Mychal Kendricks Draft Profile LB
The Next London Fletcher?
While undersized and sometimes overlooked, Mychal Kendricks is still seen as one of the better ILB prospects in the 2012 draft class. With a knack for making tackles and finding the football, Kendricks has proven to be a true leader for the Cal Defense. The question though for many will be can he stack up against the big time OL in the NFL? That question will be answered throughout this profile as I really like Kendricks and think for the Washington 3-4 D he’s a very good fit.
Strengths: 3 things really stick out for me while watching Kendricks. Those are his tackling ability, blitzing skill and his coverage. When I watched a few cut ups of film on him I really was taken aback by his tackling ability. While he’s not a big guy who’s not going to wow anyone with his frame, he is a form tackler who can pack a good punch to his opponent. Unlike a guy like Burfict who tries to intimidate his opponents on the field and then use poor tackling to get by, Kendricks instead uses his play on the field to make sure O coordinators will game plan for him.
Another thing that was impressive was watching Kendricks blitz the QB. It almost reminded me a bit of watching London Fletcher here in the 3-4 D. He just sits backs and waits while everyone else takes off first and then will fly into the backfield and get after the QB or RB. It was impressive because this one cut up from draftbreakdown.com showed a great blitz by Kendricks on Andrew Luck.
Check out that clip from about the: 36 second mark and watch him sit behind and wait then take off and get Luck for the sack. That was impressive and the times I watched him blitz on film, he did the exact same thing. In our 3-4 D we need guys like that who can get after the QB but also play calm and get after the QB. It’s one thing to be a guy who can blitz, but it’s another thing to be an effective blitzer.
Finally let’s get to his coverage. It’s almost a bit underrated because at times it really doesn’t stick out on film, as he’s just a LB. When watching the film though, he really does a good job on covering guys who are obviously bigger than him. He needs work on his technique, but also think of it this way; really what players coming out are perfectly sound on technique? With a year of seasoning per se and the ability to sit under one of the top ILB’s in football in London Fletcher, Kendricks really could have the chance to shine and be a starting ILB.
Weaknesses: Really there are two weaknesses that I see from Kendricks that really stick out. There are others that are more minor but for the sake of this profile I’ll stick to the major ones. Kendricks will have problems with his height as well as his ability to almost overrun the play at times.
First off let’s talk about his height. Look I hate to do it, because players shouldn’t always be judged on height/weight/speed if you always do that then you need to sign up be an Oakland Raiders scout or front office guy (I kid I kid). What the truth is though that Kendricks is a smaller guy, so he will have difficulties at times matching up against big time TE’s who are 6’4 or 6’5. It’s not something that should be the end all be all with him in terms of deciding to draft him or not, but at the same time it’s something that scouts will mark negatively and will be the reason why he’s going in the 4th round range instead of the 2nd round. Kendricks though uses his size to his advantage, which is a positive to watch at the same time. What Kendricks needs to do is continue to use his height as an advantage, but at the same time it wouldn’t surprise me if teams did take him off the field on 3rd downs or obvious passing downs.
Also the other negative that shows up on film, is that while Kendricks for the most part does play the run and pass well, he has a tendency on running plays to overrun and end up letting big gains occur. A couple of times on the film I watched, I saw him just barely overrun the play, but by him overrunning the play another 5-10 yards were gained on the play. This is more of a technique and reading of the play flaw with Kendricks that can be taught, but also like I said you need to give him time to develop and learn.
So where does Kendricks fit? I love the idea of Kendricks in Washington as a 4th round pick. Bring him in, let him sit and learn and come in on certain downs and get his feet wet and then let him take over when London Fletcher retires. Kendricks has potential to be a starter and because of his size will fall on draft day, but look for Kendricks to become a starting caliber guy whether it be for Washington or another 3-4 team that I expect him to go to.
Big thank you to draftbreakdown.com for the YouTube cut up used in the draft profile.
Justin Partlow is the resident Draft guru at SonofWashington.com. For more great Redskins and NFL related info hit up Justin on Twitter @JTPartlow21.
Brock Osweiler Draft Profile QB
At Arizona State, Brock Osweiler was seen as a very athletic QB, who despite his size had a chance to be a starting QB in the NFL. While that thought still remains, there are concerns now with him leaving a year early for the Draft. What Osweiler possesses is a strong arm, athletic ability and fiery leadership.
With seasoning and grooming, Osweiler can become a starting QB in the NFL, but at the same time he will need a good bit of time before he’s ready.
Lets get to the details and film on him.
Strengths: What I really like about Osweiler’s game from the two game cut ups I’ve seen is his ability to play within the scheme. I always have felt bad for Osweiler playing at ASU, because he was forced to not really show off his arm strength. The ASU O seemed to predicated on swing passes and short passing to attack defenses.
The times Osweiler was allowed to take shots down deep, you can definitely see his arm strength and ability to make the big play.
Also something I really liked to
watch from Osweiler was his athletic ability even at 6’8. Watching the cut ups you can tell he does have that basketball background and has athletic ability that’s pretty impressive for a guy that’s as tall as he is.
Weaknesses: Now with the weaknesses its pretty simple but lengthy to get into.
First off I really think Osweiler can be a starting QB and I’d put a late 1st to mid 2nd round grade on him, but a lot like Ryan Tannehill he’s a guy you are going to need to develop and let mature. When watching the tape two things really stick out.
One of them is the footwork that Osweiler has right now. Sometimes it looks good then other times it looks like he’s never really had any real coaching. Watching cut ups of the USC game I just was sitting there shaking my head on a lot of his drop backs at the sloppiness of his footwork.
It’s not a slight against Osweiler as a person because a lot of young QB’s don’t have the coaching to help them for the next level.
He will need work though, and with his work ethic I have no doubts he can improve on it and become better.
Another thing I noticed that caused a bit of concern was the throwing motion. It almost seemed like he was shot putting the football to his receivers.
While every QB has different throwing motions, I really haven’t seen one
as unorthodox as this with maybe the closest as Vince Young. It’s something I haveconcern about because while he’s a tall guy, he’s also bringing the ball down instead of releasing it at its highest point and that can lead to batted passes. Something he’ll
need to improve, but if I were a QB coach working with him, I wouldn’t try to change everything about his throwing motion, but I would try to get him to work on throwing it at its highest point.
The last weakness I noticed was his accuracy. Now let me explain what I really mean by that. He’s accurate in the sense he can get his passes off and to the receivers, but he’s inaccurate in how its placed to the receivers.
Usually you want to put the passes in the receiver’s chest, but when watching film I saw numerous times where the passes that were pretty basic, they were off the typical target you want to see.
It’s not like it is the end of the world with him, but as a WR you want to have that pass in your chest so you can get the pass and try to make a move up the field.
By him throwing off that target he’s leaving his receivers
vulnerable to hits since they have to adjust to make the catch and aren’t able to sometimes see the defender coming for them.
Overall Osweiler really does show
that he’s raw as a QB and will need work, but there are tools that show he can be a starting QB and one you can win with.
Where does he fit? Well I like Osweiler as a guy you can sit and develop, but I
really don’t see him as a fit here in Washington.
While he does seem to have the arm strength we want in a QB, he’s also not extremely accurate with his passes as
I documented above.
He has a ton of talent, but Washington needs someone who can play now or within the rookie year and right now I don’t see Osweiler being ready until at least half way through year two to almost year 3 because of how raw
he is as a QB.
While he was probably better served staying in college another year, I
understand why he came out considering his HC was fired and that offense was going to change a lot under Todd Graham and staff. Osweiler while a talented individual, isn’t
a great fit in Washington
Justin is the Son of Washington resident draft Guru. You can follow him on twitter @JTPartlow21. Let him know what you think of his work.
As the 2012 Draft Season nears closer and closer I thought I’d go ahead and get my first initial mock draft out before the FA season has hit. I usually don’t predict trades but I do expect the Washington Redskins to move up the #2 pick. Without any further ado here’s my first attempt
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck QB Stanford
This is pretty much a no brainer, Luck is by far the best player in this draft and by far the best player I’ve scouted in the past 8 years or so. He’ll help turn around the Colts who need a new face of the franchise
2. TRADE: Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
Again another pick I just see happening easily. Washington is going to love having a dynamic QB like Griffin who will do wonders for Kyle Shanahan and that offense. He’ll have his growing pains moving to a traditional pro style system, but expect him to be a heck of a player
3. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil LT USC
Minnesota got their franchise QB last year in Ponder and now they need to protect him with a franchise LT. Kalil is by far the #1 OT in this class and has the ability to be an all-pro player for a long time
4. Cleveland Browns- Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
First off to explain why I have Washington over Cleveland in the #2 pick, I personally see Cleveland trying to acquire Matt Flynn to become their guy. He fits exactly what Holmgren likes and this is a total Holmgren type move. Adding Blackmon then just solidifies what they need on that O which is explosive players
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborn CB LSU
This quite possibly might be the most no brainer pick of the whole 1st round. Tampa has a lot of problems at CB and Claiborne is hands down the best D player in this draft. This will help a lot with an aging Ronde Barber and a secondary that got torched last year
6. St. Louis Rams(From Washington) Michael Brockers DT LSU
St Louis is able to trade down here to #6 and get a guy who will help make a DL that was getting stronger that much better. Brockers, while a RS Soph, will be able to have an immediate impact on that team especially in the run stopping category.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Kendall Wright WR Baylor
Look I know I’ll catch heat for this, but at the same time this is also a Gene Smith type pick. Kendall Wright is going to be a Steve Smith(CAR) type WR in this league and that’s exactly what they need with a young QB in Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert now has a legit weapon outside of MJD that’ll help his development
8. Miami Dolphins- Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Again another no-brainer type pick for me. Reiff is exactly what the Dolphins need. He’ll be able to come in right away and play at RT, but also can move to LT if anything happens with Jake Long.
9. Carolina Panthers- Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
A very good value here for Carolina as they get the #2 CB in the class who is going to be a very good cover corner in the NFL. Has off the field problems, but seem to be a non issue moving forward
10. Buffalo Bills- Mike Adams LT Ohio State
A bit of a reach in some respects, but Adams is my #3 LT behind Kalil and Reiff, he should be able to come in right away and play at LT, but will have his problems with his first year. In 3 years look out though, could be one heck of a LT
11. Kansas City Chiefs- Jonathan Martin LT Stanford
A guy who I feel is best suited for the RT position in the NFL, Martin can come in right away and provide a good anchor on that OL. Has issues with speed rushers but should be able to man the RT position for 10 years
12. Seattle Seahawks- Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M
Could be considered a reach, but also if Christian Ponder who missed a ton of time goes to Minnesota at 12, then Tannehill can very well go in the same spot as well. Will need time to develop, but when finished will be a very good QB.
13. Arizona Cardinals- Quinton Coples DE UNC
Honestly not a guy I’m a huge fan of, but with Arizona staying in the 3-4 he’s a good DE fit across from Campbell. When giving 100% is one of the most dominant players in college football, but a lot of concerns about motor.
14. Dallas Cowboys- Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
Another pick that makes sense, The Cowboys have needs at CB and Jenkins is the BPA available. Has off the field concerns, but does seem sincere in his problems. Dallas will enjoy having a guy who can shut down his man.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
Feels like a recurring theme, but a guy who makes perfect sense for the Eagles. A long rangy LB who can cover the whole field and is a tackling machine. Will provide stability to the Eagles D was run through constantly.
16- New York Jets- Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama
This just fits in perfectly with what Rex Ryan wants. A big OLB who can get after the passer but also is versatile and can move to ILB for a play or two. Need help on O as well, but Upshaw’s value too good to pass up.
17- Cincinnati Bengals- Trent Richardson RB Alabama
I know its late for him, but I couldn’t really find a team that would take him as a primary need. Cincy will be lucky to have a guy like him who can provide a top end workload for a long time. Knee injury is a little concern, but should recover well
18- San Diego Chargers- Devon Still DT Penn State
A guy who should go earlier, but like Richardson will fall because of needs. Can definitely see a team moving up for him and would be a great move. Think he can be a very good 3-4 DE for the Chargers who have had issues along the front the past couple of years.
19- Chicago Bears- David DeCastro OG Stanford
A pick that people will go “what?” but will be able to come in right away at G and provide stability to an OL that has problems protecting their QB. He’s going to be a guy who will be in pro bowls constantly and an all pro type, but because of position will be devalued on draft day.
20- Tennessee Titans- Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
I wanted to put a DE here for the Titans, but with issues with Kenny Britt as well as questions at the WR position, Floyd is too good of a value to pass up. Will help out Locker in his development as a franchise QB.
21- Cincinnati Bengals- Cordy Glenn OG/OT Georgia
Another non sexy pick here, but Glenn will be a good fit to the Bengals who have some needs at the OL positions. Definitely can come in day one and be ready to play for them.
22- Cleveland Browns- Lamar Miller RB Miami
A total no brainer add probably one of the most dynamic RB’s in the draft to a dynamic WR and now you have an offense that should be a lot better next year. Will help Flynn a lot transitioning into a full time starter as well.
23- Detroit Lions- Whitney Merculius DE Illinois
A guy who I’m not too fond off but a good value here in the late 1st round. Kelechi Osmele is also an option or Cordy Glenn if he slips to this pick. Merculius will be able to come in and help the Lions out right away especially if they lose Avril to FA
24- Pittsburgh Steelers- Kelechi Osmele OG Iowa State
Pittsburgh is going to love this guy at the OG position. Osmele struggled at LT at times, but moving inside he could have a Carl Nicks type impact for the Steelers and that OL.
25- Denver Broncos – Fletcher Cox DT/DE Mississippi State
A very good value pick for Denver here late in the 1st round. Cox will be able to come in right away and help our that DL for the Broncos that struggled at times up the middle. Will help take pressure off of Miller and Dumervil to produce all of the pressure.
26- Houston Texans- Dontari Poe NT Memphis
One pick I’ve been back and forth on for a while now. Poe is a guy who while his weight says 350+ he doesn’t play that way at all. Very mobile for his weight and a guy who can help man down the 3-4 NT position for Wade Phillips. Could also go WR here if they want to upgrade the O
27- New England Patriots- Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
Bill Belichick takes a gamble on a big time WR who has noted problems off the field. Jeffery has the talent to be the top WR in this class, but weight problems as well as some questions about maturity will contribute to his fall on draft day.
28- Green Bay Packers- Nick Perry DE/OLB USC
Green Bay will be doing backflips and dancing when they see Perry fall to them at 28. Will be the perfect compliment to Matthews at the 3-4 OLB position.
29- Baltimore Ravens- Dont’a Hightower LB Alabama
A pick that I was torn on here as I wanted to mock Vontaze Burfict to Baltimore. In the end I see them taking Hightower who will be able to come in and handle his emotions easily and be a very good player for the Ravens and the eventual successor to Ray Lewis
30- San Francisco 49ers- Reuben Randle WR LSU
The 49ers had a great year with 1st year coach Jim Harbaugh. In order to take that next step and be a championship team, they need to upgrade the WR position and Randle is my next best WR on the board. He’ll provide the ability to stretch the field and has shown to be a willing blocker as well.
31- New England Patriots- Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
Another good value pick here for the Patriots getting Worthy who will help shore up the 4-3 D that the patriots seem to be moving back to now. Good news as well is that they still can run the 3-4 looks as well as he seems to be a guy who can play some of the 3-4 DE position as well as 3-4 NT on passing downs.
32- New York Giants- Orson Charles TE Georgia
The rich get richer simple as that. The Giants are going to love what Charles can bring to the table. I would project Dwayne Allen here, but I really like how Charles can be used as a slot receiver but also as a TE as well. Will help bolster the O for New York as they look to repeat as Super Bowl Champs
So with that said thoughts? Questions? Let me know!
Update you can check out our mock being featured at DcSportsReport. Go check them out they have a HUGE mock database.
James Michael Johnson Draft Profile
by Justin Partlow
As one of the more underrated ILB’s in the 2012 draft class, James-Michael Johnson possesses a nice blend of speed and athleticism that will be a welcome addition to the team that drafts him. As a starter at Nevada, he hasn’t faced the big time of competition like someone at Alabama would, but he’s proven that he can more than compete for a starting job early on in the NFL.
What Johnson does well that I love to see out of him is use his athleticism to the best of his ability. What I mean by that is, he’s athletic and he knows it so he has no problem lining up against a TE in 1v1 coverage and be able to stop him. I’ve see him run step for step with a RB too, which is something we need in our 3-4 scheme. Also when you watch him play he’s a very good blitzer. What he does well is take a proper angle to the QB and he can lay a good hit. Its impressive to watch and when you watch him play, you can see a guy who is a little raw in certain aspects, but at the same time he’s got talent you can’t deny. I see him a bit like I did Perry Riley, someone who had a lot of talent, but needed a bit of “seasoning” per say. I mentioned it earlier, but Johnson’s best trait to me is his coverage ability. He reminds me of a guy like Lawrence Timmons. Timmons was thought to be a bit of an odd fit for the 3-4, but LeBeau moved him to the ILB scheme and made him more of a coverage/blitz type guy for them. What Johnson could do is move to that position that Fletcher has done a great job at being able to still cover RB’s but also blitz the QB and bring the heat.
The downsides to Johnson are pretty simple and when you watch film they do show. The one that drives me nuts is watching him get washed out by OL in the run game. Now I know he’s only 240 and those OL are 290+, but you have to be able to take on blocks in the 3-4 scheme and make plays from that. Watching him play, I feel like it could be technique based on how to attack the blocks properly. Another thing that shows up on the film that is a negative is watching him sometimes in the pass game. He tends to play upright in coverage and that can allow him to give up a completion. Now again its technique with him, which is why I keep saying he’s someone you can sit on the bench learn from the other LB’s and coaches and then be ready to go when his number is called when London hangs his cleats up. Those two things on film really do stand out and if he can work on them, then he has the makings of being a very successful 3-4 ILB.
Where does Michael-Johnson fit with Washington? I think he’s a great fit here for the Redskins as a guy who can sit on the bench at first and be a special teams guy at first, then in 2 years when London will be winding it down on his career, can take over at ILB and not skip a beat. He’s got the blitzing ability that Haslett will like, and also is an effective player in coverage.
To watch James-Michael Johnson in action check out this video by TMBDraft that has 3 games mashed up.
Matt Kalil Draft Profile
By: Justin Partlow
Continuing my draft profile series, I’m taking a look at the ultra athletic LT from USC Matt Kalil. Standing at 6’7 295, Kalil brings a blend of height speed and athleticism that is rare to find at the LT position. What he does best is use proper form and technique against any rusher and keeps his QB upright. When you look at the 2012 OT class it truly is Matt Kalil at 1 and then a significant drop off to the next OT in Riley Reiff. What I’m going to get at here in this scouting report is the rare traits that Kalil possesses and then talk a little about the weaknesses to his game that are going to come up when you talk about projecting to the NFL.
First off the positives, Kalil is long in the arms, but never overextends when he’s in pass protection. Keeps a good solid base and finishes off his blocks both in pass protection and run blocking. While only at 295 pounds, he packs a good punch in the run game and can become dominating. While he’s not the biggest LT we’ve seen come out, many of the best LT’s in the game came into the NFL around the 300 pound mark. In this day and age at LT you need to be someone who can be athletic in pass protection, but also someone who can get out in the run game and create holes. Watching film of Kalil it’s easy to see that he can handle both easily. In the video below by JMPasq of Draft Breakdown, you can see just how good Kalil is both as a pass protector and a run blocker
What I personally liked watching and it will be overlooked by some is the base he plays with. I mentioned it earlier but when you watch him at LT, he stays bent and has good balance while in protection. So many times in the NFL will you see a LT who tends to overextend and then in turn it leads to the DE beating them badly for a sack or tackle for loss. With Kalil though he already has that technique down, so as an OL coach you are going to be able to just fine-tune and work on the little things instead of working on major technique problems. That also is to be expected with someone like Kalil who is a projected top 3 pick in the draft and many consider as the #2 prospect behind Andrew Luck. Also if you really want to see something I love about Kalil watch that video at the 4:40 mark. On a simple run play that goes away from his side, he still drives off the ball hard and finishes his block with authority. That’s something that might go unnoticed, but I caught onto it right away having the same intensity on a play that isn’t going your way as one that is can be very important to draft stock. That makes scouts know you will always give it 100% no matter what the situation is. Watching Kalil it’s pretty simple at what he excels at, pass protection and the ability to finish blocks in the running game.
Now lets get to the negatives and there really are two that I seem to notice when I watch Kalil play. One of these relates to actual on the field play and the other revolves around his height. First off while watching Kalil, I notice sometimes his footwork will get sloppy here and there. Its not something that is too terrible considering 99% of the time its picture form, but at the same time bad technique is does get noticed and it can become tiresome for a coach, when you do it right many times, but then a three times in a row of bad technique can become a habit. Also watching the film of Kalil he does tend to overextend with arms. While he’s able to recover most of the time because of how athletic he is, it also is something that is graded as a negative. Its not all the time, but it also does happen here and there. The other thing I have negatively graded on Kalil is his height. While I really don’t want to bring it up, it also needs to, as many of the LT’s in the game aren’t 6’7 to 6’8. While it’s not something that would affect my final decision on him being drafted, I would have a little pause at first. Again its not an end all be all thing with Kalil, but it has affected other parts of his game in terms of technique. I have no doubt he’s going to be a great one, and its kind of silly to bring it up, but you almost have to at the same time.
So where does Kalil fit in? Well he’s not a great fit here in Washington IMO more so with the fact we have an established LT in Trent Williams who is finally starting to develop into a top 5 LT like people have thought. Yes he had the suspension, but I think we won’t be hearing from Trent anymore after this. Kalil would be moved to the RT position, which I wouldn’t be too fond of considering I see him as a natural LT in the NFL. His best fit will be in a place like Minnesota where he can help a rebuilding team like the Vikings and be the blind side protector for a young QB like Christian Ponder.
Ryan Tannehill Draft Profile
Ryan Tannehill is seen as the dynamic wildcard of the QB class in 2012. With the prototypical size speed and athleticism needed at QB, Tannehill possesses everything scouts look for in a QB. After moving from QB in High School to WR to back to QB, there are certain concerns about how far along Tannehill is as a QB. What you have to look at with him is just at where he can be in 1-3 years as he continues his development into being a franchise type QB. This truly is the guy who could be the second best fit at QB for the Redskins outside of Robert Griffin III (Not including Andrew Luck)
Lets get to the positives of Tannehill and what he possesses better than most QB’s in this class. He has very good arm strength and is able to make all of the throws that are asked of by NFL teams. One of his best assets he has at Texas A&M is Head Coach Mike Sherman who runs a pro style offense and that has had a profound impact on Tannehill in his development just through the 15+ starts he has had. Another thing that really is impressive to watch is his mobility. While he isn’t a track athlete like Griffin is, he is very mobile and runs the bootleg and stretch play action with the best of the college QB’s. In the video below by JMPasq on Youtube (great job as always man!) It shows the great mobility Tannehill has.
After watching that video you can tell he’s also got a little gunslinger mentality in him, while it usually is a good thing to see in QB’s, it also can be something that is troublesome in terms of how he operates on offense. Now with the Redskins offense they have no problem with gunslingers, if they properly run the offense and make the important throws to keep the offense ahead of schedule. Mike Shanahan had that in Denver with Cutler and to an extent Kyle had the same with Matt Schaub in Houston. Overall though Ryan Tannehill has every tool you want in a QB but there are some negatives that give scouts pause when beginning to rank him and think of what he’ll be in the NFL.
While there are tons of positives with Ryan, he also has his downfalls. The biggest one that I have noticed in my games that I’ve scouted and watched of him is how he isn’t always the best at making the bucket throws. When he gets into the bootleg throws and is outside of the pocket, then he’s pretty much unstoppable because of his ability to tuck and run. When he’s forced to stay in the pocket and have to read the defense, he tends to miss on easy passes that QB’s have to make. The crossing patterns, corner routes even slant routes. That’s not to say he can’t improve on it as a QB, but its something that isn’t perfect right now and will need coaching in the NFL. The other thing I’ve noticed with Tannehill is his tendency to have passes batted down at the line of scrimmage by Defensive Linemen. While most of the time I tend to agree that it could be from extending plays, but also I’ve seen batted passes from him standing in the pocket. At 6’4 there shouldn’t be passes being batted down with how he’s able to see over the whole line of scrimmage. While it isn’t a huge concern with me, it is something to keep tabs on with him. I think some of it has to do with how he throws the football at times, but nonetheless it is something that scouts will take notice of and could even put as a minus when they do formal evaluations of him.
Now the question comes where does Tannehill fit for Washington? Its pretty simple, Tannehill is one of the best fits available for Washington in terms of pure scheme fit. He will need work moving forward, but also at the same time what he could be when he is fully matured and ready at QB is scary to imagine. Right now scouts have him anywhere from the 1st round to mid 2nd but I have him as the #4 QB and a late 1st round type who could slip to the 2nd if the late teams don’t take him to develop behind their franchise QB’s or a team in the early 2nd doesn’t trade back into the 1st for him.
Draft profile by Justin Partlow
Robert Griffin III Draft Profile
Well guys its that time of year again where us draftniks get back to scouting for 2012. Starting off my 2012 profiles will be who I consider the most dynamic player in the 2012 draft Robert Griffin III. Griffin is a track athlete as well as a QB, but when you watch his game you see shades of a QB who can be a dominant force in the NFL. Possessing a cannon arm, great accuracy already and blazing speed Griffin draws comparisons fairly or unfairly to Michael Vick. My opinion though is that Griffin will end up as a dual threat QB who uses his legs secondary to his arm.
Like with all of my profiles I’ll start off with the positives of Robert. First off I stated it before, but he’s got an absolute cannon of an arm. With the flick of his right wrist he can throw the ball 60 yards in the air. While yes we’ve seen arm strength isn’t everything to be a successful QB, it has its big positives for a scheme like the Redskins that utilizes down the field passing. One thing that is surprising to watch right off the bat with Robert is how he has good mechanics and has some polish already as a passer. In the following highlight video it shows a good amount of his mechanics and his polish while operating in the pocket as well as outside of it.
Just watching that video though gives me goose bumps at what kind of player Robert can be. Of course there will be the concerns about his offensive scheme and how he’s not prepared, but closely watch how he plays QB. He’s not a Cam Newton who is easy to take off for a big run, he’s instead a guy who will make the reads and then if nothing is there will take off for the big run against the opposing defense. That’s something that is rarely seen out of a QB coming out of the spread, unless your looking at guys like Sam Bradford who showed that being a Spread QB wasn’t a bad thing.
I want to though focus on a series of plays from 1:43 to 2:14 in that video. The first two right away show the arm strength but also show off maybe the most underrated part of Griffins game, his accuracy as a passer. Yes of course some of the doubters will point out well he’s in a spread he very well could have inflated accuracy numbers but a 65% completion percentage for a spread QB is impressive no matter how you slice it, especially looking at the throws that Griffin is making. There is the one throw around 2 minutes or so that shows the rough edges of Griffin though as he underthrows his receiver and almost in a sense forces the pass downfield. The last pass though in that series shows the arm strength and impressive touch again.
Now while I’ve spent a good deal of time showing the positives of Griffins game there are concerns not just on the field but also medically with him. Lets start with the medical and get it out of the way. Robert suffered a bad knee injury his sophomore year after he was putting up gaudy numbers and missed the rest of the season. Last year was his first year back after the surgery and for the first few weeks it showed as he looked a little timid, but rightfully so after the injury he suffered. So there will be some concerns about his knee, but from all I’ve gathered the knee is perfectly fine and it wont be a cause of worry in the NFL. The other concerns with Griffin are purely scheme based. Teams will become concerned with the spread offense that Griffin is told to run at Baylor. Some of it is because it may not be the most complex of schemes but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t required to make the reads and prove himself. The point remains though it isn’t the most NFL ready of schemes and he will need time to adjust to playing under center. He’s almost in the Vince Young level though of spread offense QB’s if you ask me. One who has made a lot of passes out of the spread as well as dynamic runs and can make the transition to the pro game just like Vince has shown, but different from Vince, Robert has no off the field issues to speak of. Outside of an adjustment to the pro game and some teams having concerns of the knee, there really isn’t a ton that makes you pause when watching Griffin on film. He’s been producing at a high level and doing it on a team that wasn’t one of the best in the nation IE Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama
So now the question is where does he fit in the Redskins? Well its easy Robert would be a great fit for this offense as he has the mobility that Mike will want to run the play action and bootleg plays of the offense, but also he has the accuracy and arm strength to make the plays that Kyle will like. While he wont be a guy you start right away, he could very well make a huge impact for the Redskins in 2013 as a starting QB. Keep your eyes out for Robert this year as he could even end up as a Heisman guy if plays like he can.
Vontaze Burfict Draft Profile
Known as one of the most gifted LB’s in the draft, Vontaze Burfict possesses a unique blend of size strength athleticism and intensity that is welcomed to the MLB position in the NFL. As a rising junior it’s a given if he’ll declare or not, but if he does, I truly believe he could be a mid to late 1st round QB who ends up being one of the best players from the whole draft. I do say mid to late 1st because some teams will pause about the on the field penalties and how he is a bit raw on some respects of his game. The one thing you can’t deny is his athleticism and the things that he does, that not many people can do. The one comparison I tend to bring up with Burfict is that he’s a lot like Ray Lewis, not in any way saying that he’ll be the next one, but when I watch him I see a guy who has ridiculous passion for the game, shows the intensity every play and gives his all and makes those outstanding plays. Andrew on the other hand see’s Burfict a bit like LaVar Arrington in how he likes to roam and make those plays, which is true he has shown that, but I do feel that some of the scheme allows him to have a bit of roaming ability especially the decisions on man coverage/ blitzing the QB.
Lets get to the positives about Vontaze though and it’s really down to 3 major things, closing speed, tackling ability and play recognition. When you watch a highlight film of Vontaze you can tell right away that he closes with the speed of a mack truck it feels like. In a few cut up films I’ve watched of him along with live games, I’ve cringed at watching just how hard he’s hit some of the opposing players. Its something that is not the most important because many coaches want a technically sound LB, but when you see a LB close at the rate he does, it does make you go “wow if he can refine that technique a bit more, he’s going to be a star.” The next thing is vontaze is a tackling guy and shows great form when he tackles his opponents. As you can see so far with my profile it’s a bit different in analyzing the strengths, because I’ve made it obvious he can tackle and he is intense, but it’s the other things you notice while watching him that are so positive. In this video clip done by one of my good twitter friends Aaron Aloysius (give him a follow at @AaronAloysius) you can see it he tackles every time with great form.
Its almost an underrated trait with LB’s because in our day and age we’ve become very into the big hits and highlight plays, but watching him consistently wrap up his opponents and also level them with terrifying force. Its almost a minimal positive to some, but as me being a big time old school football guy I view it almost as one of the more important positives that a LB can show. The final thing that stands out to me and its shown so many times in the above highlight video is the play recognition. There were numerous times where he would actually meet the ball carrier instantly or read the screen pass/pass in general and make a big time play. Quite possibly my favorite is about half way through the video where he recognizes the RB screen and then meets him and tackles him as soon as he catches the ball. That shows a LB who has the mental instincts to read plays and make quick reactions to any sort of play. Its something that you want to see in those big time LB’s because yeah its great having a technician LB, but those who can make the quick reactions and change the whole facet of a game are those who end up being long time pro bowl selections and end up being All Pro players. Patrick Willis right now is that kind of guy and Vontaze could very well be like him if he straightens out his negatives that I’ll get to shortly.
Now lets get to the negatives with Vontaze and it comes down to two major things for me, one his immaturity and two his ability to become to upright and stiff making plays. Vontaze is one of my favorite players to watch based on his pure ability as a LB, but to be honest he makes some dumb plays in terms of penalties. He’s been penalized multiple times for personal fouls and yes some are not as bad as they look, but you develop a reputation then as a dirty player. Now is he like Fairley in the dirty play regard? Its tough to call because he’s made some bad choices, but also when in the highlight video he gets a personal foul, but it wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. In the NFL if he has a strong HC who can reel in the attitude of him then he can be a star player, but some teams will pause with the plays he has shown in games. The other concern with Vontaze is how he plays upright and his technique isn’t the greatest. In college you can get away with pure athleticism but in the NFL it wont get you far unless you know your technique and assignments down with the best of them. Vontaze will need to improve on it as I’ve seen multiple times in which he is playing upright and being taken out of the play early on. Its something that does make you pause because if you draft Vontaze in the 1st round you want immediate production and with him you would need to rework technique and have a good top notch LB coach to work with him. Its not something though that will stop a GM from taking a chance on him though. We’ve seen it in the past you will get drafted high for athleticism over some other things like football smarts and it works out sometimes and other times it ends up horribly. Overall though while there are negatives for Vontaze they aren’t the end all be all with a player of his caliber, but they will be scrutinized and looked at heavily by teams before they decide whether to draft him of not
Well to end the profile its now to the where does he fit for the Redskins part? Well its simple Vontaze would be a great 3-4 ILB fit for us because he possesses the blitz ability that Haslett likes out of his ILB’s and also has shown the ability to show good coverage ability. While possessing all those traits he also will need some work to make sure he does maximize his potential including the refinement of his technique and reworking in some areas. Vontaze has all the tools but it will also come down to his dedication to the game in the little areas in his quest to be a great LB
Riley Reiff Draft Profile
Known as one of the top OT’s available in the draft, Riley Reiff is the prototypical Iowa offensive lineman. A big gritty guy who has the ability to move in space and fit not only a power scheme, but a ZBS scheme as well. Bryan Bulaga from GB has showed it and Robert Gallery, while failing at OT, has been a good OG in the ZBS. Reiff shows good leverage and technique, which are staples of the Iowa coaching. You wont find better-coached offensive linemen than those who come from Iowa. While he still will need a bit of technique work and a couple of little things here and there Reiff has the potential to be the #2 OT taken only behind Matt Kalil of USC (who is the top guy for me by far.)
This might be a little bit of a shorter profile because with Reiff he’s very technique sound and he has a lot already going for him, and the negatives are small more nit picky things more than anything else. With the positives it all starts with how he plays the game. Reiff plays with intensity and drives his blocks until the end. That’s what this team needs especially with how we are moving our team to a ZBS that is nasty and drives their opponents back 10 yards. We saw it in the first game where Trent Williams took DeMarcus Ware and drove him down field on a play. We still want those who fit the ZBS, but also have that mean streak in them. Reiff though shows it and this video by TMB Draft on YouTube shows it (Thank you for the video man!)
Multiple times in the first 3 minutes of the video, he is finishing blocks and displays a good punch on the DE. Then continues to block and fight with his guy until the whistle blows. Also when you watch it really sticks how technically sound he is. I know I sound like a broken record talking about it, but his technique is good he shows good bend in his arm and doesn’t over extend except for the rare one occasion or two. He has good bend and looking at him, he is in good shape and wont have a problem keeping his weight the same. That’s what you want to see in a guy is not only one who can be the stud player for you, but also one who will take care of himself and make sure he’s in tip top shape and never a concern. Also the other thing I like watching is his footwork, its polished and good, but still will need a little bit of work just like every prospect coming of out college does need. Overall between his technique and nasty demeanor, Reiff posses everything you want in an OT heading to the NFL.
Now the negatives are nit picky like I said earlier but as a scout you really need to point these out and dissect them. While Reiff has good technique he has had times where he does get flat footed and while doesn’t get pushed back into the QB he ends up stalemating his opponent which in the NCAA is okay, but in the NFL that ends up with a tackle for loss or no gain and only being an average OT and he doesn’t want to be one. Also the other thing I noticed is not a big thing but I did mention it earlier he did overextend his arms and that led to not a bad play but one that makes a scout pause and go “he needs a bit of work there”. While its not awful and the end all be all, it does make you wonder how much work will it take (even though most will say not a ton of work for him.) The negatives are few though and if he can fix those he can be a dominant OT in the NFL. I see Reiff as someone who can play either side on the OL and be a dang good OT.
Now it’s down to the last part like with all of my profiles and its simple does Riley Reiff fit for the Washington Redskins? The answer is pretty simple YES! Reiff would be a RT in our scheme as we already have Trent Williams to be our franchise LT, and as a RT he could have a very good year in our scheme. The wonder is though with Mike and how he drafts OL. Traditionally you’ll see him draft a LT in the 1st round but after that he fills his OL with guys in the mid to late rounds ala Ryan Harris who was a 3rd rounder and OG’s like Chris Kuper in the 5th round. While I like Reiff a lot I’m not sure Mike would take him in the 1st round especially with our bigger needs like QB, interior OL (could change with FA) and some needs on the D but none that are extremely major. Overall though whoever drafts Riley Reiff will have a very good sound OT who can come in day one and be a successful player. In my opinion, he’s almost bust free in that if he fails at OT (which I don’t think he will) he could be a good OG as well.