Friday, January 09, 2009

There Doesn't Appear To Be A QB Worthy Of First Overall Pick

My impression from the BSC title game Thursday is that I wouldn’t take Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the first overall pick. I know that’s harsh, given that it was just one game and he had such a spectacular season overall.
But in this particular game, I didn’t see the same caliber of athlete I saw in previous games. I think the main reason is that Florida probably has the best raw material in college football. It provided a more realistic view of how Bradford stacks up athletically with NFL players than, say, Texas Tech or even Texas. He seemed more slight of build. His arm strength is OK, but doesn’t appear to be exceptional. He needed to make plays. He wasn’t able to so. At times, he looked more like a "system" quarterback than he did before. In terms of the measurable factors (arm strength, size, even speed) Georgia QB Matthew Stafford appears as the better pro prospect. He played three games against Florida in his career - one well (in 2007) and two poorly. Stafford’s lack of consistency makes him questionable with a real early pick in the draft.
Both are being projected as top five picks in the upcoming NFL Draft by some gurus. I’m not sure if it will play out that way. Now if they drop down to 19th or 20th, it would be more reasonable for the Lions to take one of the two with their second first-round selection. They need to take a QB with one of their first five selections because it is such a glaring hole, but the dropoff after Bradford and Stafford is considerable. That could change if USC QB Mark Sanchez decides to come out. Apparently he is pondering doing so. But would he be worthy of the first overall pick? Doesn’t appear so. Sanchez was surrounded by the best talent of them all at USC.

Random Thoughts

- Tim Tebow will probably go back to Florida, but count me among those who feel he is a better pro prospect than he is being given credit for. I don’t care if he never takes snaps under center or if Alex Smith didn’t make it after playing in Urban Meyer’s system at Utah, Tebow is an extraordinary athlete and a winner. You saw the game? Who was the better QB - Tebow or Bradford? Look to me like Tebow - hands down.

- In my opinion, Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is a more viable candidate for the Lions head coaching job than Jason Garrett. The Lions need to think defense first. And look at what the Titans defense has done lately compared to the Cowboys offense?

- And so Grady Sizemore and Curtis Granderson are both on the USA team for the World Baseball Classic. Who starts in center field if both are in the lineup? Talk about picking between elite defenders, eh?

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16 Comments:

Blogger Fred Brill said...

I think the nod will go to Sizemore to start as he has been more visible over the last year, and Grandy was not nearly as spectacular as he was in 2007 or in 2006.

Do you think the World Baseball Classic has a chance to rise to the level of granduer it should deserve? In these early years it seems more like a circus farse than a true legitimate fielding of your very best players.

1:50 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

(I am not sure my last post went through - I had an error - so I will try to recap it here)

I wrote a long post as to why so many want a OT over a QB at the first pick. Here is the abridged version:

A quarterback is the most important player on the team. He isn't the end-all, be-all, but he has more importance than any other position. However, the a highly drafted QB has a historically low success rate in the NFL. A highly drafted LT has a historically high success rate in the NFL.

People around here are tired of the Lions taking high risk/ high reward picks over the last several years. Since Millen took that strategy, they have gotten worse every year. LT is the safest pick that warrents a #1 overall pick.

Defensive End has probably the lowest success rate of high draft picks, but Corner Back and Wide Reciever have horrid success rates when drafted high as well.

Safety seems to have the highest success rate, but they aren't really worth a #1 overall pick.

-Marty

p.s. I know this isn't in as much detail as my original post, and I left out the examples, but I hope I at least showed a reason so many don't want such a risky pick.

2:33 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I totally agree book. I think you would be a real Goof if u think the lions should take a QB with the first pick. Lions have no choice but to get guys that will make an impact immediately. I think there are ton of guys that fit that bill. Heck that is why I am not shying away from the Mays pick if need be? I wouldn't mind us grabbing a LT and then going middle LB. I think u can really upgrade 3 or 4 spots with our first 3 or 4 picks if we are smart.

Which brings me to the other thing I agree on and taht is Schwartz. I like the lions to go after a guy like him or even a Rex Ryan. Guys who have proven systems. With that DREAM scenerio I am hoping with that they can bring along with them a Suggs or a Haynesworth via free agency... Notcie I say dream scenerio.. With this team how can one do anything other then dream about good scenerios .. HAHA..

Can u imagine having to choose between Granderson and Seizmore as your CF. Not bad options. Personally I'd start them both throwing Curtis in LF. I think the US would benefit mightly from it.

As far as the Pistons go. Have you notice something about them other then stucky while SHeed and Rip are out. This squad is just playing basketball. They don't stand around and complain while the opponent is running up and down the floor. You can just see a real sense of urgency in these guys. Especially McDyess. I really hope when Rip comes back taht he comes off the bench. I think having Rip and McDyess with the second Unit. There is no drop off.

4:02 PM 
Anonymous John in Oxford said...

Could he have been any slower last night? He could not elude Florida defenders. While Florida does stack up with major talent, NFL players are the fastest of the fast, and I cannot see the Lions go to a permanent shotgun formation to give him more time. Bradford did not impress me, he struck me a lot more like Joey Ballgame than one of the Mannings. I think he hurt his draft status last night, do you think he stays in college. Not likely, the Lions are not that fortunate.

I'm betting Granderson starts in right or left field and they give Grady the centerfield spot, which is a bummer.

5:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I'm sure it would be Sizemore for the reason you mentioned, but I'm not sure if Granderson isn't a better defensive center fielder than Sizemore.
Caputo

5:42 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
Sometimes I think the NFL's conventional thinking is flawed on certain positions. One of them is safety. It is the lowest paid position on defense, yet very important. It's the last line of defense. Look at what Dawkins means to the Eagles and Reed to the Ravens, what Lynch meant to the Bucs.
Caputo

5:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

maddog52,
Both Ryan and Schwartz have exceptional players they have been working with. It looks like Hamilton will not be starting for the Pistons when he returns next week. We'll see how he handles it from an ego standpoint.
Caputo

5:46 PM 
Blogger Andrew M. Fanco said...

Didn't Bradford undergo surgery between the Big 12 and BCS Championships? Sure it was his non-throwing hand, but that will still mess with you.

7:15 PM 
Blogger billfer said...

It depends on the version of Granderson you get defensively. He was superb in 2006 and 2007 but was significantly below average according to a multitude of advanced defensive metrics (UZR, PMR, +/-) in 2008.

However, given Grandy's work ethic and ability to correct deficiencies in his game I'd expect 08 him to return to the 06-07 levels. If that's the case he beats Sizemore defensively. But if it's another '08 than Grady clearly has the edge.

9:36 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Pat - Agree with you 1000% on Bradford. He's a talented kid, but one who hasn't faced much adversity in college. And aside from his quick reads in an offense he clearly is well versed in, there wasn't one attribute of his that stood out.

Call me nuts, but if he decides to come out, I think Sanchez is this year's combine choir boy.

I'm also in line with you on Tebow. Here's his position in the NFL - weapon. In the right system, with an innovative coordinator, behind a healthy, veteran QB not worried for his job Tebow could be a part of 7-10 TDs his rookie season, whenever that is. In my mind, he's a low risk, high reward proposition. Could you imagine him lined up in a backfield with Manning, and Addai?! Wow! Hello Jump Pass!

Oh, and honestly, screw the WBC it gets in the way of the best time of year, spring training.

Wait til someone blows out an elbow, watch how fast NO ONE elects to participate in the the competition, and it winds up going down the drain. If I'm right, any half witted baseball fan would prefer FULL spring training to a meaningless world competition any day

1:33 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew M. Fanco,
Yes, he did have surgery on his non-throwing hand. It didn't seem like it was that big of factor, but it could have been.
Caputo

1:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Billfer,
Based on '08, there is no question you're right. This year will be more telling about the Granderson-Sizemore debate.
Caputo

1:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
Thing about Sanchez is whether he is that good or just a product of those around him. Seems like Leinhart was overrated. I was among those who overrated him. And what kind of pro is Booty going to be?
Caputo

1:11 PM 
Blogger Joe said...

Pat,

Here's hoping the braintrust in Allen Park listen to you. A 1st pick QB has too much pressure and takes too long to develop (Ryan and Flacco are rare exceptions).

OT is the way to go at #1. Then we need to find our Kerry Collins type vet for QB.

2:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Joe,
I don't see a QB I'd take first overall (at least of now), but they still need to take a QB relatively early in the draft.
Caputo

7:01 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

There seems to be another quality in Tebow that I haven't heard or read discussed - an intangible talent. He seems to have IT. You know - IT.

A star quality.

Along with great talent (if he's "the best" is debatable), his leadership skill seems to be based on his IT. His charisma, his "winner" persona.

That kind of guy might pull the Lions out of their 58 year tailspin. Or else the Lions turn him into another Harrington.

And with a name like "Tebow" - there is something that would sell - and win - both in the same bundle.

So maybe, just maybe - a team that does reach out and grab him in the first round or two (if indeed he is draftable) - might just get another Bradshaw or Namath or Manning - A winner with IT.

Personally I like Colt McCoy - but as you guys know - "I ain't no football genius.

But that's just how I see Tebow. Unless of course he plays the piano.

12:44 PM 

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