Let's talk about football.
Who are your top five pro prospects on the current Michigan team? It doesn't matter what year they are.
5-Coner (professional recording artist, not NFL)
With the success of Woodley and the amount of teams going to the 3-4, I think Graham has huge upside. Also Minor is built like an NFL back and has break-away speed. He just needs to have a productive and healthy senior year and he could be a 2nd/3rd round pick. And Mesko, might not be the highest rated but player but may have the longest NFL career of anyone on the team.
1. Brandon Graham
2. Obi Ezeh
3. Donavan Warren
4. Brandon Minor
5. Tate Forcier
After running all over opposing defenses this year, Brandon and Carlos will have a shot at the next level. Carlos is faster, but Brandon is better between the tackles. Tate is not a pro-style QB, but because the wildcat is starting to spread (pun intended) throughout the NFL every team will need a guy who can run the read option and still pass well.
I think Tate has a chance of being a pro QB, but not because of his ability to run the read option. The read option/Wildcat won't become a dominant offense in the NFL. It's just a gimmick that's working right now.
some team in the NFL will collect 2-3 Spread QB's and start running a full spread offense. How good would V. Young be in a full spread offense with Tebow and Mike Vick backing him up. There a so many spread QB's in college that you can get a player in the later rounds or in free agency. It will happen, just when is the question.
Whether it's the option or the read option, it hasn't worked in the NFL for years. The athletes on defense are too fast and too strong. The quarterback has to read the end, but in the NFL, by the time he makes his read, the ends are so fast that they'll be planting that QB on his ass. I don't think it's going to happen anytime in the near future - or if it does, it will be a failure.
This seems like just another version of the tired argument used to wrongly predict that the read/option would never work in the SEC, Big East, Big Ten etc. Yes, the ends in the NFL are faster and stronger, but so are the tackles who block them.
It's unfair to say the read/option hasn't worked in the NFL for years because while teams like the Falcons have occasionally thrown an option play into the gameplan, it's been a long time, since before I started watching the NFL, at least, that a team has really devoted itself to the read/option as an offensive philosophy.
The NFL is a copy cat league- witness the rage over the Wildcat. While this means that innovation spreads quickly in the NFL, it also means that coaches are reluctant to go out on a limb. I once saw an interview with Mike Leach where the interviewer asked him, given all his offense's success, why he thought no one in the NFL had tried to adopt it. His response was illuminating, he said, and I'm paraphrasing, that embracing his system would be an implicit criticism of other coaches. In the NFL this means a prospective coach might be giving up the security of landing as a coordinator or assistant somewhere, should his plan fail.
Anyways, I really don't like it when people call the read/option or Leach's spread "gimmicky". They have proven to be incredibly successful systems at the highest level anyone has attempted to run them.
"Yes, the ends in the NFL are stronger and faster, but so are the tackles who block them."
That's the point - in the read option, NOBODY blocks the end. If the 280 lb. defensive end wants to kill your quarterback, he is free to do so (if he can catch him, obviously). Those tackles you're talking about are irrelevant because they'll be blocking a DT or a linebacker.
Ok, my bad. But won't everyone running the offense still be faster too, balancing this out?
I agree with you 100%. Once an NFL team decides to take a chance with the spread option offense, they will be successful. The drawback is that the QB is more prone to injury. Why not cycle in 2-3 capable QBs like RBs? If one goes down, you have more in the stable. They will also be able to draft high talent QBs (Dixon, Tebow, Johnson, etc) in low rounds.
Disclaimer: Anyone who does not agree with this statement is a luddite, and should be burned at the stake for blasphemy.
This is not likely.
I would define a gimmick play as a trick play that a team might use once or twice in a game. The shotgun read-option is not one play, it is an offense. It has taken elements from the most innovative offensive schemes created - the single wing, the option, the run and shoot, and the no huddle. The offense that RR invented gets called "gimmicky" all the time. What these people fail to realize is that about half of the teams in Div. 1 use it now as a base offense. Highschool teams all over the nation use it as well. The NFL doesn't want to use it because of the wear and tear on QB's, and the "wildcat version" puts the QB outside with the WR's - away from harm. Most defenses don't have to account for the QB in their assignments, and this gives the offense an advantage before the ball is snapped. What some people think is a passing fad is quickly becoming one of the most deadly offenses in modern football. UM couldn't stop it to save their hides. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. (at least I think that's what Bill Martin was thinking) Go Blue!!!!!!
1. Martin-Played well in the middle as a fr.
2. Graham- Little undersized only thing keeping him out of top 20 pick.
3. Ortmann-Sounds like the light is on and he is big.
4. Mouton-Played great at the end of last year..big upside.
5. Minor-I expect big things this year.
Bonus-Vlad sounds like a guy that could turn this safety disaster around.
The only three I'd select are Graham, Warren, and Mesko. While Ezeh and Mouton might be decent college players, they haven't shown anything to me so far to indicate their chances are any better than more highly regarded UM linebackers of the past like Cannavino, Anderson, and Irons, none of whom had NFL careers. Campbell hasn't had the chance to show anything yet, nor has Forcier, so I can't put them on any list. Mesko had the second highest number of punts among D1A teams last year, and his average of 43.0 is right up among the national leaders. If he has a solid final year I think he's got a good chance of being a mid-to-late round draft choice.
It's revealing that nobody is listing any OL guys. Schilling had a tremendous reputation coming out of high school, but so far he hasn't been a dominant player. Nobody on the OL has, and that has to change if we're going to be a factor in the conference again.
a) Those other linebackers you listed weren't as athletic as Ezeh and Mouton. They were good linebackers and solid tacklers, but they just weren't athletic enough to make it in the NFL. Mouton and Ezeh are. Now, they might not make it, but it won't be because they're too slow or lack agility.
b) Nobody's listing linemen because this is a different kind of offense. Spread linemen typically don't get drafted very highly. Jason Smith is an exception, but in general, spread linemen aren't asked to drive block and NFL linemen are, so it's just not a good fit.
So do you think Spread linemen aren't "top prospects" but still capable of adapting to to the NFL? Or that they won't cut it in the NFL altogether?
If they aren't a good fit for the NFL, how does this bode for Michigan's efforts to recruit O-Linemen? What are the selling points?
I think they could adjust to the NFL - and they could fit in some zone blocking schemes - but the NFL isn't interested in guys who could develop as much as guys who can contribute right now. They don't want a guard who can reach block - they want a guard who can blow a 330-lb. defensive tackle three yards backward.
I said last year that I thought Michigan's offensive line recruiting would change. I don't think we're going to get the top offensive line prospects and I don't think we're going to produce top offensive line prospects. We will probably still have a good offensive line unit, but I don't know that our individual players will be as highly sought after as Jake Long, Steve Hutchinson, etc.
get top rated OL and our guys do drive block in this offense. you'll see.
There's very little drive blocking that occurs in this offense.
during the spring, i figure they'll use it
If the offense is running the zone read option, then practically by definition, the OL is not drive blocking.
They might do more drive blocking if they go out of the I-formation, but I don't know how much they'll do that in the regular season. With a true freshman QB, I feel like they'll put him in shotgun more because that's what he's used to and it's easier to see the field. But that all depends on how he develops during camp and if he's comfortable with turning his back to the defense.
is obviously run out of the shotgun but they worked out of the I a lot during the spring, i really don't think they'd do that if they weren't planning on using it.
1. Graham-Woodley reincarnated
2. Warren-bigger CB with good ball skills. he didnt show it last year b/c of injuries
3. Mesko-versatile punter
4. Martin-wont be a dynamic DT at the next level but he will get there
5. Omameh- this is my question mark but he is still very young and athletic for his size. he will get to the league IMO
2. D. Warren
3. Big Will
I'm somewhat surprised that people are picking Emilien. We must be short on talent if people are picking an early enrollee who didn't play a down of football his senior year.
I realize I picked Campbell, but that's mostly because he's huge and can run. Those guys have to really suck not to make it in the NFL, because guys with questionable motors (Watson, Branch for example) have been drafted before. Emilien doesn't have exceptional size (Taylor Mays-like) or exceptional speed (uhhh...Taylor Mays-like). He might be good, but wow, that's a long way off.
I agree with you on Big Will. His size alone would probably be enough to entice at least a few NFL teams to take a look at him. He seems to be a near perfect fit as a NT in a 3-4 defense.
3 and 4 for me were based on potential, as I think they could be the Grahams and Warrens down the road
(1) Mesko. Best punter in the nation. Despite what most fans think, punters and kickers are important.
(2) Big Will. If the light stays on for him he will be dominant two years from now.
(3) Koger. Quick, strong tight ends find their way into the NFL. (Carson Butler anyone?)
(4) Stonum. Same as 3 - tall fast wide receivers, especially from Michigan, play in the NFL.
(5) O'Neill - if he pans out and plays well, he'll be a first round pick due to his size.
more people didn't pick the person that the coaches think has the most pro potential-Kevin Koger
I read on another blog that Martell Webb had an impressive Spring and that he's even a bit faster than Kevin Koger. It looks like the TE position might be the biggest strength of the offense going into the season.
O-Line. There is no RB without the O-Line unless you're Barry Sanders, and even then you need Lomas Brown.
But disagree. The o-line depth is mostly unproven, but it is deep. At RB we have 3 guys with experience and a stable of newcomers who should be exciting.
I am a huge Martell Webb fan.
feel confident predicting NFL status for freshman players they've never seen play in a college game. I watch the high school film too, but I guess I'm not the talent evaluator many of you seem to be.
My five: 1- Graham 2-Martin 3- Brown 4- Warren 5-Shaw
I would have thought have garnered more votes. This kid has NFL written all over him.
Michigan has a abundance of NFL talent at the te position...only hope it has a chance to shine this upcoming season.
I thought about the tight ends, but it remains to be seen how often the TE will be used in this offense. But Webb supposedly gave Koger a run for his money this spring, so I have a hard time predicting that Koger will be a good pro when Webb (who hasn't played much at all) almost beat him out.
I think the jury's still out on Koger (and Webb).
with the koger call. i picked a lineman (omameh) instead but koger was the other choice.
Attn: Braylon Edwards: If you’re placing freshman in your top (5) other than Big Will can you explain why your picking Vlad over J.T. Turner; since you basing your selection of freshman on "potential." I understand Vlad's enrolled early, and Turner has yet to hit campus, but I can't say I've seen or heard anything anointing Vlad the next Troy Polamalu or Ernest Shazor in our case. I’m not trying to put you on the defensive, just interested to hear your case for Vlad.
1.) B. Graham
2.) D. Warren
3.) W. Campbell
4.) B. Minor
5.) Z. Mesko
my top 5 after thinking about it more than 5 minutes
5. Big Will
truth be told I don't know why I picked Vlad over Turner, I just sticked to my guns Breh.
Thanks Magnus for a good football-based thread - very timely.
I am generally not an NFL fan (did not watch one full game last year). But here goes -
1. Graham - agree with the Woodley comparisons
2. Mesko - never fails to be outstanding
3. Martin - was impressive as a freshman- expect big things
4. Minor - talented, good size, has an attitude that will only help him adjust and play well wherever he goes
5. Stevie Brown - based on no more than a slightly informed hunch - very athletic, good build - I think he will come into his own this year. Being in the right position will be a key factor. Now go ahead, scorch me for this one! (I really want to put Warren here, but cant resist one controversial pick)
Doing this was a good exercise - made me realize that we have a lot of talent. It was tough to keep it to 5.
i like Campbell and Forcier already too but c'mon they haven't even played a down in college yet.
In the NFL lineman have to be agile all the time, especially guards. With the speed of rush DEs in the NFL I think it is better to have a quick 6'6" 290lb OT who can beat the end to his spot than a big immobile refridgerator. These guys can help you in pass coverage and on a HB screen.
The NFL disagrees with you. They don't want 290 lb. left tackles. If you're a center, maybe.
The zone blocking scheme is based on agility and quickness. The offensive linemen are expected to be quick enough to wall off defensive linemen and linebackers from getting to the RB or the QB. They are not expected to blow those same defensive linemen off the ball.
I don't know if you went to Michigan or not, but think of IM flag football - blockers are asked to shadow block. There's no contact allowed, so the best blockers are the ones who are quick enough and agile enough to stay in front of a defender so he can't get to the ballcarrier. It's not about power - it's about agility.
The NFL asks its players to drive block. See that defensive tackle? Kindly put your hands and facemask in his chest and drive him backward three yards. Thanks.
As a zone blocker, I don't care if that DT stays on the line of scrimmage. As long as I can get my butt between him and the ballcarrier, I've done my job.
Okay, I'm going to bite on this.
2. Graham - his size gives him less upside than Warren in the league.
3. Stonum - Has the size and speed to be a decent to great NFL WR. Now that he has someone to get him the ball he'll be better.
4. MINOR RAGE
5. Ezeh/Mouton - They have the skillset to get to the league, can they put it together is the real question.
I almost put Stonum on there, too. He's got some developing to do as a route runner, but he's definitely got the skills to get to the NFL.
I'm not really sold on Warren's potential as an NFL player just yet.
Considering he was a 5*, had a stellar freshman campaign and played well despite being hurt the entire year last year, I think he's probably an NFL talent.
Warren didn't play well last year. Also, I'm not sure if Warren's star rating coming out of high school means anything to an NFL scout now that he's been in college for a couple of years.
I agree to a point. I really like Warren (as my username shows), but he definitely did not have a good season last year. Reports were that he hated Shafer, and considering how horrible our defense was as a whole, it's hard to blame Warren for what seemed like a coaching deficiency. This year is either going to cement him as a star or leave guys like me pining for the Warren we dreamed in our heads
I think Warren will be good (I put him on my list), but I don't know if I'd call his freshman season stellar. He began the season as a backup (although he quickly stepped into a full-time role) and, if I recall correctly, he only had one INT (against Illinois, I think). He also had some tackling deficiencies.
Anyway, there's a big space between "stellar" and "adequate." I think he was adequate as a freshman.
What's your frame of reference?
Warren, I believe, garnered freshman all-america honors from several publications, and he was also recognized on the Big Ten all-freshman team.
So, was Warren "adequate" for a freshman, or "adequate" for a starter in general? There's a substantial difference between the two, in my opinion.
Also, I'm not sure cornerbacks should be measured solely by interceptions and tackles. Obviously, besides pass breakups, those are more or less the only statistics kept for corners. But I am much more concerned about the production of the receivers he matches up against than interceptions, for example. Does he give up the deep ball? Does the receiver get separation? Footwork? Speed?
On those criteria, I remember Warren's first year as a resounding success. Yahoo! (ok not the best source) once projected him as a perennial All Pro, for goodness sakes.
Adequate for a starter.
Not including incoming freshmen
1. Brandon Graham
2. Kevin Koger
3. Obi Ezeh
4. Donovan Warren
5. Mike Martin
1. Brandon Graham
2. Kevin Koger
3. Will Campbell
4. Donovan Warren
5. Space Emperor
In that order.
Many insiders have said Vlad has been unbelievable and is a lock to start this year...so that would mean the evidence for Vlad is more substantive than Turner. All you have right now is stars for your argument.
I haven't heard Vlad's performance in spring camp described in that way, but, he has moved into a starting role as a true freshman. Remember, though, it's not like his competition at Safety was made up of Taylor Mays clones. The Safety position might just be the weakest on the team.
There's his whole 'performance' in the AAA game, that was pretty light's out.
I wasn't aware that Vlad played in that game. I thought he was still recovering from his injury.
I was confused at first, too, but I think he was talking about Justin Turner.
Magnus is correct, I was referring to Turner. The comment I replied to said that there wasn't any evidence other than star ranking to show that Turner would produce.