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Old 03-18-2009   #1
ArlingtonTexan
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Default Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Understanding Talent and need using the Bengals as a negative example.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...ls-draft-talk/

Quote:
The Bengals have so many needs that it’s not unreasonable to think they could draft a back. They have to prepare for all options, and even if a wide receiver that they graded high were still on the board, they would probably select him. The Bengals rely on their coaches to grade the players correctly, and they rely on what they believe they need to determine whom they’ll pick. They’re all about team needs, so no matter where they pick in the round, they go with their predetermined need.

The problem with how the Bengals approach the draft is that no one has seen all the players and can determine who is actually a better player, not necessarily someone who fills a need. They have no one who can look at the draft board and make a horizontal determination as it relates to all the positions. The position coaches make a vertical determination, but there’s no one who can look across the board and make the right call as it relates to talent. Therefore, the Bengals allow the debate to begin but are really locked into their team needs. Typically, whoever can argue the loudest and has the strongest opinion will be the voice heard in this kind of situation. So the Bengals’ course of action in the draft will be determined by team needs and by the coach with the strongest opinion, regardless of his position.

This is why, when you hear someone say a player is a good fourth-round pick, or this person is a third rounder, it really makes no sense. As someone in the league said to me last week about the draft, “When you hear scouts or executives talk about rounds and where they would draft them, they really do not get the draft concept.” Scouts should describe the player, and based on that description, it will indicate the round. Unless you have seen all the players at every position, it’s impossible to talk about rounds. Rounds should equate to what a player does during his NFL career. So first and second rounders should be starters, third and fourth are potential starters and fifth through seventh rounders are more likely back-up/role players and developmental players. Nevertheless, no one is a fourth rounder. Art Modell, the former owner of the Browns, used to say about the draft process, “When they come out of their mother, they do not say they’re a second rounder. We make them a second rounder.”

A player who’s picked in the second round is only a good pick if he starts. It’s not where the player is picked but how he plays once he enters the league. The critical aspect is to make sure the evaluation matches the selection. I used to laugh after the draft when scouts would come into the draft room, look over the board and say, “I thought that player was a second, thought he was a fourth and thought he was a free agent.” What does that mean?

Describe the player, describe his role for the team this year and next year, and that will tell you where he should go in the draft. It’s all about how they play, not where we pick them.
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Old 03-19-2009   #2
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

2006 -

1st Mario Williams - starter
2nd DeMeco Ryans - starter
3rd Charles Spencer - starter
3rd Eric Winston - starter
4th Owen Daniels - starter
6th Wali Lundy - busted (did start a few games-no alternative)
7th David Anderson - starter (slot WR)

2007 -

1st Amobi Okoye - starter
2nd Matt Schaub - starter
3rd Jacoby Jones - starter (punt returns)
4th Fred Bennett - back-up (has started on occasion)
5th Brandon Harrison - back-up (has also started at times)
5th Brandon Fry - back-up/developmental (picked up by another team)
6th Kasey Studdard - back-up/developmental (make or break year)
7th Zach Diles - starter

2008 -

1st Duane Brown - starter
2nd Matt Schaub - starter
3rd Steve Slaton - starter
4th Xavier Adibi - starter
5th Frank Okam - back-up/developmental
6th Chris Meyers - starter
6th Dominique Barber - back-up/starter
7th Alex Brink - developmental

I get the general idea, get it, "general" idea draft for starters gosh why doesnt everybody do that......forget about what round just draft a player @ a position you think/know he would have immediate impact. why didn't I think of that?

maybe because everyone else is trying to do the same thing so it comes back around to best player available or that some positions like CB, DL & QB take more time to develop, of course they're always exceptions funny how they usually are first rounders, but point well taken

what we need to do now is pinpoint those areas of weakness on this team & bring in new starters from the draft. as noted above the Texans added 6 new starters via the draft, in 07 that number dropped to 3 1/2 (split Schaub) as the team showed signs of improvement but then in 08 added 4 1/2 (counted Matt Schaub again 1/2).

there was a poll around earlier asking folks to guess how many new starters there would be in the draft this year. the team is improving so its becoming more & more difficult to upgrade directly from College to the Pros yet here we're told to just draft starters, so if the Texans could repeat a performance like the past three drafts that average is 4 1/2 less 1/2 Schaub lets make it 4.

positions to upgrade as starters could be.

OG/OC Brisiel/Myers/White - Gibbs can could put the finishing touches on
SLB/WLB Diles/Bentley/Adibi - Bush can take his type of playmaker
DT Johnson/Okam/Zgonina - Kollar can add missing link
CB Reeves/Bennett/Molden - young Gibbs can have entirely different look

those are the key positions in the first four rounds for the Texans. All we gotta do is take the the bpa @ each position who can come into camp & win a starting job.

1st Peria Jerry DT - beats out Travis Johnson
2nd Clint Sintim OLB - beats out Diles
3rd Antoine Caldwell OC/OG - beats out Myers/Brisiel
4th Keenan Lewis CB - Bennett/Molden/Reeves

rep that
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Old 03-19-2009   #3
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

This is what I have been preaching for the last month.
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Old 03-19-2009   #4
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

If you want to hear Lombardi talk some more football about off season moves in general and his Top 10 in the draft go to the Sports Guy on ESPN and listen to the other days podcast..BS Report on right...some talk on Sage too..good, quick listen

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index
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Old 03-19-2009   #5
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
2006 -

1st Mario Williams - starter
2nd DeMeco Ryans - starter
3rd Charles Spencer - starter
3rd Eric Winston - starter
4th Owen Daniels - starter
6th Wali Lundy - busted (did start a few games-no alternative)
7th David Anderson - starter (slot WR)

2007 -

1st Amobi Okoye - starter
2nd Matt Schaub - starter
3rd Jacoby Jones - starter (punt returns)
4th Fred Bennett - back-up (has started on occasion)
5th Brandon Harrison - back-up (has also started at times)
5th Brandon Fry - back-up/developmental (picked up by another team)
6th Kasey Studdard - back-up/developmental (make or break year)
7th Zach Diles - starter

2008 -

1st Duane Brown - starter
2nd Matt Schaub - starter
3rd Steve Slaton - starter
4th Xavier Adibi - starter
5th Frank Okam - back-up/developmental
6th Chris Meyers - starter
6th Dominique Barber - back-up/starter
7th Alex Brink - developmental

I get the general idea, get it, "general" idea draft for starters gosh why doesnt everybody do that......forget about what round just draft a player @ a position you think/know he would have immediate impact. why didn't I think of that?

maybe because everyone else is trying to do the same thing so it comes back around to best player available or that some positions like CB, DL & QB take more time to develop, of course they're always exceptions funny how they usually are first rounders, but point well taken

what we need to do now is pinpoint those areas of weakness on this team & bring in new starters from the draft. as noted above the Texans added 6 new starters via the draft, in 07 that number dropped to 3 1/2 (split Schaub) as the team showed signs of improvement but then in 08 added 4 1/2 (counted Matt Schaub again 1/2).

there was a poll around earlier asking folks to guess how many new starters there would be in the draft this year. the team is improving so its becoming more & more difficult to upgrade directly from College to the Pros yet here we're told to just draft starters, so if the Texans could repeat a performance like the past three drafts that average is 4 1/2 less 1/2 Schaub lets make it 4.

positions to upgrade as starters could be.

OG/OC Brisiel/Myers/White - Gibbs can could put the finishing touches on
SLB/WLB Diles/Bentley/Adibi - Bush can take his type of playmaker
DT Johnson/Okam/Zgonina - Kollar can add missing link
CB Reeves/Bennett/Molden - young Gibbs can have entirely different look

those are the key positions in the first four rounds for the Texans. All we gotta do is take the the bpa @ each position who can come into camp & win a starting job.

1st Peria Jerry DT - beats out Travis Johnson
2nd Clint Sintim OLB - beats out Diles
3rd Antoine Caldwell OC/OG - beats out Myers/Brisiel
4th Keenan Lewis CB - Bennett/Molden/Reeves

rep that
Great analysis if the past three draft classes. And a great way to approach the draft. The Texans have done very well over the last three years.

The only thing that I would significantly disagree with you on is the need for a DT. I think we are OK there. What we really need is another starting quality running back. Slaton is great, but he is the only starting quality RB on the roster right now. You have to have at least two. These guys take more abuse than anyone else on the football field. I hope Slaton starts every game this year, and for the next 10 years. But a smart coach will be cautious enough to plan for the possibility that this will not happen. Not even this year.

So, add a RB to the top four and remove the DT.

The order matters less, but for the draft order I would recommend:

1. CB
2. OLB
3. RB
4. C

Any order we can pick up starters will be good for me. Which correctly seems to be your primary point of emphasis.
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Old 03-19-2009   #6
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
2006 -

1st Mario Williams - starter
2nd DeMeco Ryans - starter
3rd Charles Spencer - starter
3rd Eric Winston - starter
4th Owen Daniels - starter
6th Wali Lundy - busted (did start a few games-no alternative)
7th David Anderson - starter (slot WR)

2007 -

1st Amobi Okoye - starter
2nd Matt Schaub - starter
3rd Jacoby Jones - starter (punt returns)
4th Fred Bennett - back-up (has started on occasion)
5th Brandon Harrison - back-up (has also started at times)
5th Brandon Fry - back-up/developmental (picked up by another team)
6th Kasey Studdard - back-up/developmental (make or break year)
7th Zach Diles - starter

2008 -

1st Duane Brown - starter
2nd Matt Schaub - starter
3rd Steve Slaton - starter
4th Xavier Adibi - starter
5th Frank Okam - back-up/developmental
6th Chris Meyers - starter
6th Dominique Barber - back-up/starter
7th Alex Brink - developmental

I get the general idea, get it, "general" idea draft for starters gosh why doesnt everybody do that......forget about what round just draft a player @ a position you think/know he would have immediate impact. why didn't I think of that?

maybe because everyone else is trying to do the same thing so it comes back around to best player available or that some positions like CB, DL & QB take more time to develop, of course they're always exceptions funny how they usually are first rounders, but point well taken

what we need to do now is pinpoint those areas of weakness on this team & bring in new starters from the draft. as noted above the Texans added 6 new starters via the draft, in 07 that number dropped to 3 1/2 (split Schaub) as the team showed signs of improvement but then in 08 added 4 1/2 (counted Matt Schaub again 1/2).

there was a poll around earlier asking folks to guess how many new starters there would be in the draft this year. the team is improving so its becoming more & more difficult to upgrade directly from College to the Pros yet here we're told to just draft starters, so if the Texans could repeat a performance like the past three drafts that average is 4 1/2 less 1/2 Schaub lets make it 4.

positions to upgrade as starters could be.

OG/OC Brisiel/Myers/White - Gibbs can could put the finishing touches on
SLB/WLB Diles/Bentley/Adibi - Bush can take his type of playmaker
DT Johnson/Okam/Zgonina - Kollar can add missing link
CB Reeves/Bennett/Molden - young Gibbs can have entirely different look

those are the key positions in the first four rounds for the Texans. All we gotta do is take the the bpa @ each position who can come into camp & win a starting job.

1st Peria Jerry DT - beats out Travis Johnson
2nd Clint Sintim OLB - beats out Diles
3rd Antoine Caldwell OC/OG - beats out Myers/Brisiel
4th Keenan Lewis CB - Bennett/Molden/Reeves

rep that
I like your draft with the exception of Sintim. He just isn't fluid enough to play OLB in a 4-3. IF you watched the Senior bowl practices he was the definition of stiff. If you are drafting him to be a situational pass rusher then he has value, but the 2nd round would be too high for him in that instance. I would take your guys but hopefully replace Sintim with Barwin as he is a phenomenal athlete that could develop into a serious player.
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Old 03-19-2009   #7
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post
Great analysis if the past three draft classes. And a great way to approach the draft. The Texans have done very well over the last three years.

The only thing that I would significantly disagree with you on is the need for a DT. I think we are OK there. What we really need is another starting quality running back. Slaton is great, but he is the only starting quality RB on the roster right now. You have to have at least two. These guys take more abuse than anyone else on the football field. I hope Slaton starts every game this year, and for the next 10 years. But a smart coach will be cautious enough to plan for the possibility that this will not happen. Not even this year.

So, add a RB to the top four and remove the DT.

The order matters less, but for the draft order I would recommend:

1. CB
2. OLB
3. RB
4. C

Any order we can pick up starters will be good for me. Which correctly seems to be your primary point of emphasis.
I'm down with taking a RB somewhere from the 5th rd. on, I think that fits really well with what's expected from Kubiak/Smith. He would be considered in depth/developmental category since Steve is the starter- doesn't mean he won't contribute immediately in power back role. RB class has excellent depth late rounds. I would also like to add a weakside OLB into the mix since the Texans have two fourth round picks, premier bloking TE to replace Bruener & big time burner/playmaker @ WR I just didn't want to appear too greedy, but in vein of Lombardi Philosophy why not address starter upgrades in later rounds as well?

4b. Cody Brown, Connecticut WLB depth/starter - share duties w/Xavier Adibi

5th Richard Quinn, TE North Carolina - replaces Mark Bruener (blocking TE)

6th Demetrius Byrd, WR LSU - beats out Andre Davis/Jacoby Jones

7th Kyle Bell, RB Colrado State depth/power back - beats out Moats/Sapp

Played @ Colorado State coming off torn acl in 07 100% recovered is 6010 233 ran a 4.54, 29 reps, vertical 34" broad jump 9'7". excellent blocking skills, adequate hands receiving, runs power back role in ZBS.
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Old 03-19-2009   #8
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by otisbean View Post
I like your draft with the exception of Sintim. He just isn't fluid enough to play OLB in a 4-3. IF you watched the Senior bowl practices he was the definition of stiff. If you are drafting him to be a situational pass rusher then he has value, but the 2nd round would be too high for him in that instance. I would take your guys but hopefully replace Sintim with Barwin as he is a phenomenal athlete that could develop into a serious player.
thats a good point & only reason he is still available. Fills Texans need for a strong side elephant stand-up OLB who does have pass rush ability but can hold up against the run. would also consider English but think he will be gone but really they are pretty much a toss-up its more a question of who's available who can come in day one as the starter (per draft philosophy).
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Old 03-19-2009   #9
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

I like this. Add the possibility of trading down for additional pick(s), and we can really solidify the team. So, what areas need improvement most in order of priority, and for each of those areas, which rounds will we most likely be able to find possible starters?
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Old 03-19-2009   #10
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArlingtonTexan View Post
Understanding Talent and need using the Bengals as a negative example.
...

The problem with how the Bengals approach the draft is that no one has seen all the players and can determine who is actually a better player, not necessarily someone who fills a need. They have no one who can look at the draft board and make a horizontal determination as it relates to all the positions. The position coaches make a vertical determination, but there’s no one who can look across the board and make the right call as it relates to talent. Therefore, the Bengals allow the debate to begin but are really locked into their team needs. Typically, whoever can argue the loudest and has the strongest opinion will be the voice heard in this kind of situation. So the Bengals’ course of action in the draft will be determined by team needs and by the coach with the strongest opinion, regardless of his position.
This is why the Bengal draft so poorly year in and year out. They are to cheap to pay scouts and have a head scout that lays out the board.

In Houston and most successful drafting teams, the scouts grade the prospects and lay out the draft board. All seven rounds plus UDFA guys. Then team and only then is team need addressed.
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Old 03-19-2009   #11
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

S - Nic Harris, Oklahoma Round 2
CB - Sean Smith, Utah, Round 1 or CB - Vontae Davis, Illinois, Round 1 or CB - Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State, Round 1
LB - Zack Follet, California, Round 4
C - Antoine Caldwell, Alabama, Round 3
RB - Andre Brown, NC State, Round 4
OG - George Bussey, Louisville, Round 6
DT - Terrance Knighton, Temple, Round 5
TE - Dan Gronkowski, Maryland, Round 7

Last edited by jdog; 03-19-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 03-19-2009   #12
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdog View Post
S - Nic Harris, Oklahoma Round 2
CB - Sean Smith, Utah, Round 1 or CB - Vontae Davis, Illinois, Round 1 or CB - Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State, Round 1
LB - Zack Follet, California, Round 4
C - Antoine Caldwell, Alabama, Round 3
RB - Andre Brown, NC State, Round 4
OG - George Bussey, Louisville, Round 6
DT - Terrance Knighton, Temple, Round 5
TE - Dan Gronkowski, Maryland, Round 7
What kind of order is this in?

Harris in the 2nd is a reach. He has the mentality of a safety and the skills of a OLB.

I like him, but closer to the 4th round.
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Old 03-19-2009   #13
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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What kind of order is this in?

Harris in the 2nd is a reach. He has the mentality of a safety and the skills of a OLB.

I like him, but closer to the 4th round.
I was trying to put them in order of need IMO. Yeah, you're right about Harris. What pick(s) do you think we could realistically get for trading down in the first? Who's a good safety we could get for good value in the second? What do you think about the other picks?
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Old 03-19-2009   #14
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post
Great analysis if the past three draft classes. And a great way to approach the draft. The Texans have done very well over the last three years.

The only thing that I would significantly disagree with you on is the need for a DT. I think we are OK there. What we really need is another starting quality running back. Slaton is great, but he is the only starting quality RB on the roster right now. You have to have at least two. These guys take more abuse than anyone else on the football field. I hope Slaton starts every game this year, and for the next 10 years. But a smart coach will be cautious enough to plan for the possibility that this will not happen. Not even this year.

So, add a RB to the top four and remove the DT.

The order matters less, but for the draft order I would recommend:

1. CB
2. OLB
3. RB
4. C

Any order we can pick up starters will be good for me. Which correctly seems to be your primary point of emphasis.
How can we be ok at DT when the coaches have identified stopping the run as a high priority? You going to hope that TJ and Okoye are better? I'll give you that Okoye had good rookie season and he was hurt last season but what offers hope the run issue will no longer be an issue?
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Old 03-19-2009   #15
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

I think that RB is a position of need + will have the best talent available when we decide to draft one.
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Old 03-19-2009   #16
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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Originally Posted by jdog View Post
I was trying to put them in order of need IMO. Yeah, you're right about Harris. What pick(s) do you think we could realistically get for trading down in the first? Who's a good safety we could get for good value in the second? What do you think about the other picks?
FS:
Sean Smith will probably be gone here
Louis Delmas is he falls to us
Rashad Johnson would be decent value

SS:
William Moore is he continues to drop would be great value. Teach him how to tackle and you got yourself a good 2nd rounder
Patrick Chung would be decent value

I would prefer to get a safety in the third unless one of the above bolded players is there in the second. I think the safeties in the third have less risk attached.

My favorite in the class is FS Derek Pegues (Mississippi St). I would take him in the 3rd, but it's possible his size could drop him to the 4th. I also like Trimane Goddard (North Carolina) in the 5th. He is a ballhawk, not a complete player though.

For SS, my favorite is Courtney Greene (Rutgers) in the 4th or Otis Wiley (Michigan St) in the 5th.
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Old 03-19-2009   #17
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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Originally Posted by painekiller View Post
This is why the Bengal draft so poorly year in and year out. They are to cheap to pay scouts and have a head scout that lays out the board.

In Houston and most successful drafting teams, the scouts grade the prospects and lay out the draft board. All seven rounds plus UDFA guys. Then team and only then is team need addressed.
The economics of what the Bengals do is correct, but

There is some logic to what the Bengals do i.e. this is my highest need and so i should draft the highest rated player at the position of need in the highest round. Honestly, pretty instinctive and what a lot (maybe even most) of fans think of the draft. There are numerous posts and threads on this board to support my notion about how fans think.


The problem is that if a team does not think the highest rated player at your highest need is a starting talent (not just immediate by the way), then a team should not draft to fill that need. Over time, a team is better with more talent than trying fill a short term need with a lesser player.

Big picture of what Lombardi is saying is that the most important distiction not the ranking of players or stating that ____ should go in the ----round but the teiring of players as:

1) Starters
2) Potential Starters
3) Back-up role Players.

The round where you draft a player is not and cannot be known until the draft takes place. While this reads like semantics, his idea is that there is not a second round talent, but a talent you take in the second round.
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Old 03-20-2009   #18
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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Originally Posted by ArlingtonTexan View Post
Big picture of what Lombardi is saying is that the most important distiction not the ranking of players or stating that ____ should go in the ----round but the teiring of players as:

1) Starters
2) Potential Starters
3) Back-up role Players.

The round where you draft a player is not and cannot be known until the draft takes place. While this reads like semantics, his idea is that there is not a second round talent, but a talent you take in the second round.
I can follow this better now. But IMO most teams grade players, and they score guys from 1 to 100. No player is a 100. Now when Casserly talks about 1st round grade this is what he is talking about. In some draft like this one, there are not 32 guys that grade out as 1st rounders.

Now we know that 32 guys will be 1st rounders, but in this draft, again IMO, player #12 is not much different from player #40. So having a guy that knows the whole board and how it lays with the teams entire set of needs is very important.

When you do what the Bengals are saying you end up with David Carr at #1 when Peppers and Bryant McKinnie where clearly better players.
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Old 03-20-2009   #19
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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Originally Posted by otisbean View Post
I like your draft with the exception of Sintim. He just isn't fluid enough to play OLB in a 4-3. IF you watched the Senior bowl practices he was the definition of stiff. If you are drafting him to be a situational pass rusher then he has value, but the 2nd round would be too high for him in that instance. I would take your guys but hopefully replace Sintim with Barwin as he is a phenomenal athlete that could develop into a serious player.
evidently a little stiff in practice translates into less than great workout numbers too. this only helps the Texans (who where present @ his pro-day) a better chance he'll still be available for them in the 2nd rd. LB more than any other position I can think of is all about being a football player first, someone you can count on to make plays & his speciality is chasing down QB's. love his attitude & I think Bush does as well..... http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/spo...222310/236459/

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A team could get a great deal on Sintim in the second round. - Chad Reuter, The SportsXchange, NFLDraftScout.com
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Old 03-23-2009   #20
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Default Re: Lombardi on Draft Philosophy

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Originally Posted by HoustonFrog View Post
If you want to hear Lombardi talk some more football about off season moves in general and his Top 10 in the draft go to the Sports Guy on ESPN and listen to the other days podcast..BS Report on right...some talk on Sage too..good, quick listen

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index

Lombardi is on every week with me on 1560 AM from 8 to 8:30 each Friday. GREAT football discussions with him. He will be in Italy this week, but he'll be back next week.
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