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This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind.
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Posted Oct. 28, 2009

2010 NFL Draft Mailbag



  • From Walter:

    If the Browns are on the clock and all three quarterbacks, Ndamukong Suh and Eric Berry are all off the board, what will they do (outside of trading down 20 spots for an 8th-round pick)?

    My Response:

    Cleveland needs to just address value if all three quarterbacks, Suh, and Berry are off the board. However, I doubt this happens since Sam Bradford is an unlikely top-10 pick. Receiver would be an intriguing value pick. Damian Williams is my No. 1 receiver in the country, but there is a lot of hype for Dez Bryant as well. I think they should also look at a corner such as Joe Haden from Florida who is playing outstanding football right now. Generally, fans just look at need, but value is far more important and it isn't smart to reach for a need with a highly valuable pick.



  • From Johndoe:

    What would you advise someone to do if they are just starting to get into evaluating the draft? Any specifics you do when watching games? What exactly do you look for?

    My Response:

    If you don't have a DVR, then buy a VCR or a DVD recorder. Start taping games to watch prospects. Read scouting reports so you know what to look for in terms of technique, speed, notes, etc. When you watch tape, isolate your vision on a matchup or one player. When you watch a play, rewind it several times. Don't watch games like a fan in terms of focusing on the ball and just going through each play once. Generally, I will watch a play 3-4 times before going onto the next one.

    Ask yourself questions such as, "Why did he do that?" and "What could have he done better?" and "What did he do well/poorly?" Pay attention to the most minute details. You will gain experience just watching tape, putting the time in and being a critical thinker. The more tape you watch, the more you will know what to look for.



  • From Studbucket:

    What needs do the Kansas City Chiefs have this year?

    My Response:

    In terms of a top 5-10 pick, Kansas City will definitely try to build in the trenches with a left tackle. Bruce Campbell from Maryland and Russell Okung from Oklahoma State are the top blindside protectors in the nation. General manager Scott Pioli passed up on 3-4 ILB Aaron Curry for DE Tyson Jackson. This shows he puts a huge emphasis on positional value.

    If they don't go left tackle, then they could look at an elite talent like Eric Berry. He would be tough to pass up on. Also, if they are in love with a receiver, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give Matt Cassel another weapon.



  • From Hunterm:

    Which players on the Ohio State defensive line are the best pro prospects, at what position?

    My Response:

    Cameron Heyward was getting a ton of hype, but I put on the Ohio State-Indiana tape and was just ticked off at how poorly he played. He didn't make his first tackle until there was 0:37 left in the 4th quarter. He is kind of soft and not particularly athletic. He could come off the board in the second round as a 5-technique defensive lineman for a 3-4 team. Thaddeus Gibson has some intriguing speed and explosion as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he is inconsistent.



  • From BroncosCon:

    Who are the best 3-4 defensive linemen in the draft? Obviously, I'm thinking Broncos all the way.

    My Response:

    The best 5-technique (or 3-4 end) in the draft is Ndamukong Suh, whom the Broncos can't land. Suh is big at 6-4, 305 and has a very powerful bull rush. He has nice flexibility and a great motor.

    Jared Odrick is one of my favorite defensive linemen in the draft as a 5-tech. He has very good size for the position, and if he could add some upper-body muscle mass, he could be a very good pro. I love his motor, technique, hands, and quickness. He will have to go from Penn State's 1-gap scheme to a 5-tech, which is a huge transition. I like him though.

    Vince Oghobaase looks like a mid-rounder from Duke at 5-tech. I am not sold on Terrence Cody as a first-round pick in terms of a nose tackle; he looks more like a second- or third-rounder. Arthur Jones from Syracuse needs to be more consistent, but he has great size to play 5-tech.



  • From KLNgus:

    Do you think drafting a safety in the top 10 is going to make an impact when your front seven is weak, even if that safety is named Eric Berry?

    My Response:

    That's like putting Ed Reed on a team like the Buccaneers or Rams and saying he wouldn't make an impact. Elite players find ways to make an impact because they are playmakers. Now should you pass up on an Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy at DT for an Eric Berry? That's where the real intrigue starts.



  • From Sitisfit:

    Best strongside Linebacker? I've seen Weatherspoon mocked to the Saints a lot but I think he's more of a WLB (from what I read) and I believe the strongside is a bigger need.

    My Response:

    Weatherspoon is more of a WILL, you are correct. He struggles to stack and shed blockers and isn't always powerful at the point of attack. He's a great player though as a WILL - no doubt about that.

    In terms of SAM linebackers, I think Roddrick Muckleroy of Texas and Perry Riley of LSU could be interesting mid- to late-round draft picks. Muckleroy has overrated speed, but is a big hitter. It's a very poor draft for SAMs this year unlike 2009; your team is best off going into free agency to address that position. It's a potentially very solid draft for weakside linebackers.



  • From flaming thumbtack:

    Assuming every QB eligible for the draft declares, how many go in Round 1 and who do you like the most (besides Clausen)?

    My Response:

    Four quarterbacks could go in Round 1: Jimmy Clausen, Jake Locker, Sam Bradford and Ryan Mallett. My No. 2 quarterback at the moment is Jake Locker. I haven't been that impressed with Mallett this season, but he has time as the season goes along to certainly prove his worth. No chance Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow go in the first round.



  • From TheDustyFootPhilosopher:

    Would it be better for the Packers to reach for an offensive line prospect, assuming none that are on the board would have enough value there? Or to pick up a good 3-4 player, and take a OL pick in the second?

    My Response:

    This draft is pretty stout with offensive line prospects, and if Charles Brown is on the board in the 20s for the Packers (as an example), then I don't think that is really a huge reach. They could also potentially look at Bryan Bulaga, Trent Williams and Joe Barksdale in the first round. Left tackle is a highly valuable position, and if one is one the board the Packers should probably take him.

    I also wouldn't rule out a running back like C.J. Spiller, tight end such as Jermaine Gresham, or cornerback in the first round. The Packers needs match up pretty well with the talent in the top 40 players of this year's draft.



  • From McWatt:

    So, the Jaguars drafting Tebow is a foregone conclusion nearly... What happens to Garrard? Do they keep him and use Tebow as a wildcat (eww) type quarterback, or do they try to get some picks from someone for Garrard and fill those seats with Tebow starting sooner rather than later? It's all speculation of course, but what is the likeliest scenario?

    My Response:

    This is supposed to go in the God/Jesus/Holy Spirit mailbag. I'm sure Tebow already knows his draft position, but he isn't allowed to tell anybody else. Maybe this is why he gets so pumped up in games because he knows he has no future at quarterback in the league.



  • From steelers pens fan:

    Jimmy Clausen went from mediocre to golden in a short time. Is he NFL ready? How much is the talent on Notre Dame helping him? Also, are their any under-the-radar QBs who may dramatically increase their stock by Draft Day?

    My Response:

    Some team that is desperate for a quarterback and can't/doesn't want to draft a quarterback in the first round might want to trade up for Tony Pike in the early second. This reminds me a little bit of when the Dolphins passed up Brady Quinn for John Beck - he saw his draft stock rise in just two weeks prior to the Draft. Pike's decision making, maturity and intelligence might get some team to fall in love with him as a second-rounder.



  • From Joey Potter:

    I am a huge fan of Gerald McCoy and believe that he has the potential to be a player similar to Warren Sapp. However I have been pondering if he will just be a 4-3 defensive tackle at a high level like Sapp, or if he will be able to transition to a 3-4 defensive lineman effectively. I am leaning toward him being a strict 4-3 defensive tackle. What do you think?

    My Response:

    McCoy's bread and butter is his technique, hands, explosive athleticism and range. He is strictly a 1-gap, 3-technique under tackle. We have seen teams in the past try to make defensive linemen something they are not. Chris Long would have been better off as an outside linebacker in the 3-4. Vernon Gholston can't drop back in coverage and needs his hand in the ground. Glenn Dorsey is not a nose tackle or 5-technique; he is a 3-tech like McCoy.

    I could go on and on. McCoy reminds me of Kevin Williams. He will make some team very happy. I have him rated ahead of Ndamukong Suh by just a hair.



  • From Sanchez:

    What do the Patriots do with their seven picks in the first two rounds in the next two years?

    My Response:

    Isn't it sacreligious to have your username as Sanchez and be a Patriots fan (Sanchez has the Pats logo as his avatar)? When people see the word "Sanchez" they think of Mark Sanchez. Change it to McSanchez so people think you are either a Mexican breakfast burrito from McDonald's or a biracial Mexican/Irish Bostonian. If Sanchez is your last name, then change your name.



  • From Bowe and Arrow:

    Chances the Chiefs trade their only good player Dwayne Bowe on Draft Day?

    My Response:

    Chances are: 16.82% (Seriously, I have absolutely no clue how anyone could know the answer to that question). As far as the Chiefs are concerned, let's just be glad they passed up on Aaron Curry. Why would you want an elite linebacker on your defense? Why did they have to mess up my mock draft? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?????



  • Hunterm:

    Do you think the Patriots got the Raiders 2011 pick to draft a contingency quarterback? Bill must know how insanely lucky he got with Brady and by the time the 2011 season rolls around, Brady will be 34. Having their own first-round pick and the Raiders pick that year will give them a lot of options at finding a quarterback.

    My Response:

    I think it was just pure value and they didn't want to pay him any more money. It gives them the option to draft a quarterback, sure, but teams don't look that far into the future. Maybe they can sell that draft pick and create a new world like the movie "The Truman Show" but make it for Rex Ryan. Seems like the Patriot way to me.



  • Vbsiena:

    What is your stance of trading draft picks to move up or trading back to accumulate more picks? Is one way historically better than the other?

    My Response:

    Trades are pretty subjective (as is just about everything when it comes to the Draft), but I will always campaign for pure value. In some circumstances, it makes sense to trade up, and in others it doesn't. It all depends on your depth chart, future needs, players on the board, draft picks, teams in front of you, etc.

    I am getting sick of fans being adamant that they just want to trade back though. Just because you get more picks doesn't mean you got the better end of the trade, but this is the consensus perception and it is dead wrong.

    Exhibit A: Cleveland Browns. Sure they picked up some more mid- and late-round picks, but the value they gave up at No. 5 and passing up on a franchise quarterback when they were never sold on Brady Quinn was a pretty stupid move.



  • Egg Shen:

    John Connor is a three-year starter with four years of playing experience, he is the best lead blocker in college football, and he can catch out of the backfield. Why isn't he considered one of the top fullback prospects in the Draft?

    My Response:

    John Conner is a very powerful and technically sound lead blocker with soft hands, though he doesn't offer much upside, a la Peyton Hillis. Mel Kiper Jr. has him ranked as his No. 2 fullback in the nation. Kiper is the best NFL Draft analyst on the planet. If Kiper sees it, then it is probably legit, especially with fullbacks and speical teams. I can tell when I read his material he actually watches tape because we see a lot of similar things.



  • J Snazzy:

    How do you scout arm strength and release?

    My Response:

    For arm strength, I look at velocity on the longer routes on the field (18-yard out, comeback, dig, etc.) for the football. Distance doesn't equal arm strength. Unfortunately, quarterbacks aren't put under a radar gun at the Combine, but they should be because it would be the most accurate measurable we could get that translates to actual games. The only way you will know who has a strong arm and who doesn't is by watching tape and figuring it out for yourself.

    Also, watching the big-armed quarterbacks in the NFL will help your ability to set a barometer for arm strength. I also look at hip torque to determine how much a quarterback gets his lower body into the throw (which is a good thing). I just look for a quick release with a quarterback - it should be snappy like a Carson Palmer or Peyton Manning.



    Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

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