A Number of Thoughts Draft-related

Mitch

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1. I liked Sissyboy's thread about his draft philosophy and found myself agreeing with a number of his points.

The aspects of my own philosophy about the draft are:

* don't pay too much attention to what the pundits say, as they are more often wrong than they are right.

* trust my own eyes and instincts about a player.

* don't care about what round you take a player you like---often you have one chance to pick a player, so if he's a fit, take him even though the rest of the world may think it's too soon.

* there are certain players who can help you win 2-3 more games a year and even if you have good players at that position already, keep loading the wagon with playmakers.

2. Case in Point---S/CB T.J. Green, Clemson.

The recent buzz is that the Cardinals are targeting Green with #29 pick and that they plan to convert him to CB.

Green is physically gifted----he's got length, 4.38 speed, long arms and superb athleticism.

However, when you watch the tape, he is raw, he doesn't play as fast as his timed speed would suggest and there is a good deal of hesitation in his reads---which is understandable seeing as he's only played safety full-time for one year.

See---to me---especially when considering what the Cardinals need, which, imo, first and foremost, are sure tacklers---there is no way I would ever take Green at #29. I don't want another half arsed tackler on the Cardinals---ever again.

If you play defense in the NFL and you don't like to tackle---you belong in another profession.

This is why Rashad Johnson was not offered a contract. He was always a plus in coverage (despite only average range), but he became a liability as a tackler.

Then to try to convert Green to CB would mean he would most likely be another first-round redshirt.

I would take his teammate Mackensie Alexander a million times over Green---Alexander can play the position, he's tough and super quick to react.

3. I think that when you analyze the Panthers and Seahawks, what jumps out at you is that you had better tackle and cover as well as they do, and you had better have chasers who can take down Newton and Wilson. The Cardinals still need to add 3 more chasers if they are going to challenge Carolina and Seattle and Green Bay for the NFC Championship.

There are number of chasers in this draft I really like for the Cardinals:

* LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
* LB Myles Jack, UCLA
* LB Darron Lee, Ohio St.
* LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
* LB Kamalei Correa, Boise St.
* DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson
* DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson
* DE/DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
* DE/DT Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi
* DE/DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
* DE/DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina St.
* CB Mackensie Alexander
* CB William Jackson III, Houston
* CB Will Redmon, Mississippi St.
* CB Xavien Howard, Baylor
* S Keanu Neal, Florida
* S/LB Miles Killebrew, Souther Utah
* S/LB Su'a Cravens, USC
* S/LB Jeremy Cash, Duke
* S/CB Justin Simmons, Boston College

It would be great of Steve Keim could find a way to draft 2 of these players---because most likely all of them, save perhaps the ones coming off injuries, will be long gone by the end of round 3, pick #92.

4. Been thinking a lot about whether Steve Keim should try to trade for the Jets' DT/DE Muhammed Wilkerson. The Jets are open to trade offers and appear very willing to trade him. Mike Disner could get creative on a long-term deal so as to be able to fit him under this year's cap, assuming that he and Keim can do something (finally) about Calais Campbell's $15.2M cap number and the $4M cap figure for under-productive DT/DE Cory Redding.

5. Wondering what newly acquired DE/OLB Chandler Jones thinks of the two defensive linemen the Patriots just released: DE Dominique Easley (whose QB pressure % was best in NFL, albeit in limited snaps) and DT Chris Jones.

6. Adding a versatile offensive lineman in this draft would seem made to order and there are a few who would seem to fit the bill:

Tackle/Guard Options

* Jerald Hawkins, LSU, 6-6, 305
* Kyle Murphy, Stanford, 6-6, 300
* Spencer Drango, Baylor, 6-6, 320
* Fahn Cooper, Mississippi, 6-5, 304
* Willie Beavers, Western Michigan, 6-5, 325
* Alex Lewis, Nebraska, 6-6, 302
* Avery Young, Auburn, 6-6, 305
* Tyler Johnstone, Oregon, 6-6, 295
* Davate Harris, Appalachian St., 6-5, 306

My favorites here: Kyle Murphy and Spencer Drango.

Center/Guard Options

* Cody Whitehair, Kansas St., 6-4, 300
* Ryan Kelly, 6-4, 297, Alabama
* Nick Martin, 6-4, 297, Notre Dame
* Christian Westerman, Arizona St., 6-3, 296
* Jack Allen, Michigan St. 6-2, 297
* Austin Blythe, Iowa, 6-2, 291
* Max Tuerk, USC, 6-5, 285
* Jordan Walsh, Iowa, 6-3, 290
* Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas, 6-4, 317
* Rees Odhiambo, Boise St., 6-4, 305
* Graham Glasgow, Michigan, 6-6, 306
* Evan Boehm, Missouri, 6-2, 309
* Marcus Henry, Boise St., 6-2, 300
* Joe Dahl, Washington St., 6-4, 299
* Joe Tunney, NC State, 6-4, 299
* Matt Skura, Duke, 6-3, 305

My favorites here: Cody Whitehair, Christian Westerman, Jack Allen and Sebastian Tretola.

7. It should be very interesting to see how motivated so many of this year's Cardinals are, not only to try to build on last year's success, but to play well in their contract years. Those of note are:

QB Matt Barkley
RB Chris Johnson*
RB Andre Ellington
RB Stepfan Taylor
WR Larry Fitzgerald*
WR Michael Floyd
WR Jaron Brown
TE Jermiane Gresham
TE Darren Fells
C A.Q. Shipley
G Evan Mathis*
G/T Earl Watford
DE Calais Campbell
DE Frostee Rucker
DE Josh Mauro
DE Cory Redding*
LB Kevin Minter
OLB Alex Okafor
S Tyrann Mathieu
S Tony Jefferson
S D.J. Swearinger

* assuming they want to play beyond 2016 or whether they want to retire
 

football karma

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Re: tackling

So very true. I think an under rated strength of the Seahawks defense is how well they tackle -- you just don't see Seahawks whiff that often. The same is true for Carolina. Perhaps I'm just sensitive to it, but Minter, Buccanon and Rashad Johnson were suspect tacklers in the open field last year -- and that's the middle of the defense
 

Goldfield

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TJ Green is physical and a willing tackler from what I saw. He is fast long and plays tough. I have to problem adding him to this D.
 
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Mitch

Mitch

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TJ Green is physical and a willing tackler from what I saw. He is fast long and plays tough. I have to problem adding him to this D.

Here's his game versus Alabama---if anyone watches it all the way through, would you offer your opinion as to whether T.J. Green is worthy of the #29 pick?

Sub par tackling and coverage fundamentals...doesn't play as fast or a sudden as one would expect, given his speed and athleticiism...looked like the guilty party on two huge blown coverages that led to easy TDs. But then again he was a converted WR in his first year of playing FS.

Green should be a 3rd to early 4th round pick, imo. Not the #29 pick.

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Mitch

Mitch

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TJ Green is physical and a willing tackler from what I saw. He is fast long and plays tough. I have to problem adding him to this D.

Here's the type of physical, form tackler we need:

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Buckybird

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Totally agree Mitch on the Killebrew kid, I've luv him for months now! I wonder if we are lucky enough to draft him if he would be playing more LB than safety particularly in passing downs replacing Minter?

He's a nasty nasty man
 

Goldfield

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Yea he is a big hitter, but isn't he a safety? Imo we need a corner not a safety so much.
 

Buckybird

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Yea he is a big hitter, but isn't he a safety? Imo we need a corner not a safety so much.

We need a safety as well IMO. Right now we have a looming FA (again) in Jefferson, Branch (1 yr deal I believe) & Swearinger (1 left as well). Don't count Badger & others who are basically camp bodies.

But as I stated earlier, I can seeing him playing right beside Buc at LB on a long term basis. Let's not forget how often the Redbirds play 3 safeties more often than not.
 

Cardiac

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I'm seeing what you are Mitch but to be fair one is an entire game and the other is a highlight reel. TJ would be a reach at 29. Killebrew has some Honey Badger in him.
 
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Mitch

Mitch

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Yea he is a big hitter, but isn't he a safety? Imo we need a corner not a safety so much.

Beerz, we need tacklers and seeing as 67% we are in a nickel or dime with multiple safeties who can cover, chase and tackle, like Deion, it allows us to take Minter out, especially when teams like Carolina and Green Bay run no-huddle offenses that do not allow teams to substitute.
 
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Mitch

Mitch

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I'm seeing what you are Mitch but to be fair one is an entire game and the other is a highlight reel. TJ would be a reach at 29. Killebrew has some Honey Badger in him.

I agree that one whole game versus a highlight video isn't a fair comparison---but I just wanted everyone to see what I am talking about when I talk about adding tacklers who have a command of the fundamentals. Interesting that you see some Honey Badger in Killebrew---I agree---which is why we need more players on the defense who relish the physical aspects of the game the way HB does. Plus, what if HB hits free agency next year? The great news is that Killebrew (like Bucky said) could slide in next to Deion as a 3 down ILB, he can play SS and at times, FS. His versatility is a huge plus.
 

Buckybird

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I agree that one whole game versus a highlight video isn't a fair comparison---but I just wanted everyone to see what I am talking about when I talk about adding tacklers who have a command of the fundamentals. Interesting that you see some Honey Badger in Killebrew---I agree---which is why we need more players on the defense who relish the physical aspects of the game the way HB does. Plus, what if HB hits free agency next year? The great news is that Killebrew (like Bucky said) could slide in next to Deion as a 3 down ILB, he can play SS and at times, FS. His versatility is a huge plus.

Yep! The game is changing defensively.

Personally I hope we add a DT, DE, S & 2 CBs. Screw the late round QB who's likely gonna not be productive anyway.
 

Goldfield

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We need a safety as well IMO. Right now we have a looming FA (again) in Jefferson, Branch (1 yr deal I believe) & Swearinger (1 left as well). Don't count Badger & others who are basically camp bodies.

But as I stated earlier, I can seeing him playing right beside Buc at LB on a long term basis. Let's not forget how often the Redbirds play 3 safeties more often than not.

Ok now I like the idea as a Buchanan type LB he is deff physical enough.
 

pacman

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Here's the type of physical, form tackler we need:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYlDDjLtPrI
If you think Killebrew is a physical form tackler....

https://giphy.com/gifs/ox7D5Pm4EqbQc
QB would've trucked him all the way into the endzone if his teammates weren't there.

https://giphy.com/gifs/w27kQ1znLvEt2
FCS RB ran through him like nothing....

https://giphy.com/gifs/6kiMuuyoCnwOY
Just terrible technique here and he allows another broken tackle all the way to the endzone.


If you go back and watch his highlight tape, most of the tackles he makes come from screens where all he has to do is run in a straight line to make a tackle. But once he is challenged in open space, he is a terrible tackler.
 

Jetstream Green

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Goes something like this... QB, is he accurate? Running back, does he have vision and balance? WR, can he catch? OL, does he have balance with his strength? CB, is he fluid with his speed. DL, does the guy have a mean streak? Defense, can he tackle? Finding those traits can be complicated in the draft, and not the same as clicking a stop watch away from game film or how much you can jump or lift a stack of stupid weights which is apparent, but knowing what they are is not
 

gmabel830

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Here's his game versus Alabama---if anyone watches it all the way through, would you offer your opinion as to whether T.J. Green is worthy of the #29 pick?

Sub par tackling and coverage fundamentals...doesn't play as fast or a sudden as one would expect, given his speed and athleticiism...looked like the guilty party on two huge blown coverages that led to easy TDs. But then again he was a converted WR in his first year of playing FS.

Green should be a 3rd to early 4th round pick, imo. Not the #29 pick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-I2OyngJ4o
If we are going to base a guy off one game/his most recent game, then I guess we must draft a QB in round 1 because Palmer's tape against Carolina proves he is not an NFL level QB.
 

Garthshort

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I know you're supposed to take the BPA, but we DEFINITELY need a CB, and at #29, there is probably going to be a player that fits both definitions. And naturally I have no idea who he is.
 

oaken1

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I know you're supposed to take the BPA, but we DEFINITELY need a CB, and at #29, there is probably going to be a player that fits both definitions. And naturally I have no idea who he is.

so....who is gonna slip?

there really are only two first round corners in this draft and one of them is pushing it a bit to make the first.

There will be several players worthy of 29 on the board when we pick. But the odds are highly against a CB being bpa when the pick rolls around.
 

Garthshort

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oaken 1, I'll be the first to admit, that you know a lot more about the draft than I do, and I appreciate your take. All I'll say in my defense is that I've seen about four or five CB's going in the first round. And if we wait until the 3rd round, I think we'll have to get lucky in order to come up with a good CB. Is trading back the answer?
 
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