You Pick - You're the NFL Expert

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by djack, May 20, 2014.

  1. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    Since we have a long thread about the upcoming season and it's relation to what we lost, I wanted to throw this out.

    Here are the combine numbers of two different players.

    40 yard Bench Vertical Broad 3 Cone 20 yard shuttle Height Weight Arm Hands

    4.80 20 34.50 113.00 7.46 4.31 6'3" 251 33 3/4 11"
    4.63 18 36.00 123.00 6.97 4.18 6'3" 247 33 7/8 9 5/8


    The formatting is poor but player A had better measureables in the bench press (2 reps), weight (4 pounds), and hand size.

    Player B has a better 40 time (0.17 sec), vertical (1.5 inches), broad jump (10 inches), 3 cone (0.49 sec), 20 yard shuttle (0.13 sec), and greater arm length (only 1/8 inch difference).

    Same height.

    Which player would you pick? Can you identify the two players?
     
  2. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    Clowney vs. Jeffcoat? Or maybe Lawrence vs. Jeffcoat?

    Therein lies the problem with choosing guys based on the numbers alone. No one in their right mind would choose Jeffcoat over either of the other drafted dudes. Numbers from any combine or pro day or whatever you want to call it don't compare to actual game and practice footage. Jeffcoat got pushed around against weaker competition, including our win over KU. I could throw Margus Hunt's numbers up there for good measure, but no one considers him an elite defensive lineman.

    This is why Russell Wilson is doing well as a starter in the NFL. The Seahawks gambled that his play on the field trumped his stature and pro day numbers. They were right.
     
  3. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    Lawrence vs. Jeffcoat.

    Now you will have to say stats lie. And what the previous post shows is that someone is pulling it out of their backside to say one is a tweener and the other is not.

    And since many argued Clowney took plays off, it is bit disingenious to be critical of Jeffcoat for the same reason as a justifiable reason for not drafting him.

    Now stats for Lawrence vs. Jeffcoat. In 2013, each had 5 games with no sacks. JJ had none in the first 3 with Manny Diaz instructing. DL had 5.5 sacks versus Nevada and Wyoming, who combined to go 9-15. He had 0 against Fresno, San Diego State, New Mexico, and Oregon State. JJ had 6 in the last 3 games versus TTU, BU, and Oregon. JJ had 10 more tackles on the season. Just from a number perspective, neither totally disappeared in games and logged pretty solid tackle numbers in most games.

    And if you argue that anyone got pushed around under a Manny scheme, you were not watching closely. Whether he was running his DEs upfield from a wide 9 or having them in a 2 point stance on 4th and short, they were beat from the start.
     
  4. Third Coast

    Third Coast 10,000+ Posts

    If I was an NFL expert I would probably take the guy rated a consensus top 50 pick over the guy projected for the 5th-6th round.
     
  5. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    Good teams pick for their team need rather than raw measurables. As a GM, you need to know your team identity, preferred skillsets and understand how they fit into your team locker room.

    Seattle's drafts during the Pete Carrol and John Schneider regime have been universally panned by the "experts". Could it be they know something the experts don't or at least there are specific traits they are looking for to fit their system that may be under appreciated by the experts. For example, speed is a defining characteristic of Seattle but also they tend to be well educated yet have persevered from rough backgrounds.
     
  6. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    From my view, it is not matter of who should be selected first of the two even though I have a preference. One I have seen play a lot, the other not so much. However, any team could have had them both.

    And absolutely you recruit/draft to your scheme. Even the best of the best have a system better suited to the individual's skills.

    Mostly what I am curious about is why did JJ not get drafted. The reasons are he is a tweener or he took plays off or injury history.

    He played all games in 2013. He produced double digit sacks. He led the team in tackles. His worst games were with Manny's influence the strongest. He was productive even if you believed he could have played with more effort. He finished his season and career strong. His combine numbers are very solid even compared to LBers. The explosive and agility drills at the combine show he can fit in a 3-4 at OLB. He can get after the QB.

    I have not looked, but I would guess there has never been a player with his production and numbers get passed over absent any known character or injury issues. It's baffling.

    But based on what I know, which obviously falls short of any information an NFL team has, there is no apparent reason on paper or based on production or based on character that Lawrence is a top pick and Jeffcoat is undraftable. NFL.com says Lawrence was suspended 3 times. He went to a JUCO. You could certainly argue that Lawrence had a better scheme and instruction in college.

    Part of my annoyance is the loss of our streak of having a player drafted. It should have continued.
     
  7. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    "Now you will have to say stats lie."

    OK. Stats lie. Otherwise, Timmy Chang would be the greatest QB to ever play the game. And Ron Dayne the greatest RB. And Trevor Insley the greatest WR. I'll go one further and state that measurables at the Combine lie too.

    Having seen both Jeffcoat and Lawrence play, I don't find it unreasonable to state that Lawrence just flat-out looks better. I know they both had statistical lapses throughout their careers, but if I was an NFL scout watching the video, it's obvious that Lawrence is meaner, has a better motor, and gets to the ball MUCH quicker than Jeffcoat ever did. Jeffcoat basically took himself out of every run play that our opponents ever pulled off, while Lawrence could track guys down tot he sideline. Jeffcoat had some nice sacks in his career, but so did Lawrence.

    That said, I still figured that Jeffcoat would get picked up in a later round. I said in another post that his physical ceiling was basically capped before he ever stepped foot on campus. Lawrence had a similar physical cap, but a better grasp of getting to the ball around the line of scrimmage.
     
  8. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    So stats and combine numbers when taken together lie? So you are going with your perception based on tape alone? Because nothing else matters. Why did Shane Skov or M. Bullough not get drafted? I don't think you would find anyone who would say they are not "football" players. So I am guessing their combine numbers are weak.

    "Numbers from any combine or pro day or whatever you want to call it don't compare to actual game and practice footage. Jeffcoat got pushed around against weaker competition, including our win over KU. I could throw Margus Hunt's numbers up there for good measure, but no one considers him an elite defensive lineman."

    Hunt was drafted for one thing. And his college production against inferior competition was considerably less than Jeffcoat's. And Lawrence's competition was inferior to Jeffcoat's.

    "OK. Stats lie. Otherwise, Timmy Chang would be the greatest QB to ever play the game. And Ron Dayne the greatest RB. And Trevor Insley the greatest WR. I'll go one further and state that measurables at the Combine lie too."

    Actually, stats don't really lie except to those who don't know how to use them or apply the appropriate context. Chang would in fact be the leading passer in yards. He was most prolific at doing that but that is only one stat. Same with Ron Dayne. Combine numbers do not lie either. But they have to be taken in context.

    "Having seen both Jeffcoat and Lawrence play, I don't find it unreasonable to state that Lawrence just flat-out looks better."

    That's fair. But looking at combine numbers, production/stats, and tape, it is not unreasonable to say that Jeffcoat is not worthy of carrying Lawrence's jock. That is what the NFL said. I get that. But it makes about as much sense as trading up to draft J.P. Losman based on nothing.

    For JJ, he checks the following boxes

    Production - Yes - top 3 in TFLs in Texas history, near 200 career tackles, around 30 sacks
    Combine - 4.63 40 (ranks 4th among LBs), good agility and explosive scores
    Character
    Lineage
    Played a full year his last year
    His best year was his last year
    His production increased after Manny left

    Weaknesses
    A tweener but no difference in size as compared to Lawrence
    Previous injury history which may have impacted weaker upper body. Again his last season was a complete season.
    Not a high motor yet he produced.

    I think the perception of our program killed him. The impact of Manny cannot be understated. And Mack for that matter. It is off base to accuse our guys of running themselves out of plays when they all do it and that dynamic changes once a certain coach is gone.
     
  9. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    Players are poked, prodded, XRayed, scanned, mentally and emotionally evaluated, etc. There is obviously something there that is not public that scared all the NFL teams off.

    Simply put, NFL GM's draft players they think can help their club win ballgames. Stats in college nor do combine numbers have any bearing on whether they can help win.

    I was very impressed with Bullough's intuition at MSU. He was ALWAYS where the ball was going thus he was a tackle machine. Of course, the scheme funneled the plays to him too. The same can likely be said for Shane Skov. There was obviously something that all 32 clubs saw that resulted in them not getting drafted as they didn't fit the scheme any were leveraging.
     
  10. Unques prist

    Unques prist 250+ Posts

    How do you as a GM justify drafting Sams over Jeffcoat?

    6'2", 261, 40 - 4.71, 20 - 2.75, Bench - 17, Vertical 25.5, shuttle 4.70, 3 cone - 7.80, Broad 123", hands 9 3/8, arms 33 3/8.

    Just saying.
     
  11. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    Only justification I can see for Sam over Jeffcoat is his coming out party. Or maybe in the case of the Rams that he is a local guy. There were tons of other nimrods that got drafted instead of him too. Many have red flags too.

    There are guys every year that produced in college and that people love as players who do not get NFL looks or get drafted later than you would like. I think Bullough ran 4.79 so that combined with scheme like Husker referenced is why he didn't get drafted. I assume anyway.

    But there are tons of guys who get drafted on their measurables every year. Ultimately, the NFL looks to what a guy can be not what they are.

    The Big 12 seemed to have a number of guys who didn't get the respect I thought they might - Eddie Lackey, Ahmad Dixon, E. Ward from Tech, even Seastrunk. Shaun Lewis. Glasco Martin. Ikard, Corey Nelson were two more. I can't help but think perception played a part. Could be way off base. I can see why a guy like Mike Davis didn't get drafted but could also understand why someone would draft him. The Big 12 had 3 corners highly thought of and drafted as such but that was the only position valued and Davis matched up against them. Byndom was probablly overrated after his Soph year but has been underappreciated for his last season and a half.

    Now J. Saunders may be the one guy I can think of from the Big 12 who I would categorize as receiving more respect than deserved.
     
  12. Brad Austin

    Brad Austin 2,500+ Posts

    The overall play difference between Lawrence and Jeffcoat at DE is large. These difference occur in areas that don't come up on the stats sheet but are very crucial to their position. I dissected both of their tapes and there was little comparison. Lawrence is very schooled at winning his battle with his blocker, even if by stalemating him to hold the edge, etc. He also sheds blocks like a beast when he begins to lose and forces RB's to cut in or break wider.

    His overall play recognition in counters, option, etc is far superior to Jeffcoat. His play recovery is impressive. A DE doesn't have to be in on the tackle and finality of the play to severely effect and limit it's outcome. Lawrence was far superior to Jeffcoat in completing his assignments overall. And we won't even get into QB pressures, Lawrence is constantly chasing QB's around and hurrying them.

    His playing speed/strength combo is simply much above Jeffcoat's. Which is why measurables at a Combine and basic stats (4 main categories or so) are far less effective than judging a player's position performance and fulfilling his responsibilities on the field play after play. Hunting the sack column doesn't come close to showing a player's effect on an opposing passing game many times.
     
  13. djack

    djack 100+ Posts

    Here's Lawrence's last game versus a Big 12 quality opponent against Oregon State. He plays very hard and seemingly every down.
    The Link

    "The overall play difference between Lawrence and Jeffcoat at DE is large. These difference occur in areas that don't come up on the stats sheet but are very crucial to their position. I dissected both of their tapes and there was little comparison. Lawrence is very schooled at winning his battle with his blocker, even if by stalemating him to hold the edge, etc. He also sheds blocks like a beast when he begins to lose and forces RB's to cut in or break wider."

    His team was outmatched versus OSU. But he didn't do jack either. His speed and quickness gave him some opportunities but nothing of consequence until the game was out of reach late in the 3rd. He did nothing in this game, his latest and perhaps most difficult test. He didn't make plays himself of any significance, and he did nothing to help his teammates make plays. He didn't shed blocks and certainly not like a beast. Again, maybe he did whip the hell out of Wyoming and Nevada. But shedding like a beast against slow, weak, unskilled and poorly coached teams does not mean much. Nothing about him shows that he can put his hand down and be a 3 down player. That does no mean he can't though. I haven't seen anything to show he can drop in pass coverage. At his size, strength, and speed he will get his *** whipped in the run game. His play recognition versus OSU was nothing special.

    "His overall play recognition in counters, option, etc is far superior to Jeffcoat. His play recovery is impressive. A DE doesn't have to be in on the tackle and finality of the play to severely effect and limit it's outcome. Lawrence was far superior to Jeffcoat in completing his assignments overall. And we won't even get into QB pressures, Lawrence is constantly chasing QB's around and hurrying them."

    Not buying it and that is only partly me being stubborn. But maybe OSU was just an outlier. I am fully aware a DE's job to funnel things back inside in the run game and pressure the QB. But no one knows who Lawrence Taylor is merely because he makes QB pressures. At some point, you have to make big plays against your strongest competition. A big play is not forcing an RB to cut back inside. And it is not cleaning the play up on 4th and 1 where the DT made the play.

    "His playing speed/strength combo is simply much above Jeffcoat's. Which is why measurables at a Combine and basic stats (4 main categories or so) are far less effective than judging a player's position performance and fulfilling his responsibilities on the field play after play. Hunting the sack column doesn't come close to showing a player's effect on an opposing passing game many times."

    I am a little curious as to what you watched. I watched the above versus Oregon State twice and have seen his highlight video too. The good teams lit Boise's *** up in the passing game and total points. He plays hard but it seems to get him out of position some and results in poor play recognition in others. Those big hands better make up for his lack of weight in his back end because he in no way won physical battles against OSU.

    Oh, and he does look like a player in his uni. I am a big fan of a dlineman wearing a single digit number.
     

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