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A couple points about Clady...

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PonyExpress, Apr 20, 2008.

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  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Clady's 7.07 in the 3-cone drill is the fastest for a 300 lb NFL prospect, on either side of the ball, dating back to 1999 (unless I missed someone). The same unusual coordination, flexibility and foot speed are evident watching Clady play football. His arm length of 36 3/4 is extremely rare. His base strength (310 lbs and 31'' VJ) is very competitive with current quality NFL LTs.

    The knocks on Clady seem to be
    a) level of competition
    b) passion for the game
    c) upper body strength

    Level of competition is a concern, considering how rare it is for non-BCS LT prospects to flourish in the NFL (Michael Roos for the Titans being a recent exception). Still, a guy like jason peters with almost no college OT experience and a 9 Wonderlik score, is now hailed as the NFL prototype at the position after being developed gradually.

    As for Clady's passion for the game, I can't answer that, other than to say he seems to play with as much of a mean streak as any of the other elite OT prospects. This concern about Clady was hinted at after a few team interviews, so we have no idea if it is real or a smokescreen.

    Clady's supposed lack of upper body strength was raised after he did "only" 24reps on the bench and strained a pec muscle at the combine. Taking into account that Clady has the longest arms in the draft, that Richard Seymour only did 18 reps, and Mankins only 21, this does not seem like a major issue Woicik couldn't correct, given a willing student.

    While my top 2 players are still M Ryan and C. Long, from a purely physical standpoint the most unique "athletes" among the consensus top 10 prospects seem to be Gholston, McFadden and Clady.

    The Pats have not had an issue drafting O-lineman in rd 1 who played at non BCS schools (Mankins); they have drafted trench players in rd 1 with reputations for "lacking passion for the game" (Warren); And they have drafted trench players in rd 1 with "substandard" upper body strength (Seymour). So the complaints about Clady do not preclude the Pats from pulling the trigger. If the Pats do pull the trigger on Clady, we can conclude that any of his flaws, if they exist, are correctable; therefore I would be very happy with the selection.

    It's interesting that the Pats have not brought Clady or B.Albert in for a visit, to my knowledge; other than McFadden's visit, every other one seems to have involved defense. Most of the league seems to be under the impression that the Pats are going D at #7; And it seems KC wants to trade down, possibly with Baltimore at #8 in exchange for Ryan, because KC feels that #8 is a better slot to spend on either Clady or Albert.

    It wouldn't be out of character for the Pats to sandbag a bit, and conceal interest in a player with such obvious athletic upside as Clady.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  2. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    His intelligence is an issue too. I'm a believer in having intelligent linemen... it's a heady position.
  3. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Clady scored a 13 on the Wonderlik. IQ may be more of a factor for interior linemen, especially centers who have to make line calls. J. Peters had a 9 Wonderlik score and is now considered the "prototype" by many NFL scouts. I don't think the Wonderlik is that big of an issue for LT, which seems to require an athlete more than anything else.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  4. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's worth noting that was a pro-day score, not a combine score. Even so, Clady's athleticism is mighty impressive. Shuttle, cone and vertical are the numbers I look for in Pats linemen. Some numbers to ponder...
    Clady 6'6" 309 / 31 4.73 7.07
    ...and the last 3 o-linemen the Pats drafted in the first 3 rounds:
    Mankins 6'4" 307 / 31.5 4.45 7.54
    Kaczur 6'5" 319 / 31.5 4.76 7.69
    Light 6'5" 311/ ? 4.49 7.30

    That's serious agility for big men.

    BUT: Mankins, Kaczur and Light all shared another exceptional measurable -- Wonderlics of 29 or above.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is difficult to imagine Belichick drafting an offensive linemen with a Wonderlic under 20. BTW, what were the Wonderlics for the other OT's?

    I just checked some OT's

    Williams 32
    Otah 28
    Baker (USC) 27
    Long 26
    Cherilus (BC) 25
    Clady 13
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  6. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    I haven't noticed the same disparity between combine and proday agility drill scores as between combine and proday 40 times. The agility drill numbers seem to be consistent.

    My "research" into O-linemen which I finally got around to this season, suggests that the 3 most important athletic indicators for a LT prospect are 40 time, VJ and arm length. But I was too lazy and busy to "research" systematically, so I can't swear by my conclusions. The 40 time seems to indicate basic agility/foot speed for an O-lineman and supercedes agility scores (Originally, this was really my only athletic concern with Clady, because he ran a 5.2 at 309 lbs, which is not very good. But his remarkable 3-cone and on field tap dancing overcame my concerns about the 40 time). The VJ seems an indication of base strength and the ability to hold up vs the bull rush, and also bend at the knees and maintain leverage. And arm length, the ability to lock out and maintain the initiative in a one on one battle.

    The prospects should also be 6'4'' at a miminum and 300+ lbs.

    While the Pats may emphasize the Wonderlik, the Wonderlik itself does not seem to be very important for identifying quality LTs prospects. For example:

    C. Samuels: 12
    J. Peters: 9
    J. Brown: 12
    K. Barnes: 16
    L. Jones: 18

    If the Pats are restricting themselves to LT prospects who score 25 or higher on the Wonderlik, they would be eliminating most of the premier LTs in the NFL drafted over the past few seasons.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are many players who the pats have passed up, and will continue to pass up, because of low Wonderlic scores. The conclusion shouldn't be that such players can't succeed. They just won't succeed as patriots. There are many reasons that the patriots might eliminate players (such as various character issues) that don't necessarily mean that the player won't succeed.

  8. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    With all due respect, none of those LTs cited above have rings. And what seperates NE from many other teams in the league is that they just dont settle. Good enough to most teams is just not good enough in NE. And Im thankful for that. I dont think theyre about to bring in the prospect with the absolute worst wonderlic. But we'll soon find out for sure.
  9. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    C. Samuels, J, Brown or J Peters could definitely play for our team and excel. Wilfork scored a 10 on the Wonderlik. I don't believe the Pats are Wonderlik snobs.
  10. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    I think we'd all agree that Vince is a pretty unique guy. Nasty, durable, high character 350lbers are tough to find. But at best, the most complcated thing Vince has to think about is whether or not he's going to eat a 3rd stack of pancakes. He's not protecting Tom Brady's blindside. Slight difference.
  11. My2Cents

    My2Cents Rookie

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    No offense intended, seriously, But, considering the facts, I think that maybe Carolina, Chicago or Philly might be the safest place for Clady. Not the Pats.
  12. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    You seem to be suggesting that the ability to protect a QB's blind side has some connection to a LT's Wonderlik score. I see no such connection, and I just gave you the evidence. J. Brown, J Peters, C Samuels, L. Jones and K. Barnes all had Wonderliks below 20.
  13. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    What "facts" are you referring to? If you give them, maybe I'll agree with you.
  14. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    And I just explained that none of those guys have played for championship clubs, so really, what's the point?
  15. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Have you considered having your own Wonderlik checked?
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why is hard to understand why Belichick chooses OL's with high Wonderlic's? No, the patriots do not have the same requirements/preferences for NT's.

  17. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    You are really hanging your hat on the assumption the Pats don't consider LT prospects with low Wonderliks. Yet the very first draft pick of the BB era, Adrian Klemm, was projected to play LT and scored a 19.
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) Klemm was a mistake.
    2) The average on the Wonderlic is 20. 19 is very close to average. 13 is DTD.

  19. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    When someone is about to guarantee me $20 million in earnings, I'll be all over that.
  20. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    So you think that the Pats require their OT prospects to be no worse than slightly below average on the Wonderlik, and A. Klemm failed at LT due to issues related to his Wonderlik, and not his health.

    I don't see any reason to think the Pats have a set rule for LT prospects relating to the Wonderlik. The only 2 LT prospects they have drafted are Light and Klemm, and I see no discernable pattern there. There are plenty of obvious reasons why Light succeeded at LT and Klemm failed that have nothing to with the Wonderlik. Character and health come to mind.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  21. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    BTW, where did you find the 2008 Wonderlik scores? I can't seem to find them for this year or last year. Do you have last year's also, or know where they are listed?
  22. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I had Clady as my #1 LT candidate prior to reading Mike Reiss saying the Pats had no interest in him - maybe I bought the smokescreen. I will say wonderlic scores may be an indicator of study habits/thinking process, watching Matt Light and the boys anytime someone does a spot that has them talking shows me lads who come across as smarter than a BOR.

    The question we might want to ask isn't what BB wants, but what Dante wants? Does Clady take to hard coaching (that better be a resounding yes or he's not Scarnecchia material)? What is Clady's reaction time to stunts? Does he see/process/react quickly enough mentally to get that athleticism into place? What are his study/work habits? I'll take that "reported" 13 if the scouting report has him eating his meals in front of the Fresno State game tape and leaving chicken grease stains on his DL tendencies notes.

    A partial answer comes from NFL Draft Scout's profile (you cheap folks who don't have a membership can find the same notes at NFL.com and USA Today's profiles): "Intelligent player with good vision, but he has had a few mental lapses on the field that have produced costly penalties...Must show better work habits in the weight room and needs to be monitored...Gets caught up in the battle in the trenches, trying to face up and stone the defender, rather than slide back and protect the pocket...Has quick feet, but when he loses on a counter move and the edge rusher gets free, he is slow to recover.

    Compares To: CHRIS SAMUELS-Washington...Clady has very good ease of movement coming out of his stance to get into defender quickly. He has the long reach and good hand placement to lock on and sustain. He is an effective trap blocker and does a nice job of either grabbing or stunning with his hands. He needs to add lower-body bulk and strength, as he might struggle some with in-line drive blocks at the next level. With his versatility, he might be a better fit on the right side until his frame develops. At 320, he looks a little light in his pants. With another 20 pounds and no lost quickness, some team could have another Jason Peters (Buffalo) on their hands, not a Samuels clone.

    During his last two seasons with the Broncos, Clady registered 224 knockdowns, including 32 touchdown-resulting blocks and 13 downfield blocks, compiling an 84.0% grade for blocking consistency...Penalized 10 times during his last 26 games."

    I like the kid's talent, but reading this I find myself pondering his "fit" in the Patriots' system Scar runs. Perhaps an even better question to ask, how will Clady's work habits improve after he's been handed $10mil in guaranteed money? (I don't have a clue and won't get an inkling until after NE takes it's turn Saturday.)
  23. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    I'm sure that the Pats have looked at a lot of film on Clady. Certainly he has the physical attributes and athleticism that you want at the LT position. The question is, does a low wonderlic score have any bearing on how a player will process blocking assignments? There's no definite correlation that can be proved without extensive study. As someone pointed out, some of the premier LTs in the game today scored low on the Wonderlic.

    As to the argument, how many of those LTs have Superbowls? That's completely bogus. Seeing as only the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, and now Giants have won Superbowls in the past 6 years or so, where would those other tackles get the opportunity to win rings? So that means all the other 28 starting tackles in the NFL are crap? Worse of all, you assume that the LT must have a ring to be any good. So do you also assume that Trent Dilfer was better than Dan Marino? That just makes no sense at all.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  24. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    I had no idea Reiss made that comment. I'd definitely be interested in reading that, I just missed it.

    The unknowns with Clady I'm sure make him a risk in the eyes of many teams. An unrecruited player, at a lower competition level, a junior, a below average Wonderlik... GMs are no doubt thinking, How much safer to draft J. Long, where the athletic package may not be the same, but the maturity, intelligence, work ethic and pedigree appear to be ideal!

    They are looking for reasons not to take what appears to be a "risk", just as Parcells was probably looking for reasons not to take Ryan at #1. Risk at the top of the draft makes everyone queasy.

    At the same time those unknowns are not necessarily negatives with Clady. We've seen Roos become a dominant player. The majority of quality LTs are far from geniuses.

    Also, as Gosselin pointed out recently, Clady transformed himself from an unrecruited nobody into a potential top 10 pick in 3 years. On the field he often plays with an edge. He must have some work ethic, ambition and inner drive to have accomplished so much and perform with that attitude.

    The PFW draft chart lists Clady as having been targeted for "intelligence issues", but not for anything character related. So while NFLdraftscout indicates he may need some supervision, whatever issues exist do not seem to have tarnished his character with NFL teams, if PFW's chart can be believed (I realize many here don't put much stock in PFW).

    For all these reasons, Clady is as intriguing a prospect as any in the draft. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut, I guess. Personally, I have to decided to give Clady the thumbs up, come hell or high water. I've done the same thing with QB Ryan. We'll just have to see how it all plays out.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  25. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it was a couple-three Ask Reiss mailbags back - check his blog for mail links.

    Gut check is fine by me, the kid looked good when I watched him in the ECU game, I was surprised to read NE had no interest when Reiss posted that tidbit. I'll give him a thumbs up if NE drafts him! :p
  26. PonyExpress

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    Here is the quote from Reiss re: Clady for others interested in the topic:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/extras/askreiss/03_18_08/?page=3
  27. Box_O_Rocks

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  28. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pony, I totally respect your research but I think we're asking different questions. You're asking which indicators predict NFL-level success, and I'm asking which indicators predict BB/SP drafting a player to fit their system. For the latter, pluses for Clady are his great agility and the fact that the Patriots seem happy to look outside major conferences. Negatives are his very low Wonderlic...and the fact that the word "nasty" doesn't appear in any of his profiles. :)
  29. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    Was it completely bogus? Tell us how you really feel, why dont you? ;) There were a few thoughts involved in what I originally had to say on this subject. The 'Superbowl' thought was a part of it. The main point was that do we really want to measure our players against those on the Redskins, Bills, Saints or Bengals right now? Do we? The other kid plays for Jacksonville, so if he's a stud, good for them. But do we really care if any of those teams' players score at a level of below average intelligence? Or do we hope that they continute doing what theyre doing? Personally, I appreciate the fact that the scouting/drafting/selecting standards within this organization are higher than other teams. It obviously contributes to the team's success. Do I think a guy needs a 30 on a wonderlic to be a successful player in the league? Not really. Do I think Dilfer was a better Q than Marino? Not really. Would I rather have a guy like Jon Ogden who scored a 35 on the wonderlic @ LT protecting Brady's blindside than someone who scored a 13? Safe to say, we all probably would.

    None of this is all that relevant because I really dont see NE drafting Clady. Just dont see it happening. But Im not going to think the man cant play football. If we draft him though, I'll be fully on board.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  30. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Anybody have thoughts on Chris Williams or Duane Brown?

    DaBruinz started a thread recently, consensus seemed that Williams wasn't athletic enough for our system. But the guy truly just didn't give up sacks.

    I don't know much about Brown other than all the scouting reports cite him as very athletic and a good fit for zone blocking schemes.
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