Players To Release + Cap Savings
Matt Cassell [$9,825,000 Cap Hit] [$4,200,000 Guaranteed Money] [$5,625,000 Free Cap Room If Released]
It's time to move past the Matt Cassell Era in Kansas City. The team has spared too many expenses and the move has yet to yield any positive results. This current Kansas City Chiefs franchise has to learn from the mistake of the predecessors and just cut ties with Cassell. He's already competed to the best of his abilities and even still he couldn't get the job done. It's time to move on. This team if its to be successful in 2013+ has to make wise investments and moving past Matt Cassell freeing up this cap room is the right move and will prove beneficial to the future of the franchise.
Tyson Jackson [$14,720,000 Cap Hit] [$3,220,000 Guaranteed Money] [$11,500,000 Free Cap Room If Released]
I'm not going to bash Tyson Jackson, he's been at the very least a productive 2-Gap Defender for the franchise so far in his career. But the truth remains that's he's not nearly as productive as his cap would suggest, the bottom-line is he's over paid. He makes more money than most Pro-Bowl Defensive Lineman, and he has yet to flash Pro-Bowl level production, consistency and dominance. The best way to go about this would be to release or trade Tyson Jackson to free up this cap room, sign a more value for your buck 2-Gap Defender and wisely utilize the available cap from his release to sign better talent at more positions.
Steve Breaston [$5,000,000 Cap Hit] [$2,200,000 Guaranteed Money] [$3,800,000 Free Cap Room If Released]
Players To Re-Sign:
Peyton Hillis [RB]
Hillis has proven that he's a great complement for Jamal Charles, with his aggressive power-back running style. He's a cap-friendly option for running back depth and he plays on an extremely adequate level. He provides solid production when Charles in recuperating and he's worth keeping around. So we should keep him.
Abram Elam [S]
Is a seasoned player and has the ability to provide elite depth to the safety positions. Could wreck havoc on special teams, and could be valuable in the nickle and dime defenses. He's worth keeping around
Dustin Colquitt [P]
Colquitt is a phenomenal punter, and he's the model of consistency at the position. He deserves a great contract and he should get it.
Edgar Jones [LB]
Provides depth for the Linebacking Corps, and is a great special teams player. He does what he knows to the best of his abilities and he gets better every year, keeping his talent around is going to improve the team.
Brandon Siler [LB]
Could start for most teams and provides great depth, Siler is a good player at [ILB]. He has the ability that could provide competition among teammates for playing time and that only makes the team better.
Tamba Hali [$15,500,000] [$3,250,000 Guaranteed Money] [$12,250,000 Free Cap Room If Traded]
There comes a time when you have to re-distribute cap and make bold decisions for the benefit of the franchises future and this is one of those times. Tamba Hali's a great player and he consistently plays at a very high level. But he's in the 4th Quarter of his career and his time is limited, if we're thinking about the "Right Now" the idea of trading him is ridiculous, but if you're thinking 5 Years from now "The Future" as I do then making a trade for Tamba is the best move.
Hali's a Pro-Bowler and we'll receive a lot of offers for his talents if we vocalize our intent to make a trade for his talents. I say that nothing short of multiple draft picks is acceptable for his talents, But for the sake of this post I'll just say that we'll get a 1st Round Pick for Hali.
This move also makes it possible to make trades for players like Darelle Revis for the #1 Over-all Pick and also makes Cap room available for high profile free-agents such as Jake Long. Keep in mind we could always draft a pass rusher in the draft to some-what compensate for the loss of Tamba Hali's talents.
Jake Long [OT] [Left-Tackle] [Est. $10M A Year]
If we are trying to make a deep play-off and hopefully a Super Bowl run in the near future we're going to have to remove all inconsistencies from the Offensive Line. We have a great foundation for the future in Rodney Hudson, Jeff Allen, Jon Asamoah , and Donald Stephenson, but we have to invest in veteran players to help speed up the development of these young promising talents. Long's performance has supposedly been on the decline but I 'm confident he has the same ability he had when he was dominating opposing rushers.
I'm tired of a Chiefs being conservative in free-agency. It's time for the Chiefs be aggressive and get the best talent available, we can't afford not to solidify the talent of the best, we have to spare no expense in signing Jake Long to a long term contract when he becomes available. We have a good amount of cap room available to make this move. We also have the talent that could intrigue Jake Long into committing to the roster. If he knows that he could come here, actually help this team achieve an abundance of wins, and possibly make a deep-playoff run, Convincing him to sign could be mere child's play.
The best part about making this kind of elite investment in the Offensive Line is that it automatically improves the over-all Offensive and Defensive production of the roster as a unit. In my mock draft I have us taking Barkevious Mingo(The Next Great NFL Pass-Rusher)and with him(A Developing Talent) going against arguably the leagues best in Jake Long every-day in practice is going to sky-rocket his growth rate at the position. Greatness on a roster is contagious, and making an investment in Jake Long is making an investment in the Quarterback, Defensive Ends, Out-Side Line-Backers, and Corner backs. Julius Peppers had this effect on Jordon Gross, I call this the Improvement Through Repetition Effect, Great players make those around them great.
Making major investment in the Offensive Line are going to drastically improve our Offensive Production. Investments in this area are going to lead to a more consistent passing and rushing attack, and going to lead to more wins and add to our over-all dominance as a team.
Ron Brace [NT] [Nose Tackle] [Est. 2M A Year]
In our system where we run an Okie Front, where we have all down defensive linemen 2-Gapping. So having Defensive Linemen who can take on and beat double teams, dominate multiple blockers, and control multiple gaps are in-valuable to the over-all success of the defense. Ron Brace flashed the ability to consistently do just that when he was apart of the Patriots roster last year. Last year we ranked 26th in the league in terms of rushing defense due to the fact that out Defensive Ends were consistently getting pushed off the line of scrimmage and not commanding multiple blockers on a regular basis. There were a lot of Offensive Linemen on the 2nd Level of the Defense last year, too many. Out system will continue to fail until we address the issue aggressively. We have to cut ties with Tyson Jackson because 1st of all he just doesn't have to ability to get the job done in our system, and 2nd of all he just consumes too much cap space and he is over-compensated for the level of production he has. It's just time to cut our losses with Jackson and move on to players who can better do the things he lacks at. It's time to bring Ron Brace in.
LaRon Landry [SS] [Est. 3-5M A Year]
The Jets are not going to re-sign Landry. They have have pressing cap issues and they are not going to break their necks to re-sign Landry. He should become a cap friendly potential acquisition because of his character concerns and we could take advantage of that and improve our roster and take it to the next level.
I don't know about you guy's but I think LaRon Landry looked great next to Eric Berry in the Pro-Bowl. I almost think it's fate, because bringing in an enforcer like Landry gives us the ability to move Berry to his Natural Position. I don't think a lot of you know the potential benefits of moving Berry to (FS), during running plays the FS is usually left un-blocked with free reign over the field and having a player that's a physical, instinctive, and a sure-tackling presence provides great benefit to the run defense, and as you know we have a strong issue in that department. Landry also himself provide us with a dominant physical presence. With Landry we could make major strides in becoming an elite defense and rising to the defensive status of the Ravens, 49ers, and Seahawks. These kind of moves are in-valuable because OFFENSE WINS GAME - AND - DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Just look at the Super Bowl this year. So as I said before it's time to make aggressive investments through free agency and signing Landry is a signing that we have to make to make sure that we are putting the best defensive unit possible on the field in the 2013 - 2014 Season.
Trade The #1 Over-All Pick To The New York Jets For Darrelle Revis(CB), The 9th Over-All Pick, and The 39th Over-All Pick
Why Make The Trade?
Because while Quarterbacks drafted at #1 Overall are seen as the most beneficial players and guaranteed success stories that's not always the case. Just look at Russell Wilson (Drafted in the 3rd Round) compared to Andrew Luck (#1) or Robert Griffin 3 (#2). Russell Wilson clearly out-played and out-classed these 2 players and he was drafted in the later rounds. That's because perception of a player coming out of college is not always accurate, just look at the year Vontaze (Trouble Maker/Dirty Player) Burfict had, not one penalty for unnecessary roughness, and he's been a delight to every person in the franchise). I'm not trying to rant, but i'm saying that sometimes certain players are over-rated and it a team decides that they want to sacrifice valuable picks or assets to take the chance on a potentially over hyped player then let them do it.
I believe that there are better quarterbacks in this draft than Geno Smith, or at least quarterbacks who have higher up-sides and potential. With us sacrificing the #1 Overall Pick for Arguably the NFL's Best Corner, and an Extra Draft Pick the move is worth it if we then make a better move at the quarterback position. I think in this years draft that there is one quarterback that has shown the type of ability to potentially be a Hall of Fame caliber player that isn't Geno Smith, and he's projected at the 2nd Round. His perception is that his ceiling isn't very high, he an adequate starting NFL QB at best, but I challenge that, he's shown traits that only I've seen in HOF Quarterbacks and like I said about Russell Wilson last year I know he's definitely the real deal.
The Jets have 3 Pro-Bowl Caliber Offensive Linemen, and they would jump at the opportunity to draft a quarterback like Geno Smith #1 Overall, and since they're in a bind with their salary cap letting Darrelle Revis go isn't too far fetched. They have Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson who have shown the ability to be lock-down corners and although they're not quite on the level of Revis, The Jets will be willing to sacrifice Revis for the right price. Also letting Revis go is going to be a step in the right direction for their future caps, because with the direction that the team is currently going no player is going to pull a Tom Brady and take less money, in this situation the Jets are in the players view seasons as just business and not opportunities to make championship runs and boost their stats players stepping up to re-construct contracts are un-likely.
Darelle Revis [Cornerback]
We have a major need at CB, after the departure of Brandon Carr and Stanford Routt, so who better to fill that vacancy than arguably the NFL's Best Cornerback. Too be completely honest, trading for Revis is a risky move. He's coming off of a season ending injury and there's no guarantee that he'll be as dominant as he was before the injury. So the act of acquiring Revis is a gamble, but as they say there's no great reward with-out great risk. The fact that Revis is a gamble might believe it or not work in our favor though. The Jets GM has the same question marks, and if he has an opportunity to trade Revis for a #1 Overall Pick and doesn't take it then Revis come's back less than he used to be he'll regret not making the move. So he might gamble in the same sense of us and decide to make the trade, he knows that he has (Two)2 potential lock-down corners more cap-effective than Revis and he also knows that he'll have to make a bold decision if he wishes to keep Revis. Taking the trade and drafting highest rated Quarterback could be tremendously in his favor, and could re-energize the home audience and put people in seats. The fans know that they have 3 Pro-Bowl Offensive Linemen and that drafting a promising prospect like Geno Smith could be a step in the right direction for the franchise. So looking at it from both sides it's a gamble to trade or trade for Revis, so it could go either way. The bottom-line is, If we decide that we are willing to make the trade im confident that their GM would be reluctantly willing to do it, keep in mind he's facing the same gamble as us. It's a boom or bust trade.
So here's my piece, potentially getting the Revis who was shutting down the best wide-receivers in the league is worth the gamble. Although there's no guarantee this is the best move for the future of the franchise and a crucial move for a team in hopes to end a long time Championship free streak. This is the best move possible.
2013 NFL Draft Picks
9th Overall Pick
Barkevious Mingo, LSU, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, 6-5/242
Tall, long and explosive pass rusher who projects best as a stand-up, weak-side edge rusher in the NFL. Incredible first step off the snap, can turn the corner on the outside and shimmy inside against leaning tackles. Not a contact-shy player despite his slight build, often lines up on the strong side and/or inside of tight ends in a tight alignment. Strong player setting the edge against the run. Willing to take on tackles man-up, extends his arms to keep distance and can get off to grab backs trying to get through the hole. Takes tight ends backwards into the background using his length and foot work. Works through blocks to get down the line to chase plays. Overall agility and length make him effective in coverage, can stay with running backs out of the backfield and wrap up receivers in space. Excellent straight-line speed shows when chasing down plays from behind. Uses his length and jumping ability to knock down passes if unable to reach the quarterback.
Very lean player, likely too thin in the hips to grow into an every-down defensive end. Needs to shed more consistently to prevent plays from getting outside of him. Long legs get in his way at times when trying to change directions quickly. Often gets too focused on scrapping with his blocker instead of getting his eyes in the backfield to find the ball. Did not progress in terms of pass rush moves during his career. Great player off the snap of the ball, but too often allows the offensive tackle to recover because he lacks a move to disengage.
Mingo looks almost too lean to handle the physicality of NFL linemen, but has surprising strength to go along with the elite length and straight-line speed to rack up double-digit sack numbers (he had eight in 2011) and track down ball carriers (15 tackles for loss) as a 3-4 rush linebacker at the next level. He is a proverbial boom or bust prospect. Mingo's production dropped as a junior, and he failed to show much overall growth in his game over the course of his career. However, KeKe flashed the talent and projectable skills to be a dominant NFL pass rusher, and a position switch will likely serve him well, as the LSU Tiger was too often asked to play in a tight alignment on the strong side in college – a poor use of his strengths. Mingo's length, athleticism, and pass rush talent figure to make him a top 20 selection in the draft.
+ Elite raw physical ability for a man of his size
+ Rare build for a DE, great length, especially in the arms and a skinny torso
+ Elite/Rare speed for the position, has been rumored to run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash
+ Extremely flexible for his size, relies on his ability to bend, twist and contort his body to beat blockers
+ Great quickness and acceleration off the snap, not many DE can move and run like Mingo
+ Turns the corner with ease with long steps and quick/fluid hips
+ Easy change of direction skills, can pull off and redirect quickly when he reads a screen or run correctly
+ While sack numbers don’t mirror it, he can close when he gets close to the QB
+ Creates great burst with 1 or 2 steps and is on the QB with his long frame within seconds
- Needs to add a minimum of 10-15 pounds of legit muscle to his frame, including core and upper body strength
- Relies too much on his elite athleticism at times and not power/technique
+ Has played a few different positions for LSU, including the 5 Technique
- Can be fooled by misdirection and draw plays
- Pre-snap recognition skills need improvement
+ Plays with great enthusiasm and intensity, which seems to rub off on the other defenders
+ By all accounts he is a focused and hardworking kid who has stayed out of trouble while at LSU
Pass Rush Ability
+ Times the snap very well and can explode off the line of scrimmage with long powerful first strides
+ Accelerates like none other, gets up to top speed within the first couple steps
+ Uses his flexibility to bend and turn the corner likes to dip under blocks and has a good spin move
+ Very good change of direction skills, tough for QBs to evade Mingo when he’s closing due to his length and COD
+ Is utilized on a number of outside-in twists where he rushes from the B gap
+ Mingo’s bread and butter is his speed, loves to speed rush and tries to beat OT with purely speed
+ Can rush from a couple different positions, has experience standing up and from 3 and 4 point stances
+ Uses his length to get in passing lanes and bat down balls, could have a JJ Watt like impact in that regard
- Despite his tremendous measurables his sack numbers don’t reflect his pass rush ability (4 sacks in 2012)
- Tends to try to go around blockers too often and is kind of a one trick pony
- Not strong enough to beat initial block, if he doesn’t win with quickness he can be blocked easily
- Raw pass rusher who doesn’t have many pass rush moves and doesn’t use his hands much in close combat
Vs. the Run
+ His quickness off the ball allows him to get into the backfield and blow up plays
+ Can beat linemen across their face with quickness and long strides
+ Has a good motor and can chase down the run plays away from him
+ His long arms can be a tremendous tool if he learns how to use them, but needs to add strength
- Gets washed out of running plays way too easily as he seems to always be focused on rushing the passer
- Doesn’t recognize trap blocks or draws quickly enough and has a tough time getting off blocks once locked up
- Can be engulfed and thrown around by stronger offensive linemen, and it happens too much
- Teams like to run right at him due to his tendency to rush outside the OT, which creates large running lanes
+ In terms of pass rushing his flexibility allows him to keep a low center of gravity and low pad level
- Doesn’t use his hands well especially disengaging in the run game
Mingo is an athletic pass rusher who possesses some freakish ability in terms of pass rushing. – raw in the truest sense of the word.
Mingo relies solely on his athleticism, acceleration, flexibility and length to be a disruptive force in college football. He has a lot of work to do both in terms of getting stronger and learning how to play with the proper technique.
Early on Mingo would be unable to play on run downs, but in a pass oriented NFL the pass rush ability that Mingo can exhibit will be valued highly.
Mingo does possess some versatility, some see him as a 4-3 DE while others as a 3-4 OLB. Bruce Irvin was the 15th pick in the draft and Mingo if he develops properly has a much much higher ceiling in terms of overall ability.
Traded Pick For Tamba Hali
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State, Defensive Tackle, 6-3/335
Nice job against the run, tracking the play with his eyes and using his body to force the issue. Taller nose tackle prospect with thick upper body and extra girth in the middle. Plays all over the line, often outside the tackle despite his build because of his rare agility. Extends to shrug off blocks and uses his hands to bully blockers, controlling the POA and setting the edge when playing outside. Has extremely strong hands to secure tackles and finish plays once he gets his hands on the ball-carrier. Comes off the ball hard and quick for his size, will win a gap and blow up plays in the backfield if linemen don’t get to the reach-block. Drives back NFL-caliber guards into the backfield and holds up doubles, does not give ground even against better players. Works down the line to get to ball-carriers while engaged, and hustles downfield and to the sideline if needed. Three-down player, on the field for a lot of snaps considering his bulk.
Lacks the burst to be an elite pass rusher, though he can make quarterbacks uncomfortable in the pocket. Can play with high pads, giving better linemen a chance to stand him up. Relies too much on his upper body strength at times and needs to play with consistent leverage. He uses his body too much and needs to consistently utilize his hands and limbs. Must keep his weight under control to maximize his athleticism, and make sure he doesn’t lose his strength and hustle at the end of games. He tends to wear down throughout the course of a game, looking fatigued and noticeably taking plays off. Hankins battled a minor knee sprain the past two seasons, wearing a brace much of the time.
Hankins, who carried the nickname "Big John" or "Big Hank" around Ohio State’s campus, is a load to handle on the defensive line with impressive fluidity and coordination skills for a big man, playing with an active motor. He played all over the defense line in college, lining up both outside at DE and inside at DT. Hankins rarely left the field and his coaches talk positively about his football character, but he often looked fatigued and worn down throughout games, meaning his snaps (and weight) will need to be monitored at the next level. Hankins has a rare combination of size, strength and foot quickness for a defensive lineman to be a force against both the run and the pass. Although he only looks half-speed at times when his tank isn’t full, Hankins can tear through blocks like paper -– a potential top-12 pick with the versatility to line up as a traditional 3-technique DT in a four-man front or an effective two-gapping 0-technique NT for a 3-4 defense.
+For a 310+ wide built athlete, he moves surprisingly well upfield
+Able to maintain balance laterally through contact
+Shows balance and body control for a nose tackle in the backfield when finishing tackles
+Played a 0, 1, 3, 5, and 6 technique over the course of last season, showcasing versatility
-Not overly great laterally in rush moves, can’t beat to outside shoulders with athleticism
+Has played a variety of positions of the defensive line, has experience in multiple roles
-Doesn’t show great vision of the ball carrier, doesn’t readjust attacking point well
-Hasn’t had much of a chance to display leadership qualities at Ohio State
-Three other senior projected starters on the roster mean likely minimal leadership duties in 2012
+Wins leverage as he slides inside/play side laterally
+Doesn’t lose balance on initial quick rushes, gains inside position well
+Able to stay low and slip outside shoulder in to attack opening in gaps
+Naturally attracts doubles thanks to wide frame, power and body control down the line
-Despite rushing from many techniques, only gets solid penetration from NT, occasionally at 3-tech
-Lacks counter rush move using his hands that could drastically improve rushing ability
-Drives in with shoulder too much at times, could use hands initially to set up rushes initially
+Size and balance off snap consistently outmatch guards, and occasionally centers doubling
+Keeps feet moving, stays active with lower half
+When in hole, extends horizontally and shuts off hole completely
-Could be more patient in attacking the ball carrier as a rusher
-Tries to be a backfield playmaker at times, allowing for potential cutback lanes
+Understanding of staying engaged while sliding to second blocker to absorb space
+Keeps feet and base wide as both a rusher and when disrupting running lanes
+Fires hands up in short passing plays to disrupt throwing lanes
-Needs to use hands more effectively as a rusher on a consistent basis
-Could stay at home and not be overaggressive as a rusher more consistently
-Does a good, not great job, of setting up stunts/blitzers.
Hankins is a monster of a man, one of the widest nose tackles in college football. That natural size combined with his lower body strength and body control allows him to be at worst an immovable object for offenses to double teams. His ability to keep his feet and drive down the playside part of the line naturally disrupts both zone and man blocking schemes. His ability as a rusher is still raw, but for now, his power and burst off the line are enough to get into the backfield initially and win power battles to make plays in the backfield. With improved hand usage, better understanding of the defense’s gameplan, and a handful of rush moves to add to his versatility, and Hankins may develop into a future Top 5 overall pick in the 2013/2014 NFL Draft.
34th Overall Pick
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, Inside Linebacker, 6-2/255
Aggressive middle linebacker with a thick overall build. Vocal leader on the off the field, communicates the call and moves teammates into place when necessary. Downhill player who recognizes plays and closes quickly. Provides pop as a tackler, capable of thumping the ball-carrier and wrapping up to secure the stop. Aware run-stopper between the tackles, finds the ball and can mirror backs to prevent cutbacks. Stops backs’ momentum on first contact and drive them backwards. Takes on linemen and fullbacks, can bounce or use his hands to rip off and make a stop. Hustles to recover from cut blocks, work through double teams at the second level. Shows enough movement skills to follow stretch plays to either sideline and cover running backs in the flat. Drops to the first-down marker, but is able to close on receivers and backs over the middle to prevent yards after the catch. Attacks gaps as a delayed blitzer, will try to work past the shoulder of linemen picking him up. High character player who performs community service and became an Eagle Scout in 2008.
Only average height for the position. Linemen and bigger tight ends have a size and length advantage, can ride him out of plays. Backpedal is high and stiff on his drops. Must prove he has the short-area quickness and long speed to stay with tight ends and receivers in coverage. Takes false steps on play action and misdirection; has only adequate recovery speed. Blunt instrument as a tackler, slips off some tackles when trying to make a big hit. Comes into ballcarriers with his head down at times, allowing them to elude him.
Te’o has become the All-American middle linebacker everyone expected coming out of high school, receiving high marks for his character and leadership ability. After some suggested he could be one of the top picks in April's draft, Te'o took a step back against a very good Alabama offensive line during the BCS National Championship. As a hammer between the tackles, the Irish star will be a great inside backer for any 4-3 team, but some may question his ability to reach edge plays or get over blocks in time.
Manti Te'o's a warrior on the field and he's a great Field General, his value goes way beyond X's and O's because of his ability to raise the morale of the Defensive players and push them to their limits on every play the defense is going to be a force to be reckoned with. He has the leadership abilities of Ray Lewis, he a definite rarity at the Linebacking position so playing it safe and solidifying his talents for the future is the best move.
Te'o is a well-rounded linebacker. He does everything well and doesn't have any flaws in his game. Te'o is strong at the point of attack against the run. He has good instincts to get in position to make tackles and be around the ball. Te'o is a natural at reading his keys and quickly determines what the offense is setting up to do. His run defense is advanced, and at the next level, he should immediately be a good run-plugger.
In the college game, Te'o is a good pass defender. He splits time between blitzing and dropping into coverage. His ability to do both makes it harder on offenses and lets Te'o provide more mismatches. He functions well in space and can cover ground in zone coverage. As a pass rusher, Te'o has nice blitzing ability and closing speed. He has the speed and athleticism to to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL.
Te'o is an ideal NFL middle linebacker who can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense in the NFL. He has bulk and strength to hold up on the inside of the 3-4 with the speed to play in the middle of a 4-3 defense. Te'o will enter the next level very experienced and should be able to start immediately.
+ Thick, powerful build, upper-body/lower-body strength is NFL caliber right now – Looks the part
+ Has the strength to simply over-power blockers in head on situations
+ Upper-body strength is evident by his powerful use of hands to shed blocks
+ Has no problem getting pad leverage and has good hip bend when taking on blocks
+ Ideal size for NFL ILB in any type of defense, has the frame to hold up in all phases
+ Gets up to speed quickly when coming forward towards the line, can explode into a tackle
+ Lost 10-15 lbs. this season which has helped with his mobility and lateral agility
+ Moves well for his size, won’t time off the charts but plays fast
+ Has improved in space with his change of direction and ability to drop
- Straight line speed has been questioned – 4.65?
- Not the most fluid lower body, looks stiff at times trying to turn and run with receivers
+ Exhibits very good instincts, has improved recognition each season
+ Pass instincts have really developed in his senior year
+ Stays disciplined with his gap responsibility and reads directional runs quickly
+ Heart and soul of ND defense, team feeds off his passion and intensity
+ Extremely hard-worker, came back for Senior year and has improved vastly
+ Team Captain material at NFL level
+ Never takes plays off, will flow to the ball on each play and not stop until plays over
+ Displays extreme passion for the game, clear that football is important to him
+ Heisman finalist, finished 2nd in Heisman voting, extremely rare feat
- Developing story about "made-up girlfriend" is concerning
+ Every down LB, not a liability in coverage and doesn’t have to come off the field on passing downs
+ Has good range for his size, shows ability to move well in the middle of the field
+ Ball skills and zone instincts greatly improved as a Senior
+ Can close quickly when he sees it, has a nose for the ball and big play ability
+ 7 INTs as a Senior to go with 11 PBU, after zero his first three years
+ Can re-route and jam TE off the line of scrimmage and can run with them in straight line
+ Recognizes screens very well and gets to ball carrier quickly
+ Has improved drop quickness, loss of weight has improved his range and fluidity in coverage
- Struggles at times keeping up after a sharp breaking route
- His lack of speed may be exploited vs. quicker RB who can get into the flat
- May struggle in zone coverage vs. crossing routes when he has to switch and run laterally
vs. the Run
+ Makes plays all over the field and is a terror inside the tackle box
+ Has the ability to stack and shed very well, takes on lead blocks with leverage and power
+ Maintains outside leverage when setting the edge, stays square to the line and takes good angles
+ Powerful in his run fits, loves to come downhill and really attacks his gaps
+ Has become much more disciplined with his gap assignments as years go on, guesses much less
+ Powerful and technical tackler, wraps up drives legs and rarely misses a tackle
+ Uses his hands well to disengage and make plays, doesn’t stay blocked long
- Still overruns plays at times, gets too aggressive and susceptible to cut backs
- Relies on his instincts to make plays, straight line speed could hurt him at next level
+ Has all the physical tools necessary to become a good blitzer in the NFL
+ Timing and instincts are very good, has the ability to time the snap and exploit mismatches
+ When he gets there he has the ability to finish the sack with very good tackling ability
- Sack numbers are very pedestrian and hasn’t been used as a blitzer much
Plain and simple Manti Te’o is a football player. He has the instincts, strength and play-making ability to be a cornerstone defender for a defense for years to come. His work ethic and passion for the game sets him apart from others. Ideal fit at an ILB position in either a 4-3 or 3-4, but is the type of player every NFL team will have to look at because he will just make plays.
Te’o might become over-scrutinized and knocked for his lack of straight line speed, but when you turn on the film you see how many plays this kid makes.
39th Overall Pick
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse, Quarterback, 6-2/223
This is the guys that's going to emerge as next years Rookie Quarterback of the Year. He's like a Russell Wilson clone, but bigger and white(No racism intended). He completely shows all the traits of a Hall of Fame Quarterback. From what I've seen he's shown complete trust in his teammates and he shows that he believe in them. It even at times looks like he's throwing the ball with reckless abandon at times, but that's the price you have to pay as a Gunslinger (Just ask Brett Farve). A player like this is going to flourish under Andy Reid.
Thick-bodied arm talent who can distribute the ball at every level. Plus velocity when balanced and clean in his footwork. Strong, quick release, gets the ball out in a hurry on hitches and slants. Accurate to all parts of the field when in rhythm. Comes off initial read, can look off safety to come to the opposite side of the field. Willing to shovel the ball or make a last-ditch throw to make a play instead of taking a sack. Displays the ability to step up within the pocket or move to either side to create space to throw. Flashes air, touch, and accuracy on fades in the end zone. Puts a lot of air under deep balls, giving his man a chance to make a play. Sells play action and screens well. Places the ball on the run, especially to his right. Competitive player who directs his teammates well and does not give up on any game. Tough enough to take big hits, bull for a first down with his feet.
Possesses only average height for the position. Gunslinger mentality causes him to trust his arm and receivers too much, resulting in bad decisions/turnovers. Not in elite in his mobility or elusiveness outside the pocket, won’t run away from NFL defenders. Footwork is inconsistent, gets happy and actually hops around when trying to find a target. Must be more consistent transferring weight through the throw, relies on his strong arm at times and comes up short on outs or sails throws over the middle. Works nearly exclusively out of the shotgun, but has athleticism to handle plays under center.
+Underrated as an athlete, has the ability to tuck the ball and pick up first downs or get into the end zone
+Thick build, he can take a hit and get back up
+Moves well in the pocket, is able to side step and climb the pocket to avoid the pass rush
+Balanced in his movements, though he does not always reset his feet when trying to make a throw
-Listed at 6’2, and will need to measure out at that height for fear of dealing with the dreaded height questions that have plagued so many QB’s
+Has a very strong arm, can make any throw that a team needs him to
+Puts enough pace on the ball to push the ball to the boundary side outside the hash
+Can fit the ball into tight spaces due to his arm strength, can pick zone coverage when given the time
+Release is compact and quick, though it doesn’t always come from the same arm slot
+Will change his arm slot to fit the ball into a passing lane, this costs him little to no arm strength
-At times puts too much faith into his arm and will try and throw the ball through the defense rather than take the easy check down
-Only knows how to throw one type of pass and that’s the fast ball
+Is more than willing to stand in the pocket and take a hit in order to deliver a pass
+Rarely drops his eye level when maneuvering inside the pocket
+Good footwork to quickly move away from pressure
+Has experience dropping back from under center, working out of 3, 5, and 7 step drops
+Does well to sell the play-action fake coming away from center and turning his back to the defense
Command of Offense:
+Spent three years working under Doug Marrone and running an under center pro style offense
+Is able to get CB’s to bite on pump fakes and will look safeties off his read
+Unquestioned leader in the huddle, is one of the toughest players on the team and leads by example
+Is more than willing to put the entire offense on his shoulders
-Still developing the feel for when to check down or just throw the ball away, still believe his arm can make any play happen
-Locks on to primary read and will not progress fast enough
63rd Overall Pick
Khaled Holmes, USC, Center, 6-4/305
Tenacious player who gets after any defensive lineman in his path – and teammates who aren’t getting the job done. Sustains blocks through the whistle and takes his man backwards and drives them to the ground regularly. Quick feet for his size, can reach second-level targets or get out in front of screens. Hustles to help either guard, or both on the same play, when uncovered. Good mover on zone plays. Uses his hands and bulk to move his man out of the hole. Usually anchors even when his man gets his hands up quickly after the snap. Good student, has already graduated with a double major of classics and communication.
Taller than the average center, doesn’t sit into his stance as low as many in the pivot. Must play with more knee bend, overextends at the waist while engaged and ends up on the ground too often. Does not always recognize inside blitzes, attacks a lineman and allows linebacker to come through the middle without an attempt to slow him down.
This tall, physical, mobile, and intelligent interior lineman first snapped for quarterback Matt Barkley first at Mater Dei High School in California, and then for the Trojans in 2011 and 2012 after starting at guard as a sophomore. Holmes dealt with ankle and leg injuries all season, and the Trojans interior offensive line took a huge step back without him. The senior will need to prove his health since he projects best to a heavy zone blocking scheme.
96th Overall Pick
Dion Sims, Michigan State, Tight End, 6-5/285
Excellent size, speed, agility combo for the position. Tough to bring down after the catch and can rack up yards. Improved technique, including stance, between sophomore and junior seasons. Offensive coordinator Dan Roushar complimented Sims' dedicated over the 2012 off season to get into better shape and improve his focus.
Significant durability concerns. Sims was limited by various injuries in 2010, including a broken wrist that resulted in him going the final seven games without a reception. Missed almost three full games as a junior due to an ankle injury, and seven games as a high school senior due to a knee injury. Appears to have matured, but will need to answer questions about the felony charge that led to missing the 2010 season.
127th Overall Pick
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, Cornerback, 5-9/175
Feisty turnover machine who lines up outside, in the slot and at safety when needed. Instinctual player with very good read-and-react ability, always seems to work his way into position to make a play on the ball. Does whatever it takes to make a stop, fights through blocks using hands and quickness, goes low or high and doesn’t let up after initial contact. Brings enough force despite his size to get ball-carriers off balance with a glancing blow. Constantly rips at the ball while making a tackle or when others have secured the stop. Fights for jump balls with taller receivers downfield. Regularly used as a blitzer due to his feel, quickness and tenacity. Very good vision and short-area quickness as a punt returner, can make the first man miss and cut back effectively against the grain. Will go outside if the space is there but also slalom through traffic up the field when necessary. Also has balance and strength to get through arm tackles. Will also be a strong tackler on coverage units if required.
Mathieu’s issues with substance abuse will be the primary focus of NFL teams whenever he decides to pursue a career in professional football. Possesses below-average size for the position. Usually brings down ball carriers of any size, NFL veterans might prove a bigger challenge. Quicker than fast, though his effort often masks average straight-line speed for his size. Must prove his ability to stay with larger receivers and tight end in man coverage, as they use their length advantage to separate and frame to shield him from the ball. Will take chances as a punt returner, grabbing the ball on a bounce or inside the 5-yard line.
The 2011 Bednarik Award winner as the nation’s top defender was dismissed from LSU for multiple violations of team rules. Subsequently, he decided to enter a drug rehab center in Houston and is not scheduled to play for any school in 2012. When on the field, the undersized but ultra-competitive turnover machine (six forced fumbles, two interceptions in 2011) brings the physicality of a bigger player in his tackles, no matter where he plays. Mathieu is also a game-changer as a punt returner, ranking fourth in the country last year with 16.2 yards per attempt and scoring two touchdowns.
160th Overall Pick
Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech, Wide Receiver, 6-4/232
Possesses prototypical size and speed combination to be an outside NFL starter. Smooth runner off the line and turns on a second gear downfield that allows him to separate. His size overwhelms smaller cornerbacks, can fight through their advances and go over the top to take away the jump ball. Uses his body to shield corners on slants. Flashes the footwork to stop and separate on out routes after pushing his man upfield. Good concentration to track the ball over his shoulder on deep balls. Can be a bullish runner after the catch, also capable of spinning away from tackles after a stop route then turn on the jets. Has the size and length to dominate corners in the run game.
Still learning the position, must take advantage of increased opportunities and experience as a senior and show scouts he can handle the complexity of NFL offenses. Body-catches passes thrown into his frame. Want-to as a blocker is lacking. Does not attack targets or lock onto smaller defenders often enough, will throw a shoulder instead of using his hands. Must consistently run out his routes, even when he knows he’s not the primary target.
191st Overall Pick
Rodney Smith, Florida State University, Wide Receiver, 6-6/220
Tall vertical threat who is a surprisingly smooth runner in his routes. Displays excellent agility for his size. Gets off the line more quickly than expected, can challenges defenses vertically from the slot or down the sideline. Good concentration to use his height and vertical on jump balls, also to track passes over his shoulder down the sideline. Uses his hands to extend away from his body, also snatches passes in front of his body instead of trapping them. Uses his length, quickness, and attitude to attack blocking targets in the run game and clear the way for fellow receivers downfield.
Has some thickness through his frame, but is still relatively lean, and must prove he can fight veteran pro corners during the route and in jump ball situations. Height gives corners a big target to hit in press situations. Must show he can sink his hips to run tight routes and separate downfield. Does not get many opportunities to catch passes in Florida State’s offense, will need to show strong hands when regularly targeted. Adjusting to low throws might be an issue at his height.
I'll try my best not to be dogmatic(No pun intended). But Vick is almost a shoe in to be released by the Eagles and i'm pretty sure that The Chiefs had this in mind when they signed Andy Reid. If Vick in fact gets releases then it'll be a blessing in disguise for this franchise because if the all the realistic moves that I set in this post are made reality then Vick would come here without expecting a big contract. Playing behind a dominant Offensive Line for the 1st time since coming back to the league could yield amazing results for Vick and for the franchise. Our Receiving Corps would flourish, and who knows maybe with the moves made here Bowe might consider coming back for a couple years with a reasonable contract, because players play for (#1) Legacy and then (#2) Money, If Bowe was to see an opportunity to post amazing stats he would stay at a good price. Also with the acquisition of Vick that would buy time further develop Ryan Nassib behind the scenes until Vick's departure from the team. Keeping Nassib out of the spot-light and letting him slowly digest the NFL experience instead of shoving it down his throat could very well be the best way to approach developing him. Letting Reid and the other positional coaches work with him is sure to yield great results.
But back to Vick, Vick has a rocket arm and in the past he has shown the ability to make the big plays with incredible ease when given adequate time in the pocket. I have yet to see Vick under-impress when the routes are fully developed and he has enough room in the pocket. So with our Big Receivers and our Great Offensive Line the Vick situation seems like fate and a match made in heaven.