10 Things Zoltan Thinks about the 2011 Draft

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Source: bostonmagazine.com

I’m going to do my best Peter King impression for you, and actually try to give some good insight…

  • I think Houston is on the rise. I really loved what the Texans did in the draft. Before the draft I questioned the decision of hiring Wade Philips as a defensive coordinator and switching to 3-4. I said to myself, the Texans have enough problems in the secondary, so why are they creating even more needs with this change. Based on what they did at the draft, I’m sold. They got 3 very good players, who can start right now: DE JJ Watt, OLB Brooks Reed, and CB Brandon Harris. They got two more DB’s, Rashad Carmichael and  Shiloh Keo, and another OLB in Cheta Ozougwu. Not to mention, they drafted another developmental QB with good upside in TJ Yates. I’m not sue about a couple of positions – who will play nose tackle? how will Mario Williams fare as an OLB? and who will play safety? – but I like the pieces they’ve added on Defense. If Wade Philips can put the whole picture together, watch out. Because we know the Texans have very few problems on Offense.
  • I think I’m not crazy about the last three Jaguars picks…for a few reasons. I am not pleased with where Gene Smith drafted them. Cecil Shorts might get a pass for where he was drafted, although I think he would be there at 5th round, but Chris Prosinksi and Rod Isaac would easily have been there in the 5th, 6th, or even 7th rounds. It’s one thing to really like a player and be sold on his abilities, but you must know their relative value within the draft. I understand that Rod Isaac felt that he was going to be picked by several teams before the Jaguars actually picked him up, but after hearing the Jaguars were afraid they were going to lose their shot at Issac when Atlanta traded up to a few spots before their pick, I had a good laugh. Mike Mayock, the NFL Network’s draft expert who I think has done a heckuva job rooting out and preparing analysis for every possibility in the draft, had barely heard of Prosinski and Isaac. Sorry, but I think the Jaguars easily could traded down two or three more times in the 4th and 5th round (like Cleveland, New England, and Washington) to get a few extra picks and selecting Issac and Prosinski in the 6th and 7th rounds. Gene is a great scout and I commend him for discovering talent I bet most of the other teams hadn’t heard of, but he must learn to play the entire draft smarter, not just grabbing his “hidden gems” whenever his pick comes along. Remember how smart everyone said Gene was for drafting Rashad Jennings (a 2nd-3rd round prospect) in the 7th round? I would love to see a couple more of those in the future.
  • I think I have issues with the Shorts and Prosinski picks. I heard that Cecil Shorts runs great routes, has great hands and… that’s it. I think the Jaguars once again were trying to copy the Colts. How well has that turned out for them so far? The Jaguars have tried to draft their own Robert Mathis three times in Jorge Cordova, Quentin Groves, and Larry Hart. The jury is still out on Hart, but the other two were failed experiments, to say the least. Now, they want their own Pierre Garcon, but the Jaguars’ front office is forgetting two things. One, is that Garcon is not a great talent. He is good because his QB is Peyton Manning. I would love to see how he would be regarded if Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, or David Garrard was the one throwing him the ball. He wouldn’t be considered half the threat he’s getting credit for being. Secondly, all the experts who watched this kid play at Mount Union are saying he is less talented then Garcon. That’s not a good combination, but I hope Shorts proves me wrong. And Prosinski? I think the Jaguars just got another Sean Considine with him. Smart, great at special teams, but problems playing safety at the pro level. He is a gifted athlete and is very smart and if he gets a good DB coach, he can develop. But once again, those who saw him play at Wyoming saw his flaws all too well. When I see his Pro Day videos his moves (backtracking, for example) did not look so good. But like Shorts, I hope he proves me wrong on the field.
  • I think I love the Isaac pick. I would have loved it better as a 6th or 7th round pick, but I’m glad he’s a Jaguar. He’s no Reggie Nelson when it comes to tackling – at nickle, Issac will be able to support the run or blitz the quarterback. He was the result of great scouting and I hope he and William Middleton are on the final roster. With these two, the Jaguars will have two good nickel corners, who can also be special team aces.
  • I think the AFC South can once again be a division of offensive powerhouses. I think the additions of Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert means that all four teams will likely have a quality QB under center in the near future. I don’t see another division where there could be four QB’s at this level. Three teams have quality RB’s – Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Arian Foster. You have elite WRs like Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie and top TE’s – Dallas Clark, Marcedes Lewis, and Owen Daniels. Although each team has great players on the defensive side of the ball, I think the AFC South will become a high-scoring division, as soon as the rookie 1st round QBs hit the field.
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