Perrish Cox

2010 Draft Grades: Broncos

Well, I can say this much about Josh McDaniels: he’s not afraid to take some risks.

And he didn’t waste any time shaking things up in this year’s draft. The selection of Demaryius Thomas is a questionable one, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise. While Dez Bryant was clearly the most talented receiver in this year’s draft, I don’t blame McDaniels for staying away. He just dumped one diva receiver and the last thing he wants is to replace him with another. Thomas doesn’t come with the same baggage, but he also won’t have as much of an immediate impact.

Receivers typically take two full seasons to develop before blossoming in their third year. However, it could take Thomas longer considering he played in an option offense in college. The number of routes he ran at Georgia Tech wasn’t anything compared to what he’ll be asked to do in Denver. Only time will tell how quickly he can pick up the new playbook and techniques at the NFL level.

If Thomas of Bryant wasn’t enough of a shocker, McDaniels trumped it by taking Tim Tebow over Jimmy Clausen. I, and plenty of others, have said it a thousand times this offseason: Tim Tebow does not have the talents of a 1st-round quarterback. If his name weren’t Tebow and he didn’t have a cult following no one would even consider him in the 1st round. He has so much to learn about the NFL game and simply doesn’t have the raw talent to make a smooth transition. Just look how long its taken Alex Smith to adjust to the NFL after playing in Urban Meyer’s offense. And Smith is significantly more talented than Tebow. This move will either make or break McDaniels’ career as a head coach in the NFL.

They also reached for Zane Beadles in the 2nd round. I like Beadles because he can play all five positions on the offensive line, but I’m not sure he’s capable of being a starter at any of them. He’ll likely wind up playing guard or right tackle in Denver.

J.D. Walton was a great 3rd-round pick. He’ll certainly be given the chance to win the starting job at center, and may even enter camp as the favorite.

I love the selection of Eric Decker. There’s no denying that Demaryius Thomas has more talent, but Decker is more NFL ready. He remind me of Anquan Boldin. He’s not the faster player on the field, but he runs crisp routes and has reliable hands. He’ll be a steal for the Broncos.

Perrish Cox was also a steal in the 5th round. They needed to add some depth to their secondary and were lucky that a player like Cox fell that far. He’ll be the 3rd or 4th option at cornerback as a rookie, but could work his way into a starting role down the road.

Eric Olsen was a confusing pick. They had already spent two early picks on players projected to be interior offensive linemen. Depth was an issue, but adding three new players is excessive. One of the three – likely Olsen – will struggle to break camp on the roster.

I like the selection of Syd’Quan Thompson in the 7th round. His stock fell when he ran slower than expected this offseason. He’s undersized and isn’t the fastest player on the field, but he plays physical for his size and should be able to contribute on special teams.

Jammie Kirlew will likely move to outside linebacker where he’ll struggle to make the roster. He has some upside, but the Broncos just have too many outside linebackers. He’ll have to make a strong impression in training camp to make the squad, much less earn any playing time.

No matter what happens to Tebow, this was poor draft for the Broncos. They hitched their wagon to a developmental quarterback prospect and did so with a 1st-round pick. No matter what happens, that’s a poor decision. He won’t make a significant impact in the NFL until, at the earliest, three years down the road. You simply can’t invest a 1st-round pick in that type of player. They landed a few other decent prospects, but simply took too many risks.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Broncos, Draft Grades - 2010 Comments Off

Senior Bowl Practice Notes: Thursday

Senior Bowl Practice Notes

Things were starting to wind down at the Senior Bowl today, so not a ton of action. Players were just in shorts and there’s only so much you can learn from a practice without pads. So here’s a few notes on the day:

- Ohio WR Taylor Price is plummeting down by draft board. He dropped two easy passes today and a third one that was more difficult but catchable.

- Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon has been auditioning for the role of the next Ray Lewis. He’s easily the most vocal player on the field. Coaches love vocal leaders, but I’m not sure the Senior Bowl is really the place for trash talking. Teams would much rather see a quite player taking in all the coaching. I’m not sure it will have any impact on his stock, but its worth taking note of for any teams interesting in bringing him aboard in the late 1st or early 2nd round.

- Pittsburgh TE/FB/WR Dorin Dickerson lined up at receiver today and looked surprisingly good. As I mentioned in my notes yesterday I have him listed as a fullback (really more of an H-back), but it seems like teams are more interested in spreading him out wide and using him as a receiver. The only drawback to that is he really doesn’t have the height to be red zone target as most tight ends are used these days. I could see him being used in a way similar to how the Colts use Dallas Clark.

- Utah OL Zane Beadles has taken snaps at tackle, guard and center. He hasn’t blown me away but the fact that he’s being moved around will increase his stock. Versatility is key for any lineman who isn’t viewed as a potential franchise left tackle.

- A lot of scouts have been impressed with Boise State CB Kyle Wilson this week. I’m not quite as excited though. I certainly don’t think he’s done anything to hurt his stock, but I just don’t think he’s physical enough to earn a spot in the 1st round as some have suggested. He did a nice job covering Mardy Gilyard on a number of plays today, but that’s a favorable matchup. I want to see him matched up with someone like Riley Cooper in the game on Saturday and see how he does.

- I continue to be unimpressed with UMass OL Vladimir Ducasse. His size is intriguing but he has a ton of work to do. He plays too upright, and I can’t help but think he looks disinterested. I just haven’t seen a mean streak in him which is necessary to excel in the NFL.

- In one 7-on-7 drill Michigan DE Brandon Graham blew past Ducasse. It was clear that Ducasse simply didn’t have the quick first step out of his stance necessary to slow down an elite speed rusher like Graham. As for Graham, he is starting to look like a 1st-round lock. I love his potential as an elite pass rusher. He could have a Brian Orakpo-like rookie year if he lands in the right defensive scheme.

- Oklahoma CB Perrish Cox continues to have a huge week. He picked of a couple passes yesterday and nearly had another today in 11-on-11 drills off of former teammate Zac Robinson. He has the speed to stick with receivers and the quickness and awareness to make plays on the ball.

- On the flip side, Alabama CB Javier Arenas continues to be unimpressive. I don’t see him as anything more than a nickel corner in the NFL. He’s really struggled when lined up on the outside against bigger receivers, namely Riley Cooper.

- Zac Robinson further improved his stock today. He looked very crisp in 11-on-11 drills. He looks very comfortable standing in the pocket and going through his reads. I was initially surprised he got invited, but he’s exceed expectations this week.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off