A Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft

Dontari Poe NFL Draft Combine

What is Mike's take on Dontari Poe?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The NFL Combine is over and we now have two months to wait until the actual draft. Free agency starts March 13th and everyhing will likely change after that, with teams filling some of their biggest needs.

On to our 15 thoughts this week.

1) Dontari Poe came away as one of the big winners of the NFL Combine. It’s impressive to see a 345 pound man run a sub 5.00 forty yard dash and bench press 225 lbs. 44 times. While Poe demonstrated elite athleticism, I’m still weary of a team taking Poe too high in the draft.

As of right now I see Poe coming into play at pick #8 and for each pick after that. While Poe put on a show during the combine, he doesn’t have that same impact on the field. Watching film on Poe I see a player whose motor is not always running and someone who should have been much more productive. At 345 pounds, one of the strongest humans alive and playing against sub-par offensive lines, I didn’t see the production I would have liked to.

That doesn’t mean Poe won’t be great in the NFL, it’s just something that teams must take into account, especially that high in the draft.

2) If Poe was the winner among the defensive players at the combine, the winner among the offensive players was Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill. Hill was able to post a 4.30 unofficial 40 time, which was the second fastest unofficial hand time at the combine. He was also the also won the broad jump and finished in the top five of the vertical. One more thing that is alarming to me is that Hill had by far the worst short shuttle drill at 4.48 seconds. That shows an inability to change direction and get in and our of breaks quickly.

Like Poe, Hill also has a lot of questions that must be answered before I pick him in the first round. Hill comes from an offense at Georgia Tech where throwing the ball was an afterthought. Hill only managed to catch 28 balls this year for a 29.2 average, meaning that each pass he caught was deep down the field.

After watching Hill throughout the year he is extremely raw as a WR, he doesn’t have experience running many routes, he has inconsistent hands and at this point in time is a one trick pony. With that being said Hill’s combination of size and speed will attract teams at the end of the first round and will likely be off the board by the middle of round two.

3) Andrew Luck gets talked about ad nuseum on just about any NFL Draft show and it does get annoying at times. However, one thing that I feel gets truly overlooked with Luck is his athleticism. Luck showed at the combine that not only is he the most polished pocket passer to enter the draft since Peyton Manning, but he is also one of the top athletes at the position to enter the draft.

Luck was able to post a 4.59 40 time, which is indentical to that of Cam Newton who is widely regarded as a “running” QB. Luck also posted a 36″ vertical jump and 10’4″ broad jumps; all extraordinary numbers for a QB. When you combine his passing ability with that athleticism and ability to move out of the pocket and throw on the run. You have the best QB prosepct in the past 14 years.

4) One of the most interesting players in this year’s draft in my opinion is Rutger’s WR Mohamed Sanu. Sanu is not your typical WR. He stands 6’1 1/2″ 211 lbs and runs a 4.6 forty. A 4.6 forty yard time for a WR usually means a mid to late round pick, because they will be unable to separate in the NFL; that’s not the case with Sanu.

Sanu’s game is built on being a possession WR in the short and intermediate passing levels. Sanu is able to create separation in the middle of the field, with his strength, long arms, body positioning and quickness off the line. Sanu runs the “underneath” routes including the slant, better than anyone in the draft. While Sanu didn’t run fast at the combine he looked like one of the most natural pass catchers and looked great running the routes.

For teams looking for an outside the numbers, take the top off the defense WR, Sanu isn’t your guy. If you’re looking for a tough, physical, not afraid to go across the middle and reliable possession WR, look no further than Sanu.

5) If you have been listening to the NEPD Radio podcast this week, Michael Brockers was discussed at length with Josh Norris. Brockers is someone who was prematurely crowned the number one DT in this draft and undeservedly so. Brockers is a player who not many people expected to enter the draft. He was under the radar all year long since no one projected him to be in the draft this year and he played on arguably the best defense in the country at LSU.

When Brockers entered the draft on one of the last days to do, so he created a buzz in the NFL Draft community. Everyone saw his size, his frame and that he played for LSU. This immediately vaulted him up to the top of the DT class and in the discussion for a top ten pick. While Brockers has a very high ceiling and could turn out to be a great player, I think it’s unfair to call him the best DT in the draft based on what he might become. He was another player who was under-productive in college.

It was proven at the combine that he is not the most athletic tackle for his size and his pass rushing ability is non-exsistant. I actually think Brockers best fit is as a 5-Technique in the 3-4, with his size and long arms. While I like Brockers as a prospect and wouldn’t mind seeing the Patriots draft him at the end of the first round, there are better DT available and crowning Brockers was premature.

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11 Responses to “A Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft”

  1. Dave says:

    You’re* not your – get it right.

    That is all.

  2. Chris says:

    Definitely agree on Brockers. I’m an LSU student and big football fan and while he did have flashes, the consistency wasn’t there. He was possibly the 4th or 5th best player on the LSU defense.

    • qwerty says:

      thanks for observation

      what order do you rank defensive players on LSU defense

      • Chris says:

        Our secondary was loaded… I’d put Mo Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu, and FS Eric Reid all in front of Brockers.

        Eric Reid didn’t get the pub the other two got but he made key plays for the team all year. We lose the first Alabama game without the huge interception on the goal line he came up with.

        Claiborne got the treatment elite NFL corners often get and was rarely tested.

        Mathieu was tested often because of his smaller build (really a slot corner, but lined up outside often) and made big play after big play.

        I’d put Brockers behind all of those guys in terms of consistent play. And just watching LSU D linemen over the years, I didn’t find him to make as much as an impact as Marcus Spears and Glenn Dorsey while they were at LSU and neither of those guys have really made a big impact in the NFL.

  3. DWE 2012 says:

    One of the reason’s I have “almost” alway’s liked the Patriot’s/BB style of manipulating the draft.
    So many team’s have been just raped by a high and expensive pick that just does not work out, so I’ve never been high on taking too many player’s that high in the draft. Many “Expensive Bust” can be mentioned on any number of team’s.

    As far as Dontari Poe is concerned….I doubt that the Pat’s would have a chance, but If he were to drop down a bit lower and he was in reach, I’d jump up for him “ALL DAY LONG”.

    *This team need’s a Vince Wilfork V.2 on this team, and need’s it bad. Poe is huge, raw, powerfull and potential filled. With a guy Like Vince Wilfork tutoring him/coaching him up/by his side as a mentor/teacher….
    There’s no telling just how dominent he’d be in a PATRIOT UNIFORM.

    Just think about if Poe had the consistency of a great strength and conditioning coach, was in the playbook all the time(similar to the way TB12 was early on), as well as having Vince Wilfork to mentor him/coach him up a bit and play beside???

    Poe could actually stand to loose a few pound’s so that he would gain a bit more agility….(this would help him out with being able to make some of the play’s he currently cannot/has not been able to make just due to his size alone and lack of agility becuase if it).

    I’m alway’s weary of taking pick’s high just because of the bust rate and high cost…..But respectively, right now….If I am BB, I conduct a few interview’s with him, I’d get Wilfork’s personal take on him as well, and if it seem’s to be a good fit, I take Poe, even if it mean’s a jump up a bit.

    With a Vince Wilfork V.2 on this team, it’ll only begin too bring out the better of other guy’s on the team, and we’d for sure see an upside and better placement/production out of guy’s like Love/Deaderick, as well as our entire LB CORE.

    At this point, It seem’s obvious that we’d not have the chance at a Dontari Poe, but if there was a slim chance at it…..I’d do it ALL DAY LONG.

    • Tom says:

      It is interesting that you talk about ‘expensive busts’, but think the Pats should trade up to grab Poe. Doug has an interesting piece in this weeks “too long for twitter’ article about Poe having the measurables, but the skill not showing up consistently on game tape. That always seems like a recipe for an ‘expensive bust’ (think Vernon Gholston).

      Personally, I don’t think the Pats will pick in the first round this year. I think there are a lot of teams that will be looking to trade back into the first round to grab a nice new toy (WR) to help their new QB, or some QB needy team like Arizona or Seattle trying to get back into round 1 to get ahead of the RG3 sweepstake losers, or even a team trying to get one of the few TEs that can catch. Regardless, I think BB will hear a lot of offers for both picks, and given the depth that is available in Rd 2, I imagine they trade out. I could see the Pats drafting Cox in Rd 1, but I do not think he will be available when they go on the clock.

      • td says:

        Ahmen! Since all our 1st round picks are at the end of the round, they could be considered early 2nd round picks. Couple that with everyone saying this draft is deep in a lot of the positions we need, I could see BB trading both 1st rounders for multiple 2nd/3rd and/or a 1st next year if he has a dance partner.

        I distinctly remember seeing video of BB in war room trading out of the 1st round because he had a large grouping of players with the same grade and could get one or more of them in the 2nd round.

        Last year, I imagine he had Solder rated very high and did not expect him to be there at #17. I saw quite a few mocks with him going to Dallas last year at around 10-12.

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Agree w/ Tom. Just watch Poe on film he should be dominate but he isn’t… so why is that?

      I believe its that thing that separates the great players from the great athletes… great athletes are born with it, great players work for it. Poe just doesn’t seem to want to work to be a great player.

      Thats my opinion, that and $3 will get you coffee at Starbucks

  4. Dan says:

    Burfict to me is a prime example of how most of these mock drafts go; they’re done by following the leader…plugging in some player with a team that seems to fit, then it goes viral, like most info on the internet.
    (this is a problem that isn’t limited to football mock drafts…everyone takes on the role of an “expert” on the internet, when they could be completely unqualified)
    That being said, back to Burfict, he showed that he’s nothing but a stiff on film, and his attitude showed there also. I believe some thought he resembled Ray Lewis in some way(s) and they lazily plugged him in that slot to complete a mock draft.
    Every year when I start this process (I’m an addict), I look at the mocks and start watching some youtube film, and he was just terrible…lots of talk, lots of running around (slowly!)…just an obvious fraud. Now, I then went to another site that I respect and they had him with a 3rd round grade (4 months ago!).
    So, all these mocks being copied one after the other means so little.
    Another example is Upshaw, he played stiffly, that was the first thing that caught my eye; so seeing him do the same at the combine was no surprise. He’s a good player, but he has that issue. I think he’s the opposite of Ingram who has fluid quickness; yet they have many similarities, and Ingram has the short arms to overcome.

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