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treece300e


Joined: 29 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read a lot of positive things about Clowney's Pro Day on Twitter, but I'm interested in hearing opinions here. I tried to watch but work is crazy today.
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Marco79


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He is unbelievable. I would have no problem drafting him at 1. He moves so well for such a big guy.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part One

I'm sold. I've been leaning Clowney's direction for a while now, but taking the time to focus on him today sealed the deal for me. As far as I'm concerned, NOT taking him would be like the Colts passing on Andrew Luck and taking LT Matt Kalil to milk a few final seasons out of Peyton Manning. Perhaps a better comparison (since we aren't replacing an aging & injured hall of famer), taking one of the 3 QBs at the top of this draft strikes me as far too familiar as choosing amongst David Carr, or Joey Harrington (and Patrick Ramsey) in 2002 because we just HAD to have a franchise QB #1 overall and were scared of building a team around the player that was CLEARLY the best player in that draft, Julius Peppers. It was often rationalized that we didn't take Peppers because of Capers preference for a 3-4 and Peppers not seeming to fit within that scheme, but I ask you if it was worth drafting Carr (and 5 more offensive players that flopped in the first 5 rounds) because Capers & Fangio couldn't figure out a way to adapt their defense to a talent like Peppers (who has 119 sacks and is one of the best two way run defense - pass defense DE's in this millennium)? I know we have a new coaching staff that we are excited about and all, but I'm not willing to let most talented pass rusher in the past decade drop because Romeo Crennel happens to run a 3-4. Screw it, if Crennel can't use Clowney, fire him next year and find someone who can! We can hire new coaches whenever we want, we get one shot to draft a player of Clowney's caliber, period, unless reaching for another QB has us back at #1 overall for a 4th time in another 5 years.

Goodness knows, I was not a huge Mario Williams fan largely because he displayed as a Pro some of what Clowney is being dinged for (work ethic, taking plays off, commitment, etc), but realize that even with Mario's freakish skillset, he's not even close to Clowney (4.6 vs. 4.4 speed as just one example) AND in 3 college seasons in the ACC he compiled 25 sacks, 52 TFL, and 2 Forced Fumbles while Clowney played 3 SEC seasons compiling 24 sacks, 47 TFL, and 9 Forced Fumbles despite a statistically down junior year. Remember, Mario wasn't on anyone's radar as a first rounder, better yet a #1 overall pick before his Junior year, while Clowney would have been the clear #1 overall pick in 2013 were he eligible. If the worst things you can say about him is that he started out slow due to injury, occasionally got frustrated with the entire offensive gameplan being built to stop him, took some plays off while being a bit too concerned about becoming the next Marcus Lattimore and burning his winning lottery ticket, at worst that gives you Mario Williams which is STILL one hell of a lot better than what David Carr brought. David Carr was supposed to be impeccable from a character standpoint, yet HE was the one that was proven to NOT be committed to football and a last one into the office / first one out type player, while Peppers has been a consummate Pro heading into his 13th season. Heck, why is no one talking about how many sacks Jake Matthews gave up last year or his nondescript final season? JJ Watt got 1/2 as many sacks last year as he got in 2012 and we aren't writing him off as a one hit wonder.

At the very least, Manziel scares me MUCH more from an off field distraction standpoint, as does Bortles ability to handle the transition from a Fresno St - esque off the radar career at UCF to #1 overall, as does Bridgewater's seeming middling talent level (Geno Smith, Brian Brohm) despite maximizing it with hard work and a good system. I'll have to admit that Khalil Mack is intriguing, and he's probably a better fit for a 3-4, but projecting NFL impact from a a DE who played at the U of Buffalo and the lightweights in the MAC is MUCH more scary than the red flags of Clowney's lack of production this past season. I think Mack will be a really good player, but I just don't get the sense that he's worthy of the #1 overall pick even if he becomes the Von Miller of this draft as I think Clowney is the DE equivalent of Cam Newton who just deserves a category by himself. Ultimately Johnny might be that kind of player, but the draft is about VALUE and there is just no comparing a 6' 5" prospect coming off carrying his team to a undefeated national championship to a sub 6 footer who was 2-6 against top caliber opponents and contrary to all the apologists, actually played a part in each of the losses either with overall poor games (LSU*2, Mizzou) threw multiple bad ints in 10 point losses (Bama, Auburn) - I'll give him a pass for the Florida loss since it was his first game, but he certainly didn't do enough to win that one as he didn't throw a single TD.
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Last edited by Apollo Stallion on Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:06 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part Two

The most difficult part of taking Clowney for me is that I have long felt that pass rushing and sacks are significantly overvalued in terms of true impact on football games. Ultimately, there are dozens of situations every season where an opponent is stuck in a low percentage 3rd and long situation where converting a sack does little more than keep the opponent from improving their punting position (how many times last year did we just run draws to turn 3rd and 15 into 4th and 7 and nobody called the MLB who made the tackle "a beast.") More often than not, guys like Mario (or Barwin) rack up 3 or 4 sacks against an overmatched LT or QB then disappear for games against quality QBs and LTs. Heck, if double digits sacks were the need, why weren't people jumping all over themselves when Cam Wake, Elvis Dumervil, Andre Carter, Jared Allen, Dwight Freeney, Shaun Phillips, Cliff Avril or others came on the market? John Abraham has more career sacks than Lawrence Taylor, but would you even consider him a hall of famer? Heck Jason Babin, Kyle Vandenbosch all those Jim Washburn coached DE's for the Titans and Eagles over the years racked up a bunch of sacks, but how many wins did they really impact?

Ultimately, the way I resolve this is more about JJ Watt and Cushing than Clowney as I believe both are amongst the best all-around football players in the game and that a 3rd dominating force like Clowney would eliminate the ability to avoid the other two via the run or pass. We got a bit of a glimpse of it with Mario, albiet in a different system, but without question, we've been less effective as we've stepped down from Mario to Barwin/Reed to Mercilus being the pass rushing threat and I don't think we are really getting maximum benefit from JJ when his job is to get 20+ sacks instead of the diverse talent he is. Understand, that Whitney may become a decent situational pass rushing specialist, but last season proved to me that Connor Barwin was a far better football player despite his lack of sacks his final year here and the step up from Barwin to Clowney is ridiculous from a physical skill set standpoint. Clowney is NOT strictly a pass rushing specialist and that's not just because we've all seen him destroy that Michigan RB a few hundred times now. The guy is an absolute playmaker and ultimately this team is largely devoid of playmakers on both sides of the ball.

At this point, I'd much rather have a guy like Clowney who I think will be one of the 2 or 3 best players on this team if not the entire league for the next 8-10 years vs. one of these QBs who I'm convinced will top out at middle of the pack at best and at worst will be the next in a long line of QBs taken far above their talent level who are forced into the lineup as presumed saviors only to have the shine come off in 1-3 seasons (Weedon, Locker, Gabbert, Ponder, Bradford, Tebow, Sanchez, Freeman, Russell, Quinn, Young, Lienart). I'd rather plan to pursue Mallett, Hoyer or one of the other NE system guys next year in FA while evaluating some of the truly elite caliber QBs next year while also taking a stab at finding our own version of Wilson, Kapernick, or dare I invoke Brady later in this draft.

Simple fact is that EVERYTHING we have done this offseason says that we are performing a wholesale rebuilding under O'Brien and I don't have any expectations of this team competing for a playoff birth out of the gate, so who really cares if Ryan Fitzpatrick or Zach Mettenberger lead us to 6-10 while Teddy, Johnny, or Blake might lead us to 8-8 but years of Andy Dalton / Matt Schaub / Tony Romo-esque playoff futility because the next level talent just isn't there. Give me Clowney and Mariota, Hundley or some other top 12 2015 pick at QB and THEN I think we have a chance at true greatness vs. another 5 years of Kubiak mediocrity.

I have spoken. Make it so, Rick.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part Three

Football is an inbred business filled with cronyism, nepotism, and "alumni-ism" and the Texans are amongst the most blatant at it all. I'll just skip all the inbred Broncos coaching hires, the Shanny connections, and various friendships like Kubiak and Kasey Studdard's dad and focus strictly on college as it pertains ties to the draft.

To refresh your memories:
When Kubiak's first two sons went to Colorado State we suddenly started seeing low rent CSU players populating our roster particularly on the o-line (the guys protecting his QB son). The youngest started playing for Rice and magically we draft 2 of only 3 Rice players drafted between 2003 and 2011. UDFA RB Chris Ogbannaya played with two of Kubiak's kids at Strake Jesuit. The "Klein Kannon" was practically a double legacy for Kubiak, as an Aggie AND being from the area he and his wife loved enough to name their youngest son after it - Klein.

As for Rick Smith, he has brought in his Purdue college buddy Jeff Zgonina both as a player and a coach and his college coach Bill Kollar was one of his first coaching hires. He hasn't been too blatant when it comes to the Purdue connections when bringing in players, but Nick Mondek went there and Bernard Pollard was given new life with Rick Smith. Rick was seemingly the only one who believed in Jacques Reeves and gave him an absurd FA contract following an abysmal campaign for Dallas. Remember when Roosevelt Colvin was going to be the answer to our pass rushing need opposite Mario then couldn't even make the team despite being handed a huge paycheck - yep Purdue. Ironically, I still regret Rick Smith not having joined the Texans and Kubiak for the 2006 offseason (remember Casserly handled free agency and the draft before bowing out to Smith right before camp) as he may have used his Purdue connection to grab Drew Brees instead of us crippling ourselves by exercising David Carr's extension which created a mountain of dead cap space when we cut him the next year.

That gets us to the climax of this thesis. It's hard to believe that nobody is connecting the dots to the University of South Carolina where our owner, Bob McNair is a prominent alum, has a scholarship program in his name, and where he holds an honorary doctorate from. DJ Swearinger, Fred Bennett, and Dunta Robinson were all drafted out of the other U- SC and our prized FA Jonathan Joseph also went there.

Now all of this is not to say that we would leap some University of South Carolina player far over his value and hurt the team, but it certainly is a credible tiebreaker. I recall in 2004 that it was basically a 4 CB pack with Deangelo Hall, Ahmad Carroll, Chris Gamble, and Dunta with plenty of gasps when we took Dunta two picks after Hall went to Atlanta. There certainly was plenty of need for a safety last year despite the Ed Reed signing leading many of us to push for Cyprien, Reid, Elam, or Amerson, yet we grabbed another speed challenged in the box type while letting Matthieu drop and my personal choices Shamarko Thomas and Phillip Thomas who unlike our 4th rounder Travardo Williams might have actually made the roster. Imagine you just got hired to a new job like O'Brien did and there just so happens to be the best player in the history of your owner's university available and generally considered the best player available in this year or last years draft. Ditto Rick Smith, who is on the other end of the spectrum, on the hot seat with seemingly only McNair's loyalty to him sparing his job for another season. Nope Bob - to heck with your boy Clowney, we're going to give your new coach who has won with a 6th rounder in Brady and a 7th rounder in Matt Cassell as well as some scrub name Matt McGloin the #1 overall pick despite the fact most of them are valued in the teens or 20's by most.

I'm not saying it's the only consideration, but to me it's as least as big as this silly "pick an Aggie hero QB to energize the fan base" idea (ignoring all the alums or fanbases of other schools in Texas despising the punk) or the same Longhorn hero bs in 06 with VY. We've never failed to sell out a game and you can't tell me the Clowney jerseys won't fly off the shelves just like the Mario Williams ones did or JJ Watt not being a superstar amongst real football fans. Of course, it won't hurt South Carolina recruiting one bit to have produced a 2nd #1 overall pick (anyone remember RB George Rogers)?

Heck, if the Cowboys went from a playoff team into the tank only to draft some great Arkansas player (as if such a things exists), the conspiracy theorists would be all over Jerry Jones (despite the Felix Jones reach not working out too well for him). After all, he did fire Tom Landry to hire his college teammate Jimmy Johnson and when that went south hired one of their former coaches - Barry Switzer (who like Jerry grew up in Arkansas and coached there before OU). Nah, college loyalties don't mean anything in sports...
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treece300e


Joined: 29 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apollo Stallion wrote:
Part Three

Football is an inbred business filled with cronyism, nepotism, and "alumni-ism" and the Texans are amongst the most blatant at it all. I'll just skip all the inbred Broncos coaching hires, the Shanny connections, and various friendships like Kubiak and Kasey Studdard's dad and focus strictly on college as it pertains ties to the draft.

To refresh your memories:
When Kubiak's first two sons went to Colorado State we suddenly started seeing low rent CSU players populating our roster particularly on the o-line (the guys protecting his QB son). The youngest started playing for Rice and magically we draft 2 of only 3 Rice players drafted between 2003 and 2011. UDFA RB Chris Ogbannaya played with two of Kubiak's kids at Strake Jesuit. The "Klein Kannon" was practically a double legacy for Kubiak, as an Aggie AND being from the area he and his wife loved enough to name their youngest son after it - Klein.

As for Rick Smith, he has brought in his Purdue college buddy Jeff Zgonina both as a player and a coach and his college coach Bill Kollar was one of his first coaching hires. He hasn't been too blatant when it comes to the Purdue connections when bringing in players, but Nick Mondek went there and Bernard Pollard was given new life with Rick Smith. Rick was seemingly the only one who believed in Jacques Reeves and gave him an absurd FA contract following an abysmal campaign for Dallas. Remember when Roosevelt Colvin was going to be the answer to our pass rushing need opposite Mario then couldn't even make the team despite being handed a huge paycheck - yep Purdue. Ironically, I still regret Rick Smith not having joined the Texans and Kubiak for the 2006 offseason (remember Casserly handled free agency and the draft before bowing out to Smith right before camp) as he may have used his Purdue connection to grab Drew Brees instead of us crippling ourselves by exercising David Carr's extension which created a mountain of dead cap space when we cut him the next year.

That gets us to the climax of this thesis. It's hard to believe that nobody is connecting the dots to the University of South Carolina where our owner, Bob McNair is a prominent alum, has a scholarship program in his name, and where he holds an honorary doctorate from. DJ Swearinger, Fred Bennett, and Dunta Robinson were all drafted out of the other U- SC and our prized FA Jonathan Joseph also went there.

Now all of this is not to say that we would leap some University of South Carolina player far over his value and hurt the team, but it certainly is a credible tiebreaker. I recall in 2004 that it was basically a 4 CB pack with Deangelo Hall, Ahmad Carroll, Chris Gamble, and Dunta with plenty of gasps when we took Dunta two picks after Hall went to Atlanta. There certainly was plenty of need for a safety last year despite the Ed Reed signing leading many of us to push for Cyprien, Reid, Elam, or Amerson, yet we grabbed another speed challenged in the box type while letting Matthieu drop and my personal choices Shamarko Thomas and Phillip Thomas who unlike our 4th rounder Travardo Williams might have actually made the roster. Imagine you just got hired to a new job like O'Brien did and there just so happens to be the best player in the history of your owner's university available and generally considered the best player available in this year or last years draft. Ditto Rick Smith, who is on the other end of the spectrum, on the hot seat with seemingly only McNair's loyalty to him sparing his job for another season. Nope Bob - to heck with your boy Clowney, we're going to give your new coach who has won with a 6th rounder in Brady and a 7th rounder in Matt Cassell as well as some scrub name Matt McGloin the #1 overall pick despite the fact most of them are valued in the teens or 20's by most.

I'm not saying it's the only consideration, but to me it's as least as big as this silly "pick an Aggie hero QB to energize the fan base" idea (ignoring all the alums or fanbases of other schools in Texas despising the punk) or the same Longhorn hero bs in 06 with VY. We've never failed to sell out a game and you can't tell me the Clowney jerseys won't fly off the shelves just like the Mario Williams ones did or JJ Watt not being a superstar amongst real football fans. Of course, it won't hurt South Carolina recruiting one bit to have produced a 2nd #1 overall pick (anyone remember RB George Rogers)?

Heck, if the Cowboys went from a playoff team into the tank only to draft some great Arkansas player (as if such a things exists), the conspiracy theorists would be all over Jerry Jones (despite the Felix Jones reach not working out too well for him). After all, he did fire Tom Landry to hire his college teammate Jimmy Johnson and when that went south hired one of their former coaches - Barry Switzer (who like Jerry grew up in Arkansas and coached there before OU). Nah, college loyalties don't mean anything in sports...

Perhaps I read more than most, but I feel that Bob McNair's alumni status of USC has been pretty well documented. I think there has always been a part of me that knew it was going to be Clowney, but I'm glad that some of the hype is returning. Because while I don't waiver my own personal opinion based on absurd, reader-needy articles, it does start to make me question reality.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW - Just for those who think I'm a shameless "alumnist" for Baylor. I would have taken Andrew Luck over RG3 had we had the chance, because there was a gap there. Heck, I would have taken Joeckel over Fisher and Von Miller over Aldon Smith despite those who think I hate A&M rather than just their QB who I think is ill prepared for life or football once things don't actually work out for him and him throwing the ball up for grabs isn't so cute against 11 guys better, faster, and smarter than anything LSU has fielded the past two years to shut him down (boy, that Sam Montgomery sure was "pro ready.") I ran into Johnny out yet again this weekend and I remain convinced he's more likely to be in rehab in the next 3 years than starting in the NFL or at least a Justin Bieber level of denial as he hides behind his money and his entourage.
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buckwild


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think that it is a 2 horse race between Clowney and Bortles, but that O'Brien knows that Bortles is not worthy of #1.

Since Teddy and Manziel are dropping like a stone in most Mock Drafts that I have seen over the past week.

So where would you draft Bortles in the Top 10? Let's hope that someone wants to jump the Rams to get Mack as everything I'm reading says they are in love him and will be the pick if Clowney is gone.

I have to give credit to Apollo for a thought provoking post, and putting bias aside to speak his mind.
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