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Old 05-02-2010   #1
LORK 88
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Lightbulb LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

TEXANS DRAFT GRADES


KAREEM JACKSON, CB, ALABAMA
I know a lot of people were hoping for the never bashful Kyle Wilson, but Iím glad we took Jackson. The thing with Jackson is he was a 3 year starter for a nation champion and has had a great career. He didnít get the attention as some of the others because his INT numbers werenít better, but opposing QBs completed fewer than 50% of their passes against him. The thing with Jackson is heís a very intelligent CB and is a deceptive athlete (4.40 speed). He played in Sabanís pro style offense and faced some of the best teams in the SEC. Heís also a very balanced CB. You canít say heís a cover corner or physical corner because that would imply he canít do the other. He didnít have insane numbers while at Alabama, but he was consistent and his INTs were from smart plays and not dumb luck. Still, Jackson needs to be prepared as heís going to face #1 WRs all season long and will have to learn on the fly. Itís also cause for concern that he didnít cause very many turnovers, all though his play was consistent all season. Overall, I like the pick. Heís a consistent performer who we can count on day 1 and who will work hard. Heís got a tough job in front of him, but he has the tools to be successful. Thereís no room for error as we desperately needed a CB and had our choice of the 3 late round 1 CBs.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: Jackson is the starter at RCB, no questions asked. Unless he has a complete meltdown in training camp, heís going to be starting. It will be a true baptism by fire, but itís good that we have Reeves who can start for Quin or Jackson if either struggle or get injured. Weíre depending on him a lot so hopefully he can handle it.

GRADE: 87 OVERALL (95 NEED, 83 BPA)


BEN TATE, RB, AUBURN
I absolutely love this pick, but Iíve been talking about Tate since the regular season and before the combine. I actually got to see him play in person the 2006 Cotton Bowl and thought he looked better than Irons. What I love about Tate is he is a great all around RB who fits what we need. From a measurables standpoint, heís got the size to be a 20 carry RB, but has deceptive speed. If he gets into the open, he will run away from defenders which is scary when you realize heís 220 plus. He tested through the roof at the combine to prove this and his name popped up several times as a top performer. As far as his running style, heís a tough no-nonsense runner who gets north and south. Heís always getting extra yards and loves punishing weak defenders. Rarely will you find him spending too much time dancing around like Slaton found himself doing too much last season. Heís the definition of a ďone cut and goĒ runner. The main causes for concern are that Tate does need to work on protecting the ball and can tend to be impatient. Other than that, Tate should come in and have an instant impact letting Slaton be more of a change of pace/dynamic RB that we initially thought he would be. I know some people would have preferred Gerhart who was a college warrior, but the fact we were able to get a RB who will be just as effective and is probably a better fit for the ZBS is fine with me. Great pick, Tateís my favorite new Texan hands down.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: Tate will steal some serious time from Slaton. I can see Kubiak splitting time between the two and going with the hot hand, or just using Tate as the main RB with Slaton spelling him (most likely option 2). Either way, Tate is going to see the field a lot in 2010 and I wouldnít be surprised to see him eclipse 1,000 yards.

GRADE: 93 OVERALL (95 NEED, 86 BPA)


EARL MITCHELL, DT, ARIZONA
Iím a little hesitant on how to grade this pick. On one hand, Mitchell played great with limited experience at DT, had a great combine, and is an incredibly hard worker. However, was he worth our 3rd round pick? Honestly, Iíll say yes. When looking at the other DTs taken after him, Corey Peters out of Kentucky is the only other DT taken round 3 (he would have been a much more questionable pick). Other than Peters, Adkins and Woods were the only other DTs taken relatively close, and they were taken least 30 picks after Mitchell. Earl Mitchell kind of reminds me of the Charles Spencer pick in 2006. Heís a player who hasnít always played DT and has limited experience, but tested well and could use his raw abilities to help out right away much like Spencer. Much like Spencer, its unseen exactly how heíll fit on our team and specifically where heíll play. We all want a NT, but Mitchell screams 3 tech with us. It does scare me that our DEs are just as big as our DTs. On the plus side, Mitchell is quick for a DT and a true penetrating DT. Not only that, he has a non-stop motor and is a fierce competitor. On the downside are the obvious; size, strength, and this sounds a lot like what we were saying about Okoye. Overall, Iím fine with the pick but leery that we added yet another 3 tech DT. However, when looking at our DT rotation, Okoye is the only player who has any potential so adding any DT with potential is a help.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: Mitchellís impact is hard to predict. He could end up starting or he could also end up the 4th DT on the roster. Immediately, I think he sees time on passing situations on the inside with Smith. If that goes well, I see him getting more opportunities on earlier downs to prove himself. However, I see him in Okoyeís spot more than at NT.

GRADE: 83 OVERALL (90 NEED, 78 BPA)


DARRYL SHARPTON, LB, THE U
I was a little hesitant at first, but I like the pick overall. To be honest, we have room for him on our roster and he will round out our 6 LBs. I expect him to backup Demeco unless he proves to be a solid Will LB and threatens Diles. Currently, our 6th LB is journeyman and former SS Darnell Bing. Something that should be noted is that both Xavier Adibi and Zac Diles have missed time due to injury in the past as did Cushing in college. This gives us more depth and security at one of our top positions. As far as a player, Sharpton is best described as aggressive and fierce. Heís a sideline to sideline player with a non-stop motor typical of most linebackers from The U. He loves mixing it up and despite his size, is stout in run defense. Heís decent in pass defense, but his size gets the best of him and he doesnít look natural. He does tend to get too aggressive and this has caused him to fall victim to play actions and mis-directions (something Tennessee loves to use with VY). Overall, I like that we added another LB, but think it could have been done later on as this pick could have been better used.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: Sharpton might get a chance to start at weak side over Diles, but I highly doubt it. Sharpton will back up DeMeco and play a key role on special teams unless injuries plague or LB group. If Diles gets hurt, all bets are off on who steps in as Iím not 100% they trust Adibi (who has injury concerns himself).

GRADE: 77 OVERALL (80 NEED, 75 BPA)


GARRETT GRAHAM, TE, WISCONSIN
I just want to be perfectly clear on this. Garrett Graham is a solid TE and went where he was supposed to go. He was projected to go in between the 4th and 5th round which is fair value. The reason I have this grade so low is solely because we have zero need for a TE. If it wasnít for TE being one of the few positions we have little to no need at, Iíd have this pick graded at around an 85. Graham isnít the biggest or fastest TE out there, but heís experienced, gives effort, and plays smart. As a blocker, heíll give tons of effort and has no problem staying in line, but he just doesnít have the size or strength to be a great blocker. Then again, the ZBS is about walling off defenders so it shouldnít be a huge issue. As a receiver, he may not be the fastest, but he runs good routes and understands shielding defenders from passes. He isnít anything special in the open field, but is able to maximize yards after catch by being a smart decision maker. Overall, Graham is a solid player who just isnít a big need which is the only reason heís rated so low. If Dreessen is hurt and Casey struggles, then heís a viable #2 and has potential. However, until we see the long term effect of this pick, thereís no choice but to think this pick could have been used best in other ways.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: The best we can hope for this season is Graham as our #2 TE. At worst, heís practice squad or falls behind Casey and Dreessen. At best, he pushes Daniels for time and creates trade value. Graham is a pick who shouldnít expect much barring injury and his true value wonít be seen until years down the road outside of special teams.

GRADE: 76 OVERALL (65 NEED, 86 BPA)


SHERRICK MCMANIS, DB, NORTHWESTERN
In all honesty, I didnít know too much about McManis just like everyone else. I actually saw him play in 2008 in the Alamo Bowl against Missouri and while no Missouri players went off that game, Chase Daniels played terribly. Iím still unsure if itís a good thing or bad thing that he was so unnoticeable during that game. I know for a fact it doesnít bode well for McManis that several of us thought he was going to move to safety after reading up on him. The thing with McManis is heís talented and a smart player on the field, but the question is does he have the athleticism to make it. Heís technically sound and understands the position well, but you have to question how much he can offer at the next level. He wasnít able to do anything this offseason because of injury so heís a bit of a wild card as well. Heís the player that you want to like because heís a hard worker and a leader, but in the NFL you have to question if he can make it. Overall, this is the one pick I like the least. Heís talented, but I think Kubiak and Smith reached on him because of his high character and leadership qualities. Hopefully he gets a shot at FS because he could have more of an impact in that regard.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: To be honest, itís unseen if he even makes the final 53 man roster. There are already 5 CBs on the roster with experience and thatís not including Kareem Jackson. Heís either got to be out Molden and Bennett, or hope that we keep 6 CBs on the roster. Otherwise, heíll end up on the practice squad year 1.

GRADE: 72 OVERALL (69 BPA, 75 NEED)


SHELLEY SMITH, OG, COLORADO ST
I couldnít help but laugh when I heard this pick. Not because itís a horrible pick, but more so because so many of us saw this one coming because of Kubiakís affinity for Colorado State players (now tied with Miami for most players from one college on the team). In fact, more people predicted this pick than Kareem Jackson. The fact is though that Kubiak knows the Colorado State system and he knows what weíre getting in Smith; it was a solid pick despite how obvious it was. Smith is a solid interior lineman who fits the zone blocking scheme as is experienced from him time at Colorado State. Heís got great athleticism and can get to the second level with ease. Heís actually a pretty fierce competitor too and has a solid mean streak. As far as weaknesses, Smith needs to be stronger at the point of attack like many zone blocking prospects. I also question what he adds that we donít already have. Overall, heís solid depth with a chance to earn playing time years down the road.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: I see little to no impact here unless major injuries happen again like 2009. Shelley actually has an uphill battle to make the roster and prove that we want to keep 5 OGs on the roster (unless Brisiel is still hurt). I donít see him stealing time and wouldnít be surprised if he didnít see any action in 2010.

GRADE: 85 OVERALL (85 NEED, 85 BPA)
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Old 05-02-2010   #2
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

TRINDON HOLLIDAY, RET, LSU
As soon as I heard this pick, I couldn’t help but think of little JJ Moses who was Houston’s returner in the beginning of the franchise. Unlike Moses though, Holliday is a speed demon to put it softly. Not many people let alone football players can say they won the NCAA Indoor 100m dash by running it in 9.991 seconds. It’s even more impressive and shows how much true speed he has when he’s got to take 2 strides for every 1 someone over 6’ has to take. His strengths and weaknesses are incredibly obvious. He’s got speed and quickness for days, and he knows how to make people miss. The downside is he’s tiny and is exclusively restricted to return duties. Holliday’s impact and role is going to be the most direct and simple of all our draft picks; he’s going to return kicks and challenge Andre Davis. He’ll get every opportunity to win the punt and kick return duties and be a Devin Hester for us. The funny thing is that Holliday’s impact is going to be the easiest to track. There’s really no middle ground on this pick and that’s why I like it. He either wins the job outright and we release Davis or he doesn’t and ends up on the practice squad.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: This is all up to Holliday and no one else. He can either be our starting KR and PR and make an impact, or he can flop and is on the practice squad. His impact also determines if Davis is released and if Jacoby can focus more on WR.

GRADE: 83 OVERALL (81 NEED, 83 BPA)


DORIN DICKERSON, WR, PITT
Another tight end, are we crazy?! Not as much as we originally thought thankfully. Dickerson played TE his last 2 years in college (after spending time at LB, FB, and WR), but will play WR in the NFL according to Kubiak. It may not seem like a natural fit, but Dickerson is a freak athlete. He basically had the top performance at several drills, so it’s fairer to compare him across broader positions. His 4.40 40 time was the second fastest among WRs, his 43.5” vertical was the second best in the entire combine by .5”, and his 10’5” broad jump would put him second among WRs by 1”. The crazy thing is that it’s not like he’s nothing more than a workout warrior; as a senior, he had 49 catches for 529 yards and 10 TDs, second best on the team. He also was a finalist for the Mackey award (top TE in the nation). While the pieces are all there, he’ll have to put it together at WR, a position he hasn’t truly played since his first year at Pitt. He’s got to work on his route running and become a WR again. He knows how to body defenders like a TE; he just needs to learn some WR tendencies. Regardless, this is exactly what you want in a 7th round pick; a player that has all the tools that you just have to give time and experience. Dickerson and Tate are my two favorite picks hands down.

YEAR 1 IMPACT: Dorin won’t have any impact year 1 outside of special teams (which he should excel at). I think he will beat out Glenn Martinez and be the #5 or #6 WR depending on if Andre Davis gets cut or not (which is dependent on if Holliday does well in the return game).

GRADE: 95 OVERALL (72 NEED, 99 BPA)



FINAL GRADE: 84



GRADING SCALE
95 –should’ve been drafted rounds earlier; starter needed or we’re picking first overall next year
85 – in range, solid value; potential starter wanted but not necessary, could be upgrade
75 – slight reach, a few picks too high; depth needed but not a starter
65 – could of got them rounds later; little to no need, already have depth
55 – what were they thinking?!?
***overall grade not an average of BPA and need***
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Old 05-02-2010   #3
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

Great read Lork. Thanks for the write up.
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Old 05-02-2010   #4
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

Great job. Probably the best readup I've seen of this draft so far.

My only complaint is I think your outlook is just a little bit rosy on the "need" grades for Sharpton, Smith, and Holliday.

If Smith was a C I would totally agree with the 85, but I might give him a 70 as a G. Sharpton fills a definite depth need but imo depth needs make a little more sense in the 5th-6th. With Holliday, I know he could be a "starter", but a return specialist that doesn't also play CB or RB doesn't seem like a "real" starter to me.

I'm nitpicking, ignore me. Excellent work dude. Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2010   #5
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

Lork, as usual, I love reading your posts. Awesome right up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonhed View Post
If Smith was a C I would totally agree with the 85, but I might give him a 70 as a G.
I disagree with this being a rosy assessment. With Pitts being unsure, our starter being Studdard, and the RG position a toss up, I say that Smith is a great pick.

Where do y'all think that Wade is going to fit in?
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Old 05-02-2010   #6
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

G's on our roster:

Briesel
Smith, W
White
Studdard
Caldwell
Smith, S

C's on our roster:

Myers
White


*as far as I remember, at least
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Old 05-02-2010   #7
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

Ainīt Caldwell and Smith potential Cs, Caldwell even being drafted as one...
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Old 05-02-2010   #8
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Line_Producer View Post
With Pitts being unsure...
What's the uncertainty about Pitts?

He's gone.
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Old 05-02-2010   #9
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

One additional upside to the Holliday pick:

At his size, each time he returns a kick, he may very well be literally running for his life. That's motivation right there!
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Old 05-02-2010   #10
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

I really think Garrett Graham is the next Jason Witten. I've seen that potential in him since his sophomore year.

Tate is my favorite pick. I've said all along that he and Mathews fit our system perfectly. Graham is easily my second favorite pick. He would be my favorite if there was more of a need at that position.

I have the feeling that our TEs will be Daniels, Graham, and Dreesen. I see Casey fitting more as a FB/H Back. Hill may make the roster this year, but I don't think he will be here long term.
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Old 05-02-2010   #11
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

Quote:
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I really think Garrett Graham is the next Jason Witten. I've seen that potential in him since his sophomore year.
What are his measurables again? Whitten is a big dude.
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Old 05-02-2010   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
I really think Garrett Graham is the next Jason Witten. I've seen that potential in him since his sophomore year.

Tate is my favorite pick. I've said all along that he and Mathews fit our system perfectly. Graham is easily my second favorite pick. He would be my favorite if there was more of a need at that position.

I have the feeling that our TEs will be Daniels, Graham, and Dreesen. I see Casey fitting more as a FB/H Back. Hill may make the roster this year, but I don't think he will be here long term.
With Graham you have a back up plan if OD's contract demands become to much .
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Old 05-02-2010   #13
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Quote:
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What are his measurables again? Whitten is a big dude.
He's about the same as OD ( 6'3 246 ) , while Whitten is 6'5 255 I think .
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Old 05-02-2010   #14
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Quote:
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What are his measurables again? Whitten is a big dude.
Not really talking about measurables. I think Witten is considerably bigger. I'm talking more about style of play.

Graham can flat out block just like Witten can. He won't run you over but he will keep you out of the play. And just like Witten, his biggest value in the passing game is his ability to always find the holes. It doesn't seem like that much of a reach to say that he was somewhat open on every single passing play I saw Wisconsin run during the last three years. And I saw a lot of Wisconsin games since they always show the damn Big Ten games down here. He is a very deceptive athlete. He is faster in the open field than you would think he would be and he has great hands.
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Old 05-02-2010   #15
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Quote:
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What's the uncertainty about Pitts?

He's gone.
2 years from now, people will watch the first few plays of games and ask, "Where's Pitts? Is he hurt?"
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Old 05-03-2010   #16
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

I like your format & breakdown. using your guidelines I might tend to grade it just a little more generous. take McManis for example; lowest grade (72) big CB almost 2" taller than Haden, both 4.5 speed, three year starter, one more interception for his career (9) than Haden & equally good character, thats pretty extreme value for a team needing to address it's secondary in the 5th rd. also the pick of Graham may mean Hill has dissapointed to the point they may move on, while Casey needs to continue to compete to earn his roster spot. I too remember the old days & TE was under valued to the point the Texans really never had a TE until Owen & Kubiak came onto the scene. Now the Texans have enough talent @ the TE position to overcome injurys & holdouts, not to mention set in future drafts.

I would add a couple more points for McManis & Graham giving the Texans a culminative grade of 88 not trying to nit-pick cause you did an excellent job
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Old 05-03-2010   #17
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

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Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
I like your format & breakdown. using your guidelines I might tend to grade it just a little more generous. take McManis for example; lowest grade (72) big CB almost 2" taller than Haden, both 4.5 speed, three year starter, one more interception for his career (9) than Haden & equally good character, thats pretty extreme value for a team needing to address it's secondary in the 5th rd. also the pick of Graham may mean Hill has dissapointed to the point they may move on, while Casey needs to continue to compete to earn his roster spot. I too remember the old days & TE was under valued to the point the Texans really never had a TE until Owen & Kubiak came onto the scene. Now the Texans have enough talent @ the TE position to overcome injurys & holdouts, not to mention set in future drafts.

I would add a couple more points for McManis & Graham giving the Texans a culminative grade of 88 not trying to nit-pick cause you did an excellent job
What do you think about his grade of Shelley Smith?
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Old 05-03-2010   #18
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

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What do you think about his grade of Shelley Smith?
85 is a pretty solid score, well justified about the only thing he failed to mention is the fact Shelley can also play Center. If Caldwell remains their RG, which I think he will, Smith best shot is to compete aganst Myers in camp. It would be a surprise but not a shock if at some point he actually develops into the Texans long term center. if this happens the Texans blew-up this grade (positive) off the chart.
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Old 05-03-2010   #19
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

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85 is a pretty solid score, well justified about the only thing he failed to mention is the fact Shelley can also play Center. If Caldwell remains their RG, which I think he will, Smith best shot is to compete aganst Myers in camp. It would be a surprise but not a shock if at some point he actually develops into the Texans long term center. if this happens the Texans blew-up this grade (positive) off the chart.
Fair enough, I have FA Smith competing with Studdard and Myers and Briesel and Caldwell Fighting for RG. I think Shelley is competing with Chris White. I still have this as a wasted pick.
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Old 05-03-2010   #20
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Default Re: LORKs 2010 Draft Grades

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Fair enough, I have FA Smith competing with Studdard and Myers and Briesel and Caldwell Fighting for RG. I think Shelley is competing with Chris White. I still have this as a wasted pick.
Why a wasted pick? We needed G/C depth, and Shelly fits the bill. The thing about pure ZB olinemen is you can get them in the later rounds cause people don't really draft the lighter quicker guys weaker at the P.O.A. CLose to BPA at a need position, I have it as solid.
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