Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by miloofcroton, May 4, 2018.
^^ Dungey's mechanics look light years better. This guy is a massive sleeper. He's been a winner, a leader, and very tough player. Everything falls into place.
I want to propose something that I think a lot of QB reports miss: the importance of self-motivation. Yes, self-motivation is valuable at any position, but nothing comes close to the level of tape study, schematic knowledge, and leadership that is required to even be a competent QB. For any other position, it's great to have those things, but it won't make or break you as a player per se.
I work in the software field, and when it comes to analyzing young hires, one of the biggest things is self-motivation. It's the best way to know someone will improve over time. It's not to say that we won't provide guidance and mentorship to our junior employees. It's an acknowledgement that these things can only go so far.
So, that's something to keep in mind whenever you see a QB that has terrible mechanics or bad experiences based upon poor coaching. Sure, coaching matters, but we all have access to the internet. What does he do when he goes home from practice? Does he check out, play video games, go out the bar? Or is he attempting to learn what his ****ty coaches didn't teach him?
This is also part of 'the story behind unreached potential' that I want to know before I feel comfortable projecting a player. Sometimes, you see a guy that's "raw", and he's new to the position (any position, not just QB) or played in a crappy college system. Okay, those are some excuses to consider. But what if he's played his whole life at the same position, and he's still raw? Take a guy like Devin White in this draft. How can you seriously think anything would change for him?
I'm not saying this is easy to parse or that it's black and white, but it's something to keep in mind. Something about Dungey saying that he never learned throughout college that he has to throw with his legs kind of rubs me the wrong way, even if he claims that he was a multi sport athlete. I was one too, and from playing baseball, I knew very well in my mid-teens how important throwing with your legs was.
Why is no one talking about Manny Wilkins? He's not even on the list of available players for most rankings. Normally I just look at rankings and google each player, and that's how I discover people.
I just discovered draftcountdown.com has a much more comprehensive set of rankings to use: 2019 NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings
So, I'm going down the list looking for anyone I might've missed, and there's Wilkins. I remember him as the dual threat guy who started as a freshman (it was actually his sophomore season; I mis-remembered). I thought he was undersized, like 5'11" or something, and couldn't throw. Well, he's 6'3" now, and he can throw.
Those career numbers look pretty good.
On tape, he has a very quick release, he sets his feet well, he moves in the pocket well, and he shows some good decision making. Accuracy is a little spotty, but he's also missing in the right places and against tight coverage. Ignoring my anecdotal thoughts on that, his career completion percentage is very solid. Not sure what his ceiling is in terms of making hard throws over the middle or deep throws, but there are some things to like here.
Weird that a guy like Jake Browning gets invited to the combine, the senior bowl, and is on the tips of everyone's tongues as a top 10 QB (because he's solid, experienced, etc), and there's no mention of Wilkins. Same conference, same type of numbers, somewhat similar profile but arguably better physical tools.
Here he is vs Oregon this year:
This guy has one of the best arms in the draft.
Also, sidenote: Harry looks like a massive bust. He runs **** routes, has very average to below average athleticism, and his size advantage will be much less relevant in the NFL. LOL at Matt Miller putting him #1 on his ranking.
Grier had a fantastic pro day today.
I think I need to do another ranking or sorting because I've looked at so many guys again over the past week.
I think making this a two step process is far, far more logical than how I've thought about things before. I used to hate ranking people because I ultimately thought in terms of targets and perhaps value (equal talents, but one is available in the 6th and one has to be had in the 1st, therefore I like the 6th rounder more purely because of value), and these were both misleading concepts. I think this is useful for any position but QB might get special benefit from it because so much of the position is reliant on intangibles.
The first categorization is binary. Can they run the offense and will they be successful, or will they not be? These are checkbox things, where they have to meet the minimum standards or else they shouldn't be even considered. This avoids the very awkward process of grading and ranking guys that are just not fits or guys that you like, regardless of their name recognition or talent in certain areas.
The second part is a ranking, based upon max potential and likelihood of reaching potential. This is the answer to the question of: "they're all on the board at the same time; if you had to bet all your chips and take one, who would you rather have?"
(to be fair, I'm still moving guys around on this)
A quick overview of what I'm looking for....
Alpha character traits. Everyone will have their own definition for this, but I want people that are capable of being the alpha dogs for the entire football team. Who would you follow into battle? I'm not looking for arrogance. I'm turned off by meekness. I'm turned off by people that try to impress others, particularly if they think that's all it's about.
I'm looking for calm confidence on the surface with boiling rage and drive underneath. On top of that, I'm looking for intelligence. A lot of this I try to glean from interviews, which is hard to from afar, but I can only do what I can.
The other intangible traits are decision making and field vision. I'm looking for the same thing as everyone else. One pet peeve of mine is a guy that gets strip sacked a lot or just generally sacked frequently without seeing it coming. That's a huge red flag. I'm also looking for anticipation on throws, missing throws in the right places, making checkdowns when necessary but not too often, and making good decisions when there's pressure (both from the pass rush as well as when the game is on the line).
Physically, again, I'm looking for the same thing as everyone else. Arm accuracy, arm strength, release speed, footwork, mobility. That's probably the order of importance, but you kind of need to have all of those traits to be successful. With the rawer traits, arm strength and mobility, some excuses can be made for the prospect if they demonstrate coping mechanisms for weaknesses in those categories (e.g. quick release and anticipation for a weaker arm, great pocket presence for poorer mobility).
I think probably the biggest differences between what I value and what other people value are:
- my valuing of leadership traits much more highly, as well as how I evaluate leadership traits
- not valuing arm strength guys that lack accuracy
- placing extra importance on good throwing mechanics (because I don't believe everyone is just moldable clay)
- Between what I know and what NFL teams know: I tend to be more negative about bigger names because there's more information out about them and more tape to scour. So I find weaknesses and I then go to lesser-known guys as my favorites. These guys may have simply less of a spotlight for their weaknesses to come out.
- I believe a certain type of offense is best for winning championships. Surprise, surprise: it's the type of offense that the Patriots use. So, guys that are poor fits for this are judged harshly. It's very possible that guys lower on my list or off it entirely could be successful in the NFL, but I do not believe they would lead the Pats to the promised land. It depends upon *why* they are off or lower on my list though; usually it's not one thing, and I am already trying to be very flexible with how I imagine using a particular player.
Good quotes about Finley:
Potential Patriots QB: Ryan Finley Won Over Teammates On Fly As Starter
Liked Stidham, liked Rypien the most. I know this is stupid but something about Jones just didn't look right to me . Thought Jackson was too inaccurate and looked like it took to long for the ball to come out of his hands
I still think Lock has the highest ceiling
Dare I say it? Rypien has the look of Jimmy G to me.
Jones pro day coming up Tuesday,
I can not figure out why guys get excited about pro days, when years of tape tell you just about everything you need to know about a qb.
The latest PFF podcast had an interesting nugget about Will Grier. They have him graded very highly (third QB I think) but a lot of that grade is based upon his success on over the shoulder bucket throws. Strip those out of his grade and he’s much more average.
The same applies to David Sills. His success comes from those types of catches. As a WR he grades much more poorly on non over the shoulder catches/routes.
The other wr from West Virginia, Jennings I think, he runs a nice route tree and makes a ton of short and intermediate route catches.
This is really fascinating to consider. I'm not sure it's legit, but it's still a fun read.
I appreciate his taking the time to do an analysis. What I'd love to do, to really test this hypothesis, is to look at the other group -- players drafted by an NFL team who didn't meet this criteria, and see what the "success rate" (whatever we call success - probably a starting QB) would be for this group. And then given the sample sizes, see if there is any statistical significance between these two groups. I expect there would be a significance.
At the same time, that's not surprising because I think there's a correlation in the group. Of the group that he found that fell into the category, only 3 were selected in the 1st round (Ben Roethlisberger exception applied). Part of the reason why certain QBs are taken in the 1st round is because they *don't* put up stinkers like that. The success rate of QBs taken outside of the 1st round is relatively low - in this millennium, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Tony Romo, Matt Hasselbeck, Kurt Warner, and Drew Brees are the only exceptions I can think of (and Hasselbeck and Warner began their careers in the 90s). That's 4 success stories in 18 drafts, or 1 every 4.5 years. Is there is statistical significance between the success rate of the group that he identified for non-1st rounders, compared with the rest of the non 1st rounders? I'm going to guess that the success rate of non-1st rounders is so low, that this just winds up being noise. If I had the time I'd try to put this together, but I'm really just too busy (but not busy enough to post, I guess, so maybe I'm just too lazy! )
Interesting to think about though.
If you look at his other posts in the past, he has more compelling data about completion percentage and yards/attempts. Those don't tend to improve much in the NFL. I enjoy his writeups, though! Fun to think about.
Finley is all over the draft. I've seen him rated in the 3rd round, and one of my guides says 7th round. He was one of the best QBs in the Senior Bowl, really impressed me.
Interesting comments in one of the draft guides: Known as an intellect on the field and in the classroom (holds three academic degrees), he makes keen decisions, a large reason why the Wolfpack enjoyed so much success on 3rd downs (60% conversion rate). he processes through his progressions quickly and knows where to go with the football, will take the checkdown rather than forcing throws. Possesses a smooth throwing motion and compact footwork. Appears to be calm in the pocket and has a natural feel for when the pass rush encloses him. Has some experience playing under center and was given the authority to change plays at the line of scrimmage. Over the last 3 seasons, Finley has accumulated 10,501 passing yards with 60 TDs and 25 INTs during that span. He completed 64.2 percent of his passes in his career.
So some real positives. Some of the negatives I've read is he needs to put on weight to get stronger, sometimes locks on to his primary receiver, doesn't have a big arm and will need to rely on anticipation.
I wouldn't mind him with one of the 3rd round picks.
Pretty much what Mark Schofield said on March 26 Locked On Patriots podcast:
Megaphone: A Modern Podcasting Platform by Panoply
I was listening to Evan Lazar yesterday on a podcast and he made the point that 56mph is a sweet spot for Pats draft picks. Apparently Jimmy G, Etling and Brissett all were recorded at 56mph (Etling was to one side only). Small sample size obviously, but if that is a thing, it’s good for fans of Rypien and Grier.
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