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» Scramble for the Ball: Quarter Pole Projections

Mike and Tom weigh the chances of this year's class of receivers, running backs and tight ends who are on pace to break the magical 1,000-yard mark for the first time.

27 Apr 2012

FO 2012 NFL Draft Day Two Live Blog

You joined us for day one, so welcome back for day two. FO will again be live-blogging the second and third rounds of the NFL draft with Cover It Live. Once again, we'll have a selection of FO writers around to comment and answer reader questions, with a number of other FO writers looped in via their twitter feeds.

Last night, I (Tom Gower) was joined by Ben Muth, Aaron Schatz, Danny Tuccitto, and Rob Weintraub.

Tonight, here's the scheduled lineup of FO staffers:

Tom Gower
Rivers McCown
Brian McIntyre
Mike Tanier

Looped in via Twitter will be:

Andy Benoit, Ben Muth, Aaron Schatz, Danny Tuccitto, Vince Verhei, Matt Waldman, and Rob Weintraub.

I'll kick things off here at 7 PM EDT for the start of the second round and keep things going through the end of the third round and beyond.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 27 Apr 2012

24 comments, Last at 08 May 2012, 8:46pm by chemical burn

Comments

1
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Sat, 04/28/2012 - 1:04am

paging JonFrum to the white courtesy fail phone in the Muth thread

LMAO

--------------------------------------
Velvet Sky fan

4
by Chris UK :: Sat, 04/28/2012 - 11:39am

Are you FireOmarTomlin's good twin?

2
by Theo :: Sat, 04/28/2012 - 9:44am

- Seahawks get another QB. Who I think can become a good player.
- I'm planning to go Florida in November to see them in the week where they play sunday and thursday. I'm phsyched to see their new shiny punter.
- Steelers are getting their linemen. I don't think that Adam's (2nd round Tackle) past of receiving benefits and smoking marijuana will trouble his career in Pittsburgh. Marijuana isn't as addictive as hard drugs or alcohol - I don't see it as a problem. If the guy has a structured life and not too many bad friends/influences... he'll be good.
- Richardson has to become Marshall Faulk to be worth the 3rd pick overall.
- Brandon Weeden is good. I saw him play a few times and was impressed. He's 28 so in 5 years, which is an eternity, he'll be 33. No problem. If his age would be a problem, teams are on a pink cloud, thinking all their players will turn into starters for 12 years. And that happens... only once in a purple moon.
- Colts select their new QB's tight end. I like it. They also picked another tight end one round later. Are they peeking into the Patriots playbook? Then a WR. Expect offensive linemen in the next rounds. They are making Luck succeed.

3
by Alex K (not verified) :: Sat, 04/28/2012 - 11:09am

Brandon Weeden might be good but given the Jaguars' upgrade to their WR core the Browns now have the worst WRs in the league. And Richardson would have to be better than faulk to be worth the pick + the picks they gave up to move up one pick. The Browns should have looked at what the Bengals did last year bringing in Green and Dalton and realized that if you are going to bring in a QB, might as well get him a weapon. Rarely are RB's real weapons in the passing game.

I completely agree about Adams, his "character issues" might as well just be described as "being a kid". It's unreal how much people blow up someone smoking a little herb.

The Colts picks reminded me of the Patriots too, smart to give luck weapons to start with/ cover their bases if one of those TEs don't work out.

6
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 04/29/2012 - 4:47pm

The thinking about running backs being automatically a bad choice at the top of the draft is simply out of date. With slotted contracts, it will be entirely possible for Richardson to dramatically out-perform his salary, even if he is merely a very good player.

7
by Theo :: Sun, 04/29/2012 - 7:15pm

My point is more that even if Richardson is a hell of a player - even then the Browns could use someone else better.

8
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 04/29/2012 - 7:37pm

Well, yeah, but if they think Richardson has the highest expected value of anyone in the draft outside Luck and Griffin, it's a reasonable decision. And I think that's plausible - does anyone not think Richardson's more likely to be an elite running back than Kalil is an elite left tackle, Blackmon an elite receiver or (most of all) Claiborne an elite corner?

11
by Intropy :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 2:45am

I think Kalil is more likely to be an elite left tackle than Richardson is to be an elite running back. I also think that the gaps between Blackmon and Claiborne and the average UDFA at their respective positions exceeds the gap between Richardson and the average UDFA running back.

13
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 5:59am

Well, I'd say the average UDFA at any position has a value very close to zero, but the relevant question is really more about the average veteran free agent or mid-round pick, because it's unlikely the alternative is actually a UDFA. I'd be very leery of drafting corners at the top of the first round (though less so than I would have been prior to the new CBA) because I think corner is an incredibly difficult position to evaluate college players at, and it's simply more likely your scouts are wrong than that they're really that good.

As to Kalil versus Richardson, I guess it depends a little what you mean by elite. I think Kalil will be something like Ferguson (who I would call very good but not elite) and Richardson will be something like Tomlinson. I think reasonable people could differ about which of those players they'd rather draft in general, but the Browns clearly didn't need Kalil because they already have Joe Thomas. I like both significantly less than Luck or Griffin, but significantly more than Claiborne or Blackmon. If I were the Browns and had not been able to get Richardson, I would have been sorely tempted to gamble on Tannehill, even if I was unable to move down.

10
by tuluse :: Sun, 04/29/2012 - 7:53pm

It's not about salary, it's about opportunity cost. They missed a chance to get a potential very good-to-elite player at a more premium position.

12
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 5:49am

Surely the point of draft picks is basically to enable teams to pay players less than they're worth, and the success of a draft pick can largely be captured by the sum of the differences between what a player's worth and what he's paid over the course of his time with the team? That metric incorporates differences in positional value.

Of course, if you think running backs are systematically over-valued, and Richardson's expected value is therefore lower than I (and presumably the Browns) think it is, that's a different story.

14
by tuluse :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:55am

"Surely the point of draft picks is basically to enable teams to pay players less than they're worth"

I disagree with this. The point of draft picks is to help you win games. The best measure of how successful a draft pick is would be expected wins added. Unfortunately this is impossible to actually measure, and dependent on other things (various player positions have synergy with each other).

"if you think running backs are systematically over-valued, and Richardson's expected value is therefore lower than I (and presumably the Browns) think it is, that's a different story."

I think running backs are systematically, wrongly-valued. Backs who are good at running are easy to find, and there's probably about 100 NFL caliber runners. For back to really add value to a team he needs to be good at other things, like blocking and receiving, or he needs to be so elite of a runner he can nearly carry an offense himself like Adrian Peterson.

I don't think any GM should be so confident in his evaluation skills to think he can actually predict that a running back is going to be at a high enough level to consider drafting one in the top 5. You don't have to miss by that much for this pick to look really bad. What if Trent Richardson is *only* a Thomas Jones level back? That's a good running back. He played 11 years, went a probowl, was at the probowl level for about 4 years, and I think most teams would be disappointed getting him with the 3rd overall pick. The Cardinals were so disappointed with him at the 7th pick they got rid of him.

15
by Alex K (not verified) :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 7:01pm

Well said. If you want to know which teams value running backs properly, look at New England and Green Bay. With the exception of Corey Dillon and Ahman Green, neither one has had an "elite" or highly paid runner in forever. I would say even Adrian Peterson isn't worthy of a top ten pick if a receiver of similar caliber is available. The risk of injury to running backs is so high and the benefit of having a good one is so small that it doesn't make sense to waste a pick. As for your assertion that there are 100 NFL caliber runners are you saying every year? Because if so I think you may be underestimating. Most DI and many DII schools have backs that could play in some role in the NFL. The same cannot be said of any other position.

16
by tuluse :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 7:22pm

I think total in the world there 100 NFL caliber runners (note I mean specifically running ability only, if you can't block it's hard to get on the field in the NFL). As some get too old, younger guys take their place.

18
by AJ (not verified) :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 7:37pm

I also should add- the running back position is a strange one. its very impactful but it carries significant issues that i think really devalue it. For one, its lifespan is very short- one could already start suggesting ap's best days are now behind him and he was drafted in in 2007. Furthermore, its relatively easy to find competent runners- even if they aren't as gifted as AP. And finally- the running game itself is devalued.

The other pt tuluse mentioned was the rb's ability to do other things. In all honesty, theres really almost no running backs i can name that were truly impactful as both runners and receivers. Sproles is effective as a receiver, but in sd he was hardly anything more than a change of pace rusher. Ditto for bush. On the other end, you have competent runners but can do little else besides run screens.

The only rb, in fact, that could probably be dangerous at both was Faulk and we haven't seen his kind since. Its funny, if he had come into the league today, faulk would probably be remembered as "the most dangerous skill position player ever" rather than "one of the"

19
by tuluse :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 7:56pm

They're out there, Arian Foster, Jones-Drew, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte.

20
by Intropy :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 8:50pm

Ray Rice is a mediocre runner, but he's valuable because he's a good receiver.

21
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 05/01/2012 - 6:54am

Foster's a funny one, because he's not actually athletic enough to be a threat lining up wide and running downfield routes the way Forte (in particular) does and Faulk and Westbrook used to, but he's so absolutely amazing on the classic running back routes - screens, wheels, check downs to the flat or in front of the MLB - that he's still hugely valuable in the passing game. He's so good after the catch that dumping the ball off to him in 3rd and 15 is actually a realistic attempt at converting, not a give-up play. In fact, for the period of last season in which TJ Yates was in and Andre Johnson was out, it was the best chance the team had of converting third and long. Except possibly for running a draw with Foster, because he's damn good at those as well.

22
by chemical burn :: Tue, 05/01/2012 - 3:47pm

In his best years, Brian Westbrook was not only a valuable runner (with a high DVOA and DYAR) but an incredibly productive receiver. For instance in 2004, he had enough DYAR to be the 20th ranked WR in the league. In addition to his value as a back. If anything, Westbrook was more valuable as a pure "WR" than Faulk in that he ran routes down the field and didn't just work wonders with swings, shovels and screens. (Faulk was obviously a beast with those plays, but he wasn't getting matched up with safeties 20 yards down the field like Westbrook.)

23
by AJ (not verified) :: Tue, 05/01/2012 - 10:53pm

Westbrook might have been a better route runner, but faulk offered more production even with a less varied set of route combos. The real point was faulk was great at rushing and receiving, a real threat in both facets that really made him the ultimate moveable chess peice with scheme diversity. I can only imagine what he would've accomplished with the pats and saints - two teams that either attack people with formation diversity of matchup advantages with no huddle.

24
by chemical burn :: Tue, 05/08/2012 - 8:46pm

What are we arguing here? Faulk certainly offered more in terms of production than Westbrook, but that doesn't make him a better receiver if we're discussing RB's in terms of their relationship to WR as a position. It's impossible to deny Faulk had more production - but he didn't offer a chess-piece like Westbrook who could literally line up like an actual WR and be a threat to run a go route and catch a pass 30 yards down the field while being covered by a CB. (Also, imagining that Faulk would have had more production on the Saints and Pats is pretty silly - there just aren't enough plays in a game for him to do more than he did at WR in 1999.)

17
by AJ (not verified) :: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 7:31pm

Don't forget that draft picks also come in raw and can then be molded to a scheme/ the coaches liking. we often forget, but there are very few players that are truly scheme specific and those that are almost never hit free agency. Draft picks do come cheaper than free agents, but they carry a larger risk so it really can't be considered cheaper in a true sense.

I personally find any team that says, "who cares about draft boards, he was a 1st rounder to us..." very arrogant. people are having this same attitude to the pats and their safety, saying bb is definitely smarted than all of us. Really? Because bill hasn't drafted busts on defense right?

I have actually run through the draft numbers, compiling an index beginning in 1990 all the way to 2004- i wanted at least 8 years of separation to provide enough time- and basically, not a single team has shown the ability to accurately scout talent better than others. The fact is, the best players come from the top 15 and the first round is significantly more valuable than the 2nd which is way ahead of the 3rd and so forth. We like to believe one organization is smarter than the other but it just simply isn't the case.

5
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 04/28/2012 - 2:57pm

Jacksonville could have drafted Danny Coale and gotten a WR who is also a serviceable punter if they needed one so badly.

9
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 04/29/2012 - 7:47pm

I'm torn. On the one hand, I like what the Texans did with the picks they got by trading #58. On the other hand, I'm with the Giants front office (and Tanier and others above): Randle was a first round value, and I would not have been unhappy to get him at #26, never mind #58. On balance, I would probably rather have Randle than Posey and Crick.

Still, overall very happy with this Texans class. I'm not a big Brooks Reed believer (he's fine, but not a great pass rusher), like Posey's upside, have confidence in the ability of the team's OL coaching to get the most out of Brandon Brooks' raw talent, and love Ben Jones and Keshawn Martin as fourth rounders. Kicker was an obvious need and the fifth round is not an unreasonable place to address it, and while I really don't know who Nick Mondek is, the team's record with late round offensive linemen is so good that I'm happy to just assume they know what they're doing.