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Old 07-11-2009   #1
m5kwatts
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Default A Look Back at the 1st Round

In reviewing the early to middle part of the first round of this year's draft its already become apparent the Texans got lucky when Cushing fell to them at 15. Consider this and how he could have fit into other teams' plans perfectly at this point had they picked him...

14. New Orleans The Saints picked Malcolm Jenkins who begin his OTAs with a hamstring injury...reports indicate he did nothing but hurt his stock with the team and is currently battling Jason David for the 4th CB spot with Greer, Gay and Porter ahead of them on the depth chart. By all accounts the Saints defense is horrible in every aspect, so any defensive pick would've seemed to be wise but the fact is Jenkins won't help this team in 2009 and they needed to draft someone who would help this season, certainly Sean Payton needed to because he could be out of a job depending on how the Saints play this season. Their current starting OLBs are old and simply not good any more Fujita and Shanle...Think Cushing could've made the Saints better next season?

13. Washington The Redskins got lucky and had possibly the best edge rusher fall to them at #13. The odd thing about it is Brian Orakpo will play the SAM LB spot on 1st and 2nd down, with him moving to the edge on 3rd down. The point is to keep him on the field as long as possible. Many draft pundits who evaluated Orakpo as an OLB say his hips are too stiff, he'll be exploited in coverage and its a completely unnatural position for him so his instincts will be off. He made his first round draft status and his entire college career rushing the passer, why mess with a good thing? And if a SAM is what they were looking for/needed they could've had a Cushing...I don't think Orakpo was the wrong pick, just the wrong fit in Washington. They'll find out he isn't a linebacker and will find a home as RDE if in fact he ever finds success at the NFL level. With Zorn on the hot seat, he NEEDS to have his first rounder to have a lot of success next season.

12. Denver The Broncos are in the same boat as the Saints and Texans, horrible defense and any talent addition on that side of the ball would be welcomed. Yet they picked running back Knownshon Moreno. I'm not saying he won't be a good or even great back in the NFL, just saying the fit again is bad for a team who is in major rebuilding mode and no where near a contender. Its a ZBS O-line and Moreno is a shifty power back, not a one cut and go runner. Of course the ZBS will be eliminated there in time with McDaniels running a power running game/spread offense so he does fit the new scheme. The Broncos already had a really good offense even with a pathetic running game so the pick is a head scratcher. In fact, their #18 pick of Robert Ayers might even have made more sense here at 12, but the pieces fell in place for them to still get Ayers later so it worked out in that respect. But if the lifespan of an NFL RB takes its toll and Moreno isn't even in the league in 8 years and Cushing has multiple pro bowls, Denver will be rethinking this one. Especially if they don't win.

11. Buffalo I think this is the spot Cushing really should have gone. Buffalo reached big time on Aaron Maybin, who was expected to go in the 20s. While Buffalo had a horrible pass rush that needed addressing, Orakpo should've have been the DE pick if thats where they really wanted to go. Maybin is undersized and has had so-so OTAs but that isn't even the worst part about their first round pick, he doesn't have a position yet. Their staff appears to be split on what his role should be, with conflicting reports saying he'll be on the d-line and others saying linebacker. Either way he appears to be a big time project. Buffalo and coach Jauron needed someone to step in immediately and help because like Zorn and Payton, he is very much on the hot seat. Why draft a big time project like Maybin? Its possible Jauron didn't have much input on the pick because I would think he would draft someone that would help him this year.



So why did these 4 teams pass on a guy, who Kubiak said was "a starter when he got off the bus" ?? Cushing is closer to NFL ready than any of these guys and in the new NFL world where coaches are pretty much always on the hot seat its even more surprising. But more importantly, a big Thank You goes out to all these teams for passing on him because he'll help our Texans immediately and in the long run. Our playoff chances increased after his name was called on draft day. Those other 4 teams missed out.
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Old 07-11-2009   #2
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

interesting take. I just posted a comment about his blog post. http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/sho...34#post1208734

I agree with your comments about him being the most "NFL ready". I think it remains to be seen if he will be better than anyone those other teams drafted.

In the end, so far, I'm glad we got him.
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Old 07-11-2009   #3
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

I sure hope we got lucky!

I sure hope I can get lucky!
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Old 07-11-2009   #4
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

god we're bored...
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Old 07-11-2009   #5
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

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13. Washington The Redskins got lucky and had possibly the best edge rusher fall to them at #13. The odd thing about it is Brian Orakpo will play the SAM LB spot on 1st and 2nd down, with him moving to the edge on 3rd down. The point is to keep him on the field as long as possible. Many draft pundits who evaluated Orakpo as an OLB say his hips are too stiff, he'll be exploited in coverage and its a completely unnatural position for him so his instincts will be off. He made his first round draft status and his entire college career rushing the passer, why mess with a good thing? And if a SAM is what they were looking for/needed they could've had a Cushing...I don't think Orakpo was the wrong pick, just the wrong fit in Washington. They'll find out he isn't a linebacker and will find a home as RDE if in fact he ever finds success at the NFL level. With Zorn on the hot seat, he NEEDS to have his first rounder to have a lot of success next season.
To be fair though...people said the same thing about Cushing.
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Old 07-11-2009   #6
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

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To be fair though...people said the same thing about Cushing.
The big difference is Cushing was an OLB at USC and played the SAM before and Orakpo was a defensive end. I would've assumed the team drafting Orakpo would have him be an every down RDE, not a SAM, a position he is unfamiliar with and never played in college. If a SAM was what they were looking for then why not draft Cushing, the more polished player with linebacker instincts and has actually played the position? I'm betting against a smooth simple transition to LB for Orakpo and betting Cushing at the very least has a bigger impact at LB immediately this season and probably in the future.
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Old 07-11-2009   #7
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

USC is difficult to analyze Pro Prospects for me because there is so much talent they don't always stand out like they do on most College teams. Take Cushing out & seperate his skills from Matthews & Maualuga there is a whole new perspective. What seperates him from all those players you mentioned are his coverage skills, add length & physical attributes that = an elite NFL OLB. If thats what you need (Texans) he may rival Aaron Curry who was the top rated LB drafted #4 overall by the Seahawks. I'll have to admit the pick is looking better all the time, now we just gotta wait to see how he does on Sundays
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Old 07-11-2009   #8
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

I think mentally he may contribute extensively as well. I keep harping on the fact that I'm really starting to like his crazy-focused sort of thing. I have a feeling it could really catch on with this D over time.
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Old 07-12-2009   #9
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

Let's look back at the first round in 2012. That will be the real indicator.
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Old 07-12-2009   #10
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

Though I don't like to judge/grade a Draft before they even play a down in the NFL, I will say that, so far, Kubes and Smith have done a very good job of drafting. Sometimes I really have to scratch my head when they make a pick, but they usually are proven right over the course of time. So while I don't know why other teams didn't pick Cushing I'm just glad we got him, and I trust in Smith and Kubes assessment of talent to know we got a good player.

Now, if the season would just hurry up and get here....
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Old 07-12-2009   #11
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

When do we look back at the 2nd round??? I still can't believe that Belichick passed on Barwin 3 times. Or that Parcells passed on him for a slash player who will only see the field for a few plays a game.
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Old 07-12-2009   #12
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

Get ready, I'm feeling superstar. Well, a good tandem at least.
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Old 07-12-2009   #13
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

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When do we look back at the 2nd round??? I still can't believe that Belichick passed on Barwin 3 times. Or that Parcells passed on him for a slash player who will only see the field for a few plays a game.
I never thought about that its interesting because I think its the "only one year at defensive end thing", but if he had been a freshman redshirted on defense and had been groomed to be a defensive end and then had his breakout season he might have been a 1st rounder, the inexperience probably turned them off.
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Old 07-12-2009   #14
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

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In reviewing the early to middle part of the first round of this year's draft its already become apparent the Texans got lucky when Cushing fell to them at 15. Consider this and how he could have fit into other teams' plans perfectly at this point had they picked him...

14. New Orleans The Saints picked Malcolm Jenkins who begin his OTAs with a hamstring injury...reports indicate he did nothing but hurt his stock with the team and is currently battling Jason David for the 4th CB spot with Greer, Gay and Porter ahead of them on the depth chart. By all accounts the Saints defense is horrible in every aspect, so any defensive pick would've seemed to be wise but the fact is Jenkins won't help this team in 2009 and they needed to draft someone who would help this season, certainly Sean Payton needed to because he could be out of a job depending on how the Saints play this season. Their current starting OLBs are old and simply not good any more Fujita and Shanle...Think Cushing could've made the Saints better next season?

13. Washington The Redskins got lucky and had possibly the best edge rusher fall to them at #13. The odd thing about it is Brian Orakpo will play the SAM LB spot on 1st and 2nd down, with him moving to the edge on 3rd down. The point is to keep him on the field as long as possible. Many draft pundits who evaluated Orakpo as an OLB say his hips are too stiff, he'll be exploited in coverage and its a completely unnatural position for him so his instincts will be off. He made his first round draft status and his entire college career rushing the passer, why mess with a good thing? And if a SAM is what they were looking for/needed they could've had a Cushing...I don't think Orakpo was the wrong pick, just the wrong fit in Washington. They'll find out he isn't a linebacker and will find a home as RDE if in fact he ever finds success at the NFL level. With Zorn on the hot seat, he NEEDS to have his first rounder to have a lot of success next season.

12. Denver The Broncos are in the same boat as the Saints and Texans, horrible defense and any talent addition on that side of the ball would be welcomed. Yet they picked running back Knownshon Moreno. I'm not saying he won't be a good or even great back in the NFL, just saying the fit again is bad for a team who is in major rebuilding mode and no where near a contender. Its a ZBS O-line and Moreno is a shifty power back, not a one cut and go runner. Of course the ZBS will be eliminated there in time with McDaniels running a power running game/spread offense so he does fit the new scheme. The Broncos already had a really good offense even with a pathetic running game so the pick is a head scratcher. In fact, their #18 pick of Robert Ayers might even have made more sense here at 12, but the pieces fell in place for them to still get Ayers later so it worked out in that respect. But if the lifespan of an NFL RB takes its toll and Moreno isn't even in the league in 8 years and Cushing has multiple pro bowls, Denver will be rethinking this one. Especially if they don't win.

11. Buffalo I think this is the spot Cushing really should have gone. Buffalo reached big time on Aaron Maybin, who was expected to go in the 20s. While Buffalo had a horrible pass rush that needed addressing, Orakpo should've have been the DE pick if thats where they really wanted to go. Maybin is undersized and has had so-so OTAs but that isn't even the worst part about their first round pick, he doesn't have a position yet. Their staff appears to be split on what his role should be, with conflicting reports saying he'll be on the d-line and others saying linebacker. Either way he appears to be a big time project. Buffalo and coach Jauron needed someone to step in immediately and help because like Zorn and Payton, he is very much on the hot seat. Why draft a big time project like Maybin? Its possible Jauron didn't have much input on the pick because I would think he would draft someone that would help him this year.



So why did these 4 teams pass on a guy, who Kubiak said was "a starter when he got off the bus" ?? Cushing is closer to NFL ready than any of these guys and in the new NFL world where coaches are pretty much always on the hot seat its even more surprising. But more importantly, a big Thank You goes out to all these teams for passing on him because he'll help our Texans immediately and in the long run. Our playoff chances increased after his name was called on draft day. Those other 4 teams missed out.

I wanted to take these one at a time:

11. Buffalo: Maybin here is a bit of a reach, in my opinion. As you said, he does not really have a position to play. They should have taken Orakpo.

12. Denver: I agree with their pick. They needed BPA and based on who was there, this is the best pick for them. They are moving to 3-4 and Cush is a 4-3 OLB not a 3-4. Maybin is a maybe, but he is somewhat raw. He has high potential, but also has high bust written on him. McDaniels picked the bpa and it was a smart move.

13. Redskins: I still think Orakpo would have been a good pick for them, but I have him taken by Buffalo. They could have taken Robert Ayers, or Cush. In this scenario, I think they take Cush.

14. Saints:Probably the most transparent pick. They had been talking about need in DB and they got the best one of the draft. Easiest prediction. I am not sure if I would have taken him though. Robert Ayers would have been decent here. Seeing as though they were not picking again until the 4th, they wanted the best DB. They think they got him. Can't fault them.

The only real issue I have with Denver is their 2nd first. They were transitioning to a 3-4 and they grab a 4-3 DE. I don't see Ayers making the transition at all. I would have liked to see them take corner Alphonso Smith at the end of the first(who I think was the best CB in the draft) and then grab Paul Kruger to play OLB in the second.
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Old 07-12-2009   #15
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

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I never thought about that its interesting because I think its the "only one year at defensive end thing", but if he had been a freshman redshirted on defense and had been groomed to be a defensive end and then had his breakout season he might have been a 1st rounder, the inexperience probably turned them off.
if I'm not mistaken the rookie sack leader is a 1 year converted TE. Buffalo or something?
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Old 07-12-2009   #16
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if I'm not mistaken the rookie sack leader is a 1 year converted TE. Buffalo or something?
Nearly correct. Trevor Scott who now plays for the Raiders was rookie sack leader and was converted from tight end to DE in his junior season while with the Buffalo Bulls. So he had two years of experience. Props fot that.

edit: must spread rep..
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Old 07-12-2009   #17
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I wanted to take these one at a time:

11. Buffalo: Maybin here is a bit of a reach, in my opinion. As you said, he does not really have a position to play. They should have taken Orakpo.

12. Denver: I agree with their pick. They needed BPA and based on who was there, this is the best pick for them. They are moving to 3-4 and Cush is a 4-3 OLB not a 3-4. Maybin is a maybe, but he is somewhat raw. He has high potential, but also has high bust written on him. McDaniels picked the bpa and it was a smart move.

13. Redskins: I still think Orakpo would have been a good pick for them, but I have him taken by Buffalo. They could have taken Robert Ayers, or Cush. In this scenario, I think they take Cush.

14. Saints:Probably the most transparent pick. They had been talking about need in DB and they got the best one of the draft. Easiest prediction. I am not sure if I would have taken him though. Robert Ayers would have been decent here. Seeing as though they were not picking again until the 4th, they wanted the best DB. They think they got him. Can't fault them.

The only real issue I have with Denver is their 2nd first. They were transitioning to a 3-4 and they grab a 4-3 DE. I don't see Ayers making the transition at all. I would have liked to see them take corner Alphonso Smith at the end of the first(who I think was the best CB in the draft) and then grab Paul Kruger to play OLB in the second.
On Denver, I just don't think its a good idea for a team who won't be anywhere near contending taking a running back even if it is the best player available. 1st round running backs are for teams one piece away from winning the superbowl like the Cardinals who took Chris Wells. And also, I think Cushing could play inside linebacker in a 3-4 he has the size and speed and tenacity for it and I think would've been a better pick than Moreno.

I don't get why Ayers is being used as a OLB in their 3-4. That makes no sense because he was a power DE in college, bulling through tackles not running around them. He's too talented to be a bust, I think he'll be put at DE in their 3-4 eventually, he's strong enough to pull it off. He reminds me of Jay Ratliff.

I fault New Orleans for taking Jenkins because he was just a good college corner who never played press and should probably be playing safety because he's too slow for corner. Compounding that with the fact that he's not adjusting well in OTAs and it's looking kind of disastrous.
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Old 07-13-2009   #18
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Nearly correct. Trevor Scott who now plays for the Raiders was rookie sack leader and was converted from tight end to DE in his junior season while with the Buffalo Bulls. So he had two years of experience. Props fot that.

edit: must spread rep..
props to you for knowing and correcting me. impressive.
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Old 07-13-2009   #19
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

Anybody else notice that Cushing sounds like Keifer Sutherland? Just thought I would throw that out there.
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Old 07-13-2009   #20
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Default Re: A Look Back at the 1st Round

Isn't Buffalo going 3-4 just like the Broncos, meaning they wouldn't want
Cushing because he's got 4-3 SAM written all over him ?
I'm convinced we would have taken Jenkins even with Cushing also on the Board had NOLA not picked him. One of the biggest factors for that is the situation with Robinson.
I hope Cushing is OK by now with coming here, because I'm just left with the impression that he feels it's a step down to leave USC to come to Houston ?
Maybe that's just me, because frankly I really don't like USC or a lot of their players.
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