After a brief hiatus, our good buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films, ESPN's NFL Matchup, and Shutdown Corner is back to talk a little football. And with more than a month passed since the draft, we thought it would be interesting to review that selection process by division, now that teams have given a bit of insight into how their new players will be used. We've already covered the NFC West, and we'll move to the other conference's Western division for a look at how the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers did with their selections.
A few words of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:
On Denver Broncos second-round pick RB Montee Ball: "I liked him in tape. He was such a volume runner in college -- you wouldn't call him spectacular, but I came away believing that he was a very solid player. A very loose-hipped kid -- very naturally smooth. He's a gliding runner with sharp change of direction. He didn't hesitate at all -- he was decisive as a downhill runner and he ran a lot of power, because that's what Wisconsin does. He also ran a lot of zone schemes, so he's very familiar with NFL rushing concepts. He was a player I liked the more I watched him, and I think he's a really good fit in Denver."
On Kansas City Chiefs second-round TE Travis Kelce: "He's an NFL tight end -- he's got that athleticism and movement. He's fluid -- I wouldn't call him explosive, but how many tight ends do we really say that about? They tend to be more measured and methodical in their movements, but he was fluid. I thought there was a toughness to him as well, and he was deceptive as a route-runner. He can threaten the vertical seam, there's no question. Look -- we know about the two-tight end element in the NFL now. A lot of teams are going that way, and that's tougher for defensive coordinators to defend that three receivers, because it gives the defense more questions that need to be answered."
On Oakland Raiders third-round OLB Sio Moore: "The big question for me with him is whether he's more than a sub-package player. Can he be a starter? He's clearly a versatile player -- he played a lot in space in Connecticut's defense, and he played a lot over the slot. He's an athletic mover, but is he a starting linebacker? I'm uncertain about that. He showed some quickness as a pass rusher, and there were times when he lined up in a three-point stance with his hand on the ground. He was used in a variety of ways, and he was effective in that defense in all those ways."
On San Diego Chargers second-round LB Manti Te'o: "I think the 3-4 is perfect for him - he's a 3-4 inside backer. They've tried to address with every press conference that he's a three-down linebacker, and why are they doing that? Because they're trying to convince themselves that he's a three-down linebacker. I'm not sure he is. He'll play in base personnel, but beyond that, I struggle. They'll find out Week 1, because they'll go through the offseason and training camp, and if he's not on the field in their sub packages, you've got your answer."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link. You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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