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Thread: Ja'Wuan James

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckparrothead View Post
    I think the "who's the best" question at right tackle may be a bit loaded. It's a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. Part of the reason those guys are considered the best is BECAUSE they were taken high. And so it's no wonder when you stack them up it looks like a trend that they were all taken high.

    Meanwhile guys like Demar Dotson (UDFA) and Zach Strief (7th round) are playing as good or better than many of those guys. They're not as well regarded, and a big part of the reason is their draft position. Doug Free (4th round) and Tyler Polumbus (UDFA) also performed just as well as any of those guys. Joe Barksdale (3rd round) and LaAdrian Waddle (UDFA) also performed very well.

    For years, until he got old and tried to switch teams and systems, Tyson Clabo (UDFA) was among the best performing RTs in the NFL. So were Eric Winston (3rd round) and David Stewart (4th round). Austin Howard (UDFA) collected a big paycheck in free agency this year as well.

    Using statistical tools and trends to take lessons about roster management and football in general is an underrated avenue of exploration...however if it's a tool you're going to use, you have to have a firm grounding in it in order to make sure you're not running afoul of statistical traps.
    Most of the guys you listed were drafted (or signed as college free agents) when fullbacks were still alive. Dotson and Waddle are exceptions to that. You could make the same argument that because Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson were picked in the 6th, 2nd, and 3rd round respectively that you can find elite quarterbacks outside of the first round. Or just because Arian Foster went undrafted, you shouldn't take Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch in the first round. The RT position is definitely on the rise in the league. It's a good point though. I don't think there is any arguing the 5 I listed are in the top 10. Also, I think Austin Howard and Joe Barksdale are "JAGs" and not up to par with the others you listed despite what PFF says. DJ Fluker was looking good at RT. Lane Johnson played really good as well, especially towards the end of the season. There will always be exceptions to every rule, but that doesn't mean you should change the rule. I think if you are looking for a good right tackle, you should now look in the first 2 rounds. It's a passing league, and that's the way the trend is going now.

    But you made an excellent point in your last paragraph. For whatever reason my messaging was turned off on here but I'm going to change that. I've been working on some stuff in regards to that. I'll shoot you a message in the next couple days with some stuff I've been working on.
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    I just wanted to add, you made a great point about draft status and the way players are perceived. Especially when it comes to offensive lineman, the higher they are drafted, the better the casual fan thinks they are. That's not always the true, but I don't think you can deny that Vollmer, Loadholt, Cherilus, Smith, and Davis are among the best top 10 right tackles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
    Articulated tremendously

    ---------- Post added at 08:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:18 PM ----------

    Miami can still sign a FA guard. Why don't hey have to draft a guard in the first three rounds?
    Interesting and thought provoking theory, but there's no shortage of bust 1st rd LTs over the years, for the Fins that would go back to Daryl Carlton and the immortal Billy Milner, not to mention the plethora of 2-4th rd busts we've had on the OL in general. James might indeed be a solid RT candidate for us, but at #19? No way, not for me. All things being equal I'd take the superior talent and athlete Martin and plug him into the right side, but the question is value and the opportunity cost of spending the 19 pick on an OL. I keep going back to one player in particular in that regard, Brandin Cooks.

    I don't see any reason that martin couldn't flourish on the right side, and from what I've seen he's simply a better football player than James, from strength at the LOS to quickness and overall athletic ability. James is a good, solid football player, but what I see is a solid but not great pass blocker and a solid but not great run blocker- a guy that you'd be happy getting in the 3rd round, maybe you reach for him at #50 if you go WR in the 1st rd. But #19? No, jmo.

    Anyway, here's an interesting piece about the evolution of the OT position and how it's been aproached around the league:

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/10/30/nfl-of...osition-value/
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    If it's the case that Right Tackle is more of a lottery than LT in the draft, my theory on that is that too many guys who play on the right side are second- or third-tier college left tackles. This idea that you stash the guy on the right side until your incumbent LT gets cut sounds great but as often as not give you very patchy production on the right side. I don't believe it's as easy to play either side as people make out. Both from a physical and technique point of view there are subtle and not so subtle differences.

    You'd be better picking a top RT for the right who might have some LT potential (and Ja'Wuan James is exactly that, imo), than a decent LT straight out of college who not only has to ascend the pro playing curve but has to do it as a square peg.

    I've been posting about James since during the college season, but I would void my dinner if we took him at #19. I would rather we took ANY kind of tradedown offer than burn a 19 on him.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. - S. Beckett
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    1972 Dolphins LogoMike Wallace 11Cam Wake 91Tannehill 17Dolphin
    Quote Originally Posted by jim1 View Post
    Interesting and thought provoking theory, but there's no shortage of bust 1st rd LTs over the years, for the Fins that would go back to Daryl Carlton and the immortal Billy Milner, not to mention the plethora of 2-4th rd busts we've had on the OL in general. James might indeed be a solid RT candidate for us, but at #19? No way, not for me. All things being equal I'd take the superior talent and athlete Martin and plug him into the right side, but the question is value and the opportunity cost of spending the 19 pick on an OL. I keep going back to one player in particular in that regard, Brandin Cooks.

    I don't see any reason that martin couldn't flourish on the right side, and from what I've seen he's simply a better football player than James, from strength at the LOS to quickness and overall athletic ability. James is a good, solid football player, but what I see is a solid but not great pass blocker and a solid but not great run blocker- a guy that you'd be happy getting in the 3rd round, maybe you reach for him at #50 if you go WR in the 1st rd. But #19? No, jmo.

    Anyway, here's an interesting piece about the evolution of the OT position and how it's been aproached around the league:

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/10/30/nfl-of...osition-value/
    My response is simple…I just do not think Martin is there at 19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden Fox View Post
    My response is simple…I just do not think Martin is there at 19.
    That could very well be, because he's that good. His looks deceive, in terms of athletic builds he's somewhat in in the John Kruk mode, but that dude can play. I would also take Koundjio over James, provided that his knee did in fact check out, and not think twice about it. People talk about the Dolphins liking Koundjio at #19 as smoke, I'm wondering the same about James. Good player, but I just do not see a first round pick there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurescout View Post
    Most of the guys you listed were drafted (or signed as college free agents) when fullbacks were still alive. Dotson and Waddle are exceptions to that. You could make the same argument that because Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson were picked in the 6th, 2nd, and 3rd round respectively that you can find elite quarterbacks outside of the first round.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about though. Anyone that truly understands the statistics would know not to make that argument. But a person who doesn't really have a grounding in them and isn't aware of their limitations especially in either scientific or financial settings...may end up making that kind of argument. But they'd be doing so a bit blindly, IMO.

    Or just because Arian Foster went undrafted, you shouldn't take Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch in the first round.
    Which would be more examples of the incorrect application of statistics, and most likely would be made by someone who doesn't really have a good background and understanding of their uses and the limitations associated with things like sample size and confirmation bias.

    The RT position is definitely on the rise in the league. It's a good point though. I don't think there is any arguing the 5 I listed are in the top 10. Also, I think Austin Howard and Joe Barksdale are "JAGs" and not up to par with the others you listed despite what PFF says.
    I listed Howard mostly because he was actually getting play on the market and received a pretty good contract for a right tackle. He signed a 5 year, $30 million contract.

    DJ Fluker was looking good at RT. Lane Johnson played really good as well, especially towards the end of the season. There will always be exceptions to every rule, but that doesn't mean you should change the rule. I think if you are looking for a good right tackle, you should now look in the first 2 rounds. It's a passing league, and that's the way the trend is going now.
    I'm not sure what you're arguing, as it relates to what I was saying...Are you disagreeing? Or agreeing?

    But you made an excellent point in your last paragraph. For whatever reason my messaging was turned off on here but I'm going to change that. I've been working on some stuff in regards to that. I'll shoot you a message in the next couple days with some stuff I've been working on.
    Interesting. I'd love to hear if you have any background in this stuff. I firmly believe that successful integration of analytics into the scouting process will help bring scouting success rates to a new level (which would be reflected in better league-wide correlations between draft position and player performance).
    Twitter: @ckparrot
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  8. -18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckparrothead View Post
    He's going to check out 10 out of 10 off the field as far as his character is concerned.

    I've had my eye on the guy for years.

    http://www.finheaven.com/showthread....post1064583006



    Going back to the 2012 tape and evaluating guys like Dallas Thomas, Zach Fulton, Antonio Richardson and JaWuan James it was always clear to me which of the four players had the brightest pro future.

    He's big at 6'6" and usually runs in the 320 lbs range during the season I think. He's one of those naturally big guys too, has an 82 inch (6'10") wing span. Unusual agility for the kind of player.

    I wish I'd gotten more chance to see him against the likes of Jadaveon Clowney. I'll have to settle for the likes of Devin Taylor, Jarvis Jones, Cornelius Washington, Dee Ford, Michael Sam and Dante Fowler. Most of those guys he absolutely shut down. Some of like like Devin Taylor, Dee Ford and Michael Sam looked borderline undraftable in the games they played against JaWuan James.

    He's not unbeatable. Markus Golden (whom I've got tabbed for watching closely for 2015) got him on a nice speed to power move, sacked the quarterback. I think Ronald Powell was able to cut inside of him one time though he didn't even end up hurrying the quarterback if I'm not mistaken. Dante Fowler got a sack but it wasn't exactly a fair fight as the play saw James down blocking initially before having to redirect back out to try and pick up Fowler who had blitzed from a linebacker position.

    There's an added benefit with James that if for some reason you don't end up liking him at tackle he could still perhaps move inside to right guard and be viable. It's a chance, a projection, but what is on the tape that makes you think the projection worthwhile is enough to offer a little added slice of value onto JaWuan James draft stock. He has the makings of being a versatile player.

    Right tackle is not a well understood position when it comes to the normal conventions of evaluation, in my opinion. If you were to regress PFF grades against draft position you will find that the correlation between draft position and grades is only half as strong among right tackles as it is left tackles. What does that mean? It means when it comes to a right tackle a guy drafted in the 6th round way too commonly outplays the guy drafted in the 3rd round...which means the NFL isn't getting it right. Left tackle is much more orderly.

    This is the primary reason a right tackle is not considered a position you should be drafting high. It's not because the position itself lacks value. Try telling your coach the position lacks value when you just lost because Tyson Clabo couldn't come even close to blocking Mario Williams during a critical portion of the game. There's too much chaos to noise in the evaluation and so the 6th and 7th rounders often outperform the 2nd and 3rd rounders. That's the reason it's considered to be a position you don't need to draft in the 1st round. If the NFL actually were getting it right on the right tackles, and the talents were being sorted into a more orderly fashion, suddenly you'd need to draft one early to get one.

    Knowing the conventions aren't getting it right, my gut tells me to reduce things down to basics. I want guys I've seen playing there. Guys I've seen play in a lot of games. Guys I've seen play talented players. Guys that have the standard physical measurements (i.e. fit the prototype). This is why if I have an immediate need at right tackle, to hell if I'll draft a Zack Martin and roll the dice that way. I want guys I've seen do it multiple years like Jake Matthews, Morgan Moses or JaWuan James.

    Would I take JaWuan James at 19? Ultimately I intend to do better than filling immediate needs. But then, I wouldn't have walked into the draft NEEDING to think about forcing a JaWuan James pick, either. Ideally you want to have viable options at every position before the draft so that you're free to pick the best value.

    If you truly believe Ryan Tannehill is a star in the making, that he and Mike Wallace are going to get their chemistry and that this team is on the right track...I think absolutely you go ahead and fill your immediate need with guys like Morgan Moses or JaWuan James at 19 overall. You do that because allowing a HOLE in the roster to persist can prevent your star players from being star players. One of the most commonly cited rules of roster building is that you don't have to be great or even good everywhere, but you can't be bad anywhere.
    This is a great post.

    The only thing I would add is while it may appear that RT is a gaping hole I believe hickey sees some, if not all of the guys still on the market as viable options, so even though McKinnie isn't officially signed as a Dolphin I would guess Hickey has told his agent to speak with us before he inks any deal (not saying it has to be McKinnie just using his name as an example). It might be wishful thinking but if I'm right I love the way he's handled pre-draft free agency.
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    [QUOTE=ckparrothead;1065064341]This is exactly what I'm talking about though. Anyone that truly understands the statistics would know not to make that argument. But a person who doesn't really have a grounding in them and isn't aware of their limitations especially in either scientific or financial settings...may end up making that kind of argument. But they'd be doing so a bit blindly, IMO.



    Which would be more examples of the incorrect application of statistics, and most likely would be made by someone who doesn't really have a good background and understanding of their uses and the limitations associated with things like sample size and confirmation bias.



    I listed Howard mostly because he was actually getting play on the market and received a pretty good contract for a right tackle. He signed a 5 year, $30 million contract.



    I'm not sure what you're arguing, as it relates to what I was saying...Are you disagreeing? Or agreeing?



    Interesting. I'd love to hear if you have any background in this stuff. I firmly believe that successful integration of analytics into the scouting process will help bring scouting success rates to a new level (which would be reflected in better league-wide correlations between draft position and player performance).[/QUOTE]

    I took it as if you were arguing with me, when in fact, we are on the same page.

    I've been working on things like true position value, measurables for elite prospects (basically prototypes if you will), current trends of where elite-good starters are being drafted in recent years, philosophies in free agency. Things like that in regard to roster building. I wouldn't consider this "analytics" I mean it is, but not some ridiculous formulas or anything like that. I'm not a numbers guy (barely got through thru math in college) more along the lines of studying current trends. At the end of the day, film trumps everything. But I think I have found some interesting theories, and have plenty of examples to support them. That's the key IMO. Is it logical, and is there evidence to support your position? I cover those two areas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurescout View Post
    I've been working on things like true position value, measurables for elite prospects (basically prototypes if you will), current trends of where elite-good starters are being drafted in recent years, philosophies in free agency. Things like that in regard to roster building. I wouldn't consider this "analytics" I mean it is, but not some ridiculous formulas or anything like that. I'm not a numbers guy (barely got through thru math in college) more along the lines of studying current trends. At the end of the day, film trumps everything. But I think I have found some interesting theories, and have plenty of examples to support them. That's the key IMO. Is it logical, and is there evidence to support your position? I cover those two areas.
    I have to warn you though...much of the reason the NFL has likely resisted the heavy integration of analytics into the process is because as soon as they get a real statistics expert in the office that person is more likely to spend his days saying "no" than saying "yes". A person with a firm grounding in statistics would tend to lament the insufficient sample sizes and lack of statistical significance involved in any study involving football-related data sets. Some of the stuff you're asking about (e.g. 'recent trends') strikes me as more likely to fall into traps than to be meaningful, most often due to insufficient sample size. I think once you get beyond that barrier if a statistics guy really begins to understand the sport and the drivers of success then perhaps he can start to figure out more valuable things that analytics actually can offer the sport instead of just pointing out the endless list of things it can't.

    Just my point of view on the matter. I work in equities research, was an econ major in college. I don't have what I would deem a professionally strong statistics or math background (which to me would entail a graduate degree or at least undergraduate degree in math or stats), but I do have some background there and understanding of them.
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