Articles


Looking At Aldon Smith’s Rookie Success

Written by Andrew Parsons on August 8, 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers

Aldon Smith declared for the 2011 NFL Draft after a sub-par Red Shirt Sophomore year. His sack numbers went way down, and a lot of people in the draft community seemed to be a bit ambivalent towards him as a prospect. Assuredly, he was greatly affected by a fractured fibula injury, but watching him play his RS SO year didn’t make him seem like he’d be an upper echelon pass rusher in the NFL, especially right off the bat. In addition to Smith’s down year, his combine numbers weren’t of the same caliber of other “freak” athletes either. Another thing was that it always appeared to me as  Smith looked better rushing from the inside, and had a lot of his production come from the DT spot. This was one of many reasons to question how Smith would fare in the NFL.

Recently, I’ve been watching (read more…)

Film Session: How the Kansas City Defense Got the Best of Aaron Rodgers

Written by Eric Stoner on August 7, 2012

Tamba Is Hungry

This post is a test run.  I’m hoping for this to be a weekly feature in the future.

Kansas City was the first and only loss the Green Bay Packers suffered in the regular season.  Rodgers’ numbers in that game: 17-35 (48.6%) for 235 yards (6.7 YPA), 1 TD and 0 INTs.  He was also sacked 4 times and fumbled once.  For comparison’s sake, Rodgers’ previous season lows in completion percentage and YPA were 56.9% (his only other game below 60%) and 7.8(!!!!), respectively.

Note: The Packers were also plagued by drops in this game.  According to ProFootballFocus.com’s Re-Focused Game Breakdown: “if you factor in the five drops, two throw aways and a spike, he was accurate on 68.8% of his passes.”

In order to slow down a passing game like Green Bay’s, you have to do a few things.  The first is to acknowledge going into (read more…)

What are the Jets Doing to Stephen Hill?

Written by Andrew Parsons on August 2, 2012

Stephen Hill

In my last article, I opened by talking about how important a fit is to a prospect. This is perhaps most true for the prospects that are raw in certain nuances of their position. These players, who can almost be looked at as pieces of clay, are heavily dependent on the sculptor. On one hand, the sculptor can produce something beautiful, such as Vulca’s Apollo from Veii, and on the other hand, you might get something that looks like it came out of a high school ceramics class. Or even worse, something a toddler mashed together with Play-Doh.

A piece of clay that every offensive coach wants work with is one that is 6’4, 215 pounds, can run a 4.36 40 yard dash, and posts vertical leaps and broad jumps of 39.5 and 133 inches respectively. Of course, we aren’t talking about just a piece of clay at this (read more…)

Lists, Fits, and Intrigue

Written by Andrew Parsons on July 27, 2012

Fits

Every year, so much emphasis is placed on pre-draft lists. From big boards to positional rankings, it’s something everyone does, and it’s something everyone wants to see. Before I go any further, let me just say that I’m not making a case against this exercise. First and foremost, it’s a fun thing to do. Secondly, I don’t think it’s a frivolous pursuit at all. If your objective is to make the rankings as accurate as possible, it forces you to do the proper amount of film study. If your putting your name and your “reputation” to it, I highly doubt you’re just watching one 4 minute cut up. Thus, you really learn a lot about the class by doing these lists. Perhaps more importantly, this pursuit gives you a base to look back on, a base to see your mistakes, and thus, to become a better evaluator of talent later (read more…)

Michigan RB Toussaint suspended indefinitely after DUI

Written by Gil Alcaraz IV on July 23, 2012

Ohio State v Michigan

On the same day that the Penn State football program got pummeled into the ground, another Big Ten school took a significant blow.

Confirmed by Michigan head coach Brady Hoke himself, starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has been suspended after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence this weekend.

“Fitz made a poor decision and has been suspended indefinitely because of that action,” Hoke said in a statement. “There are expectations that come with being a student-athlete at the University of Michigan and those responsibilities were not met in this instance.”

According to SalinePatch.com, Toussaint was arrested around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday night in Ann Arbor. After being pulled over due to a traffic violation, a breathalyzer revealed that the Michigan runner was over the .08 legal BAC limit. He was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired.

As made evident (read more…)

Josh Gordon getting early-round grades for 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft

Written by Gil Alcaraz IV on July 8, 2012

Josh Gordon

Of the few prospects available during the 2012 Supplemental Draft, former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon has received the majority of the pre-draft buzz. And for good reason…

Not only is he a tremendously talented player, but he possesses the potential to develop into a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver at the next level. He’s a gifted athlete with the soft hands and elusiveness after the catch that NFL teams covet. The 6’3’’, 220-pound receiver reportedly runs a 4.3 40-yard dash and has star-caliber upside.

Some scouts have even said that he’s better than his former Baylor teammate Kendall Wright, who was drafted No. 20 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Many scouts predict that Gordon won’t get past the third round of the draft, but any interested teams will certainly be wary of the risk involved. More often than not, supplemental draft (read more…)

Eric Stoner’s RSP Writer’s Project Team

Written by Eric Stoner on July 2, 2012

Photo Courtesy of New York Daily News

Matt Waldman, who owns the Rookie Scouting Portfolio website (which produces a fantastic and incredibly in-depth guide on skill position prospects for the NFL Draft), is hosting a fun team-building project.

There is a salary cap and all players are assigned a specific value.  You have complete freedom to pick a 53 man roster and explain the reasoning behind your selections, what type of scheme you’ll run, etc.

I put together a fast break, no-huddle offense centered around Four Verticals and am running Pete Carroll’s 4-3 Under defense.  I’ve got the best QB in football and maybe the best cornerback trio the league has ever seen.

Here’s a link to my Roster and the Q&A, respectively.

If you want to build your own team and submit it to Matt, here’s the Project Menu page.

AFC/NFC North First Thoughts: FF Mastermind

Written by Will Spencer on May 28, 2012

Jacoby Jones

Fantasy Football Mastermind, one of our partner sites, provides year-round fantasy football coverage. This week, Michael Nazarek is taking a look at the AFC and NFC North teams. For more great fantasy football information, check out Fantasy Football Mastermind.

It’s time to take a closer look at the North Division teams to see how they are shaping up in May. Let’s get right to it…

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens had another successful season in 2010, but failed to make it to the big game. QB Joe Flacco returns as the starter, but has yet to reach that elite level as a fantasy starter or a Super Bowl champion. In fantasy terms, he’s still a solid fantasy backup in most leagues. I don’t see that changing much in 2012. The sportsbook review indicates that the backup position at QB is shaky with QB Curtis (read more…)

Overrated/Underrated 2013 NFL Draft Prospects

Written by Mike Daneshgar on May 25, 2012

Tyrann Mathieu

 

It’s very early in the process, but there are certain prospects being mentioned in 2013 NFL Draft discussions that make me wonder if we’re watching the same games. At the same time, there are other players who have rarely been mentioned at all. Time to set the record straight. Here are the most overrated and underrated prospects heading into the 2012 college football season.

 

OVERRATED

 

QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma

There isn’t a quarterback more overrated for the 2013 NFL Draft than Lance Jones. Many people thought that his returning to school was a good call and an opportunity to improve upon glaring weaknesses in his game. He has been working with quarterback guru George Whitfield, so maybe there is some hope but Jones was so bad to finish the season that I thought he should leave for the NFL Draft while he still has the chance (read more…)

Blaine Gabbert: What Can Be Done? (Part 1)

Written by Eric Stoner on May 22, 2012

gabbert mizzou

Before I dig too far into my thoughts on Blaine Gabbert, I’d like to expound on what I look for when evaluating quarterbacks.  This is not a unique criteria applied solely to Gabbert – these are the same traits I look at in every quarterback I study.

First, we all know that television broadcast angles make it incredibly difficult to see all route combinations and coverages in their entirety – in effect, we cannot see things as the quarterback is seeing them.  As such, I try to make my focus on things that I can see on every play.  The following list is in a general but not steadfast order.  Understand that all quarterbacks have overlapping strengths and weaknesses and that no two quarterbacks are the same.  Instead of looking at these traits in a zero-sum “has it or doesn’t have it” mentality, think of it like a scale or spectrum, (read more…)

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