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With the 138th pick the Ravens pick... Lorenzo Taliaferro
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: With the 138th pick the Ravens pick... Lorenzo Taliaferro Reply with quote

With the 138th pick the Ravens pick... Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina.

nfl.com wrote:
HEIGHT: 6'0"
ARM LENGTH: 32"
WEIGHT: 229 LBS.
HANDS: 8 3/8"

STRENGTHS Outstanding size. Very good production. Is patient and follows his blocks. Finds creases and is adept navigating through traffic without losing speed -- good eyes. Nice spin move. Competes hard. Strong short-yardage producer. Runs hard and usually falls forward. Catches outside his frame. Helps chip in pass protection and is alert to see the blitz. Good football intelligence and awareness.

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dcfields


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still stewing about this one.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure why everybody is so down on Taliaferro in favor of West, especially in regard to speed.

Taliaferro is bigger; they both run in the 4.5s; both were highly productive at FCS schools, but Taliaferro has more tread on the tire than West, who had almost 400 carries last year alone.

I know everybody wanted the hometown guy, but they aren't such radically differentiated prospects that everyone should be on suicide watch.

I really like the guy myself, and think he brings the big back we haven't had in a long time. He's a perfect back for the ZBS, and in this scheme, has just as much potential as any other back who went before or after him.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gooselovechild wrote:
I'm not sure why everybody is so down on Taliaferro in favor of West, especially in regard to speed.

Taliaferro is bigger; they both run in the 4.5s; both were highly productive at FCS schools, but Taliaferro has more tread on the tire than West, who had almost 400 carries last year alone.

I know everybody wanted the hometown guy, but they aren't such radically differentiated prospects that everyone should be on suicide watch.

I really like the guy myself, and think he brings the big back we haven't had in a long time. He's a perfect back for the ZBS, and in this scheme, has just as much potential as any other back who went before or after him.

No.

LT and West aren't anything alike. The only thing both backs compare in is their size profile.

West provides great COD skills. He compares, IMO, to Matt Forte coming out of Tulane. Great size, COD, nice power, great vision. He also catches the football very well and is a natural hands catcher.

It's not just that he's a local prospect. There are plenty of local players that I could care less for the Ravens to draft. West is someone that I can see being an instant probowl caliber back at the NFL level because of his skillset.

Now I'm not saying I dislike Taliaferro, but he's not in the same class as West. LoTal is a body catcher of the football. So he's not going to be a dynamic threat as a receiving back. He's also purely a power back. He doesn't have the shiftyness to make defenders miss in the open field. His vision is also nothing more than above average to good, it's not exceptional- like West.

Now Lo-Tal does have more experience as a blocker. He had to pass block as well as block for the other RB as CCar ran a Wing-T backfield. So that blocking experience could come in handy... and that's a tough skill to teach.

I think Lo-Tal reminds me of Willis McGahee. Upright rushing style. Doesn't have great COD skills but uses decisive cuts when he sees the whole. Both have solid vision, but it's not an elite skillset. They have the kind of speed and strides that makes them a threat to take it the distance if they get past the 2nd line of defense. They are strong, but not necessarily "power" backs. Taliaferro should be a nice blocking back on 3rd down situations like McGahee was. And in the receiving department, neither were natural hands catchers. They both let the ball into their frame and that extra split second causes them to be less dangerous after the catch due to less reaction time to defenders. Making both usable threats, but not natural enough to be playmakers in that area.

I'd say Taliaferro's upside is probably a top 10-15 RB:
1150 r-yds, 7 TDs, 200 p-yds, 2-TDs or so...

So I don't think he's a bad pick... as Willis McGahee level talent from a back is surely worth a compensatory 4th round selection. But on the other hand, I think West was definitely the better value in the 3rd. I saw a back that could do it all and be a top 5 back eventually.

EDIT: So while I agree that Taliaferro isn't a bad back and people shouldn't be so upset over his selection... I disagree with the notion that he and West aren't drastically different backs. They may have similar vertical speed, but horizontally the only comparison there speed has is speed in shorts. The tape doesn't show both players displaying the same kind of agility.
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dcfields


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really wanted the Ravens to go CB here. I thought Taliaferro or someone comparable could have been drafted much later (Tyler Gaffney, pick #204) or we could have scoured the globe for an UDFA RB (Wilder and Crowell both went undrafted and also went to teams in our division). The Ravens have Rice, Pierce, Forsett and Cierre Wood currently on the roster. Did they really even need to draft a RB? At this stage of the game (the NFL being a passing league), you could pretty much replace a RB with a pizza delivery guy.

I would have preferred 30 of the 36 players drafted in the 5th round over Taliaferro and every running back drafted in the 6th round (except Blue) over Taliaferro.

I would have preferred the majority of the players on this UDFA list over Taliaferro. http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/5/10/5705036/top-nfl-undrafted-free-agents-nfl-draft-2014

Simply stated, I don't see the value in the pick.

I love the Urban, Urschel and Campanaro picks (Campanaro could turn out to be a VERY interesting pick). And I'm okay with the Wenning pick. I understand it. I don't get the Taliaferro selection at all. I have issue with the when, why, where, who... basically everything you COULD question about the selection.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ I seriously doubt all those backs are anywhere nears as talented as pass blockers as Taliaferro. Nor do they possess the same HWS and explosiveness. LT produced the 7th best speed score (104.09) of all the backs at the combine. Add in his collegiate productivity and his pass blocking skills... and that's a good back.

I think to say that he was inferior to basically everyone that went in the 4th round and all the way into UDFA is insane. At worst, this guy is a 5th round player... and honestly, I think in most classes, he's probably a 3rd round back. I think he's definitely more talented than you're giving him credit for.

We didn't add a corner, sure. But there are no corners that we could've added at that point in the 4th round that could do more for this team than a back like LT. A guy who can be a starting caliber RB from day one. Most of the truly talented CB options were already off the board. Pierre Desir and Jaylen Watkins both had already went off the board.

If anything the pick to go CB with to gain a nice value would have been with that 3rd round compensatory selection. I think that was probably the best value spot. However that wasn't the direction we went. Most of the corners that were left on the board were guys that as rookies weren't necessarily going to provide any kind of improvement over what we have in Brown and Jackson.

I'm sure Ozzie will either trade for a corner or sign an UDFA at that spot to bolster the depth.

With the likely suspension of Ray Rice, along with his obvious decline the past two seasons... and with the durability concerns of Bernard Pierce, we'll likely be going into the season down 1 back, if not two. So having Forsett does us very little. He could potentially be the only body to roll out there. And Wood has done nothing to make one put their faith in him to be a significant portion of a rushing attack.

I wanted a nickel corner, but in the 4th round we weren't going to get someone that was likely going to give us that.
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sp6488


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^regarding Forsett, my guess is he's the #2 back to BP while rice is suspended (assuming he is), then he's probably waived with the return of rice.
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dcfields


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll agree to disagree based on what I believe as "picks that could have been used more wisely". Crockett and Taliaferro ARE good football players. I would have gone in a different direction than the Ravens had chosen at those slots. I would have preferred Watkins, Desir or McGill over Gillmore. I would have preferred to use the 4th on Cam Fleming, David Yankey or Cyril Richardson.

At this point, it's semantics. None of us know what any of these guys will do of the long term. Taliaferro might be a Hall of Famer and Mosley could be the next Alabama bust. I just would have done things differently... which is why we are all ecstatic that I have nothing to do with the Ravens front office decisions. :)
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:
gooselovechild wrote:
I'm not sure why everybody is so down on Taliaferro in favor of West, especially in regard to speed.

Taliaferro is bigger; they both run in the 4.5s; both were highly productive at FCS schools, but Taliaferro has more tread on the tire than West, who had almost 400 carries last year alone.

I know everybody wanted the hometown guy, but they aren't such radically differentiated prospects that everyone should be on suicide watch.

I really like the guy myself, and think he brings the big back we haven't had in a long time. He's a perfect back for the ZBS, and in this scheme, has just as much potential as any other back who went before or after him.

No.

LT and West aren't anything alike. The only thing both backs compare in is their size profile.

West provides great COD skills. He compares, IMO, to Matt Forte coming out of Tulane. Great size, COD, nice power, great vision. He also catches the football very well and is a natural hands catcher.

It's not just that he's a local prospect. There are plenty of local players that I could care less for the Ravens to draft. West is someone that I can see being an instant probowl caliber back at the NFL level because of his skillset.

Now I'm not saying I dislike Taliaferro, but he's not in the same class as West. LoTal is a body catcher of the football. So he's not going to be a dynamic threat as a receiving back. He's also purely a power back. He doesn't have the shiftyness to make defenders miss in the open field. His vision is also nothing more than above average to good, it's not exceptional- like West.

Now Lo-Tal does have more experience as a blocker. He had to pass block as well as block for the other RB as CCar ran a Wing-T backfield. So that blocking experience could come in handy... and that's a tough skill to teach.

I think Lo-Tal reminds me of Willis McGahee. Upright rushing style. Doesn't have great COD skills but uses decisive cuts when he sees the whole. Both have solid vision, but it's not an elite skillset. They have the kind of speed and strides that makes them a threat to take it the distance if they get past the 2nd line of defense. They are strong, but not necessarily "power" backs. Taliaferro should be a nice blocking back on 3rd down situations like McGahee was. And in the receiving department, neither were natural hands catchers. They both let the ball into their frame and that extra split second causes them to be less dangerous after the catch due to less reaction time to defenders. Making both usable threats, but not natural enough to be playmakers in that area.

I'd say Taliaferro's upside is probably a top 10-15 RB:
1150 r-yds, 7 TDs, 200 p-yds, 2-TDs or so...

So I don't think he's a bad pick... as Willis McGahee level talent from a back is surely worth a compensatory 4th round selection. But on the other hand, I think West was definitely the better value in the 3rd. I saw a back that could do it all and be a top 5 back eventually.

EDIT: So while I agree that Taliaferro isn't a bad back and people shouldn't be so upset over his selection... I disagree with the notion that he and West aren't drastically different backs. They may have similar vertical speed, but horizontally the only comparison there speed has is speed in shorts. The tape doesn't show both players displaying the same kind of agility.


Hold on...I didn't say they weren't different, I said that they weren't as radically differentiated, meaning it seems that people are portraying the idea that West should have been taken so much higher than Taliaferro. And I think for some people, that is because he was the hometown guy.

I won't dispute any of the other things you said, but they are both big backs with good speed for their size who both came out of the FCS, so they do compare as prospects, even if their styles differ.

Getting a back as talented as Taliaferro with one of the last picks of the 4th round was a great value. I'm not sure why everybody hates it so much.
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SnA ExclusiVe


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I'm saying is that I would take Rice, Pierce, Forsett and Juice over having Taliaferro on the roster. Forsett has always been a RB that given the opportunity could flourish in the NFL.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
All I'm saying is that I would take Rice, Pierce, Forsett and Juice over having Taliaferro on the roster. Forsett has always been a RB that given the opportunity could flourish in the NFL.


In bursts, yes, but Forsett isn't a long term solution to anything, even as a rotation back. He's on his 4th team in 7 years for a reason, which is he's a good backup but not good enough to be the 2nd head in a two-headed backfield.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
All I'm saying is that I would take Rice, Pierce, Forsett and Juice over having Taliaferro on the roster. Forsett has always been a RB that given the opportunity could flourish in the NFL.

There's a big difference between a back that "can flourish" and a back that has the skillset to be a top 10-15 back in the NFL down the line.

With Rice and Pierce both as the elder statesman, the chances that even West would've been given as big a role as his talent could probably dictate would've probably have been unlikely.

However, let's assume Rice gets suspended for 3 games. And let's assume that Forsett wins the #2 RB spot because Harbaugh likes veterans over rookies... there's a good chance, based on his history, that Pierce could go down with an injury in training camp or the first game... and all we've got left is Forsett.

Taliaferro is going to be able to play on the kickoff and coverage teams, he's going to have value as a 3rd down pass protection back, and he's got an obvious talent to rush the football. At worst he's going to be a valuable special teams member and at best he could see himself starting with a Pierce injury and him beating out Forsett in camp.

It's obvious that Ozzie and Harbaugh are getting back to the Ravens roots of forming an identity around an elite defense and excellent rushing attack. Kubiak's scheme, the OL improvements, the RB focus. Thus the team can't afford to depend on a Ray Rice that is on a potentially serious decline, with a Bernard Pierce that can't stay healthy, with a 2nd year Cierre Wood who hasn't shown anything in the league so far, or with a back who has bounced around from team to team.

Taliaferro isn't some cure or something to depend on. But he's a talented back that should up the level of surety of the unit going forward.
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SnA ExclusiVe


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do have a good point with the injury front, and in that case yeah Taliaferro could step in, but I'd also be willing to bet we sign a RB at that point as well.

But Forsett is a good compliment to Pierce. Pierce is a downhill runner that's more power than finesse, and Forsett is a shifty finesse back that would be great on 3rd downs.

Then Taliaferro is a bruiser back for short yardage.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
You do have a good point with the injury front, and in that case yeah Taliaferro could step in, but I'd also be willing to bet we sign a RB at that point as well.

But Forsett is a good compliment to Pierce. Pierce is a downhill runner that's more power than finesse, and Forsett is a shifty finesse back that would be great on 3rd downs.

Then Taliaferro is a bruiser back for short yardage.


Which is exactly what the backfield has been missing for a long time.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting really tired of FGs from inside the 5 yard line instead of TDs.

Even when, not if, Rice gets suspended, he will be back, and will reassume the #1 role. At least this year. When that happens, Taliaferro is the big bodied change of pace to Rice if Pierce gets hurt again and Forsett will be the 3rd RB.

It's forward thinking at it's finest.
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Mancunian Raven


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that's confusing me is, Kyle Juszczyk was drafted a year ago to be the FB. He's 6'1, 250lbs. That's as big a short yardage back as you're going to get.

He never really carried the ball in college, but surely it's something he should be capable of doing. He did well enough getting YAC in college, after all. He's slower than Taliaferro, but speed isn't exactly the most important thing when you're trying to punch the ball in from a yard or two out.
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