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Grizzlies: The Offensive Front Line

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  1. Off The Grid

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    Grizzlies: The Offensive Front Line

    A few Threads have come and gone, mostly because the authors have lives that are considerably more balanced than mine. If no one has any objection, and with the College season entering the stretch run, I thought I'd roll this thread out there ~ and a few others like it ~ as a means of consolidating the thoughts of anyone who wishes to make this Thread their own. Of course this is not intended to replace individual Threads; only to offer a One Stop Shop for each category.

    My idea is to employ this thread as an Emporium ~ a gathering place ~ for any and all Rankings, Scouting Reports, Opinions, Arguments, and other assorted Random Thoughts that might occur to any of us on the subject, or that we might wish to pull in from other sources. I'll certainly be doing so, because it helps me to have all my thoughts on one subject consolidated, but if anyone else wishes to join in, or take over, I hope you'll feel free to do just that!!

    I'll get things rolling with an overview...

    75,000

    Centers

    This looks like a pretty weak class. I am a staunch advocate of drafting Grizzlies early and often. For instance, I would've jumped all over Marquis de Pouncey, last year. But although I am anxious to draft Dan Koppen's replacement as early as possible, it seems to me that it would probably be a reach, were we to touch anyone in the first few rounds, this year.

    Top Tier

    Steve Wisniewski, Penn State ~ 6.3/300 ~ 2-3rd Round Caliber. Technically proficient.
    Kristofer O'Dowd, USC ~ 6.4/300 ~ Great tools, but riddled with injuries.

    Some Day 3 Guys

    Kevin Kowalski, Toledo ~ 6.3/300 ~
    Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock ~ 6.4/300 ~
    Tim Barnes, Missouri ~ 6.4/300
    Zane Taylor, Utah ~ 6.2/300
    Jake KirkPatrick, TCU ~ 6.3/305
    Ryan Bartholemew, Syracuse ~ 6.1/300
    Alex LinnenKohl, Oregon State ~ 6.2/305
    Ryan Pugh, Auburn ~ 6.1/300

    X Factor

    *Mike Brewster, Ohio State ~ 6.5/295 ~ High Grade Junior who might declare.

    Binkie Alert!!

    Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock ~ 6.4/300

    Brandon Fusco, in particular, is a guy I hear whispers about, as a potentially explosive Blocker: A Mauler with surprising athleticism who gets out to the next level consistently, but who's a Small Schooler ~ Slippery Rock!! ~ who's flying under the radar.


    Guards

    I'm none too thrilled about the Guards, this year, either. Give me the right guys, and I'll spend 3 1st Rounders on the O Line, if the D Line is set...But these aren't the right guys!!

    Top Tier

    Rodney Hudson, Florida State ~ 6.2/285
    Mike Pouncey, Florida ~ 6.4/310 ~ As a Center, he makes one HELL of a Guard!!
    Orlando Franklin, Miami ~ 6.7/315 ~ Left Tackle Conversion, I expect.
    Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova ~ 6.4/320
    Steve Schilling, Michigan ~ 6.5/310
    Clint Boling, Georgia ~ 6.5/305
    John Moffit, Wisconsin ~ 6.4/325
    Justin Boren, Ohio State ~ 6.3/320

    Some Late Rounders

    Andrew Jackson, Fresno State ~ 6.5/295
    Bryant Browning, Ohio State ~ 6.3/315
    Will Rackley, Lehigh ~ 6.4/305
    Zach Hurd, Connecticut ~ 6.7/325
    Dave Arkin, Missouri State ~ 6.5/300
    Keith Williams, Nebraska ~ 6.5/310

    X Factors

    DeMarcus Love, Arkansas ~ 6.5/315 ~ Possible Conversion. Many OT's are, this year, but he is the highest ranked: a possible 1st Rounder.

    *Nate Potter, Boise State ~ 6.6/295 ~ High Grade Junior who'll probably come out.

    *Ryan Miller, Colorado ~ 6.8/310 ~ High Grade Junior who might come out.

    Binkie Alert!!

    Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova ~ 6.4/320

    Small School Raw Talent with enormous upside. Powerfull Punch. Strong Hands. Ferocious. Tremendous Lateral Agility. Exceptional Vertical Drive will win him the great majority of Leverage Battles when he gets coached up. Impressive athleticism on the move, and an aggressive, hostile regard towards Defenders. Raw as hell...and that's where we come in. Most teams will not invest a late 2nd Rounder or a 3rd on a Right Guard who's going to need a lot of work on his technique before he's ready to step in there...But most teams don't have Coach Bill's Vision...or Dante Scarnecchia.


    Tackles

    There's a little more, here, to work with, but the Tackles, too, are pretty weak, this year. That could change, though, if some High Caliber Juniors and Red Shirt Sophomores decide to take the plunge...

    Top Tier

    Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State ~ 6.5/305
    Anthony Castonzo, Boston College ~ 6.7/310
    DeMarcus Love, Arkansas ~ 6.5/315
    Nate Solder, Colorado ~ 6.8/315
    Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin ~ 6.7/320
    *Matt Reyonolds, Brigham Young ~ 6.6/320

    Some Second Tier Guys

    Jason Pinkston, Pittsburgh ~ 6.4/310
    Marcus Cannon, TCU ~ 6.5/360

    Some Day 3 Guys

    *Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech ~ 6.5/305
    Danny Watkins, Baylor ~ 6.4/310
    Jim Carpenter, Alabama ~ 6.5/300
    Marcus Gilbert, Florida ~ 6.5/320
    Jim Brewer, Indiana ~ 6.6/330
    Joe Barksdale, LSU ~ 6.5/320
    Chris Hairston, Clemson ~ 6.7/325
    Curt Porter, Jacksonville State ~ 6.7/315
    Lee Ziemba, Auburn ~ 6.6/320


    Late Round Dark Horses

    Darius Morris, Temple ~ 6.4/310
    DJ Young, Michigan State ~ 6.5/300
    Cody Habben, Washington ~ 6.6/290
    Jah Reid, UCF ~ 6.7/325


    X Factors

    *Tyron Smith, USC ~ 6.6/285 ~ An exceptional talent, Smith could vault ahead of the LOT of them, were he to declare.

    *Al Netter, NorthWestern ~ 6.6/310...And Netter could, in turn, edge out Smith.

    **Bobbie Massie, Mississippi ~ 6.6/312 ~ The top rated Offensive Tackle out of a class ~ 2013 ~ that is replete with Red Shirt Sophomores who are far more dangerous than their Senior counterparts at this position.

    **Matt Kalil, USC ~ 6.6/295 ~ Smith is, potentially, the best prospect in this Class...and Kalil's addition to the USC lineup forced Smith to remain at Right Tackle. He is...very good.

    **Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas ~ 6.36/295 ~ Yet another UnderClassMan with more FirePower than any of the Seniors!!

    **Riley Rieff, Iowa ~ 6.6/300 ~ Rieff might be the best of them all.

    If ANY of those 6 UnderClassMen declare, they’d be worth considering, because any of them could eventually go Top 10, if they hold off for a year…

    Binkie Alert!!

    Nate Solder, Colorado ~ 6.8/315

    I think these guys are prime candidates to get over drafted. But Nate Solder does offer an absolutely amazing blend of Size, Power, and Athleticism. He, too, needs a lot of work, though, and, as with Benjamin Ijalana, that could play in our favor: The reluctance of 31 other GMs to invest such a critical Pick in a guy who's skills are raw ~ he's a recent Offensive End Conversion ~ could very well drop a 1st Round Caliber Talent to the mid or later 2nd Round...where we could pounce on him, put him to work in The Dante Scarnecchia School of Extraordinary Grizzlies...and spend the rest of the decade with, potentially, the best Offensive Tackle Tandem in the nation.
  2. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    Stefan Wisniewski Scouting Report


    SideLine Scouting

    Strikes me as a solid, proficient Center who's probably gonna get drafted far too early for my tastes.

    I'm more than happy to invest a 1st Rounder in a Grizzly of the stature of Nick Mangold or Marquis de Pouncey...but a 2nd Rounder in the Wiz?? Meh.
  3. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    SideLine Scouting on C Stefan Wisniewski

    NFP's Wes Bunting on C Stefan Wisniewski


    Strikes me as a solid, proficient Center who's probably gonna get drafted far too early for my tastes.

    I'm more than happy to invest a 1st Rounder in a Grizzly of the stature of Nick Mangold or Marquis de Pouncey...but a 2nd Rounder in the Wiz?? Meh.
  4. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    SideLine Scouting on C Rodney Hudson

    NFP's Wes Bunting on C Rodney Hudson

    Definitely a starting caliber Center, but I question whether we should invest an early pick on that: I'd rather either go bargain shopping or invest heavily in a potential Elite Center.
  5. Off The Grid

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    SideLine Scouting on C Kristofer O'Dowd

    NFP's Wes Bunting on C Kristofer O'Dowd

    Over Rated AND Injury Prone. NOW how much would you pay?? :D
  6. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    SideLine Scouting on C Tim Barnes

    NFP's Wes Bunting on C Tim Barnes

    Projected to go deep in Day 3, a definite Value opportunity.

    More from Bunting:

    That gets my attention: The ability to get down field is vital to the development of a dominant Run Game.

    A name to remember.
  7. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    SideLine Scouting on C Alex LinnenKohl

    NFP's Wes Bunting on C Alex LinnenKohl

    Projected as a 7th or 8th Rounder, LinnenKohl highlights the intriguing question about the optimum height for a Center. It would seem that the lower his center of gravity, the more of a Leverage advantage he would have on Tackles ~ up to a point, of course. But the premier Centers in this league ~ Nick Mangold, Ryan Kalil, and Alex Mack, for instance ~ are all 6.3 or taller.

    Jeff Saturday, on the other hand, is 6.2.

    Bunting really loves this guy, and his Coaches RAVE about him:

    Scout?s notebook: offense | National Football Post

    Bunting describes him as borderline guy who'll probably scrape for playing time, and I wouldn't be surprised if a guy like that actually wins a starting job, at some point.

    Personally, I want somebody more explosive, like Brandon Fusco. Even better, if we can get Mike Brewster, next year. But this is definitely a High Character Scrapper, and a guy to keep an eye on.
  8. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    SideLine Scouting on C Ryan Pugh

    NFP's Wes Bunting on C Ryan Pugh

    Yet another short, yet athletic, late round Bargain Shop Prospect!! :cool:
  9. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    The stuff you'd really need to find out is what they don't test for: muscular explosiveness and the ability to maintain it, technique, and coachability.

    Seeing how a guy reps out with 225 tells you nothing about explosiveness, if you wanted to stick with bench press (bad idea) it would actually make more sense to use an incline bench, the angle of the spine in relation to the arm is closer to what happens in the game. That being said the key is the ability to accelerate their arms away from their body, to explode. I'd much rather measure how quickly they can push a sled or give them a 125lb bag of sand and see how far they can throw it.

    Then you want to see how they maintain that ability over the course of a game, people use to talk about how Herschel Walker used to get stronger as the game went on, which from a strict ATP point is impossible. What likely happened is that his opponent's strength degraded at a quicker rate then his did, leaving him relatively stronger later in the game. This is very important if you want your team to be able to win games in the 4th quarter.

    As far as technique goes, I've seen a 5'6 145lb Judoka just toss a 6'4 300lb guy. A player's technique, or ability to be coached up and use better technique is very important.

    As far as the height thing goes, I think with a lot of players there is a self-fulilling prophecy going on: coaches and scouts seek out guys that fit the mold and give them the most coaching, attention, and opportunity to excel, and they get better while the guys that don't fit the mold get none of that. Consequently their prejudice is reaffirmed when their mold players do well and the prejudice is seemingly confirmed.

    I would have absolutely no problem with a very fast-twitch fiber Center who has texbook technique, and who can maintain all that throughout the game.
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    AMAZING insight, man.

    I'll tell you what I focus on with MANY positions, including all the Grizzlies: Vertical Leap and Short Shuttle. FootBall OutSiders single-handedly woke me up to the immensity of the import of those measurables. They speak to Launch...and they speak to Mercuriality and Lateral Velocity.


    SEVERAL great points, in an absolutely singular post, sir.

    I would add ~ or argue: It's certainly vital to draw in such players, whose applicable measurables ~ and immeasurables ~ tend to dramatically outweigh the conventional nonsense, such as Bench Press and "40"...But when it comes down to the Play Offs, I don't want overachievers in my Trenches...I want BEASTS. Dominant BEASTS.

    I'm not sure if this even diverges with your philosophy: But I felt it was worth noting, in the context.

    GREAT points about self fulfilling prophecies, and the foolish notion that RB's actually get stronger as the game wears on.
  11. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    I don't think it conflicts with my philosophy at all, I believe the stuff I value gives us better insight to what actually makes a player a beast. Unfortunately a lot of the paradigms that exist within the sports world get in the way of better evaluation and ultimately hurt the game.

    I would think that with the amount of money spent on players you'd see owners putting a lot more thought into why many 1st rounders become busts and why you also see undrafted FAs become Pro-Bowlers, their current evaulation process has some holes in it.
  12. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    Excellent follow through, and I agree. I would love to see a restructuring of the Combine with a spirit towards evaluating the elements you've referred to in post #9:

    ~ Muscular Explosiveness ( my current term is "Launch")
    ~ Sustained Muscular Explosiveness
    ~ Technique
    ~ Coachability

    The closest test we have for the first two, I believe, is the Vertical Jump, but I'd love to see additional tests. The Incline Press is a very refreshing idea, and the Sled Push would be an exceptionally good idea...No reason not to include the Bag Toss, either.

    I'd also like to see a mental test that completely focuses not on overall intelligence, like the Wonderlic does, but, rather, exclusively on Processing Speed.
  13. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    Oh no, Brother, we want the combine to stay exactly as it is, in fact I think they should even add an aesthetics component, I mean if a player looks like a Greek God they'll play better, right?;) The Patriots internal evaluation process is another matter though:D but I actually have no idea how they evaluate players right now.

    I have a ton of other ideas on testing/evaluating but I don't want to make them public on the chance that the info makes it's way to other teams, I just need to stalk Bob Kraft, feed him a dozen martinis, and explain my ideas.

    Football IQ and processing speed are vital, and I even have some ideas on testing them but it's not as fleshed out as what I have in mind for physical testing.

    Also, check your PM.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  14. Off The Grid

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    Hah!! Great stuff, Bro. :D

    The funny thing is: There's some truth to it. One thing I learned a LONG time ago is that Startling Insight can come from anywhere.

    If I were running the Patriots, I would make a point of trolling the Internet for Fresh Ideas.
  15. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    While I agree with you 100% I think the sports world is likely far more dogmatic. Check this out if you havent seen it already.

    The numbers show that NFL coaches should go for it more - ESPN The Magazine

    Even a good friend of mine, who is a athletic trainer and works with several professional athletes, was passionately arguing with me about "the vital importance" of the 40 time for NFL athletes, and when I subsequently dismantled all of his arguments he threw his hands up in the air and said "the coaches that hire me to train their guys want 40 times so that's what I give them". Even though I'm not a huge fan of the 40 it would make a lot more sense to have them run it in pads and a helmet, just like they would on the field, as opposed to their underwear.
  16. Off The Grid

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    Heh! Yeah, you'll get no argument from ME: Even Wise Ones like Coach Bill ~ who is LIGHT YEARS ahead of virtually ALL his peers ~ must struggle with the comforting allure of Conventional Thinking.[​IMG]

    Yeah, I've glanced over that article before, but didn't bother reading it: The Truths contained therein are self-evident. I'll probably check it out, now, though, as I'm easily amused by the shocking ignorance of Conventional Thinking. :D

    And of course I ultimately have NO objection to the "40" retaining its exalted position in perpetuity: LET the Sheep work themselves into a lather, chasing RB's, WR's, CB's, MidFielders, and Flankers with heart-stopping "40" times, and QB's with Golden Arms...And WE'LL just keep drafting FOOTBALL PLAYERS. [​IMG]
  17. Off The Grid

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    Needless to say, there is a LOT of overlap, between Centers and Guards.

    I'll be rolling out some Guards, tonight.
  18. Peachhead

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    Personally I prefer to only draft decent Centers for the interior O-line. Even if we intend to use them at OG. Logic tells me a Center is basically a more talented Guard. I'm sure it's an oversimplification, but:

    OGs and OCs often have to block similar opponents, but OCs have to snap the ball first, then block. They make the line calls too. Both things Guards don't have to do.

    What do Guards do that Centers don't? Pull sometimes? Get to the second level and take on LBs? Good Centers for our scheme have plenty good mobility.

    And even if we turn OCs into Guards, they can play Center in a pinch. Something a college OG playing OG in the pros may not be so good at.
  19. Off The Grid

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    That is pretty brilliant thinking, Bro.
  20. Off The Grid

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    I probably won't finish the Guards until tomorrow morning: I guess it's cloudy outside, because the Net's coming a little sluggishly, right now...And I tend to embrace my Inner Slacker on Sunday Nights, anyway.
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