Big Ten Draftageddon: Informative Portion

Big Ten Draftageddon: Informative Portion Comment Count

Seth August 26th, 2014 at 10:30 AM

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What the hell was this? Draftageddon is the MGo-version of those preseason all Big Ten articles it is mandatory that sports site generate. If we had titled it "Top 100 players in the B1G" and written one line about each guy it would be great clickbait and nobody would learn anything. So instead we activated our competitive natures, had the MGoStaff draft four 26-man teams, and learned waaaay too much.

Full details are in the first post. This is the "what have we learned" post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON (two rounds/post)
  1. Devin Gardner, plus Braxton Miller, Brandon Scherff, Randy Gregory, Michael Bennett, Joey Bosa, Shilique Calhoun, Carl Davis, Stefon Diggs
  2. Devin Funchess and Jake Ryan, plus Kurtis Drummond, Venric Mark, Jason Spriggs, Chi Chi Ariguzo, Melvin Gordon, Trae Waynes
  3. Frank Clark, plus Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Taiwan Jones, Christian Jones, Noah Spence, Maxx Williams, Rob Havenstein
  4. Blake Countess, plus Andre Monroe, Donovan Smith, Taylor Decker, Sojourn Shelton, Desmond King, Darius Hamilton, Theiren Cockran
  5. Darius Kilgo, Shane Wynn, Brandon Vitabile, Jack Allen, Austin Blythe, Kaleb Johnson, Kyle Costigan, Dallas Lewallen
  6. Matt Robinson, Mike Hull, Corey Cooper, Devin Smith, Jeremy Langford, John Lowdermilk, Jordan Lucas, Christian Hackenberg
  7. Jabrill Peppers, Desmond Morgan, and James Ross III, plus Connor Cook,  Adrian Amos, Steve Longa, Jack Conklin, Tyler Marz
  8. Dontre Wilson, Louis Trinca-Pasat, Nate Sudfeld, Tre Roberson, Tevin Coleman, Earnest Thomas III, Jeff Heuerman, Ibraheim Campbell
  9. Jarrod Wilson, plus Adolphus Washington, Deon Long, Marcus Rush, Eric Murray, Sean Davis, Josh Ferguson, Tony Lippett
  10. Levern Jacobs, Pat Elflein, Jake Cotton, Warren Herring, Zac Epping, Chad Lindsay, Doran Grant, Michael Rose
  11. Darian Hicks, Tyler Kroft, Michael Caputo, Corey Clement, Kevin Snyder, Jordan Walsh, Michael Geiger, Traveon Henry
  12. Willie Henry and Matt Wile, plus Tony Jones, Ed Davis, RJ Williamson, Brad Craddock, Dan Voltz, Andrew Donnal
  13. Joe Bolden, plus Dan Voltz, Andrew Donnal, William Likely, Mike Sadler, Jesse James, Macgarrett Kings Jr., Cameron Johnston, Quinton Alston, Kyle Prater, C.J. Brown
  14. BiSB won the vote, Seth won the photoshop contest

Supplemental Left Behind series by BiSB: offense (defense not posted yet)

GUYS WE DRAFTED (VISUALIZED)

I thought you might appreciate seeing who did and didn't get drafted from among each teams' starters.

MichiganOhio StateMichigan State

Click any to access the giant PDF of all 14 teams plus ND.

It doesn't tell you when they were drafted or by whom, or how big of a hole the non-draftees are, e.g. Maryland's defense looks like Michigan's at a glance, but Michigan has tons of quality LBs while Maryland has one of moderate value. Ohio State is strongest up front on both sides of the ball. Iowa is strong down the middle.

[Jump for are we homers, overrated rivals, deep positions, most overrated dudes, and answers to pretty much every other clickbait thing this offseason because we're nothing if not a thorough bunch]

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Big Ten Draftageddon: The Final Snarkdown

Big Ten Draftageddon: The Final Snarkdown Comment Count

Seth August 19th, 2014 at 4:30 PM

What is Draftageddon: In place of a trite and useless preseason "best players in the Big Ten" series, we drafted teams out of the the same pool and got into detail about our picks and what makes them worth picking. If such an exercise isn't your bag, I implore you to skip this one; a roundtable-y informative thing will follow later.

Previously: opening round, stupid round, hair round, corners round, a lineman from Rutgers round, Hack round, Peppers round, a member of the Illini secondary is drafted round, terp round, guards round, backups round, dramatic round, punting round.

Now we defend our teams, and make fun of each other's. Then you vote for a winner.

THE HALF-COOKED BRIAN ZOOKS

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*Miller (and a couple hits to Seth's Wildcats) happened too late for more supplemental picks

Brian: On offense, I attempted to fuse Wisconsin's core rushing offense into a spread. IE: I tried to replicate last year's Ohio State team. Miller and Gordon are the backfield, with Ferguson in the Wilson/Harvin role and Stephon Diggs being just terrifying on the outside. The OL: Wisconsin. Hooray. Base defense is your standard 4-3. I guess I'm in an over since I've got two similar defensive ends and no obvious on-the-line SAM. 

Strengths: every second down is second and two. Every third down is a first down because we picked up eight yards on second and two. The defensive line is highly stout, with upside in spades; the corners are excellent. 

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Brian got out of a Michael Rose pick and drafted every Michigan linebacker but the really good one.

Weaknesses: Pass protection. I don't have a left tackle. As we saw with Denard, though, having an incredible athlete at QB tends to turn pass rush off by itself. This was by design after I picked Miller and any true difference-maker tackles were gone by the next pick. 

Also my safeties are both Northwestern safeties. And I guess I don't have a punter, but who cares.

Snarked by BiSB: Brian’s theory is pretty basic: find a unit that performed well, and draft The. Whole. Damn. Thing. Wisconsin runs the ball well? Take their running game. Michigan’s linebacker corps looks pretty okay? GOTTA GRAB ‘EM ALL (except for the best piece, of course, which I got). Northwestern’s secondary is outstanding on 3rd and 20? Say no more, give me them safeties.

The problem, of course, is that he’s left with a hodgepodge of assorted whatnot that doesn’t work together. Offensively, I don’t know what the hell Brian is. He took a spread option quarterback and outfitted him with a manball offensive line and running back. His receiving corp is a coming-off-an-injury Stefon Diggs, made-fewer-than-two-catches-per-game Jeff Heuerman, and… Tony Lippett? And of course there’s the whole two-vastly-different-quarterbacks thing he’s got going on with Hackenberg. After a year of lamenting an offensive system that lacked internal cohesion, you’re going to THIS? For shame, sir. For shame. You don’t DESERVE Kyle Prater.

On defense, Brian has a solid-ish defensive line, and absolutely nothing behind it in the middle of the field. His linebackers are Michigan’s current linebackers if you replaced Jake Ryan with Michael Rose Joe Bolden. Does this sound like a good idea? No. No it does not. It does not sound like a good idea. But don’t worry, because Ibraheim Campbell and Traveon Henry are there to kinda keep the lid on. And again, you have your press-happy stud corner playing alongside a pair of bend-but-don’t-break safeties.

[Immediately after the jump, an image that will probably appear in all future Google searches for Ace Anbender, but just in case: Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender, Ace Anbender]

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Draftageddon 2014: Left Behind - Offense

Draftageddon 2014: Left Behind - Offense Comment Count

BiSB August 14th, 2014 at 10:55 AM

This is an actual movie. See? There are worse things than Draftageddon

Draftageddon is complete, to the relief of many of you and the heartbreak of… well, some of you. Maybe. But there are still some non-terrible football players to be discussed, so to be properly prepared for the season, let’s take a look at some of the players who were not selected, but could have been if we’d Heiko’d just a little deeper. We’ll also review who WAS taken at various positions and take a quick gander at the position group as a whole. If you want to go back and read our snark, on any of the players, the hyperlinks on players' names will take you to the relevant articles.

Quarterback

Who was taken:

Quarterback

School

Round

Braxton Miller

OSU

1 (Brian)

Devin Gardner

UM

1 (BiSB)

Christian Hackenberg

PSU

13 (Brian)

Connor Cook

MSU

13 (Ace)

Nate Sudfeld

IU

15 (Seth)

Tre Roberson

IU

16 (Seth)

CJ Brown

MD

27 (Seth)

Who’s left:

Joel Stave, Wisconsin – Threw for 7.4 YPA with 22 TDs, 13 INTs. He’s a game manager, though not a particularly inspiring one. Stave didn’t exceed 9 YPA in any game against a power conference team, despite a massively effective running game behind him. Wisconsin’s passing game stagnated last half of the season, and as a result, Stave is theoretically battling w/ Tanner McEvoy for the starting job. Stave will almost certainly win the job, but he’s returning to a gutted receiving corp: Wisconsin loses their four leading receivers, including Jared Abbrederis & Jacob Pederson. Their leading returning receiver had 127 yards. Way more red flags than green ones.

Jake Rudock, Iowa – Threw for 6.9 YPA with 18 TDs and 13 INTs. These are not inspiring numbers, especially for a quarterback with a solid running game behind him. Another game manager type, Rudock didn’t throw for more than 256 passing yards in any game, and didn’t crack 9 YPA against any non-Purdue opponent. Meh.

Trevor Siemian, Northwestern – Was a pretty stoppable Throw God last year, throwing for 7.2 YPA with 11 TDs and 9 INTs. In B1G play he went for 4 TDs and 0 INTs against Illinois… and 3 TDs and 7 INTs against the rest of the conference. He seemed to regress over the course of the year (along with Northwestern’s entire offense), and whether it is the result of missing Venric Mark (SIT DOWN, SETH) or just Northwestern not being that good, it’s hard to expect great things this year.

OVERALL – Braxton, then a few guys, then wheeeeeeeeeee. Despite the gap in draft rounds between the second and third quarterbacks taken, there is a solid tier just below Miller that includes Devin Gardner, Christian Hackenberg, and Connor Cook (and potentially Nate Sudfeld or CJ Brown, but probably not). Beyond that, you’re looking at uninspiring game manager-types, young guys prone to moments of WTF, and Gary Nova. Michigan is very much in the “haves” half of the draw in this respect, so be pleased.

[After THE JUMP: other positions, as you probably guessed.]

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Draftageddon: It Ends!

Draftageddon: It Ends! Comment Count

Brian August 13th, 2014 at 6:13 PM

The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.
  8. Someone drafts an Illinois defender! I know!
  9. BISB goes Maryland crazy, reminds us all that he has Kurtis Drummond eighty-five times.
  10. GUAAAAARDS!
  11. The transitive property of MSU corners and Wisconsin RBs, and Phil Steele goes Heiko.
  12. Holy pants this isn't over yet?

CURRENTLY CURRENT SITUATION:

currently currently current

ROUND 24 - PICK 4: Dan Voltz, C, Wisconsin
ROUND 25 - PICK 1: Andrew Donnal, OT, Iowa

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O: QB Braxton Miller (OSU), QB Christian Hackenberg (PSU), RB Melvin Gordon (WI), RB/WR Josh Fergusion (UI), WR Stefon Diggs (MD), WR Tony Lippett (MSU) TE Jeff Heuerman (OSU), OT Rob Havenstein(WI), G Kyle Costigan(WI), G Dallas Lewallen(WI), C Dan Voltz (WI), Andrew Donnal (IA)

D: DE Frank Clark(M), DE Therien Cockran (MN), DT Darius Hamilton(RU), DT Carl Davis(IA), LB Desmond Morgan(M), LB James Ross(M), CB Trae Waynes (MSU), CB Jordan Lucas (PSU), CB/HSP Doran Grant (OSU), S Ibraheim Campbell (NW), S Traveon Henry (NW)

ST: K Michael Geiger (MSU), PR/KR Stefon Diggs(MD)

BRIAN: Well... obviously. With injuries knocking out a couple of Wisconsin linemen, Dan Voltz stepped into the starting center job for six games last year. Those were:

OHIO STATE: team rushes 27 times for 104 yards.
BYU: 54 for 229
INDIANA: 50 for 554
MINNESOTA: 45 for 197
PENN STATE: 30 for 120
SOUTH CAROLINA: 43 for 293

So there was little to no dropoff in the Badgers' crushing ground game when he entered. Voltz was just a redshirt freshman, which means his breakthrough is pretty impressive on the conveyor belt that is the Wisconsin OL. A consensus four-star recruit—actually a consensus top-100 recruit—and Army All-American, Voltz has upside in spades that he's already begun delivering on. Phil Steele has him on his All Big Ten list, and he is on the very exclusive Rimington Watch List, which only has about 60 of the nation's 120 centers on it.

And for my final Wisconsin lineman, I'll take...

Dammit, Ace. You have no respect for what I'm trying to do here.

I thought about Rutgers' Keith Lumpkin, who pushed Kaleb Johnson down to guard, but when I watched the Wrecking Ball video he seemed slow out of his stance, and then I got depressed about potentially relying on a Rutgers offensive lineman.

Instead, I'll take Iowa's Andrew Donnal. Donnal has been injury-plagued throughout his career, but was a highly touted recruit. He had just broken through as a starter during his sophomore year when he tore virtually every ligament in his knee and broke his tibia, to add injury to injury. Two plays later, Scherff went down and the Iowa run game curled into a ball and died. Once he recovered from that horrific injury, 2013 Donnal was a frequently-used utility man who played all across the line as Iowa rotated extensively.

He enters his senior year as the sure bookend for Scherff, and he retains the size and flexibility that made him a coveted recruit. Draft Insider projected him as a fifth-rounder before last season ("Large, powerful guard who dominates opponents. Showed flashes as a sophomore in 2012 and comes with a large upside.") As a bonus, it'll be harder to doink him in the head now that he's a tackle.

[After THE JUMP: The SHOCK TWIST to END THE DRAFT you will NEVER RECOVER FROM!]

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Draftageddon: As Told in One Act Plays

Draftageddon: As Told in One Act Plays Comment Count

Seth July 25th, 2014 at 12:01 PM

The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON
  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.
  8. Someone drafts an Illinois defender! I know!
  9. BISB goes Maryland crazy, reminds us all that he has Kurtis Drummond eighty-five times.
  10. GUAAAAARDS!
  11. The transitive property of MSU corners and Wisconsin RBs, and Phil Steele goes Heiko.

CURRENT SITUATION

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ROUND 23 - PICK 2 (Ace): Tony Jones, WR, Northwestern

O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), WR Tony Jones (NW), SLOT Levern Jacobs (MD), SLOT/RB Dontre Wilson (OSU), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU), C Chad Lindsay (OSU), RG Jordan Walsh (IA), RT Tyler Marz (WI)

D: WDE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), SDE Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), CB Darian Hicks (MSU), S John Lowdermilk (IA), S Jarrod Wilson (U-M), HSP Earnest Thomas III (IL)

ST: KR Dontre Wilson (OSU), PR Ameer Abdullah (NE)

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…in the animal kingdom

While Brian is trying to convince you a stat he came up with that indicates Ohio State's safeties were anything but a massive pile of suck last year is TOTALLY LEGIT, YOU GUYS, I'll go ahead and nab my possession receiver. Tony Jones recorded 55 receptions last season, more than any other returning receiver in the conference. He posted a very respectable 68.8% catch rate and averaged 7.7 yards per target; both marks well surpass those of Kenny Bell (59.1%, 6.6 YPT). (BiSB, before you scream "BUT TOMMY KELLOGG TURFTOE THE EIGHTH!"—take a look at the respective passing numbers for the Wildcats and Huskers. Yeah. Yikes.)

Sure, Jones' numbers were bolstered by being one of Northwestern's main targets on screens, but he can do a lot more than run after the catch (though he's pretty good at that). He's a very solid route runner—here he is torching 2014 second-round pick Stanley Jean-Baptiste off the line for an easy touchdown:

His scoring reception amid a sea of bodies at Penn State may have been even more impressive. He catches the ball well, blocks with enthusiasm, isn't afraid to go over the middle, and can line up wherever; all of that was on display when he lit up Syracuse for nine catches, 185 yards, and a TD last season. From watching film, I get the impression he had a much better rapport with Unstoppable Throw-God Trevor Siemian than the departed Kain Colter, as well, so he could see an uptick in his numbers now that the throw-first quarterback is taking over full-time.

Take a look at my veritable panoply of skill players. In my not-so-humble opinion, only Brian's lot comes remotely close, and he's ostensibly playing Josh Ferguson in the slot (or out wide?) while using one of his skill spots on Christian Hackenberg. Imagine all the things I could do with that group. Imagine me winning this thing...

Wait, you don't have to imagine that. It's happening, and there's nothing a pair of Northwestern safeties can do about it.

----INTERLUDE----

Seth: ...says the guy who drafted "I only do cover 2" Lowdermilk like 10 rounds ago, has an Illini in a coverage role, and is gambling on a new starter as a starting corner.

And no I'm not just grumpy over the ruination of my plans to draft both OSU Smiths and Northwestern Jonesii.

Ace: The guy whose best offensive player may very well be his backup running back should probably stay out of this.

BiSB: Kurtis Drummond things.

Seth: The Team The Team The Team

Ace Sadly, Seth's head coach, Motivational Poster, couldn't quite compel his team to score any points, though probably not for lack of trying.

Brian: I'd just like to point out that the guy who "might" be my slot receiver had five fewer catches than Tony Jones and is extraordinarily better at not being boring as heeeeeeeellll.

BiSB: Brian's stats conclusively demonstrate that Northwestern was really good at allowing plays of between 10 and 19 yards. This might well correlate to super-awesome safety play because Kovacs. But then again, 19 yards is many yards for one play. But Northwestern gave up 256 yards per game. Their Defensive S&P+ ranking on passing plays was #73 in the country. This was 9th in the conference, ahead of only Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois. Only one player has been taken from those other three defenses combined. This is your safety tandem. We get it; the pickings are slim at this point. But, yeah, the end result may indicate that you should have gone safety instead of backup quarterback in Round 13 (though I appreciate you doing so).

Ace, BUT TOMMY KELLOGG TURFT... oh, right. You addressed that. But I would point out that Bell's numbers in '12 were MUCH better than his numbers in '13 (as well as much better than anything Jones has put up). A little quarterbacking stability in Lincoln will put Bell back where he should be. Plus, you can't doubt AfroThunder. Wait... NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

(And speaking of Joneses, Northwestern has FIVE Joneses on its roster: Christian, Daniel, Joseph, Malin and Tony. This means nothing, but is worth noting.)

[After the jump: MGoBlog Fantasy Theater, featuring the stars of Ace's offense]

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Draftageddon: One More Time With Feeling

Draftageddon: One More Time With Feeling Comment Count

Seth July 21st, 2014 at 10:33 AM

The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a TEAM of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.
  8. Someone drafts an Illinois defender! I know!
  9. BISB goes Maryland crazy, reminds us all that he has Kurtis Drummond eighty-five times.
  10. GUAAAAARDS!

CURRENT SITUATION

image

ROUND 21 - PICK 2 (Ace): Darian Hicks, CB, Michigan State

O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), WR Levern Jacobs (MD), SLOT Dontre Wilson (OSU), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU), C Chad Lindsay (OSU), RT Tyler Marz (WI)

D: WDE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), SDE Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), CB Darian Hicks (MSU), S John Lowdermilk (IA), S Jarrod Wilson (U-M), HSP Earnest Thomas III (IL)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

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Wears 2 and eats roses; must be Woodson [james brosher]

Ace: We're reaching the point in the draft when it's time to start gambling a bit; with this pick, I'm betting my imaginary cash money on Pat Narduzzi, the East Lansing Cornerback Factory, and Darian Hicks winning the starting job across from Trae Waynes.

The first two things don't seem like much of a gamble at all. The third may not be, either. Hicks saw some action as a true freshman last season, started and ended the spring as the starting field corner despite dealing with injury, was the first corner selected after Waynes in their spring game draft, and had their 247 outlet putting him under the secondary's "reasons for optimism" category—which somehow didn't just read "NARDUZZI"—after the spring ($):

Hicks, meanwhile, passed a host of players to see action as a true freshman last season and held on to his No. 1 spot at cornerback throughout spring ball. We don’t know what this secondary will look like without Jim Thorpe Award winner Darqueze Dennard, but at least we know who will take his place entering fall camp.

With Dennard and Waynes locking down the corner spots last year, no other corner did much that wasn't on special teams, so I went back to Hicks' high school film to see how he'd fit into MSU's aggressive defense. Considering he could do this as a high school junior, I think things will work out:

Hicks earned his MSU offer over a year before NSD 2013; the Spartans identified him early as a guy they really wanted in a class that had room for just one cornerback. His scholarship offer came directly from Mark Dantonio. Pat Narduzzi was his primary recruiter. That's good enough for me.

----INTERLUDE----

BISB: /Starts to snark Ace's selection of a guy who has played like 50 career snaps.

/Remembers, like, everything

/Sits down.

[after the jump: somebody goes totally bonkers for Badgers, and not who you think!]

Comments

Draftageddon: The End Is In Sight

Draftageddon: The End Is In Sight Comment Count

Brian July 17th, 2014 at 12:31 PM

The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.
  8. Someone drafts an Illinois defender! I know!
  9. BISB goes Maryland crazy, reminds us all that he has Kurtis Drummond eighty-five times.

CURRENT SITUATION

ROUND 19 - PICK 2: Levern Jacobs, WR, Maryland

O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), WR Levern Jacobs (MD), SLOT Dontre Wilson (OSU), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU), RT Tyler Marz (WI)

D: WDE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), SDE Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), S John Lowdermilk (IA), S Jarrod Wilson (U-M), HSP Earnest Thomas III (IL)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

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ACE: With the return of Stefon Diggs and Deon Long from injury, not to mention Maryland's less-than-stellar quarterback situation, I'll admit to being hesitant to make this pick. After all, while Levern Jacobs led the team in receiving in 2013, he did so while making just four starts, all after Diggs and Long went down (he would've made a fifth, but a concussion held him out of the Virginia Tech game). After the spring, Jacobs sits behind Diggs on the depth chart, as expected. Nigel King, though much less impressive statistically, is slated to start across from Long on the outside so the Terps aren't trotting out a South Carolina-esque Lollipop Guild of starting receivers. Taking Jacobs, admittedly, is a risk.

It's a calculated risk, however. Without the benefit of Diggs and Long taking attention away from him, nor the chance to pad his stats with starts against the non-conference dregs, Jacobs still caught 46 of his 71 targets (64.8%) on a team that completed just 55.3% of its passes, and these weren't just dink-and-dunks—he averaged nine yards per target and 13.9 per reception.

His huge game against Clemson is what convinced me to make the pick. The normal starting QB, CJ Brown, sat out with an injury. Brown's replacement, Caleb Rowe, went just 19-of-45 for 282 yards with three TDs to two INTs in that game. On the year, Rowe completed just 48% of his passes. He was not a very good quarterback.

Jacobs caught eight of those 19 completions for 158 yards and this touchdown, which shows that one false step against him will lead to DEATH. He's dynamite after the catch, with that Breaston-style long stride and some nifty moves in tight spaces. Any concerns about his hands, meanwhile, should be alleviated by his catch rate and this:

Jacobs caught 34 passes over his final five games, capped off with a seven-catch, 100-yard effort against Marshall in the Military Bowl; that game featured a touchdown in which he displayed excellent route-running, finding the hole in the middle of the defense with a couple sharp cuts and easily outrunning everyone to the goal line, as well as a great bailout of his QB. He's not at all afraid to go over the middle or go up for the ball in traffic, and when he gets the ball in space it's a freakin' laser show.

While Jacobs is primarily a slot receiver, I could get away with a Funchess/Jacobs/Wilson receiving corps, and with Wilson fully capable of lining up in the backfield my last skill slot is probably getting used on an outside receiver anyway. And if you think I haven't considered the Wildcat possibilities with Abdullah and Wilson (and even Jacobs, who got a couple jet sweeps last year and even took a triple option pitch for a solid gain in the bowl game), well, think again. Even if Jacobs sees a drop in his production this fall with Diggs taking away a lot of his snaps, he's the best big-play threat left on the board, and I get the feeling Maryland will find a way to get the ball in his hands after his breakout sophomore year.

Round 19, Pick 3 - Pat Elflein, OG, OSU

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I'm BATMAN

O: QB Devin Gardner (UM), RB Jeremy Langford (MSU), RB Tevin Coleman (IU),  WR Kenny Bell (Neb), WR Shane Wynn (IU), WR Deon Long (MD), OT Donovan Smith (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), C Austin Blythe (Iowa)

D: DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa), DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DE Noah Spence (OSU), LB Jake Ryan (UM), LB Mike Hull (PSU), CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisky), CB Jabrill Peppers (UM), S Kurtis Drummond (MSU), S Sean Davis (MD)

ST: Bell (KR), Peppers (PR)

BISB: It's fun when you can predict the exact reaction your fellow drafters will have to a pick. In this case, that reaction is almost certainly a momentary "lol, THAT GUY?" and then an attempt to snark before realizing 'I know nothing about that guy.' And then they watch this film of him against Michigan State (he's the right guard, #65 in your program), and they're like 'eh, I guess he looks pretty good.'

When starting guard Marcus Hall... uh... departed the Michigan game, it seemed like it might actually create a weakness in Ohio State's otherwise solid line. After all, OSU's OL depth is a questionable proposition. And yet Carlos Hyde still ran the ball straight up the gut 27 times for 226 yards. How? Sophomore Pat Elflein stepped in and had a really, really good game. And when Urban Meyer suspended Hall the following week against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game for his "Notable Moment," Elflein played even better, and Ohio State ran for 273 yards at 6.8 YPC. Elflein did everything. He pulled. He pass blocked. He down-blocked. He wham-blocked. He worked to the second level. He made thousands of curly fries. And if we're talking about trials by fire, having your first start on the interior be against Michigan State is about as much as you can ask of a lineman.

He's mobile and engages well in the run game, and does a good job of sealing defenders and getting angles. He sinks well in pass sets, and is strong enough to keep his form against interior linemen. He's definitely a guard at 6'3, 300, though Ohio State seems to think he's pretty versatile as they had him repping at right tackle last year. He's one of only two guaranteed starters on OSU's OL next year along with Taylor Decker.

[AFTER THE JUMP: it's a run on guards. Get it? I don't. Help me.]

Comments

Draftageddon 2014: Someone's Got Terp Fever

Draftageddon 2014: Someone's Got Terp Fever Comment Count

Brian July 14th, 2014 at 12:36 PM
The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.
  8. Someone drafts an Illinois defender! I know!

CURRENT SITUATION

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ROUND 17 - PICK 2: Adolphus Washington, DT, Ohio State

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O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), SLOT Dontre Wilson (OSU), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU), RT Tyler Marz (WI)

D: WDE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), SDE Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), S John Lowdermilk (IA), HSP Earnest Thomas III (IL)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

ACE: I was really hoping Trinca-Passat would fall just a little further, but I'll happily settle for the fourth member of Ohio State's fearsome defensive line. Adolphus Washington came to Ohio State as a five-star defensive end in the class of 2012; as a freshman he backed up Big Ten DPOY John Simon at DE, recording three sacks in ten games, including a sack/fumble against Taylor Lewan when he beat him clean around the edge. In 2013 he was a valuable backup all along the defensive line, lining up both inside and outside en route to picking up two more sacks among his four TFLs in 12 games despite playing at less than 100%.

Washington was initially a starter at SDE last season, but a groin injury in game two against San Diego State cost him the next two games, and when he returned he'd been Wally Pipped by Joey Bosa—no shame there. With Bosa's emergence, Washington finally has a place to call his own on the defensive line, as the OSU coaches made him a permanent defensive tackle in the spring; in fact, his ascension to the starting lineup was so inevitable that senior Joel Hale, who started 11 games at DT last season, volunteered to move to offensive guard after turning down the same move a year prior.

No longer concerned with maintaining edge-rushing speed, Washington is a solid 288 pounds, and he should be even bigger by the fall. He won't have to worry about too many double-teams with Kilgo commanding two blockers and the Calhoun/Monroe duo coming off the edge. (He won't in real life, either, though neither he nor Michael Bennett is a true two-gap nose.) He can be disruptive as a penetrating three-tech who's retained enough quickness to be very dangerous on stunts. As he settles into his new position, he should only get better, too.

I know it's been two years since I made the very same selection, so perhaps it will work out better this time, but best of luck with the whole Campbell thing, Brian. From the FFFF you linked:

Strong safety Ibraheim Campbell also acquitted himself well in this regard, flowing downhill aggressively and making a couple nice tackles pretty close to the LOS; he was also prone to taking poor angles, however, and had a couple whiffs in there too.

Run defense is his strength. I considered drafting him instead of Thomas, but I like Thomas's controlled aggression—and thumping hits—against screens and run plays more, especially in confined spaces, and I'll wait to grab another safety more suitable for coverage purposes in a later round.

INTERLUDE

ACE: Oh, and I'm pretty sure I've already won this whole thing anyway.

Brandon Scherff is 11 foot 5, 890 pounds?!

BISB: Eh, his pad level is probably terrible. Plus he's in legal trouble for crushing Oberyn Martell's skull in a fight.

ACE: Oh man, I watched that episode on the DVR, and as soon as it ended I flipped to overtime of Game 7 between the Kings and Blackhawks.

The surgeon general's warning for this course of action is simply: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

SETH: Thomas has made a host of highlight reels, namely those of every team he's played against.

Okay I'll stop now, but only because watching Melvin Gordon rip off huge gains against Thomas is making me kick myself about the Mark pick.

ACE: Seth, your ability to link highlights that have zero context due to pore-o-vision—and, in the case of the second one, showing Thomas execute his assignment while an entirely different defender is late to get to the fullback—is unparalleled.

BRYAN: You just have to look at the tape REALLY closely.

SETH: Didn't really affect the play but he sat there and ate tight end. I can keep pulling these out but I really don't think anybody should be watching this much Illini secondary play without, like, protective gear or heavy drugs.

BRYAN: You're talking to the guy who did the App State, Miami (NTM) and Rutgers HTTV previews. Ace has seen things even the Illini couldn't dream of seeing.

ACE: I CAME IN LIKE A WREEEEEEEECKING BAAAAAALLLLLLLLL

Please send help.

ROUND 17 - PICK 3: Deon Long, WR, Maryland

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DRAFT ALL THE MARYLANDS

O: QB Devin Gardner (UM), RB Jeremy Langford (MSU), RB Tevin Coleman (IU),  WR Kenny Bell (Neb), WR Shane Wynn (IU), WR Deon Long (MD), OT Donovan Smith (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), C Austin Blythe (Iowa)

D: DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa), DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DE Noah Spence (OSU), LB Jake Ryan (UM), LB Mike Hull (PSU), CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisky), CB Jabrill Peppers (UM), S Kurtis Drummond (MSU)

ST: Bell (KR), Peppers (PR)

BISB: It's hard for me to explain Long's continued presence on the board, other than to think that people didn't see enough separation between Long and teammate Levern Jacobs to warrant grabbing one until the other was gone. But I'm amazed he's still here in Round 17, and I gladly yoink him at this point.

Long caught 32 passes for 489 yards despite (a) only playing six and a half games, and (b) sharing targets with Stefon Diggs. Extrapolate that out over Maryland's 13 game season (i.e. multiply by 2) and he was on pace for a 64 catch, 978 yard season. His 15.3 YPC and 8.9 yards per target would have been among the best in the Big Ten last year if Maryland had been in the Big Ten last year. A really good all-around receiver, especially on slants and fades/outs. He finds separation to the outside, and he has great body control and sideline awareness. He can also high-point the ball well for a moderately-sized receiver. He was also a 5-star coming out of high school, which, while it means nothing, means something. Jacobs is solid, but Long is a little bigger, a little faster, and was the starter over Jacobs when everyone was healthy.

Between Kenny Bell, Shane Wynn, and Deon Long, I feel like I should be okay in the ball-catchy department.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Marcus Rush, more like Marcus Stationary Bike Amirite; BISB doubles down on Maryland; a long discussion about the philosophy of safeties; BISB reminds us all that Kurtis Drummond exists about 600 times.]

Comments

Draftageddon 2014: Remember This?

Draftageddon 2014: Remember This? Comment Count

Brian July 10th, 2014 at 11:24 AM

A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY THAT DOES NOT HAVE A WORLD CUP…

The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.
  7. Peppers drafted in WILDCARD TIME II.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

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ROUND 15 - PICK 2: Dontre Wilson, SLOT/RB, Ohio State

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O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), SLOT Dontre Wilson, TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU), RT Tyler Marz (WI)

D: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), DE/DT Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), S John Lowdermilk (IA)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

ACE: So here we are in the 15th round, and since Brian took Braxton Miller with the top overall pick, only two Ohio State offensive players have gone off the board: Devin Smith and Taylor Decker. This makes some sense, as the Buckeyes lost some significant playmakers from last season, namely Carlos Hyde and Philly Brown.

This also makes little sense, as we're talking about an Urban Meyer offense with Braxton Miller at quarterback. Somebody's due for a huge breakout year, and that someone is sophomore Dontre Wilson, whose role is expanding from change-of-pace-back/guy-who-catches-screens/decoy (or "USE NORFLEET LIKE THIS PLZ") to "replace Philly Brown and be like Percy Harvin":

“He’s a starting H,” Meyer said Tuesday. “He took (wide receiver Corey) ‘Philly’ Brown’s spot, so he’s a full-time receiver. We did take him today and put him in some backfield action. We use that term, (Seattle Seahawks wide receiver) Percy Harvin, very loosely, because there’s only probably one of him. But we’d like (it if) that hybrid position is really a key guy if we can do that … by far, Dontre’s the No. 1 spot.

Wilson is still learning the finer points of the receiving aspect, which is fine, because even if he doesn't catch a ball past the line of scrimmage, he's ... what's the term ... insanely f***ing explosive:

With Brown gone, as well as Jordan Hall—who moonlighted at H-back when not starting at RB during Carlos Hyde's suspension—Wilson is in line for a huge expansion in his role, and the Buckeye consensus is he's the closest thing to Harvin they've had since Meyer took over. Given his freshman numbers, that means he'll be piling up the yardage; he rushed for 250 yards and a TD on 31 carries (8.1 ypc) and caught 22 passes—almost all screens—for 210 yards (9.6 ypc) and two TDs. He routinely exploded into the secondary despite almost never going past the line of scrimmage without the ball in his hands.

Wilson's threat to turn innocuous plays into game-breaking ones also opened up the field for the rest of the Buckeye offense:

“I always joked around with my teammates and said, ‘I’m the Decoy of the Year,’ ” Wilson said. “Every time I do a fake or something, we scored.”

Ohio State scored on two different plays in the Orange Bowl that first faked to Wilson, a 33-yard touchdown run by quarterback Braxton Miller and a 57-yard touchdown strike to tight end Jeff Heuerman.

Wilson’s speed is so drastic, so imposing, that it has a way of freezing opponents. One step, Wilson proved, is all it takes to beat a defense to the edge and coast to the end zone. So when he went in motion, Clemson noticed.

Wilson is a former top-100 recruit with track star speed and solid freshman production in a very good offense that perfectly suits him; now he's in line for a major uptick in touches. How is this guy on the board six rounds after Shane Wynn was picked, exactly? Have we all been drunk? I think we've all been drunk.

ROUND 15 - PICK 3: Louis Trinca-Pasat, DT, Iowa

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BEARD

O: QB Devin Gardner (UM), RB Jeremy Langford (MSU) WR Kenny Bell (Neb), WR Shane Wynn (IU), OT Donovan Smith (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), C Austin Blythe (Iowa)

D: DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa), DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DE Noah Spence (OSU), LB Jake Ryan (UM), LB Mike Hull (PSU), CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisky), CB Jabrill Peppers (UM), S Kurtis Drummond (MSU)

BISB: Speaking of people who are being drafted way too far apart, let's look at Iowa's interior DL. Carl Davis went in the 2nd round, and had 42 tackles (11 solo) and 4 TFLs. Plus, 2.5 of those TFLs were against Michigan, which barely counts. Meanwhile, Iowa's other defensive tackle, Louis Trinca-Pasat, recorded 39 tackles (19 solo) and 9 TFLs. That wasn't a fluke, either; he had more tackles, solo tackles, and TFLs than Davis in 2012 as well. And he's still on the board in the 15th round.

LTP isn't high on the NFL draft boards because he's not a fantastic athlete (he's pretty uncomfortable-looking outside the tackle box) and doesn't have an NFL frame. He's 6'3" and 290 pounds unlike Davis's 6'5", 315. As such, he gets the usual Undersized White Defensive Tackle descriptors; he's a plugger, a lunch pail guy, a grinder, a gritty gritter who grits. I mean, he won the "Team Hustle Award" last year FFS. But he operates really well in close space, uses his hands well, maintains gap integrity, and doesn't get blown off the ball against double-teams. And he's productive. He can play the 3-tech, but his gritty grit style would allow him to line up over the nose and be an effective wrench in the gears of an offense, if not a thunderous backfield-wrecking disruptor.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Seth bets it all on Indiana.]

Comments

Draftageddon: What The Hell, Peppers Time

Draftageddon: What The Hell, Peppers Time Comment Count

Brian June 11th, 2014 at 11:17 AM

THE GOAL OF DRAFTAGEDDON

The goal of Draftageddon is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT DRAFTAGEDDON.

I'm hearing this is incorrect. I see. The goal of Draftageddon is to draft a team of Big Ten players that seems generally more impressive than that of your competitors. Along the way, we'll learn a lot of alarming things, like maybe Maryland is good? Full details are in the first post.

PREVIOUSLY ON DRAFTAGEDDON

  1. Everyone not grabbing dual-threat senior QBs grabs defensive linemen
  2. Seth takes Venric Mark in front of just about everyone
  3. Nothing terribly remarkable happens
  4. BISB takes all the guys I want
  5. A ridiculous amount of time is spent discussing the merits of one particular interior lineman from Rutgers
  6. WILDCARD TIME as Brian takes a quarterback despite already having a quarterback.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

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ROUND 13 - PICK 2: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Michigan St Iowa Football

O: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Ameer Abdullah (NE), WR Devin Funchess (U-M), TE Maxx Williams (MN), LT Brandon Scherff (IA), LG Kaleb Johnson (RU)

D: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), DE/DT Andre Monroe (MD), NT Darius Kilgo (MD), OLB Chi Chi Ariguzo (NW), OLB Matt Robinson (MD), CB Desmond King (IA), S John Lowdermilk (IA)

ST: KR/PR Ameer Adbullah (NE)

ACE: Heiko lives!

Brian's decision to draft a, uh, third-and-long quarterback put an end to the staring contest between me and Seth. I'd like a full-time starter, thanks, and not of the Rudock/Stave/Siemain caliber.

Oh, look, it's the Rose Bowl MVP.

Connor Cook took the reins of an offense so laughable it was being outscored by its own defense, took a couple games to settle in, and proceeded to make the Spartan O downright respectable. He put up excellent numbers for a redshirt sophomore, averaging 7.3 YPA with a 22:6 TD-to-INT ratio. Those numbers were in spite of a receiving corps that didn't feature anything resembling a true #1 receiver, and didn't have much quality from there, either. Using Seth's pet stat, RYPR, here's what Cook was working with in 2013:

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 11.39.21 AM

​His #1 receiver performed like an average #2. His #4 receiver averaged 3.8 yards per target. The rest of it isn't so great, either. Click over to Seth's post and look at Michigan's 2013 receiving corps. Even with their lack of production from the #3 spot, the Wolverines were far superior.

BISB: /Microphone... getting so hot... must... let... go...


ROUND 13 - PICK 3: Jabrill Peppers, CB (and S/RB/WR/Nickel/WILL/KR/PR/BMOC/GGTK), Michigan

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he will fix everything

O: QB Devin Gardner (UM), RB Jeremy Langford (MSU) WR Kenny Bell (Neb), WR Shane Wynn (IU), OT Donovan Smith (PSU), C Austin Blythe (Iowa)
D:
DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DE Noah Spence (OSU), LB Jake Ryan (UM), LB Mike Hull (PSU) CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisky), CB Jabrill Peppers (UM), S Kurtis Drummond (MSU)

BISB: I still needed a corner, a safety, a nickelback, a running back, and a wide receiver. So I took one.

Everyone is aware of the story of Jabrill Peppers. He is the highest ranked (and possibly the most highly-touted) recruit to hit a Big Ten campus in the last decade. If Sojourn Shelton is the prototypical field corner, Peppers is the archetypal boundary corner. Big for a corner at 6'1", 210 lbs, he hits like a linebacker but nevertheless shows sprinter speed and acceleration that translates to the football field. He's as quick-twitch of a human being as you'll ever find; he's basically Venric Mark. But after an 80's-style Rocky training montage. And five inches taller.

I know, I know. Recruiting hype stars don't matter never played a snap in college blah blah. Screw that. What are the usual concerns about freshmen? Physical preparedness, mental preparedness, and how the game translates to the next level. Physically, I'll defer to the unnamed assistant coach from USC:

"I've only seen two players in high school with a body like that," the USC coach says, "and both of them are named Peterson [Adrian and Patrick]."

As far as translating to the next level, watch the burst and acceleration in these two clips. Translation, my ass. I don't care what level of competition he's playing (though his competition is pretty good) or what kind of stuff doesn't show up on the highlight reels (though his full game cut-ups are equally impressive). This kid is basically a glitch in the physics engine. And sure, there's gonna be a mental transition, and sure both of my corners are young. Fortunately I have the best free safety in the Big Ten over the top to erase any youthful mistakes.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Seth drafts Troy Woolfolk, Ace with the Big Red Block.]

Comments