Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Apr 2013

MMQB: Inside the Rams Draft Room

This week, tales from PK while he embeds himself in the Rams war room. Also: quick bits on Doug Marrone taking E.J. Manuel over Ryan Nassib, and Matt Barkley's draft-day plunge.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 29 Apr 2013

14 comments, Last at 06 May 2013, 11:45am by dryheat


by dryheat :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:30pm


by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:33pm

How many teams had three picks on Thursday night?

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:43pm

This is the type of column where PK does best, the inside stories told in a folksy way. OTOH, I don't know anybody in St Louis who drinks O'Fallon (and I live here).

by BucKai :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 9:40pm

Reading this with a Schlafly IPA in my hand & nodding along thinking O'fallon?! Really?!

by Southern Philly :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:50pm

"no team came out with three players as potentially impactful from day one as GM Rick Spielman did with the Vikings."

Of course not. No one else drafted three players on Day 1.

by are-tee :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 1:27pm

I think he meant day one of the 2013 NFL season, not day one of the draft.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 04/30/2013 - 12:04pm

Ah that's what my comment #2 was replying to in the now deleted comment #1.

That's just poor editing / journalism on the part of PK to refer to "day 1" when that is how it's referred to in the draft. But yes, it makes more sense now.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 1:03pm

"Wondering what that extra year of school cost Barkley? He went 98th overall. Let's say he'd have been the eighth pick a year ago -- that's where Ryan Tannehill went. It's all speculation, of course. But the consensus was he'd have been a top 10 pick. Tannehill's deal: four years, $12.7 million. The 98th pick last year, Ravens center Gino Gradkowski, signed for four years and $2.58 million. Turns out it was a $10.1 million year of school for Matt Barkley."

This is the same crappy trope churned out for some prospect like Barkley every year. He was never going to be a top ten pick, he was just thought to be one by people that don't know what they're doing. If he'd have come out last year then he'd have been regarded as the same cosseted, noodle-armed, fundamentally limited prospect that he was this year.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 04/29/2013 - 1:07pm

Chip Kelly - "We're not trying to knock over milk cartons at the county fair."

This is good because Vick couldn't hit a milk carton and neither Barkley or Foles could knock one over.

by JonFrum :: Sat, 05/04/2013 - 11:05am

Maybe, but between 2011 and 2012 Barkley's completion percentage and touchdowns went down, and his interceptions and sacks went up. If Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert can go #8 and #10, I see no reason why Barkley couldn't have gone in the same range in 2012. I didn't hear a lot of that noodle-arm talk until last season.

by dryheat :: Sun, 05/05/2013 - 9:17pm

I think it's safe to say he would have gone before Ponder at #12. Essentially, Barkley is Ponder with more NCAA production and upside.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 05/06/2013 - 10:18am

I don't see how you can say that. He fell to the fourth round of a weak draft for quarterbacks. Ponder has more mobility, a quicker release and demonstrated more ability to produce when under duress. Ponder was a little over drafted but he was never in danger of falling to the third day. Think about Ponder's performance against the 49ers last year where he repeatedly evaded rampaging Smiths, found receivers in rapidly closing holes in coverage and scrambled for a 23 yard touchdown. I don't think Barkley could do that.

For me Barkley is a cross between Andy Dalton and Matt Leinart.

by dryheat :: Mon, 05/06/2013 - 11:45am

I think the central point is that Barkley played poorly enough this year to severely reduce his draft standing -- and I agree with that. His play, and his team, regressed this year. This stuff happens fairly frequently.

Now, it's entirely possible that even if Barkley had come out last year, he could have lowered his stock during the Senior Bowl/Combine/Draft run-up and would have ended up a fourth round pick. However when a prized high-school recruit directs a pro-style offense to an outstanding season in a major conference, they usually go pretty high in the draft. During the 2011-2012 season, Barkley was much better regarded than Ponder -- and I liked Ponder, still do.

The 2012 draft will be remembered as the draft where everybody needed a quarterback. The 2013 draft will be remembered as the draft where everybody already had one, due to the 2012 draft or free agency.

Did you say that you've already got one?

Ah, yes....it is very nice.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 05/06/2013 - 10:09am

That's my point, you didn't hear that talk because the pro evaluators hadn't given their opinion, the perception of him as a top talent was based less on his actual ability than on factors like his team's record. If he was a first round talent in a strong year then why would he fall to the fourth in a weak draft? It makes no sense, his flaws would have been spotted anyway. He struggles when not well protected and his lack of arm strength limits the schemes he can work in, maybe to the extent that he will be a career backup.

Locker was picked so high because he has enormous upside, physically he has everything you could want so a coach will feel that they have the chance to get a truly great player. Will he ever become that guy? I have my doubts but it was that high ceiling that pushed him up the draft.

I have no idea why so many people fell in love with Gabbert, I'm pretty sure that I put several comments on this site before the draft querying why he was regarded as more than a second or third round prospect.