Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin #16
|Extremely patient in the pocket. Remains calm, keeps his eyes downfield and stands tall even as the pocket is collapsing around him. Impressive athlete; former minor-league baseball player. Can buy time with his feet and is also a threat to take off running. Impressive accuracy on all throws. Arm strength isn’t elite, but has more than enough strength to make all the throws. Does a nice job on play action and pump fakes. Plenty of experience; four-year starter. Made smooth transition from N.C. State to Wisconsin and clearly picked up Badgers offense quickly and excelled from the start. Strong fundamentals; nice over-the-top throwing motion minimizes impact of his height.|
|Accuracy becomes shaky on the run; will miss some wide-open receivers when rolling outside the pocket (see first 2011 MSU game). Decision making typically strong, but does make some poor decisions under extreme pressure (took safety vs MSU by throwing ball away; also made uncharacteristic number of mistakes vs OSU, arguably best defense he faced in career). Undersized; a limited number of quarterbacks with his height excel at the next level.|
|Wilson’s height definitely raises some concern, but if he were 6’4″ I believe he would be considered a solid mid-to-late 1st-round pick. While his height puts him at a disadvantage, he definitely has the tools (accuracy and athleticism) to overcome his short stature. While he may never develop into a starter, he should have a long career due to his composure on the field and his overall football intelligence. At worst, he should be a reliable backup, who may eventually develop into a starter. He compares favorably, both in terms of tools and measurables, to Seneca Wallace and should be able to put together a similar career.|
|2011 vs Ohio State
2011 vs Michigan State
Kellen Moore QB Boise State #111
|Four-year starter with a solid grasp on the mental aspect of the game. A true team leader on the field who directs traffic well and makes solid decisions with the football. Decent athlete; looks good throwing on the run and able to maintain his accuracy.|
|Level of competition is a concern; talent gap between Boise State and it’s WAC opponents was so great that Moore simply wasn’t forced to consistently make tough decisions under pressure. Undersized; another aspect which was masked in college due to the time he was frequently given ample time in the pocket; will need to learn to make faster decisions at the next level without always having the ideal vantage point due to his lack of height. Arm strength is only average; can make all the throws, but lacks that extra zip to squeeze it into tight spaces which can sometimes separate quarterbacks at the next level. Throwing motion is slightly three-quarters which exacerbates the height issue. He’s already only 6’0″, but ball comes from the slot of guy who’s about 5’9″.|
|Moore was one of the most dominant quarterbacks in recent college football history, but he lacks the basic skills necessary to play a significant role at the next level. His size disadvantage is part of the problem, but the real issue is that he lacks the tools to make up for that lack of size. He is not significantly smaller than Colt McCoy, who was a 3rd round selection and has found some measure of success in the NFL. However, he can’t even begin to compare to McCoy in terms of accuracy. Smaller quarterback, such as McCoy and Brees, absolutely must have elite accuracy in order to be considered legitimate prospects. McCoy has the accuracy, Brees has the accuracy and NFL-caliber decision-making skills, which is what sets him apart. At this stage of his career, Moore is lacking in both areas. Moore is a smart quarterback, and could provide some value in the locker room as a 3rd string quarterback, but his developmental upside is limited.|
|2011 vs Georgia
2011 vs San Diego State
B.J. Coleman QB Chattanooga #19
|Prototypical size. Strong arm; can easily make all the throws. Decent fundamentals when he’s not pressured. Tough player who can take a hit in the pocket.|
|Not a fluid athlete; looks very mechanical in all of his movements; throwing motion is technically sound, but looks very choppy and almost over-exaggerated at times. Accuracy is inconsistent, especially on deep routes. Sort of an awkward throwing motion; tends to throw from an open stance, especially when rushed. Also short-arms his throws when pressured. Noticeably flustered by pressure; dances in the pocket and loses his fundamentals. Tends to lock on to his primary target. Missed end of senior year with shoulder injury.|
|Coleman has the raw physical tools to play at the next level, but he is purely a developmental prospect. He needs to become more comfortable and consistent in the pocket, and his accuracy must improve before he’s ready to set foot on an NFL field.|
|2011 vs Nebraska
2010 vs Auburn
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the New York Jets [full archive here].
Season Recap: The New York Jets failed to live up to the expectations of Super Bowl Champions, as proclaimed by Head Coach Rex Ryan at the start of the season. The public rift between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes affected the entire locker room and numerous reports stated many players gave up on the season. Who knows, with the acquisition of “the winner” Tim Tebow, there is a real chance the Jets are right back in the thick of things for the upcoming season.
1. Wide Receiver: Even if Santonio Holmes returns to old form, the Jets still need another option for Sanchez and Tebow. Chaz Schilens was signed as a free agent, but has had durability issues the past. The Jets should be in solid position to select a receiver in round one. Stephen Hill and Reuben Randle are two prospects that should be available.
2. Right Tackle: The Jets have had a weakness at the position since Damien Woody retired after the 2010 season. Riley Rieff would be the best option if available. Mike Adams and Jonathon Martin are also good fits.
3. Outside Linebacker: Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace are on the downside of the careers. New York needs a pass rushing threat on the outside. Courtney Upshaw is a hard-nosed player and would fit perfectly in Ryan’s 3-4 defense.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Oakland Raiders [full archive here].
Season Recap: The unfortunate passing of long-time owner Al Davis brought about a complete overhaul to the front office. New Head Coach Dennis Allen will have trouble adding much support in the upcoming draft with only five selections, the first coming at pick #95.
1. Nose Tackle: With the likely switch to a 3-4 defense, which signs seem to point to, the Raiders have an opening at one of the most important positions: Nose tackle. The Raiders don’t have a pick until the end of the third round. In the best-case scenario, NT Josh Chapman from Alabama is available at that selection.
2. Outside Linebacker: The other position that is vital to running an effective 3-4 is OLB, which remains a weakness for Oakland. Dave Tollefson was signed from the Giants and should occupy one of the OLB spots, but the other remains up for grabs. Jonathan Massaquoi is an interesting prospect out of Troy and would be a great selection in round three.
3. Tight End: Kevin Boss was signed to a large contract last offseason, but was cut as a cap-casualty. The Raiders need a TE to replace Kevin Boss. Michael Egnew, Ladarius Green, and Deangelo Peterson are middle round prospects.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the San Diego Chargers [full archive here].
Season Recap: The San Diego Chargers had a disappointing year, finishing 8-8. Phillip Rivers’ had an inconsistent season and San Diego had a tough time dealing with numerous injuries to their aging roster. GM AJ Smith seems to have noticed the need for more depth by signing a vast amount of free agents; something San Diego hasn’t done in the past.
1. Outside Linebacker: In today’s game a consistent pass rush to put pressure on opposing quarterback’s is very important. The San Diego Chargers need a capable pass rusher to compliment Shaun Phillips, who managed only 3.5 sacks in 2011. Jarret Johnson, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, was signed but he is more of a run-stopper. Nick Perry and Shea McClellin are possible fits in round one.
2. Cornerback: Antoine Cason is set at one spot but Quentin Jammer will be 33 by the start of the season. San Diego needs to begin looking for a replacement for Jammer, who has been a starter since the 2002 season. Janoris Jenkins could slip in the draft and possibly be had in the second round. If not, Alfonzo Dennard would be a nice addition.
3. Offensive Guard: Longtime starter, Kris Dielman retired this offseason leaving a hole at OG. San Diego has had success finding starting lineman in the middle rounds of the draft. Kevin Zeitler and Amini Silatolu are two possible targets in round two.
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts still haven’t made their intentions known, but I just can’t see him going any other direction with this pick. Griffin is an elite prospect, but players like him come along every couple years. Luck is in another stratosphere as a prospect, and there are franchise that have waited their entire existence without ever having the opportunity to land a guy like him. The Colts would be making a huge mistake to pass on Luck.
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as the Redskins are excited about Griffin, there’s no doubt that they’re secretly crossing their fingers for the Colts to let Andrew Luck slide. But Griffin will be a fine consolation prize, if you can even call it that. He’s a special prospect, but the challenge now will be to surround him with enough talent in order to let him develop.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The Vikings may entertain the possibility of trading this pick but if they stay put Kalil is too valuable to pass up. Their offensive line has been depleted by the release of Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and if they want to keep Christian Ponder on his feet in 2012, then adding a star at left tackle is a must. Read more
1. Indianapolis Colts/Washington Redskins
This is a done deal, so I’ll group these teams together. We know that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin are headed to Indy and Washington, respectively. But I will add this, don’t be surprised if Colts draft another quarterback to compete for the backup job with Drew Stanton. They own six picks in the final three rounds of the draft, and could add a guy like Russell Wilson or B.J. Coleman late in the draft.
2. Miami Dolphins
I’m not convinced the Dolphins will take Ryan Tannehill, but they will draft someone to compete with Matt Moore for the starting job. If they pass on Tannehill, Brandon Weeden or Kirk Cousins could be options on Day Two.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are another candidate to land Tannehill. But even if they miss out on the Texas A&M signal caller, they’re likely to bring in someone to groom as Matt Cassel’s replacement in the 2nd or 3rd round.
4. Cleveland Browns
The Browns will have the first crack at Tannehill, but they’re unlikely to pull the trigger at No. 4. In fact, the Browns may simply chose to stick with McCoy and pass on most of the top signal callers in this draft. But that doesn’t mean they won’t find someone. Mike Holmgren is a quarterback guru, and is likely to pick out someone in the 3rd round or later that he would like to develop.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Obviously the Steelers aren’t in the Tannehill sweepstakes, but they’re also unlikely to enter the 2012 season with Jerrod Johnson and Troy Smith as Roethlisberger’s backups. Look for them to add a quarterback at some point, potentially as a early as the 3rd round.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Chicago Bears [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Bears started the season 7-3, but injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte lead to an 8-8 finish. Chicago addressed their depth problems by signing Jason Campbell and Michael Bush, and traded for Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall; reuniting him with Jay Cutler. The Bears are a team to look out for in 2012.
1. Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall was acquired for two third round picks, but the moves shouldn’t stop there. Jay Cutler needs multiple weapons in order to maximize his potential. Reuben Randle or Stephen Hill paired with Marshall and Devin Hester would give Cutler three lethal weapons to work with.
2. Cornerback: Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman are entrenched as the starters, but more depth is needed. Jayron Hosley or Alfonzo Dennard are possible selections in round two.
3. Defensive Tackle: Henry Melton, a former college running back, played exceptional at defensive tackle. Stephen Pae was drafted last season and has potential to contribute, but the Bears need to add another player for depth. Ideally, a pass rushing defensive tackle would fit best. Brandon Thompson, out of Clemson, would be a great selection in round two.
Taylor Thompson TE SMU #8
|Impressive size/speed combination. Workout numbers at pro day were very impressive for his size: 37 inch vertical, 4.55 forty, 4.38 shuttle. 38th-ranked TE prospect by Rivals.com coming out of high school.|
|Never played tight end in college. Converted to defensive end after arriving at SMU.|
|Thompson was a late-round defensive end prospect, but has drawn interest from teams as a tight end. It’s difficult to project his future given his lack of playing time, but he has the measurables to be a force. As we’ve seen in recent years, experience is definitely not necessary to make an impact at tight end, and Thompson has reportedly looked good in workouts. Given his size and workout numbers, he’s definitely worth a flier in the mid rounds.|