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USAtoday on hybrid players in the NFL

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    May 1, 2008
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    +4,662 / 12 / -8

    The cover article in USAtoday (front page of the entire paper, NOT the sports section) is on "hybrid" players being the rage in the NFL:

    Wanted in the NFL draft: The hybrid player who can do it all - USATODAY.com

    Some nice quotes: "The NFL coaches that win are the ones who have the ability to adapt, whether it's to the West Coast or the spread offense," [Urban] Meyer says. "When you see the success of the Steelers, Patriots, (Indianapolis) Colts and Dolphins, what they do is work their scheme around their personnel."

    "When you're the Steelers and Patriots, you may be more apt to consider a player like Pat White earlier," [Tom] Dimitroff says."Why not be aggressive for a versatile, multi-faceted player and fit him in different places?" he asks. "It's tough to replace a starter on big-time teams."

    Adds Todd Haley: "It's our job to do what the kids coming into our league do best and gives us the best chance to succeed. We're trying to be ahead of the curve."

    Extensive coverage is particularly devoted to Pat White, Connor Barwin and Percy Harvin. On White, the article notes: White, 23, is considered a more explosive passing and running threat than current multi-threat talents such as Washington Redskins wideout/returner Antwaan Randle El, Cleveland Browns returner Joshua Cribbs and New York Jets wideout Brad Smith, former college quarterbacks who took snaps with their current teams last season. "You have so many different functions teams are game-planning for," Dimitroff added. "Then, the next game, Pat White comes out and plays a completely different role. He keeps people on their heels, which is ultimately what (NFL teams) want."

    Re Barwin, the article notes: The increasing desire for athletic outside linebackers who can rush the passer or drop back to defend passes has boosted the stock of players who are comfortable in both roles, including defensive end/outside linebackers Brian Orakpo of Texas, Aaron Maybin of Penn State, Robert Ayers of Tennessee and Barwin, 22, who led the Big East with 11 sacks in 2008. "Bottom line, I think I'll be a first rounder" in the draft, the 6-4, 256-pound Barwin says. "I'm going to be excited to see which position is going to be my primary one. When I visited New England, they said they haven't seen too many guys coming out so good at two positions, one on offense, one on defense." Who better to cover a tight end than a former one who earned all-Big East honors as tight end and defensive end? "When I went to New England for a visit, coach (Bill) Belichick said, 'You remind us of Mike Vrabel,' " Barwin says, referring to the veteran linebacker who played for New England from 2001 to 2008 did occasional double-duty as a tight end, catching 10 touchdowns. Barwin blazed a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at his pro day when he worked out at four positions, including tight end, for the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants.

    There's also a lot of discussion regarding Percy Harvin: Harvin is widely considered the greatest risk among the top hybrid players — and the greatest potential reward. He tested positive for marijuana at the NFL's scouting combine, according to two league executives who saw Harvin's name on the report released to NFL teams but are not authorized to discuss the subject and spoke on the condition of anonymity. "He's a top-10 talent, but if he tested positive at the combine, I would never take him in the first round," [Mike] Mayock says. Harvin, who has 4.39-second speed in the 40-yard dash, scored 17 touchdowns on 70 runs and 40 receptions last season in Urban Meyer's spread-option offense that led the Gators to two of the last three BCS national titles. "I just hope Percy goes some place where they use him the right way," Meyer says. "He's the most dynamic player in college football," Meyer adds. "For him to just go play (only) receiver, that's an injustice … he averaged 15 yards on counter runs."
  2. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Dec 21, 2004
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    +113 / 6 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    A raw 255 pound guy that can run 4.47 and play multiple positions is a very rare thing.

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