Ladarius Green

Who fits Giants need at tight end?

One of the few holes on the Giants roster is at tight end – an area of need which GM Jerry Reese has confirmed. They’re likely to consider addressing this position in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft, so let’s examine who might fit their needs.

The Giants are one of the few teams in the league still clinging to the traditional tight end. They expect their tight ends to be an extension of the offensive line.

This past season the Giants used their tight ends in pass protection on 24 percent of their passing plays – the 6th highest average in the league. But unlike the teams ahead of them on this list, they don’t bring in pure blockers in these situations. Instead, all of their tight ends are expected to contribute as both blockers and receivers. In 2011, all three tight ends were used to block on 18 percent of pass plays or more, led by Jake Ballard’s 25.6 percent (6th highest in NFL).

And this isn’t a new trend. In 2010, the Giants also used their tight ends in pass protection 24 percent of the time, led by Kevin Boss’ 27.9 percent (5th highest).

So which tight ends in the 2012 draft class fit the Giants mold?

Dwayne Allen is a perfect fit for the Giants

For starters, Coby Fleener, Orson Charles and Ladarius Green are not good fits. All three are deficient blockers and lack the physical qualities to improve in that area.

So if they’re going to address this need early, that leaves them with one option: Dwayne Allen.

Allen isn’t a dominant blocker, but he gives a solid effort and has the frame to add some weight and improve. He’ll probably never be elite in this area, but he compares favorably to Kevin Boss both in his blocking ability and his potential to contribute as a receiver in the passing game.

Allen is definitely an option for the Giants with the 32nd pick.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Giants Comments Off

Browns Offseason Priority: Find Some Playmakers

While most Cleveland Browns fans would prefer to blame Colt McCoy for disappointing offensive performance, the fact is no quarterback could have salvaged the Browns offense in 2011.

Could Griffin be the Browns superman?

Aside from rookie Greg Little, who showed some promise, the Browns simply lack the playmakers necessary to consistently put points on the scoreboard. And the issue goes beyond the wide receiver position. While a healthy Peyton Hillis will help (if he’s re-signed) even he isn’t a true playmaker. What the Browns need is someone their opponents need to game plan for, someone who can change the course of the game in a single play.

The easiest solution to this problem would be to add Robert Griffin III. While I believe Colt McCoy can be an effective starter if surrounded by a strong supporting cast, he will never have Griffin’s playmaking ability. McCoy can win with the right teammates, but Griffin has the potential to turn his teammates into winners.

But if Griffin is off the board, hope is not lost. The Browns still own three of the top 37 picks, and could acquire another if they trade down – which would make sense if the lose out in the bidding for Griffin.

If the Browns move back 5-10 slots to the middle of the 1st round they could potentially add Kendall Wright, who would immediately add a new dimension to their offense given his ability to stretch the field.

Then, either at No. 22 or in the 2nd round, the Browns could add another weapon – perhaps a playmaker at running back (Doug Martin or David Wilson) or a pass-catching tight end such as Coby Fleener or Ladarius Green.

The bottom line is this: the Browns have some glaring holes, but also have the ammunition necessary to address their areas of concern. Adding Griffin would help, but all will not be lost if they’re forced to return with Colt McCoy as the starter in 2012.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Browns 1 Comment

Ladarius Green scouting report

Ladarius Green TE Louisiana-Lafayette #89
Ht: 6’6″

Wt: 230

Prototypical height. Elite athlete for the position; essentially an over-sized receiver. Impressive speed; as dangerous as any tight end you’ll find after the catch. Does a nice job going up to get the ball in traffic; could be a matchup nightmare in the red zone at the next level. Good hands; does a nice job securing the ball away from his body and then bringing it in. Extremely productive throughout his college career. Gives a strong effort as a blocker; fundamentals are there and he excels against smaller defensive backs and linebackers.
Too skinny; will get tossed around by more physical linebackers at the next level. Absolutely must bulk up in order to become anything more than a situational receiver/tight end hybrid. Route running is sloppy at times; needs to be quicker and less deliberate. Missed time in 2009 with neck injury. Missed time in 2010 with ankle injury.
Green isn’t your traditional tight end, but he fits perfectly into the changing landscape of the NFL offense. More teams are shifting from the Jason Witten/Jeremy Shockey type (big, physical, but slow) to the Jermichael Finley/Aaron Hernandez type (over-sized receiver). Green is still raw, and some teams may think he’s too skinny, but he definitely has a future as a playmaker at the next level. His ceiling is very high, and if he commits to getting bigger and stronger, while maintaining his athleticism, he can be an elite tight end. Even if he never develops into a full-time player due to his lack of size and blocking struggles, he will be a valuable weapon to have on the roster.
2011 vs San Diego State (bowl game) 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off