Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One
Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

compiled by Andrew Potter

For this special NFL draft edition of Audibles, as with our regular Audibles feature, the FO staff sends around e-mail comments about the draft. We share information, ask questions, and keep everyone else informed as we watch. We then compile a digest of those e-mails and produce this feature. By its nature, it can be disjointed and dissimilar to the other articles on the site.

While these e-mails are written with Audibles in mind, they do not represent a standard review of the draft. That means we aren't going to discuss every pick, or every talking point. We watch the draft as fans as well as analysts, so the discussion may be colored by our rooting interests and aspects of the draft may not be covered to your fullest desires or even at all.

A couple of new names in Audibles this time around. First, Nathan Forster, who many of you know as the creator of the SackSEER and Playmaker Score systems. Second, Sterling Xie, who has written in the past for Brian Burke's Advanced Football Analytics website and will be covering Detroit and Minnesota in Football Outsiders Almanac 2015.

2015 NFL Draft First Round

Scott Kacsmar: Audibles picks up where it left off: the Seahawks are passing... on the first round of the draft. But it's easy to like a 29-year-old Jimmy Graham over what's going to be available at 31. Still a bit surprised that trade happened, but I probably hold unrealistic expectations for Luke Willson.

Tom Gower: Hanging out in the media workroom, where I have a lovely view of chalkboard and will be watching the draft on one of the televisions located behind me and to my side. This must be my penance for getting to sit on the 50-yard line at Edward Jones Dome in my first Real Media Member experience. To the extent there's a vibe here, it's media people liked the Radio City Music Hall setup much better.

The draft still starts at No. 2. My take 35 minutes before the draft starts remains the same it's been: the Titans aren't going to get enough in a trade to get them to move and will stay put. In that case, I believe they'll take Marcus Mariota.

Rivers McCown: Reports that the Eagles offered 2 No. 1's, a No. 3, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Boykin, the Liberty Bell, and Koy Detmer for the No. 2 pick. OK, I made a few of those up.

Cian Fahey: Daniel Jeremiah isn't on the main desk for NFL Network. This is disappointing.

Cian Fahey: It'd be easy to think the Buccaneers are a good landing spot for a rookie quarterback because of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, but their offensive line may be the worst in the NFL. Expectations for Jameis Winston as a starter should be very low.

Andrew Healy: And the Buccaneers aren’t allowed to have a great quarterback.

Tom Gower: Will No. 34 for the Bucs be as easy as "best offensive lineman available"? I'm kind of thinking it should be.

Rivers McCown: I go back-and-forth on Winston. On one hand, I think people are overrating his "NFL readiness" because of the West Coast scheme. On the other, if he came out after his freshman year he would've been a surefire No. 1.

I interviewed quarterback coach Will Hewlett for the podcast I host with Danny Tuccitto and he was pretty adamant that Winston was a much better prospect than I thought, though.

Andrew Healy: OK, Winston is in. Now don’t wait, Tennessee. Just run Mariota’s name up there.

If the Titans use Zach Mettenberger as a reason not to take him, that is crazy. Mettenberger didn’t exactly show signs in his very small sample last year.

Ditto for Jets and Geno Smith.

Rivers McCown: If Zach Mettenberger is allowed to ask for a trade -- and Chris Mortensen says he will if the Titans pick Mariota -- then I think the door is open for pretty much anyone on an NFL roster to do that.

Aaron Schatz: I either really hope that Winston can outperform his poor QBASE projection or I hope that QBASE is completely accurate, depending on what he did to that woman at Florida State.

Andrew Healy: Could not agree more with that.

Cian Fahey: I hadn't really put a huge amount of thought into the Titans taking Mariota because I didn't expect them to do it. They may still trade him later but the best move for them would be to keep him.

My greatest concern is that Whisenhunt looks at him as this running quarterback, a Colin Kaepernick comparable, when that really isn't what his skill set represents. He's a proper pocket passer who should be able to translate to the NFL game despite not being reunited with Chip Kelly.

Andrew Healy: Just keep thinking of Rex Ryan pumping his fist at the end of that Titans-Jets game. That game set football back a decade or two. The Jets may not be allowed to have a great quarterback anymore, either.

Rivers McCown: Assuming the trade offer reports were inflated (which I think is a fair assumption), I think it's the smart move.

Scott Kacsmar: Well that's a boring way to start things. Two of the most quarterback-needy teams in the NFL (for quite some time even) grab the top two quarterbacks in this draft. Historically, I don't think we've ever seen that work out for both teams, but hopefully one of them is legit. I just think Winston is a better fit for Whisenhunt's offense and Mariota might be better off with Tampa Bay's impressive receiving corps. Then again, it's still a Lovie Smith team, so offensively challenged is kind of expected. It's a shame these guys weren't going to better situations. Guess Chip Kelly couldn't sweeten the deal enough for Tennessee.

Aaron Schatz: So, Cian, it sounds like you are not in agreement with the conventional wisdom that Mariota is a poor fit for Whisenhunt's scheme?

Cian Fahey: Has that become conventional wisdom? I've thought Mariota opinion has largely been split.

I think the scheme issues are overblown. He reads progressions, mitigates pressure in the pocket and throws receivers open. There are minor adjustments to make but aren't there always?

Sterling Xie: I wonder how much Tennessee's ownership situation will play a factor in Mariota's time there. There's reports out there that the Adams family might sell after CEO Tommy Smith stepped down. If new ownership overhauls the coaching staff, whatever Whisenhunt does with Mariota this year might just be a total waste. For Mariota's sake, I kinda hope the rumors about Jimmy Haslam buying the team aren't true.

Rivers McCown: Yeah those are long in the past, Sterling. Debunked weeks ago.

I don't think we should read too much into it as a coach/general manager job-saving pick. It's not like they just drafted Bryce Petty or some total reach.

Tom Gower: Ruston Webster was pretty clear the press conference ownership had not said anything about the pick, though the Titan really do need to clear up their ownership/management structure to meet the NFL's approval.

The Titans don't do subtle. It was pretty clear after the pre-draft press conference Tuesday they were taking Mariota without an incredibly overwhelming trade off. The reports of what the Eagles were offering didn't pass that filter for Webster, and I didn't expect them to. Should they have? That's a different question, and depends on how much of an upgrade you think Mariota is and how far you think the talent in the draft falls out. The Titans had 16-17 players with first round grades, and you have to assume any future first-round pick is in the 20s.

Aaron Schatz: The Jaguars take Dante Fowler No. 3. I'm not happy.

Cian Fahey: Vic Beasley should have gone third in my opinion, but I'm a big fan of Fowler too so I don't hate that pick.

Nathan Forster: Just for giggles, I re-ran Fowler's numbers assuming he was as productive from a sack perspective as Beasley. He's still way overdrafted according to SackSEER. The big problem with his projection was his low passes defensed and a combine that was pretty poor except for the 40-yard dash.

For the reasons Aaron mentioned, this was actually one of the more interesting teams in the first round for me. There were some rumors that the Jaguars were interested in Amari Cooper, which sort of setup a scouting versus analytics smackdown.

I wonder a bit if Fowler's status as an "elite prospect" was due in part to his amazing three sack bowl game. It's a little reminiscent of Robert Ayers, who was a rather meh prospect until he blew up the Senior Bowl. There seems to be a clear bias towards players who end with a bang.

Andrew Healy: No. 3 in 2012: Trent Richardson
No. 3 in 2013: Dion Jordan
No. 3 in 2014: Blake Bortles
No. 3 in 2015: Fowler

Obviously, SackSEER is far from infallible, but a little disappointing that the Jags wouldn’t go with the analytics guy (Beasley) if they were going pass rusher. And Bortles didn’t project well, either.

Cian Fahey: Amari Cooper will be a good NFL wide receiver, but I think that's a bad pick. I suspect he'll be somewhere on the level of Jeremy Maclin as a player, which isn't a huge impact piece. Getting more talented defensive pieces who were still on the board would have made more sense to me.

Ben Muth: Good heavens, I completely forgot the Raiders hired Jack Del Rio. What a depressing franchise they've become. I can't think of franchise cornerstones I'd be less excited for than Jack Del Rio and Derek Carr.

Rivers McCown: Jimmy Haslam?

Nathan Forster: Okay, this is the second year in a row that the Raiders used their highest pick on the player who was on top of one of my spreadsheets. I suppose Khalil Mack worked well for them so why not follow him up with Cooper?

Cian Fahey: Scherff is really good. Washington desperately needs defensive players, but taking high quality offensive linemen is never a bad thing.

Tom Gower: There was an insane rumor about somebody else buying the Titans and doing a 1031-like exchange to get the Browns while Haslam got the Titans. It was a useful credibility test, as in any reporter who repeated it was willing to report anything somebody else told him and should be judged accordingly.

Aaron Schatz: The problem with Scherff is -- isn't the story on him that he can't play left tackle in the NFL, and may not be able to play right tackle? Value-wise, does it make sense to take a guard or even a right tackle at No. 5? I can't believe that nobody was willing to deal into that No. 5 slot to get Kevin White or Leonard Williams.

Ben Muth: Wow, I like Scherff but I never imagined he'd be a top 5 pick. I think he'll be solid starter at guard or tackle but I don't see him as a great tackle (he really is kind of a lumberer in pass pro). And if he moves to guard there's a big difference between being a dominant run blocker against 240 pound college defensive ends and a dominant run blocker against NFL 3-techniques He has a habit of leaning on guys at times in the running game and that won't get it done in the NFL, needs to keep his feet active. If he plays inside and is just an okay run blocker you just spent a top 5 pick on a slightly above average guard.

Cian Fahey: Leonard Williams falling is causing some people on my twitter timeline to lose their minds a little bit. I think it makes sense. He just lacks that explosiveness as a pass rusher that is so important in today's game.

Vince Verhei: NFL Network reports that the Saints are trying to trade up for Vic Beasley. Because of course they are.

Andrew Healy: Wow. The Jags already committed the first big mistake from the Urkel preview today. That would be No. 2. Didn’t expect many of them to actually happen.

Sterling Xie: Rex Ryan would approve.

Rivers McCown: Might be another datapoint in the "copycat" league out-thinking itself, since this worked out so well for Zack Martin and Dallas.

Aaron Schatz: The Jets take Leonard Williams, deciding to screw need and depth chart and going with best player available. They finally have a pick the Jets fans can cheer instead of boo, and they do it the year the draft isn't in New York!

Nathan Forster: I think the Jets selecting Leonard Williams is smart. If you don't have a quarterback, the next best thing is to try to build the equivalent of the "Tecmo Super Bowl When I Correctly Guess Your Play" defense.

Cian Fahey: I love Kevin White as a prospect, but I don't get this move for the Bears. Your defense is atrocious and White isn't going to be an improvement over what you had last year, Brandon Marshall. Bears feel like they're inevitably going to rebuild after this season, this move feels more like a team that thinks it's ready to compete.

Interestingly, I compared White to Alshon Jeffery coming out because of how he will be able to be effective early in his career. His presence is going to put a lot of pressure on Jeffery to be more versatile than he has been to this point in his career.

Ben Muth: A Jets Bear Front of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams is absolutely terrifying. Like the two little girls in The Shining levels of terrifying.

Cian Fahey: Don't forget Damon Harrison.

Aaron Schatz: Big Snacks! I still love Big Snacks! There has to still be a place for Big Snacks.

Ben Muth: Yeah, him too. Gonna be a lot of ability in that meeting room.

Tom Gower: A minor curve ball with Williams falling to where he did, but none of the single teams that passed on him was a surprise. I want something weird and crazy to happen, and Scherff going to Washington because they considered it a position of extreme need isn't enough in my book.

Sterling Xie: I'm sure there will be Wilkerson trade talk after LW, but unless the Jets are getting a ticket to a potential franchise quarterback, he's gotta be more valuable just sticking around right? Wonder what kind of draft pick haul he would command.

Cian Fahey: So glad Vic Beasley didn't fall behind Alvin Dupree. He's going to be a great player for Atlanta.

Tom Gower: I was really hoping the report that the Falcons would take Shane Ray at 8, notwithstanding foot injury, lousy workout numbers, or recent arrest, would come true. Instead, no, teams keep doing sensible things.

Scott Kacsmar: Wide receivers work best as one of the final pieces to a team that's built to compete. That's why I fully supported the Julio Jones trade. While i don't knock the Cooper and White picks here, both of those teams have lousy defenses. Those wideouts won't change anything in 2015. Even with a good amount of weapons last year, Chicago routinely failed to score many points until garbage time. Oakland's passing game was horrific for most of the year, and I flat out don't buy that Cooper will make Carr a lot better. I just don't believe the game works that way. I definitely believe a bad quarterback will waste a good receiver. Teams that draft a wide receiver in the top five never seem to find a quarterback worthwhile to match. Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald is really the gold standard there, and Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson and Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson are right up there.

Ben Muth: I should mention if the Brandon Scherff pick leads to me never having to watch Tyler Polumbus "block" again, it will become my favorite pick of the draft.

Aaron Schatz: Apparently Polumbus was already cut. Hoorah!

Cian Fahey: Ereck Flowers feels like the Andre Williams pick last year. The Giants front office seemingly lives in a different decade of football.

Ben Muth: I really like the Flowers and Anthony Davis comp I just heard. He has all the physical tools you would want, and he played a lot of football despite only being in school for three years (I really like three-and-out offensive line prospects because so many of the guys they're compared to a five-year guys). So I get the pick. That being said, his pass pro is a complete mess. His footwork is all over the place (clicks his heels way too often) and his punch is non existent. Plus he ducks his head and catches on speed to bull rushes. Davis turned into a good player, but benefited from some great coaching that turned a bunch of guys into real good players.

Vince Verhei: Rams take Gurley. I think me, Ben, and any three readers might be starting linemen in St. Louis this fall.

Rivers McCown: The awesome thing about the Rams is that they continue to take luxury picks despite the fact that they have real, glaring holes.

Cian Fahey: Gurley and Tre Mason may quickly become the best 1-2 RB punch in the NFL. They're just going to have to overcome some incredible OL deficiencies. He's my top rated player in the draft. A simply astounding talent.

Tom Gower: Okay, Flowers was the kind of pick I was waiting for. For a top ten pick, he's really undeveloped as a pass blocker as Ben detailed much better than I could have.

Taking Todd Gurley just goes to reinforce that Jeff Fisher's idea of what football should be was developed in the USC era of Student Body Right with Marcus Allen setting records for carries in a season by a back and reinforced by the Walter Payton and Defense Chicago Bears. I've said before that his version of the ideal football team, if it's not either of those, is the 1973 Miami Dolphins, throwing 11 passes a game in the postseason en route to a Super Bowl. Don't get me wrong, Gurley's a really good back when healthy. It's just how much does a really good back get you, with that kind of offensive line (I really don't get why the NFL doesn't like Peat, unless he secretly hates football), and I hate his injury history.

Ben Muth: I don't know, I can see Greg Robinson taking a leap to solid next year and Rodger Saffold is pretty good. Joe Barksdale is fine if they can re-sign him at a reasonable price. Center and right guard are issues. Okay, big issues.

Aaron Schatz: I'm with Tom. Even if Gurley is as good as Cian thinks, in today's NFL, what does that get you? Is that worth taking this high in the draft? Especially considering what has happened with the last few running backs we all thought were this good? Remember, almost everyone thought Trent Richardson was the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. Let's not play pretend with 20-20 hindsight and say that wasn't the case. And even if it's not fair for every running back taken in the top 10 to have the Richardson albatross around his neck, what about Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, C.J. Spiller...

Cian Fahey: I'm not a Trae Waynes fan at all, but I wasn't an Anthony Barr fan at all last year either. The problem with these guys is Mike Zimmer is a great defensive coach, and he has done especially well with cornerbacks, so he'll probably get the most out of Waynes.

Scott Kacsmar: I'd be content with Tre Mason splitting time with Zac Stacy, but Fisher is one of the league's dinosaurs. Always loves the running back.

Last six running backs drafted in the top 20: Trent Richardson, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Knowshon Moreno, Jonathan Stewart, Darren McFadden. Only Stewart remains with his draft team. Health is certainly a factor, and not a positive for Gurley, but that list is still depressing. A team like St. Louis just doesn't have the line to dominate teams and really focus on the run in a way like the 2012 Vikings did. Even that was a marginal, one-year playoff team.

I think Kiper had the 49ers going with Gurley in his mock despite the Carlos Hyde pick last year. Right division, wrong team.

Now compare that to Mike Zimmer's defense adding Trae Waynes, considered the top cornerback in the draft, to pair with Xavier Rhodes and that's a strategy worth praising. One guy's not enough anymore, especially when you play in a division with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

Aaron Schatz: Seriously, last year the Vikings' starting cornerbacks were Xavier Rhodes and a moldy tuna sandwich.

Tom Gower: Cian, what didn't you like about Waynes? I thought he was the best corner in the draft and fits an area of big need I kept emphasizing in our ESPN pieces.

Cian Fahey: I think most Americans call it instincts, but I call it the balance between aggressive and cautious coverage. Waynes looked too out of control and unaware when I watched him. Primarily just an athlete who jumped off the page because of his athleticism rather than his coverage ability. Of course, with Zimmer, that might be something that can be instilled in him.

Should note, my Waynes criticisms are largely similar to what my Barr criticisms were.

Scott Kacsmar: Slightly amusing moment: Mike Mayock getting into advanced draft metrics right after using total yards allowed to rank Cleveland's run defense.

Aaron Schatz: I'm not sure if "the measureables over time" qualifies as "advanced draft metrics." People assume that since combine results are numbers, all us stats-y people must be obsessed with them. But as we all keep saying, most of the drills don't tell you much at most positions.

Tom Gower: The Saints have gotten away with mediocre tackle play for so many years that they were the one team I thought could go offensive line I didn't see taking Peat. I guess he plays right tackle and Terron Armstead on the left side. Ben, do you think he could play inside at all?

Cian Fahey: I would guess that either Zach Strief or Armstead would move inside with Peat starting in their spot.

Ben Muth: I'm biased, but I love the Peat pick. Good feet in pass pro, does a nice job of locking guys out and using his length. Also was the best run blocker on a team that ran a ton of power and forced him to block a lot of defensive tackles. Coach Shaw mentioned the terminology of New Orleans has a lot of similarities with Stanford's and I've heard the same thing (former teammate that played center was in Saints camp and said like 80 percent of the calls were the same) so you'd think the transition would be smooth which is important when the Saints are trying to win now. Before the draft I thought he had a chance to be a rich man's Jermon Bushrod so the Saints seem like a great fit.

All that being said, he struggles pass blocking guys lined up very wide outside (blitzers and wide 9s). He just doesn't trust his set which is weird because it's a good set. He gets tentative. The other issue when things go bad on him early in a game, he has a hard time bringing himself out of it. He didn't have a lot of bad games in school but when he did, problems started early and he would have trouble adjusting. But he's really young (another 3 and out guy) and is already way further along in his development from a technique standpoint than 95% of college offensive linemen and is toolsy for the position.

And no Tom, I think you put him at left tackle on day 1 and ride him there.

Cian Fahey: Devante Parker is kind of like Amari Cooper to me. He should be a good, but not great NFL player. I really dislike the fit for the Dolphins, they desperately need a guard and defensive pieces in multiple spots. A trade down would have been ideal but even picking a different player at a more valuable spot would have made better sense.

Sterling Xie: La'el Collins seems like someone who would've made sense there before everything that happened to him the past couple days. Then again maybe NO would've taken Collins instead of Peat.

Vince Verhei: Dolphins were very quietly the No. 2 rushing offense by DVOA last year. Now they have Ryan Tannehill throwing to Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings, Jarvis Landry, and Parker, and they added the league's best defensive tackle in free agency. This team is getting more intriguing than they have been in a long, long time.

Oh, and Jordan Cameron. Forgot about him.

Andrew Healy: The Dolphins going wide receiver is another of my "mistakes" coming true, although I realize I may be in the minority on that. I would have waited until a later round to get depth there and used the first pick to go cornerback. They really need help there with Brent Grimes getting older.

Aaron Schatz: 49ers pick up a fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick (in 2016) to go down two spots from 15 to 17. They win the draft.

[ad placeholder 3]

Andrew Healy: And the Chargers lose it. Trade up to get a first round running back. Ay de mi.

Cian Fahey: Melvin Gordon will be a good NFL player, but he's not the transcendent talent that Gurley is and he hasn't landed in a great situation. Picking him top 15 in this draft seems crazy when the running back depth may be greater than the depth at any other position.

Aaron Schatz: Trading up into the top 15 to take a running back has always worked for the Chargers. That's why Ryan Mathews is one of the most beloved stars in Chargers history. Or not.

Scott Kacsmar: Underrated injury last year: Danny Woodhead. So good as a receiver in 2013, Philip Rivers really missed having him out there. I'd gladly utilize Woodhead, Branden Oliver and a second or third-round rookie back over Gordon at 15. Still need help on the offensive line.

Cian Fahey: Kevin Johnson is the best cornerback in the draft. Lightning, precise feet who understands how to use his length. Plays aggressively, just needs to improve locating the football when working the sideline. A top five player overall for me. Texans get great value there.

Rivers McCown: Johnathan Joseph didn't get cut, Kareem Jackson, Kevin Johnson, Rahim Moore ... the Texans are really stockpiling the defensive backs this offseason.

Tom Gower: I think Cian and I are some of the few people who actually liked Arik Armstead. I'm not sure he's much more than a 5-technique and he has to do a better job of playing low, but he's at the minimum a Planet Theory guy.

Cian Fahey: It's a safe bet to think that Armstead will literally eat an offensive lineman before his hall of fame career ends.

Ben Muth: Count me as one of the guys out on Armstead.

Cian Fahey: #StanfordHomer

Ben Muth: Ha, I'm usually an entire PAC-12 homer when it comes to prospects. But Armstead just doesn't do it for me. Looks like Tarzan plays like Jane all-star IMO (cliche hot takes are the best hot takes).

Cian Fahey: Goes both ways.

Rob Weintraub: Here's the part where I curse the Bills again for dealing a first-rounder for Sammy Watkins to the damn Browns.

Cian Fahey: Nelson Agholor is an outstanding prospect who offers the Eagles the speed they're lacking. His versatility to line up inside or outside and win in different ways (route running/YAC/Catch point) is very, very appealing.

Scott Kacsmar: Cleveland's offensive-line spending is like paying four security guards $100,000 to escort Pauly Shore and Andy Dick around town. What's the point?

Ben Muth: I liked Fleming and thought he had really good hands in pass pro from what I saw. I didn't realize teams were looking at him at center, not really built like one but neither was Max Unger and I've loved him when he's healthy (which isn't often, maybe cause he's not built like a center). He looks light in the trunk to play inside. Do the Browns run a lot of outside zone? Because he could be a real interesting center in that type of systems cause he might have the ability to reach a 2I without guard help which is huge if you can do that.

I like the Agholor pick. Was a really good college player.

Sterling Xie: Cleveland did run zone last year with Kyle Shanahan, but I don't know anything about this Joe DeFilippo guy. He was Oakland's quarterback coach last year.

Rob Weintraub: I look forward to mispronouncing Cedric Ogbuehi's name for years to come...

Ben Muth: I think Ogbuehi is interesting. He was a little soft at times in pass pro at A&M in the games I watched and needs to get strong. He gets pushed around too much. But he's got some smooth looking feet and keeps them active.

Cian Fahey: Well, there's always this:

The Steelers have forgotten how to draft outside linebackers since James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley were in their primes. The Dupree pick doesn't excite me at all. He's a combine freak whose tape was essentially just him bursting off the line of scrimmage and going nowhere from there.

Andrew Healy: Dupree seems like a great value at No. 22. Maybe a return to the Steelers getting good linebackers after the miss with Jarvis Jones (who SackSEER rated lowly, I think).

Tom Gower: Shane Ray to Denver? Easiest joke of the night, and a pick I don't really understand in terms of value or fit.

Vince Verhei: Well, I guess after he got busted for weed, Shane Ray was destined to go to Denver or Seattle.

Scott Kacsmar: No team spends more resources on linebackers than the Steelers and the results have just been dreadful after that first draft for Mike Tomlin (2007). Plenty of fits available in the secondary, but they went with the next need at seemingly the only position Kevin Colbert cares about anymore in the first round.

Nathan Forster: It's interesting that you mention Jarvis Jones, Andrew, because my first thought was that the Dupree pick is such a complete reversal from the thinking that lead to selecting Jones, almost to the extent that its arguably an over correction. Jones had oodles and oodles of production, but tested so poorly. Dupree is the exact opposite--he has so much athleticism but not a lot of production. If Mike Tomlin could fuse the two together he would have the perfect edge rusher prospect.

Cian Fahey: Trading up for Shane Ray is crazy. Peyton Manning has finished the past two seasons with injuries and their offensive line has glaring holes in it.

Rob Weintraub: Bengals always feel they can get their lineman stronger--tougher to teach feet. As for Ray, he gets to go to a state where weed is legal--winner!

Aaron Schatz: Well, then, by all means, trade away one of your starting offensive linemen!

Nathan Forster: Since 1998, a complete list of the first-round picks with worse SackSEER Ratings than Shane Ray: Erasmus James, Larry English, Jarvis Moss, and Robert Ayers.

Aaron Schatz: Three of those five guys were taken by the Broncos.

Scott Kacsmar: If you're talking better fit and short windows, Broncos should have just traded that 28th pick to get Jimmy Graham. Yeah, DeMarcus Ware is the oldest contributor on defense and Ray is more for the future, but I didn't think Elway would make as many long-term moves as he has with Manning's time running out. I don't get this trade.

Rivers McCown: The Broncos have $7 million in cap space and a whole draft to sign, still, though.

Andrew Healy: One more thought on Dupree. Last early LB to post crazy combine numbers for a losing college team and maybe limited production because he dropped into coverage a fair bit: Jamie Collins.

Those kind of analogies are definitely not always a good idea, but food for thought.

Tom Gower: No, I've heard the Jamie Collins comp elsewhere. If Dupree can't actually rush the passer, he has the potential to be Collins-like.

Cian Fahey: Problem with the idea of Dupree being the next Collins is that the Steelers already have three of those types of LBs: Timmons, Shazier and Spence.

D.J. Humphries feels like a great pick for the Cardinals. Steve Keim seems to constantly just make prudent moves.

Ben Muth: Except the last time he took an offensive lineman in the first round. I am undecided on the D.J. Humphries pick. I'm going to watch some more of him tomorrow. Really was hoping for someone that could rush the passer though.

Aaron Schatz: I've got to think Shaq Thompson starts out as more of a safety for the Panthers. They use three linebackers less than almost any team in the league, especially in passing situations. It's not like they take Thomas Davis or Luke Kuechly off the field.

Cian Fahey: I have no idea what the Panthers are doing to be honest.

Sterling Xie: Maybe Shaq's playing running back after all...

Ben Muth: Something to be said for taking what may be the best athlete on the board. I think Shaq turns into a player at whatever the Panthers end up doing with him.

Rivers McCown: I like to wait on these things before I get too angry, but if the Panthers don't leave the first few rounds with a tackle then I echo Cian. Nobody wants to see Michael Oher start games in 2015.

Tom Gower: Michael Oher is currently slated to be the left tackle, isn't he? I still feel sorry for Cam Newton.

Vince Verhei: As our former colleagues Bill Barnwell and Doug Farrar noted, Thompson will eventually take over for Thomas Davis -- which means we all just watched Davis announce his own replacement.

Nathan Forster: Perriman seems like a great pick for Baltimore. He's a big, fast receiver that can get downfield to take advantage of Joe Flacco's big arm.

Cian Fahey: Byron Jones became a star after his combine play, I had very limited tape of his to watch but what I saw was bad. This is what I wrote at the time: Not impressive. Rigid upper body, slow change of direction. Linear cornerback who will need to win at the line of scrimmage to be effective.

With Owamagbe Odiginizuwa, Eric Kendricks and Randy Gregory on the board amongst others, I really dislike this pick.

Rivers McCown: Jones definitely strikes me as a developmental pick at a position where he'll be thrown into the fire right away, which strikes me as perhaps not the best idea.

Tom Gower: Gregory made too much sense, and everybody expected them to be the team that stopped his fall. I guess not.

I didn't get the Saints potentially taking Philip Dorsett. I don't get the Colts taking Dorsett maybe even more, considering they have their own undersized deep threat.

Rivers McCown: The end of this first round has been ... wildly confusing.

Cian Fahey: I guess the Colts just feel like they needed a little bit more speed at receiver to prevent the Patriots from rushing for 4,000 yards in two games again.

Ben Muth: Colts pick is baffling considering the current roster, but if this leads to them just throwing deep 20 times a game it should at least be fun to watch.

Mike Kurtz: Or the Trent Richardson experience has so thoroughly soured them on the concept of a running back that they're never going to bother fielding one.

Scott Kacsmar: At best, the Colts have cloned T.Y. Hilton at the cost of not adding a building block on defense. It's almost like Ryan Grigson is incapable of studying college defenders, so every premium draft pick goes to offense and he'll just build the defense with the leftovers of other teams. Yeah, I'd nominate this for the worst pick of the night.

[ad placeholder 4]

Vince Verhei: On the plus side, Andrew Luck is going to redefine fantasy football.

Andrew Healy: Man, how awesome is Laken Tomlinson? Just caught the tail end of his comments about the health care system in Jamaica. Super cool.

Cian Fahey: I can comfortably say that 95 percent of that draft didn't go the way I expected it to. Lots didn't make any sense and the absence of trades was bizarre.

Aaron Schatz: After some weird Twitter reports that Patriots were both trading down (from Shalize Manza Young) and up (from Jason LaCanfora), the Patriots take Texas DT Malcom Brown 32nd. At one point they had a 3-4 defense where all three linemen were first-round picks: Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, and Ty Warren. Now they can line up a 4-3 where three of the four linemen are first-round picks: Chandler Jones, Dominique Easley, and Brown. Belichick likes defensive linemen high in the draft.

Andrew Healy: Seems like the Colts could have taken Brown. So unusual to have the Patriots just do what seems like the most logical thing. Ten years ago, they took Logan Mankins with the last pick of the first round, who was projected as a third-rounder by many.

Anyway, hard not to like the Brown pick. And they wasted no time getting it up there. Maybe the fastest trip to the podium.

Aaron Schatz: Would love another report from Tom about what it was like to be there. Were you guys able to interview players? Did you talk to anyone? Or just sit in a back room with the media and watch like you were watching at home?

Tom Gower: I've been in and out of the interview room tonight, since it's right next to the media workroom. I haven't made it to all the interviews, but I've been to a few. My favorite may have been one of the last, with D.J. Humphries. Asked about the NFL draft advisory council's recommendation he return to school, he kind of chuckled and mentioned there weren't many 300-pounders who moved like he did. He was also not surprised he was selected where he was. Players are aware of Planet Theory too, it seems.

For the most part, watching the draft from the media workroom was a lot like watching the draft on television except you're sitting with a bunch of media members, some of whom knew a fair amount about the prospects and some of whom didn't seem to know that much.

For the early picks, the interview room was pretty crowded and what reporters with a local interest there was (reports from people had significantly fewer East Coast reporters in particular here than there regularly were at Radio City Music Hall) plus the mainstays, or at least the ones who spent a lot more time there than I did, asked most of the questions. The place opened up more by the picks later in the round like D.J. Humphries and Cedric Ogbuehi, each of whom I could easily have asked a question if I'd had a question I wanted them to answer.

Vince Verhei: I don't spend a lot of time watching college football or scouting college guys, so for me that was a pretty blah first round. Nobody slid 20 picks later than expected, there were hardly any trades, Al Davis wasn't around to do anything insane. Just, Team A takes Player B, over and over again.

Really, the most exciting thing tonight was the 49ers unveiling their new Pee Wee League alternate uniforms.

Aaron Schatz: I always say -- except for the positions where we have projection systems, I don't pretend to know much about these players. I'm not a scout. I have to trust the general opinion of scouts. But I do know the value of certain positions in the NFL. I know where talent is rare and where it is common and easy to find. And I know the value of trading down and adding more lottery tickets to try to find good players. And when you put that all together, I'll just say it again: the Chargers are the big losers tonight. Big, big losers.


106 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2015, 6:18pm

1 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

FWIW, the Cowboys are heavily hinting that they want Byron Jones as a safety rather than CB (while not committing either way). Maybe his lack of fluidity will prove less of a problem there.

4 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

"Cleveland's offensive-line spending is like paying four security guards $100,000 to escort Pauly Shore and Andy Dick around town. What's the point?"

hahahaha. great line, Scott.

6 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Packer fans initially lost their minds as nobody recognized the guy being drafted AND he wasn't a linebacker

But then after about 5-10 minutes people remembered who was handling the job of GM and are now grudgingly willing to believe that maybe the kid can help the team.

7 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

It pains me to read that drafting Melvin Gordon made the Chargers 'big losers'.

I understand the reasoning. Completely.

Still, as a Badger fan rough to take in that Melvin is associated with that perspective

8 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I either really hope that Winston can outperform his poor QBASE projection or I hope that QBASE is completely accurate, depending on what he did to that woman at Florida State.

There are hundreds of pages of evidence that have been available to the public for ages, and every aspect of every version of Erica Kinsman's ever-changing story is contradicted by the toxicology report and the statements of her own friends regarding her level of impairment. Can we please, for the love of Christ, stop pretending that this is some kind of open question?

12 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I tend to agree, but there will a civil trial now, so all the evidence can be tested in court, so we'll see where it goes. If Winston decides to settle, now that he has earned 18 million, it won't be unreasonable to make inferences that Winston engaged in some manner of bad behavior. If he is as completely innocent as he claims, I sincerely hope he has the determination to litigate this thing to the hilt, in order to discourage other false accusations in the future. In fact, if he prevails, and is clearly vindicated, I'd hope at that point that he would counter-sue, even if the the party being sued is judgement-proof.

13 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Look, the problem with this case from the beginning is that the negligent investigation makes it impossible for Winston to clear his name. The actions of the investigators make it literally impossible for the evidence to be sufficiently tested in a court of law. Winston should be FURIOUS at the police if he's innocent because it's their fault that this will ALWAYS hang over his career. Proving his innocence at this point simply isn't possible - the bad action of the investigators are simply too egregious to overlook. He's never going to get over it because of the way they suppressed a proper investigation and then mangled their belated inquiry. If you believe Winston to be innocent, you should be really, really, REALLY angry at law enforcement.

But to say this question can ever be resolved simply isn't true. That shipped sailed years ago. (For the record, I also don't think you can trust a guilty verdict in the civil trial to mean anything. A settlement absolutely means nothing about guilt or innocent. It simply means he wants it to go away - and why wouldn't he?)

20 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Yeah, but that value has a cost, and it will almost certainly cost money, in legal fees, to have that happen. Even if he countersued, you could get into a situation where the jury says "no" to *both* claims, and both sides just end up out legal fees. (Or the other side doesn't have a prayer of paying back your legal fees, in which case you're out them, period).

And then even if he did try to keep it going, then you run into a case where if things aren't going the defendant's way, they could drop the suit and claim "oh, we're dropping it because we simply want to move on, and Winston now has the resources to drown my client in paperwork and legal fees" ... and Winston *still* ends up with this over his head.

I agree with chemical burn on this: barring additional information I think you have to go with the criminal-side finding that nothing illegal happened. Things are way too murky to conclude otherwise.

22 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Oh, as I said, I tend to agree with that proposition, and I'm normally one to advise staying out of court, especially against aomebody who is judgement proof, but I really, really, hate the idea of people fishing for settlements with baseless allegations. Easy for me to say, of course.

26 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Well, there is the other possibility that Winston's accuser really *does* feel that she's been wronged, even if other people might not agree. To her she might not even remember it the way it actually happened anymore. It's not like the real world, or memory, is black and white.

29 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Ain't it the truth. It is always eerie to see people stick with their memory's version of an event, even after seeing indisputable evidence that their memory is not accurate. The just "know" it. Really makes me uneasy in the context of the death penalty and long prison sentences. I don't think too many prosecutors would let me sit on a jury, after I tell them that I have extremely little faith in the veracity of eyewitness testimony.

37 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Absolutely - but from the other side, that's why predators so frequently choose to exploit the weakened memories of intoxicated individuals. The power of "eye witness" testimony has been shown again and again to be one of the most effective things to sway juries (and judges) so finding victims who will have trouble providing it is an easy way to become the next Darren Sharper and get away with this shit for decades.

24 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Based on the released evidence, it seems unlikely there would have been charges, which is a different thing that feeling something very ugly went on that night. That being said, there was never a chance there would be charges considering the stumbling incompetence and/or intentional obfuscation of the Tallahassee PD. That being said, the fact the Bucs managed to skip interviewing this woman in their alleged incredibly-detailed investigation where they talked to 75 people is what the problem is here. To just post something I wrote elsewhere yesterday, they should have interviewed her and basically made a public statement like:

"We had long and frank interviews separately with both her and Jameis, and each tells a very different story. Both are strongly and passionately sure their version of events are true. However, all we have at this point are the stories, and we have no objective way to determine exactly what happened that night. We neither want to imply in any way that Ms. Kinsman is fabricating a story, nor do we want to state Jameis was shown in any way to have actually committed the assault; based on the nature of the investigation, nothing can be clearly said. We do, however, greatly sympathize with the plight of sexual assault victims, and will be donating [METRIC sh*t-TON OF MONEY] to domestic violence, counseling, and other centers for women in need in both Tampa and Tallahassee. This is is no way meant to whitewash the allegations of what may or may not have happened that evening between Jameis Winston and Erica Kinsman. We simply do not have all of the evidence we need, and, barring that, we are doing the best we can in helping out communities in need."

27 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Has the alleged victim said she would have been willing to be interviewed by the Bucs? If I was her attorney, I'm not sure I would have seen it in her interest to do so. The attorney now be saying he is shocked, shocked, that such an interview din't take place, but I think it may be problematic.

34 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

The way the evidence was assembled and the investigation conducted means that it is pretty close to valueless. An investigation conducted like this one means there is no way for it to support the accuser's allegations - which, again, is why winston should be furious at law enforcement if he's innocent. They inarguably acted in such a way as to make it impossible for the truth to be determined.

It is natural to assume they did this on his behalf (or rather, on behalf of the FSU sports-industrial complex) but that doesn't mean he is guilty. It means that they do this as a matter of course and have no interest in the truth or falsity of ANY accusations made against FSU players/coaches/etc. Winston, if he is falsely accused, should be furious at how their actions means he will never be able to clear his name. Because law enforcement clearly acted in such a way as to make the accusations as difficult as possible to pursue.

51 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Can you point me to good, detailed critique of the investigation? I'm no expert on the case but from what I've read the criticisms of the INITIAL investigation (as opposed to later police conduct) have been overblown. The police appear to have done what they were supposed to do starting the evening of the incident -- rape kit, toxicology, interview all the witnesses, collect text and phone records, etc. Then they decided, rightly or wrongly (mileage may vary), that there was no case and dropped it. It was months later when the reporter came around asking questions that the police started running interference, which was totally improper. Again, I haven't spent hours on this so if my impressions are mistaken I'm happy to be corrected.

52 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Here's the New York Times report:

"In fact, an examination by The New York Times has found that there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university.

The police did not follow the obvious leads that would have quickly identified the suspect as well as witnesses, one of whom videotaped part of the sexual encounter. After the accuser identified Mr. Winston as her assailant, the police did not even attempt to interview him for nearly two weeks and never obtained his DNA.

The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including the video of the sexual act."

75 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Thanks. It was definitely a crappier investigation than I thought. Among other things, they lost the ability to get video from the bar and gave Winston an opportunity to lawyer up.

A couple of points that are not exactly clear from the NYT article. With respect to "Chris", the freshman football player (Chris Casher), the victim said she talked to him at the bar and did not see him after that. It's not like she placed Casher at the scene of the incident or otherwise connected the assailant with him, which makes the failure to track him down a little less egregious. Still bad though. Second, the story definitely creates the impression that the victim was incapacitated ("The woman did not appear drunk, her friends said. But after a stranger gave her a drink, she recounted, her memory became hazy and fragmented.") but does not mention the toxicology report showing no drugs in her system and a BAC of 0.048.

9 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Yeah, I saw Melvin Gordon a lot in college, and while I think there is a lot to like about him (I think he'll be quite good between the tackles), he just doesn't have elite NFL top end speed, despite all the long runs he had in college, to be worthy of what the Chargers did to get him. I don't even think he would have been worth it at 17. A rb has to be threat to score every time he touches the ball, and be great between the tackles, to be worthy of a pick in the top half of the 1st. Gordon will be good, I think, but d-coordinators aren't going to overcompensate enough to make passing a lot easier, in response to the prospect of Gordon taking a handoff.

I thought Tanier on the Vikings pick was spot on. A tall guy who is extremely fast, played on an island in a major conference, and is going to be coached by a staff which has an excellent track record with d-backs. We don't know yet if Zimmer will be an excellent head coach, but if Zimmer thinks a cornerback has what he needs at that position, I tend to think Zimmer will be proven correct.

Good grief the mention of Erasmus James should have a trigger warning for Vikings fans. The disastrous 2005 draft, I'm convinced, is still having an effect on the Vikings. Red McCombs orders a need pick at 7 to replace Moss, the Vikings pick a fast guy with no football skill, Troy Williamson, force another need pick at 18 with James, and end up with one guy in that draft who sticks in the league, journeyman CJ Moseley, picked in the 6th, and the Vikings trade Moseley the following spring for Brooks Freakin' Bollinger, because The Chiller coached him at Wisconsin. Spielman may not be great, but since he consolidated power, the Vikings haven't made idiotic reaches (I'm convinced that Spielman finally got full control after he was told by ownership that he had to draft a qb in 2012, and that resuted in The Ponderous One), nor do they do the stupid trading up, like they did with Tavaris Jackson, among others.

I agree that the concept of a wide receiver making a mediocre qb a good qb is pretty dubious. The only receiver who I've seen do that is prime time Randy Moss, and I don't think there are any receivers who approach Randy Moss in this draft.

14 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I actually remember after the 2005 draft, Lions fans and Vikings fans talking trash to each other on internet message boards about whether Mike Williams or Troy Williamson would turn out to be the better receiver. Very reminiscent of 2002 Lions and Texans fans arguing about whether Joey Harrington or David Carr would have the better career.

The Vikings look to have a pretty scary starting secondary now, which is a big change from the Leslie Frazer "Running and stopping the run is the way to win in the NFL" philosopy.

16 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Leslie Frazier is a very good man, it appears from afar, but I've never seen any evidence that he is a good football coach, positional, coordinator, or top job. It always troubled me that a guy who was an NFL dback had defensive backs on his roster who looked so overmatched. Maybe Lovie being so good on that side of the ball will make Frazier rather less important, but I'd be uneasy if I was a Bucs fan.

41 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

David Carr was a more effective quarterback than Joey Harrington, hands down. He lived on as a serviceable backup for many years and won a Super Bowl ring! That's production.

Mike Williams probably edges Troy by a nose, but that's a tight race, definitely worthy of the trash talk. In truth, I could go either way on those picks, the two lucky teams probably profited about equally from their investments.

42 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Childress with strong draft influence was just a nightmare for Vikings fans. Troy Williamson, trading up for Tavaris Jackson, etc. It's like he a had a radar for athletic guys with zero instinct for the game, and sought them out, instead of avoiding them.

44 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Troy Williamson is the only WR I've seen in the NFL for whom catching the ball was genuinely difficult. He just didn't have the coordination to run and catch at the same time. I've never seen anything like the way the balls would just bloop off of him.

45 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I've never seen a fast qb with worse instincts for the pocket, and how to make his footspeed work for him, than Tavaris Jackson. Yeah, it's bad when a fast qb has a habit of taking off too early, but Jackson almost always made the wrong choice, running, or staying in the pocket, or just, frequently, hesitating, crushed by indecision, and paired it with the habit of never throwing to anyone without first staring the receiver down. When he and Williamson were on the field together, the ineptitude of the passing offense passed all understanding.

Then they went out and drafted the same guy all over again in 2012, excet this time in the first half of the 1st, instead of the end of the 2nd (while giving up two thirds!!!!). It'll be interesting to see if Ponder can make himself useful enough to get a 10 year career with the clipboard and baseball cap. I actually have to credit Tavaris for that; he really must be a quality human being.

46 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I've never seen a fast qb with worse instincts for the pocket, and how to make his footspeed work for him, than Tavaris Jackson. Yeah, it's bad when a fast qb has a habit of taking off too early, but Jackson almost always made the wrong choice, running, or staying in the pocket, or just, frequently, hesitating, crushed by indecision, and paired it with the habit of never throwing to anyone without first staring the receiver down. When he and Williamson were on the field together, the ineptitude of the passing offense passed all understanding.

Then they went out and drafted the same guy all over again in 2012, excet this time in the first half of the 1st, instead of the end of the 2nd (while giving up two thirds!!!!). It'll be interesting to see if Ponder can make himself useful enough to get a 10 year career with the clipboard and baseball cap. I actually have to credit Tavaris for that; he really must be a quality human being.

81 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Never watched Detroit games? Stafford and their backups spent years doing nothing but throwing it up for grabs to Calvin Johnson. Made Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton look ok instead of poor, Stafford good instead of so-so. An amazing receiver can really improve QB play because they are a safety net--just throw it up to them if the first read's not there--or if you're just unable to read the defense or progression.

10 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I don't get the hate for Derek Carr. Comp % was low but I saw him make some really nice throws last year. and 21/12 for a rookie is really good. And he was throwing to, who exactly?

11 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Even after 15 years of Dan Snyder, the Redskins never fail to amaze me on draft day. Is there any possible explanation in which taking that particular O-lineman (one who can't pass block) at 5 makes sense for the Skins? I get that their offensive line is bad, but given the glaring holes at basically every defensive position is it possible to justify not taking Leonard Williams (or another defender) or trading the pick after all that talk about the new GM wanting to trade down?

18 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

"Why didn't they trade down?" is only a useful complaint if you think that there was another team willing to trade up. Given the near lack of trades at all in the first round, it's probably safe to say that teams were not thrilled with the overall talent at the top of this draft and were certainly not willing to sacrifice later picks to acquire any of those players at the top. (Although Leonard Williams should presumably have been the one player worth trading up for.)

19 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I don't like to beat up on Kiper too much, because it just seems too easy at times, but he is just about the worst in that regard, the empty criticism that somebody didn't trade down, without any evidence that somebody was willing to offer anything of value to do so.

The fact the nobody will be fall off the barstool shocked (with perhaps the exception of Jon Gruden) if neither of the top two picks turn out well, says a lot about the top of this draft. Whether a head coach goes to the Hall of Fame, or has a short career, can depend on what year his team has a top 5 pick, as opposed to, say, the 11 or 12 pick.

59 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Teams giving up a ransom to move up just a couple spots seems to have priced out most teams' willingness to move up. If the cost to move up two spots in the middle of the first round is a third round pick, why would anyone even consider it except for a falling QB?

(Or idiocy. Hello Chargers!)

82 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I'll reserve judgment on Scherff until he plays, but now that we see they picked a DE with the second pick, it's difficult to understand how they wouldn't have been better off with Williams plus say the Wisconsin tackle or whichever other lineman was available with their second pick. Plus the third pick is both an obvious reach and is for a backup running back, which should never be a third round pick in the first place. How about a safety, a linebacker, or another OL or a CB. Or a WR for when they don't want to re-sign Garcon?

They did make a nice win in the trade with Seattle according to Brian Burke's Massey-Thaley surplus value draft trade calculator. But they promptly lost the value by picking a guy 60 picks higher than projected.

17 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Can't be too displeased about the Dolphins taking Parker. Biggest needs were LB and G, but the right players weren't there. CB is a need, but not terribly pressing. Between Kevin Johnson (who I hadn't even heard about before a couple of days ago) and Parker it was all good.

Who, me?

78 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I think the lack of a 3rd round pick meant Miami should have traded down and still picked a valid receiver in this draft. The counter to that is... no one seemed to be trading this year so perhaps they didn't get many offers. Guards can be had in the 4-5 round but they likely will need a year to develop. I'm hoping they land a linebacker in the 2nd. They can focus on another CB in the second wave of free agency after the draft if they need one. There are a lot of young CBs on the roster. As for the WR they got? College WR seem to be a loaded position the past few drafts. I'm not unhappy with the team drafting into a drafts strengths rather than taking a need pick.

21 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Why does the media keep making Gregory out to be some kind of troublemaker?

He didn't get into any fights at nightclubs. He tested positive for marijuana where if you believe the chatter he was using to manage his issues with anxiety.

Not interested in Green Bay drafting him because I think there are football reasons to take a pass, but I also don't like a kid being characterized as a 'bad element' when he's trying to cope with an illness/condition.

23 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

The fact that the Eagles didn't keep that trade possibility close to their chest is just a total joke. And then picking a receiver? Really?

It's easy to say "well, the Eagles needed a receiver now that Maclin's gone" - sure, OK, but they let him get away, so if they don't think he's that great, then why does he need to be replaced with a first round receiver?

And now they need to spend out the wazoo to make sure they actually have a quarterback next year, because they weren't able to gauge that both Tampa Bay and Tennessee actually *liked* the quarterbacks that were on the board. Great!

28 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Eagles are screwed next off-season. There's just no way they can come out of it with a viable roster. It's worse, in a way, if guys like Bradford or Austin (or Cox) have massive years - then you have to commit a contract to oft-injured players based on a single season of productivity. If Bradford throws for 4000 yards and 30 TD's, he's getting $17 million from somebody. That's a horrible bet to make: he'll stay healthy and continue to be productive. You can't make that bet based on a single season. And they're up against the cap already.

Also, that Maclin has said a tiny amount more money would have let him still in Philly just makes this pick such a nightmare - they wasted so much cap space on Bradford trying to make a trade happen that they had to waste a first round pick to repair the damage!

36 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

It's worse than that, to me: if Bradford proves he's a viable long-term quarterback, modulo injury, the standard isn't $17 mil/year. It's a $100+M contract. Which means no short contracts with an out. It means at least a 5 year contract. Probably 6. So that's now how long you're stuck with Bradford.

But that *also* means that now you're stuck in the 'market' part of a quarterback's lifecycle (as opposed to Foles, for instance, who's in the 'cheap' part of a QB's lifecycle), which means you would really like your roster to have a fair amount of cheap talent, so that the massive money you *aren't* saving at QB, you're at least saving elsewhere. But... they don't. In fact, they have a super-expensive RB, and their OL is getting pretty costly too.

So even if Bradford turns into a good QB, and you manage to keep him somehow... you're now the Dallas Cowboys, with a bunch of good, highly paid players, and totally incapable of competing with the teams who got draft lucky, that have more good, cheap players.

I'm actually hoping Bradford either completely fails, or succeeds and tells the Eagles to go jump off a bridge when he hits free agency, so that the Kelly era bombs, he gets fired, and in 2-3 years someone competent can come in and start rebuilding. Because if Bradford *does* succeed, and the Eagles resign him... it's just going to be the start of a cycle of "mediocre to kinda good" that could last for a very long time.

38 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

To keep talking to myself...

A good Eagles comparison would be looking at the 2003-2004-ish era, when McNabb was similarly in a 'market' portion of his contract. At that point they had a bucketload of young, cheap talent (Andrews, Sheppard, Brown, Westbrook, etc.), so that they could go out and actually pay for elite talent. Without that, they would've been stuck as a 'good' team.

40 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Well, you can't whiff on the draft as badly as they have in the Kelly era and be competitive. It's too very tough without Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or Andrew Luck on your team to draft as badly as they did in 2013-2014 and field a good team. In the first three rounds, they got two promising young players in Matthews and Logan, two busts in Huff and Smith and two problem players who have totally failed to live up to expectations and they might need to move on from in Johnson and Ertz. Everyone else they took hasn't proven to be NFL caliber.

If you're not drafting well, you can't go out and overpay for unproven FA's like Maxwell and Graham nor invest heavily in players like Murray and Bradford who only MIGHT be productive. What kills me is that you can see how they could have made the team better for 2015 and beyond, with just a few changes:

Still trade McCoy for Alonso.
Pay the money to keep Maclin.
Keep Foles (and the second rounder) and give him his final year to prove if 2013 was a fluke or not.
Still bring in Ryan Mathews and be set with Mathews/Sproles/Polk at RB.
Keep Cary Williams and move Boykin into a starting role. Still sign Thurmond and have him compete with Carroll for the #3CB.
Sign Thornton or Curry to longterm deal while their stock is low.
Cut and/or trade Ryans (again, that leaves you with cap space to deal with Cox, Kendricks and QB all hitting at the same time next year - plus space to deal with o-line then, too.)
Commit to Earl Wolfe at safety (which they might be doing anyway.)
Still sign Austin (their one legitimately great off-season move.)

Now, without Bradford and Murray on the roster, they have a massive amount of cap space left to go after Revis (if they absolutely can't live with Williams) or Cromartie (who is even Kelly's preferred build for CB's), add depth along the o-line (keeping Herremans for another year wouldn't have been a horrible move.) You can draft o-line or secondary in the first and second round and then go after LB's and WR's for depth later in the draft.

If Foles doesn't work out, you're still in the same place you are going to be with Bradford (who still would have been a free agent next year, by the way, if you are really desperate for him) and you've thought about your future much more coherently. Instead you get this chain reaction where you're using a 1st round pick to replace Maclin because you used your cap space to sign Bradford who you really don't want for a variety of reasons or you signed Murray to replace McCoy so you lose the meaning of why you got rid of the best RB in your team's history.

39 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Oh yeah, you're absolutely right. I was just saying in terms of signing guys for 2016 alone, if Bradford makes $17 million and Austin wants $5 million and Cox wants something in the neighborhood of Suh (obviously slightly below that, of course) then I just don't see how you keep any of the good players on this roster. Signing Bradford in that case means you have to lose Cox, which means your defense is now much, much worse. If Thornton and Curry walk at the same time, then you've got a real problem at d-line to go with your real problems at o-line and in the secondary. We know Boykin is gone because he wants to be a starter, so his departure is a foregone conclusion (also, we know this because of his digs at Kelly's treatment of "the class of 2012" when Foles was on his way out.) If Kendricks leaves and Ryans hits the age-wall, then you're suddenly looking at one of the worst defenses in the NFL - and that's just for 2016.

If they keep Cox, but ditch Bradford then they're suddenly looking for a guy at least as productive as... Nick Foles. And there just ain't many of those dudes out there. The one who is becoming a FA next year they won't be able to get because they ran him out of town. I still think they could redeem this draft by taking Hundley (whom I like quite a bit) and letting him develop on the bench for a year. But they're just making crazy bets all across the board and really, really need most if not all of them to pan out to even just be the kind of 10-6 team that doesn't really matter.

Really, the best case scenario for the Eagles this year is to go 2-14 and get Kelly canned ASAP before he can finish the job of dismantling the team in the 2016 off-season.

55 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I think you're overrating Foles. Kelly already knew what he had with him, and he chose to get rid of him. He left way too many plays out there on the field.

I don't disagree with you that he's not setting himself up for any GM of the year awards, but I think that in a Kelly offense, Foles is probably only a step or two above replacement level. I don't mean to imply that Bradford is going to turn out to be a stud, and I really do believe Chip never really expected to have to keep him, but I don't see letting Foles go as a bad thing. They weren't going to get any better with him as their QB in 2015.

61 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

The problem with that theory is that Chip Kelly had Foles plus a bunch of proven sub-replacement-level guys, and then traded for an expensive unknown guy while tossing in a second round pick. He could have just spent the second rounder on a project QB and saved money, with better upside (the project QB panning out) and the same downside (project QB fails, no viable QB next year) compared to Bradford.

68 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

The other problem is that Bradford can't stay healthy, and when he can, he cannot throw the ball deep. Foles has been a demonstrably better quarterback in the NFL. It's just inconceivable that Philly would volunteer to kick in a 2nd rounder. They probably could've been on the receiving end of a second rounder in the swap.

The only way it makes sense if Cleveland inexplicably (and nothing says inexplicably like Cleveland) explicitly told Kelly that they coveted Bradford and would give a first round pick for him.

88 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Bradford's lack of deep ball (he was worse throwing deep and did so less frequently than Austin Davis and Shaun Hill!) is going to be the big debacle this year. They have no deep threat at WR or TE and a bad o-line. Teams are just going to stack the box, hold Murray to 2 yards on first down and then devour this team on long yardage 3rd downs. I don't think people understand just how insanely infrequently Bardford goes down the field and how mediocre he is when he does so.

Also, I think Cleveland totally cock-blocked the Eagles on Mariota. Many draft day reports had Cleveland as a serious suitor for the #2 pick and I think they dangled ridiculous trades in front of Kelly to muck up their main competitor for the pick. I have my doubts that they were ever seriously considering giving up the 12th overall pick for a one year, $12 million rental of Sam Bradford. It makes much more sense that they were out to torpedo the Eagles' shot at Mariota.

92 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

To what end? If Cleveland wanted Bradford so badly, they would have probably wanted Kelly to get Mariota. I just don't think Tennessee was really interested in trading back. The Jets could have made the best offer, with Mo Wilkerson and the #6. That probably would have made Tennessee think.

93 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

To what end? If Cleveland wanted Bradford so badly, they would have probably wanted Kelly to get Mariota. I just don't think Tennessee was really interested in trading back. The Jets could have made the best offer, with Mo Wilkerson and the #6. That probably would have made Tennessee think.

87 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I'm not over-rating Foles, I'm viewing the situation in terms of facts: Foles was younger, $12 million cheaper, had produced at a higher level in the NFL than Bradford, had a less significant injury history and a contract of the same length. You can ignore as much of that as you'd like, but it is all inarguably true. Additionally, losing a second round pick to downgrade in those 4 different ways at QB is woeful, pitiful, just late period Al Davis-level awful.

I'm not arguing they should have committed to Foles, I'm pointing out (it's not even an argument) that what they did was a disaster in a vacuum. Additionally, it is rare to find players who produce at the level of Foles - Vick, Sanchez and Barkley all failed to come even close under Kelly - so when Bradford's contract is up at the end of this year, they're going to be in a position where they will be extremely lucky to get a player as productive as Foles. That's not a judgement on Foles of any kind, merely a statement of fact. Guys who have never, ever produced at the level of Foles like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown drew very big contracts this off-season. Even total scrubs and borderline viable back-ups like Mark Sanchez cost more.

People are taking for granted just how hard it is to get a QB who even manages to be 20th in DVOA with no run support, bad wr's and o-line issues. It's a simple point of fact that they made themselves worse at QB for 2015 and set themselves for an utterly debacle in 2016.

90 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

What I find so weird about that idea is the fact that there's basically no player in the league who is a bigger, more crucial mystery than Foles. Is he capable of being that player who was "as good as Peyton Manning during the best season of Peyton Manning's career" with any consistency? Is he a guy who is going to hang at 20th in DVOA like the 2014 season (which, it should be noted, is the absolute kindest, most forgiving assessment of Bradford's career thus far)? Or is he going to split the difference and be a "in the second half of the Top 10 in DVOA" kind of player his whole career like Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and other players who are quite rightly seen as franchise QB's? You don't have to squint to seem him performing at that "usually somewhere 10th through 15th in DVOA" player like Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and Matt Stafford.

You absolutely can't say - you don't know what the hell he is. The only reason anyone is willing to give up on him is because there's this insane, unsupported by reality idea that somehow, some other QB will definitely be better under Chip Kelly than Foles has been. Don't people see the kind of contracts Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and Ryan Fitzpatrick get? Don't they understand that a commodity like Foles is extremely rare and hugely in demand? I mean, give the guy one more year and if his regression continues and he finishes 25th in DVOA and looks awkward and uncomfortable, well then, yes, you probably know what you have in him. But right now, no one can say with ANY confidence they know what Foles is. His proven ceiling is so astoundingly high and his proven floor not particularly bad (compare his numbers to Kaepernick and RGIII in their meltdown year) that I just don't get how you can be so sure he's a replaceable part. It's nuts.

I'm calling it though, I think he both plays more games this year than Bradford and finishes with a higher DVOA. I think Bradford's ceiling is basically that Mark Sanchez 23rd ranked DVOA and probably not even that high since the Eagles got worse on offense this off-season.

(And again, look at Sanchez, Barkley and Vick before you try to sell me any crap on Kelly's magic with QB's.)

94 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Well, I agree with you that the jury's still out on Foles (and, obviously, I also agree that the Bradford trade was staggeringly foolish). However, based on the eye test, and the fact that true franchise QBs are quite rare, I really doubt he'll turn out to be on the Roethlisberger/Romo/Ryan level. I think the Flacco/Eli/Stafford level is much more realistic. As for the fantastic numbers he put up a couple of years ago, I wouldn't attribute those to any "QB voodoo" on the part of Chip Kelly, but rather, to a simple statistical fluke, similar to the year when Josh Freeman had a freakishly low INT rate. But yeah, he's definitely a better gamble than Bradford.

100 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Everyone says that Eagles gave up a #2 for Bradford and how they can't believe they did that. Only catch is that they did not give up a #2, they traded back from the 2nd round to the 3rd or 4th depending on how much Bradford plays.

The Eagles are sending a fourth-round draft pick this year and a second-round pick next year to St. Louis and receiving a fifth-round pick this year and (depending on Bradford’s health and playing time) either a third- or fourth-round pick next year.

So, the deal was Bradford for Foles with the Eagles moving back 1 round this year and 1 or 2 rounds in 2016. They did NOT trade Foles and a #2 for Bradford. So, the main fact cited in Chip being in over his head as a GM, turns out not to be true.

You acknowledge that Kelly has a keen mind for offense. Given that Foles has started 18 games for Kelly, perhaps Kelly has seen enough to know he is not 'his guy'. Doesn't a keen offensive mind deserve the benefit of the doubt ? He didn't get rid of someone he had no experience with, he must have a pretty good idea what he has in Foles, and apparently likes his chances with Bradford better. I'm not ready to call him a paste eater until we actually see Bradford fail in Kelly's offense.

I don't understand the rush to portray every Eagles personnel move either flat our incorrectly or at best in a negative light in order to condemn a guy who has posted consecutive 10-6 seasons to start his career, and just got complete control of personnel. I know you are a knowledgeable fan, but can't you acknowledge that maybe the guy who has enjoyed tremendous success at the college level(including identifying talent) and is off to a successful start in the NFL, whose job it is to watch film all day, and has a whole staff of people also watching film all day for him, might, just maybe, have a better idea of who can succeed in HIS OWN FREAKING system than you ?

102 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Nonsense. The Eagles actually traded their 2015 4th for the Lions 2016 3rd, are you seriously going to argue that 4th and 3rd round picks are worthless, or close to it ?

Going by the Jimmy Johnson draft chart on Pro Football Reference the Eagles traded a 68 point pick(their 4th) for a 150 point pick(Detorit's #3 next year). That's a 55% discount for waiting a year.

Looking at the Bradford trade, the Eagles #2 this year was worth 380 points, the Rams #4 would have been worth ~90. That's a difference of 290 points, or 130 when you discount it for next year, which is a late 3rd round pick. If Bradford gets hurt, the Eagles get the Rams 3rd, which was worth 230, after the discount that is a 68 point difference which is a mid-4th rounder.

So, in reality the Eagles gave up a Foles and something like a late 3rd to mid 4th for Bradford. Of course, all of this is based on this year's draft position, the real cost won't be known until January. But unless the Rams leap forward while the Eagles collapse, the Eagles won't give up anything close to a 2nd rounder in value for Bradford.

103 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Good coaches make their system fit their best players. Chip Kelly has been steadily giving away all his best players to get inferior player who fit his system. The jury is still out, but giving away talent to make your scheme work rarely turns out well.

105 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

"are you seriously going to argue that 4th and 3rd round picks are worthless, or close to it"

I don't have to. There is a 4th round pick going each way. Well assuming Bradford actually plays. If he doesn't play that means Kelly traded Foles, a 2nd, and a 4th for a 3rd and a 5th.

32 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I agree with the post above - the rams are living in another century football wise. Its strange too since so many of their losses are of the same overall variety - horrible pass pro and terrible corner play. You don't need advance metrics to see the undoing if your team week after week.

The chargers then double downed on that. Somehow - epic collapse of the offensive line and age across the receiver/dline translated to running back need.

56 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

When did he ever say he wanted that? That statement applies to Chip Kelly, not the guy who has admitted on many many occasions that the only thing that has ever done anything for him has been his dedication to spending tons and tons of time watching tape. He has never pretended to be some braniac or supergenius.

Everyone's jumping down the guy's throat for not drafting for need... but it's pretty well established that drafting for need is dumb. Maybe the board has 10-15 guys they view as useful D starters that they expect will still be there at the end of round 2, so he took the guy way up high on the board with the knowledge that they'll find a pass rush/DL today.

That's what I'm hoping, anyway. I liked the guys the Packers and Pats took a lot. I don't see the point of this kid. But noone saw the point of Reggie Wayne 15 years ago either. And I'm never going to argue with sound logic. If they all believed Dorsett was a top of the board guy, I'll take their word for it.

60 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I'll agree with this statement, but he does need to address need eventually. All the math shows that lower rounds are all bundled tightly in expected draft value.

I personally wanted the safety gb took. Safety has been an eyesore for the colts and if they're hell bent on blitzing, a good safety is a must.

64 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

It is an eyesore, but you can and might as well get by with JAG unless it's an Earl/Kam type that's worth a big contract. (Polian always talked about the game changing DE and S that are worth big bucks even on a cheaper Tampa2 defense and I agree... but if you can get a pass rush you can still win without a stud safety.) Must be they didn't think as highly of Randall or Collins. I'm no scout but I have read that they're each kind of one dimensional.

That said, Randall's dimension was pretty appealing to me.

62 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

With their first round pick, the Colts just drated TY Hilton 2.0 while still having TY Hilton 1.0 on the roster - and sure, they needed to replace Wayne, and perhaps Dorsett turns out to be a star. But...drafting for need is a bad idea when it's just one position with a need and you reach for a player just because he fills that position; the Colts have an entire half their defense that needs help.

The Patriots have now destroyed the Colts three times in two years by running over, under, around, and through their defense - they can't bulk up any of the front seven, or even try to build up a ferocious pass defense so they can cheat a little up front? Just more passing weapons?

74 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Colts defense isn't always awful. It tends to have its good moments, like when it did a reasonable job against the 2013 broncos or held the bengals to 0 pts.

It also has some amazingly horrendous moments that make you question if anyone on the team is any good. The steeler game has so awful, it made me hate football for a week. Everytime they face the patriots, their defense has 0 answers.

I don't quite know why the colts are this bad against new england over and over. I get NE is a scary offense, but its remarkable how effortless NE just throttles Indy. They don't even need a bag of tricks - its just run straight ahead. K

80 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

If a team manages to beat you the same way (incessantly running the ball) three times in two years, and that isn't even the strength of their team, you have a huge glaring hole on the team that needs to be filled - because any good team with a smart coach is going to exploit it.

66 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I read two different interviews last week with Grigson, and in both of them he made it a point to stress how he and his staff work the planet looking for guys who have never played football, but are great athletes and can learn. He actually has a guy on the scouting staff dedicated to it. His attitude seemed to be that he was going above and beyond what other GMs did in mining talent.

At the same time, he doesn't get the draft. But I'll make a $20 bet, payable to the charity of your choice, that he either drafts or signs as a free agent a guy who has never, or barely, played football before.

86 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Can't say I understand or agree with the statement that "he doesn't get the draft." On what do you base that? Thus far he may have been wrong about Werner and he made a horribly stupid trade that was horrible at the time and more horrible with twelve exclamation points for another year plus... But otherwise has drafted a bunch of pretty good players. His flaws were in valuing pros, not in scouting kids... And this year I've found him to have greatly improved in that area too.

50 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

I wanted to see them trade down, but like many have said, you can't trade down without someone who wants to trade up (and badly enough that they'll give up something useful in return).

I actually *don't* see what's perplexing about it, if they truly believed that White was definitely the best player available when they picked. They can use more talent at receiver. (Jeffery is good but may not be a #1, Wilson is completely unproven, and Royal is a stopgap). Apparently they also want to trade Martellus Bennett, which to me is a lot more perplexing than the pick but it would mean losing a big TD-catching target.

They also need help in a lot of other places, of course, but isn't this either a deep draft for some of them (pass rushers) and a terrible draft for others (safety, QB)? Of course this is also supposed to be a deep WR draft, too, which is an argument against taking White.

I guess what I'm saying is that I found the White pick to be deeply disappointing, but I also have been thinking all day about what I would have preferred them to do and I can't come up with any obvious solution. I wish they could have traded down but I believe that they couldn't. Any of the other players available at that time seem to me to be a lot like White - talented, highly regarded, but nowhere near a can't-miss prospect.

I'm content to wait a couple years and see if drafting White was a good or bad decision.

58 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Nor do I, even though he was an even more obvious BPA than the Colts 23 picks later.

They just had two freaky WRs and their offense sucked. Their mediocre grumpy QB is one more year older and even more gruntled now after they tried to dump him, so it's hard to project a huge improvement from him.

So in essence they gave up Marshall, a 7th, and a 1st to get a fifth and maybe if they're lucky the same player. (And some cash.)

I have a hard time figuring it, same as the Bills last year. Stevie Johnson wasn't as good (and Watkins is pretty awesome), but he was productive for them. They had no QB. What's the point of paying that price for a WR? Now it's a year later and they have noone that can get him the ball and are out two first rounders. Were the 2014 Bills any better off because of that trade? 2015? 2016? Nope. Not at all.

I guess ultimately White seems a little better in my mind because Cutler, for all his faults, can still at least throw the ball to open receivers occasionally. I haven't really seen any evidence that Manuel can, and Cassel is Cassel.

And, in keeping with the Best Player Available logic, I guess you can't really evaluate a current decision based on one that already happened in the past. Sunk cost. Still... there is some advanced planning and thought involved in roster construction. I guess it's fair to say my issues with both these teams isn't so much picking the best player as it is the trades that happened before that. (Although a great WR is kind of useless without a QB... say what you will about the Colts but at least they know they can get the ball to their playmakers reliably.)

67 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

First, forget about anything involving Cutler and White. The Bears have done everything but come right out and say that Cutler will gone after 2 more seasons at the absolute most, and probably after this one unless he magically improves. They were trying to trade him right up until the moment his 2016 money became partially guaranteed. I don't think the Bears could possibly know who their next starter after Cutler will be, but I am confident that they're planning on White catching passes from him way longer than he's catching passes from Cutler.

Second, the Bears' offense was mediocre, not bad, last season (I think 15th or 16th in DVOA?) and they didn't have two freaky WRs. Marshall was hurt for much of the season, even some of the games he was available for, and I think even if you set aside the off-the-field stuff he's past his prime. And the off-the-field stuff is definitely what got him traded.

If you think of it as the Bears getting a roughly equivalent WR, but one who is expected to improve rather than decline, is not a locker room problem, and is a heck of a lot cheaper over the next 4 years, it doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. Now, you can certainly argue that they could have made a better pick, but I don't think there is anyone obvious that I can point to right now and say "why didn't the Bears pick him???" Always possible that I will be saying that 3 years from now, of course.

57 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day One

Random thoughts:
-lol at Mettenburger demanding a trade. Cracks me up that he thinks a) he would start somewhere and b) anybody cares that he wants a trade. You're a 6th rounder in your second year, you're not in any position to make demands. You're probably lucky to have a secure backup job.
-Hate the Giants pick. They already have a first-rounder at RT and they invested last year's second rounder in an interior lineman. How much resources can one team commit to non-LT OL positions, especially when LT has been the biggest problem on the line?
-I like Dupree to the Steelers. Sure, they badly needed help in the secondary as well, but the edge rush was also lousy last year. It was bad enough that they're seriously bringing back James Harrison again. An athlete of Dupree's caliber was a steal at 22 and all the top CBs were taken. If they loved Dupree and didn't love any of the DBs I'm glad they didn't settle for Landon Collins just because they need defensive backs.
-Shaq Thompson is a very strange pick. The only justification I can really see for that is that they consider him insurance for the injury Davis is due for. A guy like that, who is going to need some work and maybe some creative scheming to properly utilize is a real luxury pick, especially considering that Thompson is blocked by two very entrenched starters. They need to improve at nearly every offensive position, and they grab a guy who plays what is clearly the team's best position already. The Panthers continue to try their damndest to kill Cam Newton.