Audibles at the Line
Unfiltered in-game observations by Football Outsiders staff

Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two
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 Second & Third Rounds

Tom Gower: NFL legends are being introduced right now.

Rivers McCown: The legendary Eric Brown. I assume Zac Diles was unavailable.

Cian Fahey: Let's hope it's a bit more interesting and shocking than last night.

Andrew Healy: The Giants making a trade is pretty shocking. They haven't traded away or for a pick in the first three rounds since 2009.

Sterling Xie: Might get your wish Cian. Giants start things off with a trade up to Tennessee's pick 33. Bill Barnwell noted in a predraft column that Jerry Reese hadn't traded a first- or second-rounder during his tenure as Giants GM. First for everything.

Aaron Schatz: I have an idea. How about the commissioner does NOT go across the street between picks, just in case he's needed to announce a pick or, apparently, to announce the person who will announce a pick?

Andrew Healy: How about a shout-out to our Urkel/Snyder preview, Sterling! But Reese and Mike Brown would have been the last teams to trade up, so we definitely start with a big surprise.

Ben Muth: Roger Goodell having to announce the guy that will announce the pick is a great example of how useful he really is.

Vince Verhei: Not necessarily a bad trade for New York, but that's just a no-brainer deal for Tennessee. They move back seven spots, where they're likely to fill one of their many holes anyway, and gain a fourth and a seventh in the process. Just no downside there.

Rivers McCown: It is interesting that in the trades so far, nobody has given up a future pick above a fourth-rounder. The NFL appears to have gotten a bit smarter about these things... for now.

Tom Gower: Perfectly fair trade according to the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, which is exactly what I would have expected Tennessee to demand to make a move. I don't think they were, or should have been, necessarily locked into a single player, so it was a pretty obvious move to make.

Day Two is where the NFL ticks up the hoopla to compensate for the lack of marquee college names, but we'll see how much and how quickly they get behind.

Aaron Schatz: Given the Giants' huge hole at the position and the gap in conventional wisdom between Collins and the rest of the remaining safeties, I think this is an example of a defensible trade up. I think the Jaguars had to be looking at Collins at 36.

Tom Gower: Jacksonville needs a free safety to pair with Johnathan Cyprien. I didn't see Collins as a fit for them at all. Eric Rowe or Quentin Rollins, maybe, but not Collins. The Jets or Washington seemed like more likely destinations for Collins to me.

Maybe I would have liked him if I'd seen half a dozen games instead of just a couple, but I didn't see Donovan Smith as the first tackle of the second round going off the board. I preferred both Jake Fisher and T.J. Clemmings.

Cian Fahey: The Raiders just keep on Raidering.

Aaron Schatz: Mario Edwards seems to be missing from SackSEER -- Nathan, do we have a projection for him?

Nathan Forster: I may have coded him as a 3-4 defensive end and excluded him from the database. I'll check up on him.

Mario Edwards Jr.: 16.2 sacks / 53.0% rating.

Ben Muth: Wow, hated literally everything the guys on set said about Mario Edwards. Not good when you're in better shape for your pro day then you are during a season where you are trying to repeat as National Champions. Also, I hate when guys are vocal about not wanting to play inside. Screams soft and entitled to me.

Scott Kacsmar: This is when you can really start questioning what teams did in the first round based on where they start targeting in the second round. For Oakland, I'm already thinking, was Cooper and Mario Edwards really a better haul than Leonard Williams and a wide receiver like Strong or Green-Beckham? Jack Del Rio always loved the defensive tackle in Jacksonville, and Williams wasn't a lock to be available to them.

Rivers McCown: Someone on NFL Network (Tomlinson?) just compared T.J. Yeldon to James Starks.

So uh, that's what you want to spend a second-round pick on...

Vince Verhei: Jacksonville's pick of Yeldon confuses me. I mean, I'm sure he's an upgrade, but it seems like they had plenty of more pressing needs (secondary, interior line). It feels like they were targeting Collins and panicked when he went off the board.

Aaron Schatz: The NFL Network comparisons just make the point about running backs without realizing it. This isn't about whether these running backs are good athletes, or hard workers. The problem is that there are just tons of them. There are tons of good, quality running backs. It's far easier to find a good running back than a good cornerback or a good offensive tackle. And then, on top of that, is the fact that the running back is less important in today's game than in the past. I just feel like there's a complete misunderstanding of supply and demand going on here. But it's not a criticism of these players as players. It's not like they're worse than the running backs of 20 years ago or anything.

Tom Gower: I get that the Jaguars had a need on running back and they liked Yeldon, but there are a number of quality backs in the draft. I would've gone elsewhere here, and taken a back in the third round.

Scott Kacsmar: The running backs are going to teams with some shoddy offensive line situations (Rams, Chargers, Jaguars). Is the thinking that we need a guy who can create yards on his own? Those players are rare, and usually require a high draft pick. All three guys taken were big names in college, but I'm not sure I would have drafted any of them if I was the Rams/Chargers/Jaguars.

Cian Fahey: Devin Smith is the very rare speedster who should actually be compared to Mike Wallace, but, and this is the caveat, he tracks the deep ball 10 times better. Immediate impact and presumably a good fit with Geno Smith's deep accuracy.

Rivers McCown: The winners of this running back derby are going to be the last teams to cash in on the second tier -- my guess is Jay Ajayi will be that guy due to concerns over his knee.

Tom Gower: We started a bit after 6. It's 6:37. We're now two picks behind.

Vince Verhei: That's a function of the NFL trying to turn this into a TV event. They're not concerned with staying current, they're concerned with stretching it out over a four-hour broadcast. If anything, they'd probably prefer to fall behind. And honestly, I can't say I blame them for that.

Andrew Healy: By the way, just to clarify on Reese's past transactions. He did not make a single transaction at any point involving a Round 1 to 3 pick from 2010-14. In 2009, he acquired a second-round pick from New Orleans in the Jeremy Shockey trade. So that explains the difference with Barnwell (the piece he referenced only refers to draft day trades).

Anyway, this is now Reese's fourth draft-day trade total and they all fit the pattern of trade-ups a few spots. The previous three trades later in the draft were to move up six or seven spots to grab a guy (last one was Ryan Nassib). Interesting to wonder if he or a couple other GMs even consider trades down. You'd think someone made a good offer in the last eight-plus drafts.

Rivers McCown: Marcus Mariota and Dorial Green-Beckham is as high-risk, high-reward a combo as you could start a draft off with.

Ben Muth: Without La'el Collins at least

Rivers McCown: The Titans have said they want to draft a right tackle! There's still time!

Vince Verhei: Heh. Remember when Tennessee was directionless and milquetoast? They're certainly more exciting than they were 24 hours ago.

Rivers McCown: Carolina deals a third and a sixth to move up to No. 41...

...for Devin Funchess. Wow. Michael Oher time!

Cian Fahey: Funchess and Benjamin as outside wide receivers is not my kind of pairing. That'll likely be my least favorite starting receiver combination in the NFL next year.

Vince Verhei: Cam Newton. Kelvin Benjamin. Devin Funchess. Panthers have a bunch of gargantuans playing pitch-and-catch.

And now we get a bevy of trades! Round 2 is already better than Round 1!

Aaron Schatz: Devin Funchess is a "red-zone weapon" who had a grand total of four touchdowns last season. Four.

Tom Gower: He played banged-up and on a terrible offense. He was a much better player in 2013. I also think he's a move tight end rather than a wide receiver, but what do I know. I'm also not a huge fan of having two similar wide receivers, but the 2013 Bears were a good offense.

Vince Verhei: Might be a one-year fluke. He had five touchdowns on 15 catches in 2012, six touchdowns on 49 grabs in 2013. Then the whole team fell apart last season -- yeah, he only had four touchdown catches, but the rest of the team combined only had six.

Sterling Xie: Another Urkel scenario (belated shoutout better than nothing, right?). Chase Stuart's value calculator hates that trade for Carolina (11 expected AV given up for 6.8 AV), though the J.J. trade chart scores that as a win for the Panthers. On the bright side, I think the teflon suit that Cam will need next year is still projected to drop to them.

Scott Kacsmar: Michael Oher and Jonathan Martin are on the same team? That sounds like a setup for an awful sequel to The Blind Side. "Big Mike, the gentle giant, befriends a bulled teammate and teaches him the art of getting away with false starts."

Adding Funchess gives Carolina even more height, yet I just spent part of the day showing how Cam Newton is prone to overthrowing receivers. Kelvin Benjamin had the third-highest rate of overthrown targets last year and Greg Olsen was first for tight ends.

Ben Muth: I kinda like the Panthers just going super-sized at receiver. Let Cam bang around in the pocket and run for his life, then just throw it at huge bodies down the field. That seems like a fun team to watch as long as I can ignore what's going on up front completely.

Cian Fahey: Vic Beasley and Jalen Collins. The Falcons might be having the best draft so far. Collins and Desmond Trufant will be a great cornerback pairing who should complement each other very well. Only concern is Collins has some drug issues apparently.

Rivers McCown: The Texans gave up a fourth and a sixth to move up eight spots and take an inside linebacker.

In totally related news, I am now searching for the bourbon.

Cian Fahey: An inside linebacker who wasn't Eric Kendricks.

Rivers McCown: Yes, that.

Andrew Healy: Really think Mariota is the opposite of high-risk. For whatever concerns some have about him, it seems very hard to think that his floor is low.

Carolina trade also matches J.J. chart almost exactly. This will change eventually, right? Chase Stuart's chart just sitting there on the web!

I get a little different result than Sterling, but close:
Carolina gets: 41 (11 pts)
St. Louis gets: 57 (8.9), 89 (6), 201 (0.8)

So +4.7 pts for St. Louis.

Tom Gower: Mariota in a Ken Whisenhunt offense will be asked to win in a lot of ways he wasn't asked to in college. He was great in college at what he did, but it's all that stuff he didn't do that will determine whether he does well in the NFL. I don't think there's a way you can't define him as a risk.

Rivers McCown: Yeah. I mean I understand he has a high completion percentage and great college production, and that's nice and all. I wouldn't treat a quarterback projection system as anything near gospel, and the offensive transition is going to be a challenge.

And this is from someone who would've picked Mariota over Winston.

Andrew Healy: OK, one last comment on this because I know we covered the quarterbacks yesterday a bunch. He did do much of that stuff at Oregon, as far as I can tell. He threw much more than Winston in the 11- to 20-yard range down the field and he was very good on those throws. He went through progressions effectively. I think some of this concern is misplaced. All quarterbacks are a risk. Even the model says only a 37 percent chance of Mariota being upper-tier or elite. But for everything that's not in the model (e.g. character), it seems like Mariota's downside is unusually low for a quarterback prospect.

Ben Muth: LOVE Eric Kendricks. Guy was an absolute stud at UCLA. Him and Myles Jack were the Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman of college football the past two years.

Cian Fahey: I need to officially change my status on here to "Minnesota Vikings fan," Aaron.

Rob Weintraub: Not many false moves by the Vikes since Zim got there. Can't say I'm surprised.

Aaron Schatz: I like a lot of Minnesota's offseason moves, and I like a lot of Atlanta's offseason moves. But one of those teams has the hardest projected schedule in the league next year and the other one has the easiest projected schedule.

Vince Verhei: NFL Network just spent about two minutes all but calling Randy Gregory an idiot, talking about him showing up late or not at all for meetings with several teams. Then they go to Melissa Stark for a live on-site interview with Gregory. AWKWARD.

To be fair, he handled this interview as well as could be expected.

Tom Gower: Nice standing ovation for Jim Kelly here at the Auditorium Theater, followed by the third consecutive pick I wasn't a big fan of, Ronald Darby. Before that came Mitch Morse, who I guess is a Rodney Hudson replacement; and Denzel Perryman to a San Diego team that recently paid Donald Butler before deciding they didn't like him, and Manti Te'o, another second-round pick whose play I wasn't a big fan of though it's not worth rehashing that.

Nathan Forster: This may sound strange, but the one SackSEER projection I don't quite trust is Hau'oli Kikaha's. I think SackSEER underrates him. He had freakishly high sack totals two years in a row and SackSEER maybe punishes him too much for a slow start. One thing I want to look at in the offseason is whether SackSEER underrates the guys with really amazing sack totals in a single season.

He also really gets dinged for a medical redshirt, which is the shakiest of the metrics in my opinion.

Tom Gower: Macro-level view of the second round through the first 20-odd picks? It seems to be teams have similar grades on a lot of players, so they're not worrying about whether they're getting a player who may have gone 15 players later if there wasn't another team similarly in love with them as long as he fits what they want.

Rob Weintraub: Here comes Ickey, everybody...

Scott Kacsmar: I can't comment on the caliber of Ronald Darby, but I appreciate that Rex Ryan understands the importance of cornerback depth. The Kyle Wilson pick didn't work out years ago in New York, but we'll see if Darby can push out Leodis McKelvin eventually as a starter.

Aaron Schatz: Bills already had cornerback depth. Nickell Robey was excellent as a rookie and Corey Graham is really underrated.

Did anyone expect the Bengals to draft two offensive tackles? I guess they weren't a team with a lot of clear holes, so they could plan for the future.

Rivers McCown: Feels like Carolina and Cincinnati should flip draft classes.

Tom Gower: Well, there wasn't really a quarterback for Cincinnati to take...

Cian Fahey: I have no idea what the Bengals' plan is.

Scott Kacsmar: If we assume Funchess is a wide receiver, there still hasn't been a tight end taken in this draft. Is Maxx Williams the top guy? Possible Denver pick with Owen Daniels' age and injury history. Not common to see it take this long for a tight end to be drafted. This is the second time since 1994 a tight end wasn't taken in the top 45 picks. Only longer wait was Lonnie Johnson (61st) in 1994 (a very forgettable tight end class).

Ben Muth: Gonna be awkward in offensive line meetings in Cincy. Have two guys waiting to shove two established vets out the door. That's really going to be a strange dynamic unless they plan on moving Whitworth or Fisher to guard permanently.

Rivers McCown: I'm sure any minute we'll hear them talk about Andy Dalton's passer rating when he has more than five seconds in the pocket... (Kidding, Tony.)

Sterling Xie: Even if Whitworth or Fisher move to guard they still have Boling and Zeitler there through at least 2016. Can Boling/Zeitler play center? Bodine struggled there as a rookie, though I'm not sure Cincy necessarily wants to replace him.

Rob Weintraub: Bengals would have taken Phillips but otherwise Fisher was the top player on their board. Strongly considered him in first round. True "Best Available" pick. Ogbuehi isn't likely to be truly ready this year, and the depth is very thin, so Fisher helps immediately. In '16, Smith goes, Whitworth starts at tackle then eventually moves to guard, his first position, and serves as swing sixth offensive lineman. And tons of six-lineman sets!

Yes Boling plays center, but Bodine is not going anywhere. They like him, played 16 games as a rookie, got better as year went on, surprisingly was better in handling line calls than power run game. Jim Alexander wants eight guys who can play -- injuries really sliced the right side up last year.

Tom Gower: Dave Gettleman has declared Funchess is a wide receiver, so Maxx Williams at 55 becomes the first tight end selected to the Ravens. Shame Dennis Pitta can't stay healthy. I thought need would push Williams up the board, maybe even to the late first round, but this is a good spot for him.

Scott Kacsmar: Well, there goes the tight end. Dennis Pitta's hip may have swung the top tight end this year to Baltimore instead of Pittsburgh (Heath Miller going on 33). Ozzie Newsome went heavy on defense in recent years. Now he's surrounding Joe Flacco with some much-needed young receivers. Nice when you have a GM with vision and a plan.

Aaron Schatz: Still would have liked to have seen Williams go to Atlanta. The one last piece the Falcons needed to essentially sweep the offseason with quiet, efficient moves to fill holes.

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Vince Verhei: Ravens gave up a fifth to move up just three spots for Williams. Is he that much better than everyone else on the board?

Tom Gower: At tight end? Yes. Would the Steelers or Rams have taken him? I don't know the answer to that question.

Cian Fahey: Steelers probably were interested.

Ben Muth: Don't like that Cardinals pick. Don't take the try-hard guy that played across from a more highly regarded pass rusher. There were better players available.

Aaron Schatz: Markus Golden has a SackSEER rating of 10.5% and was projected fifth round by NFL Draft Scout. Yikes.

Tom Gower: What's SackSEER think of players whose teammates have more sacks? Have you looked into that at all? I can see an argument playing with a higher-drafted player like Ray may have resulted in fewer sacks than he otherwise would have been, but I can see the converse as well.

Nathan Forster: I did look at the "talented" teammate theory for SackSEER a long time ago. The problem is 1) you're dealing with the incredibly small sample size that comes with zeroing in on those few edge rushers with talented teammates and 2) it would result in some strange outputs, like a low projection for Mario Williams because he played with Manny Lawson.

Tom Gower: Thanks. I figured you had, and the issues don't surprise me. If I were a team, I'd definitely do some intensive charting to try to figure that out.

Sterling Xie: Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy in the same offseason... Jerry Jones doesn't like attention, does he?

Tom Gower: If Gregory's nebulous issues really aren't that serious, then it's a total steal. Plus, Dallas is familiar with players with off-the-field issues. That probably means institutional knowledge and some infrastructure in place, which some other teams might not have had.

Ben Muth: Josh Brent too. And didn't DeMarcus Lawrence have some issues at Boise too?

Rob Weintraub: How you gonna resurrect the days of the "White House" in Big D without taking some dubious characters?

Aaron Schatz: The little bits that have gotten about about Gregory's "issues" sound more like mental health problems than him being a straight-up bad guy. I wonder if he needs to follow Brandon Marshall's lead and spend some time at McLean Hospital. I'll be very happy for both Gregory and the Cowboys if he's wearing special green shoes in the Pro Bowl in a couple years.

Scott Kacsmar: Didn't Joseph Randle steal some expensive underwear after the Cowboys beat Seattle? Gregory's a risk, but this team has shown it really doesn't care about such things. A more thorough investigation into Greg Hardy likely would have resulted in no contract.

Nathan Forster: Now that Randy Gregory is off the board, I'm really interested in the post-mortem as to why Jaelen Strong has dropped so far in the draft. The Jets and Colts elected to draft what seem to be Ted Ginn clones over a player who seems to be a solid if not spectacular wide receiver prospect. Mel Kiper Jr. seems to be similarly puzzled about this result.

Rob Weintraub: Shout out to Ali Marpet -- a nice Jewish boy from Westchester County, like me!

Sterling Xie: There were reports that Strong needed wrist surgery (which he himself denied). But maybe teams aren't convinced?

Cian Fahey: The Packers drafted a safety who they're converting to a cornerback and a cornerback who should probably be converted to a safety.

Aaron Schatz: Pats are taking safety Jordan Richards from Stanford with the 64th pick. NFL Draft Scout projected him as "5-6." They keep doing this. The Pats seem to do so much right, but this is one of the few quirky Pats things that doesn't work. They keep taking safeties way, way, way before conventional wisdom. Tavon Wilson, Duron Harmon, now Richards. These guys don't become quality players and I'm not sure why they take these safeties three rounds early instead of taking something else and waiting until later for the safeties.

Cian Fahey: I'm of the belief that Strong simply isn't as good as advertised.

Scott Kacsmar: Donald Driver just said the Packers selected Quentin Groves in the 2000 draft. Quentin Groves went to Jacksonville in 2008. This is Quinten Rollins, and it's 2015. Green Bay really hitting the secondary hard. Not sure I can argue with that when the offense is loaded and the picks should be defensive.

Rob Weintraub: Rollins may or may not become a quality pro secondary guy, but word is he will be an instant impact guy on special teams.

Rivers McCown: I'm with Cian on this one. And I think Devin Smith has more DeSean Jackson in his game than Ted Ginn.

Ben Muth: Wow, I like Richards (obviously) but this seems high for him. Maybe Belichick has really liked coaching Fleming and Gaffney and Stanford is gonna be his new Rutgers.

Sterling Xie: Richards seems a little redundant with Patrick Chung (box safety, physical run support, coverage liability). Can't say I've studied his game tape at all, though. Quite honestly, his scouting report kinda looks like Tavon Wilson's from 2012.

Cian Fahey: Is Oregon Stanford's biggest rival? I feel like I need to become a fan so I can fight more with Ben over these Stanford guys nobody has ever heard of.

Ben Muth: Cal, then USC. Oregon is testy right now just because both teams have been good lately, but no real history or genuine dislike there.

Vince Verhei: Plus, Oregon and Stanford are virtual opposites, scheme-wise, so the games are always fun to watch.

Seattle finally gets a pick in the draft... and it's a defensive end who had 11 sacks in his collegiate career and was kicked off his college team after a domestic violence arrest. What a bizarre letdown.

Tom Gower: Clark tested really well athletically. He has potential as a Leo, and the domestic violence arrest may not have been as bad as the initial report made it look. Then again, the team I want to win games took a guy with apparently more serious issues earlier in the draft, so I may be reflexively attempting to pretend everyone's red flags are more minor than they really are.

Scott Kacsmar: Colts finally go with defense, yet picked a position where they're actually three deep and not too old (cornerback). The fake sound of progress.

Vince Verhei: I like Seattle's second pick more than their first. Tyler Lockett makes perfect sense. Perfect. But they gave up a third, a fourth, a fifth, AND a sixth to get him.

Tom Gower: Did they have room on the roster for all of those players? For most teams, I'd wonder about giving up that much depth, and I really like the pick for Washington because depth is what they've been giving up for most of the past 15 years (woo, special teams!), plus the Seahawks plumb the UDFA market as well as anybody.

Nathan Forster: I love Tyler Lockett for Seattle. Undersized, but the most dominant from a yards per team attempt perspective (even beats out Amari Cooper). If he was a junior and not a senior he would have had a huge Playmaker projection.

Aaron Schatz: And I agree with the idea that trading up makes more sense for Seattle because they don't necessarily have room on the roster for all their draft picks if they kept them all.

Vince Verhei: They have one guard on the roster who has ever started an NFL game. Yeah, they have room.

Aaron Schatz: LOL. OK. I take back my comment.

Vince Verhei: Actually, to clarify this, Alvin Bailey is listed as a guard, and has played there, but I think he has seen more time at tackle. If they played a game tomorrow, he and J.R. Sweezy would be the starting guards. So it's not as dire as I first thought.

OK, last comment on this because I'm sure about three readers honestly care: Alvin Bailey has five starts in his career, two at tackle, three at guard. Thank god that's settled.

Tom Gower: OK, for the Texans, I don't really get giving up fifth- and seventh-round picks to go up 12 picks on the third round. Those picks tell me DeVier Posey was a guy they'd basically given up on, but I guess Mike Maccagnan likes him and he'll have a chance, if not a great one, in New York.

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Rivers McCown: Two trade-ups. I need something harder than bourbon.

Tom Gower: Of course the Giants get the talented edge rusher who falls in the third round. It's just the natural order of things. If his hip's not an issue and the defensive end factory is still working, he'll be one of the top 15 players in the class.

Aaron Schatz: Odighizuwa is a guy SackSEER might have had too low because he played in a lot of 3-4 fronts rather than as a 4-3 defensive end.

Andrew Healy: Scouting info a big part of QBASE. Saints taking Grayson 75th moves his projection up to -274 DYAR. So the model is still not high on him, but he will project better than Petty now.

Now that he's lasted until at least pick 76, Hundley's projection will be no higher than 760 DYAR and bust potential no lower than 44%. Lasting this long is pretty damning.

Rivers McCown: A Rutgers tight end was not selected by the Patriots.

Scott Kacsmar: Eagles take inside linebacker Jordan Hicks. Seriously, he might be seventh on the inside linebacker depth chart right now on that team. Why even bother?

Sterling Xie: On Hicks, McShay just said "The Eagles are getting an individual." As opposed to the two-headed players going way too early this year.

Scott Kacsmar: Shame on Kevin Colbert if he drafted a receiver with hand issues (Sammie Coates). Limas Sweed should have taught them the first thing you check on a receiver is if he can catch the ball.

Ben Muth: I am shocked that Henry Anderson and Brett Hundley have lasted this long. I would've been fine with the Cardinals drafting either of them in the first round.

Rivers McCown: Sean Mannion is a third-round pick. That's worse than Tom Savage.

Tom Gower: Yeah, it is. I can't wait for tomorrow's Zac Stacy-for-Zach Mettenberger trade to give the Rams a matched set.

(For the people who say I hate Zach Mettenberger, I liked his talent more than I liked Mannion's. I didn't think any of the quarterbacks besides maybe Hundley to the right situation should have gone tonight.)

I'd like to share some great draft day two wrap-up thoughts, but I'm not feeling anything beyond the fit of player and position, which is me second-guessing NFL teams that are know more about football than I do and spend a lot more time evaluating players and have a lot more information on players than I do.


27 comments, Last at 06 May 2015, 6:51pm

1 Funchess 2014

As Tom pointed out, Michigan's offense was terrible, and that was in large part because the head coach made or contributed to decisions that were, many times, the exact opposite of what would be most efficient or productive in a given situation. That doesn't necessarily mean that Funchess will become a good WR (as MGoBlog has pointed out, he doesn't really block, which means WR is his only real hope), but I think it would be reasonable to look at 2014 as a worst-case season for him.

It is rather odd to pair him with Benjamin, though.

5 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

The NFL makes these things excruciating to watch and while I can't speak for others, I just don't know that much about college ball to have opinions past "does drafting this position make sense".

On that note, I really don't understand the Bears going offense twice in the first 3 rounds.

10 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

There is also a sense(rightly) that the rest of the rounds are much more vague about the perceived value/need tradeoff. If someone takes a guard high in the 2nd round, no one usually lambastes such a move or says the team prioritized that position at the sake of another. Not so for the first round, where it feels every team must maximize the need/best player available nexus.

Plus also what Tuluse and Vince said.

3 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Day 2 was just, well, there. There weren't any real head-scratchers that weren't discussed (WTF is Houston doing?), and there wasn't anything overly exciting.

4 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Now that Suh is out of the division, I'm really glad the Vikings drafted a DE named Danielle. Makes me was to croon, "I sacked a man in Green Bay, just to watch him cry....."

Ooops, wrong Johnny Cash song......

13 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Is Brett Hundley actually not good? In every piece of footage I saw of him, he looked better than Mariota in terms of form, pocket presence, arm strength, accuracy and decision-making. Of those top 5 QB prospects, he looked like the total no brainer. Being drafted in the 5th round as a QB usually means your pro career is already over... but is this a case of Packers being really smart with QB's? If anyone else had taken him, I would've said "that's that." As it stands, I'm still kinda convinced he'll be the best pro from the 2015 group. (Although to be fair, all I ever watched of these guys was highlights packages and post-facto breakdowns of their strengths and weaknesses...)

15 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Hundley did not deal with pressure well (he was sacked more often than Mariota when pressured, and that is one of Mariota's weaknesses), he did not throw the ball downfield very often, and when he did throw it downfield he was relatively inaccurate. The spam filter won't let me post links, but you can find a PFF post on the sack issue by googling "cff sig stats quarterbacks" and you can find a post by Greg Peshek at Rotoworld on the downfield accuracy issue by googling peshek hundley mariota winston.

18 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Oh, I wouldn't even throw my hat that far in the ring. It's more like "hey, someone tell me what I missed and I will 100% take you at your word." The Packers taking the flyer on him is what makes it intriguing to me though. If he ended up on the Browns or even a reasonable team like the Giants, I would have assumed he was worth writing off. QB's taken after the 2nd round almost never work out, it's basically winning the lottery at that point. Who knows, maybe Hundley is that unlikely Russell Wilson find who ends up on a smart organization with good coaching and development and bucks his draft position. The 5th round is a significantly farther distance to fall than the 3rd, but the Packers have a stronger history of developing QB's than the Carroll Seahawks...

19 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Just because I'm doing some research on QB drafting and was curious about the comment 'taken after the 2nd round almost never work out' do you have in your head a definition of 'work out?' does it mean become a starter for a few years, become a pro-bowler for a few years, last 10 years in the league, or something else?

21 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

I think my definition would be a touch harsher than Will's - for a QB pick to have worked out for a team, I think the QB needs to have played two full seasons as an above average starter for the team that drafted them. Let's say being somewhere around 20th in DVOA counts as above average. This definition prevents career back-ups who hung around being useless like, say, 5th round pick T.J. Yates from being said to have "worked out" for a team desperately in need of a QB despite his presence on their roster. It also prevents one-year wonders like 6th round pick Derek Anderson who Browns fans will assure you did not "work out" from being graded positively (also that he wad drafted elsewhere.)

QB is such a different position from all the others that I think you can't judge the picks you would an LB or RB, where a #2 RB or the 3rd best LB on your team are still pretty darn useful. It's much more of an all or nothing proposition. The definition I gave weeds out guys like Nick Foles, Curtis Painter, Andrew Walter and Chris Simms, whom I think it would be really grotesque to suggest "worked out" except by the difficult standards of the position where basically no one works out. Personally, I think awful, awful QB's like Seneca Wallace and John Skelton not being considered to have "worked out" for teams that really needed a QB makes sense, but your mileage may vary.

It might seem like a tough standard I'm going by - for comparison's sake, I would definitely hold first and second round QB picks to the standard outlined by Will. My standard for late round QB's is a measure of difficultly significantly below that, which seems fair enough.

By this standard, the only guys taken after the second round since 2004 (when the rules emphasis changed the passing game and made QB far and away the most important position on the roster - although going back to 2000 doesn't add anyone to the list but Tom Brady, whose late round success I don't think anyone needs to be reminded of, and David Garrard who should make the cut) to make the cut are Russell Wilson and Matt Schaub. That seems about right. It's not too generous to guys like Kirk Cousins or Matt Flynn who look ok in a limited capacity and it also isn't as nice to guys like Charlie Whitehurst and Dan Orlovsky as Will's standard.

The only players it might be unfair towards are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton and Matt Cassell. These players all ended up being fairly productive, but not for the team that drafted them. It might seem reasonable to drop that part of my standard, but we're talking about draft picks "working out." This is also why I don't even bother with UDFA's - it's a different conversation entirely. It's also really hard on guys who can't stay healthy, but I don't see any players significantly excluded for this reason - except Cassell, Fitzpatrick and Orton all had some trouble staying healthy, too.

Second rounders don't even fair that well by this standard, although Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton make the cut, which again, makes it seem like a very fair standard. Those guys have worked out in a way Fitzpatrick, Whitehurst, Foles and Painter did not work out for their teams/coaches. I personally don't think guys like Mike Glennon and Ryan Lindley starting a few games and being terrible means they worked out - again, your standards may very. To me, they are both so far wastes of those picks.

(If you want to try to factor in the trade value of Ryan Mallett, Cassell or Flynn for the Patriots and Packers who didn't need them and got something in return and call those picks successful, I'm open to that. That's sorta the flipside to Orton and Fitzpatrick. There's also maybe a deeper analysis to be done of these guys and other Painter/Osweiler types taken by teams who have firmly entrenched starters. They take QB for different reasons than Browns/Raiders/Jets situations where any QB taken has a shot at becoming an immediate starter.)

(And just to keep talking to myself, if you glance at the Top 15 QB's by DYAR in 2014: 12 of them are first rounders, 1 is an UDFA and the other two are Russell Wilson and Tom Brady. Seems to support the idea that if you want a good QB, he's a 1st rounder...)

23 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Yeah, I don't necessarily want to totally disregard the value of a back-up QB, but it is so minuscule in relationship to the value of a starting QB (or say in comparison the relationship between the #1 and #2 CB in terms of value), that I just don't feel it's meaningful to say T.J. Yates and A.J. Feely "worked out." I mean, players like that only "work out" by not seeing the field with any regularity and in the context of hoping they never play a single down. A.J. Feely could be awesome, but if he's worse than McNabb and brought in to back him up, you never, ever, ever want him to see the field during meaningful play. It's a weird issue - the only other player on your team that you hope never plays a down regardless of talent level is the punter.

24 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

I'd say both TJ Yates and Feeley worked out. Both teams could field a competitive offense with those respective QBs. If he's your primary backup and the starter comes back before too long that is perfectly acceptable and probably more value than your average 5th rounder contributes.

Not to mention being adequate on the field likely means helpful in practice.

25 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Yeah and the Eagles got an embarrassing trade value for Feely to boot... I don't want to disregard them, but if the choice is between trying to find a starting CB in the 5th round or a back-up QB, getting the CB is both more likely and more valuable. There's also the problem of Curtis Painter who hung around being useful in practice but was never called on for spot duty - does that make him "work out" less than Yates/Feely just because he had the misfortune of being needed for a full season whereas those two were never needed as much?

Is TJ Yates' -19%, 35th ranked DVOA really "working out" despite the team remaining competitive? He was a measure worse that year than players who definitely didn't "work out" like Seneca Wallace (in Cleveland!), Kellen Clemens, Rex Grossman (in Washington!), Tavaris Jackson (in Seattle!) and Chad Henne. Curtis Painter was only at -33%, 44th DVOA ranked so not worlds worse - basically the difference in productivity between Cam Newton (as a rookie) and Michael Vick (in his second Philly year.) You don't want to get into a situation where Yates gets credit for a decent Texans team surviving his limited presence while Painter gets killed for a much worse Colts team dying under his total takeover. It doesn't make sense to me.

26 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Well I didn't do statistical research before making my claims I admit that.

However, you have to look at DVOA in context. How well those QBs do compared to his peers? This makes Yates look much worse (to the point where I might retract "he worked out" and Feeley pretty good (only ~2% lower DVOA than McNabb).

27 Re: Audibles: 2015 NFL Draft Day Two

Yeah, Feely is definitely one of the best scenarios for a back-up in terms of drop-off/production. With McNabb, though, you have to factor in his rushing DYAR, which is what makes him so much more useful than Feely. Anyway, it definitely gets cloudy with back-ups is basically my only point. And if you wanted to say Feely is a pretty darn good pick, again with trade value factored in, I'd be hard pressed to argue against that too passionately. I don't think widening the standard to include him gets a clearer picture of "worked out/didn't work out" an imprecise concept for sure...