and how he came to possess good field awareness and vision...and one of the things he credited was this nifty computer program that has you using 3-D glasses and that supposedly will increase your field of focus. I'm not saying this is some panacea for field vision problems but it did show me that methods do exist for increasing a guy's field awareness and good QB coaches will get creative with helping a guy out in that area. It eased my mind a little bit...made me feel this could be less of a "nature" issue and more of a "nurtur" issue than I once thought.

I don't know how Charlie is going to perform in the game. He's got the natural talent to do very well. He's also got a lot of experience in a lot of different style offenses...which ended in 2005 with him being in an offense that ran the ball like 55% of the time, and tossed bubble screens and flat passes like half the time they did pass the ball. So, he's got a little bit of that experience in pro attitude offenses where running the ball is key and completing a high percentage of passes is more key than taking a bunch of deep shots down the field. But, when I saw him play against Colorado in the bowl game, he didn't seem to have digested that lesson the same way Brodie Croyle has...so I have to wonder if Charlie won't struggle a bit in the game itself, especially with all these linebackers that can run like crazy. But consider the following quote, from one of the few draftniks whose opinion I truly trust, Colin Lindsey:


This morning’s North practice got underway in real football weather – cloudy conditions, cool temps and a brisk wind – however the sun came out about a half hour into the workout to at least warm things up a tad. One can take it to the bank that the best QB at the Senior Bowl wears #6 for the North. That’s the easy part. The harder part of the equation is that Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt and Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson, easily the best two QBs in Mobile, are both wearing the same #6. And while Cutler came into the Senior Bowl as the higher rated player, Whitehurst may have an ever so slight lead between the two to date. The rangy Whitehurst certainly looks the part of a prototype pro pocket passer. Whitehurst is a long strider who sets up easily in the pocket and has a very smooth throwing motion. And Whitehurst was consistently hitting his receivers’ hands on the break in passing drills this morning. Cutler, for his part, is a little more compact than Whitehurst and not as smooth, but sets up and releases quickly, and like Whitehurst generally puts the ball where the receiver can cath it.

Whitehurst is really showing up at these practices. By the end of the Combine, we might be looking at a situation where we have to take him in the 3rd round to be sure of getting him. Is it worth it? I don't know yet...there's still plenty more to find out...but I'm softening to the idea!


3. Reggie McNeal

Keith is just going to pepper my hide for this one, I know it. But, this guy HAS to be a consideration. He didn't make a believer out of me at first with his Shrine Game performance...I was still quite skeptical. But my dreams have been outright HAUNTED by visions of the beautiful deep arcs he threw down the sidelines to Todd Watkins, Jason Carter, and Mike Hass to bring the West back to win the game.

I guess one thing that is throwing me off is the mixed reports I heard during practice. I had heard at first, from Rob Rang reports, that McNeal did not do so hot in practice...that Pinegar looked the best in practice. Later, however, I heard from multiple sources that the most impressive QB was Reggie McNeal, and that he was likely in for a big day. The analysts there during the game seemed to think McNeal was the real guy to watch.

At first I did not believe it. He led the West to two straight touchdown drives on his first two series. When he came back in later in the game (after Olson and Pinegar each got their two drives), he led the team to two straight touchdown drives with deep passes to Jason Carter, Todd Watkins, and Mike Hass. The outside view alone looks pretty impressive...4 drives, 4 touchdowns.

Go deeper, and at first I was not impressed even though I should have been. He had two negative plays during the first drive. On the first play of the drive, on a designed rollout he was challenged be a DE right away, tried to outrun him toward the sidelines and couldn't, so he took a step back and totally pulled a Cutler...tossed a smoking rocket off his back foot deep down the field to a WR that ended up double covered. Note though, that the rollout was designed, and he was challenged immediately. He wasn't displaying happy legs or anything. The only other negative play, is a play that really only the most avidly anti-scrambling fan could nitpick. The pocket began to collapse, but he had a RB rolling in front of him from the middle of the field to the sidelines wide open that probably could have moved the sticks, but since the way immediately ahead of Reggie was also wide open, he chose to run the same way the RB was going and he directed him with his arm to block for him. Could he have passed it? Yeah. Would have gained the same yardage and he'd have saved the hit, but with the RB blocking for him he also could have had a shot at making a much bigger play had the RB blocked well for him.

He scrambled on that drive 3 other times for first downs...totaling 4 carries for 32 yards and 4 first downs running...but upon second review, he was completely justified in every one of them (except the one mentioned) and at no time did he look to run BEFORE he looked to pass. In each case, nobody was open, the pocket was collapsing, so he took off. His passes were crisp, and were whistling. His ball placement was nice and high. His mechanics were always good. His two incompletions on the first drive were both the same...rolling out to the right with a DE in his face, he steps backwards and launches...but the second time he obviously learned his lesson from the first throw because he launched a throw-away instead of trying to make something from nothing. The final play of the drive 3rd and Goal from the 2, was one of those ridiculous plays that only these kinds of physically gifted QBs can make. It was a broken play...a linebacker broke free on a rush straight through the middle which immediately forced Vick, I mean err, McNeal backward and to the right where, guess what, there's another linebacker who blitzed from that side and never even got challenged by the TE that was in blocking. McNeal stops on dime, starts running back to his left, is about to get caught by the LB that blitzed from the right, launches a laser pass AGAINST HIS BODY from a top speed run literally 25 yards to the back of the endzone where Tim Day was in the middle of traffic and somehow the ball fits in the middle of three defenders and Day makes the catch. If you guys remember that play that made Cleo Lemon famous in preseason? This was one of those plays, except more impressive because by the time Cleo had thrown his ball he was stepping forward more than to the left and against his body. Reggie was at a dead run against his body when he got this ball out.

On initial review, myself and others thought this was just a terrible decision and McNeal just got lucky. After looking at it closely, however, I saw what Reggie saw...and that is that two of the defenders that ended up closing on the ball were off to the right and left covering their own guys and with the speed of McNeal's pass, had no chance at making it to the ball's path. What McNeal saw, was Tim Day in the end zone being single covered man to man by a linebacker whose back was completely to the QB. McNeal threw it up to see if Day could make a play, and indeed he did. This was man coverage, mind you. You don't get away with this in zone coverage.

Second drive he throws another laser, placed nice and high where the WR can reach for it, to his TAMU teammate Jason Carter on a skinny post. Next pass I counted three reads before he passed it out in the flat area to his FB for a 6 yard gain. Next pass Reggie committed a cardinal sin, but surprise surprise it worked out for him. The pocket broke down (man I didn't notice but the South's DL was REALLY good in this game...especially Wyche) and Reggie rolled to his left again. He threw the ball back toward the middle of the field while rolling left, and this is a cardinal sin really in NFL football...throwing back to the middle when rolling to your non-throwing side. But, can Reggie really help if if Mike Hass was tecmo open in the middle of the field? Not really. So the play went for like a 20 yard gain. They run a couple of times on Goal-to-Go and get another touchdown.

Reggie comes out of the game with the West leading the East 14-7. Fast forward, and Reggie doesn't get to come back in until 8 minutes left in the game, down 31-21. First throw, he drops back, makes his reads...gets a little antsy as the pocket looks like it's breaking down, sees his teammate Jason Carter streaking up the field as he beats his coverage and Reggie launched one of the PRETTIEST deep balls you will ever see thrown...one of those balls that screams out to you wow, this kid has an arm...yet the arc and trajectory were good and high enough that the ball could drop over the WRs shoulder as it did straight into Jason Carter's hands...getting them into another Goal-to-Go and touchdown run. On the sidelines, the East is back out on the field, and Reggie's being interviewed...and god you have to love this kind of confidence but the interviewer asks what he saw on that play and he just said he read down the field, saw him open, got it to him...then when asked what he thinks of the rest of the game and a comeback victory he said simple "D, you get them off the field, we'll go win the game." Period. Just like that. And what did he do? He did exactly that. Took him all of like 3 plays...a deep jump ball to Todd Watkins down the left sidelines on single coverage (a teensy bit underthrown, but it was single coverage throwing a really tall playmaker like Watkins, so that's actually ok)...and another beautiful arc pass to Mike Hass on a go route to the right...beautiful touch on the pass. It is passes like these that have HAUNTED my memory since the game. Haunted, I tell you!

Let's get something straight. Reggie McNeal had every advantage in this game. The D had to rush four DL every play with the exception I think of near the goal line, and even though the East DL handed the West OL's butts to them generally whenever Reggie was in, no blitzing means a disadvantage in facing a guy who has speed like Reggie does. Also, the D was not allowed to use a true Cover 2 in the secondary. Here's a severe advantage for ya, Reggie knew the playbook backwards and forwards, unlike everyone else, because it was the Texas A&M playbook! He also had his favorite WR Jason Carter to throw to, who he hooked up with twice including the deep bomb. But you know what? These are the sort of advantages I expect a DECENT THROWING QUARTERBACK to be able to take advantage of. Until now, I'd basically penciled Mr. McNeal in as a wide receiver...with his 4.3 speed and 6'2" frame.

But in this game, Reggie was a quarterback using the weapons he had at his disposal. He was not the dreaded "run-first" quarterback that people (namely Keith) fear can never succeed in the NFL. Dare I say, he's got Mike Vick's arm and pretty passes, he's got Vick's 40 speed, he's got Vick's FEET....but he has a good 2 inches on Mike Vick, a better passing mentality, and the ability to hit receivers on deep passes along the sidelines. Basically, he has enough to be considered as a quarterback in this draft...and one with a darn good bit of potential on top of it. We'd be nuts not to pay attention to that...especially given our new coordinator's track record with "Slash" himself.

It ain't easy for me to just change my mind like this, trust me. I've had the guy penciled for a WR for ages. And, I was too stubborn on the initial review of the Shrine Game to admit the dude just went out there and dominated like I had not seen a guy dominate in an All-Star Game since Phil Rivers, maybe even more than Rivers. But those pretty passes...they haunt me so. Basically, if Reggie McNeal is on the board for us in Round 3....I find it VERY difficult to say no.



And that's my peace.

ckparrothead
01-25-2006, 02:16 AM
This hype about Jay Cutler just will not stop. I'm starting to wonder if Mike Mayock is more of a prognosticator than we give him credit for, with him declaring very strongly that Jay Cutler will solidify as around a top 5 selection...who possibly could bypass the likes of Young or Leinart in the draft. As things stand I think the Tennessee Titans are quietly (and have been quietly) enamoured with Jay Cutler. He's a local hero to them just like Vince Young is a local hero to the Houston fan base. Also, consider that Jeff Fisher ADMITS that he put in calls to the league begging them to coach the Senior Bowl. Do you think it's any coincidence that he drew the NORTH squad instead of the SOUTH, even though San Fran is clearly far more northern than Nashville?

I think we've quietly got ourselves a Phil Rivers/Cadillac Williams situation going on, except nobody will crucify the Titans for this one whereas many crucified the Chargers for being in love with Rivers...because Cutler has ten times the physical ability of Phil Rivers. The last two drafts have featured senior bowl coaches that fell so in love with the ability of one of the players on their roster that they just had to make him a high draft selection. I don't think this will be any different. When it all is said and done I think the Titans are going to find a way to come out of the draft with Jay Cutler on their roster. This talk about Vince Young on the Titans, IMO, has completely ignored their offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who just does not run a system that is designed for Vince Young to be successful in.

This situation is turning out to be a lot like the Phil Rivers situation for Miami two years ago. Back then this board was aflame with debate over whether we should take Phil if he was available to us at #20. As we approached the draft the question became more and more of a moot point. So too will the Cutler question. Even Jay himself mentioned that he had a nice conversation with Nick Saban, but merely said that we might pick a QB, didn't say we'll get him. Jay knows he'll be long gone by #16.

So, we switch gears. And these are three of my top QB targets in the absence of Jay Cutler.


1. Brodie Croyle.

I openly speculated that when all was said and done in this Senior Bowl, Brodie would probably be the guy that has had more success than Jay Cutler. I still believe that, but I don't think we're going to see it until Thursday, and then in the game itself. This early in the Senior Bowl 2 years ago, JP Losman was whistling passes that sang to the scouts and Phil Rivers was not hot yet as he continued to digest the playbook and get timing down with the receivers. But, in the end, Rivers' better savvy shone through...and JP was caught playing playground ball, struggled, and got injured during the game. I still think the same could happen during the game for Jay Cutler...mixed results, a little playground ball, possibly an injury.

I also speculated that by the end of it all Brodie could end up in the very end of the first round. That appears to be off the mark, as scouts appear to be far too caught up in his skinny frame (which is plain stupid, if you ask me). Brodie will probably level out around the 2nd round...or if things do not go well through the rest of the Senior Bowl, possibly the 3rd round. I think we ought to consider him with either of those picks. The frame doesn't phase me. The injuries don't either, because it will be 2 years before he takes any serious stress to his body again and by that time he should not only be bigger and better equipped to handle the stress, but his knee will have been given plenty of calm time to heal up. You have to evaluate him based on his passing...which isn't flashy, but tends to be effective. As things stand, that I know of, he's the best QB at the Senior Bowl at beating the blitz with his arm by making pre-snap reads. He's also the best clutch performer that I can think of at the Senior Bowl, which includes Jay Cutler.

He needs some work to establish more accuracy, but he's a very smart, capable player with a very good arm that throws catchable balls (guys that throw it too hard will be victimized by drops their whole career, ask Brett Favre) and can read a defense very well and make clutch throws. He has worked in a pro style offense and knows what it means to make the most of your throws by completing the pass instead of getting homerun syndrome, where guys go for the homerun all the time figuring that they'll have two more throws to convert the first down if they don't connect on the big one.

When I've watched him, he could also move around within the pocket to buy time, although admittedly he doesn't often do much with throwing on the run when he does buy that time. As he beefs up when he gets to he pros (just make the man eat some catfish and cornbread for cryin out loud) his arm will probably get even stronger than it is right now. The nice part about his arm is it is obviously a very strong arm, but he does not seem to throw like he has too much confidence in it, unlike some other guys I'll get to in a moment. I think you draft a Brodie Croyle and you will see him on the field by the end of 2007. That is my opinion.


2. Charlie Whitehurst

This is a poor man's Jay Cutler if ever I've seen one. Jay strength profile fits Charlie's strength profile to a T. Jay has a fantastic arm, Charlie has a fantastic arm. Jay can run around really fast for a tall white boy, Charlie can run around really fast for a tall white boy. Jay has excellent height and an excellent body, Charlie has even better height and an excellent body. Jay has a habit of whistling passes into tight spots, Charlie has a habit of doing so as well. They both have a little too much confidence in their arms. Where the two begin to separate is in their care with the football, their delivery, and their field vision, IMO.

Jay is better in all three areas. Jay is pretty wreckless with the football at times, but Charlie can be even more so. Jay has a very compact delivery with no wasted motion, especially for such a young player, while Charlie has a longer over-the-top delivery. And while I would not say that Jay has displayed top notch field vision, Whitehurst at times has displayed outright miniscule field vision...tunnel vision if you will. It isn't that Charlie can't progress through his reads, that is not the issue. What I mean is, when he shifts focus, he really shifts focus....and that focus doesn't stretch 5 yards to the right or left of what he's staring at. What this means is that he'll often miss a safety or defensive back creeping toward the lane where he's about to throw the ball. I would imagine (though I have not seen it play out this way) that he would also be victimized by linemen or linebackers who get unexpectedly deep drops into coverage.

I once thought this was not something you could really change very easily in a guy. You either have the vision or you don't. I don't know how many of you saw though during halftime of the East-West Shrine Game that special on Brett Basanez and how he came to possess good field awareness and vision...and one of the things he credited was this nifty computer program that has you using 3-D glasses and that supposedly will increase your field of focus. I'm not saying this is some panacea for field vision problems but it did show me that methods do exist for increasing a guy's field awareness and good QB coaches will get creative with helping a guy out in that area. It eased my mind a little bit...made me feel this could be less of a "nature" issue and more of a "nurtur" issue than I once thought.

I don't know how Charlie is going to perform in the game. He's got the natural talent to do very well. He's also got a lot of experience in a lot of different style offenses...which ended in 2005 with him being in an offense that ran the ball like 55% of the time, and tossed bubble screens and flat passes like half the time they did pass the ball. So, he's got a little bit of that experience in pro attitude offenses where running the ball is key and completing a high percentage of passes is more key than taking a bunch of deep shots down the field. But, when I saw him play against Colorado in the bowl game, he didn't seem to have digested that lesson the same way Brodie Croyle has...so I have to wonder if Charlie won't struggle a bit in the game itself, especially with all these linebackers that can run like crazy. But consider the following quote, from one of the few draftniks whose opinion I truly trust, Colin Lindsey:


This morning’s North practice got underway in real football weather – cloudy conditions, cool temps and a brisk wind – however the sun came out about a half hour into the workout to at least warm things up a tad. One can take it to the bank that the best QB at the Senior Bowl wears #6 for the North. That’s the easy part. The harder part of the equation is that Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt and Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson, easily the best two QBs in Mobile, are both wearing the same #6. And while Cutler came into the Senior Bowl as the higher rated player, Whitehurst may have an ever so slight lead between the two to date. The rangy Whitehurst certainly looks the part of a prototype pro pocket passer. Whitehurst is a long strider who sets up easily in the pocket and has a very smooth throwing motion. And Whitehurst was consistently hitting his receivers’ hands on the break in passing drills this morning. Cutler, for his part, is a little more compact than Whitehurst and not as smooth, but sets up and releases quickly, and like Whitehurst generally puts the ball where the receiver can cath it.

Whitehurst is really showing up at these practices. By the end of the Combine, we might be looking at a situation where we have to take him in the 3rd round to be sure of getting him. Is it worth it? I don't know yet...there's still plenty more to find out...but I'm softening to the idea!


3. Reggie McNeal

Keith is just going to pepper my hide for this one, I know it. But, this guy HAS to be a consideration. He didn't make a believer out of me at first with his Shrine Game performance...I was still quite skeptical. But my dreams have been outright HAUNTED by visions of the beautiful deep arcs he threw down the sidelines to Todd Watkins, Jason Carter, and Mike Hass to bring the West back to win the game.

I guess one thing that is throwing me off is the mixed reports I heard during practice. I had heard at first, from Rob Rang reports, that McNeal did not do so hot in practice...that Pinegar looked the best in practice. Later, however, I heard from multiple sources that the most impressive QB was Reggie McNeal, and that he was likely in for a big day. The analysts there during the game seemed to think McNeal was the real guy to watch.

At first I did not believe it. He led the West to two straight touchdown drives on his first two series. When he came back in later in the game (after Olson and Pinegar each got their two drives), he led the team to two straight touchdown drives with deep passes to Jason Carter, Todd Watkins, and Mike Hass. The outside view alone looks pretty impressive...4 drives, 4 touchdowns.

Go deeper, and at first I was not impressed even though I should have been. He had two negative plays during the first drive. On the first play of the drive, on a designed rollout he was challenged be a DE right away, tried to outrun him toward the sidelines and couldn't, so he took a step back and totally pulled a Cutler...tossed a smoking rocket off his back foot deep down the field to a WR that ended up double covered. Note though, that the rollout was designed, and he was challenged immediately. He wasn't displaying happy legs or anything. The only other negative play, is a play that really only the most avidly anti-scrambling fan could nitpick. The pocket began to collapse, but he had a RB rolling in front of him from the middle of the field to the sidelines wide open that probably could have moved the sticks, but since the way immediately ahead of Reggie was also wide open, he chose to run the same way the RB was going and he directed him with his arm to block for him. Could he have passed it? Yeah. Would have gained the same yardage and he'd have saved the hit, but with the RB blocking for him he also could have had a shot at making a much bigger play had the RB blocked well for him.

He scrambled on that drive 3 other times for first downs...totaling 4 carries for 32 yards and 4 first downs running...but upon second review, he was completely justified in every one of them (except the one mentioned) and at no time did he look to run BEFORE he looked to pass. In each case, nobody was open, the pocket was collapsing, so he took off. His passes were crisp, and were whistling. His ball placement was nice and high. His mechanics were always good. His two incompletions on the first drive were both the same...rolling out to the right with a DE in his face, he steps backwards and launches...but the second time he obviously learned his lesson from the first throw because he launched a throw-away instead of trying to make something from nothing. The final play of the drive 3rd and Goal from the 2, was one of those ridiculous plays that only these kinds of physically gifted QBs can make. It was a broken play...a linebacker broke free on a rush straight through the middle which immediately forced Vick, I mean err, McNeal backward and to the right where, guess what, there's another linebacker who blitzed from that side and never even got challenged by the TE that was in blocking. McNeal stops on dime, starts running back to his left, is about to get caught by the LB that blitzed from the right, launches a laser pass AGAINST HIS BODY from a top speed run literally 25 yards to the back of the endzone where Tim Day was in the middle of traffic and somehow the ball fits in the middle of three defenders and Day makes the catch. If you guys remember that play that made Cleo Lemon famous in preseason? This was one of those plays, except more impressive because by the time Cleo had thrown his ball he was stepping forward more than to the left and against his body. Reggie was at a dead run against his body when he got this ball out.

On initial review, myself and others thought this was just a terrible decision and McNeal just got lucky. After looking at it closely, however, I saw what Reggie saw...and that is that two of the defenders that ended up closing on the ball were off to the right and left covering their own guys and with the speed of McNeal's pass, had no chance at making it to the ball's path. What McNeal saw, was Tim Day in the end zone being single covered man to man by a linebacker whose back was completely to the QB. McNeal threw it up to see if Day could make a play, and indeed he did. This was man coverage, mind you. You don't get away with this in zone coverage.

Second drive he throws another laser, placed nice and high where the WR can reach for it, to his TAMU teammate Jason Carter on a skinny post. Next pass I counted three reads before he passed it out in the flat area to his FB for a 6 yard gain. Next pass Reggie committed a cardinal sin, but surprise surprise it worked out for him. The pocket broke down (man I didn't notice but the South's DL was REALLY good in this game...especially Wyche) and Reggie rolled to his left again. He threw the ball back toward the middle of the field while rolling left, and this is a cardinal sin really in NFL football...throwing back to the middle when rolling to your non-throwing side. But, can Reggie really help if if Mike Hass was tecmo open in the middle of the field? Not really. So the play went for like a 20 yard gain. They run a couple of times on Goal-to-Go and get another touchdown.

Reggie comes out of the game with the West leading the East 14-7. Fast forward, and Reggie doesn't get to come back in until 8 minutes left in the game, down 31-21. First throw, he drops back, makes his reads...gets a little antsy as the pocket looks like it's breaking down, sees his teammate Jason Carter streaking up the field as he beats his coverage and Reggie launched one of the PRETTIEST deep balls you will ever see thrown...one of those balls that screams out to you wow, this kid has an arm...yet the arc and trajectory were good and high enough that the ball could drop over the WRs shoulder as it did straight into Jason Carter's hands...getting them into another Goal-to-Go and touchdown run. On the sidelines, the East is back out on the field, and Reggie's being interviewed...and god you have to love this kind of confidence but the interviewer asks what he saw on that play and he just said he read down the field, saw him open, got it to him...then when asked what he thinks of the rest of the game and a comeback victory he said simple "D, you get them off the field, we'll go win the game." Period. Just like that. And what did he do? He did exactly that. Took him all of like 3 plays...a deep jump ball to Todd Watkins down the left sidelines on single coverage (a teensy bit underthrown, but it was single coverage throwing a really tall playmaker like Watkins, so that's actually ok)...and another beautiful arc pass to Mike Hass on a go route to the right...beautiful touch on the pass. It is passes like these that have HAUNTED my memory since the game. Haunted, I tell you!

Let's get something straight. Reggie McNeal had every advantage in this game. The D had to rush four DL every play with the exception I think of near the goal line, and even though the East DL handed the West OL's butts to them generally whenever Reggie was in, no blitzing means a disadvantage in facing a guy who has speed like Reggie does. Also, the D was not allowed to use a true Cover 2 in the secondary. Here's a severe advantage for ya, Reggie knew the playbook backwards and forwards, unlike everyone else, because it was the Texas A&M playbook! He also had his favorite WR Jason Carter to throw to, who he hooked up with twice including the deep bomb. But you know what? These are the sort of advantages I expect a DECENT THROWING QUARTERBACK to be able to take advantage of. Until now, I'd basically penciled Mr. McNeal in as a wide receiver...with his 4.3 speed and 6'2" frame.

But in this game, Reggie was a quarterback using the weapons he had at his disposal. He was not the dreaded "run-first" quarterback that people (namely Keith) fear can never succeed in the NFL. Dare I say, he's got Mike Vick's arm and pretty passes, he's got Vick's 40 speed, he's got Vick's FEET....but he has a good 2 inches on Mike Vick, a better passing mentality, and the ability to hit receivers on deep passes along the sidelines. Basically, he has enough to be considered as a quarterback in this draft...and one with a darn good bit of potential on top of it. We'd be nuts not to pay attention to that...especially given our new coordinator's track record with "Slash" himself.

It ain't easy for me to just change my mind like this, trust me. I've had the guy penciled for a WR for ages. And, I was too stubborn on the initial review of the Shrine Game to admit the dude just went out there and dominated like I had not seen a guy dominate in an All-Star Game since Phil Rivers, maybe even more than Rivers. But those pretty passes...they haunt me so. Basically, if Reggie McNeal is on the board for us in Round 3....I find it VERY difficult to say no.



And that's my peace.

Dolfan2788
01-25-2006, 02:27 AM
Thanks for the good read. :)

I don't know much about any of the QB's you mentioned as I have only seen 1 game of Whitehurst and 1 game of Cutler. Though with your analysis on them i'm starting to warm to Whitehurst as we can get him in the 3rd round.

FinNasty
01-25-2006, 02:28 AM
wow... havent even read it all but I can tell you put alot of time into this... well done...

HugeFinFan
01-25-2006, 02:35 AM
Thanks for taking the time to write this CK. Your reviews are always insightful :)

Danny
01-25-2006, 02:37 AM
Wow CK, how long did it take you to write all that?...You're amazing sometimes and I have no idea where you get the time to do it.Anyway, on to your post.I like all 3 QB's but after watching the last game,I think I like Mcneal the best right now.He's got the arm plus he can always hurt you with his legs.The question is, where do we take him?Will he be there at our pick in round 3? At this point I doubt it.Will he be there at 51?I hope so but I'm not holding my breath....I know a lot of people on here will say that he's a reach in the 2nd and even more in the 1st but the fact is that QB is the most important position on the team and that's why teams reach our for those guys.One way or the other I hope Nick takes a shot at him cos I think he's gonna be a big time playmaker and I don't say that very often about college kids.

Ozzy rules!!
:rockon: :guitar:

Dol-Fan Dupree
01-25-2006, 02:44 AM
made me wish I watched the game. Good read as always. Long as always as well :).

Lazy1
01-25-2006, 02:59 AM
Mcneal if he doesnt change position is a major major project. Even if you were impressed with how he perfomed in the shrine game.... you should'nt have been. A scrambling qb's dream is to have a defense not prepare and have a game plan in stopping you from running wild. I think mcneal is a good prospect, but most likely at a wr position. If he stays at qb he will needs years to be groomed including some years in nfl europe.

NoblePhin
01-25-2006, 03:04 AM
dude ck i love you man. this was so well written i wanted to hang up on my girlfriend. i like wat u said about croyle. hes just a winner. Reggie seems like a good prospect in the later rounds. whats ur opinion on omar jacobs?

'66'Fin
01-25-2006, 03:49 AM
I watched the 2nd day of Senior bowl practice today. It ran on Espn(2:30) and the NFL channel(3:00). I saw a few Alabama games and liked what I saw of Croyle, so I payed attention to him today and I was very impressed. In the wrap up afterward, Pat Kirwan said that some of the scouts and GMs wished they could see Croyle and Cutler side by side instead of different teams. Croyle is definetly moving up on some teams boards.

sports24/7
01-25-2006, 03:50 AM
I think it may come down to just how much they like Croyle vs. whether they think they can a) get Croyle or Whitehurst at their later picks and b) think they can be starting QB's in the league. If they feel strongly that they can get one of the two latter guys and that they can be starters in a couple of years they will wait on them IMO. If not and they really like Cutler then I think they will trade up and get him. At this point though, I think they really want the QB of the future to come from this draft and will do what it takes to get him even if that means giving up picks.

But they seem to be spending alot of focus on Whitehurst. He is a guy I have liked for a couple of years now. He hasn't really realized his potential, but has all the tools you look for. If Saban and Mueller feel he is their guy I would not mind it at all because with the right coaching I think he can become a very good QB.

Jaj
01-25-2006, 03:50 AM
They'll oppose each other so it'll be a interesting matchup. Cutler will have the better defensive players IMO, but Croyle the better offensive line to help him.

HysterikiLL
01-25-2006, 03:51 AM
Great post, but my opinion on Whitehurst will not change. I just don't see him being good at the NFL level.

rainmaker1313
01-25-2006, 07:21 AM
This may sound silly and could just very well be flat out stupid! But the sound of Jay Cutler sounds right. Sounds like a success. Charlie Whitehurst sounds like a flop! LOL

finfan54
01-25-2006, 08:40 AM
Ck, do you bring your laptop and write as you watch? Incredible. Good stuff. Tanks bro!

fishfan34
01-25-2006, 08:45 AM
Great Post CK.. I too am VERY high on Brodie Croyle. I saw at least three Alabama games this year to specifially look at him, including the Cotton Bowl. He seems to have alot of poise and control of the pocket. He seems to have a calm about him to just slow eveything down and make the throw. I know there is a knock about his Comp %'s and accuracy, but, from what I saw, both dropped off when Prothro and the other receiver got injured and they had to play the freshman receivers (Many many dropped balls).. Watching him engineer that last driver of the Cotton Bowl really clinched my opinion of him. He was calm and in control.. TT was bringing everything at him and he made his throws and marched them calmly down the field and into FG Range for the game winning FG.. I saw a very good quarterback bascially will his team down the field.. I was sold.. I can certainly see us going either O-Line with Justice or McNeil in the first and then Croyle in the 2nd.. I know everyone things Huff might be around still.. but I think Pat Watkins is not far off of where Huff is Safety wise and can be had in the 3rd round..

LarryFinFan
01-25-2006, 09:03 AM
CK...good analysis. I think this years overall class of QBs is better than last, by far. Funny thing tho, your analysis of Croyle reminds me of the analysis of Rivers a couple of years ago...save for the physical aspects. I'm sure we can come out of this draft with a guy that can be successful and it doesn't have to be in the first round, however it'll surely be day one....

mbsinmisc
01-25-2006, 09:16 AM
As usual, great job. Given my druthers, and the likely way the draft breaks down, we will probably pick a QB in the second or third round. Of these three who would you pick CK?

thedayafter
01-25-2006, 09:28 AM
Well done... I appreciate the work.

Additional information on Croyle according to Mike Shula....

He is very familiar with the pro offense... it's basically the Norv Turner offense as learned by Mike Shula and run at Alabama.

According to Shula Croyle has the "intangibles" required to succeed at the pro level... he's very smart and has the ability to make the mental adjustment and focus from live gameplay to sideline instruction back to live play. Shula points out "it's as if his heartbeat goes down and he becomes very calm and focused when given instructions in high intensity situations... and then he just goes out there and executes"

In the for what it's worth category.... Cutler gets selected before Leinart

ATLFINFAN
01-25-2006, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the insight. A very interesting read. I forgot all about the game last weekend so your post helped soften the pain of not seeing it. Brodie seems like a winner while Whitehurst seems like he is on another page. I work with a EX Clemson player and he isnt sure Whitehurst will make it in the NFL because of his decision making. I tend to agree.

Pocoloco
01-25-2006, 09:46 AM
If we miss out on the Cutler sweepstakes, I'm still a proponent of offering our first for Phillip Rivers. If we do indeed draft a QB in the later rounds, my list goes like this

1) Omar Jacobs
2) Drew Olson
3) Brodie Croyle/Charlie Whitehurst (both are too close to call right now)

Spegg
01-25-2006, 10:08 AM
Awesome post.
I agree with you that we may be looking at these guys. I for 1 like Croyle. I just don't see us having at shot at the top 3 QB's. Maybe Cutler falls, but he would have to have a pretty bad game and combine.

Motion
01-25-2006, 10:37 AM
If we miss out on the Cutler sweepstakes, I'm still a proponent of offering our first for Phillip Rivers. If we do indeed draft a QB in the later rounds, my list goes like this

1) Omar Jacobs
2) Drew Olson
3) Brodie Croyle/Charlie Whitehurst (both are too close to call right now)

Interesting list.

dolfanben
01-25-2006, 10:44 AM
Mcneal if he doesnt change position is a major major project. Even if you were impressed with how he perfomed in the shrine game.... you should'nt have been. A scrambling qb's dream is to have a defense not prepare and have a game plan in stopping you from running wild. I think mcneal is a good prospect, but most likely at a wr position. If he stays at qb he will needs years to be groomed including some years in nfl europe.


i agree. he also had some injuries, didnt he?

all that aside- Great Post! that is some serious research!

Pink_Dove
01-25-2006, 10:45 AM
Nice analysis CK. Count me in as part of the Whitehurst clan after seeing him yesterday. And Colin pointed out what impressed me the most...



The rangy Whitehurst certainly looks the part of a prototype pro pocket passer. Whitehurst is a long strider who sets up easily in the pocket and has a very smooth throwing motion.

This is especially true after seeing tape of Vince Young and Darryl Hackney. ;)

The main question mark for me is his decision making because physically and mechanically he's where he needs to be. And I'm not sure that can be throughly evaluated at Senior Bowl practices (where coverage is very vanilla) and the combine (where physical attributes are a prority). As a result, I wouldn't be surprised to see him shoot up draft boards come April.

Aqua and Orange
01-25-2006, 11:01 AM
Good post.

Omar Jacobs?

Becks7
01-25-2006, 11:14 AM
My fear is if Brodie plays well in the Senior Bowl that he will not be there in round two for us. If Cutler goes top ten that is an awfully long time for another team not to take a qb.

PhinstiGator
01-25-2006, 11:19 AM
I've been impressed with Whitehurst since early in the season when he brought his team back to beat my team...the Maryland Terps. He showed a mature leadership and patience using a balanced attack to grab the momentum of the game and never let go.

He has a history of winning games. "...has a perfect 3-0 record in career overtime games, including wins over Virginia (2003), Wake Forest (2004), and Miami (FL) (2004)."

The knock on him that you will continue to hear from Maylock is "Inconsistency". Mainly, that knock comes from his dip in performance during his junior year. Perhaps, for anyone who cares...there are real team related reasons for his lack of progress that year.

2004

...Whitehurst is coming off a very disappointing junior season in which he completed barely half of his passes, although that can be blamed at least partially on the Clemson line’s poor pass blocking performance. He needs to bounce back and show that his confidence has not been shaken. Whitehurst will also have to adjust to a new offensive scheme in which he will make the pre-snap reads instead of a coach signaling them in from the sideline. (2005)
But, we really need to focus on how the kid played THIS year. He really made some positive strides in a balanced attack and brought his completion percentage up to 67%.

And another plus is the genetic engineering...his father was a QB for the Packers.

http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/playerDetail.jsp?yr=2005&org=147&player=6

ckparrothead
01-25-2006, 11:33 AM
Thank you guys for all your praise. Now, to address some of the issues brought up.


made me wish I watched the game. Good read as always. Long as always as well .

Well, you know me man. ;)


Mcneal if he doesnt change position is a major major project. Even if you were impressed with how he perfomed in the shrine game.... you should'nt have been. A scrambling qb's dream is to have a defense not prepare and have a game plan in stopping you from running wild...

As I was trying to say in the main post, his converting first downs with his legs did not impress me. What impressed me was A) He always kept his eyes up looking for the pass and only ran when he really had to, B) The passes he threw were accurate rockets with a pretty spiral and great trajectory, C) His ball placement was very good. Over the middle and on the skinny post the ball was placed nice and high where the receiver could stretch for it (and never behind the receiver), on the other stuff it was lower toward the front hip where it needed to be, and of the three deep passes two of them were directly in front of the receiver so he could catch it on the run over his shoulder, and the third was a slight underthrow to where Watkins could go up and make a play in single coverage. Basically McNeal put on a clinic on ball placement. He also put on a clinic on overconfidence in your arm. Remember, the PASSES are what haunted me, not the runs for a first down. McNeal sat in the pocket and completed passes, allowed an offense to work for him...this is not the stuff that a WR convert like Michael Robinson does. And not for nothing, but I've yet to see Jay Cutler show as good ball placement as Reggie McNeal showed (in that one game, mind you).


Ck, do you bring your laptop and write as you watch? Incredible. Good stuff. Tanks bro!

Actually I was up in Gainesville during the game itself visiting my gf, and I was using her laptop downstairs while the game was on to post in my thread in the Draft Forum as the game wore on...posting my thoughts as the game happened so that I could revisit the thread and collect them into one solid piece.


As usual, great job. Given my druthers, and the likely way the draft breaks down, we will probably pick a QB in the second or third round. Of these three who would you pick CK?

I would wait until the 3rd round and draft Croyle or McNeal, whichever is available (and if both are available, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it). I would try not to draft Whitehurst until the 4th if I could get away with it. If neither Croyle nor McNeal were available in the 3rd, I would maybe think about taking Whitehurst to make sure we got ourselves a top level QB prospect instead of some guy who will sit 3rd string for 4 years. BUT! I reserve final judgment on where to draft these guys until just before the draft, because even if you evaluate a guy as a 3rd rounder, if everyone else is evaluating him as a 5th rounder you'd be nuts to take him in the 3rd round, because you could get away with having him in the 4th or 5th.


As for people being high on Brodie...there are still a few things that disturb me. His accuracy at the Senior Bowl has not been good at all so far. That disturbs me. He's basically working in the homefield offense. Mike Shula brought with him to Alabama a derivation of the same Norv Turner offensive playbook that they had in Miami when Shula was the QBs coach here. So now Norv is running the offense at the Senior Bowl and this should be the hometeam playbook for Brodie yet he's still been very inconsistent in his throws. I think he'll work that out as the week progresses, and I expect to hear a far better report on him in today's and tomorrow's action...and for him to follow that up with a strong showing in the game itself. But keep in mind, if he disappoints me by not showing strong today, tomorrow, and Saturday...then my opinion of him could change a bit.

And btw, Whitehurst isn't perfect in OT games. If I'm not mistaken the Miami game went to OT this year and he lost to us.

SF Dolphin Fan
01-25-2006, 02:17 PM
Great Post CK.. I too am VERY high on Brodie Croyle. I saw at least three Alabama games this year to specifially look at him, including the Cotton Bowl. He seems to have alot of poise and control of the pocket. He seems to have a calm about him to just slow eveything down and make the throw. I know there is a knock about his Comp %'s and accuracy, but, from what I saw, both dropped off when Prothro and the other receiver got injured and they had to play the freshman receivers (Many many dropped balls).. Watching him engineer that last driver of the Cotton Bowl really clinched my opinion of him. He was calm and in control.. TT was bringing everything at him and he made his throws and marched them calmly down the field and into FG Range for the game winning FG.. I saw a very good quarterback bascially will his team down the field.. I was sold.. I can certainly see us going either O-Line with Justice or McNeil in the first and then Croyle in the 2nd.. I know everyone things Huff might be around still.. but I think Pat Watkins is not far off of where Huff is Safety wise and can be had in the 3rd round..

Totally agree. The guy is a winner and he showed it on that last drive. Very true that his completion % when down when Prothro got hurt. Wasn't a lot of talent on that offense either.

Lazy1
01-25-2006, 03:52 PM
The thing with mcneal is not necassarly regarding his talent, i understand he has a rocket arm, but as a qb prospect i dont see him any more talented(at his position) then randle-el was a few drafts ago. If he stays at his qb position i see him as a Senaca Wallace type player who will make an impact on a team and stay around, but wont be a strong qb as far as a franshice type guy, if ever, it wont be many years down the road. Having Mularky is a plus considering what he did with kordell, but i think saban, mularky and the rest of the coaching staff would prefer more of a well rounded prospect like omar jacobs, and obviously some other guys that you mentioned.

ckparrothead
01-25-2006, 04:21 PM
The thing with mcneal is not necassarly regarding his talent, i understand he has a rocket arm, but as a qb prospect i dont see him any more talented(at his position) then randle-el was a few drafts ago. If he stays at his qb position i see him as a Senaca Wallace type player who will make an impact on a team and stay around, but wont be a strong qb as far as a franshice type guy, if ever, it wont be many years down the road. Having Mularky is a plus considering what he did with kordell, but i think saban, mularky and the rest of the coaching staff would prefer more of a well rounded prospect like omar jacobs, and obviously some other guys that you mentioned.

One very big factor in the Randle-El and Seneca Wallace to WR moves is height. Seneca is less than 6 feet, and so is Antwaan. Randle-El in particular would have been kept at QB if he were 6'2" like Reggie McNeal is. And besides to my knowledge Seneca is still the Seahawks' primary backup QB.

Why do you think Darrell Hackney is falling so far? That 5'11" measurement is KILLING him in the scouts eyes.

Reggie McNeal showed pure passing skills at the Shrine Game. That is what drew my eyes. He did everything a QB is supposed to do, and I mean everything. He drew safeties away from his target with his eyes, he progressed through multiple reads (up to 3 or 4 reads), he showed significant ball placement skills and timing, he even made excellent use of a hard count to draw the defensive linemen offsides twice in his first touchdown drive, and then of course he showed off that tremendous arm (an Elway-like arm...yes that good).

He put on a clinic of what a passer is supposed to be. His first down runs helped, but they are not the reason he was so impressive.

Dol-Fan Dupree
01-25-2006, 04:36 PM
Just like to confirm, Senaca Wallace is the Seahawk primary back up. He was used as wide reciever because due to injuries to the Seahawk wide recievers Senaca was used as a scout team wide receiver in practices. Apperently he ran that route so well in practice that it constinatly burned the starting cornerbacks of the Seahawks. According to the story Matt has been lobbying for months to use Senaca in a game on that route and they finally did.

Which by the way was really cool.

tmny99
01-25-2006, 05:08 PM
From watching today's practice, I can tell you that Croyle's stock is rising very fast.

Motion
01-25-2006, 05:10 PM
From watching today's practice, I can tell you that Croyle's stock is rising very fast.

Good

tmny99
01-25-2006, 05:26 PM
All this talk about Brodie Croyle's frame (or lack thereof) is ridiculous considering that that was the same thing scouts said about Tom Brady. Plus, the talk has been that Croyle has a strong arm, which is something no one ever said about Brady. I think we would foolish to pass on this guy in a later round. I don't see Saban trading away picks to move up, so a QB in the later rounds is more realistic. I think Croyle will be our man.

AggieFin21
01-25-2006, 05:27 PM
Excellent read, especially on McNeal. If he can keep up his good performance leading into the draft, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him gone well before our pick in the 3rd.

Jaj
01-25-2006, 06:00 PM
The point is that 3rd round pick is starting to look perfect for picking a QB.

sports24/7
01-25-2006, 06:54 PM
The point is that 3rd round pick is starting to look perfect for picking a QB.
Not necessarliy. Croyle has been impressive at the Senior Bowl practices and probably won't be there at our pick in the third. If we want him we may have to take him in the second. Whitehurst and McNeal will probably be there, but Whitehurst is not a guarantee.

PHINSfan
01-25-2006, 08:24 PM
CK, once again...you're the man!!!
I too watched the Shrine all start game, and taped it...I was so impressed with Reggie's performance that I watched the game a second time, concentrating in McNeil's play. Your observation is right on. The kid put on a clinic....unbelivable performance! And like you said, not only with his running abilities, but with the way he conducted himself in the pocket. The awareness, the desicision-making, the confidence. I really believe that he is now around the 3rd rd, as is Jacobs.
The way I see things now this is the orer im predicting the top Qbs will be taken:

1st RD: Leinehart, Young, Cutler( The cat is out of the bag, he wont be there at #16)
2nd RD: Croyle(late first RD? to mid 2nd), Whitehurst(late 2nd to mid 3rd)
3rd RD: Jacobs, McNeil ( with their physical tools these 2 can really do good in the combines and maybe move to the second RD).

If like I predict, Cutler wont be there with our 1st pick, I would be happy with any one of the other 4 remaining QB's.

BigDogsHunt
01-25-2006, 10:12 PM
Ck -

It was so nice, you posted it twice.....:D

Good read, good info....I cant wait to find out which QB and what round Saban goes with.

SammySmif
01-25-2006, 10:17 PM
I have watched Whitehurst a lot. He makes poor decisions and has an average arm. If we picked him before the 5th round it would be a horrible mistake.

djfresh47
01-25-2006, 11:35 PM
I thought McNeal would have a big year at A&M, but he got hurt and missed some time. I've seen him listed at like 6'2, but was always skeptical, does anyone know what he measured in at?

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 12:11 AM
I have watched Whitehurst a lot. He makes poor decisions and has an average arm. If we picked him before the 5th round it would be a horrible mistake.

Whitehurst has anything but an average arm. He doesn't have the same rocket that Cutler does, but his arm is well above average.

I agree that the 3rd is shaping up to be a good round to take either Croyle, McNeal, or Whitehurst. I do not share the opinion that we should think about Jacobs in the 3rd. I see him lasting at least until the 4th...or at least, I would not take a shot on him until the 4th, and I might shy away from it period.

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 12:14 AM
I thought McNeal would have a big year at A&M, but he got hurt and missed some time. I've seen him listed at like 6'2, but was always skeptical, does anyone know what he measured in at?

We will have to wait and see at the Combine. I don't know if they did official measurements at the East-West game. I was looking at him close in the huddle and as he approached the line of scrimmage, and his helmet level seemed to be at or at least very close to the same level as all of his OL except for the tall tackles. He definitely towared over any RB, and was as tall as or taller than most WRs. He looked a solid 6'2" to me...about 2 inches taller than Vick. If they measured him at the Combine I bet he comes out right close to 6'2" even.

SammySmif
01-26-2006, 03:01 AM
If his arm is so great why does he constantly struggle with accuracy on the deep out? I am not sold.

Jaj
01-26-2006, 03:02 AM
If his arm is so great why does he constantly struggle with accuracy on the deep out? I am not sold.

That's great, but scouts are so who cares?

adamprez2003
01-26-2006, 04:38 AM
It's not "hype" with Cutler. He's the real deal, as I've been saying all season. Whitehurst is a bust as far as a starter, maybe a decent backup and Croyle is this year's Orton. There is zero chance that he has a better career than Cutler unless Cutler blows out his shoulder or something. Croyle has played skittish his entire senior season. That's not a good sign heading into the pros where linemen tend to be bigger and faster. I wouldn't be adverse to using a 3rd on him as a future backup but using a 3rd on Whitehurst would be a waste IMO. I would rather take Gradkowski or Meyer in the 5th - better value.

Motion
01-26-2006, 07:32 AM
It's not "hype" with Cutler. He's the real deal, as I've been saying all season.

Its funny I don't remember so many Cutler fans in here during the season. In fact there probably only 20 or so regulars to the draft section during the season. Its amazing how popular he is now, although it doesn't surprise me.

BlueFin
01-26-2006, 08:50 AM
Its funny I don't remember so many Cutler fans in here during the season. In fact there probably only 20 or so regulars to the draft section during the season. Its amazing how popular he is now, although it doesn't surprise me.

I've had this in my sig for a long time now, well back into the season when many were saying Cutler was a second rounder, I argued that he would be a first rounder, but your right, it has really grown.

Motion
01-26-2006, 09:49 AM
I've had this in my sig for a long time now, well back into the season when many were saying Cutler was a second rounder, I argued that he would be a first rounder, but your right, it has really grown.

I know you have. But the people that are saying "I've been saying Cutler is the man all season" are starting to come out of the woodwork. When fact is there were very few giving him his due on this board during the season.

Finfanforever
01-26-2006, 10:29 AM
I know you have. But the people that are saying "I've been saying Cutler is the man all season" are starting to come out of the woodwork. When fact is there were very few giving him his due on this board during the season.


Where is fishypete when you need him? He's been saying since day 1 that Cutler was overhyped. That's not what the REAL experts are saying. I guess Pete is not the expert he THINKS he is. Sorry to say we might have to trade up to get Cutler or settle for Croyle in round 2.

Motion
01-26-2006, 10:33 AM
Where is fishypete when you need him? He's been saying since day 1 that Cutler was overhyped. That's not what the REAL experts are saying. I guess Pete is not the expert he THINKS he is. Sorry to say we might have to trade up to get Cutler or settle for Croyle in round 2.

Yeah no kidding, but you didn't honestly expect him to come around and admit he was wrong though, did you? :D

Finfanforever
01-26-2006, 11:57 AM
Yeah no kidding, but you didn't honestly expect him to come around and admit he was wrong though, did you? :D

NO! Is there ANY chance Saban trades up to grab Cutler??:confused:

Motion
01-26-2006, 12:11 PM
NO! Is there ANY chance Saban trades up to grab Cutler??:confused:

Only he and Mueller know, i'm sure.

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 01:19 PM
The only trade up scenario I found interesting would be trading Ricky for the chance to grab Cutler. I'm not sure if it is realistic, but it is a decent question. With Jay here, you've probably got a fully-functioning "trio" that teams like to get...in Jay Cutler, Chris Chambers, and Ronnie Brown. They've got a TE too. The only thing the team would then need to be "cooking on gasoline" as Boomer calls it would be a franchise LT.

Motion
01-26-2006, 01:22 PM
The only trade up scenario I found interesting would be trading Ricky for the chance to grab Cutler. I'm not sure if it is realistic, but it is a decent question. With Jay here, you've probably got a fully-functioning "trio" that teams like to get...in Jay Cutler, Chris Chambers, and Ronnie Brown. They've got a TE too. The only thing the team would then need to be "cooking on gasoline" as Boomer calls it would be a franchise LT.

I agree 100%. I really wanna keep Ricky, but if it means getting a franchise QB that will carry us for the next 10 years, I'll help pack his bags. I mean realisitically how much longer do you think Ricky is gonna play? 2 years?

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 01:26 PM
I agree 100%. I really wanna keep Ricky, but if it means getting a franchise QB that will carry us for the next 10 years, I'll help pack his bags. I mean realisitically how much longer do you think Ricky is gonna play? 2 years?

Yeah. Just be forewarned that the chances of Jay Cutler becoming a franchise QB are about...30-35 percent. Even so, I think it's worth that shot.

Motion
01-26-2006, 01:30 PM
Yeah. Just be forewarned that the chances of Jay Cutler becoming a franchise QB are about...30-35 percent. Even so, I think it's worth that shot.

Agreed, nothing is guaranteed but we need to take that chance.

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 01:38 PM
Agreed, nothing is guaranteed but we need to take that chance.

Does that mean you're ok with the following statement: "The Dolphins took Jay Cutler in the first round of the draft, even though it is more likely than not that is he going to be a bust."

Motion
01-26-2006, 02:29 PM
Does that mean you're ok with the following statement: "The Dolphins took Jay Cutler in the first round of the draft, even though it is more likely than not that is he going to be a bust."

Ok with? No if that means I believe it. I truly believe he has what it takes to be a franchise QB in the NFL and I've been saying it all season. :goof:

SammySmif
01-26-2006, 03:16 PM
That's great, but scouts are so who cares?

In late January scouts are already sold on Whitehurst? Says who? I just am not buying that at all..they haven't even had the combines yet..any scout that is "sold" already is an amatuer and should be fired.

djfresh47
01-26-2006, 03:39 PM
Where is fishypete when you need him? He's been saying since day 1 that Cutler was overhyped. That's not what the REAL experts are saying. I guess Pete is not the expert he THINKS he is. Sorry to say we might have to trade up to get Cutler or settle for Croyle in round 2.


I think he is overhyped, like Kyle Boller was when he came out, like Jason Campbell was last year, although nobody can make an assessment yet on how they turn out. I think he's got talent, but it seems that Mayock is trying to be his agent when he reports on him. I'm all for drafting a Qb in rd 1, and I think Cutler would be the choice if he were available at 16, but if a team takes him in the top 10, it would be because a team is desperate for a Qb, like many are. The bandwagon for him has gotten huge, and I wonder how many people have actually watched him, or how many just like the idea of drafting a Qb that "experts" say is the real deal. I do believe he is the 3rd best Qb in the draft, and I just don't know if their will be 3 top ten Qb's, so I think he'll be available at 16 unless someone trades up.

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 03:50 PM
Ok with? No if that means I believe it. I truly believe he has what it takes to be a franchise QB in the NFL and I've been saying it all season. :goof:

Yeah but you have to have an appreciation for what you do not know or where you might be wrong. The historical success rate in this situation is right around 30-35 percent. If you are lucky enough to have hit that 30-35 percent area you've got a QB that can run your team for years and years and years. If not, you probably have bad QB play for the next 3 years while you wait for the guy to come around and he doesn't. On top of that you ask the question, do we give up a Ricky Williams for the right to take that chance.

It's tough, man. You have to roll the dice if you want to win, and Wannstedt's problem is he wouldn't ever roll the damn dice...and that is why our QB situation is so bad; constant underinvestment.

That percentage scares a lot of people away. They look at how many teams have won a super bowl without having drafted a first round QB and they say see, you don't need to draft a first round QB. But I think history has also shown that the best way to win consistently (including Super Bowls) is to have a good QB and the best, most reliable way to get a good QB is to draft one high in the first round.

rafael
01-26-2006, 04:14 PM
Yeah but you have to have an appreciation for what you do not know or where you might be wrong. The historical success rate in this situation is right around 30-35 percent. If you are lucky enough to have hit that 30-35 percent area you've got a QB that can run your team for years and years and years. If not, you probably have bad QB play for the next 3 years while you wait for the guy to come around and he doesn't. On top of that you ask the question, do we give up a Ricky Williams for the right to take that chance.

It's tough, man. You have to roll the dice if you want to win, and Wannstedt's problem is he wouldn't ever roll the damn dice...and that is why our QB situation is so bad; constant underinvestment.

That percentage scares a lot of people away. They look at how many teams have won a super bowl without having drafted a first round QB and they say see, you don't need to draft a first round QB. But I think history has also shown that the best way to win consistently (including Super Bowls) is to have a good QB and the best, most reliable way to get a good QB is to draft one high in the first round.

IMO, you need a QB. The alternatives are trading for somebody's backup or looking for the next Brady in the late rounds. I find the percentages for the alternatives to be even scarier.

Jaj
01-26-2006, 04:41 PM
The best alternative and smartest is probably trading down this year to the late 1st round range, trading Ricky for picks including one this year and a conditional next year, and drafting a safety net in the 3rd right now. That way next year most likely the Fins can have say atleast an extra 2nd and 3rd and still have received more picks in the year before. Then with two 2nds the team can probably now trade up to get a good QB.

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 04:59 PM
I'm with you. We need to try and win as much as we can right now but as far as drafting, drafting is and always has been investment in the future, and good investing requires a lot of draft picks to invest with.

There are definitely a fair few players that would entice me out of trading down...and if I did not feel the offer for Ricky was right I would not do it...but we should try those things.

Motion
01-26-2006, 05:02 PM
I think he is overhyped, like Kyle Boller was when he came out, like Jason Campbell was last year.

:confused: There was hype for Campbell?

Motion
01-26-2006, 05:03 PM
Yeah but you have to have an appreciation for what you do not know or where you might be wrong. The historical success rate in this situation is right around 30-35 percent. If you are lucky enough to have hit that 30-35 percent area you've got a QB that can run your team for years and years and years. If not, you probably have bad QB play for the next 3 years while you wait for the guy to come around and he doesn't. On top of that you ask the question, do we give up a Ricky Williams for the right to take that chance.

It's tough, man. You have to roll the dice if you want to win, and Wannstedt's problem is he wouldn't ever roll the damn dice...and that is why our QB situation is so bad; constant underinvestment.

That percentage scares a lot of people away. They look at how many teams have won a super bowl without having drafted a first round QB and they say see, you don't need to draft a first round QB. But I think history has also shown that the best way to win consistently (including Super Bowls) is to have a good QB and the best, most reliable way to get a good QB is to draft one high in the first round.

Very well put. Yes its a gamble, but one you have to take. You simply cannot win in the NFL without a playmaker at QB.

Jaj
01-26-2006, 05:12 PM
In late January scouts are already sold on Whitehurst? Says who? I just am not buying that at all..they haven't even had the combines yet..any scout that is "sold" already is an amatuer and should be fired.

That's completely off. You can't change your ability on a certain pass. It's there or it isn't. He has the arm strength to do it. That's NEVER been a question.

Jaj
01-26-2006, 05:13 PM
See the point is this year is not the last year that there will be three probable 1st round QBs. Next year Quinn and Stanton are definitely there barring complete collapses in their senior seasons. The third rising candidate is not known to this point, however I don't feel confident in spending more than Ricky to trade up for Cutler.

Caps
01-26-2006, 05:20 PM
:confused: There was hype for Campbell?

Yeah, you didn't know that? He was a second rounder during pretty much the entire scouting process, then next thing you know the Redskins are trading into the 1st round to nab him. He was seriously hyped up.

Motion
01-26-2006, 05:22 PM
Yeah, you didn't know that? He was a second rounder during pretty much the entire scouting process, then next thing you know the Redskins are trading into the 1st round to nab him. He was seriously hyped up.

Well personally I just thought it was a reach. I don't remember hearing alot of hype for him other than him being an early 2nd rounder.

PhinstiGator
01-26-2006, 05:31 PM
Well personally I just thought it was a reach. I don't remember hearing alot of hype for him other than him being an early 2nd rounder.
Campbell was a reach...but, the guy that the Redskins were hoping to get was MATT JONES. The skins had two 1st rounders and Gibbs really, really wanted to get a WR. Campbell was plan B...but, he could turn out to be a better NFL prospect than the top 2 QB's.

Motion
01-26-2006, 05:36 PM
Campbell was plan B...but, he could turn out to be a better NFL prospect than the top 2 QB's.

Very possible.


Yeah, WR is definitely Washington's top priority. TO perhaps?

Jaj
01-26-2006, 05:54 PM
They're in a massive cap situation.and I'd be up for trading them Booker for a mid-round pick and then going out and signing Wayne or preferrably Owens. That way we gain a pick, send a very agreeable contract to the Redskins with no signing bonus to the Skins, and sign a better receiver for only a few millon more.

Motion
01-26-2006, 05:55 PM
They're in a massive cap situation.and I'd be up for trading them Booker for a mid-round pick and then going out and signing Wayne or preferrably Owens. That way we gain a pick, send a very agreeable contract to the Redskins with no signing bonus to the Skins, and sign a better receiver for only a few millon more.

Sounds good to me.

adamprez2003
01-26-2006, 06:09 PM
Its funny I don't remember so many Cutler fans in here during the season. In fact there probably only 20 or so regulars to the draft section during the season. Its amazing how popular he is now, although it doesn't surprise me.

If you ever doubt a statement someone says all you have to do is check their previous posts. The two guys I've been hyping all year were Cutler and Gradkowski. I was hoping we could get Cutler with our second rounder and if we passed on him, Gradkowski in the 5th. Unfortunately Cutler has shot up the boards and we won't be able to get him with our first let alone second. I'm not sure Gradkowski would fit our system, a west coast offense is probably best suited for the guy, but I think he'll be a good backup at worst. Another guy to consider is Meyer, although he is one QB I havent seen play. From what I've read about the guy, he seems like an intriguing prospect.

The one guy I was wrong about this year is Vince Young. I didn't buy into his hype all year until the USC game. He reminds me of a more mobile young Steve McNair and whoever gets him has a chance at a very special QB

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 06:13 PM
They're in a massive cap situation.and I'd be up for trading them Booker for a mid-round pick and then going out and signing Wayne or preferrably Owens. That way we gain a pick, send a very agreeable contract to the Redskins with no signing bonus to the Skins, and sign a better receiver for only a few millon more.

If we're going to do something like that, Antwan Randle-El is set to be a free agent, he's always been a very reliable, speedy playmaker and he has definitely expressed interest in playing under Mike Mularkey again...even though he's about to go to the Super Bowl with the Steelers. He was being interviewed about Mularkey and basically even though he's about to go to the Super Bowl he couldn't hide his desire to play for Mularkey again. Reggie Wayne is looking like he'll be franchised, as the rumors indicate the Colts will do anything to keep him after finally managing to groom a decent 2nd WR along side Harrison. Terrell Owens of course brings with him a boat load of headaches...and the players would not be happy in the least. When Randy and Chris said those things about Owens, they were basically sticking up for Marty Booker and made no attempt to hide it. If we sign Owens and trade Booker, I think that would be even worse than just signing Owens.

Of course, I doubt the Skins bite on a trade that sends them Marty Booker for something approaching a decent pick. They have a late 3rd that I doubt they would part with...and they have no 4th.

ckparrothead
01-26-2006, 06:14 PM
Alright enough with the p!ssing match. Zip up the flies boys.

BigDogsHunt
01-26-2006, 08:14 PM
Alright enough with the p!ssing match. Zip up the flies boys.

LOL....Ck, you could post that exact response in like 3 or 4 other threads today thoughout this site....man if I didnt know better I would think its a new moon or something.

SammySmif
01-27-2006, 12:09 AM
That's completely off. You can't change your ability on a certain pass. It's there or it isn't. He has the arm strength to do it. That's NEVER been a question.

Look, if you think Whitehurst is that good and scouts are "sold" on him, you are in a PAC-10 world of delusion. He makes poor decisions and struggles with the deep out. In ACC land over here, I watched him play almost every week. He is not a starter for the Dolphins. If he is, we are in trouble. No scout is sold on this guy (too early), and the combines are very important in determining where a player rates.

If you think his ability can't change on a certain pass (whatever that means), you should have watched more Clemson games. This guy was VERY inconsistent. That is not even debated among Clemson fans.

Jaj
01-27-2006, 12:27 AM
Look, if you think Whitehurst is that good and scouts are "sold" on him, you are in a PAC-10 world of delusion. He makes poor decisions and struggles with the deep out. In ACC land over here, I watched him play almost every week. He is not a starter for the Dolphins. If he is, we are in trouble. No scout is sold on this guy (too early), and the combines are very important in determining where a player rates.

If you think his ability can't change on a certain pass (whatever that means), you should have watched more Clemson games. This guy was VERY inconsistent. That is not even debated among Clemson fans.

I never said he's that good or anything, it's just its obvious he can complete that pass :goof:

PhinsTD
01-27-2006, 12:37 AM
I've been impressed with Whitehurst since early in the season when he brought his team back to beat my team...the Maryland Terps. He showed a mature leadership and patience using a balanced attack to grab the momentum of the game and never let go.

He has a history of winning games. "...has a perfect 3-0 record in career overtime games, including wins over Virginia (2003), Wake Forest (2004), and Miami (FL) (2004)."

The knock on him that you will continue to hear from Maylock is "Inconsistency". Mainly, that knock comes from his dip in performance during his junior year. Perhaps, for anyone who cares...there are real team related reasons for his lack of progress that year.

2004

But, we really need to focus on how the kid played THIS year. He really made some positive strides in a balanced attack and brought his completion percentage up to 67%.

And another plus is the genetic engineering...his father was a QB for the Packers.

http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/playerDetail.jsp?yr=2005&org=147&player=6

I'm not sure how old the stats you pulled for Whitehurst are, but he (Clemson) lost to Miami in OT this year.

I'm ok with any of these guys in the 3rd/4th rounds, but I wouldn't want us to use our 2nd on any of them honestly because I believe there will simply be better players available at that spot. It doesn't mean I don't think they're good enough players, I just feel you get yourself into trouble taking players higher than they should go.

I'm sure that Miami will identify several QB's they like this year and then assign a value to them, if they are there when they pick, they'll take them. If not, I'm sure they'll do the smart thing and take the best collection of players they can assemble and move on to the next QB they are high on.

Making desperate moves and taking players of "need" before they should be, is something the last regime specialized in, but not Saban and crew.

SammySmif
01-27-2006, 12:41 AM
sometimes..not always.

my short QB list:

Cutler
Croyle
Jacobs
Gradowski

CD13
01-27-2006, 07:28 AM
If we're going to do something like that, Antwan Randle-El is set to be a free agent, he's always been a very reliable, speedy playmaker and he has definitely expressed interest in playing under Mike Mularkey again...even though he's about to go to the Super Bowl with the Steelers. He was being interviewed about Mularkey and basically even though he's about to go to the Super Bowl he couldn't hide his desire to play for Mularkey again. Reggie Wayne is looking like he'll be franchised, as the rumors indicate the Colts will do anything to keep him after finally managing to groom a decent 2nd WR along side Harrison. Terrell Owens of course brings with him a boat load of headaches...and the players would not be happy in the least. When Randy and Chris said those things about Owens, they were basically sticking up for Marty Booker and made no attempt to hide it. If we sign Owens and trade Booker, I think that would be even worse than just signing Owens.

Of course, I doubt the Skins bite on a trade that sends them Marty Booker for something approaching a decent pick. They have a late 3rd that I doubt they would part with...and they have no 4th.

Trading booker and getting owens would be just downright stupid. I do like the idead of Randle-El, although that would take away Wes Welker on punt returns.