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  • FO AFC West draft review

    I just saw this on Football Outsiders and I thought that I would post it.
    Here is the link: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/200...ur-downs/5125/

    Denver Broncos
    Draft Review
    There are good reasons to question the Broncos’ trades — they gave up an awful lot to move up — but you’ve got to give them this: They’re clearly better on the defensive line after the draft than they were before the draft. Three of the Broncos’ four draft picks were defensive linemen: First-round pick Jarvis Moss of Florida, second-round pick Tim Crowder of Texas, and fourth-round pick Marcus Thomas of Florida. All three of them have the talent to contribute as rookies, and beefing up the defensive line was the top priority of new defensive coordinator Jim Bates.

    So does that mean the Broncos did what they needed to do? Not quite. For starters, Moss and Crowder are both undersized ends who are better at rushing the passer than they are at stopping the run. The Broncos already had a young undersized end who’s better at rushing the passer than he is at stopping the run in Elvis Dumervil, who led the team in sacks as a rookie in 2006. And big questions surround Thomas; he once looked like a first-round pick, but he got kicked off the team at Florida.

    The Broncos’ other pick, Notre Dame offensive tackle Ryan Harris, is undersized and has quick feet, which makes Denver seem like the right place for him. He probably won’t start right away, but Broncos coach and general manager Mike Shanahan has a certain type of lineman he likes to build his offense around, and Harris fits that type.

    Remaining Needs
    When you trade away so many draft picks that you are left with only four, and you use three of those four to bolster one unit, you are obviously not going to fill your needs elsewhere. With longtime middle linebacker Al Wilson gone, the Broncos were widely expected to be in the market for a linebacker, but they didn’t draft one. They also could have used a young safety to learn from — and eventually replace — John Lynch.

    Undrafted Free Agents
    Shanahan belives strongly in giving undrafted players a chance to prove themselves in training camp. Last year, running back Mike Bell went from an obscure undrafted free agent to the top of the depth chart after just a few weeks of August practices. Two of the best players in recent franchise history — receiver Rod Smith and left tackle Matt Lepsis — entered the league as undrafted free agents.

    Shanahan obviously loved the Florida defensive line: One of the undrafted free agents invited to Denver was Florida defensive tackle Steven Harris. Others include Texas running back Selvin Young, Auburn guard Tim Duckworth, Wisconsin safety Roderick Rogers, and Hampton wide receiver Marquay McDaniel.

  • #2
    I really would not call Crowder "undersized" he has decent bulk and strength to play LDE.

    R Ayers - B Cofield - A Haynesworth - CJ ohnson
    J Anderson - J Beason - DJ Williams
    R Bailey - P Amukamara - R Hill - A Goodman

    Comment


    • #3
      6' 3.5", 272 lbs. That puts Crowder an inch or two shorter than most of Denver's current DEs, but about middle of the road for weight. I don't think I would consider that "undersized" at all. Dumervil at 5' 11", 250 lb. is a little undersized. Crowder isn't DT sized...but then, he's not a DT.

      Overall, I'm happy with the picks. An improved defensive line will improve the entire defense. I've stated before: Draft safeties, and improve the safeties. Draft linebackers, and improve the linebackers. Draft defensive line, and improve the defensive line, linebackers, and safeties. Lower the quality of Baltimore's offensive line, and Lewis, Reed, et al wouldn't have NEARLY the numbers they have now.

      In addition, I believe the (potentially) improved offense will ALSO help the defense. String a few more prolonged drives together (don't even have to score on them, although that would nice! ), get the defense off the field, and they will remain fresher longer.

      And to think: Denver get's JaMarcus Russell twice this year (complete with NO offensive line!), and whatever QB KC runs out there twice this year (last I heard, the KC braintrust was attempting to suck the life-energies from Trent Green and Rich Gannon, and use them in a project code-named "Lego Man") Gonna be a good year, I can feel it...

      (or that may be the leftover pizza. Not sure.)
      "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." -Yogi Berra

      "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cutler2007
        I really would not call Crowder "undersized" he has decent bulk and strength to play LDE.
        Well he's about the same size as Tamba Hali who everybody was calling undersized last year. I don't think either one is undersized though. Sure they are not the 6'4" or 6'5" guys you might prefer at DE but who cares. Hali is a very good football player and I think Crowder will be a very good football player as well.
        "And we all know that stats don't mean anything if you don't have the wins to back them up"-ChampWJ

        It's a good thing Jay Cutler was a proven winner in college. Oh wait, nevermind.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kmartin575
          Well he's about the same size as Tamba Hali who everybody was calling undersized last year. I don't think either one is undersized though. Sure they are not the 6'4" or 6'5" guys you might prefer at DE but who cares. Hali is a very good football player and I think Crowder will be a very good football player as well.
          Your a closet Bronco Fan Arent you
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          • #6
            Originally posted by CSU_stat
            6' 3.5", 272 lbs. That puts Crowder an inch or two shorter than most of Denver's current DEs, but about middle of the road for weight. I don't think I would consider that "undersized" at all. Dumervil at 5' 11", 250 lb. is a little undersized. Crowder isn't DT sized...but then, he's not a DT.

            Overall, I'm happy with the picks. An improved defensive line will improve the entire defense. I've stated before: Draft safeties, and improve the safeties. Draft linebackers, and improve the linebackers. Draft defensive line, and improve the defensive line, linebackers, and safeties. Lower the quality of Baltimore's offensive line, and Lewis, Reed, et al wouldn't have NEARLY the numbers they have now.

            In addition, I believe the (potentially) improved offense will ALSO help the defense. String a few more prolonged drives together (don't even have to score on them, although that would nice! ), get the defense off the field, and they will remain fresher longer.

            And to think: Denver get's JaMarcus Russell twice this year (complete with NO offensive line!), and whatever QB KC runs out there twice this year (last I heard, the KC braintrust was attempting to suck the life-energies from Trent Green and Rich Gannon, and use them in a project code-named "Lego Man") Gonna be a good year, I can feel it...

            (or that may be the leftover pizza. Not sure.)

            I totally agree!
            With the offseason acquisitions of Bates, Bly, and McKinley for DT depth, field position will be improved. A defense that doesn't give up a lot of points, allows the offense to be more unpredictable; thus more rushing yards for Henry and a slower paced game for Cutler.
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            • #7
              Hali for the Chiefs is a VERY good DE and should be a pro bowler soon in the NFL. The Chiefs got a good player in that guy. I hope one of our new players is somwhat close to the same type of player as he is.
              "I'm your Huckelberry"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kmartin575
                Well he's about the same size as Tamba Hali who everybody was calling undersized last year. I don't think either one is undersized though. Sure they are not the 6'4" or 6'5" guys you might prefer at DE but who cares. Hali is a very good football player and I think Crowder will be a very good football player as well.

                Apparently, you're either "huge" or "undersized." There is no "he's about what you'd expect for a player at his position."

                Either that, or the definition of "appropriate size" is "6' 5", 283 lbs. No more, no less."
                "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." -Yogi Berra

                "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SM19
                  Very confused by the statement about Crowder being undersized. His size and weight are very nearly the definition of "typical" for a DE.
                  I thought the same as you, so I looked it up.

                  Looking at about the first 100 DEs listed on NFL.com they average out to 6' 3.8" tall and 275 pounds.

                  To me that means that Crowder pencils out as "typical", or "average", or perhaps even "prototypical" rather than "undersized". Put on just a little more weight and Crowder is "bigger than average."

                  Moss is certainly taller and has lots of room to add some weight, but there sure are a ton of speed rushers in the league that share his physical specs.

                  Weird statement by FO folks--they don't usually seem so off the mark.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jlarsiii
                    Denver Broncos
                    Draft Review
                    There are good reasons to question the Broncos’ trades — they gave up an awful lot to move up — but you’ve got to give them this: They’re clearly better on the defensive line after the draft than they were before the draft.
                    This article is the sort of comments made by people who neither understand the Broncos draft strategy nor know what the team is doing or why.

                    The Broncos didn't draft a LB because they felt with the move of D.J. Williams to the middle and the addition of veteran LBs Warwick Holdman and D.D. Lewis of the Redskins and Seahawks they didn't have to. Neither of these guys is a premier LB, but both have been starters and could presumably hold down the SLB position formerly manned by Williams. That leaves Nate Webster and Louis Green to backup at MLB.

                    Whether any of these players is good enough remains to be determined, but Shanahan plans to tentatively give the starting job at SLB to Holdman, who lost his starting job on the Redskins from last year. You could criticize the strategy but at least aknowledge it for what it is.

                    I think Shanahan was right about that. Drafting a 1st or 2nd round LB an burying him at SLB the way Williams was buried the last 3 years doesn't make much sense. Better to get players via FA to fill that position.

                    So does that mean the Broncos did what they needed to do? Not quite. For starters, Moss and Crowder are both undersized ends who are better at rushing the passer than they are at stopping the run. The Broncos already had a young undersized end who’s better at rushing the passer than he is at stopping the run in Elvis Dumervil, who led the team in sacks as a rookie in 2006. And big questions surround Thomas; he once looked like a first-round pick, but he got kicked off the team at Florida.
                    This is the standard criticism we hear everywhere. Except that as others have pointed out, at 275 lbs or so, Crowder is NOT undersized at all. He's not HUGE, like Courtney Brown, but he's very fast and reasonably strong. He's not as good a pass-rusher as Moss, but he might be better against the run to start. In any event, it's likely Ekuban or Lang will start at LDE. Lang IS undersized and was a liability against the run last year, but Ekuban isn't and the additions definitely improve the overall rotation.

                    The Broncos’ other pick, Notre Dame offensive tackle Ryan Harris, is undersized and has quick feet, which makes Denver seem like the right place for him. He probably won’t start right away, but Broncos coach and general manager Mike Shanahan has a certain type of lineman he likes to build his offense around, and Harris fits that type.
                    This is praise? Criticism? What's the point? Obviously, Harris is a perfect fit for the Broncos system. Naturally he won't start this year, but Bronco OL never start their first year (barring injury). So, no surprise there. If he can become a starting RT or OG in the next couple of years he'll be a great addition. And it's likely that with good coaching he WILL be a success.

                    Remaining Needs
                    When you trade away so many draft picks that you are left with only four, and you use three of those four to bolster one unit, you are obviously not going to fill your needs elsewhere.

                    With longtime middle linebacker Al Wilson gone, the Broncos were widely expected to be in the market for a linebacker, but they didn’t draft one. They also could have used a young safety to learn from — and eventually replace — John Lynch.
                    This is particularly ill-informed, since Sundquist stated explicitly that they always INTENDED to trade away their 2nd day picks and second of 2 third round picks to improve their draft position in either the 1st or 2nd round. In the event they used them to move up in the 1st and 4th round to get players they projected to be starters. Meanwhile the roster doesn't have room for 6 or 7 rookies this year. Sundquist didn't think their 6th round pick would even make the team, so what was lost by trading these picks away? NOTHING!

                    The Broncos don't need lots of picks, they needed a couple of elite picks and it looks like they got them!

                    Overall, this review doesn't include the Broncos FA acquisitions which explain much of their draft strategy. They didn't feel they needed to add any more players at most positions, but just had a couple of positions of need. After FA, LB wasn't a priority (although they liked Lawrence Timmons and would have taken him if he fell to their pick and DT Harrell were gone).

                    And all the people questioning Thomas will have to eat their words when he becomes a pro-bowl DT in a couple of years. Remember that Luis Castillo fell to the bottom of the 1st round a couple of years ago because of steroid abuse, but since then he's been a very good player for the Chargers and a steal at that spot. Thomas has the chance to be even better than any DT taken in this draft (with the possible exception of Okoye).
                    Last edited by Cugel; 05-07-2007, 02:52 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cugel
                      And all the people questioning Thomas will have to eat their words when he becomes a pro-bowl DT in a couple of years. Remember that Luis Castillo fell to the bottom of the 1st round a couple of years ago because of steroid abuse, but since then he's been a very good player for the Chargers and a steal at that spot. Thomas has the chance to be even better than any DT taken in this draft (with the possible exception of Okoye).
                      What bothers me about the criticism in the media is the double standard given to players. I remember when it became public that Castillo flunked the urine test at the combine, he wrote a letter to all 32 teams to apoligize and vowed it will never happen again. OK, fine.

                      Most of the media accepted this and went out of their way to say he was a good kid who made a mistake. Now, Thomas has a voluntary weekly urine test administered, and the media yawns. He has "character issues". Despite one is for pot and the other is "roids".
                      "I've always thought that Raider fans in Oakland were not so much fans as they were 50,000 people out on a work-release program." - John Elway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great post !!!

                        Originally posted by Cugel
                        This article is the sort of comments made by people who neither understand the Broncos draft strategy nor know what the team is doing or why.

                        The Broncos didn't draft a LB because they felt with the move of D.J. Williams to the middle and the addition of veteran LBs Warwick Holdman and D.D. Lewis of the Redskins and Seahawks they didn't have to. Neither of these guys is a premier LB, but both have been starters and could presumably hold down the SLB position formerly manned by Williams. That leaves Nate Webster and Louis Green to backup at MLB.

                        Whether any of these players is good enough remains to be determined, but Shanahan plans to tentatively give the starting job at SLB to Holdman, who lost his starting job on the Redskins from last year. You could criticize the strategy but at least aknowledge it for what it is.

                        I think Shanahan was right about that. Drafting a 1st or 2nd round LB an burying him at SLB the way Williams was buried the last 3 years doesn't make much sense. Better to get players via FA to fill that position.



                        This is the standard criticism we hear everywhere. Except that as others have pointed out, at 275 lbs or so, Crowder is NOT undersized at all. He's not HUGE, like Courtney Brown, but he's very fast and reasonably strong. He's not as good a pass-rusher as Moss, but he might be better against the run to start. In any event, it's likely Ekuban or Lang will start at LDE. Lang IS undersized and was a liability against the run last year, but Ekuban isn't and the additions definitely improve the overall rotation.



                        This is praise? Criticism? What's the point? Obviously, Harris is a perfect fit for the Broncos system. Naturally he won't start this year, but Bronco OL never start their first year (barring injury). So, no surprise there. If he can become a starting RT or OG in the next couple of years he'll be a great addition. And it's likely that with good coaching he WILL be a success.



                        This is particularly ill-informed, since Sundquist stated explicitly that they always INTENDED to trade away their 2nd day picks and second of 2 third round picks to improve their draft position in either the 1st or 2nd round. In the event they used them to move up in the 1st and 4th round to get players they projected to be starters. Meanwhile the roster doesn't have room for 6 or 7 rookies this year. Sundquist didn't think their 6th round pick would even make the team, so what was lost by trading these picks away? NOTHING!

                        The Broncos don't need lots of picks, they needed a couple of elite picks and it looks like they got them!

                        Overall, this review doesn't include the Broncos FA acquisitions which explain much of their draft strategy. They didn't feel they needed to add any more players at most positions, but just had a couple of positions of need. After FA, LB wasn't a priority (although they liked Lawrence Timmons and would have taken him if he fell to their pick and DT Harrell were gone).

                        And all the people questioning Thomas will have to eat their words when he becomes a pro-bowl DT in a couple of years. Remember that Luis Castillo fell to the bottom of the 1st round a couple of years ago because of steroid abuse, but since then he's been a very good player for the Chargers and a steal at that spot. Thomas has the chance to be even better than any DT taken in this draft (with the possible exception of Okoye).

                        Great Post Cugel !!! I enjoy reading your posts. This makes alot of sense.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jcrobins
                          What bothers me about the criticism in the media is the double standard given to players. I remember when it became public that Castillo flunked the urine test at the combine, he wrote a letter to all 32 teams to apoligize and vowed it will never happen again. OK, fine.

                          Most of the media accepted this and went out of their way to say he was a good kid who made a mistake. Now, Thomas has a voluntary weekly urine test administered, and the media yawns. He has "character issues". Despite one is for pot and the other is "roids".
                          I agree! With steroids that is clearly a "performance enhancing" drug. In short it totally changes the standards. The availability of steroids has totally ruined baseball, now all their historical statistics mean nothing. Who believes that Barry Bonds would have gotten anywhere near 70 HRs without being "juiced?"

                          Pot is certainly NOT a performance enhancing drug, so Thomas wasn't cheating to get where he is the way Castillo did.

                          Personally, I'm not against giving someone second chances. I think the NFL ought to tightly police steroid use because it affects the players' health, but pot use is hardly going to impact the league competitiveness or force other players to "toke up" in order to compete!

                          I'd be amazed if Thomas was dumb enough to get caught smoking weed again. I just don't believe he will do it.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jcrobins
                            What bothers me about the criticism in the media is the double standard given to players. I remember when it became public that Castillo flunked the urine test at the combine, he wrote a letter to all 32 teams to apologize and vowed it will never happen again. OK, fine.

                            Most of the media accepted this and went out of their way to say he was a good kid who made a mistake. Now, Thomas has a voluntary weekly urine test administered, and the media yawns. He has "character issues". Despite one is for pot and the other is "roids".
                            I think it varies from one media outlet to another. Javalon pointed out from several place where at first glance Denver got high marks for their draft picks. Heck Mel Kiper who generally is very critical gave Denver's drafts gave us a B- and The Sporting News gave us A-.
                            John 11: 25-27

                            My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams



                            Thanks Snk16

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                            • #15
                              I think the article doesn't take into account the new defensive system. There's a reason Bates wanted Moss and Crowder. It's already been said that they will see a lot of playing time this year. They both could be starters by the end of the season.

                              When talking about getting a safety, they make the same claim that some on this board have made before. Draft a safety so he can learn from and then replace John Lynch. This is absolutley unnecessary. It might be nice if you can afford to do it, but it just isn't necessary. Safety is something that can wait until next year. Improving the pass rush was far too important to be wasting a draft pick on a safety this year, if you've already determined that 4 draftees are all you can afford and your biggest weakness is the pass rush.

                              I had already figured before the draft that LB was not going to be a position of need. They might have been willing to take Timmons, but they didn't feel that LB was important enough for them to pick another one after Timmons was off the board.

                              There was more than one article before the draft that said Shanahan was looking for one or two impact players and not a bunch of low level prospects. It would seem that those articles turned out to be correct. Who knows how our draft would have gone if Harrell or Timmons hadn't gone as high as they did. We may have gotten out of the draft with just two players if the Broncos could have made the trade with either Dallas or Philadelphia, had the players they targetted been available at the spots at which they were hoping they would be available. I don't think they ever released the details of the potential trades.
                              My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
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