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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  • Brandon Clark

    i agree with everything, except thinking we drafted another pierre garcon

    I’ve had my “afternoon beer”s so who knows about tomorrow

    but right now, i like it!

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  • thehof

    I would really like for the Jaguars to sign Herzlich and I’d think we have a good shot because there is obviously opportunity at the LB position and we are proven to not hold a guy back only because he’s an UDFA.

    As far as liking/not liking our later picks, it’s way too early to say anything. I think it’s kind of unfair to love Issac and not like Shorts and Prosinski. You seem to like Rod because he plays hard and had good college production, despite admitting that the Jaguars took him too early. Shorts and Prosinski have the same reputation for playing 110 MPH and had HUGE college production – they were picked earlier than Issac, but you said all three were drafted too soon. What’s not to like??

  • kjones407

    I don’t think that Prosinsky is another Sean Considine, and if he is, he is a more athletic version of him. And when you think about it, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I thought the only think people didn’t like about Considine was his athleticism. Considine made plays when in the position to do so and maybe Prosinsky will bring that same attribute too. And I highly doubt they drafted Cecil Shorts to be another Garcon, with their build, I don’t think they are the same type of player. And who are the ‘experts’ you were referring to that graded their pro potential, as that term gets tossed around so loosely.

    I get what you are saying about Gene not getting the most out of his draft picks, but there are many variables about the process that we don’t understand. Maybe you are right and he could’ve gotten these players in later rounds and he should’ve traded back in a few instances, but who’s to say there were any willing trade partners? You can point to other teams trading back as a valid point to say there could’ve been at least one team willing to make the trade, but that is another one of those things we don’t know. Also, what makes you so sure that the players they drafted would’ve been there had they traded back? I think that with all of the labor uncertainty, they stuck to their board and got the players they wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved if they could’ve gotten more players out to of the draft, but since we don’t know what there board looked like, it’s impossible to tell how many players they missed out on to get the players they wanted.

    • thehof

      Sean Considine, Combine #’s
      Height: 6′
      Weight: 212
      40 yd dash: 4.5 sec
      10 yd split: 1.56 sec
      Bench reps: 19
      Vertical: 37″
      Broad jump: 9’9″

      Chris Prosinski, Pro Day #’s
      Height: 6’1″
      Weight: 202
      40 yd dash: 4.39 sec
      10 yd split: 1.54 sec
      Bench reps: 14
      Vertical: 39.5″
      Broad: 11’2″

      • Brandon Clark

        i love stats research. thank you!

  • cathousecrazy

    I liked this article for the same reasons I like pretty much all of Zoltan’s articles I have read. He always make points that make me think. Not just the same old crap under a different headline. Nice. The Houston stuff is dead on.
    I don’t agree with a point Zoltan makes here that I see being made by fans and writers alike. Often times we see the opinion they could have got the same guy later on. If you consider all the variables that are looked at and can be controlled by a G.M./team that is the one that they control the least. There are 31 other teams out there how can you possibly know what all of them think about a player, let alone if he is on there board and how high they rate him.
    I don’t agree the team wanted their own Garcon. I do think every team in the league including the Nags are looking for the next Mathis. Rightfully so. Gene was not calling shots for guys like Cordova and Groves.
    As far as this year I think they had players rated inline at these picks and they picked them. That simple.

    • Brandon Clark

      garcon reminds me of Matt Jones in that he can make the spectacular catch but the routine catch seems to confuse him

  • dan073eb

    Austin Collie = elite?? I don’t know about that one…

    • Brandon Clark


      reliable but not elite. I believe what we see is another fine-tuned example of an all-time elite QB makin a WR more than he is

      Amazing to watch