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View Full Version : How do you evaluate individual players who benefit from teammates?


gtexan02
04-16-2009, 11:00 AM
Looking back at disappointing drafts, I've noticed an interesting trend:
A really outstanding player can make other players on his team look much better than they actually are.

Example 1: The 2006 NC State defensive line
Mario Williams (1:1), Manny Lawson (1:22), and John McCargo (1:26)

Everyone was hyping Manny Lawson as an amazing pass rusher. He was drafted in the first round at pick 22. Turns out, he just benefited from playing across the line from Mario Williams. Since 2006, he has
had 5.5 career sacks. Williams is at 30.5

Same thing goes for John McCargo from NC State. He looked like a stud DT prospect coming out college. He was drafted first round, pick 26. Turns out he was just benefiting from Mario as well. His illustrious 3 year career has produced 35 total tackles and 2 sacks.

Example 2: The 2006 Ohio State Linebacker Corps
AJ Hawk (1:5), Bobby Carpenter (1:18), Anthony Schlelgel (3:12)

The 2006 linebacker corps from Ohio state was majorly hyped as having 3 sure fire NFL prospects. Bobby Carpenter was drafted 18th overall, and has produced 40 tackles and 1 sack in three years of NFL action. Turns out he just benefited from playing next to AJ Hawk.

Anthony Schlelgel wasn't as hyped as Carpenter and Hawk, but was picked in the early 3rd round as a solid prospect. He accumulated 17 tackles in 2 years, played for 2 different teams, was cut, and didn't even play last season. Clearly his draft stock was severely over-hyped based on his teammates accomplishments.


There are many, many examples of this. Especially among players that play in "groups" (secondary, offensive lineman, etc). Football is a team sport.

The reason this is relevant and scares me is because I can see the USC linebackers having a very similar fate. Are all 3 really worthy of being 1st round selections? Or are there maybe one or two good prospects and one or two guys feeding off their leftovers? Are any of the 3 as good as they appear, or did they just become more than the sum of their individual parts?

Something to think about

Polo
04-16-2009, 11:04 AM
All this makes me want Clay even less.

BigBull17
04-16-2009, 11:21 AM
Makes you kind of worry about all the Wake Forest guys as well. I like A Smith, but did he look good due to Curry roaming the field? USC has alot of guys going high, is it the same? How about Brace at BC? Did Raji make him stand out? Who knows. Thats why its a crap shoot.

beerlover
04-16-2009, 11:43 AM
good take. more difficult for fans than teams who break down tape, scout them for years, work them out individually & get to know them off the field.

USC players on average are mostly **** & ***** elite High School prospects. Clay does not fit into this category because he just walked on, loved the game & worked hard to improve. I would want him as a Texan more than the other two based strickly on work ethic & attitude but only by trading down not @ #15. Texans need to maximize value its the only way to leapfrog competition via the draft. once in camp its the coaching staff duty to work with them & slot them where they need to be :specnatz:

76Texan
04-16-2009, 02:42 PM
That's why I like to review as many games as possible, trying to seperate one play from one another.

We've heard so often that good D-line play make better D-backs, and vice versa, etc.

And I don't use stats to evaluate the players.

Stats can lie very well.
Whether it's a sack, a tackle for loss, or an INT.

And that's not counting mistakes and bone-head decisions by the offensive players, along with inexperience (freshmen, newly starters), among the reasons.

The Pencil Neck
04-16-2009, 02:44 PM
Looking back at disappointing drafts, I've noticed an interesting trend:
A really outstanding player can make other players on his team look much better than they actually are.

Example 1: The 2006 NC State defensive line
Mario Williams (1:1), Manny Lawson (1:22), and John McCargo (1:26)

Everyone was hyping Manny Lawson as an amazing pass rusher. He was drafted in the first round at pick 22. Turns out, he just benefited from playing across the line from Mario Williams. Since 2006, he has
had 5.5 career sacks. Williams is at 30.5

Same thing goes for John McCargo from NC State. He looked like a stud DT prospect coming out college. He was drafted first round, pick 26. Turns out he was just benefiting from Mario as well. His illustrious 3 year career has produced 35 total tackles and 2 sacks.


Something to think about

This isn't exactly the point you're trying to make but...

What does this say about the stiffs we've had on the line with Mario since he's gotten here?

bah007
04-16-2009, 02:52 PM
Makes you kind of worry about all the Wake Forest guys as well. I like A Smith, but did he look good due to Curry roaming the field? USC has alot of guys going high, is it the same? How about Brace at BC? Did Raji make him stand out? Who knows. Thats why its a crap shoot.

I don't think Smith benefited from Curry too much unless it was because Curry was blitzing on a pass. In which case all CB's benefit from their teammates getting pressure on the QB.

The USC thing is valid. Are they all All Stars or do they just make each other look better?

I totally believe that Brace benefited from playing next to Raji and I've stated as much before. I think Brace is the most overrated prospect in this draft.

76Texan
04-16-2009, 03:01 PM
I don't think Smith benefited from Curry too much unless it was because Curry was blitzing on a pass. In which case all CB's benefit from their teammates getting pressure on the QB.

The USC thing is valid. Are they all All Stars or do they just make each other look better?

I totally believe that Brace benefited from playing next to Raji and I've stated as much before. I think Brace is the most overrated prospect in this draft.

I'd say Alphonso, DJ Moore, Rashad, those guys are good players no matter what system they play in and who they play with.
Or Slaton is a good RB in whatever formation you want to put him.

Maddict5
04-16-2009, 03:38 PM
This isn't exactly the point you're trying to make but...

What does this say about the stiffs we've had on the line with Mario since he's gotten here?

nfl is a different level.

Goldensilence
04-16-2009, 03:43 PM
This isn't exactly the point you're trying to make but...

What does this say about the stiffs we've had on the line with Mario since he's gotten here?

They aren't much good in dropping back in zone coverage.

76Texan
04-17-2009, 12:10 AM
All this makes me want Clay even less.

I just don't think that a #15 pick should have too much to learn about a new position.

He had hardly played enough DE, now he needs to learn OLB.

And it's not like we are a team that have the luxury to not fill an immediate need.

I feel that his skill sets will allow him to be a solid LB.
I just don't know how much time it will take.

If we want to use him more as a pass rusher and an attacking LB at first, then OK.
But then again, we have another needs.

Maybe his uncle knows better about his developmental schedule!?!

Wolf6151
04-17-2009, 11:12 AM
This line of thinking makes me want to stay away from all the USC guys completely and start looking at CB, SS, FS, OG. Let's stay away from Maualuga, Cushing, and Matthews there's just to many if's and maybe's surrounding these guys.

BigBull17
04-17-2009, 11:15 AM
I just don't think that a #15 pick should have too much to learn about a new position.

He had hardly played enough DE, now he needs to learn OLB.

And it's not like we are a team that have the luxury to not fill an immediate need.

I feel that his skill sets will allow him to be a solid LB.
I just don't know how much time it will take.

If we want to use him more as a pass rusher and an attacking LB at first, then OK.
But then again, we have another needs.

Maybe his uncle knows better about his developmental schedule!?!


He's the type of guy Philly drafts when they have an OLB with a year or two left to groom until they let him walk for a compencitory. Then he does well. I wish we ran our team like they do.

Ole Miss Texan
04-17-2009, 11:39 AM
Great thread and question gtexan. I think it's much harder and nearly impossible for the casual fan to get a good grasp sometimes by just watching the game or watching highlights or just looking at stats. You've really got to look at film and study study study these prospects. Scouts miss all the time that's for sure.

The important thing (in my mind) is looking at the film. Watching what the prospect does on the play and just as importantly, what was he supposed to do. That's often hard to know.

This goes for all positions. A DE like Mario may be told to contain the outside edge and never let the RB go to that side of the field- push him back inside or make him reverse around. Mario could do what he's told and just grab onto the LT and block that side... the casual fan will believe the LT won the battle and neutrilized him. They'll say Mario was ineffective all game, when in actuallity he could have been a HUGE reason for their success.

Same goes for the LB's, CB's and S's. Maybe their stats don't look all that good, but it's how they effect the team and the opposing offense that's important. If they do their job and don't allow any catches but also don't get any interceptions... I find that a much better CB than one that allows 5 TDs but gets 3 INTs.

On to the USC Lineback trio. This is such a valid concern to have, imo (same with the NC St. DL)... I'll focus on USC. On one hand, there's no denying they've got talent. If you look at the stats strictly, Clay didn't necessarily get outperformed if at all. Total tackles were all pretty similar, TFL, Sacks, etc. The trick is studying the film and seeing how they made their plays or how did they neutrilize the offense (yet not show up in the stats). Each of the LBs were asked to do completely different things so it's unfair to compare their stats with one another and say one is better than the other. Rick Smith and the scouts have got to watch the film and say, "This is what the prospect was most likely asked to do all game, this is what he did in one scenario, this is what he did in another, are these correctible?, what will WE ask him to do? has his performance at that in college been successful...etc."

You can even look at it on our own team. Zac Diles was playing great while he was healthy and outperforming everyone with tackles... better than Demeco. That doesn't make him better though. Were Diles' responsibilities different than Demeco's? Absolutely the were. That's the nature of the positions and each individual players' talents. Diles had more pass deflections, an interception and more sacks than Demeco during that time. So the USC arguement would be that Diles a better pass rusher and better in coverage than Demeco. The arguement of Weaver vs. Clay Matthews. Well Anthony Weaver had more interceptions last year than Demeco Ryans did. Does that mean Weaver is better than Demeco in coverage? Freakin Anthony Weaver!!??

Again though, I think you're dead on that it's so tough to tell who's making who better. There is just SO much that goes on during a game, so many little "butterfly effects" that happen each play. How Dunta lines up at the beginning of the play could result in an interception by Barber b/c Dunta tricks the QB... it's such a game of chess on each play with each player when you get down to the basics and I think thats amazing.

Ole Miss Texan
04-17-2009, 11:40 AM
PS- I'll be sure to write a longer post next time. I got distracted and came back and wrote more and didn't realize it was already long. :)

Blake
04-17-2009, 12:01 PM
This is good stuff.

Roy Miller dominated even with Orakpo out of the lineup. That should count for something.

bah007
04-17-2009, 12:04 PM
This is good stuff.

Roy Miller dominated even with Orakpo out of the lineup. That should count for something.

As a huge Texas fan I will be the first to admit that it is going to be way more difficult for us to replace Miller than Orakpo.

Having "The Predator" step into Orakpo's hybrid role doesn't hurt though.

Blake
04-17-2009, 12:19 PM
As a huge Texas fan I will be the first to admit that it is going to be way more difficult for us to replace Miller than Orakpo.

Having "The Predator" step into Orakpo's hybrid role doesn't hurt though.

Totally agree. Sergio is going to make alot of money for himself. I am assuming that Houston will take his place and he is not even in the same league as Roy Miller and I have no idea who else is an option.

I am sooooo ready to see Collins, Williams and Shipley run wild on everyone this season. Although my favorite player is Cody Johnson, the sledgehammer.

bah007
04-17-2009, 12:35 PM
Totally agree. Sergio is going to make alot of money for himself. I am assuming that Houston will take his place and he is not even in the same league as Roy Miller and I have no idea who else is an option.

I am sooooo ready to see Collins, Williams and Shipley run wild on everyone this season. Although my favorite player is Cody Johnson, the sledgehammer.

We are the same. Johnson is easily my favorite of the RB's and supposedly has played himself into getting the first crack at the position.

I don't understand the obsession with Fozzy. Yes he is a good player, but for some reason he seems to have some sort of cult following among the fans. I think he is our third best back right now and Whaley may pass him up by the end of the season.

I would rather see CJ as the starter with McGee & Whaley backing him up.

Blake
04-17-2009, 12:45 PM
We are the same. Johnson is easily my favorite of the RB's and supposedly has played himself into getting the first crack at the position.

I don't understand the obsession with Fozzy. Yes he is a good player, but for some reason he seems to have some sort of cult following among the fans. I think he is our third best back right now and Whaley may pass him up by the end of the season.

I would rather see CJ as the starter with McGee & Whaley backing him up.

I didnt know he had that kind of following. I figured he wasnt that popular because well, he kinda sucks. Ive seen him break a handful of runs. Goes down easy, and doesnt produce like Vondrell who I agree is the 2nd back. Havent heard much of Whaley.


Sorry. Didnt mean to hijack this thread with UT football.

76Texan
04-17-2009, 02:25 PM
I didnt know he had that kind of following. I figured he wasnt that popular because well, he kinda sucks. Ive seen him break a handful of runs. Goes down easy, and doesnt produce like Vondrell who I agree is the 2nd back. Havent heard much of Whaley.


Sorry. Didnt mean to hijack this thread with UT football.

Must've just watched the Texas Spring game! :)

Polo
04-17-2009, 02:30 PM
I need to watch some more of Clay Matthews because right now I think he's gonna be a bust....Only because I think he'll be drafted a few rounds too high and be expected to do more than he is capable of doing.

76Texan
04-17-2009, 02:34 PM
You've really got to look at film and study study study these prospects.

This goes for all positions. A DE like Mario may be told to contain the outside edge and never let the RB go to that side of the field- push him back inside or make him reverse around. Mario could do what he's told and just grab onto the LT and block that side... the casual fan will believe the LT won the battle and neutrilized him. They'll say Mario was ineffective all game, when in actuallity he could have been a HUGE reason for their success.

... it's such a game of chess on each play with each player when you get down to the basics and I think thats amazing.

On this particular note, I'd like to refer back to Michael Johnson, and why I said he might have been misunderstood by some fans (the applepie-man, for one, but he's like that, and it's alright.)

MJ is one of the very few college DEs that was asked to do a multitude of things, like to read-and-react, to contain, to rush, to drop back, to set the edge, etc.

At times, it might look like he was taking a play off.

Of course, there were times he whiffed. So did Mario!
Maybe the fact that people (the media for the most part) was touting him as a sure-fire first rounder even before the year started brought out the skpeticism in us all even more.

I don't know where the NFL scouts rank him.
Honestly, I don't feel like I have reviewed enough of his tapes to have a really solid opinion on the guy.

But he ain't go past my #45 pick either!

76Texan
04-17-2009, 02:41 PM
I need to watch some more of Clay Matthews because right now I think he's gonna be a bust....Only because I think he'll be drafted a few rounds too high and be expected to do more than he is capable of doing.
The negative I have is that he may not be able to play 3 downs soon enough.
But that shouldnt diminish the fact that I think he shall be a solid player.
Some higher draft picks at OLB didn't start straight away.

It's just that I'd rather be safe when have other needs to fill and I believe that tradind out the #15 for a very low 1st and a 2nd, or even two 2nds, then adding to that our own second, we may be able to find a CB, a S, and a rushing specialist.

I would even settle for a SS instead of the FS that I coveted. http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

76Texan
04-17-2009, 04:20 PM
[QUOTE=Ole Miss Texan;1162786]Great thread and question gtexan.

Same goes for the LB's, CB's and S's. Maybe their stats don't look all that good, but it's how they effect the team and the opposing offense that's important. If they do their job and don't allow any catches but also don't get any interceptions... I find that a much better CB than one that allows 5 TDs but gets 3 INTs.

[QUOTE]
This is why I said we shouldn't glorify Eric Berry just yet.
He made several mistakes. Even though the other team didn't capitalize on some, but if they did, it could change the whole complex of the game.

Or when I think the credit of some Ints should go to other guys on the team. Or it simply was a mistake from the opponent.

Another example might be:
- The USC LBs couldn't stop the combination of Jonathan Stewart and Dixon.
Even when they brought Kevin Ellison up to help.
When Taylor Mays was out of there, it was just murder!
- They had the same problem with the little rookie RB Rodgers from Oregon St.
They can hardly keep up with that first-time starter at QB (Moevao?) either.
- The win over the Ducks last year was also unconvincing. The Ducks were shooting themselves (what play of words, lol) with mistakes after mistakes. The two Jeremiahs (Masoli was a Soph, first-time starter) were doing it to them quite the same.

So who's making whom better?

bah007
04-17-2009, 04:22 PM
This is why I said we shouldn't glorify Eric Berry just yet.
He made several mistakes. Even though the other team didn't capitalize on some, but if they did, it could change the whole complex of the game.

Or when I think the credit of some Ints should go to other guys on the team. Or it simply was a mistake from the opponent.

Another example might be:
- The USC LBs couldn't stop the combination of Jonathan Stewart and Dixon.
Even when they brought Kevin Ellison up to help.
When Taylor Mays was out of there, it was just murder!
- They had the same problem with the little rookie RB Rodgers from Oregon St.
They can hardly keep up with that first-time starter at QB (Moevao?) either.
- The win over the Ducks last year was also unconvincing. The Ducks were shooting themselves (what play of words, lol) with mistakes after mistakes. The two Jeremiahs (Masoli was a Soph, first-time starter) were doing it to them quite the same.

So who's making whom better?

My biggest concern with Maualuga. I've never seen so many sure tackles get missed by a first round pick.

Goatcheese
04-18-2009, 04:06 AM
My biggest concern with Maualuga. I've never seen so many sure tackles get missed by a first round pick.

I think Rey is a guy who is a top 20 pick on some teams boards and a 3rd rounder on others. In the right scheme that turns him loose to make plays he will be effective. In a scheme that gives him responsibility he's going to be a huge liability.

He's a poor mans LaVar Arington.

bah007
04-18-2009, 09:30 AM
I think Rey is a guy who is a top 20 pick on some teams boards and a 3rd rounder on others. In the right scheme that turns him loose to make plays he will be effective. In a scheme that gives him responsibility he's going to be a huge liability.

He's a poor mans LaVar Arington.

Word for word that is exactly how I feel about him.

thunderkyss
04-18-2009, 10:18 AM
Example 1: The 2006 NC State defensive line
Mario Williams (1:1), Manny Lawson (1:22), and John McCargo (1:26)

Everyone was hyping Manny Lawson as an amazing pass rusher. He was drafted in the first round at pick 22. Turns out, he just benefited from playing across the line from Mario Williams. Since 2006, he has
had 5.5 career sacks. Williams is at 30.5


So now we think Manny Lawson was overrated coming out of college, because he hasn't produced on a pathetic SF defense.... playing OLB no less.

I think this line of thinking is unfair. I haven't watched the 49ers enough to see who is doing what, but I know he isn't playing on a top ten D.

But in reference to the question. I think the biggest difference between what a player does in college, as opposed to what he'll do in the NFL, is motivation.

If a kid is truly motivated to be the best.... and he's got the measurables, and the talent, then his upside is limitless.

If a kid is playing to get to the NFL, he's not going to get very far.

If his motivation is money then it's a question of how much money. If that rookie contract gets him where he wants to be, then he's pretty much done. If he' motivated to be the highest paid at his position, then he's probably going to be as good as the guy who wants to be the best. That's a carrot you can keep moving further & further.

The1ApplePie
04-18-2009, 10:55 AM
Another example might be:
- The USC LBs couldn't stop the combination of Jonathan Stewart and Dixon.
Even when they brought Kevin Ellison up to help.
When Taylor Mays was out of there, it was just murder!
- They had the same problem with the little rookie RB Rodgers from Oregon St.
They can hardly keep up with that first-time starter at QB (Moevao?) either.- The win over the Ducks last year was also unconvincing. The Ducks were shooting themselves (what play of words, lol) with mistakes after mistakes. The two Jeremiahs (Masoli was a Soph, first-time starter) were doing it to them quite the same.

So who's making whom better?

Clay Matthews got into the starting lineup because the DEs ahead of him played so terrible against the Beavers that they go benched. LBs can't do much when the RB gets into the open field after every carry and has room to work. It didn't help that Rogers basically was a horsecollar penalty waiting to him. I remember Cush and Rey having to drop to one knee to tackle him "legally"

bah007
04-18-2009, 10:56 AM
Clay Matthews got into the starting lineup because the DEs ahead of him played so terrible against the Beavers that they go benched. LBs can't do much when the RB gets into the open field after every carry and has room to work. It didn't help that Rogers basically was a horsecollar penalty waiting to him. I remember Cush and Rey having to drop to one knee to tackle him "legally"

If you hit him from the front you won't have to horse collar him.

The1ApplePie
04-18-2009, 11:03 AM
If you hit him from the front you won't have to horse collar him.

When a tiny RB gets to the LB level untouched, you aren't going to get in front of him much. One flag was a hit from the front. He's so low to the ground that you have to grab him by the back of the pads.

Even Taylor Mays had to drop to a knee to tackle him