A Scouts Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft

6. It has been really interesting to watch the way Scott Pioli has drafted over the last three seasons and the contrasting style he has shown from his time in New England. During the past two drafts the Chiefs have picked Dontari Poe, Donald Stephenson, Allen Bailey, Justin Houston and Jonathan Baldwin. All of those players are considered athletes whose on the field performance didn’t match up with their workout numbers.

Now some of those players have worked out and will be very good NFL players, but I have a hard time imagining that Bill Belichick would have allowed Scott Pioli to select most of those players if he was still in New England. I am not judging Pioli either way, I just think it has been really interesting to watch him forge his own identity as a personnel chief.

On the Dontari Poe pick, I feel that the #11 pick overall is a little bit early for a player who hasn’t played to his potential in college. Passing on Fletcher Cox could come back to haunt the Chiefs. It’s certainly not the reach that Tyson Jackson was (I still don’t know what the hell Pioli was thinking there), but I thought there were some other players on the board who could have had a bigger impact on the Chiefs, who aren’t far away from competing. Only time will tell if I am right.

7. I thought the Buffalo Bills had a very solid draft overall, adding quality talent all across the roster. When I look at the Bills draft haul, I don’t see any potential stars, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

They added Stephon Gilmore who like it or not will be thrown into the mix as the number one corner back. Gilmore doesn’t have much experience playing man to man or press coverages, so he might face a bit of a learning curve there. Like I said last week Gilmore is a pretty “clean” CB prospect with no glaring holes in his game.

While I had Cordy Glenn rated highly I thought it was a little questionable that they passed on Jonathan Martin for Glenn, only for the fact that they needed a LT. I thought Martin was a safer pick than Glenn if you are looking for a LT. Glenn is probably the better all around offensive lineman, but with the Bills being set at the OG position, if Glenn can’t play tackle, then where do they put him?

Yes, TJ Graham was a reach, especially when you consider the other receivers who were on the board. He will provide the Bills with a solid return threat, which was a need heading into the draft.

I really like the Ron Brooks pick in the 4th round and I think he will contribute early. I was never a fan of Zebrie Sanders and after seeing him get manhandled at the Senior Bowl, I don’t see him ever becoming an NFL OT. Bradham and Carder are two solid coverage linebackers who will provide depth. Overall it was a solid draft, but outside of Gilmore and maybe Glenn I don’t see a lot of high ceiling impact. I also would have liked to see them add an outside receiving threat for Ryan Fitzpatrick.

8. I really didn’t understand the Tennessee Titans pick of Kendall Wright at #20 in the first round. When you look at and breakdown the Titans roster they had much bigger needs than at wide receiver. They already had Kenny Britt (yes an injury risk), Damian Willams, LaVelle Hawkins and Jared Cook competeing for balls. I’m not sure how much of a difference Wright will make, espcially on a team that prides itself on running the ball.

At the time the Titans took Wright they passed up a number of the top pass rushing prospects which I considered a bigger need. The failed to address the pass rush at all until the 7th round where they took Rice DE Scott Solomon. The Titans hit on their draft across the board last year and it will be interesting to see the impact Kendall Wright makes as opposed to some of the defensive front seven players they could have had.

9. Everyone is a huge fan of Cincinnati’s draft. I am going to hold the horses a little bit on the Bengals as I am not as excited about the overall crop of talent they brought in for different reasons. I have to say it again, but I am reminded of the Bill Belichick saying “We are trying to build a football team, not collect talent.” In my opinion the Bengals have collected talent and aren’t building a team.

On top of that, many of the players they are bringing in have either character or injury concerns. Dre Kirkpatrick was knocked throughout the interview process as someone who came off as cocky and as a questionable character. I didn’t like the Bengals passing on David DeCastro for Kevin Zeitler and I can’t believe more isn’t being made of that. Devon Still, the more I watched the less I liked. Yes, he had 3-4 games this year where he dominated, but down the stretch he disappeared you watch the final three games of the season and you see a completely different player.

I like Mohamed Sanu and I think he will be a solid possession receiver, but he isn’t going to spread the field or run by anyone. Brandon Thompson I am not a fan of, I think he is similar to Still in regards to sometimes he can be great and others he is a no show.

Orson Charles was someone, I liked while watching him early in the year, but he self destructed throughout the process. A DUI right after his pro day and it’s yet another questionable character guy in the locker room. Marvin Jones was a great pick and I think he has a chance to make it.

George Iloka, I started off as a big fan of, but after watching him at the Senior Bowl in person, he is going to struggle in the NFL. At 6’4″ he just can’t turn and run with wide receivers and with the game speeding up even more I think he will be exploited. Then the last pick is Boom Herron, who doesn’t do anything great and has some character concerns of his own.

So, when you look at the Bengals draft don’t just look at where all these guys were ranked on Internet draft boards. Look at the players, ask yourself where they are going to fit in inside the locker room, if they will be content being de-activated on game days and if they will toe the line. There is more to team building than just adding talented players. This is the epitome of a boom or bust draft, and if I had to bet, I think most of these guys will go bust.

10. Another team that I thought had a somewhat questionable draft was the Green Bay Packers. I get the Nick Perry pick and I don’t have a problem with it, although I think he may struggle against more physical and tougher lineman. They needed to upgrade their pass rush opposite Clay Matthews and this is an attempt to do that. I also liked the Casey Hayward selection at the end of the second round. Hayward has very good play skills and finds a way to make a ton of plays, that is a Packer corner back.

Other than those two selections, I have a lot of questions. I’m curious to see how they use Jerel Worthy. Most people, myself included didn’t think Worthy was a great fit in a true 3-4 defense. Mike Daniels is very undersized and probably can only play on one down. Picking him in the fourth round was early in my opinion. The same can be said for Jerron McMillian. No one including McMillian thought he would be drafted in the fourth round, even though he had some outstanding workouts.

Andrew Datko is literally my least favorite player in this years draft. He has awful technique, I think he is soft and has major injury concerns. I don’t even think he makes the practice squad this year. BJ Coleman in the seventh round, I can’t argue with. It will be interesting to see how the Packers use a lot of these players, but on the surface I have some questions about the fits.

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9 Responses to “A Scouts Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft”

  1. MJ says:


  2. kdog says:

    Mike and Doug,

    Thank you for all your work here – it was a blast. Great site!

  3. Joe Blake says:

    What say u about the Pats pick at #48?

    • Spearhead says:

      Hey JB,

      I’ll say this. Despite his high pick, I believe he will need some developement before he is a starter. What is he? He’s healthy and so provides insurance this year. Last year I think BB was hoping Das-Rowling was going to make it through the season. They should have given him more time. Also, Chung went down. However, despite the SB loss, the PATS D had turned the corner and was playing pretty well. His presence will hopefully elimiate the need for someone like Edelman to step in if multiple injuries occur again. Holy crap are we going to be good this year.

      Also – JR Seau – please do a piece on him. Try to get some good stories that the typical NE fan might not know about. I wish he held on. Love to his family.

      • Spearhead says:

        Hopefully, the league should pay for and require every NFL player to get a baseline brain scan or have the option to. Something they can compare to after each concussion. Colleges should do the same. They make enough money off these kids, it’s the least they can do.

        They should be able to R and D better helmets. Something that slows the momentum of the impacts so the secondary impact of the brain against the skull is reduced. Even if they need disposable helmets and toss on a new one if it gets too distorted. Crumple zones.

        Eyeware as well, so many players get poked in the eye. In this I have patented a solution for fogless goggles but have not gotten very far beyond the patent. It can be incorporated into helmets and paintball masks as well. I would like to post the website my patent attorney made but am asking before I post out of courtesy. The design looks simplistic but it works – no fogging while jogging.

        I have formerly used the name Mark on this site.

        • qwerty says:

          agree with what you said about Pats D turned the corner

          As far as helmets, the NFL dictates what helmet a player wears and they all come from same manufacturer and are the same type. NFL should give some leeway in allowing the player to choose the helmet technology they want. They could put the helmet thru an approval process. This would allow the players to take personal responsibility and take control of their health more. As time goes by, the best helmets would rise to the top.

  4. Dan says:

    Yes, very good article.
    I’m pretty sick of listening to all the flowery reviews for each team.

    Personally, I don’t like what the Colts did after the Fleener pick…taking him made all the sense in the world, having a tight-end to go to is a QB’s best friend (other than an offensive line), and he’s from the same team, friends etc…But, you have to go to the lines and defense after this, anything else is just bad team building.

    I hated what the Browns did. I never take a running back in the top 10, and would hesitate to take one, ever, in the first round these days. He may be amazing, but I don’t build my team around a RB. Starting with the fact that they just don’t last…it’s like half value right away…5 year shelf life if you’re lucky; and, they can be had in later rounds or via free agency. Take the great corner or other skilled position and move on. I don’t care if he’s a “blue chip” (which I agree)…the position value is just not there.

    Taking Shea McClellin over DeCastro??? No way….sorry, DeCastro was a “blue chip” player even though nobody wanted to lump him in, and too many teams passed on him that could use a stud O-lineman.

    I was wondering if the Pats would end up with DeCastro as soon as that trade was made. Hightower was a great fit for Pittsburgh, but I knew we’d end up with one of the two, and I’m happy with who we got.

    I didn’t like what the Rams did, only because when you step back and look at their draft you see one common theme that is disturbing…nearly all the early picks are risky in some regard. I think a team re-building should be hedging with some more solid picks, while taking some risks would be ok, but not all of them.

    • TD says:

      I would agree with you about taking RB’s usually, but if you are the Browns with such a poor offense, very little at QB and even less at WR & TE, you need to start with a running game.

      Richardson is a homerun threat that can run and catch out of the backfield, he is big and physical-like Adrian Peterson, only better receiving skills.

  5. Tom says:

    Hands down this is my favorite series of articles anywhere. I really like the insight you provide Mike. I don’t feel like you get caught up in the hype and you are able to give balanced reviews of the players and teams. I hope this series continues in the future.

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