Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by kurtinelson, Jun 3, 2012.
Hometown Visit with Justin Francis - YouTube
Greg Bedard is enamored with this kid.
You never know.Bedard isn't too quick with hyperbole either so he must really be showing something
Nice attitude and mother and friends. Lots of positive emotion there.
One of the writers said that Francis stood out at the OTAs. There is lots of interesting competition on defense this year.
Noticed Alex Silvestro in that video too, he was an UFA signing last year out of Rutgers. What's the story on Francis as a senior ? Poor play/production ? Or injuries ?
Way too premature but based on the perceived competition and surplus of edge guys, I'm wondering based on how they perform in TC and PS, trading one of them for some beef on the inside might be plausible.
The D-Line competition this year is going to be a great one to watch. A lot of players lobbying for the spots. Outside of Wilfork, Love, Deaderick, and Jones, it's really an open competition.
Obviously he will be a rush OLB. His slow foot speed would be a liability in coverage but his three cone drill suggests that he has a quick first step. Training Camp will be more interesting than usual this year. Unfortunately the Patriots are no longer able to sneak guys through onto the Practice Squad these days so he will have to make the cut.
Based on his $4M signing bonus, I'd say Fanene is pretty much a lock, too.
That would be Greg Bedard, as the OP noted. Bedard noted in his OTA observations from last week:
Patriots open OTA No. 2: Practice observations - Page 2 - Boston.com
I'm glad it's obvious to you. Personally, I'm not sure where Francis would play. He's 6'2" 270#, but he played mostly inside at tackle for Rutgers last year. He has previously played defensive end, and also standing up. NFL Draft Scout noted prior to the draft:
Justin Francis*|*Rutgers,*DE*:*2012 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile
I have no idea where this kid fits. He seems too slow to be a rush OLB or full time 4-3 DE, and too small to be a full time DT. But he has nice agility (7.05 3-cone), burst (1.6 10 yard split), explosiveness (36" vertical) and long arms (34.5") in addition to his versatility, and a good motor. Matt Miller of the Bleacher Report compared Francis to Oakland Raider DE/DT Lamarr Houston, even though Houston is 35 lbs. heavier than Francis. I don't know if Francis has the frame to add 20-30 lbs. Again, I don't know where he fits, but he is an intriguing developmental guy. Hope he makes it to the PS.
OTA's tell you about as much of a players future potential as the Combine. Its just another version of the underwear Olympics, ESPECIALLY when dealing with linemen.
OTA's in May are all about learning the semantics, learning plays, and getting familiar with the coaches and surroundings. OTA's in June are just to determine how much the players retained from the mental work done in May
There is a reason BB emphasizes over and over that the OTA are NOT used to judge players, but to teach them. Jet fans are all wet because Coples swatted down a pass in an OTA practice and was "credited with a few phantom "sacks" in a non contact drill Sounds ludicrous doesn't it. Well so is this.... but to a much lesser degree.
The bottom line is that the only way to judge football players is watching them play football...in pads....with contact. And that's not happening until early August, AFTER the conditioning tests are over and the players put on pads and hit.
There is a 95% chance that the only thing that come out of this article is that Francis will have something to show his kids about the time when Dad was a football player.
Ok Gloomy McGloomerson (just kidding). There is absolutely nothing wrong with reacting to a bit of positive news. I don't know about you guys, but I really love when an UFA or late round draft pick, or a guy nobody wanted, makes it to the team. Look at Edelman, a 7th round pick has been with the team 4 years now, Hoyer, an UFA has turned into a very solid backup QB, Fletcher, a solid backup LB and special teams player, Arrington, an UFA leads the league in INTs. Kyle Love, an UFA and solid DT clogging up the middle.
Every year, one of these guys makes it impossible for BB to cut, and I personally enjoy hearing someone from this year's crop is already making a positive impression. Sure he may never play a snap of NFL football, but look at Arian Foster, he was in the same boat as Franics, an UFA going through OTAs, making an impression, and finding his way to being one of the best RB's in football. Who doesn't love these stories and root for these guys (late round picks and UFAs) ? I'm personally rooting for Francis.
Going to NFLDS's website gave me the idea to look at Courtney Upshaw,
who is similar physically (6'2/270):
Courtney UpshawÂ |Â Alabama,Â DEÂ :Â 2012 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile
Justin FrancisÂ |Â Rutgers,Â DEÂ :Â 2012 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile
Except for the 40- & 20-yd dashes, Francis beats Upshaw everywhere else athletically.
He also has longer arms (33.7" to 32") and bigger hands (10.1" to 9").
The 10-yd splits are even; and that shows me that Francis is just as explosive, but cannot
sustain over distance. At 4-3 DE, distance would not be quite the issue it would be at OLB.
2 years ago, I would've said that a 6'2/270 defender w/ the 10-, 20- & 40-yd splits that Francis has would have no place on this defense; today, I no longer believe that to necessarily the case. Perhaps he can give the perpetually-injured Myron Pryor a run for his money, maybe not as a full-time DT, but as someone who, experienced playing inside, can be moved along the DL in passing situations & as a big LB in GL/short-yardage situations.
Very fine work, Brother Stone. Nice comparison to Upshaw. :rocker:
What I forgot to mention is that, while both played the season approx. 270, Upshaw ate his way to near 280 at his pro day, and Francis cut a couple of lbs to 267. I'm therefore not sure that I'd want to see Francis gain the 20+ lbs needed to beome a full-time sub-rushing DT; in fact, I'd rather see what he could become playing closer to the 260 range, perhaps a more powerful but less edge-savvy Sam Acho, whom I wanted Bill to draft with one of the 3rd-rounders last year.
Sam Achoo?...what's his nickname...Sneezy??:ugh:
There was a 99% chance a 6th round pick #199 overall would have ben out of the league in 4 yrs
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