No Suprise if Raiders select Evans

Mike Evans showcases abilities and athletecism at NFL Scouting Combine, via SI.com

Many in the media, have predicted a for-gone conclusion that the Raiders will target Khalil Mack or Sammy Watkins with the fifth draft pick. Otherwise, the two may consider some of the elite tackles, but will likely trade down the board.

However, in the scenario that Mack and Watkins are off of the board, could the Raiders hold their water and select Mike Evans. NBC football talk reported the Raiders may lean towards Evans over Watkins, and another source broke their was a team in the top ten with similar thinking.

Well I have been adament about the Raiders selected Watkins, it would not suprise me if they select Evans even if Watkins is available.

The truth is, Reggie McKenzie likes big recievers. Evans could be the big possession reciever for Greg Olsen’s west coast offense. Sure they already have Rod Streater and Andre Holmes in that role, but who wouldn’t want another big reciever as there is a trend of defensive backs getting bigger and more physical.

McKenzie already admitted in interest in the one and one a recievers of this class of Evans and Watkins. He said he would take their great abilities over the rest of the classes’ good abilities anydays.

While Watkins may be the more polished and pro ready reciever, Evans seems to have more upside, with a 6’5 frame and fast fourty time. He does not offer the same value as Watkins in space and returning, but Evans has plenty of god given talent.

It is tough to evaluate him, because he played with Johnny Manziel. Just as many times as he took over games with big plays, he also dissapperead. No one is sure if Evans made Manziel or vice versa, but both have value at the next level.

However, this could just as well be a smoke screen to increase leverage at trading out of their pick. Or it could be a method to hide the Raiders’ interest, whom the media thinks they have predicted.

Ideally, either Watkins or Evans would be needed additions to a Raiders’ offense which is desperate for an identity. Matt Schaub should be happy to get either of these guys, but it would not suprise me if the Raiders stay at five and select Evans over Watkins.

Even if it is a reach, McKenzie proved last season, he is willing to get the player he wants even if it is at a higher cost. Whatever the decision is, hopefully it pans out for McKenzie, because this will be his defining draft selection.

Bridgewater’s fall signifies value of QB class

via google images
Draft Day is finally here! As informed fans we have been hearing the same talk over the past few months.

Who’s falling, who’s rising, and who faired well at the Pro-day.

One of those players who heard that talk was Teddy Bridgewater. During the season, Bridgewater was the consensus top quarterback in the college football. He only threw four interceptions, and helped lead his team to a bowl game.

Fast forward to the pre-draft process, and guys are talking about him going in the second round. It is a pretty steep fall considering Bridgewater has not played a single down of football since people considered him a candidate for the top pick.

They have said he has small hands, his football knowledge is not impressive, he can not lead a franchise, he is not accurant, his arm strength is unimpressive, he can not read defenses, and his frame is too small.

All of this has knocked down Bridgewater’s stock from Mike Mayock to Mel Kiper. However, could Bridgewaters tumble down draft boards be a sign of this entire draft class rather than him as a player.

Many have called this draft one of the deepest in years, especially at the skill positions. There are all kind of playmakers in this draft. Hence, it should be no suprise if the value of quarterback as a whole goes down. The defensive side of the ball is not as deep, so I expect teams to pick those players up early and often well waiting to later rounds for offensive skill players.

While this class does have talented skill players, quarterbacks are the position with the most question marks. From Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, and Blake Bortes to the quarterbacks expected to go in later rounds, each one has their different risks at the next level.

Bridgewater was once thought to have the least amount of risk, but that seems to not be the case. Hence, it would not suprise me if this entire quarterback class slipped to later rounds. Last draft, E.J. Mannuel was the only quarterback selected in the first round, and that was considered a reach by the Bills. Geno Smith felt the same type of fall Bridgewater is facing, as he stumbled to the second round.

My other point is this, maybe Bridgewater and this quarterback class was never that high to begin. It was media who built Bridgewater up, and it is media who is knocking him down. As more and more underclassmen declare for the draft each year, media face an even bigger learner curve trying to catch up to teams with dedicated scouting units. Hence maybe Bridgewater’s draft stock hasn’t fallen, because it was never that high to begin with. Maybe media is only now putting him and quarterback classmates right where they finally belong, in the second round.

In closing, it would not suprise me if Bridgewater falls to the second round, neither would it suprise me if he is selected in the top ten. The same could be said about each of the quarterbacks in this draft. However, the team which grabs Bridgewater in the second round, will be getting a pro-ready, leader and draft day still. I am just finally glad to see what happens, because its draft day…. and we get that much closer to Footbal!!!!

Full Mock Draft

Everyone is coming out with a Mock Draft, as the Draft is tomorrow. However, I have worked on this mock for a while. Unlike most people I let a lot of the talk finish, let free agency happen, and let pro-days happen. Might get some flack for this, but let me know what you think.

 

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1    1    1    Houston    Jadaveon Clowney, Defensive End, South Carolina

Clowney is combination of speed and explosiveness which only comes around once a decade.. Pairing him with J.J. Watt gives Houston a juggernaut pass rush.

1    2    2    St. Louis    Greg Robinson, Tackle, Auburn

Jake Long is coming off of an injury, and protecting Sam Bradford is a priority. The last time they selected a Tackle, No. 2 it turned out horrible, but Robinson is one the best players in the entire draft.

1    3    3    Jacksonville    Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Buffalo

Gus Bradley has won his players and many people in the media. Bradley is building something in Jacksonville, so there is no need to reach for a quarterback here. Mack is a dominant pass rusher to utilize against the division rival Colts who have Andrew Luck.

1    4    4    Cleveland    Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback, Louisville

Bridgewater has taken a lot of heat in this pre-draft process. However, his game tape shows him as the best quarterback available. The Browns need a quarterback and should grab the best one rather then wait for the end of the first like they did when they selected Brandan Weeden and Brady Quinn.

1    5    5    Oakland    Sammy Watkins, Receiver, Clemson

Watkins is the most pro-ready receiver in a deep class. The Raiders desperately need playmakers, so why not get the best? He complements the rest of the receiving corps and gives Schaub plenty of throwing options

1    6    6    Atlanta                Jake Matthews, Tackle, Texas A&M

No pass rushers fall to Atlanta, so they grab the best player available. Protecting Matt Ryan is critical, and Matthews has  a lot of potential.

1    7    7    Tampa Bay    Mike Evans, Receiver, Texas A&M

Why not pair two large and dominate recievers, with Vincent Jackson and Evans. Evans can do everything with his size and speed, so he is the best player available.

1    8    8    Minnesota    Derek Carr, Quarterback, Fresno St.

This might be high for Carr, but he has one of the biggest arms out of all the quarterbacks. The Vikings need a quarterback, and Carr will benefit from a season learning with Matt Cassell.

1    9    9    Buffalo                Eric Ebron, Tight End, North Carolina

Ebron is freak at tight end. E.J Manuel needs as many weapons as possible. May be too high for Ebron, but the best receivers are already taken

1    10    10    Detroit                Taylor Lewan,  Tackle, Michigan

The local kid, and best player available. Lewan is nasty and should fit nicely for the lions.

1    11    11    Tennessee    Justin Gilbert, Corner, Oklahoma St.

They lost Alterraun Verner who was their pro-bowl cornerback. Gilbert is the consensus top corner and if he is available the Titans should not think twice.

1    12    12    New York Giants Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburg   

Giants get an achor for their defensive line after losing Justin Tuck and Linvai Joseph to free agency. This makes sense for the Giants and for Donald

1    13    13    St. Louis     Calvin Pryor, Safety, Louisville

The Rams need help in the secondary, and Pryor has the highest ceiling of the top Safeties. HaHa Clinton may be the most pro-ready safety, but Pryor could wind up with the better career.

1    14    14    Chicago     C.J. Mosley, Linebacker, Alabama

The Bears’ defense is transitioning into a new era, so Mosley can be the face for years to come.He is a smart and physical linebacker, which is something the Bears have always coveted.

1    15    15    Pittsburgh     Anthony Barr, Linebacker, UC Los Angeles

Pittsburgh loves pass rushers, and landing one with as much upside as Barr is too much to pass up. He would be a nice scheme fit, and an immediate pass rushing threat.

1    16    16    Dallas                 HaHa Clinton, Safety, Alabama

The Cowboys have needed a safety the past few season. Clinton in the mid round is solid value, and he has enough experience to contribute from day one.

1    17    17    Baltimore     Zach Martin, Tackle, Notre Dame

Baltimore is a tough selection. Having lost Michael Ohr in free agency, Martin is a pro ready right tackle or guard for a team that needs help opening lanes in the running game.

1    18    18    New York Jets     Odell Beckham Jr. Receiver, Louisiana State

Beckham does a lot on the field for an offense and special teams. Whoever is quarterback needs more weapons. Beckham adds some much needed explosion to the Jets offense.

1    19    19    Miami                 Timmy Jernigan, Defensive Tackle Florida State

From their own backyard, they snag a big and athletic nose tackle. This may be high for the Jernigan, but he is coming off a dominate year and national championship.

1    20    20    Arizona    Blake Bortes, QB, Arizona

Great news for Arizona. A big body and big arm quarterback falls into their lap. Bortes is a raw prospect, but the Cardinals can give him a year or two to learn the ropes of the NFL.

1    21    21    Green Bay     Ra’ Shede Hageamon, Defensive Tackle, Minnesota

Green Bay desperately needs athletes on defense, and he is a monster. Hagemon’s value falls all over the place, but his potential is too much for Green Bay to pass up, here.

1    22    22    Philadelphia     Brandin Cooks, Receiver, Oklahoma State

The Eagles need a receiver, since they let go of Desean Jackson, Chip Kelly loves speed and Cooks is a speedster who can plays anywhere on the field. Eagles go out and get a guy who can make an immediate impact, despite the depth at receiver in the class.

1    23    23    Kansas City     Marqis Lee, Receiver, Southern California

The Knock on Marqis Lee is he does not dominate any one aspect of the game. His hands may be shakey at times, but he can make plays on special teams and on offense. Lee will thrive in the number two role across from Dwayne Bowe.

1    24    24    Cincinnati     Kyle Fuller, Corner Back, Virginia Tech,

Fuller has the most potential of the corners remaining. The Bengals need some youth in their secondary, and Fuller should have time to learn.

1    25    25    San Diego     Brandon Roby, Corner Back, Ohio State

Roby comes with some off-field issues, but has flashed dominance at times. San Diego desperately needs a corner and Robys potential is too much to pass.

1    26    26    Cleveland     Darqueze Dennard, Corner Back, Michigan State

Dennard is knocked for not having a high ceiling at the next level. Combined with limited athletic abilities, there are questions about him relying too much on physical play. In this spot though he can be Joe Hayden’s counterpart.

1    27    27    New Orleans     Dee Ford, Defensive End, Auburn

If Dee Ford can do any one thing it is rush the quarterback. New Orleans needs a pass rusher, even if there are questions about Ford’s size.

1    28    28    Carolina     Morgan Moses, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech

Carolina’s most noted subtraction is Steve Smith, but they also lost their pro bowl left tackle. Moses has the skills to be a dominant offensive linemen, and Cam Newton could use the help.

1    29    29    New England     Louis Nixx III

30    San Francisco     Jason Verrett, Cornerback, Texas Christian

Verrett may be undersized but his game tape doesn’t tell that. He is a value for the nickel corner, and the niners needed a corner after Carlos Rodgers left. Despite his under six foot frame, Verrett competes and the niners will like that.

1    31    31    Denver                 Ryan Shazier, Linebacker, Ohio State

Shakier had a highly decorated career in college. His run instincts would be a great addition to defense poised for a playoff run.

1    32    32    Seattle                 Kony Ealy, Defensive End, Missouri

Seattle lost many components of their pass-rush to free agency. It should be their top priority, and they should be happy to grab Ealy who is a well-rounded football player.

2    1    33    Houston    Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M

Everyone talks about Manziel being the next Drew Brees or Russell Wilson. Yet, those guys were not drafted in the top of the draft. Manziel shouldn’t be either, so the top of the second round is great value.

2    2    34    Washington    Jimmy Ward Safety, Northern Illinois

2    3    35    Cleveland    Davonte Adams, Reciever, Fresno State

2    4    36    Oakland    Kyle Van Noy, linebacker, BIrmingham Young

2    5    37    Atlanta                Demarcus Lawrence, Linebacker, Boise State

2    6    38    Tampa Bay    Jawuan James, Tackle, Tennessee

2    7    39    Jacksonville    Zach Metternberger, Quarterback, Louisiana State

2    8    40    Minnesota    Xavier Su’a Fila, Offensive Guard, UC Los Angeles

2    9    41    Buffalo                Cyrus Kouandijio, Tackle, Alabama

2    10    42    Tennessee    Jeremy Hill, Running Back, Louisiana State

2    11    43    N.Y. Giants    Allen Robinson, Reciever, Penn State

2    12    44    St. Louis    Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Reciever, Florida State

2    13    45    Detroit                Jace Amaro, Tight End, Texas A&M

2    14    46    Pittsburgh    Donte Moncrief, Reciever, Ole Miss

2    15    47    Dallas                Scott Chrinton, Defensive End, Oregen State

2    16    48    Baltimore    Cody Latimor, Reciever, Indiana

2    17    49    N.Y. Jets    Joel Bitinio, Guard, Nevada

2    18    50    Miami                Jack Mewhort, Tackle, Ohio State

2    19    51    Chicago    Phillip Gaines, Cornerback, Rice

2    20    52    Arizona    Deone Buchanon, Safety, Washington State

2    21    53    Green Bay     Austin Sefred Jenkins,Tight end, Washington

2    22    54    Philadelphia    Stephon Tuitt, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame

2    23    55    Cincinnati    Cameron Flemming, Offensive Tackle, Stanford

2    24    56    San Francisco    from K.c. Dominique Easley, Defensive Tackle, Flordida

2    25    57    San Diego    Jeremiah Attaochu, Linebacker, Georgia Tech

2    26    58    New Orleans    Weston Richburg, Center, Colorado State

2    27    59    Indianapolis    Carl Bradford, Linebacker, Arizona State

2    28    60    Carolina    Martavis Murphy, Reciever, Clemson

2    29    61    San Francisco    Marcus Martin, Center, USC

2    30    62    New England    Jordan Matthews, Wide Reciever, Vanderbilt

    31    63    Denver                Charles Simms, Running Back, West Virginia

2    32    64    Seattle                Marcus Smith, Defensive End, Louisville

3    1    65    Houston    Tre Mason, Running Back, Auburn

3    2    66    Washington    Chris Smith, Defensive End, Arkansas

3    3    67    Oakland    Will Sutton, Defensive Tackle, Arizona State

3    4    68    Atlanta                Troy Niklas, tight end, Notre Dame

3    5    69    Tampa Bay    Gabe Jackson, Guard, Mississippi State

3    6    70    Jacksonville    Bishop Sankey, Running Back, Washington

3    7    71    Cleveland    Kareem Martin, Defensive End, North Carolina

3    8    72    Minnesota    Vereen Brock, Safety, Minnesota

3    9    73    Buffalo                Jarvis Landry, Reciever, Louisiana State

3    10    74    N.Y. Giants    Carlos Hyde, Running. Back, Ohio State

3    11    75    St. Louis    A.J Mccarron, Quarterback, Alabama

3    12    76    Detroit                Keith McGill, Cornerback, Utah

3    13    77    San Francisco    from Tennessee Stanley-Jean Baptiste, Corner, Nebraska

3    14    78    Dallas               Paul Richardson,Reciever, Colorado

3    15    79    Baltimore    Terrence Brooks, Safety, Florida State

3    16    80    N.Y. Jets    Dion Bailey, Safety, Southern California

3    17    81    Miami               Ego Ferguson, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana State

3    18    82    Chicago    George Uko, Defensive Tackle, Southern California

3    19    83    Cleveland    from Pittsburgh Chris Boreland, linebacker, Wisconsin

3    20    84    Arizona    Bruce Ellington, Receiver, South Carolina

3    21    85    Green Bay    Jared Abbredis, Receiver, Wisconsin

3    22    86    Philadelphia    Christian Kirskey,  Linebacker, Missouri

3    23    87    Kansas City    Dakota Dozier, Guard, Furman

3    24    88    Cincinnati    Trent Murphy, Defensive End, Stanford

3    25    89    San Diego    DaQuan Jones, Defensive Tackle, Penn State

3    26    90    Indianapolis    Brandon Coleman, Receiver, Louisville

3    27    91    New Orleans    Marcus Roberson, CornerBack, Florida

3    28    92    Carolina    Jaylen Watkins, Cornerback, Florida

3    29    93    New England    Travis Swanson, center, Arkansas

3    30    94    San Francisco    Telvin Smith,  Linebacker, Safety, Southern California

3    31    95    Denver               David Yankey, Guard Stanford

3    32    96    Minnesota    from Seattle Bashaud Breeland, cornerback, Clemson

3    33    97    Pittsburgh    compensatory pick Pierre Desir, cornerback, Lidenwood

3    34    98    Green Bay    compensatory pick Craig. Loston Safety, Louisiana

3    35    99    Baltimore    compensatory pick Lashead Seastrunk, running back, Baylor

3    36    100    San Francisco    compensatory pick Jimmy Garoppolo,

Pryor and McGloin deserve another Off-season

mcg

The Quarterback position is the toughest position in the NFL. When a team succeeds than the QB gets the credit, and when a team loses they usually take the blame. A QB can be loved one week and hated the next. There are only about 90 QB jobs in the NFL, so it is a position based on the results.

Translated to the Raiders, the quarterback position embodies The Raiders season. At times, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin have showed ability to compete and make plays at this level. Other times, they have looked over-matched and over-ratted. Raider Analyst Rich Gannon and Raider Beat Writer Vic Tafur have both said next year’s starting QB is not on this roster. Last week, I was going to write that the Raiders QB shouldn’t be drafted in the higher rounds. Since, my status has wavered, but I still don’t think the Raiders answer is the high rounds of the draft.

The Raiders came into the season knowing they were salary-strapped, which limited the talent on the squad. The Raiders brought Matt Flynn in hopes that he could manage the game, and not hurt the team’s chances of winnings, despite the limited amount of players around him. When that failed, They started Terrelle Pryor in hopes that he could succeed despite his make-shift offensively. They hoped Terrelle Pryor could be the explosive play-maker, even-though McFadden and other guys were hurt. Then they brought in McGloin, hoping he c0uld be the intangible leader and get the ball out quick despite McFadden, Moore, and other guys being hurt.

The idea is, The Raiders have set their quarterback’s up for failure, all season. They have hoped that McGloin and Pryor would be able to make magic with a limitation of ingredients in their playmaker pantry. Both of these guys are young quarterbacks with limitations, but the Raiders have hoped they would be able to have success in spite of their terrible circumstances. McGloin and Pryor have been expected to do a lot with a little.

I want to see what these guys can do with a full set of playmakers around them. I want to see what they can do in a position where they can actually succeed. I want to evaluate if they can be successful in propelling a playoff team rather than a bottom feeder.

Pryor made leaps and bounds last off-season, admiting he still is just learning the position. I want to see if he can make the same growth after another off-season. I think the play of McGloin may signal that the organization is sour on Pryor. He has been in the organization long enough, and maybe he doesn’t deserve another season of evaluation. However, Pryor admitted he didn’t play the position until two years ago. He is still learing how to be a quarterback, and I think he can still develop with another year. Pryor has the leadership and confidence that you want in a Quarterback. He has some of the best god-given ability in the NFL. I think Pryor wants and can give more to the organization that took a chance on him. Even if he fails to progress, his contract ends next season and both can move on.

As for McGloin, if this guy is the intangible hard-worker and leader, then I want to see what he can do after an off-season of NFL preparation. The Raiders have already invested five NFL starts into McGloin, so he needs another offseason to prove he can play at this level. McGloin is undersized, he was the underdog walk on, and he probably will be an underdog next season. If McGloin possesses the leadership and work ethic the organization says he does, then I want to see if he can translate that into success. Maybe five starts is enough, but even if he fails he can be cut like any other non-drafted rookie.

I think both of these guys have flashed enough ability, surrounded by a lack of talent, that they deserve another season before the judge is out. I don’t think the Raiders need to draft a Quarterback in the top rounds. They have already spent giving these guys a season of experience. It is time to give them an off-season for progression, and hopefully they can actually be set up for success.

I will agree that there is a great possibility neither of these guys are the answer. I do think there needs to be more QB competition next season. I just don’t think it should come from the first or 2nd round of the draft. I prefer for the team to sign a veteran free agent, or draft a developmental project not named Tyler Wilson. Either way, Pryor and McGloin can be cut after training camp, but I think they deserve another opportunity to improve in camp.