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Old 05-10-2007   #1
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Default Enoka Lucas a better prospect than Studdard ?

04/15/07 - 2007 All-Rang's Gang Team: Enoka Lucas, Oregon: Interior linemen, especially centers, tend to drop a bit come draft day. While this certainly won't make Lucas (or his agent) happy, it will almost surely lead to some NFL team finding itself a considerable steal on the draft's second day. Lucas is the prototypical center -- short, squatty, fiery, and a leader. The 6-3, 305 pound Lucas is the school record holder with a 455 pound bench press and though this strength translates well onto the field, Lucas' technique and leverage are the assets that make him most effective in the pivot. A two-time team captain, Lucas has the look of a player who scrapes out a decade-long NFL career.
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...php?pyid=15280
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Brandon Frye looks to have the potential as an OT for the Texans, atleast at RT if not on the left side.
But inside at guard-center area Enoka Lucas, even though an UFA, may actually be a better prospect than Kubiaks long-time family friend Kasey Studdard, who was drafted in the 6th round by the Texans.
Unlike Frye, neither player hardly has the kind of athletic profile you'd look for in a Zone Blocking prospect, though some analysts say Lucas has some quickness. But I've seen Lucas in some mocks prior to the Draft rated as a possible third-rounder. And he's a more versatile prospect as he can play either guard or center. This guy may be a sleeper to watch in TC who has the potential to help the Texans ?
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Old 05-10-2007   #2
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One thing I have consistently been saying is that our UDFA class is among the best in the NFL, and Lucas fits in with that. Darius Walker just makes it that much better. Most of the publications I have looked at had Lucas going between rounds 4-6, so clearly, he was considered draftable by most observers.

Look for a few of these UDFA's to at least push for a roster spot. I'm most enthused about Lucas, Walker, Cory Anderson, and Jon Abbate. I think these are the guys who can legitimitely push for a roster spot on the main 53 man roster. If not, they are easily PS material.

All of the other FA's all have no better than an outside chance at a roster spot, but a good chance of making the PS. I think out of that group, Degrate, Zabransky, and Brandon Mitchell have the best chance to be on the 53 man roster at some point during the season or next season.

One thing is for sure, some players will be cut this year, whether rookies or vets, who will find roster spots on other teams and contribute. We may not have superior depth yet, but we are getting closer to having quality depth than at any time in our history.
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Old 05-10-2007   #3
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Originally Posted by Porky View Post
One thing I have consistently been saying is that our UDFA class is among the best in the NFL, and Lucas fits in with that. Darius Walker just makes it that much better. Most of the publications I have looked at had Lucas going between rounds 4-6, so clearly, he was considered draftable by most observers.

Look for a few of these UDFA's to at least push for a roster spot. I'm most enthused about Lucas, Walker, Cory Anderson, and Jon Abbate. I think these are the guys who can legitimitely push for a roster spot on the main 53 man roster. If not, they are easily PS material.

All of the other FA's all have no better than an outside chance at a roster spot, but a good chance of making the PS. I think out of that group, Degrate, Zabransky, and Brandon Mitchell have the best chance to be on the 53 man roster at some point during the season or next season.

One thing is for sure, some players will be cut this year, whether rookies or vets, who will find roster spots on other teams and contribute. We may not have superior depth yet, but we are getting closer to having quality depth than at any time in our history.

Kubiak/Smiths' stated goals were to improve competition in camp and improve team depth. So I guess this is part of it.
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Old 05-10-2007   #4
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i endorse this signing. too bad there arent any decent FS talent in the UDFA pool. If this guy can play Center for us, I think we will have addressed every need our team had except bonafide #2 WR and a bonafide FS. count me as a happy guy.
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Old 05-10-2007   #5
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But inside at guard-center area Enoka Lucas, even though an UFA, may actually be a better prospect than Kubiaks long-time family friend Kasey Studdard, who was drafted in the 6th round by the Texans.
What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.
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Old 05-10-2007   #6
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With a name like ENOKA.... it sounds good to me! Plus I really like the way Mr. Smith is shaping & molding this team to become competative! Now if we can get Spencer back this yr healthy...or next season, this team has a chance of becoming special! SIGH! Ever since the "choke city" ROCKETS got bump off in the 1st Rd.......again! I'm really looking forward to Texans' football!!!!
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Old 05-10-2007   #7
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What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.
Because he's not from UT?

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Old 05-10-2007   #8
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What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.
I've heard Lance Zierlin, SR 610 morning guy, talk about this guy since he's been signed and he said he knew the Texans shelled out a very handsome price for him (as far as UFAs comp gos), and it was because Lucas had real potential and a lot of teams were interested in signing him and he (Zierlin) thought Lucas would make the team at the expense of one of the vets (Flannagan or McKinney). IMO Zierlin is fairly knowledgible about NFL talent, but in particular he's a virtual insider on OLine talent since his own father is the OLine coach of the Pittsburg Steelers. Lucas also has the versatility to be a swing player since he's got experience at guard.
I've read a lot of things about Lucas since we picked him up, and he was highly thought by a lot of sources, and one even thought he could go in the third round. But he had an excellent college career at Oregan. OK, none of that is very specific. And the big question obviously is why did 32 teams not Draft him ? Fair enough. I dunno ? But I found no history of character issues, but he has had some knee problems which is certainly not good.
Oh, one more thing. I really don't think the Texans would have signed Studdard without the family connection, whereas their interest in Lucas was obviously genuine.
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Old 05-10-2007   #9
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What exactly makes Lucas a better prospect than Studdard? You never actually explain why he could be.
To add to Nunusguy, FWIW, every draft magazine I looked at, and online source I can find has Lucas being drafted ahead of Studdard. I haven't watched enough film on them to really answer the question totally, but there must be a reason for that.
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Old 05-10-2007   #10
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Oh, one more thing. I really don't think the Texans would have signed Studdard without the family connection, whereas their interest in Lucas was obviously genuine.
I think if a team spends a draft choice a player, their interest in genuine. I'm not sure what the Texans spent on a signing bonus for Lucas ($25K-$30K?), but it will pale in comparison to what Studdard receives (around $150K bonus for a 3-year contract). Do you seriously believe Kubiak and Smith would give Kasey that kind of money out of respect and friendship for his dad?

As far as what the internet draft gurus thought before the draft, well that's why they're internet draft gurus and not NFL GMs. We don't know whether Studdard would have been selected in the draft, had the Texans not took him in the 6th. We do know that Lucas went undrafted through 7 rounds. So the Texans answer right now to the question would be, no. Lucas is not a better prospect than Studdard. And it's the Texans opinion that counts.
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Old 05-10-2007   #11
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Oregon's paper says that Lucas has the desire and intensity.

However John Murphy (Yahoo Sports) reported this from the East-West game:

Enoka Lucas, center/guard, Oregon – Lucas looked better in the practices as he lost his man to a quick inside move a few times in the game.

By the way, he also reported this:
Jacoby Jones, wide receiver, Lane College (Tenn.) – He showed terrific acceleration in the open field and caught the ball very well.
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Old 05-10-2007   #12
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Lucas isn't exactly a speedy lineman but his services will add great depth to the Texans. Great job Rick and Gary! Linemen, LB's and RB's are going to have a lot of competition this upcoming season. Excellent.
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Old 05-10-2007   #13
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I think if a team spends a draft choice a player, their interest in genuine. I'm not sure what the Texans spent on a signing bonus for Lucas ($25K-$30K?), but it will pale in comparison to what Studdard receives (around $150K bonus for a 3-year contract). Do you seriously believe Kubiak and Smith would give Kasey that kind of money out of respect and friendship for his dad?

As far as what the internet draft gurus thought before the draft, well that's why they're internet draft gurus and not NFL GMs. We don't know whether Studdard would have been selected in the draft, had the Texans not took him in the 6th. We do know that Lucas went undrafted through 7 rounds. So the Texans answer right now to the question would be, no. Lucas is not a better prospect than Studdard. And it's the Texans opinion that counts.
Actually, I have read (can't recall where) that some guys that are not drafted do receive a higher signing bonus than guys drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he is a free agent and more teams are after his services. I would also like to know where you got Studdard's signing bonus was that much. Heck there are guys who do not even get that kind of bons who have been in the league for 3 years.
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Old 05-10-2007   #14
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Actually, I have read (can't recall where) that some guys that are not drafted do receive a higher signing bonus than guys drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he is a free agent and more teams are after his services. I would also like to know where you got Studdard's signing bonus was that much. Heck there are guys who do not even get that kind of bons who have been in the league for 3 years.
I got that off houstonprofootball.com's unofficial salary cap page. I saw that the Texans 6th round pick in '06, Wali Lundy, had a bonus allocation for the '07 season for $50K. Since Lundy signed a 3 year contract and the bonus was spread out over the length of the contract, I thought Lundy's signing bonus = 3 X $50K = $150K. But, their '06 & '08 cap pages show Lundy's bonus allocation at $25K. That would probably mean that Lundy's signing bonus was $75K, and he earned a workout or incentive bonus of $25K in '06, payable in '07. Lundy might get the same if he makes the team in '07. So could Studdard in '08, if he makes the team

The highest signing bonus I can remember the Texans giving to a UDFA is $25K. That could go up, since the rookie pool was increased. Maybe not. If you have a link that shows an UDFA getting more than that, I would be interested to see it. Still, $75K (plus the potential for more in roster bonuses) is 3x more than the top UDFA's get.
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Old 05-10-2007   #15
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Do you seriously believe Kubiak and Smith would give Kasey that kind of money out of respect and friendship for his dad?
Do you seriously believe that sentiment was not a part of the teams owners reasons to decide to make a far greater financial commitment to a former Texan now on the roster of a certain NFC South team ?
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Old 05-10-2007   #16
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Do you seriously believe that sentiment was not a part of the teams owners reasons to decide to make a far greater financial commitment to a former Texan now on the roster of a certain NFC South team ?
First, stay on topic. Bob McNair had nothing to do with this pick.

Kubiak and Smith are football guys. It's absolutely ludicrous to suggest that selecting Studdard was anything but a football decision.
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Old 05-10-2007   #17
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Actually, I have read (can't recall where) that some guys that are not drafted do receive a higher signing bonus than guys drafted in the 6th or 7th round because he is a free agent and more teams are after his services. I would also like to know where you got Studdard's signing bonus was that much. Heck there are guys who do not even get that kind of bons who have been in the league for 3 years.
no doubt. if you were to take a poll of agents asking if they would rather go undrafted or get drafted in the mid-6th round or later. You would probably find that the majority of agents would rather have their client go undrafted. You get similar money initially without being a team's property for 3+ years. You can choose your destination which can help your situation as well as your bank account (playoff bonuses and your 'next' contract).
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Old 05-10-2007   #18
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You get similar money initially
As Lucky demonstrated, not true.

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without being a team's property for 3+ years.
You aren't anyone's property for 3+ years unless you sign a contract--you can sit out the year and go back into the draft. This is silly--you won't find a player out there that would rather go undrafted.
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Old 05-10-2007   #19
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You get similar money initially without being a team's property for 3+ years.
That's not correct. A team that signs and keeps an undrafted free agent can hold his rights exclusively for 3 seasons, and will have restricted rights for a 4th year. The picking your team aspect is correct, and that's why some players are OK with not being taken late. Plus if the UDFA is successful, ala Antonio Gates, he can hold out of camp without penalty because he's not under a multiyear contract.

But that's not really the question. Why would Lucas be considered a better prospect than Studdard? Because Lance Zierlein said so? Maybe a better question would be, "Can Enoka Lucas win a roster spot?" Maybe. But, clearly the Texans thought Kasey Studdard was the better prospect on April 29th. I don't see why that has changed.
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Old 05-10-2007   #20
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If Studdard wasn't also a desired prospect in addition to being a friend, the Texans wouldn't have bothered drafting him - just pick him up as a UDFA as a favor and see what he can do. I don't believe for one second that they simply took him higher for an excuse to give him more money.

We saw David Anderson in a similar situation last year, and people questioned if he could play or if it was just a favor. I thought he did pretty well when he got his chances, so hopefully Studdard turns out the same way.
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