Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 8 hrs ago
There aren't many guys like Dorial Green-Beckham, in terms of size and his ability to move. In fact, in the NFL there's probably only one: Calvin Johnson. I don't think Johnson is an unreasonable comparison for Green-Beckham.
If Green-Beckham was clean off the field he'd be a top 10 or top 12 pick. But we know that's not the case. Green-Beckham was dismissed from Missouri after many off-field incidents and then spent a redshirt season at Oklahoma before declaring for the draft. With that, he became the biggest wild card among the receivers in this draft class.
But it is clear, looking at the limited film on Green-Beckham, that he is an intriguing blend of size and movement. Here are my thoughts after watching film on the top receivers in the draft, and a couple of top tight ends as well:
Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri/Oklahoma
One concern to have about him on the field is that he did not play very competitively. He relied on size and talent to make plays, and this is a big yellow flag as he transitions to the NFL. My sense is he will be overwhelmed initially by the competitiveness and intensity of the NFL game.
DeVante Parker, Louisville
- - - - - - -
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago
Leading up to this year’s draft, there’s a consensus that Amari Cooper and Kevin White are the top two receivers in the class, in a tier by themselves.
I agree that both of them are in a top tier. Cooper and White are both very good prospects. But I’d add a third receiver to that tier: UCF’s Breshad Perriman.
I think Cooper is the top receiver prospect this year. But if you asked me who is No. 2 among White and Perriman, that’s a tougher question. I really like Perriman. I heard an interesting comparison on Perriman from a scout the other day: Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas. I can see that. Perriman is a big powerful, explosive, fast guy. Although he and White are about the same size, on film Perriman looks like the bigger guy. I could see ranking Perriman even with or ahead of White, although I’m in the minority on that.
Since I think there are three receivers in the top tier and not just two, let’s take a look at what all three do well.
Amari Cooper, Alabama
Cooper also showed burst with ball in the air, which is more important than timed speed. A receiver must be able to separate late in routes and Cooper did that.
Kevin White, West Virginia
Breshad Perriman, UCF
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 7 days ago
We’ve looked at the edge defenders in this draft, and it’s a deep group. There are some possible impact defenders up the middle too, at the interior line and off-the-ball linebacker positions.
I want to start with TCU inside linebacker Paul Dawson, a player who people have forgotten about because he didn’t run well at the combine, which can be a big mistake.
Dawson is a guy who you actually have to watch the film on. His p lay recognition, ability to trigger instantly and downhill explosion in run game as good as any linebacker in this draft class. I think he’s a more athletic and twitchier mover than both Clemson’s Stephone Anthony and Mississippi State’s Benardrick McKinney, and a better prospect as a stacked inside linebacker than both of them. In fact, I think Dawson is the best inside linebacker prospect in the class.
Here are my thoughts on some other top interior linemen (including some 3-4 defensive ends – here are my extended thoughts on USC’s Leonard Williams), and off-the-ball linebackers:
DT Danny Shelton, Washington
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 8 days ago
Everyone has an opinion on what the Tennessee Titans should do with the second pick. Should they go with a quarterback? Or take USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams?
I'd have a different answer if I was making that pick for the Titans. I'd take Florida outside linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler. I think Fowler is the best defensive prospect in the draft.
When I watch film of college prospects, I like to watch a couple games on a prospect, move onto other players, and a couple weeks later watch a couple more of that prospect. I don't want my first impression to carry through six or seven games in a row on a player. I'm glad I took that approach with Fowler.
Early on, I saw a few flaws. I saw a troubling tendency when he was at defensive end to play too high at the point of attack and get moved by tackles and tight ends. He was engulfed by big tackles. I wondered if he had the size and girth to play defensive end.
There are a ton of tools to work with when it comes to Fowler. He has a lot of athletic and explosive traits to work with, He has a chance to be a high level NFL pass rusher – my sense is he will be a better pass rusher in the NFL than he was in college.
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 14 days ago
Last year was a bad draft year for running backs. That’s not the case this year.
This a great class for running backs. It’s one of the best I can remember. I talked about my evaluation for Georgia’s Todd Gurley, and how I think you could make the argument he's the best prospect in this draft. He’s far from the only back in this class who can be a starter or a major contributor in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at some of the other top backs in this class and gauge their pros and cons:
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
Gordon is a tough analysis. It's difficult evaluating 60- or 70-yard touchdown runs when the back isn’t touched. That won’t happen in the NFL. Yet, Gordon had more big runs than anyone in college football last season; they were the bulk of his impressive production. It would be a lot if Gordon has one of those runs each season in the NFL
So what do those runs mean in the context of evaluation?
I like Gordon but you have to be careful how you evaluate him.
These are things he’ll have to prove.
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 15 days ago
Georgia’s Todd Gurley is clearly the best running back in this class, but I think he might be even more than that.
I think you can make the argument that Gurley is the best prospect, at any position, in the draft.
That doesn’t mean he’ll be drafted first, of course. But I think he’s a great prospect. There are no negatives about Todd Gurley on the field.
I say “on the field” because there’s the matter of his knee injury. He tore his ACL late last season. Based on history, with how guys get treated for this, it doesn’t seem like it will be a big issue. You have to assume he’ll be fine. I don’t know the answer because I’m not a doctor, but that injury doesn’t derail careers anymore. All I can do is analyze his game film, which is fantastic.
If he’s healthy there’s no reason to think that he can’t be a foundation back for a team that wants the running game to be the starting point of its offense. There’s a lot to like about Gurley, but let’s start with how refined and advanced he is in the subtleties of running, like pressing the hole or using his downhill path to impact the defense.
On that run – and many others – there are a lot of his skills on display. And he has many skills.
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 22 days ago
Leonard Williams is considered a top-five pick in this NFL draft, and he likely will be, but study of his game film reveals some pros and cons that need to be carefully considered and evaluated.
The pros, and why he’s considered a top pick, are clear. Williams, at 6-foot-5, 302 pounds, is long with plus athleticism and good movement for a big defensive lineman. You can see from his game film at USC that he’s competitive with an excellent playing personality. At times, lining up predominantly as a “5 technique” defensive end in USC’s 3-4 defense (and sometimes as a sub-package defensive tackle) Williams showed relentless power, methodically driving an offensive lineman back into the quarterback.
The more I watched Williams, the more I believed the most impressive part of his game was his strong hands. He has active and violent hands, which is key at his position. Match that with his light, athletic feet and his size, and you can see the positives that teams like.
- - - - - - -
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 29 days ago
The question about Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is how he’ll transition to the NFL.
Mariota, like all quarterbacks from spread college offenses, is a bit more of a complicated projection. The game he played at Oregon will not be the same game he plays in the NFL. There will be a three-step, five-step, seven-step drop foundation he’ll need to learn. Even if the Philadelphia Eagles and former Oregon coach Chip Kelly end up drafting Mariota, it will be a different game for him than he's used to.
Mariota was very comfortable in Oregon offense. He understood and executed the concepts at high efficiency with great confidence. But does he have to run that offense in the NFL to be successful?
One thing that stood out is an excellent ball position on his drop. He has a quick compact delivery that at times was reminiscent of Dan Marino’s delivery.
He has light feet on his drop and set. He‘s a real quick-twitch athlete, and as such he can extend plays and create.
Mariota is a little bit of a short-armer on intermediate throws. There was not a lot of arm extension. Some deeper intermediate throws lost energy on the back end.
- - - - - - -
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago
I think, like many others, that Jameis Winston is the best quarterback prospect in this class. But I want to take a moment to emphasize a key word there: prospect.
Everybody in the NFL draft is a prospect. No matter how many times people say a player “can’t miss,” they’re all prospects. Every player coming into the NFL has positives and negatives. The negatives can be worked on because the players are young. If the flaws aren't fixed, they’ll become blemishes that will prevent them from playing at a high level in the NFL.
That’s how I like to present draft prospects. There are pluses and minuses to them all. There aren’t many Andrew Lucks, who come along with very few flaws.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at Winston.
I broke down six of his games for this piece: against Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia, Miami (Fla.), Boston College and Oregon. Here is what he does well and what he’ll need to work on:
Against Virginia last season, Winston threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene that showed a lot of positive traits and attributes needed to play quarterback from the pocket in the NFL.
- - - - - - -
Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago
In a two-play sequence during a playoff game at the Dallas Cowboys last season, Ndamukong Suh offered a glimpse of what he can do for a defense.
Suh, the Detroit Lions defensive tackle who will be highly coveted in free agency, plays the run and the pass with what I call methodical and relentless explosion. He’s not a quick-twitch player like a Gerald McCoy. He is very powerful. And he can control the inside of an opposing offense.
Here’s what Suh did on back-to-back plays, and keep in mind he was going against center Travis Frederick and guard Zack Martin, who were Pro Bowlers last season.
First and 10
Suh’s tackle numbers aren’t huge but if you watch the film you know what a big difference he makes. He was the reason DeMarco Murray was stopped for no loss on this run.
And here it is from the end-zone angle:
Second and 10
Now we can see Suh’s relentless and methodical power in the passing game. He shoves Martin back into the pocket, and quarterback Tony Romo is forced to move. Suh stayed with the play through hustle and got the sack. This isn’t a function of speed or quick-twitch ability. It’s just really impressive power.
WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
- - - - - - -