Sunday, April 29, 2012

The 2012 NFL Draft Grades

 #13 (pick overall)  Michael Floyd, WR:  Why would the Cards think that what they need most is another WR?  I haven't heard a single legitimate reason why Floyd makes this offense better.  Levi Brown is still the LT and still stinks in pass protection.  Whiz still runs a pass heavy offense.  How is Floyd going to keep Kolb from getting killed?  He isn't.  This is the typical foolish philosophy that says "offensive linemen don't score TDs, the skill players do."  Sadly, this has been the age old adage of these Cards: Emmitt Smith will fix this team, FAIL.  Edgerin James will fix this team, FAIL.  All we need is a QB like Kolb, FAIL.  All the while Pittsburgh reloads the offensive line and builds perennial winners.  None if this commentary reflects on Floyd though.  It’s just a bad philosophy that has permeated through the years in Arizona.  They blew it by not addressing the line and passed on a good bet for the Hall of Fame in David DeCastro at Guard.  Pittsburgh didn’t.  They snatched him up the second they saw him on the board. 

Floyd is Larry Light in that he’s big, has decent hands, blocks well, meets the ball at the point, gets good push off of the CBs, and plays aggressive.  He doesn’t quite compliment Fitz as much as he is the exact same player.  I’m very concerned with his maturity.  I hadn’t ever heard him speak until he was drafted.  I was terrified to listen to a 9 year old boy speaking inside a man’s body.  Now I know why all the other teams shied away from him after he was interviewed.  He has a checkered history and all the hope is on Larry to mentor him into a professional.  Just like Cris Carter did for Randy Moss right?  I don’t think this kid is near as bad as Randy, but I also don’t think he’s near as talented. 

When grading this pick you also have to consider who was available at #13 when they selected:  David DeCastro, Melvin Ingram, Riley Reiff, Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, and Kendell Wright.  Considering LT, OLB, SILB, and WR2 were positions of need they were in a great position to trade down and grab some future picks and still get a quality player.  Although I heard they might have been low balled, I’m not sure what compensation they were offered, but it sure looks like they myopically selected Floyd.  Most people I talked to would place Floyd as the 5th best selection for the Cards there compared to who was available.  I had Floyd below all the others I listed above.  And WR2 was 3rd on the need chart.  They ignored a stud in DeCastro, and a major steal in Ingram.  Ingram would have had a major impact this year on defense as OLB.  I’m not saying they blew the pick.  I am saying that they came up short on all the value that the pick has to offer.  And, as you know, I’m furious that they didn’t get DeCastro.

Grade: C

#80 Jemelle Fleming, CB:  I watched this pick with my mom.  She kept pointing out before we took him that “the guy with funny hair says the Cards need one of those T guys.  And it says that Bobby Massie kid plays a T and should have gone 60 picks ago.  Why don’t the Cards take him?”  My mom gets it.  How do the Cards not get it?  Of course they got him in the 4th, which I’m ecstatic about, but they got LUCKY.  I mean starting RT falling out of the sky lucky.  There was very little reason for Massie’s fall.  But we’ll get to him next.

I love this Fleming kid.  Absolutely Love.  To be honest I hadn’t seen any film on Fleming till he was picked.  The guy is a PLAYMAKER.  And exudes confidence.  He’s a great BPA at this point, and should push Toler for the starting bid.  He basically will make us forget about losing… (uh, I honestly just forgot his name right now, Ha!) err… that corner who played opposite PP21 and backed up safety.  This kid will also, finally, make the Cards get rid of Michael Adams.  He’s even a better special teamer than Adams.

Seriously though, how many corners do you need?  Fleming and Bethel makes 9. 9! I don’t remember Ferris being absent 9 times… sorry… love me some John Hughes.  Man is that a crowded depth chart.  I think Toler and Fleming will be neck and neck when camp closes, (hopefully Toler comes back in full form).  So he’ll contribute this year, but to grab a CB4 over, I don’t know, say… a RT1.  What the heck?  I mean I totally believe in BPA, but this is extremist BPA.  This is orthodox BPA.  This is myopic.  Massie made perfect sense here and, I’m glad they got lucky, but I’m wondering if they might have been better off grabbing Massie and Zebrie Sanders over Massie and Fleming.  They are weak on the offensive line.  Strong at CB.  They continue to flat out ignore Need.  I don’t even think they say the word need in the War Room.

Grade: B (Because they got lucky)

#112 Bobby Massie, T: I called my mom right after the pick and asked if she could guess who the Cards got with #112.  That’s right she nailed it.  We bonded.  Mel Kiper had Massie as his #21 overall pick.  That’s a 91 spot drop out of the 1st round.  What a fall.  Who cares?  We landed him.

Let’s start off by saying this kid is a project.  But not so much of one that he couldn’t start at RT after camp concludes.  He’s big, has athletic movement, long arms, and is a good pass protector.  So right out of the gates you might ask why would he fall to the 100’s?  I don’t know.  No one’s saying much.  I think they just saw him as young (junior) and a bit immature.  They question his work ethic, which is a concern.  But not much of one.  Word is that he left early because his family is in financial trouble.  Had he stayed many think he would have been an elite Tackle in next year’s draft.  The Cards need to take this kid under their wing and protect him.  Ironically, just like Michael Oher’s momma did.  (Go Ole Miss)

As for negatives on the field, he needs to work on his footwork (who doesn’t) and his lack of strength is a big concern.  I believe Grimm will iron that stuff out.  After starting at RT this year, I fully expect him to supplant Levi at LT following camp in 2013.  This could be the starting tackle we’ve been waiting for since Mike Gandy.  If he is, there is no doubt he’s the steal of the draft.  FINALLY, the Cards take BPA and Need at the same time.  (I’m scared to even ask if Whiz thought T was a need before this selection.) 

Grade: A+

#151 Senio Kelemete, G: Finally they pick a guard.  This is a quality guy.  Two time captain. Can play T or G, although he’s a no-brainer for G.  A good team player.  Maybe he pushes Snyder out of RG and into his rightful position as backup.  Maybe not.  But he is a good addition to the team. Not a position of need though.

While researching how good teams found their lineman, I noticed teams like the Saints and Packers thrive on finding their guys in the 4th and 5th rounds.  Good teams don't rely on FA to fill spots on the line.  (unlike the Cards).  All the good teams found theirs via the draft.  (With the exception of the Giants.  However, it’s becoming more and more apparent that they are a product of Eli Manning and not a product of their line)

Grade: C

#177 Justin Bethel, CB/S:  ATHLETE.  This guy jumped onto some boxes 60 inches off the ground.  That’s… uh wow!  He has a 40 inch STANDING vertical.  So it’s fair to say this guy has hops.  He’s actually quick too.  Justin appears to be a project to back up Rhodes at FS.  He looks like a great pick if he develops.  But he doesn’t need to develop as a special teamer.  He's already a stud.  He blocked 9 kicks on ST. 9!  Add him to Calais and they might block a kick per game.  That’s a guy who impacts the team immediately.

Grade: B

#185 Ryan Lindley, QB:  Another steal.  Numerous national pundits said this kid is a steal in the later rounds.  It easy to see why.  He has an NFL body, an NFL arm, but John Skelton’s accuracy.  Sure he’s a project.  They’re all projects in the high 100’s.  He’s a great one though.  I think this kid will start one day and do well.  Interesting note: he was DeMarco Sampson’s QB in college. 

Grade: A

#221 Nate Potter, T:  All he did was start at LT for a freaking awesome Boise State team.  This kid is solid.  He has a great work ethic and has some natural ability.  He’s stiff, but he can play.  A good pass protector.  Another great 7th round find by the Cards. 

Grade: B

Overall Draft Grade: B

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