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4th Draft Season: LA Bull
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Techbert


Joined: 24 Apr 2014
Posts: 1006
Location: Orion Spur
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF DE JORDAN WILLIS - PRELUDE I

What not to say in an NFL interview.

Jordan Willis should have been an early 2nd round pick, but could have been a first rounder and could have been a mid-2nd rounder. If you look at tape, I don't think you see a third rounder, which is where he was selected. So I wondered why, and this is what I think.

Jordan went into interviews and said that what he tries to do is affect the quarterback. It's not that he does not try to sack him, and he has 20 sacks in the last 2 seasons playing P5 ball. It's that he said if he affects the quarterback and the pass is incomplete, that is a plus play.

I think that answer cost him some money.

What the coaches want to hear is, "Get the quarterback." Period. End of story. Total focus. Get... the... quarterback. It is like if you are running for Miss America, get the phrase, "For the children" somewhere in your answer.

Is this reasonable? Sometimes, I think. Not for Jordan Willis. Here is why it is reasonable.

1. It is a potential excuse for not achieving. "Naw. I didn't get the sack, cuz I was run out behind the qb, but I affected the pass." Coaches are not big on excuses, nor on getting run out behind the qb.

2. While a normal college quarterback might hear your footsteps and rush a throw, a pro quarterback has an internal clock that tells him he has oodles of time, like 1.2 more seconds, and stays calm. So it is much more difficult to affect the quarterback in the League. That is why they get paid the big bucks.

3. Coaches feel they can teach those little techniques that Willis already has to affect a throw. What they can't teach is the relentless desire to do one and only one thing: get the quarterback. So it has little value to them that Willis can already do them, and worries them that he might not have the drive.

4. Coaches may talk about liking students of the game, but they often don't. In their heart, they want the kid to say, "Yes, sir," and "No, sir," and do what they are then coached to do. Today. Not what their college coach taught. So they hear Willis, and fear he has a lot that must be untaught and worry that he will want to hold onto what Snyder taught him.

5. Doing the same things and the same rhythm to affect the passer as what you did in college will not get you as far. Pro offensive linemen are better and a lot of stuff does not work with them. So you move here, zig there, stick a hand up, and while the college quarterback is affected, the pro lineman plants you, and the pro quarterback has time to throw deep. This is particularly true if you went against college right tackles, which Willis did.

So the next time you interview as an edge rusher to a room full of NFL decision-makers, say that it is all about getting the quarterback. If they try to talk about affecting the quarterback, just blink hard a few times and go back to talking about getting the sack and nothing else matters.


Last edited by Techbert on Fri May 05, 2017 11:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF DE JORDAN WILLIS - PRELUDE II

Let's talk about how edge rushers beat the linemen and get to the quarterback. There are two different ways. One, you use explosiveness to blow by and get to him in a hurry. Two, you use your quick-twitch muscles and agility to beat your man and get to the quarterback. The key thing to remember, and this is not conceptually simple, is that when you explode to the quarterback, your agility does not matter. You are a rocket taking off with very little redirection. Likewise, when you are using agility your explosiveness is irrelevant for the most. This is the basis for the two Waldo measurements. While I am on the verge of challenging his specific formulae, I will retain the above concept.

Explosiveness uses an athlete's height, weight, vertical jump, and broad jump. Twitch uses his 20-yard shuttle and first 10 yards of his dash, with a check using 3-cone above or below 7.0.

In college, Willis primarily used his explosiveness to get to the quarterback and his agility to dance around doing other things. He had an Explosiveness of 1.02 and a Twitch of 1.11 with a sub-7.0 3-cone. Waldo called for an Explosiveness of 1.05 or higher or a Twitch of 1.09 or lower, to be a low-risk athlete. Technically, Willis is a Moderate-Risk. Looking inside the numbers, I think he is better than that.

Remember all this in my analysis below.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF DE JORDAN WILLIS (FINALLY!!!)

I love Jordan Willis. I want a dozen of them on my team. Maybe more, if it turns out he can catch the ball (which he can't).

Bill Snyder, the legendary KSt coach, loved Jordan Willis, too. Not the draft season "Plenty of players went to his birthday party" love, but love love. He works hard. Never takes a day or play off. Practices the way he plays. Puts in plenty of film work. Provides plenty of leadership for younger players. Team captain. Student council prez in HS. All those things you want.

He played a ton of snaps and did not perceptibly slow down due to fatigue.

He has defensive line size at 6-4 255 (can carry about 270) and linebacker speed and agility - 40 of 4.53 at the combine and SS of 4.28 and 3C of 6.85, with a first 10 yards of either 1.57 or 1.54 depending on who you ask. Either is below 1.6, which is kinda a de threshold. He's strong enough, with 24 bench presses. He jumped 39" high and 10-5 broad. His Z-score on 3sigmaathlete is 2.0, meaning he is two whole standard deviations above the NFL average. That is equal to being in the top 2.5% of edge rushers, including outside linebackers. The only edge rusher with a higher z-score in this draft was... Myles Garrett at 2.2. The two track very closely, with Willis a little faster at a lower weight, and Garrett a slightly better jumper.

He chases down ball-carriers. He runs them down. He doesn't just say, "Hey, I set my edge. Let someone else tackle that guy 20 yards from here." No. Jordan Willis runs the dude down. I like that. I like that a lot.

He's smart. He's well-coached. He uses his hands well for a college player. Naturally pushes and pulls, and has good strength. Has great bend. Plays with good leverage and gets under the other guy's pads. Good vision. Keeps his feet well, unless he tries to redirect explosive moves. He can get off the line quickly on passing downs. He can chain moves together. He's improved each year, and consistently repeats what he's learned. Tireless, even when out there all day.

Let me give an example of something he does that shows a number of the above items. He is great on stunts and I want to break down why. His first move is upfield. That freezes the tackle. He then uses his lateral agility to cut inside. The defensive tackle has had time to establish the guard. The tackle is lost in right field. Willis lets loose the jets towards the quarterback and the center is in a bad spot. So step one is to freeze the tackle. Otherwise he moves inside. The guard feels the tackle move inside so he moves inside. The stunt is blocked. Step two is Willis uses his agility to get inside quickly once he starts that move. Step three is Willis uses his explosiveness to beeline towards the quarterback before the center has time to react. You can see him do the above consistently.

So you have a dude that looks at home as a defensive lineman, looks at home as a linebacker, wins the underwear Olympics, is productive on the field, and has a non-stop motor. What's not to love?

Nothing, but I want to break it down a bit.

They say he has poor lateral agility. No. Wrong. People think that because he has a phase where he explodes, and when he does that he cannot redirect because no one can. There are plenty of actions where he shows superior lateral agility. If he was not explosive, and there are plenty of edge guys without explosiveness, people would praise Willis's agility. He'd be less effective, but they'd praise his agility.

The second reason he appears to have poor lateral agility is because he will get run behind the quarterback too often. The reason, according to me, is he has a flaw with his foot placement. He keeps them pointed straight upfield too long, and then tries to turn them 90 degrees as he is parallel with the qb. That makes it hard to cut in to the quarterback and he winds up getting rode back too often. If not, he loses all his momentum, and a balanced offensive lineman has him. He needs to be taught to keep his feet pointed at the quarterback sooner. This is fairly easy to fix. He'll get this straightened out during his rookie season. It is also why I am so high on him. If I see something easily fixed that has a big impact on his ability to improve, and I like everything else about him, I get excited about him.

And it may already be fixed! Check out the Senior Bowl. Willis kept his feet facing the qb on all but about two plays. He did not look natural, which is typical when you integrate a new technique, but he kept at it, and he was rewarded with two strip sacks and a deflected pass that was almost a strip sack while sharing time with Kpassignon. Not bad!

Another question is whether or not Willis is limited to the left side. In the same Senior Bowl, Willis played both sides, and got big plays from the right side. He looked about the same on either side.

He seems to be quick off the snap on pass downs and slower on run downs. I think it is how he is defending against the run. Not good technique but some kids do that. Something to coach out. They are afraid of exploding the wrong way, when what they need to do is engage quickly and then go where they want to go. Again, something to coach out.

When he sets the edge he sometimes drifts too far inside and loses contain. Fixable.

He should be able to drop into coverage effortlessly on predator plays.

He's got this naturally deep voice which can demand respect, even when he speaks softly.

I think Willis is better today than a number of the first round defensive ends this year. I think his flaws are the most fixable of any of the ends. His floor is high, and his ceiling is high. He can play end on either side in a 4-3, and I think with a little work can play any linebacker position. The Bull will keep him at end, and I think the Bengals are as well.

Luv me some Jordan Willis. I project he will be in the rotation this year, and start next year.


Last edited by Techbert on Sat May 06, 2017 11:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF DE DEREK RIVERS

This is Jordan Willis



This is Derek Rivers



This Public Service Announcement is due to the fact that you would probably be unable to tell them apart on the football field. One is 1/8 inch taller, and he is 7# heavier. They are both fast and strong and have non-stop motors and have 3C under 7.0. Willis is more explosive.

The main difference is that Willis is polished, with only a few coaching points needed to be an NFL starter. Rivers knows nothing.

Rivers played at a lower competition level, and if my math works made 55 tfl and 38.5 sacks in his career. How do you do that knowing nothing? Lower level of competition is an insufficient reply. He did that by just opening a can of whoopass all the time. Some folks win with technique. Rivers won with whoopass. This is important. This is something I look for. It is a lot easier to take someone who can uncork whoopass and teach them technique than to teach someone with technique how to whoopass. You just can't do that. Rivers can whoopass. He can just beat his guy.

Very quick off the snap. Can change direction in the backfield without loss of velocity. It is amazing. Good bull rush using his strength. Has like one move. If he ever learns counter-moves, he will be dangerous.

He is not yet good against the run. I wish he shed quicker. Some of that may be scheme, but he has work to do. He needs to put on a few pounds.

I project he will be a pass rush specialist for the first year or two, and then start.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF TE JAKE BUTT

I don't know what I have in Jake Butt.

I know what he was before his injury. I know the hype he had, both in the media and on FF. It's a B1G thing. I know what I want him to be.

I want him to be a reliable option, either as a starter or high-snap role player, who can play tight or split. I want him to block the run or pass, from the same set. I want him to find soft spots in the zone, or cross the middle through the trash until he is open. I want him to catch everything. He could do most all the above, at least before the injury.

The hype machine said he was a second or third rounder before the injury, and maybe after it. I always saw late 3rd or early 4th round for Butt's skill set. That's where I got him, so I paid no injury tax for him. I'm okay with that. The league paying a 5 for him is reasonable, too.

He's had acl issues before. He's come back. I think he will come back this time, but I don't want him to rush again. Whenever he comes back is fine, since I have OJ Howard and Julius Thomas for now. Broncos have Green and Heurman, so they probably feel the same.

I like his work ethic and intelligence. I like his size and how he uses his size. I liked his wheels on tape, but dunno how he would have timed. I like his hands. Plucks softly at the high point and claims the ball, but dropped a few low ones. I like his routes, for the most.

I take his production with a grain of salt, since like many tight ends in college he gets forgotten too often by the defense and makes plenty of wide open catches. But the important thing is he catches those wide open balls.

I wish he sustained his blocks longer. I really wish he moved his feet better when engaging, which is really the same point. I wish he was quicker off the snap all the time like he is in games where he is getting fed. I wish he played with more power than he did. I wish he displayed more nimbleness, but hey he is a real tight end.

And I drafted him to be a real tight end.

My projection: able to play some in 2017 and make big jumps in play in 2018, when he will be starter grade. That is about when the Broncos will shed their tight end salary and go with him.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF DB DESMOND KING

Most people think King is instinctive. I do not. I think he is polished.

He's patient. He stays back. he doesn't bite on the first move. He's good at reading routes. He's good at reading the receiver's eyes. As a junior, he did all the things you want your fifth year senior to do.

But no, at no point did I see him do anything that made me say, "Oh, man! Did you see those instincts?"

I think it started catching up to him Senior Bowl week. He bit on the wrong stuff. He's still looking for his jockstrap after Zay faked him out of it. Josh Dobbs fooled him, so he had problems with both reading receivers and quarterbacks at Senior week. A lot of less-heralded players showed better instincts that week than Desmond King.

So what I want to do is get him in camp and get him comfortable in his new defense. I expect him to be rough the first week or two, and I will not panic. Once he gets comfortable, I think he will be fine, and I think he will be a quick learner. But he has to know his defense before he can show his polish.

Not the tallest. Not the fastest. I think he is tall enough and fast enough for a 3C, 4C, or safety.

He hits well. Uses his hands well. Needs to improve both at the pro level, but it should be a strength. Needs some work on tackling angles vs the run, but effort is there. Has some Honey Badger in his game, but not as natural. Chargers' defense should be a good fit. I should be able to use him.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF S LORENZO JEROME

You want an instinctive safety? I present to you Lorenzo Jerome.

Not big. Not fast. Not even agile, at least in the Underwear Olympics. Low level of competition. 5th rounder for me. UDFA for the League. Should be interesting to watch.

Jumps everything. By everything, I mean everything. Not a ball leaves the quarterback's hands that Lorenzo does not see as an interception opportunity. Got 18 in his four years, plus two at NFLPA, plus two at Senior. With lower level kids I want production and attitude and I want him to show when he steps up in the spring All-Star games. This is Jerome.

Scouts think that his style will not work when he faces the speed and efficiency of the NFL. They're right, at least for a while. Once he adjusts and knows what spots to pick, he should do fine, assuming he can stick long enough.

I am a bit suspicious of his crappy 20-yard shuttle and his crappy 3-cone. They were dysfunctionally bad in Indy. A bit better come pro day, to merely bad instead of disqualifying. Yet when you watch Jerome, particularly on returns, you see a guy showing lateral agility. So I think he just did not run the drills well because he did not know how, that his pre-Combine training was deficient. I think he will always be faster and more agile between snap and whistle. We'll see.

Jerome has the attitude you want on your team. He'll do anything. He should be a special teams standout on coverage, if not returns. I think he has a great shot at being the 49ers second string free safety. I project him to being a career special teamer and backup safety, but he is the kind of guy who could come in for five plays all season and get an interception.

49ers have held their rookie mini-camp already. Did Lorenzo Jerome do anything?

He got an interception.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF S BRANDEN LESTON

I may have missed on this one. I thought Leston was going to be a golden special teamer with enough agility to maybe play some someday.

Meanwhile the NFL does not see someone worth drafting or signing. Hmmm.

Leston has come and gone from Bucs camp. Is in with the Chiefs. We'll see if it goes anywhere.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANALYSIS OF AUSTIN REHKOW

Good leg. Signed as an UDFA with the Bills.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bull cut Ladarius Green te. Failed physical.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few notes:

The following players are not on the 90-man roster:
*Blake Annen te
*Max Bullough ilb, who also must face a 4g suspension if he ever gets signed
*Branden Leston s
*Brian Blechen lb/s

Signed John Crockett rb Oak

Placed Kenneth Dixon rb Bal on IR and signed *Bobby Rainey rb Bal one for one.

Signed La'el Collins ot Dal to a 2-yr $15.4mm extension including a $4mm signing bonus. He has a $2mm escalator clause if he plays at least 85% of the snaps in 2018 & 2019.

Signed rugby standout Adam Zaruba te Phi to a 3yr contract. He's 6-5 265 from Canada. He played football in HS and didn't quite make the field for Simon Frasier University. He became a rugby wing and had good success. It seems he has good hands and will be physical, but has a lot to learn on routes and blocking technique. He's not on the field yet, as he still needs a work visa.

The following tryout players are on the squad:
Thomas Hennessy ds Ind
Kenny Allen p Bal

Players on PUP of some sort include:
Aaron Colvin cb Jax
Ben Heeney lb Oak
Jake Butt te Den

EDIT: Zach Laskey fb LAR to IR
EDIT: Victor Ochi lb TN to IR


Last edited by Techbert on Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon Albert ot Jax retires after 9 seasons, leaving the Bull scrambling to fill their left offensive tackle position.

Possibilities include incumbent Greg Robinson ol Det, guard La'el Collins Dal who was working at rot, TJ Clemmings ot Min who filled in last year on the line due to injuries, and James Hurst ot Bal who has also seen time with the first string on the right side. Longshots includes rookie Chad Wheeler ot NYG who has been working at lot on the second string and Quinton Spain og Ten who has filled in at lot in the past.
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Techbert


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bull, with gobs of cap space and 90-man roster space, sign Anquan Boldin wr Buf for the same price he could get elsewhere.
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