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View Full Version : When high-risk players go too high



NaboCane
03-23-2007, 05:10 PM
A point was brought up in the forums about the upcoming draft; the observation was that this draft seems to have a lot of talent in the area from about the 20th to about the 60th pick. It got me to thinking...

If there is so much value from about mid-1st to the end of the second, then why aren't those the players that teams are taking in the first half of round one?

The truth is that at the top, this draft has some exceptional talent; it also seems true that this year, in an overwhelming number of players projected high, that talent comes with some hefty question marks.

You always have players at the top who have issues; to one extent or another, everyone has issues. But it seems that this year, more of the top 15-20 consensus picks have bigger, more worrisome issues than in years past.

Yet undeniably, like every year, teams will overwhelmingly choose to ignore those red flags in favor of talent, physique, speed, size, or any combination of those attributes.

The deep-seated problem with that, and, in my opinion, the core reason for the high number of busts at the top of the draft, is that taking that sort of risk with as valuable a property as a 1st-round pick is just foolish.

Say you were looking to buy a car; if you had only $12,000 to spend, you would look at cars in your price range and see things you wouldn't like...lack of features and amenities, cheap plastic components, cramped seating...you get the picture. But you'd accept those things as part of the downside of buying a cheaper car.

But let's say you had $250,000 to spend on a car; doesn't that change things? Of course it does! What a silly question, right?

You would hardly go look at a quarter-million dollar car and expect to see a lack of features and amenities, cheap plastic components, cramped seating...you get the picture. You'd want $250,000's worth of car, dammit!

Yet every year, about half the NFL teams drafting in the first round pay for the McLaren Mercedes, but end up with something between a Yugo and an Acura.

It's because they look at the "McLaren" and only seem to see the nice paint, the HID headlights, the 22" race-tuned wheels. They completely gloss over the lack of features and amenities, the cheap plastic components, the cramped seating (they call it "snug")...they ignore all the signs that scream “Yugo with HID headlights!"

Here's a good example; check this guy out:


Levi Brown
Weaknesses:
Lacks a mean streak and may not have that killer instinct...Is not overly powerful or aggressive...Is not a great technician...Somewhat inconsistent player who can be dominant at times and a bit lackadaisical at others...Needs to play with better leverage...It's not a given that he'll be able to stay at left tackle once in the pros.

This guy is big, tall, athletic...he's projected as a top-ten pick - #5 in one mock.

Now, this assessment may not be accurate in every respect; but it must be accurate in some respects, or the writer wouldn't be Scott Wright, a respected member of the draftnik community. And according to him, this big, strong, athletic player:

lacks the requisite meanness to play OL in the pros;
lacks killer instinct;
lacks power;
lacks aggressiveness
has less-than adequate technique;
is lackadaisical - meaning he doesn't care enough to do well at times;
and the kicker: might not be a good Left Tackle in the NFL! Guess what position he will be drafted to play?But hey, he's big! And he ran a terrific cone drill. Just a marvelous cone drill.

And this isn't an isolated incident; it's way more common than you'd think among a bunch of guys who make their living doing this draft thing.


Gaines Adams
Weaknesses:
Does not have the ideal bulk you look for and needs to add some weight...Does not play the run nearly as well as he does the pass...Needs to get stronger...Can play with better pad level and leverage...Struggles when blockers are able to lock on...Might be a bit of a DE / OLB 'tweener...Becomes somewhat one-dimensional at times...Will get overly aggressive and run himself out of plays...Intelligence???

Small, plays the run less-than well, needs to get stronger, less-than adequate technique, can't break blocks, doesn't really have a position in the pros ('tweener), one dimensional, dumb and gets himself run out of plays.

But he's projected in the top ten.


Jamaal Anderson
Weaknesses:
Does not have a lot of starting experience...Timed speed and quickness are good but not great...Still pretty raw and will need some technique work...Will play too high and needs to display more consistent leverage...He will struggle to separate from blocks at times...You could run the risk that he is simply a one-year wonder.


An unknown quantity, possibly a one-year wonder...but some team is going to trade the 5th-to-10th most-valuable property in the NFL for him.


Alan Branch
Weaknesses:
Is not a great pass rusher...Not real explosive and lacks elite quickness...Might be a little too tall and does not always play with proper leverage...Does not use his hands to work around blockers very well...Stamina and weight have been issues.

Here's a guy some have us taking at #9. Stands to make millions, but just can't bring himself to give up McDonalds, apparently. Top ten.

But my favorite travesty remains Levi Brown. You just can't beat that for sheer laughs.

That he is projected at top ten based on his positives, yet that no one seems to be looking at his negatives and pushing back from the table is, to me, indicative of the flawed mentality in general that permeates the draft.

And it's not changing ay time soon; but we can hope and pray that Randy Mueller is slightly more evolved than the average NFL GM/Head Coach/team owner.

CANDolphan
03-23-2007, 05:24 PM
Even Calvin Johnson has negatives written about him..

TexanPhinatic
03-23-2007, 07:40 PM
I think people at the top have more perceived controversy because they are in the spotlight. People look deeper at them, and become more argumentative over them than others projected lower. Everyone has weaknesses, I think the top players just get overplayed.

That said, I agree on pretty much all those players you listed ;)

zach8111
03-23-2007, 07:51 PM
thats why the offensive line sould be a second round positiion to be fill, not first. you can get a really good QB/WR/S and in the second round take an o-lineman that is almost as good as joe thomas and iut would be less of a risk.

VT Dolphan
03-23-2007, 08:26 PM
So who would you like to see us take then if we stay at nine Nabo? If you're going by players with the least about of weaknesses, I'm assuming Landry is the choice?

Myles Fynch
03-23-2007, 08:46 PM
Well done. And when you throw in the money factor of what the guys at the top of the draft get, it really makes you scratch your head.

There are several options available to Cam & Mueller to kick off the new leadership.

1.) Package several picks and move up as high as you can to get a stud that will lead our franchise for the next decade.

2.) Stay at #9 and take the highest rated player on your board.

3.) Trade down for more picks, hopefully in that sweet spot between #20 and #60 that you mentioned above, and try to improve the talent on our roster with a "carpet bombing" technique.

Part of me wants Quinn to be our QB badly... but I didn't like how he played in some big games, even taking into account the talent disparity between ND and their opponents. Maybe Cam can develop him into the next Tom Brady (he seems smart enough and strong enough), but if he can't, you just paid a terrible price to find that out.

Part of me wants to stay at #9 so we don't overpay in picks or cash for our first rounder. But I don't want to be "stuck" with the guy that 8 teams didn't feel belonged in the Top 8. :( I don't really care what anyone else in the league thinks if we land a great player, but it is true that if we stay at #9, eight teams liked their guy better than ours.

Finally, part of me realizes this is a crap-shoot... so many first rounders that appear to be sure things never even become average players, let alone great ones. Might as well try to accumulate picks in the middle of Day One and play the numbers game. Like any raffle, the winner is usually either the luckiest one, or the guy holding the most tickets.

I think I like strategies #1 and #3 better than #2. With the draft five weeks away, that's probably subject to change, as well. :D

miamiron
03-24-2007, 06:30 AM
A point was brought up in the forums about the upcoming draft; the observation was that this draft seems to have a lot of talent in the area from about the 20th to about the 60th pick. It got me to thinking...

If there is so much value from about mid-1st to the end of the second, then why aren't those the players that teams are taking in the first half of round one?

The truth is that at the top, this draft has some exceptional talent; it seems true that this year, in an overwhelming number of players projected high, that talent comes with some hefty question marks.

You always have players at the top who have issues; to one extent or another, everyone has issues. But it seems that this year, more of the top 15-20 consensus picks have bigger, more worrisome issues than in years past.

Yet undeniably, like every year, teams will overwhelmingly choose to ignore those red flags in favor of talent, physique, speed, size, or any combination of those attributes.

The deep-seated problem with that, and, in my opinion, the core reason for the high number of busts at the top of the draft, is that taking that sort of risk with as valuable a property as a 1st-round pick is just foolish.

Say you were looking to buy a car; if you had only $12,000 to spend, you would look at cars in your price range and see things you wouldn't like...lack of features and amenities, cheap plastic components, cramped seating...you get the picture. But you'd accept those things as part of the downside of buying a cheaper car.

But let's say you had $250,000 to spend on a car; doesn't that change things? Of course it does! What a silly question, right?

You would hardly go look at a quarter-million dollar car and expect to see a lack of features and amenities, cheap plastic components, cramped seating...you get the picture. You'd want $250,000's worth of car, dammit!

Yet every year, about half the NFL teams drafting in the first round pay for the McLaren Mercedes, but end up with something between a Yugo and an Acura.

It's because they look at the "McLaren" and only seem to see the nice paint, the HID headlights, the 22" race-tuned wheels. They completely gloss over the lack of features and amenities, the cheap plastic components, the cramped seating (they call it "snug")...they ignore all the signs that scream “Yugo with HID headlights!"

Here's a good example; check this guy out:


=NFL Draft Countdown]Levi Brown Weaknesses:
Lacks a mean streak and may not have that killer instinct...Is not overly powerful or aggressive...Is not a great technician...Somewhat inconsistent player who can be dominant at times and a bit lackadaisical at others...Needs to play with better leverage...It's not a given that he'll be able to stay at left tackle once in the pros.

This guy is big, tall, athletic...he's projected as a top-ten pick - #5 in one mock.

Now, this assessment may not be accurate in every respect; but it must be accurate in some respects, or the writer wouldn't be Scott Wright, a respected member of the draftnik community. And according to him, this big, strong, athletic player:

lacks the requisite meanness to play OL in the pros;
lacks killer instinct;
lacks power;
lacks aggressiveness
has less-than adequate technique;
is lackadaisical - meaning he doesn't care enough to do well at times;
and the kicker: might not be a good Left Tackle in the NFL! Guess what position he will be drafted to play?But hey, he's big! And he ran a terrific cone drill. Just a marvelous cone drill.

And this isn't an isolated incident; it's way more common than you'd think among a bunch of guys who make their living doing this draft thing.



Small, plays the run less-than well, needs to get stronger, less-than adequate technique, can't break blocks, doesn't really have a position in the pros ('tweener), one dimensional, dumb and gets himself run out of plays.

But he's projected in the top ten.



An unknown quantity, possibly a one-year wonder...but some team is going to trade the 5th-to-10th most-valuable property in the NFL for him.



Here's a guy some have us taking at #9. Stands to make millions, but just can't bring himself to give up McDonalds, apparently. Top ten.

But my favorite travesty remains Levi Brown. You just can't beat that for sheer laughs.

That he is projected at top ten based on his positives, yet that no one seems to be looking at his negatives and pushing back from the table is, to me, indicative of the flawed mentality in general that permeates the draft.

And it's not changing ay time soon; but we can hope and pray that Randy Mueller is slightly more evolved than the average NFL GM/Head Coach/team owner.

Another opinion by some guy
I watched all the pro bowl practice tapes as well as the pro bowl and Levi DOMINATED everyone...Spencer got by him a few times but other than that the whole week he simply DOMINATED....as for SPANKY'S opinion on Brown I did not see anything remotely like he was saying.

I think you can trade down amd pick up an extra pick and still get Levi but to say the things that this JOKER said is just plain idiotic!!

The Confessor
03-24-2007, 08:02 AM
Excellent thread Nabo. My take:

Everybody has some downside. Reggie Bush last year, most highly touted to come into the draft in years, yet, he was a tweener at RB, WR, KR ......Not sure if he could handle the carries he would be expected to take in the NFL.

I think the succesfull teams look at a few things, among them:
1. How much do these weaknesses affect how he is going to fit into our scheme.
2. Are they weaknesses that our staff can overcome, or are these going to be things that are "Uncoachable".
3. Of course how do these weaknesses stack up to whom we currently have on our roster that this incoming pick is going to replace...

GCD960
03-24-2007, 09:04 AM
What players dont have weakness?

Agent51
03-24-2007, 09:23 AM
A point was brought up in the forums about the upcoming draft; the observation was that this draft seems to have a lot of talent in the area from about the 20th to about the 60th pick. It got me to thinking...

If there is so much value from about mid-1st to the end of the second, then why aren't those the players that teams are taking in the first half of round one?

The truth is that at the top, this draft has some exceptional talent; it seems true that this year, in an overwhelming number of players projected high, that talent comes with some hefty question marks.

You always have players at the top who have issues; to one extent or another, everyone has issues. But it seems that this year, more of the top 15-20 consensus picks have bigger, more worrisome issues than in years past.

Yet undeniably, like every year, teams will overwhelmingly choose to ignore those red flags in favor of talent, physique, speed, size, or any combination of those attributes.

The deep-seated problem with that, and, in my opinion, the core reason for the high number of busts at the top of the draft, is that taking that sort of risk with as valuable a property as a 1st-round pick is just foolish.

Say you were looking to buy a car; if you had only $12,000 to spend, you would look at cars in your price range and see things you wouldn't like...lack of features and amenities, cheap plastic components, cramped seating...you get the picture. But you'd accept those things as part of the downside of buying a cheaper car.

But let's say you had $250,000 to spend on a car; doesn't that change things? Of course it does! What a silly question, right?

You would hardly go look at a quarter-million dollar car and expect to see a lack of features and amenities, cheap plastic components, cramped seating...you get the picture. You'd want $250,000's worth of car, dammit!

Yet every year, about half the NFL teams drafting in the first round pay for the McLaren Mercedes, but end up with something between a Yugo and an Acura.

It's because they look at the "McLaren" and only seem to see the nice paint, the HID headlights, the 22" race-tuned wheels. They completely gloss over the lack of features and amenities, the cheap plastic components, the cramped seating (they call it "snug")...they ignore all the signs that scream “Yugo with HID headlights!"

Here's a good example; check this guy out:

[QUOTENFL Draft Countdown]Levi Brown Weaknesses:
Lacks a mean streak and may not have that killer instinct...Is not overly powerful or aggressive...Is not a great technician...Somewhat inconsistent player who can be dominant at times and a bit lackadaisical at others...Needs to play with better leverage...It's not a given that he'll be able to stay at left tackle once in the pros.

This guy is big, tall, athletic...he's projected as a top-ten pick - #5 in one mock.

Now, this assessment may not be accurate in every respect; but it must be accurate in some respects, or the writer wouldn't be Scott Wright, a respected member of the draftnik community. And according to him, this big, strong, athletic player:

lacks the requisite meanness to play OL in the pros;
lacks killer instinct;
lacks power;
lacks aggressiveness
has less-than adequate technique;
is lackadaisical - meaning he doesn't care enough to do well at times;
and the kicker: might not be a good Left Tackle in the NFL! Guess what position he will be drafted to play?But hey, he's big! And he ran a terrific cone drill. Just a marvelous cone drill.

And this isn't an isolated incident; it's way more common than you'd think among a bunch of guys who make their living doing this draft thing.



Small, plays the run less-than well, needs to get stronger, less-than adequate technique, can't break blocks, doesn't really have a position in the pros ('tweener), one dimensional, dumb and gets himself run out of plays.

But he's projected in the top ten.



An unknown quantity, possibly a one-year wonder...but some team is going to trade the 5th-to-10th most-valuable property in the NFL for him.



Here's a guy some have us taking at #9. Stands to make millions, but just can't bring himself to give up McDonalds, apparently. Top ten.

But my favorite travesty remains Levi Brown. You just can't beat that for sheer laughs.

That he is projected at top ten based on his positives, yet that no one seems to be looking at his negatives and pushing back from the table is, to me, indicative of the flawed mentality in general that permeates the draft.

And it's not changing ay time soon; but we can hope and pray that Randy Mueller is slightly more evolved than the average NFL GM/Head Coach/team owner.


Excellent post Nabo, although I'm still trying to figure out if you got hosed on a Mclaren mercedes :D

You're exactly right though, and I'm also glad you posted about Adams, Anderson, Brown, and Branch, citing them as examples, as they are all people mock drafts have use taking and I am opposed to all of them for those very reasons, ESPECIALLY Alan Branch.

I don't really need to elaborate becase you already stated all the important facts, but I don't want any of those guys.

Agent51
03-24-2007, 09:25 AM
What players dont have weakness?

None, but I believe the point of the thread is there are players projected later on that have less glaring weaknesses than these guy projected in the top 10-15, but people are getting caught up in the name and looking past the weaknesses, whereas the later guys who's names aren't as big don't have the luxury of blinding people with their star status, which is why they unfairly get projected behind players who may have more weaknesses than they do.

finfan54
03-24-2007, 09:26 AM
I think the way weaknesses are written sometimes are over the top, but to say that Levi Brown has no power just nullify's my respect towards the whole opinion of that particular scout.

The key is to take in as many opinions as you can and then take in the whole pie and take every weakness into account that jibes with others.

Then you throw out the extreme ones that go overboard or are outliers statistically. The one on Brown I have read before, I never once believed the extremity of it because it emphatically stated two wrong findings IMO. One, he has no power (thats rediculous because it also says he locks on its over) Thats power. Two, cant play left tackle. He has been playing LT for the Penn ST Nittany Lions. Not Central Michigan. For four years. I can see with my own eyes what his weaknesses are, but when it comes down to it, he can play the position with power, he just needs to take it to the next level and he certainly can with his leadership skills and going up against the best every day in practice. That being said, I dont think management is liking Brown for whatever reason. Oh well. He will probably go to another team and show he can play and then we regret it.

Agent51
03-24-2007, 09:31 AM
I think the way weaknesses are written sometimes are over the top, but to say that Levi Brown has no power just nullify's my respect towards the whole opinion of that particular scout.

The key is to take in as many opinions as you can and then take in the whole pie and take every weakness into account that jibes with others.

Then you throw out the extreme ones that go overboard or are outliers statistically. The one on Brown I have read before, I never once believed the extremity of it because it emphatically stated two wrong findings IMO. One, he has no power (thats rediculous because it also says he locks on its over) Thats power. Two, cant play left tackle. He has been playing LT for the Penn ST Nittany Lions. Not Central Michigan. For four years. I can see with my own eyes what his weaknesses are, but when it comes down to it, he can play the position with power, he just needs to take it to the next level and he certainly can with his leadership skills and going up against the best every day in practice. That being said, I dont think management is liking Brown for whatever reason. Oh well. He will probably go to another team and show he can play and then we regret it.

The thing that gets me with the "strengths/weaknesses" scouting reports are they always contradict themselves. Like, in strengths it will say "plays with a mean streak and ferociousness and is a hard hitter" but then it weaknesses it says "lacks aggression and doesn't play a physical game" :confused:. That was an actual example I saw from one of the later-round prospects a mock had us taking (the guy who made the mock didn't say that stuff, I looked up the player on a professional scouting site and that's what it said). Anther true example was "excellent burst and speed, plays with intensity and never slows down" for the strengths but then the weaknesses said "doesn't play a fast game and lacks initial burst off the line". That was for a WR.

PeterNorth
03-24-2007, 10:38 AM
Most of the time, I don't think that it is a case of the lower ranked guys having fewer glaring weaknesses. I think it is just that the guys slated at the top are much more scrutinized because of the prestige and value associated with the real high picks. There is a lot more risk (read:money) involved with them for teams. Just like if most people were going to buy something at a store for 5 dollars, they would likely just go and pick it up without much hesitation. Now, if they were going to be buying something that was 500 dollars, they are much more likely to do a lot of research, brand and price comparison, etc. In doing that, you are more likely to discover more flaws, or at least the ones that you already knew existed would be more magnified because of the high price tag.

If lower ranked players truly had fewer glaring weaknesses than the guys everyone picks to go really high, then those players would be ranked high by everyone themselves to begin with. There are valid reasons why they aren't (most of the time). We just don't hear about them on quite the same in depth level because the early 1st round picks are the glamour picks. Anything after the 1st or 2nd rounds is meaningless to a lot of people, most notably the "casual fan."