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TexanAddict
04-23-2008, 10:48 AM
SI.com has it's annual Overrated/Underrated players in this year's draft by position. The arcticle is here. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/stewart_mandel/04/23/2008draft/index.html?eref=T1)

A couple notable excerpts:

Underrated: Sam Baker, USC

Let's see here. Baker was the starting left tackle -- most important position on the line -- for the most dominant program in the country for four straight years. When Baker got injured last season, quarterback Mark Sanchez (filing in for Booty at the time) suddenly found himself running for his life. Based purely on Baker's college track record, I assumed he would be one of, if not the top, tackle on the board; instead, I see he's barely in the top 10. Baker reportedly did not test well at USC's pro day, which means, of course, that those four years never happened.

Underrated: Antoine Cason, Arizona

Four-year starter. Three-time All Pac-10 honoree. Fifteen career interceptions, including three touchdowns. And a signature, nationally televised performance last season against then second-ranked Oregon in which he scored on both a 42-yard interception return and a 56-yard punt return. I'm not sure you could ask for a more solid, consistent four-year career by a major-conference cornerback (Aqib Talib turned pro early), yet he's only considered a second-rounder, well behind a guy from Troy (Leodis McKelvin) and a guy from Tennessee State (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie). What more did the guy need to do?

These are two I've been wondering about myself. Both these players going into last season were thought to be at the top of their respective positions and had solid senior seasons. I remember many board members being upset when Baker didn't come out last year, and Cason was being mentioned as the best corner in the country. Both play positions that the Texans need to address. Why aren't either of these players getting more mention now?

:texan:

Porky
04-23-2008, 10:54 AM
I know Baker had some hamstring injuries, and I have read he was inconsistent. I didn't watch enough of his play specifically to give much beyond repeating what the so-called draft experts say.

I do like Cason as well. I would have no problems with him if he is the selection even at #18, altough I think he can be had in a trade down scenerio. I would put the odds of trading down at 20%. I think many teams will attempt it, and it's a buyers market rather than a sellers market.

Ole Miss Texan
04-23-2008, 11:11 AM
Baker's short arms and Cason's slow timed speed spread like wildfire across the vast space of the internet suddenly turning them into 3rd rd picks. I just hope our scouts and coaches are watching plenty of game film on these two because as 4-year starters, there's plenty on them! I think some players that once were ranked towards the top of their position are pushed down because of one 'flaw' while others are pushed up because they're 'newer' or more unknown. See McKelvin and Rodgers-Cromartie. Tons of upside causing them to be the more 'sexy' picks and internet draft niks casually forget about their flaws/negatives...

El Tejano
04-23-2008, 11:17 AM
I think the Sam Baker thing has to do with that OL from USC that Philly picked a while back, causing teams to feel that just because you came from a dominant program doesn't mean you can perform on this level.

ATXtexanfan
04-23-2008, 11:22 AM
i think baker will be a steal, probably a 14 yr pro. cason looks good too. i hate that we don't have a second rounder

TexanAddict
04-23-2008, 02:02 PM
A couple from the other side of the coin:

Overrated: Jamaal Charles, Texas

Charles was phenomenal over the second half of last season, averaging more than 179 yards over his last five games, but that was really the first time we'd seen any true consistency out of him. Last year was his first as the feature guy -- after sharing carries his first two seasons -- and he struggled for much of the it. Therefore, he really could have used another year in school.

Charles is a guy that got by mostly on his blazing speed. To me, he's still a very raw running back who will need some time and serious nurturing to mature into a complete back. There was a better chance of that happening in Austin than in an NFL tailback stable.

Overrated: Vernon Gholston, Ohio State

A) I couldn't find a pure linebacker I thought was overrated, but some are projecting Gholston to play such in a 3-4. B) I've never understood all the fuss over this guy. I've watched a lot of Ohio State games over the past two years and only once did I see him truly dominate a contest. That was last year's Michigan game, when he had three sacks. (He did have four sacks against Wisconsin, but that game was on the Big Ten Network, so I can't be sure it actually took place.) Most notably, Gholston was a non-factor in both of the Buckeyes' BCS title-game appearances the past two seasons (against Florida in 2006 and LSU in '07). What am I missing here?

bah007
04-23-2008, 02:44 PM
Baker's short arms and Cason's slow timed speed spread like wildfire across the vast space of the internet suddenly turning them into 3rd rd picks. I just hope our scouts and coaches are watching plenty of game film on these two because as 4-year starters, there's plenty on them! I think some players that once were ranked towards the top of their position are pushed down because of one 'flaw' while others are pushed up because they're 'newer' or more unknown. See McKelvin and Rodgers-Cromartie. Tons of upside causing them to be the more 'sexy' picks and internet draft niks casually forget about their flaws/negatives...

I don't understand this part.

Most "expert" predictions had Cason at about 4.55 & he ran a 4.49.

If he was a 1st rounder last year when you thought he ran a 4.55 then why has his stock dropped when he was faster than expected?

TexansSeminole
04-23-2008, 02:48 PM
I really like Cason.

I also agreed with this one:

Underrated: Philip Wheeler, Georgia Tech

Here's a classic case of a guy who did nothing but produce at the highest level for one of the nation's top defenses the past three seasons (242 tackles, 35 tackles for loss and 19 sacks) yet is being downgraded by NFL types for an only-in-the-NFL reason: They can't figure out what position he should play. Is he an inside backer? Is he an outside backer? Here's an idea: Just throw him out there and let him go tackle people. Georgia Tech seemed to figure it out.

This guy was awesome in the ACC for the last couple of years. Easily one of the best linebackers in the ACC the last couple of years. That includes Ernie Sims, and Lawrence Timmons. Wheeler closes so fast, it's scary. He's a 6'2 245 pound outside linebacker. He ran a 4.7 at the combine and also pushed up 24 reps on the bench. If anybody noticed he averaged over 6 sacks, and 11 TFL a year for three years playing linebacker.

Here's a good article (http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/cfb/entries/2007/08/09/rating_the_accs.html) about ACC linebackers that a guy wrote last August.

I think if you had to rate the ACC linebackers coming out in the draft this year you'd come up with a list that had most of the same guys as this guy does. He's got Vince Hall, Xavier Adibi, Phillip Wheeler, Jolonn Dunbar, and Nick Watkins in his top 5. I'd put Erin Henderson over Dunbar, and I'd even think about putting Geno Hayes in there for Nick Watkins.

I really like Erin Henderson. Big 6-2 1/2 245 pound outside linebacker. Brother of E.J. Henderson. He only ran a 4.7 at the combine, which isn't bad for a linebacker. He plays fast. He's strong, and put up 23 reps at the combine.

Redshirted in his freshman year ('04). Tore his ACL in fall camp of '05 and missed the entire season. He then came back to start 12 games in '06 at weak-side linebacker. Recorded 114 tackles that season with 6.5 TFL, 1 SK, 2 INTs, and 3 FF. He had 133 tackles, 1 SK, and 11 TFL, 1 FF, 4 FR, 1 INT last year in '07 as a redshirt junior.

I think an addition like Wheeler or Henderson would help our team tremendously.

TexansSeminole
04-23-2008, 02:50 PM
I don't understand this part.

Most "expert" predictions had Cason at about 4.55 & he ran a 4.49.

If he was a 1st rounder last year when you thought he ran a 4.55 then why has his stock dropped when he was faster than expected?

I don't think it has...he is just flying under the radar.

He ran a 4.5 and also had 20 reps on the bench. He's a complete cornerback.

Polo
04-23-2008, 02:53 PM
I really like Wheeler too Seminole...

I like how the guy plays...

TexansSeminole
04-23-2008, 02:54 PM
I really like Wheeler too Seminole...

I like how the guy plays...

He plays quick and all out. One of those guys that can hit gaps with extreme quickness, and has been known to lay the wood.

bah007
04-23-2008, 02:58 PM
I don't think it has...he is just flying under the radar.

He ran a 4.5 and also had 20 reps on the bench. He's a complete cornerback.

I usually call out the experts on one guy right before the draft.

Last year I was sure that Michael Griffin would be the first safety selected (the unanimous choice around here was Nelson).

And I took a whole lot of heat on this board for remaining adamant that he would play CB or FS in the NFL instead of SS. As it looks right now, I was right last year.

I think I will be right this year too.

My guy this year is Cason. I don't care what Kiper, Mayock, & McShay are saying about him.

I've seen him play for a few years & I saw what he did at the combine. I'm calling out the "experts".

Antoine Cason will be a 1st round pick.

TexansSeminole
04-23-2008, 03:03 PM
Antoine Cason will be a 1st round pick.

I agree.

nunusguy
04-23-2008, 03:05 PM
Apparently SI didn't watch any of the tape of 3 years worth of Big 10 competition between Gholson and this years top Draft pick & 30 million-dollar
man, Jake Long. Word is Long was owned by Gholson in that 3 year series.
Casone, the Arizona corner, would be a high first rounder if he were a 4.3
or even 4.4 guy. But he's only 4.5 something and thats why he's not a first half first rounder.
Big issue with Baker is durability. He's been injured quite a bit and missed time, but he's still a possiblity if Gibbs likes him.

Spled
04-23-2008, 03:10 PM
From what I saw of Charles last year, one missed tackle and he's gone. He takes over when defenders are tired in the 4th quarter.

Ole Miss Texan
04-23-2008, 03:11 PM
I don't understand this part.

Most "expert" predictions had Cason at about 4.55 & he ran a 4.49.

If he was a 1st rounder last year when you thought he ran a 4.55 then why has his stock dropped when he was faster than expected?

I usually call out the experts on one guy right before the draft.

Last year I was sure that Michael Griffin would be the first safety selected (the unanimous choice around here was Nelson).

And I took a whole lot of heat on this board for remaining adamant that he would play CB or FS in the NFL. As it looks right now, I was right last year.

I think I will be right this year too.

My guy this year is Cason. I don't care what Kiper, Mayock, & McShay are saying about him.

I've seen him play for a few years & I saw what he did at the combine. I'm calling out the "experts".

Antoine Cason will be a 1st round pick.

I'm in agreement with you, just passing on what "the people in the know" are saying about Cason. The guy is a football player not just an athlete and will get drafted in the 1st round or latest top of the 2nd. The later he slips the bigger the steal. I like Cason a lot.

as far as safeties go last year... I remember getting hammered for saying I'd take Laron Landry over Reggie Nelson. oh well. :) Aaron Ross was the Thorpe winner last year- I don't remember specifically but wasn't he thought by most experts to be a 2nd rounder? I think he performed quite well for the Giants this year...

eriadoc
04-23-2008, 03:16 PM
Sam Baker is going to be a good LT.

bah007
04-23-2008, 03:25 PM
Apparently SI didn't watch any of the tape of 3 years worth of Big 10 competition between Gholson and this years top Draft pick & 30 million-dollar
man, Jake Long. Word is Long was owned by Gholson in that 3 year series.
Casone, the Arizona corner, would be a high first rounder if he were a 4.3
or even 4.4 guy. But he's only 4.5 something and thats why he's not a first half first rounder.
Big issue with Baker is durability. He's been injured quite a bit and missed time, but he's still a possiblity if Gibbs likes him.

Maybe you didn't either.

Gholston only played against Michigan twice.

First time, no sacks.

Second time, 3 sacks. Only one against Long though, as he had to move to the other side due to an injury to a Michigan O-lineman.

TexanAddict
04-23-2008, 04:15 PM
The closer the draft gets, the more I like the thought of Cason as a Texan. If there isn't a LT on the board that fits when the Texans are on the clock, I wouldn't mind at all if they looked in Cason's direction, and if they could get him after a trade down, all the better. Something I posted in another thread:

Strengths:
Good athleticism...Decent size with long arms...Excellent instincts, anticipation and awareness...Playmaker with terrific hands and ball skills...Is quick and plays faster than he times...Very aggressive...Good technique and footwork...Does a solid job of supporting the run...A reliable tackler...Pretty tough...Smart, a hard worker and a leader...Very productive...Confident and has a short memory...Terrific bloodlines.

Weaknesses:
Does not have great timed speed and lacks a burst...Will have to get stronger...Is not overly physical...Struggles to recover when beat...Hips are not very fluid...Has trouble taking on / shedding blockers...Probably won't be an ideal fit for everyone.

Notes:
Father Wendell played at Oregon and for the Atlanta Falcons from 1984-1987, his brother Dione ran track at Washington St. and two of his cousins (Ken-yon Rambo and Avieon Cason) played in the NFL...Started the Cason Cares campaign to raise money for the American Cancer Society in honor of his late grandfather...Was also a member of the Wildcat track team...Prototypical zone corner...Also being looked at as a potential safety..Not quite the pro prospect that his college press clippings would lead you to believe...Very good player whose lack of top speed will hurt him on draft day...He's the type you hate to doubt due to those top-notch intangibles.
nfldraftcountdown.com (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/cb/antoinecason.html)

POSITIVES

Game tape, plain and simple. You can question his athleticism, if you'd like to. But if you watch the kid play, I'll wish you good luck in finding a better corner in the college ranks. Smooth, sound and instinctive, and just looks very natural playing football. A four-year starter at Arizona, Cason won the Thorpe Award as a senior, and was leaned on scheme-wise to do a lot in the Wildcats defense. Cason's also big and plays a physical brand ball, able to effectively jam receivers and also come up strong in run support. He plays the ball well while it's in the air, and displays exceptional route recognition. Very smart, great character, a leader and student of the game. Among the corners in this year's draft, there probably isn't a player who is more ready to step in right away than Cason. And he was an excellent return man as a collegian. Comes up big when you need him most, and finishes on the ball.

NEGATIVES

Most revolve around his speed. He can break on the ball, but could struggle downfield with receivers that can kick it into another gear well into their routes, and might have problems recovering from mistakes, even if neither of those things are really apparent on tape. Because of that, he's earned the moniker that corners that aren't track stars inherit - cover-2 corner. Also, he doesn't drop or flip his hips as well as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Mike Jenkins, though he has been able to make up for it with technique and intelligence.
DallasMorningNews (http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/04/dallas-cowboys-nfl-draft-series-arizona.html)

Sounds a lot like Demeco as a DB: high character, smart, and productive.

kastofsna
04-23-2008, 04:29 PM
See McKelvin and Rodgers-Cromartie. Tons of upside causing them to be the more 'sexy' picks and internet draft niks casually forget about their flaws/negatives...
don't know a lot about Rodgers-Cromartie, but McKelvin doesn't have many flaws. shut down Darrius Bowman and other good receivers, great speed and great ability in the return game.

YoungTexanFan
04-23-2008, 04:44 PM
McKelvin doesn't have many flaws. shut down Darrius Bowman

So did Talib and a few others. It's also not saying a lot since Bowman will be doing good to be a 5th rounder right now.

Ole Miss Texan
04-23-2008, 04:52 PM
don't know a lot about Rodgers-Cromartie, but McKelvin doesn't have many flaws. shut down Darrius Bowman and other good receivers, great speed and great ability in the return game.

Sounds like he's got really good closing speed which I'm more impressed with for a CB than a 40 yard dash (which I presume he has as well).

The thing I keep hearing is that the guy can't catch/intercept the ball. I don't know off the top of my head how many interception he had in college but I don't think it was very many. You can knock the guy for the level of competition he faces if you want (not you personally but people in general), but it doesn't bother me if he shows qualities of an elite CB in the Pros (which he could). The problem I have is why didn't he have more INT's against weak QB's he's faced? I don't think it's because the just didn't throw it his way, but I have no evidence supporting that- just throwing it out there for those that know.

I've never seen the guy play except for the nfl network clips and internet highlights.

I think from what i've read he's going to be one of the better CB's in the draft and would support us taking him if we can teach him how to make the INT's. I doubt he slips to us anyways though.

I would relate him to a glorified Devin Hester. A HUGE plus about McKelvin is his return capabilites (which is a good thing, not trying to take away from him). However, I view McKelvin as a much better CB Hester is. I just think they can be comparable.

I think he's got what you want in a CB. But can you teach a player how to catch? I'm asking because I don't know. You can teach form and technique, which I think he has mostly... I love his speed to close on the ball/wr when the QB throws it. Once he has the ball, its over... unless you can get an arm on him which he may very well fumble the ball. Just throwing out some constructive criticism.

keyser
04-23-2008, 05:15 PM
The closer the draft gets, the more I like the thought of Cason as a Texan. If there isn't a LT on the board that fits when the Texans are on the clock, I wouldn't mind at all if they looked in Cason's direction, and if they could get him after a trade down, all the better.

I like Cason a lot, also. In fact, I personally feel better about him than any of the other, higher ranked, CBs. But, I also hate the idea of reaching. If all the top OTs were gone, I wouldn't be too upset if they picked Cason at 18, but I would also have this depressed feeling that they should have traded down (even if in reality they couldn't have) and picked him up later.

bah007
04-23-2008, 05:22 PM
I like Cason a lot, also. In fact, I personally feel better about him than any of the other, higher ranked, CBs. But, I also hate the idea of reaching. If all the top OTs were gone, I wouldn't be too upset if they picked Cason at 18, but I would also have this depressed feeling that they should have traded down (even if in reality they couldn't have) and picked him up later.

Just because Mel Kiper says that Cason is a reach at #18, doesn't mean the Texans think he is.

And the Texans know a hell of a lot more about what kind of player Cason is than Kiper does.

mussop
04-23-2008, 05:57 PM
I was gong to start a thread on this subject. Since you already did, who is youíre most overrated/underrated?

Underrated Matt Ryan I continuously hear how this guy wins the top spot by default. BS so he needs to get a little stronger and put on some weight. BFD. Everyoneís opinion of what a good QB should be seems to have changed since VY came out. Last time I looked VY was statistically one of the worst QBís in the NFL. You donít have to be a great athlete to play QB. Dan Marino anyone? I know Ill get a lot of grief about this and im not going to get into a discussion about with anyone because as of now its just an opinion that cant be proved right or wrong. Its right here in black and white so pull this up in 3 or 4 years and throw it in my face then if im wrong.

Prediction Will be a top ten QB by his 4th year. * Unless Atlanta drafts him.

Overrated Felix Jones Go and watch all the film you can on this guy and tell me he isnít another Reggie Bush. This guy bounced EVERYTHING to the outside. If Bush (whos faster) cant do it in the NFL no way this guy can. Should be a late 3 rd rounder at best. I really hope Dallas drafts this guy in the first.

Prediction Will be nothing but a third down back and special teams player at best.

ATXtexanfan
04-23-2008, 06:01 PM
i'd take henne over ryan

bah007
04-23-2008, 06:02 PM
i'd take henne over ryan

I'd rather have Brohm than either of them.