2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Linemen and Linebackers

Another day with another tremendously deep position group in the draft. This class has an unbelievable crop of defensive lineman in it and I know there are teams that are just salivating after seeing some of the defensive lineman that tested. If the Browns do anything but take Myles Garrett at #1 after the day that he had, they should just move the franchise.

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2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

The quarterback class this year looks to be pretty weak in my opinion, while the tight end class may just be the deepest of all time. I’ve been pretty against taking any of the quarterbacks from this class in the Top 15 and the Combine did not do anything to dissuade me. Frankly, this is the perfect year to show why I prefer GMs to actually think and not act in desperation and talk themselves into a player that is not right for them. I know they face a lot of pressure from Owners and Fans to win, but reaching for a quarterback is not the way to fix that.

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2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 1: Offensive Linemen, Running Backs

The NFL Scouting Combine is always a favorite time of year for me. Anything that is part of the Draft process for any sport has always intrigued me. And now when we’re getting to a time where players are bigger and more athletic than ever, you can see some truly eye-popping testing numbers. As always, game film is more important than Combine numbers, but it usually raises questions if a players tape is better than his testing. At any rate, this is just a piece of the process that smart analysts use to help them properly evaluate players and not to make a knee-jerk reaction off of.

The offensive line class this year is shorter on high-end talent than normal but there is still depth to it. Conversely, this is one of the deepest running back classes in recent history. Outside of Cam Robinson or Ryan Ramczyk, I’m not sure I see a tackle going in the first round. Garrett Bolles may sneak in there and Forrest Lamp is going to be a guard in the NFL, so at best I’m thinking four guys at the max at the moment. Alright, now obviously it has taken me longer than usual to get to these posts because of my schedule, so I’m going to try to keep these posts relatively short/brief.

Let’s take a look at the OL measurables (you can see the full interactive sheet here via Mike Loyko):

Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: Robinson is a player that has been highly touted ever since he came in and started at Alabama as a true freshman. Robinson is 6’6″ 322 so his 1.78 10-yard split in the 40 is pretty good. He didn’t bench and his vertical and broad jump numbers were actually below the NFL Combine positional averages. He’s a guy that didn’t do anything to help himself, but didn’t hurt himself either. He’ll likely be the first tackle off the board.

Now normally I would insert some of my own YouTube videos of the Combine, but the NFL actually put in a couple of copyright claims in on some of my past Combine videos sooooo we don’t need to mess around with that anymore.

Forrest Lamp, OG, WKU: Lamp could end up playing tackle or guard but I think his future lies inside. He put up 34 reps on the bench, had a 27.5″ vertical and a 9’3″ broad jump. All of which are above the positional average and are a good base line for the big time guard.

Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah: Bolles is a guy that you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with. I think he is a lock to go in the first round at this point. He didn’t lift, but he posted solid numbers (28″ vertical and 9’1″ broad jump) and did nothing to hurt his stock that has continued to rise this offseason.

Zach Banner, OT, USC: Banner is a guy that you would think should be a first round tackle based on size but he is just awful. His movement skills looked terrible during drills and quite frankly he’s just too big. He’s not explosive and he ends up just looking like a giant turnstile.

Tayler Moton, OT, Western Michigan: Moton is a player that is going to go higher than most people think. At 6’5″ 319 lbs, he’s got very good size for a tackle, and despite only 23 reps on the bench, he posted a 30.5″ vertical and 9’1″ broad jump. His arm length is right on the positional average for a tackle, which lowers the expectation for the bench press.

Alright and now let’s shift gears to some Running Backs.

Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: Cook had an absolute nightmare of a day at the Combine. He’s a first round pick in a lot of people’s eyes, but the lack of athleticism he showcased is a concern. Obviously his tape speaks for itself, but a 4.49 40, 30’5″ vertical and a 9’8″ broad jump do not match his tape at all.

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Fournette weighed in at 6′ 240 lbs (!!) and ended up running a 4.51 40 which is moving for that weight. He only posted a 28.5″ vertical but he’s not a jumper (his words, not mine). He looked good during drills and caught the ball better than I thought. I still prefer McCaffrey, but Fournette is a round 1 lock.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee: His 40 time was slower than I anticipated, but the guy is an explosive athlete. He only ran a 4.56 40, but he posted a silly 39.5″ vertical and a 10’11” broad jump. Kamara is going to end up going in the first three rounds, purely off of athletic ability.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: McCaffrey is one of my favorite players in the Draft and I’m still bitter that he got hosed in the Heisman voting two years ago. McCaffrey is an absolute freak and is going to be one helluva weapon for someone. At 5’11” 202 lbs, he ran a 4.48 40 with a 37.5″ vertical and a 10’1″ broad jump. He looked the most natural of any of the running backs catching the football during drills and he moved so smoothly with the ball in his hands. He’s got a lot of LeSean McCoy in his game and I think his testing numbers matched the tape quite well. Round 1 lock. Book it.

Joe Williams, RB, Utah: Williams is an intriguing late-round guy that I would love the Lions to take a look at. At 5’11” 210 lbs he posted a 4.41 40 with a 35″ vertical and a 10’5″ broad jump. He’s far more athletic than I anticipated and I’m betting he sent a lot of teams back to the tape.

Photo via: Orlando Sentinel

2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Linemen and Linebackers
2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 4: Defensive Backs

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Detroit Lions 2016-17 Season Preview

Part of me still cannot believe that Calvin Johnson is retired and that he will not be on the field for the Lions this season. I cannot even remember what it was like watching the Lions without him there. Mostly because they were so bad that I purged most of that part of my life from memory, but that’s not the point! It is going to be very tough to watch the Lions without one of my favorite football players ever and I’m going to miss him dearly. So let’s pause for a moment of silence in honor of the best receiver of our lifetime.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

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2016-17 Michigan Football Season Preview

I almost ran out of time to do this, but I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of free time during training camp to crank something out. Needless to say, Michigan has the potential to be great this year. Quite frankly, I think the team this year has a better chance to win the Big Ten than the team next year…at least on paper. Michigan has 14+ senior starters and if one of the QBs (O’Korn or Speight) can get it figured out and be a game manager, this team can go far.

As of the start of writing this post, there still is not a depth chart out and I would not be surprised if one is not released until the Friday before the game. I would also expect there to be a lot of ORs to be on it. Right now a lot of it is guess-work based on flimsy evidence, what has been seen in practice videos and what has been said to the media….so totally rock solid analysis on the two-deep coming up.

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2016-17 Detroit Red Wings Offseason Plan

Now that the NHL has formally announced the 31st team in the league, I think it’s time I sit down and write about this plan I’ve got for the Red Wings.

The Red Wings have some major moves to make with their RFA’s and Pavel Datsyuk’s contract. I’m not mad that Datsyuk is going home, he does not owe the Red Wings anything. Ken Holland says the asking price is high and that he will not move a key prospect to get rid of the cap hit, which is good to hear. The Red Wings are better off eating the contract for one-year than moving a prospect to unload the contract to chase Steven Stamkos, who may not even want to come. The ideal trade would be to trade Datsyuk and Jurco for a 4th round pick to Carolina or Phoenix and call it a day.

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2016 NFL Draft Losers

Carson Wentz

There were quite a few drafts that were marred by picks that I didn’t like. They weren’t bad as a whole, but they definitely weren’t good. Then there were drafts like the Eagles which were just atrocious.

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