From Paul Pabst’s twitter feed. The NFL is really trying to take all the fun out of scoring a touchdown. It seems like every year they ban some kind of celebration. First it was dancing, then it was group celebrations, now dunking. What’s next to go? If they ban spiking the ball, there will literally be no celebrations left to do. It’s gonna get to the point that if a player does anything other than immediately run off the field, the refs are gonna throw a flag. It’s ridiculous.
I remember the good old days (and by that I mean like 5 years ago) when players like TO and Ocho Cinco made touchdown celebrations an art. Who could forget the classics:
There’s a long gap in between the NFL Combine and the draft (for some reason the gap is getting bigger every year as Goodell tries harder and harder to eliminate the offseason. It’s NFL365 to him). And during that time, people love to talk about who’s going where, who looks like a bust, who is a future star, etc. And while anchors and sports writers are mainly talking out of their asses, everything a GM or team spokesman says is intentional and calculated. Whether or not it’s true doesn’t matter. There’s one thing every team lives by during this period: the only thing more valuable than real information is misinformation. Sometimes they have to lie through their teeth to hype up a player they have no intention of drafting, or completely shit on the guy they really want. This type of thinking serves two purposes. The first is if their team holds a really high pick, but the guy they want is graded as a mid to late round pick, they hype up another player that’s graded around where they are picking. This will make teams drafting behind them think that they might not get that player and should trade up. This adds more value to the pick than before, so the team putting out the bullshit can get who they want and extra picks if they trade out. The second purpose is if their team really wants someone to fall to them, they either hype up other players at the position or hate on the guy they want to convince others to avoid him. Some examples from the past few weeks:
The Cleveland Browns say they would rather draft Derek Carr over Johnny Manziel, maybe because Barry Switzer hates him, who knows. This comes weeks after they said they would do anything to draft Manziel. Verdict: Bullshit. Cleveland sits at 4 and 26 (thanks to Indy). They could easily draft either, but would prefer if one fell to 26 so they can get a top defensive player at 4. All they’re trying to do is get someone behind them, like Tampa Bay or Minnesota, to get nervous and try to trade up for a QB. Manziel is a popular name to hate, but Cleveland would love to have him, and would love him even more if they could trade back and turn his hype into picks.
The Atlanta Falcons want either Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr at 6. Verdict: Bullshit. When it comes to defensive ends, no matter what anyone says, they all want Clowney. Guy is destined for greatness and everyone knows it. Atlanta would love if Clowney fell to them at 6, so they’re starting the bullshit hype trains on the other defensive ends/outside linebackers early. Probably a Falcon scout who said he wouldn’t draft Clowney just to throw everyone off.
Apparently there is a market for Mike Vick, and his likely landing spot is Oakland. Verdict: Bullshit, once again. A few weeks ago it was a sure thing that Vick was going to the Jets and the Raiders loved Manziel and could take him at 5. The thing is, they already have a QB who plays like the both of them on roster already in Terrelle Pryor. Pryor also was the most successful QB the Raiders had last season so there’s no reason to give up on him and bring someone else in. Raiders are likely to trade out of the 5 and bring in neither.
Most of the best players on the Dolphins may be on the trading block. Verdict: Actually most likely to be true. The Dolphins are trying to distance themselves from the bullying nonsense, so blowing up the team is not much of a stretch. They already fired a bunch of coaches, wouldn’t surprise anyone if they started getting rid of players as well to try and move up from 19. The Dolphins are saying none of them are up for trade, but that’s most likely misinformation to see if there is a market for them.
So just remember to treat draft rumors the same way you treat any story that breaks on April 1st. Until something solid is presented, ignore everything and assume all the teams are putting out misinformation just to see the response to it. Deception pays, and every team wants to get the best deal. Trust no one.
While lots of websites like to pick winners and losers, I’m more of a random thoughts kind of guy. Lots of moving and shaking will happen on every team’s draft board over the next few days, so I’m just gonna drop some knowledge on some guys who really helped their stock. Weekend participants included QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, and ST. Monday was DL and LB while the DBs finished it off on Tuesday.
Jace Amaro (TE-Texas Tech) pretty much locked up the top TE spot. There were a few guys who people thought would put on a pretty good show and challenge him for the spot (Eric Ebron, UNC, and Trey Burton, FL, were the two big ones). But Amaro blew everyone out of the water. He finished in the top 5 for every drill he did except for the 3 cone drill. Size, strength, and athleticism to match his on-field production. You’re gonna hear him compared to Jimmy Graham a lot in the next few weeks because of their similar play style. With the popularity of athletic TEs at an all-time high, expect him to go in the top 15.
Unlike last year, there is no consensus top offensive lineman in this draft. No chance two tackles go 1-2 this year. Taylor Lewan (OT-Mich), Greg Robinson(OT-Aub), and Jake Matthews, (OT-TexA&M), are considered the top three but none of them really put themselves ahead of the other two. All three will probably go in the first round, but which order really depends on who you ask.
You’re gonna hear the name Logan Thomas (QB-VTech) a lot this week, usually in the same breath as names like Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick. In reality, he should be compared to JaMarcus “Purple Drank” Russell. Thomas measured in at 6’6″ 250lbs and dominated the combine. Was top 5 in every event he participated in and some teams are gonna way overrate him because of that. His game film is very disappointing when you consider how athletic he is. Because this is a QB-heavy draft he’ll probably fall to the 2nd or 3rd round so he won’t have a “bust” label, but don’t buy into the hype.
Welcome to the Oakland Raiders Dri Archer! If Al Davis was still alive he would’ve written Archer’s name on the draft card the same day he clocked in at 4.26 seconds in the 40. But the new owners haven’t shown any signs of senility (yet) so he’s probably gonna fall to the 2nd or 3rd. Wherever he goes, expect him to take a Gio Bernard (RB-CIN) or Andre Ellington (RB-ARI) type role on a team. Change of pace backs, so hot right now.
I don’t know how Teddy Bridgewater (QB-Lou) can enter the season as the consensus number one pro ready QB, have the great year that everyone expected out of him, then fall down boards because he didn’t run or throw. There’s some so-called experts that have ranked him as the 3rd or 4th best QB after yesterdays decision. Feel like I’m taking crazy pills. He would be a great fit on almost any team.
Really confused with De’Anthony Thomas’ (RB-Ore) performance. Ran a very disappointing 4.50 in the 40, then followed it up with only 8 reps at the bench press. Wasn’t a top performer in anything despite being viewed as one of the most explosive athletes in the country. This doesn’t look like a 4.50 guy. He’s got game speed so some team is going to find a role for him. Gonna draw a lot of Percy Harvin (WR-SEA) comparisons leading up to the draft.
Two guys I liked to watch the whole year put in some really good combine performances and will be solid players wherever they go. The first one is Bishop Sankey (RB-Wash). Was only 15 yards from being the Pac-12’s leading rusher (Ka’Deem Carey, RB-Ari, led with 1,885) in a year that the conference was loaded with RB talent. His last game, he juked Kyle Van Noy (LB-BYU), a very good LB, so hard that I’m pretty sure his ankles exploded. He was among the top 5 in almost every drill he did, showing he has athleticism to match production. Can be a traditional every down back from day one. Doesn’t have as many moves, but for some reason reminds me of LeSean McCoy (RB-PHI). Just a low, shifty runner.
The other player is Jordan Matthews (WR-Vand). He had an extremely productive career at Vanderbilt (SEC leader in career receptions) despite not having a great QB most of his career. He’s got some monster hands and measured in at 6’3 and 212lbs, looking very much like AJ Green (WR-CIN). Running a 4.46 only helped his stock. Is going go some time after the 1st but be just as productive as Sammy Watkins (WR-Clem). Somehow buried on most expert’s lists.
I really don’t know why they even separate LBs and DL anymore. 90% of the time when a guy would step up and do a drill, the announcers would say he’s not playing the position he’s listed. Just constantly dropping phrases like “He played DE at [school], but he’s gonna be standing up in the pros.” I don’t even think OLB/DE as a postition exists anymore. Either you’re a MLB or a “pass rusher” according to the combine.
Every team that passes on Jadeveon Clowney (DE-SCar) should be forced to give up the rest of their picks in the draft. Forget all this shit about work ethic and red flags on character. The dude is a beast and destined for greatness. The last person to be the number 1 prospect from high school all the way to the draft was Adrian Peterson, and not even a torn ACL could slow him down. Once in a lifetime athlete. Anyone who says Clowney shouldn’t go #1 overall is dumb as fuck and their opinion should be in one ear and out the other.
If anyone is looking to copy the Seahawk’s blueprint for defense, they couldn’t ask for a better draft. This draft is full of versatile lineman, big corners, and physical safeties. Just an unbelievable draft for defense. Think 2011 level talent.
Aaron Donald (DT-Pitt) is this years Dontari Poe (NT-KC). Got an average grade before the combine, but after his great showing will be the #1 DT taken. While I don’t think he can play a true NT like Poe, he would make a good 3-4 DE or sub package kind of player. Think Richard Seymour when he was in NE or Michael Bennet (DL-SEA). Best used as a situational player depending on the front instead of an every down guy.
Very impressed with all the CBs in this year’s draft. Most of them ran very good 40s and measure in around 6′. The CB position is finally catching up to the WR position in terms of big, athletic players players with speed. Gilbert (OKSt), Gaines (Rice), McGill (Utah) and Dennard (MichSt) all look like they’ll have very good careers as press CBs at the next level.
Whoever drafts Deone Bucannon (S-WashSt) is going to get a Kam Chancellor/Sean Taylor clone. Measured in at 6’2 and 212lbs then put up top numbers in each event he was in. Great athlete and very hard hitter. Led the PAC-12 in tackles despite playing the S position. If he’s paired with a true centerfield-type FS like Devin McCourtey (S-NE) he will excel at covering TEs and run support while not having to drop too deep, where he occasionally struggled. Dude wasn’t an All-American for nothing. He came up big against some of the best teams in the country.
I’m just gonna link to his Twitter feed because there is way too much to post here. Start at the picture of the drunk Asian and read up. After you’re done reading all that, you’re gonna realize one thing: He is absolutely, 100% correct in every way. Everything he says is completely true and I couldn’t agree with him more. The NFL is a business, and their product is a sport meant to entertain. And to advertise that product, they need to promote interesting storylines to bring in more viewers. And when there aren’t any, they just create them out of midair. I’ve shared this story before but I’m gonna provide a link to it again because it’s the best example of bullshit journalism there is. When there is nothing interesting to report, places like ESPN and Sports Illustrated have their reporters either make shit up or bring up a meaningless stat and talk about why it’s a big deal. Example:
OK, cool. Now we know the heights and weights (and hand size for some reason) of three quarterbacks about to be drafted. Why the fuck is it important? So ESPN can rehash their story of “Short QBs can’t make it in the NFL?” Probably. I mean, it was so successful 2 years ago, informing us that Russell Wilson just didn’t have the height to be considered a good QB and would most likely not succeed in the NFL. That’s why Luck and Griffin were the only QBs worth drafting. Great journalism and spot-on assessment.
What you need to remember is that most journalists know nothing about front-office assessments. They’re not picking the players to fit into a certain role, they probably don’t even know what those roles are, and they aren’t going to be the ones on the hook if a player is a bust. All they do is make guesses. They find a stat, make up an opinion on it, then tell you why a scout for an NFL team should think the same. They literally know nothing about what they’re reporting on, but they report it anyway to fill time. Watch Johnny Manziel’s highlight tape and find every instance where he would’ve played much better if he was 2 inches taller. Then go tell all that shit to his Heisman.