6th in a Series
Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gents...
I humbly and quietly offer this Thread ~ the 6th of many, as I'll be circumnavigating the entire Roster
~ to my Fellow Patriots Fans ~ KoolAid Soaked Homers + Bile Soaked Haters, alike!!
~ as a common reference for Defensive Tackle Prospects.
Devon Still of Penn State ~ 6.4/310
Red Flags abound with Devon Still.
First off, he gets poor grades for Launch Velocity.
Second, he gets poor grades for Core Strength + Flexibility.
Third, and most worrisome, he gets dubious grades for Work Ethic.
Devon Still brings Strength, Power, and Athleticism to the table.
And he has been consistently productive at Penn State, peaking in this, his Senior year.
There are still 20 weeks to go before the Draft ~ nearly an half year. So things may very well get clarified and cleared up, between now and then. But there are so many question marks about this kid, at this point, that, based on what I currently have, I'd have to call him a Day Two Prospect, perhaps even a Mid Rounder, a far cry from the Top 20 Market Value he currently boasts!!
Brandon Thompson of Clemson ~ 6.2/310
What stands out about Brandon Thompson, most of all, is his Launch Velocity: All agree that he is consistently Quick out of the gate, and for my money, that is fully half the journey to success at the next level: Not only is Launch Velocity the most vital attribute in determining the Victor in the Battle of the Trenches, but it speaks, as well, to Processing Speed and Diagnostic Acuity, skills which affect every other aspect of the Game.
Furthermore, there's no question about his Work Ethic and his Intelligence: Thompson is not only well known as a fanatical Gym Rat, but he's made the Honor Roll, as well. Between outstanding Intelligence, tremendous Work Ethic, and exceptional Launch Velocity, I've got to say that I am extremely confident in this young man's future.
Mind you: He is far from perfect.
His Mechanics are raw, and his Arms are short.
He commands exceptional Strength, but struggles to bring it to bear consistently.
Even so, Thompson is a Force on the inside, and brings a sufficiently balanced Arsenal of skills to Anchor or to Penetrate, to disrupt the Run or the Pass. His Mechanics are, indeed, raw, so I think he'll have some struggles, initially, but if he gets the right coaching, I can see this guy becoming a Star.
Alameda Taamu of Washington ~ 6.3/336
Alameda Taamu brings the complete Nose Tackle package.
He is a gargantuan MASS...yet he boasts very little excess weight, having vanquished previous weight problems.
That isn't fat. That's Core Strength, ladies and gentlemen.
And he boasts excellent Launch Velocity, as well.
Furthermore, he commands exceptional Agility and Fluidity for a man of his immense size.
And he brings an outstanding Work Ethic to the table.
Did I mention the part about the Complete Package??
Mind you: he does have the T Rex Arms...
I believe that Alameda Taamu has the potential to be the Run-Stuffing, Middle-Clogging, surprisingly disruptive Lynch Pin of a Defense ~ probably as a "34" Nose Tackle ~ for at least the next decade...and that he will be.
I place far more importance on Defensive Tackles than most. Indeed, I consider them the second most important position on the entire roster. And I grade Alameda Taamu higher than any D Tackle in the entire Draft. As such, I think that his 1st or 2nd Round Market Value is not only fully warranted, but a screaming, raging bargain.
Josh Chapman of Alabama ~ 6.1/310
Josh Chapman is far from perfect: He gets flagged for his Conditioning on more than one venerable Site.
And their is also consensus that his Athleticism is wanting.
However, the experts agree that he brings exceptional Core Strength to the position. Conditioning concerns not withstanding, he get stellar grades for his fanatical Work Ethic in the weight room, work that does indeed translate to the Field. And Work Ethic trumps dubious Conditioning, in my book: all he needs is better direction.
Chapman brings excellent Launch Velocity to the table, and combining that with his exceptional Core Strength makes for a brutal, tenacious, mauling Nose Guard who consistently eats up Blocks and undermines plays.
Considering that this is a guy around whom you could confidently build your Defense, his Market Value, which seems to lie around the 2nd or 3rd Round, seems to be a sweet bargain, indeed.
Kendell Reyes of Connecticut ~ 6.4/296
Kendell Reyes commands excellent Launch Velocity, which is half the Battle, right there.
He gets generally good grades for his Core Strength, as well.
The common theme I'm picking up is that this is a guy with excellent Work Ethic and Leadership traits, superior Intelligence, excellent Launch Velocity, commendable Core Strength with the frame to build exceptional Core Strength...and whose current Impact, while intriguing, is considerably less than that of his potential.
And when one runs across such a Prospect, one who gets good grades for Work Ethic, Leadership, and Intelligence...one is inclined to bet on that Prospect's prospects.
Whether as a Nose Guard in a "43" or an End in a "34", Kendell Reyes seems to have an excellent future ahead of him. And with a Market Value floating around the 3rd or 4th Round, I call him an emphatic Bargain.
Bargain Stud Horse!!
Kheeston Randall of Texas ~ 6.5/305
Kheeston Randall is miscast as a Defensive Tackle.
At 6.5/305, he is clearly best suited to pay Defensive End, preferably in a "34".
However, years of playing the Leverage Battle with Centers and O Guards has forced this tall Defensive Tackle to choose between failure or dedicating himself to the weight room, in order to forge the Core Strength and Core Flexibility needed to compete...and he has not fallen short.
He gets mixed reviews on Launch Velocity and Agility, and plays with much more consistent productivity versus the Run than against the Pass.
He gets excellent grades, across the board, for Leadership, Work Ethic, Character, and Intelligence.
Assuming he's drafted as an End ~ preferably a 5 Tech ~ he should quickly develop into a Starter, yet a statistically poor Senior year has dropped his Market Value to the 4th or 5th Round range, at least for the present: There aren't many who can play the 5 Tech effectively coming out, so his Stock may very well rebound.
Bargain Stud Horse!!
~ Be forewarned: I place immense
emphasis on the importance of Defensive Tackles. In fact, I put them only 2nd to Quarter Backs, on the entire 53 man Roster.
..and my Grades reflect that.
~ I am obviously an HUGE fan of Alameda Taamu.
If we can get him to play next to Vince Wilfork in the middle of a "43" D Line for the next few years, I do believe we will DESTROY half the league...I think that move would have more impact on our Championship Quest for the next few years than ANY other player we could possibly draft in this Class, bar NONE.