So finally the NFL is nearly upon us. I guess / hope that most GM’s are checking their scouting information, stats and measurable on all the players that they feel will help their programme. My Dolphins are picking at 19 and I want them to get an Offensive Linemen and to stay away from Cyrus Kouandijo as I don’t think he’s as dominant as a first round draft pick should be, especially against a speed rusher.
Any how back to the number 1 pick. So what’s it to be ? DE from the SEC or QB from the Big East? I realise there are other players with the potential to go with the first pick, but I feel that these two suit what the Texans need. So my thoughts on the contenders:
Jadevon Clowney #7, University of South Carolina
I know he’s received a lot of bad press from a lot of different sources regarding his lack of effort in his junior season especially given that he started the season a Heisman contender but failed to reach heights of his sophomore season in which he set school records for the number of sacks (13) and tackles for loss (23.5) and in his freshman year he started all 12 games with eight sacks and thirty six tackles but I just don’t buy into it.
When I looked at numbers from his junior season, yes his stats did drop off and for all intensive purpose this looks like it was caused mainly by injury but I wonder if scouts will look at how teams adjusted their blocking schemes to the player who has set school records for sacks and tackles for loss in the best defensive division in college football? Well may be but what I came across some thing that did interest me. Clowney played against Antonio Richardson of Tennessee (who appears in Gil Brandt Hot 125 on nfl.com http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000346439/article/hot-100-25-johnny-manziel-khalil-mack-top-2014-draft-class) and had five tackles of which four were solo, so in a season where he wasn’t showing much perceived effort still performed against a NFL calibre tackle.
Again I don’t know what’s happening inside interviews with Mr Clowney but this is a player who;to the best of my knowledge has kept his nose clean while at South Carolina, has produced for his team , has NFL measurable and I thinks a fairly safe bet as the number one pick.
Teddy Bridgewater #5 University of Louisville
Firstly lets ignore the pro day, at its most basic level its a training session and its not a game against a Defence who want to make you blow snot bubbles and the game stats are what I’m looking at now! I think this guy is a baller and will eventually turn out to be the one of the best QB in this years draft. I really believe that to be a successful QB in the draft you have to haver done two things at the college level:
1: Be a winner in high pressure games
2: Play under Centre
So we can tick both of those box’s and in three years under Coach Strong, his TD’s against interception ratio has increased from 14 TD’s against 12 INT’s and a passer rating of 132.4 in 2011 to 27 TD’s against 8 INT’s with a passer rating of 160.5 in 2012 and last season (2013) 31 TD’s against 4 INT’s and a passer rating of 171.1. Full stats are here: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/teddy-bridgewater-1.html#passing .
To back up my case of winning high pressure games,Mr Bridgewater when playing in the 2013 Sugar Bowl against the 3rd ranked Florida Gators, who by the way had the number 1 pass Defence in the country tore them up with 266 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. (The Gators had eight players drafted from the 2013 team of which in the first two rounds saw three defensive players taken). Oh by the way he also has played with a cast on a broken arm.
So if I was drafting? I’d like them both on my team, however I’m going for Jadevon Clowney then picking Aaron Murray later in the draft. More on Murray later.