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PewterKrew
02-05-2007, 12:53 PM
When it comes to scouting talent for the up coming NFL draft, the first round of the draft, particularly in the top 15 selections, does not of course guarantee the team drafting of finding a player that will translate into NFL greatness. But, certain positions do offer far more stability in terms of performance while leaving less likelihood of a prospect becoming a bust at the next level.

As most NFL draft nik’s would know - by far the safest top-10 selection by position is Defensive End. Over the last decade, defensive ends drafted in the top 15 picks have generally been extremely productive. We're talking guys like Simeon Rice, Dwight Freeney, Justin Smith, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Richard Seymour, Shaun Ellis, John Abraham, Shawn Merriman, Demarcus Ware, etc. With the rare exception of guys like Andre Wadsworth (who you cant count because his problems are directly related to injury) and Coutrney Brown The reason for this is obvious - the shift from the college ranks to the NFL ranks is pretty simple. DE are still responsible for the exact same function they had in college – apply pressure to the QB. LT's are of course more physically stout in the NFL, but the function of a DE is still the same at the pro level, so great performance coupled with physically gifted prospects with skills to turn the corner and get after the QB are a pretty good indicator of performance at the next level.

The second safest position is of course Left Tackle. There will be guys like Tony Mandarich, Robert Gallery, Kenyatta Walker and Mike WIlliams (who had no business playing LT at the pro level with slow feet). But for the most part - the best LT's in the NFL are all top 15 selections. In fact, you can't name me a pro-bowl LT that wasn’t drafted in the top-15. Jonathan Ogden, Willie Roaf, Tony Boselli, Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Levi Jones, Willie Anderson, Chris Samuels and Paul Gruber who should have gone to several pro-bowls.

Linebacker would probably be considered the second safest, or even safest except LB's are typically not drafted top-10. The rare top-10 LB (and I'm talking about linebackers - not DE/OLB tweeners and prospects suited to play outside LB in a 3-4 scheme, because thats really just another name for DE in the 3-4 scheme). This is particularly true of Middle linebacker’s.

As for gamble positions at the pro level, we all know the obvious 3 – QB, RB and WR so we'll ignore the first two QB and RB, While we take a look at the wide receiver position at the next level. The wide receiver position at the pro level is a huge toss-up and one of the biggest gambles. Sure, there are plenty of Larry Fitzgeralds, Torry Holts and Andre Johnsons. But there are even more JJ Stokes, Reggie Williams, Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, David Terrells, Peter Warricks, David Bostons and Travis Taylors that are drafted. That said, you can still find number one receivers in later rounds of the draft guys like Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, Jimmy Smith are a few.

So then the Bucs could have a shot at either Joe Thomas, Gaines Adams or Calvin Johnson in the up coming draft and with all the facts out in the open yet there is still plenty of debate going on about who the team should pick. Well at this point my money is on Thomas if he is still on the board when the Bucs are on the clock it is nearly impossible to imagine Jon Gruden not going after Thomas since he could step in and make the line much better from day one., while allowing Gruden to finally open up his entire playbook. Don’t get be wrong it is virtually impossible to imagine Calvin Johnson not being a success at the NFL level. I don't know if there's ever been a physical specimen like Johnson to come out of college. At this stage I think he is better then Randy Moss was when he was drafted in 1998. Johnson has something Moss has never had the ability to go over the middle while also being a possession receiver, so I still consider Johnson a safe pick.

However, one of, if not the biggest toss-up, boom-or-bust (QB notwithstanding) positions in the NFL draft is Defensive Tackle. There's just no forecasting this one (and its so ironic because DE is the safest). If you want a perfect example of what I'm getting at look no further then the 2003 draft. 5 DT's ( if you count Seymour but he came out as a DE and does play the DE/DT role in the Patriots 3-4) were taken in the top-15. Dwayne Robertson – good but not great. Jonathan Sullivan - complete bust, Kevin Williams - pro-bowler. Jimmy Kennedy - huge bust. Or the draft before that when John Henderson turned out great - but Ryan Sims was selected ahead of him, while Wendell Bryant was selected behind him. Or the year before that, when Marcus Stroud was the 13th pick, but Gerard Warren was the 3rd overall pick in the draft by the Browns. Or you can just recall such prospects like Russell Maryland and Dan Wilkinson and Steve Emtman, who played a combined 31 seasons and have a combined 1 pro-bowl between them. So before you go gaga over Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye just because he was great in the college ranks does not mean that he will translate to the pro game and become a force in the middle.


If you have gained anything from this, please remember this. That sometimes it is better to go with the safe pick rather then the sexy pick when it comes to drafting prospects in the NFL.

Pocoloco
02-05-2007, 01:05 PM
great post

VT Dolphan
02-05-2007, 01:09 PM
Wow...that was just a really good post. Its hard to argue against really anything you just said. The success of DE's makes it very hard to pass up on a guy like Gaines Adams or Jamaal Anderson if they are there at nine. On the other hand, if Brady Quinn is still there, I would rather have him despite the high QB bust rate. Tackles generally succeed as well, but exactly how good is Levi Brown? I think he'll be a solid lineman, but I don't know about Pro-Bowl caliber.

PewterKrew
02-05-2007, 01:11 PM
Thank you I am a huge Bucs fan but thought that I would share with everyome here. This board really seems to invite people to talk about football. I am glad that you liked the post. After doing the research on it it was very interesting about the number of bust vs. boom players at each position.

Killer308
02-05-2007, 01:23 PM
That was really good information and great examples of different situations. The only thing I would comment on is calling a 1st Rnd pick RB a gamble. Most seem to break-out or on the verge too. Please correct me if I am wrong.

paulomac77
02-05-2007, 01:25 PM
i dont mind if levi browns not a pro bowler but if drafting him means ronnie brown b/c a pro bowl RB then we should draft him

PewterKrew
02-05-2007, 01:30 PM
Killer306, there have been many running backs drafted in the first round that never reach their true potential. Ron Dayne, Thomas Jones, Rodney Hampton, Tim Biakabutak(spelling),Kevin Jones-has had two bad years in a row, Chris Perry, off the top of my head

PHINishinStrong
02-05-2007, 01:32 PM
Awesome Post.

dahlmarino
02-05-2007, 01:44 PM
You've done your homework. Good research and good theories.

uga3406
02-05-2007, 02:20 PM
Thank you I am a huge Bucs fan but thought that I would share with everyome here. This board really seems to invite people to talk about football. I am glad that you liked the post. After doing the research on it it was very interesting about the number of bust vs. boom players at each position.


good post and just cause u r a bucs fan u r always welcome in here...now say if u were a bills fan that be different lol

phinphan4life
02-05-2007, 02:25 PM
Best post I've read in a while.

Crowder52
02-05-2007, 02:26 PM
Props to the OP. Definitely something to think about.

Killer308
02-05-2007, 02:30 PM
Killer306, there have been many running backs drafted in the first round that never reach their true potential. Ron Dayne, Thomas Jones, Rodney Hampton, Tim Biakabutak(spelling),Kevin Jones-has had two bad years in a row, Chris Perry, off the top of my head
Thomas Jones? :shakeno: He had 1300+ in 05 and 1200+ in 06 and from a 2 back system? Kevin Jones? he's been hurt two years in row.

O.K. how about Edge, LT, LJ, Magahee, Alexander, Dunn, Fred Taylor, Addai, Lewis, Duece, and Jackson. To name some active ones. With players like Brown, Morency, and Maurice-Drew all on the verge of break out.

PewterKrew
02-05-2007, 02:43 PM
Killer308, Morency, Drew i dont think were taken in the first round yes even though Jones has had two decent season what about his first 5 years in the league? Edge has a bad year this year. Dunn before going to the Falcons had a few 1000 yard season but was up and down in Tampa. Taylor has not been the same back for a while now. Duece is coming back from injury and is up one year down the next. Jackson has had one good year this past season. Larry Johnson sat for what 2 years. LT is a beast. Alexander I will give you.

dolpns13
02-05-2007, 03:04 PM
Killer306, there have been many running backs drafted in the first round that never reach their true potential. Ron Dayne, Thomas Jones, Rodney Hampton, Tim Biakabutak(spelling),Kevin Jones-has had two bad years in a row, Chris Perry, off the top of my head

Thomas Jones is a good runningback...Funny how he sucked when he was with a ****ty team for the 1st three years of his career, and the last 4 years of hs career he has been with good teams and averaging over 4 yards per carry

PewterKrew
02-05-2007, 03:10 PM
Great running backs dont need a good team to be great they can make the cuts and runs without the help from a good team. Barry Sanders, LT his first few years in the league. Walter Payton was not always on a great team. there have been many running backs that make things happen on there own. that is why they are elite running backs while average running backs need to be a good team for them to preform

dolpns13
02-05-2007, 03:26 PM
Great running backs dont need a good team to be great they can make the cuts and runs without the help from a good team. Barry Sanders, LT his first few years in the league. Walter Payton was not always on a great team. there have been many running backs that make things happen on there own. that is why they are elite running backs while average running backs need to be a good team for them to preform

They do NEED somwhat of a good line though. You can't run through a hole that isnt there. Yeah, an elite runningback can create some things, but they can't do it all by themselves play after play after play

Chavez Ravine
02-05-2007, 04:01 PM
What is your take on the secondary.

I see them as a gamble pick most time.

dolpns13
02-05-2007, 04:13 PM
What is your take on the secondary.

I see them as a gamble pick most time.

On our secondary? We need a FA shutdown corner and then release will allen, or one of our more expensive corners...

Motion
02-05-2007, 04:20 PM
On our secondary? We need a FA shutdown corner and then release will allen, or one of our more expensive corners...

Who are you gonna start opposite of this FA Shutdown Corner if you cut Allen?

Stitches
02-05-2007, 04:25 PM
Who are you gonna start opposite of this FA Shutdown Corner if you cut Allen?

He'll probably say Daniels. :rolleyes2

dolpns13
02-05-2007, 04:30 PM
Who are you gonna start opposite of this FA Shutdown Corner if you cut Allen?

Goodman did pretty good this year. I would say Goodman and Allen perform somewhat at the same level with Allen being just slightly better. We could see what J. Allen could do for us at corner, maybe by the grace of god will poole could get back to us...

dolpns13
02-05-2007, 04:30 PM
He'll probably say Daniels. :rolleyes2

Come on man...Daniels is no more than a nickle corner

Stitches
02-05-2007, 04:53 PM
Goodman did pretty good this year. I would say Goodman and Allen perform somewhat at the same level with Allen being just slightly better. We could see what J. Allen could do for us at corner, maybe by the grace of god will poole could get back to us...

Will Allen played much better than Poole ever did for us.

dolpns13
02-05-2007, 05:52 PM
Will Allen played much better than Poole ever did for us.

Lol...love the sarcasm

nstand
02-05-2007, 06:32 PM
very good post and excellent research.

Levi Brown please Cam.

C-HUCKS
02-05-2007, 06:52 PM
Great post and good work on your research, even though I think drafting a RB in generally in the first round is a safe bet

Elliott 1
02-05-2007, 07:52 PM
Will allen is great, he just can't catch. He has the worst rock hands I have ever seen. When facing Brady and Pennington you can't have your DB's dropping balls that should be intercepted. These QB's don't make many mistakes and when they do you have to capitalize, because the next play will be a completion for a 1st down. To compete in our division we need corners who can make the interception. We need Asante Samuel. Travis Daniels has shown he can make the pick, he has decent hands. It doesn't look good as far as Poole goes but watch out this year for Mitchell. He has all the tools;great hands,great speed,quickness and is very fluid in his movements. Even in pre-season last year when he was making huge mental blunders on coverage, he was kicking.....against the run. Everyone knew he was going to be extremely raw, switching from wr to cb in college and then the devasting knee injury. Supposedly he is healthy now and he might go to NFL Europe. He could make a difference this year at the nickel or dime.

fish fan 4 life
02-05-2007, 10:13 PM
Good post

Crunkcore
02-05-2007, 10:30 PM
Great post.

PewterKrew
02-06-2007, 08:45 AM
Thanks for all the kind words but any prospect is a gamble no matter what round they are picked. that is why they are prospects and not all pros