Orson Charles

Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals put together the best draft class, at least on paper, that I have ever seen in the nine years I’ve been covering the draft. Of their 10 selections, I gave a 3rd-round grade or better to eight players, and the other two received 4th-round evaluations. This was the best draft class of the year, and there isn’t a close second.

Dre Kirkpatrick was overrated by the media early in the draft process, which created the perception that his stock started to slip during the draft process. He’s not as physical as you’d like, and he’s still developing his coverage technique, but the Bengals have the depth at cornerback to bring him along slowly.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in the 1st round, especially with Cordy Glenn still on the board. But he does have the ability to step into an immediate starting role at right guard.

Devon Still doesn’t necessarily fill a need, but was a great value pick for the Bengals in the 2nd round. He will back up Geno Atkins and should be used as part of the defensive line rotation from day one.

Mohamed Sanu is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft class and could win a starting job in training camp. Due to ineffective quarterback play at Rutgers, his role was limited to that of a possession receiver, but he has the size and speed to develop into more of a true No. 1. Obviously in Cincinnati he’ll always be the No. 2 behind A.J. Green, but he has more raw talent than most No. 2 receivers.

Brandon Thompson was purely a value pick, especially after they already picked up Still in the 2nd round. He’ll compete for playing time with Domato Peko and Pat Sims in the nose tackle role.

The hype surrounding Orson Charles was purely a media creation, so it was not a surprise to see him fall to the 4th round. And while I think he was one of the most overrated prospects in this draft class, he’s a solid pickup for the Bengals. He’s essentially an oversized receiver, which is exactly the role he’ll play in Cincinnati. He’s not a threat to Jermaine Gresham’s job, but they’ll find ways to work him into the game plan.

Shaun Prater will have to fight hard to earn a spot on the final roster, but could be helped if the Bengals decide to cut ties with Nate Clements. He has the skills to win a job, but the secondary is suddenly very crowded in Cincinnati.

Marvin Jones may prove to be the steal of the draft. He lacks elite athleticism, but makes up for by being one of the most efficient route runners in this year’s class. The difference between him and Sanu is minimal, and Jones may actually be more NFL ready.

George Iloka is built like a strong safety but tackles like a kicker, which lead to his fall. He’s a developmental prospect who probably shouldn’t see the field until he improves his tackling technique, but he definitely had value in the 5th round based on his raw talent.

Boom Herron is to running backs what Marvin Jones is to receivers. He’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest player on the field but he’s smart and gets the job done. The Bengals have a crowded backfield right now, so Herron has his work cut out for him, but don’t be surprised to see him receive some significant carries this season if he impresses during training camp.

From top to bottom this was the strongest draft class. The Bengals landed better players in the 5th and 6th round than some teams landed in the 2nd and 3rd. They upgraded their depth at multiple positions and are now poised to make a serious run at the Steelers and Ravens. If this class pans out as expected, there will be a new powerhouse in the AFC North within the next three years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

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

Orson Charles scouting report

Orson Charles TE Georgia #7
Ht: 6’3″

Wt: 242

 
Strengths:
Quick off the snap. Does a nice job fighting through press coverage; quick enough to shake more physical linebackers in coverage. Reliable hands; can make the tough catch in traffic. Does a really nice job staying low and using good leverage on his blocks. Plenty of experience against top competition; three year starter.
Weaknesses:
Lacks the strength to excel as a blocker; will get desperate and hold when he starts to lose control of a block. Somewhat reckless running with the football; needs to do a better job securing the football and staying low and driving his legs to fight through tackles. More quick than fast; can shake free in tight spaces but won’t be a threat to consistently stretch the field at the next level.
Comments:
Charles has the skills to be effective at the next level, but doesn’t stand out in any one area which limits his upside. He is a reliable receiver, but may lack the height to truly be a difference maker in that area of the game. There are relatively few pass-catching tight ends listed at 6’3″ or shorter, and Charles lacks the blocking skills to make up for what he lacks as a receiver. He should be a solid backup, and could be a nice 3rd or 4th round luxury pick for a team in need of another weapon, but he likely will never be a feared pass catcher.
Videos:
2011 vs Georgia Tech 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Orson Charles reportedly entering draft

Georgia Bulldogs tight end Orson Charles is reportedly entering the draft, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net. Charles is currently my 4th-ranked tight end, and looks like late 2nd or 3rd-round prospect.

If does go pro, it’s a curious decision. Georgia is playing well, led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray, and will likely be a top-10 team entering 2012 and a darkhorse National Championship contender. With a strong senior year Charles would have the potential to climb into the 1st round.

If he enters this year’s class, I think Charles blends in with a number solid but unspectacular tight ends. You could make a convincing argument for five or six different players being the top draft-eligible player at the position.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off