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tony hipchest
04-02-2007, 11:47 AM
another great article from former gm and scout, pat kirwan with some names worth keeping an eye on.

http://nfl.com/draft/story/10102138


(April 1, 2007) -- We now enter the final month of preparation for the NFL draft (April 28-29). For the top players on most draft boards, it's time to discuss the flaws that have shown up.

It seems every player in this draft with a first-round grade (except Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson) has an issue or two of concern. It happens every year, and the deeper teams drill down in the pursuit of all they need to know in order to use a first-round pick, the more they find out.

Is there a point when a team has too much information? As one general manager recently said to me, "If you want to build a case against a player, there's enough out there on just about all of the top 50 players. Then again, there's enough good information to feel good about the same players."

Mention Brady Quinn and you will hear accuracy issues. Then again, he did throw 95 touchdown passes. JaMarcus Russell gets tagged with potential weight issues, but no one denies he can throw all the passes. Joe Thomas is the best offensive tackle in the draft but more than once I have heard he occasionally gives up the inside rush.

Leon Hall is arguably the best corner, but pure playing speed isn't always demonstrated on game tapes. Alan Branch has rare size and is ideal for the 3-4 nose tackle position, but he's now under the microscope for not playing hard every play and some believe he has slipped a few spots in the first round.

With all the movement of veteran running backs this offseason, the running backs in the draft are constantly dealing with damage control. But Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch still have to worry about trades possibly involving Michael Turner or a veteran signing like Corey Dillon before they know their fate.

In the past three days, I heard linebacker Patrick Willis might struggle calling a defense, LaRon Landry doesn't play hard every play, Dwayne Jarrett is too slow, Paul Posluszny will not get any better, Lawrence Timmons plays great on tape but is 6-foot and not 6-2, and the list goes on.

Everyone I mentioned played the college game at its highest level and should be a very good pro. I'm inclined to think the overanalyzing is at full throttle.

DRILLING AT THE BOTTOM
I learned a valuable lesson a long time ago getting ready for the draft. It's important to spend time in the early part of April digging and scratching down at the bottom of the talent pool for late-round draft picks and free-agent types with at least one special quality -- exceptional speed, rare size, an interesting athlete from another sport -- something that catches your eye.

The personnel director should take one scout and turn him loose on the bottom feeders. Close to one whole round in the draft will come from players not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Back in the early 1990s, we came across a player named Matt Willig, a backup defensive tackle at USC who was 6-foot-9. He didn't do much on game tapes and tested below our standards for a defensive tackle, but he could bend his knees and was smart to go along with that 6-9. We signed him about 15 minutes after the draft and moved him to offensive tackle. He spent two years training at the new position and ended up playing in the NFL for well over 10 years.

When you decide to work the bottom of the talent pool, I'm talking about players who did not go to the Combine, probably didn't play in any all-star games, and might have little in the area of production. They can be from big schools or they could be from schools no one has ever heard of.

Here's a list of the kind of guys I'm talking about. The young scout needs to head out on a three-week tour, working out a group like this, talking football with them, watching some tapes and aiming to come back to the office a day or two before the draft with a few nuggets. Remember when Steelers scout Dan Rooney Jr. came back with a running back named Willie Parker? Parker never started at North Carolina but he had rare speed.

1. Geoff Pope, CB, Howard University (5-11 5/8, 186 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.29 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical jump
I talk with Pope every week and a number of teams are starting to send scouts to check out a guy with world-class speed. Colts starting safety Antoine Bethea played at Howard and was drafted in the seventh round last year.

2. Jeff Terrell, QB, Princeton (6-2?, 220 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.74 40-yard dash, 6.83 three-cone drill, 4.15 short shuttle, 35?-inch vertical jump
Remember an Ivy League quarterback named Ryan Fitzpatrick now with the Rams? Well, Terrell was the Ivy League Player of the Year. His movement skills are superior to most of the draftable quarterbacks and I'm certain he has the football intelligence.

3. Usama Young, CB, Kent State (5-11, 196 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.39 40-yard dash, 43-inch vertical jump, 6.65 three-cone drill, 10-11 broad jump, 15 reps on the bench press test
I'll put Young's numbers up against anyone in the draft. I have talked with Young and action is starting to pick up on the Kent State campus.

4. Melvin Bullitt, S, Texas A&M (6-1?, 201 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.48 40-yard dash, 40?-inch vertical jump, 3.97 short shuttle, 10-5 broad jump
I don't know a lot about Bullitt but that 3.97 short shuttle at his size is enough to send that scout to College Station for a workout.

5. Justin Hairston, RB, Central Connecticut State (6-0, 220 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.58 40-yard dash, 4.15 short shuttle, 6.94 three-cone drill, 39-inch vertical jump
Hairston started his career at Rutgers and played well in an all-star game, so it was a surprise he wasn't at the Combine. It's time to go find out why he left Rutgers -- can he catch the ball and what does he know about pass protections?

6. Mark Farbotko, TE, Harvard (6-5 5/8, 244 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.81 40-yard dash, 10-3 broad jump, 36?-inch vertical jump
No one ever thought Eric Johnson was going to jump from Yale to a starter in San Francisco overnight, but he did. Farbotko deserves a closer look.


Melvin Bullitt was an All-Big 12 player as a senior.
Other non-Combine players worth talking about include: West Virginia wide receiver Brandon Myles, Pittsburgh center Joe Villani, Syracuse linebacker Jerry Mackey and Nebraska tight end Matt Herian.

And now, here's my "Matt Willig List" for the 2007 draft. The first reaction from a scout I ran the list by was, "These guys can't play." Perfect, that's what everyone said about Willig, so I know I'm on the right track! The goal is to find one late-round pick/free agent who is worth developing as an offensive lineman.

1. Jason Capizzi, Indiana (Pa.) University (6-9, 324 pounds)
Key numbers: 5.22 40-yard dash, 34-inch arms, 11?-inch hands.
Sounds like a Willig clone, and I sure hope he can bend his ankles and knees.

2. Kyle Zaharias, Georgetown (Ky.) College (6-9, 270 pounds)
Key numbers: 5.06 40-yard dash, 34-inch arms
Zaharias is listed as a tight end, but his size and speed make this another stop in the search for the next Willig.

3. J.P. Bekasiak, Toledo (6-6, 296 pounds)
Key numbers: 5.09 40-yard dash, 32 reps on the bench
You have to take a look at a big, strong guy who can run. Remember, we are willing to dedicate two years on the practice squad for the right player.

4. Brandon Cox, Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6?, 329 pounds)
Key numbers: 5.85 40-yard dash, 5.07 short shuttle
Pretty slow, but his size makes it a stop on the tour.

5. David Shemaria, Bloomsburg (Pa.) Univ. (6-5 5/8, 302 pounds)
Key numbers: 5.28 40-yard dash, 28 reps on the bench
Keep in mind, Jahri Evans came from Bloomsburg before being picked in the fourth round last year by the Saints and starting all 16 games.

It's more important to be right at the top of the draft because of all the money involved, but being right at the bottom of the draft has a chance to make your team much better at a much cheaper price.

Buffalo got 16 starts from sixth-round linebacker Keith Ellison and seventh-round tackle Terrance Pennington last year. The Colts got 14 starts from seventh-round safety Antoine Bethea.

And there is no greater example of digging deep in the draft than Marques Colston, the 252nd player picked who started 12 games and had more Rookie of the Year votes than Reggie Bush. I heard a lot of people say he couldn't play in the NFL.

Livinginthe past
04-02-2007, 02:27 PM
Thats definitely an interesting article, it will be one to look back on after the draft and into next year.

I think the draft is a strange mix of crazy optimism and overly harsh criticism.

You read the final scouting conclusion with most players slated to go in the top 10 every year and they all sound like world beaters at their position.

Then you read their 'cons' and they sound pretty fundamentally flawed in some key aspect(s) of their game.

The fact remains that alot of rookies fail to make that much of an impression in their first year but its the job of the NFL and its 'talking heads' to hype them to the max.

I don't put Kirwan in this category - he seems more level headed than most.

tony hipchest
04-02-2007, 05:50 PM
off this list, cb geoff pope intrigues me the most. just his numbers and relative obscurity remind me of ike taylor being taken in the 4th round. we havent had much luck with cb's in the 2nd round (if you listen to the fans). i would much rather take a flyer in the 4th than 2nd or 1st.

wich brings me to the 1st round lb's and the supposed negatives that are starting to surface. ive heard negatives on timmons yet i see the steelers show great interest. suprising if the report is paul poz has reached his peak already. if the giants are so high on poz and the steelers so high on timmons a swap of 1sts only seems natural according to how they grade out.

p. willis had a spectacular pro day that even trumped his excellent combine. i wonder if the thoughts that he cant qb a defense is a smokescreen. its seems teams from buffalo, carolina, steelers, bengals, giants, eagles, and patriots would all be happy if he were there with their 1st pick.

Livinginthe past
04-02-2007, 06:46 PM
off this list, cb geoff pope intrigues me the most. just his numbers and relative obscurity remind me of ike taylor being taken in the 4th round. we havent had much luck with cb's in the 2nd round (if you listen to the fans). i would much rather take a flyer in the 4th than 2nd or 1st.

wich brings me to the 1st round lb's and the supposed negatives that are starting to surface. ive heard negatives on timmons yet i see the steelers show great interest. suprising if the report is paul poz has reached his peak already. if the giants are so high on poz and the steelers so high on timmons a swap of 1sts only seems natural according to how they grade out.

p. willis had a spectacular pro day that even trumped his excellent combine. i wonder if the thoughts that he cant qb a defense is a smokescreen. its seems teams from buffalo, carolina, steelers, bengals, giants, eagles, and patriots would all be happy if he were there with their 1st pick.

You know, despite the poor (by Steeler standards) season Pittsburgh had last year, I don't think they lost the ability to evaluate talent.

Which is why I find it amazing that so many Steeler fans have already thrown the towel in with regards to McFadden and Ike - there is no guarantee that either will ever be elite but you have to think they will continue to improve - as young players do.

The way I see it you need to replace the talent that has grown long in the tooth before you declare young talent a bust.

Thats why I think Steelers will (and should) be looking OL, LB with their early round picks.

tony hipchest
04-02-2007, 08:01 PM
You know, despite the poor (by Steeler standards) season Pittsburgh had last year, I don't think they lost the ability to evaluate talent.

Which is why I find it amazing that so many Steeler fans have already thrown the towel in with regards to McFadden and Ike - there is no guarantee that either will ever be elite but you have to think they will continue to improve - as young players do.

The way I see it you need to replace the talent that has grown long in the tooth before you declare young talent a bust.

Thats why I think Steelers will (and should) be looking OL, LB with their early round picks.its funny. james harrison was the cats meow as a back up. now that hes the starter, there are suddenly questions of his ability because he has never started a full season. (by definition, which back up does)?

it seems steelerfans want every starter to be 1st round talent even though even our 1st round picks cant start due to the complex systems we run. patience has already been lost with young players like washington, parker, ben, ike, mcfadden, and starks (even though those players helped contribute to a sb win). :hunch:

i wonder if even the steelers scouts took a little break after the champ win. of course many rookies wouldnt be expected to make a championship roster, but our 2nd day picks would suggest no one even bothered looking.

Suitanim
04-02-2007, 08:09 PM
3. Usama Young, CB, Kent State (5-11, 196 pounds)
Key numbers: 4.39 40-yard dash, 43-inch vertical jump, 6.65 three-cone drill, 10-11 broad jump, 15 reps on the bench press test
I'll put Young's numbers up against anyone in the draft. I have talked with Young and action is starting to pick up on the Kent State campus.

Saw this kid play in 5-6 games, and he has enormous upside. I don't want a CB early because I personally think we are loaded at the position (Ike will rebound, Coke was having a great camp until injured, and Bryant McFadden will be a stud), but if you are going to draft a guy later, this is EXACTLY the kind of guy you draft.

I also think the Steelers are looking at Akron's Andy Alleman. Here's his profile from NFL.com:

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 305 | 40-Time: 5.07

Strengths:
Has a good frame and can still get bigger...Excellent athlete for the position with solid timed speed...Moves well and can adjust in space...Hard worker with a great motor...Plays with a nasty attitude...Light on his feet...Has a good deal of upside.

Weaknesses:
Is raw and he still has much to learn about playing the position from a technique and fundamentals standpoint...Could still stand to add some weight...He needs to get stronger, especially in his lower body...Might not be an ideal fit for everyone.

Notes:
Actually began his career as a defensive end at Pittsburgh before transferring in 2004...The type who would appear to be a perfect fit for teams that run a zone blocking scheme...Not yet a finished product but a prospect on the rise who has intriguing potential and could be one of the initial handful chosen at his position.

lamberts-lost-tooth
04-03-2007, 12:23 PM
Can I add:

Jacob Ford DE/OLB 6'4" 252 lbs Central Arkansas...
small school prospect with a high ceiling. He may bethe fastest and possibly most athletic lineman in the draft. There is a good chance he gets selected as a linebacker by a team that runs the 3-4 defense.

Julius McClellan WR 6'3" 227 lbs North Carolina Central...runs under 4.5...
Former juco transfer... has shot up boards since posting impressive numbers at his pro day. His size/speed combo has teams showing a good bit more interest, with a few who might consider using a draft pick on him late in the 7th round. Could potentially move to TE after gaining almost 20 pounds since his junior pro day. Many are looking at him as a developmental prospect that could pay big dividends at the next level. Expect, at the very worst, for him to be a early free agent signing after the draft.


Eric Fowler WR 6'3" 215 lbs Grand Valley State...4.48
Fowler had a solid junior year but his senior season is what has scouts buzzing. He led all of D2 in receiving on the year showing off good hands, route running, and the ideal size teams look for. He will need to work on his downfield blocking some and continue to become more polished as a player but he has all the tools you look for in a great receiver. He can make the tough catches and beat you deep with his speed. He might have gone from a free agent to as high as a 5th round pick in the NFL Draft.

Rashod Moulton CB/FS 5'11 192lbs Fort Valley ....ran a 4.44 40.
Moulton has been one of the top all-purpose players in DII over the last couple years. He has been a solid cornerback but will get drafted because he can return kicks, punts, and play both safety and cornerback. He has good size, speed, and has shown excellent athletic ability.


Greg Peterson DE 6'5 286lbs North Carolina Central ....4.73 40
He has over 100 tackles and 25.5 tackles for loss in his career. His production combined with his recent pro day results have scouts going back to NC Central and cross checking what they originally read during the season. He impressed in recent workouts enough to merit a spot not only on the list but in the top 10 among D2 prospects overall. He has the size/speed combo to play DT or DE. He has the strength to bull rush and the speed to chase down backs from behind.

SteelCzar76
04-04-2007, 07:33 AM
Which is why I find it amazing that so many Steeler fans have already thrown the towel in with regards to McFadden and Ike - there is no guarantee that either will ever be elite but you have to think they will continue to improve - as young players do.




Because Ike has NEVER shown any consistencey at the position. (Though he does posses some physical upside) And after last season he actually seems to have regressed. Which is strange seeing as how he was not 'rushed' into the position.
As well as the fact that,....though he is relatively young. He's far from a rookie,...and can no longer use 'inexperience' as an excuse for mental lapses and or his lack of ball skills and awareness.

But i forgot,...none of this will be a problem for him anymore,.....because we have a new coach. Riiiiiiiiight

Livinginthe past
04-04-2007, 07:54 AM
Because Ike has NEVER shown any consistencey at the position. (Though he does posses some physical upside) And after last season he actually seems to have regressed. Which is strange seeing as how he was not 'rushed' into the position.
As well as the fact that,....though he is relatively young. He's far from a rookie,...and can no longer use 'inexperience' as an excuse for mental lapses and or his lack of ball skills and awareness.

But i forgot,...none of this will be a problem for him anymore,.....because we have a new coach. Riiiiiiiiight

I would argue that there were alot of guys who regressed to some extent last year.

The Steeler O-line has long been a real strong point - last time out it almost got Ben killed.

Having Polamalu as a free floating playmaker is great when he diagnoses the right play, but isn't quite so hot when he gets caught too near the LOS and his CB's are exposed deep - factor in a lack of penetration by the LBer/D-line corps and you have problems.

The Steelers are tough talent evaluators, I cannot imagine them giving Ike such a good contract for him not to have a high amount of ability.

Asante Samuel didn't have all the same problems Ike did last year, but he was renowned for having hands-of-rock - he dropped a number of easy picks.

Last year that part of his game fell into place and he racked up 10 INT's when his previous high had been 3.

SteelCzar76
04-04-2007, 10:09 PM
I would argue that there were alot of guys who regressed to some extent last year.

The Steeler O-line has long been a real strong point - last time out it almost got Ben killed.

Having Polamalu as a free floating playmaker is great when he diagnoses the right play, but isn't quite so hot when he gets caught too near the LOS and his CB's are exposed deep - factor in a lack of penetration by the LBer/D-line corps and you have problems.

The Steelers are tough talent evaluators, I cannot imagine them giving Ike such a good contract for him not to have a high amount of ability.

Asante Samuel didn't have all the same problems Ike did last year, but he was renowned for having hands-of-rock - he dropped a number of easy picks.

Last year that part of his game fell into place and he racked up 10 INT's when his previous high had been 3.


Limitations as a product of scheme are one thing. Simply lacking the natural abilty to do certain things is another. Ike is in excellent condition for a cornerback. He has great size, speed and quick reflexes. HOWEVER,......'ball skills and awareness' (though they can be somewhat refined by coaching and or training.),.....are for the most part particular 'skills' or talents if you will,.... that are 'god given'. (Either you have them or you don't)

What i mean is this,.....you can look like a singer. You can dress like a singer. You can receive lessons and or tutalege from the greatest vocal coaches in the world. But in the end,......if you just don't have the "voice",......you are karaoke.

And now that i think about it,....how absurd is it to discuss any shortcomings of this team with the 'Enemy' ? LOL (And yes that means you,... "Brady Lover") :sofunny: :sofunny:

Livinginthe past
04-04-2007, 10:30 PM
Limitations as a product of scheme are one thing. Simply lacking the natural abilty to do certain things is another. Ike is in excellent condition for a cornerback. He has great size, speed and quick reflexes. HOWEVER,......'ball skills and awareness' (though they can be somewhat refined by coaching and or training.),.....are for the most part particular 'skills' or talents if you will,.... that are 'god given'. (Either you have them or you don't)

What i mean is this,.....you can look like a singer. You can dress like a singer. You can receive lessons and or tutalege from the greatest vocal coaches in the world. But in the end,......if you just don't have the "voice",......you are karaoke.

And now that i think about it,....how absurd is it to discuss any shortcomings of this team with the 'Enemy' ? LOL (And yes that means you,... "Brady Lover") :sofunny: :sofunny:

You know, I agree with the evaluation of players that appear to have it all but are missing the vital element of a 'football brain'.

As has been said before, your D is only as strong as its weakest link - if the pass rush is ineffective and is giving the QB all day then your DB's are going to get exposed.

Ike does get the match up against the oppositions premier WR - I presume that happens for a reason.

I never really doubted Cowhers ability to diagnose talent, its just that he wasn't always able to maximise its potential.

Any time you want to discuss the short comings of the Patriots i'd be more than happy to oblige :flap:

SteelCzar76
04-04-2007, 11:05 PM
You know, I agree with the evaluation of players that appear to have it all but are missing the vital element of a 'football brain'.

As has been said before, your D is only as strong as its weakest link - if the pass rush is ineffective and is giving the QB all day then your DB's are going to get exposed.

Ike does get the match up against the oppositions premier WR - I presume that happens for a reason.

I never really doubted Cowhers ability to diagnose talent, its just that he wasn't always able to maximise its potential.

Any time you want to discuss the short comings of the Patriots i'd be more than happy to oblige :flap:



I'm a man,....i will take my 'charge' Pats. (LOL) Certainly our pass rush was not quite as 'effective' as it was suppossed to have been.
But i think that is more of a matter of us being so dependant on the 'scheme' catching our opponents off guard. Because we lack the sheer 'talent' to line up and overwhelm our opponents.
In other words if you can keep up with what we throw at you,.....we are 'dead in the water' in regards to getting to the oppossing QB. Hamp and Aaron though exceptional players whom could give a great account of themselves on any team,.......can not do it all by themselves up front on the D-line.
Keisel is a solid player,.....but is absoloutely a non factor in regards to 'pressure'. (Though he's exceptional in coverage for his size and plays the run well)
The linebackers IMO did their jobs for the most part last season. It was big plays given up in the secondary in regards to completions that kept us on the field. It was big plays given up by the secondary that gave up points and put us in the position very often to have to play 'shootout'. ( The Falcons game being the greatest example of such lunacy)

Ike is matched up with our opponents 1 receiver,...not because he should be,....it's because we have no other option. And he is unfortunately the 'lesser poison' of a very, very mediocre corps of DB's.

IMO Coach Cowher's greatest strength was his ability to get many crops of 'inexpensive' marginal players to maximize whatever potential they had to a great degree of success. (This was and is'nt the problem with Ike and the other 'guests' on our roster)

The bottom line is,......sometimes in regards to team sports,..... it's just a matter of some personel just simply not being able to fulfill their duties. (No matter how much you would like to believe otherwise)

Oh and BTW,......i greatly look forward to the next 'Patriots' thread. LOL

tony hipchest
04-05-2007, 12:36 AM
It was big plays given up by the secondary that gave up points and put us in the position very often to have to play 'shootout'. ( The Falcons game being the greatest example of such lunacy)

Ike is matched up with our opponents 1 receiver,...not because he should be,....it's because we have no other option. And he is unfortunately the 'lesser poison' of a very, very mediocre corps of DB's.

trou polamalu was drafted with the intentions of shutting down players like todd heap in our division. how come he got abused by a. crumpler in that falcons game? that is either on troy or the coaching staff. i cant put any blood on ikes hands for that one.

one would think chad johnson is a scrub, the way ike constantly shuts him down one on one.

there were about 5 td's scored on our db's last year that would only be completions about 1 out of every 10 times. too many times i saw a perfect throw, and a miracle catch, with out db's in perfect, textbook, blanket coverage.

polamalu is above average, and lebeaus scheme has prevented mcfadden or a. smith the opportunity to even prove if they are average or not. i see nothing in this years 1st round cb prospects that suggests they are the next deangello hall. id rather go for a "sleeper" than to reach for a replacement for a player we dont even know needs replaced (ike or troy)

SteelCzar76
04-05-2007, 07:31 AM
trou polamalu was drafted with the intentions of shutting down players like todd heap in our division. how come he got abused by a. crumpler in that falcons game? that is either on troy or the coaching staff. i cant put any blood on ikes hands for that one.

one would think chad johnson is a scrub, the way ike constantly shuts him down one on one.

there were about 5 td's scored on our db's last year that would only be completions about 1 out of every 10 times. too many times i saw a perfect throw, and a miracle catch, with out db's in perfect, textbook, blanket coverage.

polamalu is above average, and lebeaus scheme has prevented mcfadden or a. smith the opportunity to even prove if they are average or not. i see nothing in this years 1st round cb prospects that suggests they are the next deangello hall. id rather go for a "sleeper" than to reach for a replacement for a player we dont even know needs replaced (ike or troy)



As i'm sure you are aware of Tone. I've never said that any of this drafts particular cornerbacks are neccessarily potential 'Hall of Famers'.LOL
But i'm almost certain that at least several will go on to be far better Corners than Ike whom as you remember was not neccessarily productive in college,.....but was instead one of Colbert's 'diamond in the Rough' workout warrior selections.
Troy is another story. Troy was never a pure coverage safety going back to SC. But he not only has great physical tools. He is a 'football player' whom has performed at an elite level since childhood. (There is no way Ike can even be mentioned in the same breath with him.)IMO
Bottom line Troy just had an average season. But he unquestionably has the abilty to play at a higher level. As far as Ike,.....i'm not so sure.
Unlike B-Mac and Anthony Smith,......he's seen enough action to know whether or not he's 'got it'. And imo simply playing well against a slightly overated Chad Johnson on a few occassions is not that impressive to me.

tony hipchest
04-05-2007, 02:53 PM
http://nfl.com/draft/story/10110092

Looking for this draft's Marques Colston


(April 5, 2007) -- Last year, the New Orleans Saints hit it big late in the seventh round of the draft when they took a chance on a wide receiver from Hofstra named Marques Colston.

Colston was at the Scouting Combine but didn't distinguish himself. His Division I-AA college film made him look like a free-agent prospect. One scout said he played at the outside receiver spot in a run-and-shoot-type offense and wasn't much of a playmaker. Another scout read back his report to me the other day and it said "inconsistent hands." A third personnel man said Colston was the 29th wide receiver on his team's board. Heck, the Saints themselves took wide receiver Mike Hass in the sixth round and he was supposed to be the rookie wide receiver while Colston filled out the camp roster and hopefully got a practice-squad spot in September.


Marques Colston's Combine performance didn't indicate how good a pro he'd be.
For the record, at the Combine, Colston ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash and a very pedestrian 4.43 short shuttle, but he did have a 37-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-3 broad jump and a 6.94 three-cone drill at 6-4?, 224 pounds. He had enough to work with but had to hear 251 names before his was called. He finished his rookie season with more Rookie of the Year votes than his teammate, Reggie Bush, the draft's No. 2 overall pick. Teams around the league are hoping they find this year's Marques Colston -- a sleeper, if you will!

A true sleeper is a player that is probably from a Division I-AA school or smaller and will fall to the seventh round because no one is convinced he can do it on the NFL level. No one thought Jim Finn from the University of Pennsylvania could play in the NFL. The Bears took him with the last pick in the 1999 draft, cut him during camp, and eight seasons later he's still starting in the NFL. The scout who finds the next Marques Colston could also find his career take off a year or two later.

Here are some sleeper candidates with a chance to be the 2007 Colston award-winner:

Jacoby Jones, WR, Lane College: Jones is 6-2, 210 pounds with 4.5 speed in the 40. He had 200 receptions and 21 touchdowns.

Kevin Boss, TE, Western Oregon: Boss is 6-6?, 253 pounds with 4.7 speed. He had 134 receptions and 19 touchdowns.

Michael Allen, TE, Whitworth: Allen is 6-6, 255 pounds with 4.7 speed. He had 118 receptions and 29 touchdowns.

Daren Stone, S, Maine: Stone is 6-3, 218 pounds with great leaping ability. He also had an 11-foot broad jump and a 39-inch vertical jump.

Justin Durant, LB, Hampton: Durant is 6-0, 230 pounds with 4.6 speed. He had 353 tackles, including 47 for a loss and 12 sacks.

David Ball, WR, New Hampshire: Ball is no secret with 299 receptions and 62 touchdowns.

Corey Graham, CB, New Hampshire: Graham is a returner who had a broken leg this year but was a tackling machine.

Laurent Robinson, WR, Illinois State: Robinson is 6-2, 199 pounds with 4.38 speed. His 6.55 in the three-cone drill was one of the best this year.

Finally, what makes the NFL great and a place where nothing should surprise you is that last year when I did a piece on sleepers, I didn't have Colston on the list. So, is this year's sleeper still deeply embedded in the draft class?

SteelCzar76
04-05-2007, 06:39 PM
http://nfl.com/draft/story/10110092

Looking for this draft's Marques Colston





Touche' Tone. (But you do realize that i will not budge on this right ?):sofunny: :sofunny:

tony hipchest
04-05-2007, 07:58 PM
Touche' Tone. (But you do realize that i will not budge on this right ?):sofunny: :sofunny:lol. no, that wasnt my response to your post. i didnt want to start a new thread that so closely resembled this one for the latest kirwan article. (i am curious if you think ike should be cut, benched or traded).

it seems this years cb crop might be weak like last years wr crop was. id hate to reach for a cb at 15 just cause he fills a perceived need. but if the steelers have a cb ranked 5th on their board and he falls to 15 then we really cant pass him up for someone ranked lower who fills a perceived need. last year i wanted mangold or l. white over a wr who would be #3 on the depth chart. but i never bemoaned the pick once the pick was made.

SteelCzar76
04-05-2007, 09:38 PM
lol. no, that wasnt my response to your post. i didnt want to start a new thread that so closely resembled this one for the latest kirwan article. (i am curious if you think ike should be cut, benched or traded).

it seems this years cb crop might be weak like last years wr crop was. id hate to reach for a cb at 15 just cause he fills a perceived need. but if the steelers have a cb ranked 5th on their board and he falls to 15 then we really cant pass him up for someone ranked lower who fills a perceived need. last year i wanted mangold or l. white over a wr who would be #3 on the depth chart. but i never bemoaned the pick once the pick was made.


That's a tough one Tone.(regarding Ike) I wouldn't cut him,.... but i would definetly bring in a young collegiately productive press coverage corner to 'push him' at the very least. (This would also allow Coclough to seek his fortune elswhere)
It's not that i think he (Ike) is a below average per se,.....it's just that i don't think he's a guy whom can be depended on to play on the 'island' with good consistencey.

And if you have average corners you will need two exceptional safetys and a good pass rush off the 'ends' to compensate.
And it's my opinion that it would be easier to find at least one stud at that position (corner) as oppossed to having to 'stock' so many other positions just to simply 'break even' so to speak.
Which brings me to the question of whether or not any of this years corners would be a reach at 15 or whether we should draft one at all in the first.
IMO Chris Houston would'nt be a reach 15. (If anything he may go earlier) Though granted,.... that's IF Carriker, Willis and Anderson are already off of the board.

There are so many possibilties. I checked out Alaika Francis and was impressed but i didn't think he was even on our radar. Until to my surprise i read here that we were showing interest ?! Which means we could possibly trade down in the first take the best available player and him in the second ????

I also agree with you about our pick last year,.....as i thought the receiver class was very weak then. But,...it seems that we got one of only two whom will become impact players.
Hopefully,....we can have the same fortune in this years Draft no matter whom Colbert and co decide to select.

Suitanim
04-06-2007, 03:23 PM
Bottom line: With this teams needs, and the money and picks already committed to the CB position, you can pretty much forget CB in rd 1-3.

But I certainly appreciate lines like "Very mediocre corps of DB's"

Especially since these same DB's (minus Hope) were on a SB winning team 18 months ago that finished the season as the 4th best defense overall.

SteelCzar76
04-06-2007, 06:32 PM
Bottom line: With this teams needs, and the money and picks already committed to the CB position, you can pretty much forget CB in rd 1-3.

But I certainly appreciate lines like "Very mediocre corps of DB's"

Especially since these same DB's (minus Hope) were on a SB winning team 18 months ago that finished the season as the 4th best defense overall.



So what your are saying is,...simply because we won a World Title,...our Db's are elite (or even near as such) players as individuals ????

SteelCzar76
04-06-2007, 06:54 PM
Especially since these same DB's (minus Hope) were on a SB winning team 18 months ago that finished the season as the 4th best defense overall.


Or could it be that the fact the front seven ranked in the top five against the run, our Qb didn't turn the ball over, the coaching staff put together great game plans in regards to the 'element of surprise' in the playoffs, and the ball control personel to 'kill the clock',........compensated for a secondary ranked 16th in the league ?

And Is there even any need to mention the good fortune of Troy and the backers making plays at 'crucial' moments ?

Suitanim
04-06-2007, 06:58 PM
So what your are saying is,...simply because we won a World Title,...our Db's are elite (or even near as such) players as individuals ????

Nope, but I AM saying that we have a capable and talented group of DB's who, through a series of unfortunate and unforeseen events had a less than stellar year as a group. Just because they suffered a few injuries and set-backs, I'm not willing to toss the baby out with the bath water, but I'm always amused by the people who knee-jerk and want to tear the whole house down because the faucet leaks...

Fortunately for us, the Steelers FO is very, very wise. There will be no CB's drafted early this year.

SteelCzar76
04-06-2007, 07:12 PM
Nope, but I AM saying that we have a capable and talented group of DB's who, through a series of unfortunate and unforeseen events had a less than stellar year as a group. Just because they suffered a few injuries and set-backs, I'm not willing to toss the baby out with the bath water, but I'm always amused by the people who knee-jerk and want to tear the whole house down because the faucet leaks...

Fortunately for us, the Steelers FO is very, very wise. There will be no CB's drafted early this year.


When was the last time one of our secondary's has had what you would consider a 'stellar' year in the recent past ? And WHOM said anything about 'tossing the baby out with the water' ? Or,... 'tearing down the house' ? (both of which would seem to imply COMPLETE retooling of the secondary and or team )
If you are speaking of me,....you are sadly mistaken,....i said no such thing. What i have always said was simply this,.....that this organization would be better served taking the CORNERBACK position more seriously than they have in recent years.

And though it may be 'fortunate' for you in your "vaunted wisdom" not to draft a CB this year. Hopefully the Rooney's will not continue to make the same 'oversight',...that you deem so 'wise'.

Suitanim
04-06-2007, 07:25 PM
When was the last time one of our secondary's has had what you would consider a 'stellar' year in the recent past ? And WHOM said anything about 'tossing the baby out with the water' ? Or,... 'tearing down the house' ? (both of which would seem to imply COMPLETE retooling of the secondary and or team )
If you are speaking of me,....you are sadly mistaken,....i said no such thing. What i have always said was simply this,.....that this organization would be better served taking the CORNERBACK position more seriously than they have in recent years.

And though it may be 'fortunate' for you in your "vaunted wisdom" not to draft a CB this year. Hopefully the Rooney's will not continue to make the same 'oversight',...that you deem so 'wise'.

Whoops...didn't know I was speaking to an insider who knew everything about the team. My bad...

However, we aren't drafting CB's this draft in any pick earlier than 120...it is what it is, and that's what it is...besides, how many CB's who have been taken in the first round in the last 5 years have lived up to the hype?

Not many, to save you time.

We aren't picking DB's...

SteelCzar76
04-06-2007, 07:30 PM
Whoops...didn't know I was speaking to an insider who knew everything about the team. My bad...

However, we aren't drafting CB's this draft in any pick earlier than 120...it is what it is, and that's what it is...besides, how many CB's who have been taken in the first round in the last 5 years have lived up to the hype?

Not many, to save you time.

We aren't picking DB's...



"Says the woman whom claims,....'We aren't picking DB's' ! Don't you have a an Apple pie to bake somewhere ? :sofunny:

Suitanim
04-06-2007, 07:37 PM
"Says the woman whom claims,....'We aren't picking DB's' ! Don't you have a an Apple pie to bake somewhere ? :sofunny:

Woman? Based on what? Is that all you have? I expect more and better, but it won't ultimately matter...if you want a smack off, I'll bury you...I've read you posts. And I know this is based on something else anyways...

But....(sigh)....bring it on anyway....let's move to the blast furnace or whatever it's called here so no one gets in trouble...

lamberts-lost-tooth
04-06-2007, 07:47 PM
..or we can all agree to disagree without having to "prove" anything...PLEASE...its draft opinion...not national policy!!!

Suitanim
04-06-2007, 07:52 PM
..or we can all agree to disagree without having to "prove" anything...PLEASE...its draft opinion...not national policy!!!

No, this is something else...there's often "something else".

This has nothing to do with our CB's, and everything to do with something else that's completely unrelated to football...that's why I hate MB's.

Livinginthe past
04-06-2007, 07:57 PM
Ok you both have your opinions - draft day is less than a month away - then we'll see who has a better handle on Steeler draft.

As LLT sagely puts it - agree to disagree and move on.

Thanks

Elvis
04-12-2007, 02:08 PM
:helmet: My Steelers draft steal in my eyes would be to get RB Germaine Race from Pittsburgh St. ... sounds like a workhorse that knows how to put the ball into the endzone..

SteelersTilIDie
04-25-2007, 09:27 PM
SOme people to watch are

Jacoby Jones,
Onrea Johnson
Syndric Steptoe
Yamon Figurs
Jason Hill
Chris Henry,
Chris Houston
Daymeion Hughes
Marcus McAuley
Brent Celek

MasterOfPuppets
04-25-2007, 09:30 PM
josh wilson cb -maryland

Elvis
04-26-2007, 07:54 AM
Nice Post and thanks for the article... nice information for some late round picks and possibly some free agent signees..:coffee: