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Old 02-09-2011   #1
powda
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Default 2011 draft dynamics

This will be the first year i know of in which the draft will happen before free agency. I think this will change the entire dynamic of our draft strategy. We cant be sure we'll land a quality cornerback in free agency...but...we cant go into another season with the secondary talent we have. I wonder if that will force our hand.

I know plenty of people on the board would perfer a vetran to more rookie cornerbacks but we may not have that luxury. Thoughts?
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Old 02-09-2011   #2
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

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Originally Posted by powda View Post
This will be the first year i know of in which the draft will happen before free agency. I think this will change the entire dynamic of our draft strategy. We cant be sure we'll land a quality cornerback in free agency...but...we cant go into another season with the secondary talent we have. I wonder if that will force our hand.

I know plenty of people on the board would perfer a vetran to more rookie cornerbacks but we may not have that luxury. Thoughts?
I think you're exactly right, I hate that we won't get a chance to address some holes before the draft. With that said, there's enough positions on this team that need upgrading that I no way shape or form reach on a DB if there are better players available. We need impact players across the board and if we can address DE or NT or OLB with a special talent then we need to do that, even if it means we don't get a CB that "may" be marginally better than Jackson/Quin.

Another thing that will make it tough is that Wade won't have had the luxury of actually watching our players 1st hand. He won't be able to run some practices and scrimmages and see how Cushing fits as an ILB in the 3-4 or how Mitchell looks as the NT.
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Old 02-09-2011   #3
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Its a miserable offseason to switch to a 3-4 defense. Our secondary is such a mess i dont see a quality starter in the group. Jackson , Nolan, and Quin may be competent this year ,but how can you trust them after this seasons disaster?

I dont just want 1 quality...i want 2 quality cornerbacks out of free agency.

Our LB corps isnt much better if look at them individually:

Solb ?

Silb Cushing = down year and unproductive as a 4-3 middle linebacker. Now were going to put him in the middle of a 3-4.

Wilb Ryans = He's comming off a season ending injury. I trust him to be a leader and be productive. What i dont trust is his ability after this injury until i see it for myself

Wolb Barwin = Maybe he's a strong side backer instead? he is also comming off a season ending injury and no one has ever seen him play as a 3-4 olb. More importantly , Wade Phillips will have to make personel decissions before he gets a chance to see him in a practice as a olb.

To me Sharpton is an inside backer in a 3-4 defense. As long as Cushing is inside this keeps Sharpton on the bench as a reserve.

I like Mark Anderson a lot as a pass rushing specialist in a 4-3 defense. Rick Smith did a good job finding him and i have not heard anyone compliment him for it. However, Anderson doesnt strike me as effective in space. I don't think he's a factor as a 3-4 olb.

All the other backers we have figure to be inside and reserves.

If Kubiak and Smith plan to be around next offseason they have to be super active in free agency and nail their top draft picks. Normally, you shouldnt expect much out of say a 3rd round pick...but this year...theyre going to have to contribute or start. No more wasted picks on TE's or projects. They need to stop outsmarting themselves.
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Old 02-09-2011   #4
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Agreed. There are so many question marks due to the transition and injuries. I do think Wade will be creative in our schemes. We won't be in a true 3-4 100% of the time. Anderson was an excellent pick up last year but I don't see him as an OLB either. I think he's still got a spot though for rotational use and when we show different fronts. Wade says he'll use the players to their strengths and I really believe him... I think he'llbe creative and mix things up.

I like our CBs... assuming we get a legit veteran FA. LOL. For me, it's a must for this team to be as successful as we want it to be. Nnamdi Asomugha, Ike Taylor, Champ Bailey. I think Taylor would fit this team well and this season is one of the few where I'm promoting potentially "overpaying" for one of these guys. We're in a corner and it has to be done.
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Old 02-09-2011   #5
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
this season is one of the few where I'm promoting potentially "overpaying" for one of these guys. We're in a corner and it has to be done.
We have to overpay or the whole thing will be blown up next offseason. For some reason Reggie White being way over paid in Green Bay and getting there through free agency comes to mind. It began the renisance up there. Once he went, others followed. We need to make a splash and lead the way in free agency.

Names i'm watching in free agency =

cb Joseph cincy
cb Wilson balt
Nt Soliai mia
Nt Franklin sf
Nt Branch az
olb Lawson sf
s Whitner buf (ss only)

Sure, some of these guys have had a mix of success and failure ,but they are all young players entering their prime. I think they all bring something we need and represent an upgrade in talent. plus non of them will cost serious coin.

I think our defense will mix it up like you suggest. We've been a passive defense that reacted to the offense since Capers. I feel like i can trust Wade Phillips scheme; I just dont know about his ability to find talent.
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Old 02-10-2011   #6
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

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Originally Posted by powda View Post
Its a miserable offseason to switch to a 3-4 defense. Our secondary is such a mess i dont see a quality starter in the group. Jackson , Nolan, and Quin may be competent this year ,but how can you trust them after this seasons disaster?

I dont just want 1 quality...i want 2 quality cornerbacks out of free agency.
I think Quin gets a bad rap from our secondaries terrible play last year. In just his second season he was asked to line up against the other teams #1 WR week in and week out, and IMO did a pretty good job of it. I think Quin can be a servicable number 1 CB if not a pretty darn good 2.

Jackson looked awful last season, I don't think anybody is going to argue with that. But it's not too often rookie cornerbacks get thrown into the starting lineup from the get go. Asomugha didn't start until his third season in the league. Hell, it took Tramon Williams 4 years and an injury to crack the starting lineup. My point is that we shouldn't give up on Jackson just yet.

I definitely think we need to land a CB in FA but I don't think we need 2. If we can land Nnamdi, Champ, Ike, or even Grimey and pair them with Quin with Kareem playing nickleback. I think that would be solid.

What I think we really need is a true ball hawk FS to replace Wilson/Barber. These guys were absolute trash last year. Pollard is an in the box type safety which is ok if you have a good centerfielder type guy playing with him. We don't have that guy and it hurt us badly last year. Hopefully we can find someone in the draft or free agency to fill that void.
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Old 02-10-2011   #7
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_txtech View Post
I think Quin gets a bad rap from our secondaries terrible play last year. In just his second season he was asked to line up against the other teams #1 WR week in and week out, and IMO did a pretty good job of it. I think Quin can be a servicable number 1 CB if not a pretty darn good 2.

Jackson looked awful last season, I don't think anybody is going to argue with that. But it's not too often rookie cornerbacks get thrown into the starting lineup from the get go. Asomugha didn't start until his third season in the league. Hell, it took Tramon Williams 4 years and an injury to crack the starting lineup. My point is that we shouldn't give up on Jackson just yet.

I definitely think we need to land a CB in FA but I don't think we need 2. If we can land Nnamdi, Champ, Ike, or even Grimey and pair them with Quin with Kareem playing nickleback. I think that would be solid.

What I think we really need is a true ball hawk FS to replace Wilson/Barber. These guys were absolute trash last year. Pollard is an in the box type safety which is ok if you have a good centerfielder type guy playing with him. We don't have that guy and it hurt us badly last year. Hopefully we can find someone in the draft or free agency to fill that void.
Signing a vet CB should be priority no.1

Moving Quin to S should be an option and drafting a S.

A secondary of

Bailey,Jackson,Quin,Quinton Carter would be a much improved secondary. It's up to BoB to sign a playmaking vet CB in FA. So far BoB's track record says it's not going to happen.
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Old 02-10-2011   #8
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_txtech View Post

1.I think Quin gets a bad rap from our secondaries terrible play last year.

2.I definitely think we need to land a CB in FA but I don't think we need 2.

3.What I think we really need is a true ball hawk FS to replace Wilson/Barber.
1. i think our front 7 got a bad rep because of our secondary. Our secondary issues were all inclusive. If quin did his part he got no help over the top from a safety. if the safety did his part then quin didnt. quin had some ok moments last year and he is a young player. he should improve ,but if your kubiak do you trust your job to him? NO. Ultimately, quin may be sufficient thru the season but a playoff caliber offense will always take advantage of him. i'd like to see him transition to free safety.

2. If we only get 1 free agent cornerback and he gets injured we're back at square one. Names like McCain and Molden better not be on the roster next season.

3. The funny thing about needing a free safety so bad is that this draft class is weak. Last year we had the same need and the draft class was exceptionaly strong. i have lobbyed for a high pick on a free safety for years now. We dont have a safety on the roster who would start for any other team.
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Old 02-10-2011   #9
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Quin is the only guy in the secondary who did any good last year. I think we are set with him as our #2 CB. What we need is a #1. Jackson makes an okay nickel if he improves the way a rookie DB should into his second year.

I'm okay with Pollard at SS as long as we get a centerfield FS out there, which we do not have (and have never had). And if we don't bring Pollard back then that means we have two safety spots to fill, because I don't see any other starting safeties on this roster.
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Old 02-10-2011   #10
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

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Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Signing a vet CB should be priority no.1

Moving Quin to S should be an option and drafting a S.

A secondary of

Bailey,Jackson,Quin,Quinton Carter would be a much improved secondary. It's up to BoB to sign a playmaking vet CB in FA. So far BoB's track record says it's not going to happen.
i think this is extremely achievable and would be great for this team...couldn't agree more
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Old 02-11-2011   #11
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

I made a thread very similar to this one on the Mock Draft Board about a week ago and agree with Powda. We aren't guaranteed to get anyone in FA, whenever it takes place, so we must make CB a major priority in the draft and whoever we pick will have to start or make a significant contribution. I can imagine that we'll take either Amukamara, Harris, or Smith in the 1st round. As for the LB situation if we don't get anyone and have to make do with what we have already I'd do the following.

SOLB-Connor Barwin
SILB-Brian Cushing
WILB-Demeco Ryans
WOLB-Mark Anderson

Powda, very good assessment of the situation.
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Old 02-11-2011   #12
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Nolan Nowarcki (sp?) with profootball weekly has the texans taking Prince Amukamara in his first mock draft.

Every draft has prime players that only go so deep. This draft will have players that will be first rounders ---- but how many of them would be first rounders in other years?

There looks like about 7-9 elite players in this draft. After that the talent drops of. Every texans fan should be rooting for guys like Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Ingram and the offensive tackles to have fantastic workouts.
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Old 02-11-2011   #13
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Andrew Luck's decision to stay in school hurt everyone. I'm hoping that Gabbert and Newton both have great combines and someone falls in love with them. I've seen several drafts lately that have Amukamara going to us at #11 but I don't want to get my hopes up to high. If he's available and we don't take him then Rick Smith should be fired on the spot.
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Old 02-11-2011   #14
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
He won't be able to run some practices and scrimmages and see how Cushing fits as an ILB in the 3-4...
I just don't understand why Phillips has Cushing penciled in at ILB. Cushing has looked much better attacking upfield, rather than reading and reacting. Cushing at LOLB and Barwin at ROLB seems obvious to me.
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Old 02-13-2011   #15
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

I think if free agency takes place after the draft it will force the Texans to be more aggressive in free agency if they target certain players in the draft they will have to get the rest in free agency or Kubiak & Rick Smith will be out of a job in 2012. Brian Cushing showed that he isn't very good playing at ILB this season he is way too stiff and he is much better playing OLB over the TE.
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Old 02-14-2011   #16
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

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Originally Posted by PHAROAH View Post
I think if free agency takes place after the draft it will force the Texans to be more aggressive in free agency if they target certain players in the draft they will have to get the rest in free agency or Kubiak & Rick Smith will be out of a job in 2012. Brian Cushing showed that he isn't very good playing at ILB this season he is way too stiff and he is much better playing OLB over the TE.
If FA takes place after the draft then yes it adds a sense of urgency to the Texans to fill holes that didn't get filled in the draft but remember that any FA we target has 31 other teams offering them contracts as well and they'll have to want to come here. Honestly I don't look for us to do much in FA, maybe a player or 2 but nothing real high quality or expensive, since we've got plenty of our own FA's that will need to be re-signed.
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Old 02-17-2011   #17
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

I notice Minesota drafts #12 overall. There will be lots of speculation about them wanting a quarterback. That may increase the trade value of our pick if a team wants to leapfrog them for a chance at Gabbert or Newton...

Ofcourse any team that wants a cornerback may feel the need to leapfrog us...
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Old 03-18-2011   #18
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

The April 6th injunction which defaults to last years offseason rules is something we should all be rooting for. I'm sketchy as far as most of the details but it would ultimately allow 3 weeks of free agency prior to the draft.

If we dont have the opportunity to sign free agents prior to the draft i think we have to draft CB Amukamara (or the next best thing - Smith / Harris) with our first pick.

Consider:

Starting safetys Wilson / Pollard out and no sure fire safety worth a high round selection.

That means our current roster safetys are Barber / Nolan (yikes)

Quinn was their best cornerback last year and is being moved to a new position at free safety which has merrit ,but any time theres a position change invollved i expect a lesser performance until proven otherwise.

That means our current roster starting corners are Jackson / Allen

SO projecting a current line up of...

ss Nolan
fs Quin
Cb Jackson
Cb Allen

...looks worse to me then last years starting lineup. We cant assume anyone will want to come here in free agency. I hope David Gibbs leaving and a more traditional technique the players are acustomed to will reap benifitts.

The bottom line is we need more talent in the secondary.

If the April 6th ruling fails to allow free agency i'm looking for something resembling this in the draft :

...................1. cb Amukamara (@ 11)
...................2. olb Houston / Sheard / Moch / Reed / Carter (take ur pick)
...................3. ss McDaniel / Carter / Jarrett / Sash
...................4. ----in the words of John Harris "FAT" (nose tackle)
(pay me rick) 4. olb (best available -dont forget Barwin hasnt done it yet)
...................5. cb (good bye Molden)
...................6. offensive lineman - probably interior
(trade back) 6. fs (they always fall on draft day - scoop up best remaing)
...................7. Nt/De developmental wide body

A starting line up of...

ss Nolan vs. #3
fs Quin vs. Nolan vs. #3
cb #1 Amukamara
cb Jackson vs. Allen vs. Quin

...with the option to suppliment in free agency looks a helluva lot more appealing to me. I just dont trust guys like Aldon Smith or Robert Quinn to do something on the NFL level they havent done on the college level. Amukamara is a more polished and ready cornerback then they are outside linebackers. We dont have the time to wait on a prospect develop.

I guess i just feel like our hand is forced in the draft - especially if Amukamara is available.
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Old 03-18-2011   #19
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Quote:
Originally Posted by powda View Post
The April 6th injunction which defaults to last years offseason rules is something we should all be rooting for. I'm sketchy as far as most of the details but it would ultimately allow 3 weeks of free agency prior to the draft.

If we dont have the opportunity to sign free agents prior to the draft i think we have to draft CB Amukamara (or the next best thing - Smith / Harris) with our first pick.

Consider:

Starting safetys Wilson / Pollard out and no sure fire safety worth a high round selection.

That means our current roster safetys are Barber / Nolan (yikes)

Quinn was their best cornerback last year and is being moved to a new position at free safety which has merrit ,but any time theres a position change invollved i expect a lesser performance until proven otherwise.

That means our current roster starting corners are Jackson / Allen

SO projecting a current line up of...

ss Nolan
fs Quin
Cb Jackson
Cb Allen

...looks worse to me then last years starting lineup. We cant assume anyone will want to come here in free agency. I hope David Gibbs leaving and a more traditional technique the players are acustomed to will reap benifitts.

The bottom line is we need more talent in the secondary.
IMO, this line-up is already better than what we have last year.

I know that quite a few people thought that Quin was our best CB last year.
I didn't see it that way.
When I break down the game tape, Jackson was most suited at CB, even though he had some rough edges as a rookie.
I saw him as pleying better than McCourty in New England.
(I know I've been promising to break down all the games and I still intend to.)
Jackson will no longer be a rookie.

Quin is best at nickel where he saw a lot of action for us last year.
His skill set can translate to FS, I suppose; however his tackling skill is lacking to be put as the last line of defense.
Still, he's an automatic upgrade over Wilson, 'cause Wilson's tackling is no longer what it once was (along with his coverage skill.)

Now that we have Jackson and Allen (for one more year before the end of his contract), even if we can't find a quality FA, it shouldn't be too hard to find one to play nickel.
We also have McManis as a possibility.
I like for us to draft a CB to groom in case Allen doesn't work out in the long term (beyond 2012).
With a trade down to get Jimmy Smith or another big CB.
I like Brandon Harris but with Jackson already on board, I think it's better to find a big CB.
Amukamara I won't touch in the top 25 as I have Smith ahead of him.

We should go ahead and draft a safety: McDaniels, D. Williams, Andrew Rich, Sash, Sands and take a flyer in the late round (4th or later, or maybe UDFA) with guys like Jaiquawn Jarrett, Joe Lefeged, Jermale Hines, Jeron Johnson, Antwine Perez, Chris Prosinski, Dejon Gomes, Eric Haggs, or one of the guys from TCU, or whoever that has certain quality that the coaches think they can use.

Then if we can find another FA, it will be a plus.
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Old 03-18-2011   #20
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Default Re: 2011 draft dynamics

Quote:
Originally Posted by 76Texan View Post
IMO, this line-up is already better than what we have last year.
The funny thing about that is last year was so bad the unknown is assumed to be better.

At ss "whoever" has to be an upgrade over Pollard in coverage but they wont be in run support. Nolan made 1 splash play near then end of the season and suddenly people ignored everything before hand. He was not good last year -perhaps the best of a bad bunch - but not good.

Quin has better range and man coverage skills then Wilson ,but how disciplined is he going to be guarding areas when he's never played safety before? You can't get help over the top if your safety is out of position. As a cornerback hes a better then average tackler. As a safety hes probably less then average. He has no ball skills at all - and thats something I always want out of the safety positions. i want to see him play as a free safety before i can honestly think of him as a solution there. i want to be wrong about this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 76Texan View Post
I know that quite a few people thought that Quin was our best CB last year.
I didn't see it that way.
When I break down the game tape, Jackson was most suited at CB, even though he had some rough edges as a rookie.
Jackson has superior athleticism to Quin no doubt. But Quin was more consistent and played with more attitude last year. I haven't given up on Jackson yet. Something i saw a lot was that our cornerbacks commited their hips to one side or another BEFORE a reciever made his break in the route tree. If our corner opened his hips to the inside then the reciever was wide open on a break outside. I guess this is due to the "shuffle technique" David Gibbs taught. I dont know enough about the intracacies of cornerback technique to be sure - but i do know the end result sucked.

Jason Allen is not the answer. His play is to sporadic to be considered a long term solution.
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