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College Football & the 2014 NFL Draft The future stars of the NFL

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Old 02-08-2006   #1
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Default Athleticism and Potential

As most of you know, I am in big favor of the Texans trading down to #4 to select D'Brickashaw Ferguson in the first and get Manny Lawson with our 2nd rounder. I now think that Lawson will fall that far unless hes shows out at the combine.

There is also another group of trade down enthusiasts on the board who believe that it would be smarter to draft Mario Williams and get Eric Winston in the 2nd.

Both sides have great arguments, and I believe both make great points. I was actually starting to change my opinion and want us to draft Williams in the first because Winston is a better run blocker and a more complete OL at this time.

Then the thought of athleticism crossed my mind. That is the thing that has kept me a Ferguson fan so long. I know that you cant teach athleticism, but a player can get stronger, he can get bigger and he can get better technique.

Eric Winston is bigger, stronger and a better run blocker than Ferguson, but Ferguson can learn to run block better, especially if we hire Sherman, and with an NFL training plan he will get bigger and stronger. Winston will never be as athletic as Ferguson though.

My 3 year projection:
I think Winston could be a great RT and he will dominate in the run game and also be an adequate pass protector, while Ferguson may be just as good of a run blocker, he will be about 315 and he will be one of the best book end LTs in the draft.

Now on Mario Williams and Manny Lawson. I think that Lawson is just as athletic as Williams, and that is saying alot. If Lawson was 25 pounds heavier, I think that he could challenge Williams for the top DE spot in the draft. Lawson is just as tall, he is faster and has just as many pass rush moves. But like Ferguson is to Winston, Lawson is smaller and weaker than Williams. Lawson only had 4 less sacks and 3 less tackles than Williams, which isnt bad for a player who is undersized and lacks strength.

My 3 year projection
I think that Williams will still be the better player, but I think that if Lawson can gain 25 lbs and get up to 270 he may be a better pass rusher because he is faster and quicker. Williams will still be better against the run but Lawson wont be a liability when he is able to pick up some strength.

Thats just my opinion, but what do you guys think. In the long run, and not short term, how do you guys think that these players will turn out after being trained and coached in the NFL.
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Old 02-08-2006   #2
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I can see where you're coming from, but I still prefer Winston and Williams. If I need to elaborate into that opinion any more than I have in previous posts, I will do it tomorrow because it's late and I'm too tired to get into all that right now.
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Old 02-09-2006   #3
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OK Buff I see your argument and I agree somewhat on it. The difference and I see it as pretty major is this. Winston is as athletic as Ferguson. If you remember in 03 start of 04 Winston was the next great LT to be hitting the NFL. Most thought he would go well before Gross and Foster and was a solid top 10 pick. He was injured in 04 so he came back for his senior year. Winston was a FB and TE his first year at Miami also. Ferguson is a hell of a player dont get me wrong, but I am saying the athletic difference between the two is much slimmer than you think. I will give you that Ferguson is more athletic, he has only had minor injuries mainly due to his size. At the Senior Bowl though and a point that I have made before is that Ferguson was 297 could get to 310 maybe, but most scouts felt he was pretty close to his max weight just due to his body structure and felt he looked a little more stiff in the hips due to the added weight. Well 297-310 is 12-25lbs more than what he played at for most of the year. I would say 300 is his max and he will lose a little albeit very little of that quickness.

Williams and Lawson are two completely different beast. It would be like comparing Merrimen and Ware, they are both solid you cant go wrong, but one guy has about the same speed, huge plus in strength and size, plus put up better numbers being the main rusher doubled by other teams. Manny Lawson was single blocked most games this year due to roll coverage to Willams side. I want the guy they have to roll coverage toward not the guy that needs it rolled away. Lawson is a larger Peek, well we have Peek so let Williams take assignments and Peek and Babin run free on the backside.

Buff I enjoy our discussions on draft picks and guys and you are one of the guys that speaks intelligently about the guy you want. You do not deliver your message through non-objective glasses and I respect that keep it up. I am sure we will be going on and on about these and other issues for another 3mos.
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Old 02-09-2006   #4
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Coach C. saved me the work of having to elaborate much more on it, that is basically exactly my opinion on it.
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Old 02-09-2006   #5
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There is nothing wrong with a 297 lb olineman. In fact in a zone blocking scheme you will find most oline close to the 300 lb marker. That is because they have to be quick, have good lateral movement and above average foot work. Those are the priorities not the weight. Some will take exception to this thought and for those of you who do I ask that you look at Atlanta's (Alex Gibbs) and Denver's (Alex Gibbs,Gary Kubiak) Olines. You find they are at the 300 marker and you will find that Atlanta led the league in rushing and Denver was second, 9 yards behind at Atlanta.

Buff what I interpret from your post is Ferguson and Lawson have higher ceilings which I tend to agree. More so with Ferguson than Lawson. This is a major key in drafting a player for many clubs. There will be concern about Winston's knee rehab.
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Old 02-09-2006   #6
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I think Williams has the highest ceiling, because he has that rare blend of size and athleticsm. BTW Winston is considered the best pulling Tackle in the draft. He pulls like he is a G. Just thought you should know that. Yes his knee will be an issue for teams drafting him, that is likely why he will fall low into the first or high second.
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Old 02-09-2006   #7
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I don't know about all that I kinda like Colledge.The guy just like to get down at the second level.He has a lot of work to do but he don't sqeak when he walks either..
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Old 02-09-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach C.
I think Williams has the highest ceiling, because he has that rare blend of size and athleticsm. BTW Winston is considered the best pulling Tackle in the draft. He pulls like he is a G. Just thought you should know that. Yes his knee will be an issue for teams drafting him, that is likely why he will fall low into the first or high second.
See thats the point, you can be taught to pull, but I really dont see how you can say that Winston is as athletic as Ferguson. If he was that just as athletic and was still a better run blocker, then I would be saying trade down and get Winston with the fourth pick instead of in the second round. I dont know where you got your info from, but from everything that I have read and seen, Ferguson is the quickest, fastest, most athletic, and most technically sound pass protector in the draft.

Look at this Senior Bowl highlight real, but dont look up at the hands or who the player is blocking, focus in on the feet, and notice how much quicker Ferguson is than everyone else. Look how everyone else is pushing theit player past the QB but Ferguson can stay in
front the whole time and even reverse back up the field when the players try to do that.
http://play.rbn.com/?url=nfl/nfl/ope...&rpcontexturl=



Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach C.
Williams and Lawson are two completely different beast. It would be like comparing Merrimen and Ware, they are both solid you cant go wrong, but one guy has about the same speed, huge plus in strength and size, plus put up better numbers being the main rusher doubled by other teams. Manny Lawson was single blocked most games this year due to roll coverage to Willams side. I want the guy they have to roll coverage toward not the guy that needs it rolled away. Lawson is a larger Peek, well we have Peek so let Williams take assignments and Peek and Babin run free on the backside.
That is where we dissagree again. Williams will run in the mid 4.7 range and Lawson will time in the mid 4.5s. And maybe that doesnt seem like alot, but thats like Derrick Johnson who runs a 4.4 trying to chase down Jerome Mathis. Lawson has a track background...so that means he is probably going to be the quickest player off the ball, he has just as many pass rush moves, but he just isnt as big or strong, which can be changed. As a matter of fact Lawson can gain weight and probably not loose any explosion off the ball, his fourty time may get worse, but that quick first step will be there.
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Old 02-09-2006   #9
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Before his injury, Winston was considered the most athletic OLineman in college football (he ran a 4.77 prior to his injury). His hurt knee has slowed him some, and as Coach said that concern will probably drop him to the low 1st or high 2nd round. He is regaining his athleticism, and that injury shouldn't cripple him for his entire career, many guys make full recoveries (Steve Smith said he is actually faster after injurying his leg because it made him work harder on it, that wasn't the same injury but it is a similar situation), so I think Winston will only get more athletic if anything over the next year or two. I also think Ferguson looked a little slower and stiffer in the Senior Bowl than he did earlier in the year after gaining weight for the Senior Bowl, so I'm not sure how much more of that he might lose if he continues to gain weight, so that could level the athleticism gap between Ferguson and Winston. As of now, Winston is probably still the 2nd most athletic OLineman in the draft.
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Old 02-09-2006   #10
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Winston's knee injury was severe . It usually takes into the 2nd season to regain your form .

Manny Lawson is 6'5 and 240 . Does this make him a tweener ?
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Old 02-10-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34
Manny Lawson is 6'5 and 240 . Does this make him a tweener ?
It does make him a tweener, but he is 6'7-245. I really dont see anything that can stop him from playing DE in the NFL as long as he works out and gets stronger and bigger.
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Old 02-10-2006   #12
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Buff Manny Lawson is 6'5" 240 he weighed in at the Senior Bowl. I understand you are looking at sites and different things, but take it from someone who saw the weigh in. BTW Broderick Bunkley is yoked. Anyway Lawson is a tweener and I suspect as he puts up numbers in the low 4.6s he will likely go to Cleveland or a 3-4 team. He reminds me alot of Demarcus Ware. Mork answered your posts about your defense of Ferguson, but like I said Ferguson is the most athletic OT in the draft, but the distance between him and Winston or Winston Justice is not that far. I am a little skeptical on Justice though.
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Old 02-10-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honoring Earl 34
Winston's knee injury was severe . It usually takes into the 2nd season to regain your form .

Manny Lawson is 6'5 and 240 . Does this make him a tweener ?
Exactly my point on Winston, he was injured early in the 2004 season so by the time his rookie year starts he should be very close to his old form, but this past year he was slowed from it and that could hopefully damage his stock enough to drop him to us at #33.

As for Lawson, as Coach said he is definitely a tweener, 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. Cleveland, Dallas, San Diego, New England could all grab him, I think New England especially because that's probably about the area of the draft that makes him a good value and their LB crew is getting older so they could be looking for younger upgrades. And yes, Lawson weighed in at 6-5, 240 at the Senior Bowl according to my compadre who was there that I talked to.
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Old 02-10-2006   #14
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It seems Justice from USC has bumped Winston down a notch . That is good news if you want Winston in the 2nd , teams will down grade Winston on his injury alone . So count 32 players who go before Winston and you have your cake and eat it to .
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