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Old 12-02-2008   #1
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Default First Look - Next Years Draft

It's still very early, but I started looking at Senior prospects, with an eye as to who just immediately jumped out. And with an eye toward need. To me, that mostly means defense.

At the top of my list is Ohio State LB James Laurinaitis. He's going to be the first LB off the board and probably won't be available. Definitely a top 10 pick and probably a top 5.

But right behind Laurinaitis is Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry, who could be there for us: 6'-1 3/4", 247#, est 40 - 4.61.... positives : very instinctive, naturally strong, rare strength at point of attack, excellent hand use, plays big, smart, good coverage awareness, strong tackler. Negatives : ??????

The top cornerback on my list is Oregon State's Brandon Hughes. I'd like to pick him up in the second, but I don't think he'll last. Positives I've read about this player : 5'-10", 180 #, est 40 - 4.5....high character, productive technician, can shuttle and mirror, solid tackler, supports the run hard, plays bigger than his size, best in zone scheme. Negatives : needs to get bigger.

Western Michigan CB Londen Fryar is right behind Hughs. He is the son of Irving Fryar and seems to have all the qualities of a top notch CB. His big negative seems to be a swelled head and humongous ego.

No safeties have really caught my eye as worthy of our top 2 picks.

No DT's have jumped out at me.

At DE, Texas' Brian Orakpo. His big negative seems to be an inconsistent motor.

There you have it. 5 defensive players.

On offense, I didn't look at QB, RB ( I'm satisfied with Slaton - we have other needs ), TE or receiver.

I didn't look at Tackle, I figure we are set there, for now, and we have more pressing needs.

I haven't seen any OG's I really like.

But I have noticed how our OC gets manhandled and pushed back. This is, IMO, our most serious need on the OL. There's two I like, California's Alex Mack and Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs. If one of these were available in the 3rd, I'd have to consider real hard in investing this pick on this position.
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Old 12-02-2008   #2
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

Nice post, all definitely players that can improve this team. I'm more and more interested in find football players. Not too worried about measurables, if he can play... he can play. Someone that knows the game of football.

Keep an eye on Brandon Spikes, LB from Florida. Everytime I watch him, I come away more and more impressed. He's a good pass rusher too. There will definitely be some LB's to choose from in the 1st if we decide to go that route.

Have you gotten a look at the Center from Oregon - Unger? I havn't seen too much of him but am hearing some positives.
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Old 12-02-2008   #3
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

Unger is slightly overrated because of his ability to play multiple positions.

He is still a good mid-round pick though.
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Old 12-02-2008   #4
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

Unger is one I'm holding my opinion on until the workouts and combine. He may not be well suited for the ZB system. He may also have short arms and I'm not a fan of OL'men who have short arms. I'm not always right in this regard - I had the same opinion about Caveman and he's turned into a fine pick. But then again, it turned out his arm length was just at what is considered NFL minimum.

Spikes hasn't been on my radar.
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Old 12-02-2008   #5
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

DT Terrance Cody Alabama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUE3Ys-qf6M
LOL guess which one he is in this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMy2x...eature=related

S Taylor Mays USC
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Old 12-02-2008   #6
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

Mays is a physical freak, but he doesn't seem to play up to his ability (not that he plays bad).

It may be because he is surrounded by All-Americans on defense and feels like he doesn't have to do as much, but it could be something else....
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Old 12-02-2008   #7
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
Nice post, all definitely players that can improve this team. I'm more and more interested in find football players. Not too worried about measurables, if he can play... he can play. Someone that knows the game of football.

Keep an eye on Brandon Spikes, LB from Florida. Everytime I watch him, I come away more and more impressed. He's a good pass rusher too. There will definitely be some LB's to choose from in the 1st if we decide to go that route.

Have you gotten a look at the Center from Oregon - Unger? I havn't seen too much of him but am hearing some positives.
Unger is on my wish list. Becasue of his versatility (he can play any position on the line) and his athleticism he may be gone before we pick in the 2nd. He is perfect for a ZB scheme like ours. If he can get a little stronger and add some weight some teams might want to get a look at him at LT at the combine.

I also like Spikes the more i see of him. His stock has to be rising up th way he has been playing lately.

2 players you might like that dont exactly have great measurables but can really play and IMO would really help this team are Victor Harris CB VTech. He is listed at 6' 192# not bad but only 4.55 in the 40. I have a feeling he will improve that time at the combine. He has gotten better every year. Hes physical, good in run support a threat to take it to the house if he gets his hands on a pass. Even plays on offense once in awhile. To top it off he is a very good kick returner.

The other is Emanuel Cook S from SC. He is only 5'10" and that might be a stretch but he weights 210#. I have heard him compared to Bob Sanders more than once. He is a very strong tackler and has good enough cover skills to get a look at CB at the combine.

I would take either one of these guys in the second round.
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Old 12-02-2008   #8
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

I'm keeping an eye on Unger as well.

How about Rashad Jennings (RB) out of Liberty college? He's 6'-1" 232lbs. & runs a 4.46 40 time.

Sounds like he could be the thunder to Slaton's lightning.
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Old 12-02-2008   #9
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by Number19 View Post

But I have noticed how our OC gets manhandled and pushed back. This is, IMO, our most serious need on the OL. There's two I like, California's Alex Mack and Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs. If one of these were available in the 3rd, I'd have to consider real hard in investing this pick on this position.
Well, if Shanahan (spelling?) Jr. would get off the field, he wouldn't get shoved around so much, lol.
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Old 12-02-2008   #10
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
Unger is slightly overrated because of his ability to play multiple positions.

He is still a good mid-round pick though.
What exactly is it that you see as his weakness?
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Old 12-02-2008   #11
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by Hottoddie View Post
I'm keeping an eye on Unger as well.

How about Rashad Jennings (RB) out of Liberty college? He's 6'-1" 232lbs. & runs a 4.46 40 time.

Sounds like he could be the thunder to Slaton's lightning.
Hes on my sleeper list.
along with Shonn Greene*, Iowa
Height: 5-11. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.
10/26/08: Shonn Greene has been an absolute beast this year. Through eight games, Greene has tallied at least 100 yards in every single game, including a 217-yard, four-touchdown performance against Wisconsin.

Rashad Jennings, Liberty
Height: 6-1. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.
10/18/08: For those of you who don't follow 1-AA football, Liberty is undefeated. The main reason is Rashad Jennings, who is literally carrying the Flames, Through six games, Jennings has 725 yards and eight touchdowns on a 5.6 YPC clip. NFL GMs and scouts are going to love his 40 time.

5/21/08: Rashad Jennings is a transfer from Pittsburgh, but he didn't switch schools because he couldn't keep up; he had family issues to deal with. At Liberty, Jennings totaled 1,113 yards and 15 touchdowns.
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Old 12-03-2008   #12
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by mussop View Post
What exactly is it that you see as his weakness?
I don't really see any "weaknesses".

But he isn't as strong at the point of attack as I would like. That may or may not be important in our scheme, it's just something I look at.

I'm also not a fan of taking centers before the third round unless it is an elite guy (like Kalil in 07). I wouldn't be opposed to taking Unger in the third. I just think that he will be overvalued because of his versatilty and taken higher than he should be.
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Old 12-03-2008   #13
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

I can really see how easy it could be for us to fix the middle of our OL early in this draft and have pretty much a dominant offense. It's just hard for me to think if we do that... we're avoiding serious upgrades to our defense.

I think, with the draft, you don't make very many decisions before hand. You gotta see how it shakes out, be prepared, and be flexible. You gotta take what it gives you... but I'm really thinking we're at least hoping those star players that slip are on the D side.

I still have hope for our OL, they HAVE improved, and I think will continue to do so as they play more. Doesn't look like a finished product by any means, but if they continue to improve even a little, we should be able to focus on getting some playmakers on the other side.


It gets back to what the Texans worked so hard during the offseason. Protect the ball, create turnovers on D, and don't get penalties. I think the D needs to be more proactive in forcing turnovers but after that- we've improved a great deal. I know your going to say turnovers- but That's not our RB,WR, TE's problems- they've got it down. It's the QB's and the darn Red Zone. That's what they've got to work on this offseason and I think we'll see improvement and that will have an IMMEDIATE impact on our W/L record alone. (More offensive points, higher T.O.P., rested defense, etc.)
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Old 12-03-2008   #14
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

Ummm we do need a RB. Not one w/any of our top picks but we need someone to move the damn pile.
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Old 12-03-2008   #15
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

The one good thing about space eating DTs and interior offesinve linemen is that you can always get good value for them. I'm not sure what big boys will be available in FA but here are two NT that could be available in the 4th round (info from walterfootball.com projections updated Nov 23)
Ron Brace, Boston College
Height: 6-3. Weight: 330.
Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
Projected Round: 3-4.
5/9/08: Took over for B.J. Raji as Boston College's mammoth nose tackle. Ron Brace started seven games and recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, earning an All-ACC honorable mention.

Terrance Taylor, Michigan
Height: 6-0. Weight: 317.
Projected 40 Time: 5.11.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.
11/23/08: Once a possible first-round prospect, Terrance Taylor hasn't done much this year since blocking an extra point early in the season.

5/9/08: Terrance Taylor had 4.5 career sacks, but his bread and butter (and lots of butter at that) is stopping the run, though you probably knew that just by looking at his size.

2007: With Alan Branch and LaMarr Woodley gone, offensive coordinators will focus on stopping Terrance Taylor. If he's dominant this season, he may come out. There aren't too many 310-pound tackles who are close to breaking 5.0 in the 40.

As to C/G, C is very deep in this draft so it should be possible to find good quality late. A couple of names from walterfootball (projections updated Nov 2.)
A.Q. Shipley, Penn State (C)
Height: 6-1. Weight: 298.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2009): 4-5.
5/26/08: A.Q. Shipley has started every game the past two years and was named to the All-Big Ten first team. Co-captain for the Nittany Lions in 2008.

2007: I'd like to see A.Q. Shipley put on a few more pounds of muscle. He has two years to do so, meaning he still has time to move up my rankings. Shipley has has 14 career starts as of the first week of September.

Max Unger, Oregon (C)
Height: 6-5. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2009): 5.
5/24/08: An extremely athletic and smart center who can also play offensive tackle. Max Unger's not as strong as some GMs would like, but he'll be an effective pass protector in a zone scheme.

2007: Possibly a candidate for a team with a zone-blocking scheme.

Eric Wood, Louisville (C)
Height: 6-4. Weight: 304.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2009): 5.
5/26/08: You're getting a rock at center if you draft Eric Wood; he's started 37 consecutive games. He was voted to the All-Big East first team last year.

2007: A member of the All-Big East second team in 2006, Eric Wood started all 13 games as a sophomore.

Tyronne Green, Auburn (G)
Height: 6-2. Weight: 309.
Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
Projected Round (2009): 6. (I think he'll go earlier)
5/25/08: Thrived as a first-year starter in Auburn's offense, earning SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors once in 2007.

Rich Ohrnberger, Penn State (G)
Height: 6-2. Weight: 296.
Projected 40 Time: 5.16.
Projected Round (2009): 6-7.
11/2/08: There are many reasons for Penn State's success - one of which is the dominant play of the offensive line. Like his other four teammates, Rich Ohrnberger is doing a great job up front.
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Old 12-03-2008   #16
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
I can really see how easy it could be for us to fix the middle of our OL early in this draft and have pretty much a dominant offense. It's just hard for me to think if we do that... we're avoiding serious upgrades to our defense.

I think, with the draft, you don't make very many decisions before hand. You gotta see how it shakes out, be prepared, and be flexible. You gotta take what it gives you... but I'm really thinking we're at least hoping those star players that slip are on the D side.

I still have hope for our OL, they HAVE improved, and I think will continue to do so as they play more. Doesn't look like a finished product by any means, but if they continue to improve even a little, we should be able to focus on getting some playmakers on the other side.


It gets back to what the Texans worked so hard during the offseason. Protect the ball, create turnovers on D, and don't get penalties. I think the D needs to be more proactive in forcing turnovers but after that- we've improved a great deal. I know your going to say turnovers- but That's not our RB,WR, TE's problems- they've got it down. It's the QB's and the darn Red Zone. That's what they've got to work on this offseason and I think we'll see improvement and that will have an IMMEDIATE impact on our W/L record alone. (More offensive points, higher T.O.P., rested defense, etc.)

My question OMT would be, who do you really justify taking with our first pick looking at our needs on defense? A list of LBs comes to mind but outside of that what players would be a reach? Adibi has proven to be a nice pick, Molden is doing well in ST and I'd really like to see get him some PT, and Okam is stil la question mark. The problem is how the defense has looked the past two weeks when RS gets it in his head it's okay to be aggressive startto finish. I'm not saying we're stacked with Pro-bowlers but there is enough talent there to field a middle of the pack defense.

I think we'd do good to draft a guy like Duke Robinson and seal up the interior line whomever is C next year. There is going to be good talent falling to the second and we'll have choices there on both sides of the ball.

I think it is much easier to plug and play defensive FAs then Offensive ones and there will be some good talent available on the defensive side of that ball.

Last edited by Goldensilence; 12-03-2008 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 12-03-2008   #17
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by mussop View Post
2 players you might like that dont exactly have great measurables but can really play and IMO would really help this team are Victor Harris CB VTech. He is listed at 6' 192# not bad but only 4.55 in the 40. I have a feeling he will improve that time at the combine. He has gotten better every year. Hes physical, good in run support a threat to take it to the house if he gets his hands on a pass. Even plays on offense once in awhile. To top it off he is a very good kick returner.

The other is Emanuel Cook S from SC. He is only 5'10" and that might be a stretch but he weights 210#. I have heard him compared to Bob Sanders more than once. He is a very strong tackler and has good enough cover skills to get a look at CB at the combine.

I would take either one of these guys in the second round.
I haven't seen either one of these players play, but Cook's name keeps popping up as someone to keep an eye on. I know ideally he doesn't have the size, but he's a little bigger than Sanders (5'8" 206 lbs) and Polamalu (5'10" 207 lbs). If he can "bring it" like they can, they need to jump on him in the 2nd round if he's still there. JMHO!
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Old 12-03-2008   #18
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
...I think, with the draft, you don't make very many decisions before hand. You gotta see how it shakes out, be prepared, and be flexible. You gotta take what it gives you... but I'm really thinking we're at least hoping those star players that slip are on the D side.

I still have hope for our OL, they HAVE improved, and I think will continue to do so as they play more. Doesn't look like a finished product by any means, but if they continue to improve even a little, we should be able to focus on getting some playmakers on the other side...
Exactly. We've been discussing it earlier, but the deepest positions of this coming draft may be at LB and OC and both of these are areas of need. I agree, regarding our OL, that there is reason for some optimism. But I am also somewhat concerned. Slaton has gotten his yards this season, but there are also a LOT of plays he is being stopped for no gain and for losses. I think we need to address Center in this draft, because of the depth of quality, but I'm willing to give them one more season to come together before we consider major changes.
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Old 12-03-2008   #19
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

How about an extra RB to back up Steve?
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Old 12-03-2008   #20
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Default Re: First Look - Next Years Draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsorc View Post
The one good thing about space eating DTs and interior offesinve linemen is that you can always get good value for them.
Can you?

If you think of some of the dominant big-man DTs in the league, a lot of them were early-mid first rounders.

Haloti Ngata - 12th
Albert Haynesworth - 15th
Marcus Stroud - 13th
John Henderson - 9th
Vince Wilfork - 21st
Kevin Williams - 9th

Granted, some were taken in the second.
Shaun Rogers - 62nd
Kris Jenkins - 45th

And there's the occasional gem..
Pat Williams - UDFA

But, for the most part, if you want a truly dominant DT, you have to pay for him. I'd love to get some good value on a DL, especially after drafting so many of them in the first over the past few years, but you're going to have to sell me on a really special LB, CB, or DE for me to be happy about passing up Cody or Raji.

Last edited by nero THE zero; 12-03-2008 at 11:47 PM.
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