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Introducing the LA Bull (Draft/UDFA Simulation)
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2014 Draft Summary and Analysis

Here is what I think. I welcome to find out what you think.

The draft appears to use two strategies. It favored good athletes of prototypical size, and athletes with high ceilings even if they are not ready today. It cannot be fully judged for a couple of years. Good performances at All-Star game practices were weighted too heavily.

I drafted more offensive players than I expected, because I wanted to get a base of offensive linemen, and the wr crop was just so juicy. I wish I had more DL, but it was not to be. For example, Kareem Martin was picked the pick before me, and I had already written up the pick to post. I did not pick a quarterback in the premium rounds because I did not see the value when I picked, and there is always next year. Give the linemen and wr a chance to grow into their jobs first.

Parenthetical number is how many picks later the person was taken in the actual draft. I was happy with the results. They tracked what actually happened closer than I expected. You could say that I had one true reach and a few mild reaches, but I am happy to have secured who I got, given the uncertainty of the actual process. I will post about my "true reach" LDT at length in the future. Bottom line, I picked a guy I expected to go in rounds 3 to 6 in the front end of that range, because I think he may be the next Terron Armstead.

1-1 Greg Robinson ot 6-5 332 StL 1-2 (1)
2-47 Allen Robinson wr 6-2 220 Jax 2-64 (14)
2-63 Phillip Gaines cb 6-0 193 KC 3-87 (24)
3-68 Marcus Martin c 6-3 320 SF 3-70 (2)
3-78 Laurent Duvernay-Tardif ot 6-5 321 KC 6-200 (122)
3-85 Josh Huff wr 5-11 206 Phil 3-86 (1)
4-106 Aaron Colvin cb 5-11 192 Jax 4-114 (Cool
4-123 Pierre Desir cb 6-1 198 Cle 4-127 (4)
5-148 Robert Herron wr 5-9 193 TB 6-185 (37)
5-165 Jordan Zumwalt lb 6-4 235 Pit 6-192 (27)
5-171 David Fales qb 6-2 212 Chi 6-183 (12)
6-185 Jemea Thomas db 5-9 192 NE 6-206 (21)
6-202 Jay Prosch fb 6-1 256 Hou 6-211 (9)
7-244 Tyler Starr lb 6-4 250 Atl 7-255 (11)
7-256 Jordan Najvar te 6-6 256 Dal udfa

UDFA as above.

Last edited by Techbert on Fri May 30, 2014 12:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Positional analysis. Rookie mini-camps don't tell much. They tell you who shows up in shape, and who lays out to catch the ball. Also, it hints how well quarterbacks (and others) pick up the new terminology. But mainly they exist for coaches to show rookies what to expect, and for reporters to file mostly worthless copy on who is doing well.

ot Greg Robinson may be the only rookie starter from the whole draft, and even then it may be out of position at og. c Martin was young and still needs to learn the position. There is an opportunity to start if he can grab it. I would be surprised if he is ready before mid-season. ot LDT will need even more time. He played at 321, slimmed to 298 to show off at pre-draft workouts, and reported at 307. I expect him to be 315 to 320 by the fall. He is very athletic and very raw, coming from Canada. He is smarter than you are, and has good muscle learning ability. Did I mention he is raw? ot James Hurst (Balt) has a good chance to stick as a swing tackle and a possible future starting left tackle. He broke his leg and was not near 100% on his pro day, but apparently moved easily at mini-camp. Tyler Larsen (Mia) has 31.5" TRex arms. I don't know if he will stick or not. So I have 3 to 5 offensive linemen who will make the team, and hopefully 3 future starters. 3 have potential at lot. So I am happy with the offensive line base for the future.

qb David Fales has the skills and makeup I was looking for in a backup qb who could grow into an eventual starter. He needs to strength his arm. You know who else needed to strengthen his arm? Drew Brees. (No, I am not equating the two. Just asking that Fales not be dismissed quite yet.) qb Jeff Matthews (Atl) might stick for the same reasons.

wr Allen Robinson will contribute right away in Jax, and might start. wr Josh Huff played for Kelly at Oregon. That means he has a leg up on the terminology and concepts, and that Kelly likes him. A lot of former college coaches are very selective about picking their ex-players, and they usually turn out well. Huff really shined at the Senior Bowl practices. wr Robert Herron is short but not small, and very nimble. I think he might win the slot job in TB. Striking contrast when Jackson and Evans are lining up near him. So Robinson is the big receiver, Huff is the fluid receiver, and Herron is the slot receiver. The udfa were wr Willie Snead, who has a shot only because he went to the Browns, and wr Kain Colter (Min) is undergoing a position change.

Only te's are udfa Jordan Najvar, who I like as a blocker with some athleticism, and the fast Blake Annen (Phi).

Fullbacks are not considered starters anymore, but I think they are important if you want a power running mindset on your team. I was able to get fb Jay Prosch late. udfa Roosevelt Nix (Atl) was a dt in college but will probably play fb in the pros. I will get tailbacks in the future when the rest of the team can support their talent. For now, rb Isaiah Crowell (Cle) in a very talented knucklehead who was riding the bike at mini-camp and rb David Fluellen (Phi) runs hard inside but you could time him with a calendar.

On defense, I think I got some future corner starters. cb Phillip Gaines comes from a similar system as what KC runs, so his learning curve may not be as steep as originally expected. I really believe cb Aaron Colvin would have risen to first round status, if he had not broken his leg in Mobile. cb Pierre Desir has great size but came from a tiny school. He needs perfect technique to make up for mediocre speed. May take some time. db Jemea Thomas plays well but is short. I think he has a future as a slot corner, and can pitch in at any db position. Desir and Thomas should excel at special teams.

The Steelers appear to like lb Jordan Zumwalt, although coaches are not always straight-forward at this stage. He can play inside and outside. I like lb Tyler Starr as an athletic but raw pass-rusher with good instincts. lb Max Bullough (Hou) got heavy, was suspended for his last game, and is a two-down lb at best. All three should play on special teams.

I didn't get any defensive linemen. udfa's were de Emmanuel Dieke (NYG), who has great length, de/olb Jackson Jeffcoat (Sea), who may play specialist pass rusher, and dt Anthony Johnson, who may turn it around but so far the more I saw the less I liked.

On special teams I signed p Kirby Van der Kamp, who is yet to be signed, and may just be a "Kamp" body, pk Chris Boswell (Hou) who may be the same, and ls Marcus Heit is getting a tryout in KC. It would not surprise me if none of the three make a roster.

In summary I predict 1 to 3 rookie starters, 17 that make the roster plus 1 PUP to IR, and 6 practice squaders. That is not in itself wonderful, given all the picks. However, I see 7 to 10 that could grow into starters within 4 years, and that would be a great draft class.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In an earthshaking trade, the Bull send rb David Fluellen to the Colts, and receive k Cody Parkey (Phil) in return.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cutdown Day Summary

qb Josh McCown (veteran) TB
rb Toby Gerhart (veteran) Jax

qb David Fales Chi R
rb Isaiah Crowell Cle R
fb Jay Prosch Hou R
wr Allen Robinson Jax R
wr Josh Huff Phi R
wr Robert Herron TB R
ot James Hurst Bal R
og/ot Greg Robinson StL R
og/ot Lawrence Duvernay-Tardif KC R
c Marcus Martin SF R

pk Cody Parkey Phi R

dt Anthony Johnson Mia R
olb Tyler Starr Atl R
cb Phillip Gaines KC R
cb Pierre Desir Cle R

Inj cb Aaron Colvin Jax R
Inj lb Jordan Zumwalt Pit R


15 draft choices. 11 made the club. 2 went on some version if Injured Reserve.

Two draftees did not make the club. 6th rd pick Jemea Thomas lived up to the saying, "You can't make the club in the tub." I am not second-guessing my pick. If he had been healthy and gotten reps, I think he would have made it in the league. 7th rd pick Jordan Najvar was an udfa in real life and essentially one in the simulation. League-wise, 30 draftees were cut, an average of about 1 per team. Since I had double picks, plus some bonus late-round picks, I would expect to have at least double the number of players not make it. I grade my performance as Average as far as Draft Depth.

I brought in 16 simulated UDFA's. 4 made the roster. League-wise, 66 udfa's made the roster, an average of about 2 per team. That is pretty good luck on my part. This is leavened by the fact that I gave myself an advantage in selecting my udfa's that established teams did not have. This is justified by the attractiveness of an expansion team to marginal players, or at least the agents of marginal players. I grade my performance as Above Average as far as UDFA Recognition.

As far as impact, I grade my class as Below Average in NFL Readiness and Above Average in NFL Potential. I knew that going in, and was the direction I chose.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One or two may be added, but overall I am disappointed with my luck in placing practice squad members. In real life I would do waiver claims and raid other team's cuts for the practice squad, but I am not doing so in this simulation.

Practice Squad:
wr Kain Colter Min R
lb Max Bullough Hou R
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quality Analysis:

Not many of my opinions have changed since the beginning of camp.

OL Greg Robinson is effective in the run game, but still makes a lot of mistakes. I wish he could have focused on one position, but the Rams split his time between lot and og. That has slowed down his development. I still think he will become a great player for a long time. So will Clowney and Mack, the two players I considered instead of Robinson. He will start for most if not all of 2014.

C Marcus Martin will probably go on some kind of IR, like tomorrow when he can go on short term IR. Apparently he dislocated his knee but the ligaments are undamaged, which makes it an 8 week issue instead of a year or two. This was a bad break for him because he needs reps more than about anyone else. I do not expect anything out of him for the 2014 season.

OL Lawrence Duvernay-Tardif oozes potential. That kept him on the Chiefs'roster, at least so far. His play has not justified it. Watch to see if he keeps his roster slot when some Chiefs come back from suspension. This is the guy I picked in Round 3 and who lasted to Round 6 in real life. I am still banking that he is this year's Terron Armstead, and hope he will be starting somewhere in 2015.

LOT James Hurst did well in Baltimore, and made the roster. He still needs to add strength. If he does, I think he can start in this league.

WR Allen Robinson has lost almost the entire camp to a hamstring problem, and has now fallen behind an udfa. I think he can claim a starting job before the end of the season, but that mountain is a lot higher now than it was when he was drafted. This is the guy that will make or break my draft.

WR Josh Huff returned a kick 102 years. So he then had to get hurt. It cost him important reps. He has had some dropsies in camp, and needs to show whether or not that was a coltish rookie nervousness or inherently subpar hands. It is tough to do during the regular season, which is what his (relatively minor) injury forces.

WR Robert Herron is a natural slot receiver. Trouble is that this is a tough position for a young player to play. The best slot players a guys who have been in the league for at least 3 or 4 years. I don't have a great feel for what the Bucs think of Herron. I know what they have said and I know who they have cut, but we won't know how much they plan on using Robert this year until kickoff of Game 1.

QB David Fales is the Bears' 3rd qb. I think they would like to park him on the practice squad, but are afraid to expose him. He played well in preseason. You could argue he is a better NFL player today than Manzel, based on performance. Still, he is not ready to be a #2 qb yet. Lot of work to do. Do not expect anything out of Fales for 2014, but I will hang onto him.

RB Isaiah Crowell played zip until Game 4 of the preseason, and then ripped off 100 yards. No question of Crowell's ability. It is all about his head. If he proves he has grown up, he has starter ability.

FB Jay Prosch has been battling a hand injury, but the coaches see a tough fullback that is a natural run blocker. I expect good contribution from Jay in 2014.

PK Cody Parkey has a strong leg and has convinced the Eagles he will be accurate enough. I think this is a real gamble. We will see.

DT Anthony Johnson has surpassed my expectations, which is faint praise. If he keeps his head on straight, he may keep his job and work his way up the depth chart. His play so far has been worthy of a roster spot.

OLB Tyler Starr, as we know from Hard Knocks, has a babe for a fiance and a son that cuts him no slack on the football field. We also know that the coaches watch his tape and say, "Don't fall in love with him" but you know they did. He has made one great play and a bunch of maddening plays. I like Starr a lot, but he needs to continue to develop to be able to contribute in 2014. He is a guy I targeted early to select in the late rounds.

CB Phillip Gaines is not quite ready but is close. He would get burned a lot if he is used as a starting nickel right now. I think he has the ability and instincts to be a definite contributor by playoff time... this year.

CB Pierre Desir has a knee injury right now. He needs reps. (Notice a trend in my scouting reports yet?) He came from a small school, and definitely needs reps. He is not gone for 2014, but if the Browns need to throw him in this year, that does not bode well for the team.

CB Aaron Colvin injured a leg during Senior Bowl week, so everyone knew his situation when he was drafted in the 4th round. I think he might turn out to be a steal. I hope so. We will see in 2015.

LB Jordan Zumwalt battled a groin injury throughout camp. He was headed to being cut, as (again) You Can't Make The Club From The Tub. They put him on IR instead, which I think is a good move. He has Steeler toughness, and can potentially back up any of the 4 linebacker positions. We will see what he has in 2014.

Due to injuries, I give my draft a Below Average in Player Quality.

As I have said before, I welcome feedback from others.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Year-end Review:

21 of my rookies were on rosters or IR at the end of the season, and 4 more were dev squads. 17 played in NFL games. 10 started at least 1 NFL game. 3 started at least 8 games.

I do not think that is shabby, although with the wage scale and injuries it is easy to get on a roster as a rookie. So what does next year portend?

5 players should be starters or co-favorites to start next year. OT/OG Robinson. C Martin. WR Robinson. CB Gaines. CB Colvin. 2 more will be Pseudo-starters: FB Prosch, K Parkey. 4 more will be significant contributors or reliable backups: OT Hurst, WR Huff, RB Crowell, CB Desir.

3 players were carried all year but did not play, so the regime may have plans for them if they grab the opportunity next year: OL Duvernay-Tardif, DE/OLB Starr, and on IR LB Zumwalt. 4 more played a bit and may prove themselves next year: WR Herron, TE Annen, DT Johnson, DE Jeffcoat. The following may make a roster next year: QB Fales, LB Bullough, DB Thomas. The following should at least be in camp: QB Mathews, WR Colter, WR Snead, DE Dieke.

A few notes: OL Robinson still has work to do. He will be better than he was as a rookie. I think Fisher likes him. C Martin was injured at the beginning and end, and still made 8 starts. The first was awful, and he made the players around him worse. After that he settled down and was missed when he was out again. For a 20-year old, he has a brighter future than I thought. KC coach Reid does not like to play rookies, and OL Duvernay-Tardif never got in a game. I like my rookies to bark, but let us see what LDT does next year. OT Hurst filled in for 5 starts and played all 16 games. He has flaws, but great job for an UDFA.

WR Robinson missed most of camp, but became the Jags #1 WR, so he got injured and ended the year on IR. WR Huff made a number of big mistakes, but he also barked as a pup. I like that. More a returner than a WR last year, I think he has a future doing both. He ended one game as a RB, which I thought was interesting. WR Herron played some but did not bark much and only made 6 catches.

RB Crowell got 600 yards and kept his nose clean. He should be a tandem player with West next year. I can't call fullback a starting position, but I like having a FB Jay Prosch on the roster. No carries. One catch. Key blocking contributions.

Miami seems to like DT Johnson. Not many tackles, but a useful rotational DT. DE/OLB Jeffcoat came on late in the season, and had a sack, an interception, and a productive start. DE/OLB Starr never played. Wonder how he will develop with the next coaching staff? LB Zumwalt was on IR all year, but you have to think he can play special teams and play a few downs for the Steelers.

My best pick was CB Colvin. They love him in Jax and he might be their best or 2nd best DB. Only one start but 27 tackles in 6 games is a lot for a cb. CB Gaines looks every bit like a quality future starter for KC, so my corners are not a position of need. CB Desir had mostly a "redshirt" year, but played well late in the year and started one game over 1st rounder Gilbert.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only partially get why you would want to do this but I admire your dedication nonetheless. *Thumbs up*

Peppers90 on the sig.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PurpleMugen wrote:
I only partially get why you would want to do this but I admire your dedication nonetheless. *Thumbs up*

Thanks. The reasons have to do with competing against the real NFL, instead of fellow armchair guys, as well as having some accountability down the road for our mock draft decisions. Any number of people can do it. Five or fifteen people can start a mock franchise this year. Like golf, you compete against yourself and the course.
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Titanslim on the main draft board:

Many say you can't grade a draft until they've been in the league for at least 3 seasons. Well it's been 3 years since this draft class, and I think it's a perfect time to take a look back.

A few things I'm interested in seeing
1. What was your team's draft class and how has it fared thus far?
2. What player did you want in the first?
3. Who was your draft crush(es)?
4. What player(s) weren't you high on?
5. How did you feel about draft at the time and how do you feel about it now?
6. How would you grade your team's class now that we're 3 years in?

Feel free to discuss anything else in regards to this class.

1. Greg Robinson ol Rams - Jeff Fisher once said, "He (Greg) will be our left tackle of the future for a long time." It was a slip of the tongue, but I knew when he said it, it was the truth, that Greg would always be potential. He had amazing athletic potential, but I think if I would have actually interviewed him I would have gone with Khalil Mack instead. Still, 42 starts in 3 seasons is not a bust, but you want better play from the #2 pick in the draft. This year, he gets to play guard, so we see if he becomes good there, or just serviceable. I doubt I will use my 5th year option, but I might sign him for less defending on his play this year.

2a. Allen Robinson wr Jax - Any pro bowl position player after round 1 is a good pick. Allen has the disadvantage of playing on the other end of Blake Bortles; I am going to go out on a limb and say he would have better stats with Carson Wentz throwing to him. He was Jacksonville's 2nd 2nd round pick, as they thought Marquis Lee was the better receiver. I did not agree. Advantage: me. 40 starts for Allen.

2b. Phillip Gaines cb KC - Injuries have set back his development, and he needed development of his technique. Still around. 13 starts so far.

3a. Marcus Martin c SF - Athletic center who needed development but was rushed into the starting lineup, even though he was 20. Now with his second team, and no lock to make the squad. 22 starts.

3b. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif ol KC - Smart, athletic guard already on his second contract. I (and others) projected he would go anywhere between 3rd round and 6th. I picked him in the 3rd, and KC in the 6th. I didn't get the steal Andy Reid did, but I got a quality player in a late 2nd day slot, so I am both happy and vindicated. 27 starts after a redshirt rookie season.

3c. Josh Huff wr Phi - Million dollar body and a five cent head. Did some good. Did more bad. Now with 2nd team, and no lock to make the squad. 6 starts.

4a. Aaron Colvin cb Jax - Selected later than his talent indicated, due to injury. Played a lot of slot corner, but has still made 20 starts. I dunno if Jax will offer a 2nd contract, as they like to buy their defensive backs. I will probably keep him.

4b. Pierre Desir db Cle - never really panned out but still hanging around. On his 3rd team. 7 starts.

5a. Robert Herron wr TB - disappointed. Played in 8 games with no starts.
5b. Jordan Zumwalt lb Pit - never shook off injured reserve.
5c. David Fales qb Chi - never made it but kept around. Now with 2nd team. Bears let him in 1 game. Bastiges.
6a. Jemea Thomas db NE - didn't make it.

6b. Jay Prosch - workhorse fb for Houston. Counting a fb's starts (8) is meaningless, as they are always situational contributors as blockers these days. Jay's been in 47 of 48 games, which better shows both his value and durability.

7a. Tyler Starr edge Atl - tease. Hung around longer than justified, but is gone now.
7b. Jordan Najvar te Dal - didn't make it.

15 picks. 6 starters or contributors today. 4 more hanging around. Fair draft class.

But I killed the undrafted phase. Isaiah Crowell rb is a starter. Willie Snead wr is a starter. Nix fb is valued. Bullough lb is valued. You may not like Hurst ot as a starter but as a backup he has saved Baltimore a few times with his 16 starts and may start this year. Boswell k is valued. I traded Fluellen for Parkey k, and he made the pro bowl for me before I cut him for Boswell. Annen te and A Johnson dt are hanging around. Larsen c is still with Carolina, although I had to cut him.

So 12 starters or contributors today. 6 more hanging around. 2 more contributing for other teams. That becomes a great class.

I had the top pick, so I got who I wanted in the 1st.

I banged the drum for Khalil Mack on the main board, and picked him on a different team like this, but it is not documented real time, so does not count for squat. I liked Cooks. I liked Weston Richburg. Branden Oliver rb was a sleeper of mine, but my randomized signing procedure cost me him as an udfa. Otherwise I selected or signed my sleepers.

I didn't trust Clowney. I thought Bridgewater would do okay, but the hype of him on the main board was suffocating and turned me off. Not sold on Jordan Matthews or Marquis Lee. Timmy Jernigan played better than I expected.

I thought my offensive line picks would be better players by now, but I got more starts than I expected. Go figure. Overall, some things in the draft did not break my way, so I was not super-high on it at the time, but I think today I mostly held my own. GRob and Martin held me back from being happy today, but ARob and LDT stepped up nicely. GM's have kept their jobs with worse results.

After reviewing the grades on the main board, I give myself a B- on just draft day, but A- including UDFA's, which I do.
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