Draftageddon 2015: Large Kicker Edition Comment Count

Ace August 17th, 2015 at 10:00 AM

The first rule of Draftageddon is "you must complain about Draftageddon." The second is "the four people drafting assemble teams of Big Ten players in an effort to seem the best at drafting."

THAT WHICH HAS COME BEFORE

Previously on Draftageddon:

THAT WHICH IS THE CURRENT SITUATION

THAT WHICH IS HAPPENING CURRENTLY

ACE: Round 22, Pick 2: RJ Williamson, safety, Michigan State

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), H-back Kyle Carter (PSU), TE Adam Breneman (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Billy Price (OSU), OG Kyle Kalis (U-M), OC Dan Voltz (UW)

DEFENSE: WDE Joey Bosa (OSU), SDE Darius Hamilton (RU), NT Austin Johnson (PSU), DT Willie Henry (U-M), OLB Darron Lee (OSU), MLB Riley Bullough (MSU), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU), S RJ Williamson (MSU)

Michigan State's defense took a slight step back last year as a few teams cracked the code on beating Pat Narduzzi's aggressive Cover 4 scheme. While they remained generally stout against the pass (16th in S&P+, 9th in Success Rate), big plays were an issue, especially against Oregon, Ohio State, and Baylor. That's almost certainly what's scared us off from selecting Williamson so far.

I think we've overcorrected. The aggressive scheme put the safeties in unenviable positions once opponents figured out the best plan of attack was to send a guy like Devin Smith flying up the seam. The cornerback play across from Trae Waynes underwhelmed. Kurtis Drummond tried to do too much and ended up victimized on several long passes as a result. After some early season issues, I thought Williamson rebounded pretty well, and now he's the senior leader of MSU's secondary, taking over the free safety spot from Drummond.

Williamson is a proven playmaker. He has six career interceptions—including some spectacular grabs—despite playing spot duty until last season, when he had three picks and added five pass breakups. He should be solid as a senior, especially if MSU makes some minor tweaks to their defense so opponents don't take so many shots over the top.

SETH: Round 22, Pick 3: Rafael Gaglianone, kicker, Wisconsin

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR Geronimo Allison (ILL), Slot Jalin Marshall (OSU), OC Jack Allen (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), OT Alex Lewis (Neb), OT Mason Cole (Mich), OG Graham Glasgow

DEFENSE: NT Ryan Glasgow, 3T Malik McDowell (MSU), DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), SAM Joe Schobert (Wis), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), DB Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Rafael Gaglianone (Wis)

Two reasons I'm taking the Brazilian they call "Meatball." The first:

PLAYER Elig TEAM LNG 50+ 40-49 30-39 20-29 1-19 FGM FGA
Brad Craddock Jr MD 57 2-3 9-9 4-4 3-3 0-0 18 19
Rafael Gaglianone Fr WIS 51 2-3 3-4 4-5 9-9 1-1 19 22
Sam Ficken Sr PSU 50 1-2 8-9 7-9 8-9 0-0 24 29
Paul Griggs Jr PUR 53 3-3 4-8 3-3 6-6 0-0 16 20
Kyle Federico Jr RU 45 0-1 5-8 6-7 4-4 1-1 16 21
Matt Wile Sr M 48 0-1 5-9 5-6 4-4 1-1 15 21
Jack Mitchell So NW 46 0-0 3-6 3-4 7-7 1-1 14 18
Michael Geiger So MSU 42 0-0 3-8 7-10 4-4 0-0 14 22
Drew Brown Fr NEB 44 0-1 2-6 7-8 4-5 1-1 14 21
Griffin Oakes Fr IND 58 1-3 3-4 6-7 3-4 0-0 13 18
Sean Nuernberger Fr OSU 49 0-0 5-10 0-0 8-10 0-0 13 20
Marshall Koehn Jr IA 52 1-1 3-4 0-3 8-8 0-0 12 16
Ryan Santoso Fr MN 52 1-2 2-6 5-6 4-4 0-0 12 18
David Reisner So ILL 43 0-1 1-3 2-4 2-2 1-1 6 11

He's no Craddock, but the next guy to draft a kicker gets Paul Griggs or something.

The second:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison: proud, strong, prepared, dancing fat guys.

[After THE JUMP: MORE HEFTY KICKER.]

ADAM: Round 22, Pick 4: Jordan Lomax, FS, Iowa
Round 23, Pick 1: Levern Jacobs, WR, Maryland

OFFENSE: QB J.T. Barrett (OSU), WR Jordan Westerkamp (Neb), OT Jason Spriggs, (IU), TE Jake Butt (UM), C Austin Blythe (Iowa), RB Justin Jackson (NW), OG Brian Allen (MSU), WR De'Mornay Pierson-El (Neb), OG Josh Campion (Minn), WR RJ Shelton (MSU), WR Levern Jacobs (MD)

DEFENSE: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), S Vonn Bell (OSU), CB Eric Murray (Minn), LB Raekwon McMillan (OSU), DE Drew Ott (Iowa), OLB Ed Davis (MSU), S/HSP Nate Gerry (Neb), DT Vincent Valentine (Neb), LB Joe Bolden (UM), CB Demetrious Cox (MSU), S Jordan Lomax (Iowa)

Brian talked about the desire for a safety to be boring when he picked Jarrod Wilson. Another desirable characteristic in that vein is anonymity. If someone with moderate interest in a team knows the name of a starting safety it's probably because the air raid sirens are going off and things are flying over his head.

Raise your hand if you've heard of Lomax. Now keep your hand up if you're not an Iowa fan. I don't have to see you to know that no one has their hand in the air right now. 

Lomax is a senior who's a season removed from transitioning to free safety. His stat line was good even in a season where he had to work out the kinks, as he recorded 68 tackles, an interception, and six pass breakups. What stood out on film was his ability to support the run. I'm looking for someone who's proficient in coverage (which he appeared to be), so his run-stop prowess is just a bonus. 

He's not highly placed on any 2016 draft boards, but he's mentioned a number of places as someone likely to get drafted. Part of the hesitation could be Iowa's moribund 2014 pass D, which ranked 67th in success rate and 100th in PPP+. That Lomax was not mentioned by name at all in Bill Connelly's season preview is precisely the type of anonymity I'm looking for. 

Moving on to another terrifying unit, I'm selecting someone from Maryland's offense. I'm terrified, but I'm willing to roll the dice on a No. 1 receiver in the 22nd round. Jacobs should receive ample playing time in 2015; Maryland is attempting to replace leading receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, as well as Juwann Winfree, Marcus Leak, and Jaquille Veii. At some point in 2015 Maryland will have to throw the ball, and the only options left to catch it are probably going to be Jacobs, his younger brother and fellow receiver Taivon, and Testudo.

Ace laid much of the groundwork for my write-up when he selected Jacobs in the 19th round of last year's draft:

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.

Maryland was without Diggs and Long for the four starts Jacobs made in 2013, and he still led the team in receiving. His quarterback situation was, uh...Maryland-esque. Shaking off the rust after missing all of 2014 shouldn't be too hard either, as Jacobs spent the season suspended but able to participate on the scout team. My fears about Maryland's offense are somewhat assuaged by a guy who has already performed under remarkably 2015-like constraints. Somewhat.

SETH: Round 23, Pick 2: Trevor Williams, cornerback, Penn State

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR Geronimo Allison (ILL), Slot Jalin Marshall (OSU), OC Jack Allen (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), OT Alex Lewis (Neb), OT Mason Cole (Mich), OG Graham Glasgow

DEFENSE: NT Ryan Glasgow, 3T Malik McDowell (MSU), DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), SAM Joe Schobert (Wis), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), FS Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD), CB Trevor Williams (PSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Rafael Gaglianone (Wis)

Remember a few years back PSU was starting a converted receiver at CB because of sanctions depth? Remember how that actually turned out okay? You at least should remember how it turned out last year. This is from the Penn State version of HTTV I publish with them:


*sacks counted as pass attempts

Team X is Penn State's defensive stats with the rankings flipped. Hull, Zettel, Johnson, Lucas, Barnes, and Olaniyan received due credit for starring roles in that. But the best kept secret about that D was 6'1"/196 cornerback Trevor Williams was more effective at erasing the second guy than Lucas was at erasing the first. Ace caught Carroo beating Jordan, but saw only excellent run support from Trevor, who was B1G player of the week for that game).

There are places to be a passenger on that defense (spacebacker Brandon Bell is still on the board), but you don't turn average passing offenses into 2014 Indiana's passing offense without great play from your field corner, especially when the safety on his side was a true freshman (though, note to people taking a white Iowa safety, Nate Gerry, and MSU's areas for improvement: Allen's debut was at least as good as Nicholson's).

Urban Meyer looked at that PSU's secondary and decided to run 54 times into THAT front seven, and he was right to do so: JT Barrett had two interceptions and averaged 2.5 yards per attempt (sacks included) in that game, getting pulled regularly. Only one pass was completed at Williams's expense, a check-down to Vannett, and Williams cut him down immediately to bring up 3rd and long.

Williams was the CB on Funchess for that one ridiculous catch, but we're agreed that 99% of Chordates would have made the play their safety (Keizer, not one of the aforementioned) did not. Shoop says he's Ice Man.

“[Williams] is just cool out there,” Shoop said at the conclusion of spring practice. “He just doesn’t make mistakes. He’s cold. He’s calculated. He does his job, and I just feel so comfortable and so confident with him out there manning the field corner position. This spring, he embraced it and he and [Haley] really became a nice one-two punch.”

Shoop also likes Williams so much he moved not just Marlin-like boundary corner Jordan Lucas, but also Williams's rising understudy Christian Campbell to safety in spring. An NFL scouting site has him the draft's sixth CB (end of 4th round) in a very weak class that favors long and tall. For now, for a third corner this late in the draft, this senior's a steal.

ACE: Round 23, Pick 3: Cameron Johnston, punter, Ohio State

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), H-back Kyle Carter (PSU), TE Adam Breneman (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Billy Price (OSU), OG Kyle Kalis (U-M), OC Dan Voltz (UW)

DEFENSE: WDE Joey Bosa (OSU), SDE Darius Hamilton (RU), NT Austin Johnson (PSU), DT Willie Henry (U-M), OLB Darron Lee (OSU), MLB Riley Bullough (MSU), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU), S RJ Williamson (MSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: P Cameron Johnston (OSU)

Sometimes you just copy-and-paste a guy's official bio (wsg OSU's inability to differentiate possessive and plural)...

Cameron Johnston has been outstanding in his two seasons as Ohio State's punter and his two season's [sic] as a punter, ever ... had not played football before arriving in the United States in the summer of 2013 ... he has the third-best career punting average in school history -- 44.5 yards -- and he also owns the third-most punts downed inside the 20 (I20) in school history (57) ... his placement has been particularly impressive, as he has ranked among the nation's leaders each year in percentage of punts downed I20 -- first in 2013 and second in 2014 -- and unofficially inside the 10 (I10) -- first in 2013 and second in 2014 ... by way of contrast, only seven of Johnston's 97 career punts have resulted in a touchback, and Ohio State's net punting average has been Top 5 in each of the past two seasons

...and then note he's from Geelong, Australia. Johnston is the best field position flipper in the country. He'd get a lot more press if the Buckeyes had much of a need for him.

BRIAN: Round 23, Pick 4: Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa
Round 24, Pick 1: James Ross, LB, Michigan

OFFENSE: QB Christian Hackenberg(PSU), QB Cardale Jones(OSU), RB Ezekiel Elliot (OSU), WR Amara Darboh (M), WR Tevaun Smith (IA), TE Nick Vannett (OSU), TE/FB Dan Vitale (NW), OL Taylor Decker (OSU), OL Taylor Marz (WI), OL Dan Feeney (IU), OL Robert Kugler (Purdue)

DEFENSE: DE Anthony Zettel (PSU), DT Jaleel Johnson (IA),  DT Maliek Collins (Neb), DE Yannick Ngakoue (MD), LB Nyeem Wartman-White(PSU), LB Vince Biegel (WI), CB Jourdan Lewis (M), CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (MN), CB Wayne Lyons (M), S Montae Nicholson (MSU), S Jarrod Wilson(M)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Brad Craddock (MD).

Here's my annual late flier on an Iowa lineman. Last year's, Andrew Donnal, was roundly mocked at the time only for Donnal to end up a fourth-round NFL draft pick after an excellent senior campaign. Iowa may be imploding at the seams but they still get the most out of the bodies they acquire for their line, and Johnson comes with something vanishingly few Iowa players have: a recruiting pedigree. Johnson was a highly-sought kid out of Chicago that most of the Big Ten offered, including Michigan and Michigan State. 

Now a redshirt junior, he's patiently bided his time behind quality upperclassmen who have graduated. Iowa doesn't rotate much and Carl Davis was a third round pick in the last NFL draft, so Johnson's stats are paltry. That'll change this year. BHGP is reticent to over-praise Iowa players, especially as the Ferentz era comes to a close, and they are confident they'll get results out of him: "if his play in 2014 and the spring is any indication, Johnson is ready."

I need a WLB in an under, and James Ross is hanging out, wondering just how much playing time he'll get in this year's Peppers-mad Michigan defense. I think he'll get quite a bit. When Michigan has three linebackers on the field, he's going to get a lot of those snaps. When they've got two he's likely to rotate in. This is a bit of a no-confidence vote in Joe Bolden, but also:

Ross came on late last year after a position switch (he went from a WLB in an under to a SAM in an over) cost him some familiarity with what he was supposed to be doing. For inexplicable reasons, Michigan's old coaching staff also decided to start Royce Jenkins-Stone over him for a few games. That reflects poorly on the old coaches, not Ross, and given a choice between him and a generic dude like Mason Monheim I'll bet on the guy who just got Harbaugh in his life.

Round 23, Pick 3: Paul Griggs, kicker, Purdue

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), H-back Kyle Carter (PSU), TE Adam Breneman (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Billy Price (OSU), OG Kyle Kalis (U-M), OC Dan Voltz (UW)

DEFENSE: WDE Joey Bosa (OSU), SDE Darius Hamilton (RU), NT Austin Johnson (PSU), DT Willie Henry (U-M), OLB Darron Lee (OSU), MLB Riley Bullough (MSU), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU), S RJ Williamson (MSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Paul Griggs (PU), P Cameron Johnston (OSU)

As Seth's chart shows, Griggs was perfect inside 40 yards and an excellent 7/11 beyond that distance. I need a kicker. There's a clear dropoff in proven talent after Griggs. I'm struggling to think of anything else to write for this pick, so I'll stop here.

SETH: Round 24, Pick 3: Josiah Price, tight end, Michigan State

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR Geronimo Allison (ILL), Slot Jalin Marshall (OSU), TE Jamal Lyles (MSU), OC Jack Allen (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), OT Alex Lewis (Neb), OT Mason Cole (Mich), OG Graham Glasgow

DEFENSE: NT Ryan Glasgow, 3T Malik McDowell (MSU), DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), SAM Joe Schobert (Wis), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), FS Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD), CB Trevor Williams (PSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Rafael Gaglianone (Wis)

After 13 starts in his first two years of eligibility we're ready to name Josiah Price the next Michigan State tight end who is annoyingly good at tight end. This one actually came pretty guru-approved (20th TE and a 3-star to 247) as far as annoyingly good Spartan tight ends go. He has the requisite size (6'4/250), caught the requisite passes, and made the requisite blocks to be last year's second-team (Phil Steele/Athlon) or honorable mention (coaches, media) all-conference pick; either means Price was the next guy after Maxxxx and Heuerman.

Of course we don't know how many of those votes went to Funchess. What we think we know is that Price's teammates thought he was only the second-best TE on their team:

Tight end went last, with Jamal Lyles going first and Josiah Price second – for the second straight year.

This was the same draft where senior captain Jack Allen took his brother Brian first overall, and the whole team had a laugh because Brian Allen pretended it was the NFL draft and ha ha like anyone...

Anyway, you should not take things from that draft seriously. What you should is Connor Cook being quite blunt about Price while feeding a reporter writing a story about Lyles some backhanded compliments about Lyles:

"(Jamal) is a different kind of tight end than Josiah,'' Cook said. "Josiah is a great blocker and Jamal is working with blocking too, but Josiah is kind of like a possession receiver, not the fastest guy but does get separation.

Ah, a theme emerges. Josiah is a great blocker who gets open enough for 8.1 YPT on 47 targets, and six touchdowns. He has a catch rate around 55% and some drops because they like to throw him high-risk quick seams between linebackers.Bollman named him offensive lineman of the week after that game. This theme is being quite conspicuous.

He also played OT; tackle-over is a brickbat formation around these parts because Borges flipping AJ Williams and Lewan was a neon "running here!" sign. State flipped Price and Jack Conklin, and it worked, because Price at OT was at least constraint-level effective. The theme apparently likes attention.

It's round 24, way past the point of pretending this pick is about making your safety tremble at the thought of Josiah Price coming his way. He's not. That is Corey Clement.

ADAM: Round 23, Pick 4: Ted Karras, OG, Illinois
Round 24, Pick 1: Blake O'Neill, P, Michigan

OFFENSE: QB J.T. Barrett (OSU), WR Jordan Westerkamp (Neb), OT Jason Spriggs, (IU), TE Jake Butt (UM), C Austin Blythe (Iowa), RB Justin Jackson (NW), OG Brian Allen (MSU), WR De'Mornay Pierson-El (Neb), OT/OG Josh Campion (Minn), WR RJ Shelton (MSU), WR Levern Jacobs (MD), OG Ted Karras 

DEFENSE: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), S Vonn Bell (OSU), CB Eric Murray (Minn), LB Raekwon McMillan (OSU), DE Drew Ott (Iowa), OLB Ed Davis (MSU), S/HSP Nate Gerry (Neb), DT Vincent Valentine (Neb), LB Joe Bolden (UM), CB Demetrious Cox (MSU), S Jordan Lomax (Iowa)

SPECIAL TEAMS: P Blake O'Neill (UM)

Ted Karras is a large man. More accurately, Karras is a 6'4", 310-pound large man. Thankfully, I have one roster spot open for just such a person. 

CBS Sports has him ranked the 14th best guard in the 2016 NFL Draft, a ranking mirrored by nfldraftscout.com. Though they didn't number them, nfl.com listed Karras as one of the top 200 senior draft prospects. There seems to be general agreement that he is, at the very least, a likely NFL draft pick. 

Karras has started at right guard since he was a RS freshman in 2012. He has started 31 games but didn't garner much attention until last season, in which he was named honorable mention All-Big Ten despite missing the last four games of 2014.

What I saw on film was a guard who's as effective run blocking as he is pass blocking. He held up against a strong Nebraska defensive line; that alone was enough for me to spend a 23rd round pick on him.

As for O'Neill, he's an Australian punter, which is reason enough to select him. He also has a very impressive Hudl highlight reel; watch it and you won't be surprised that he had 18 punts go 50+ yards at Weber State in 2014. What's better than 18 punts of 50+ yards? Coming from a place where 74-yard punts are not a big deal:

He also nailed a 74-yarder against Cal Poly.

"I threw up a fist pump then got my first in-game chest bump with Worm (Rayshawn Henderson) who almost knocked me completely over," said O'Neill. "An old friend of mine from high school was at that game and made mention of the kick afterward. He couldn't figure out why it was so special considering Aussie rules players do that all the time."

He's a grad transfer, so he's immediately eligible to play for Michigan. It seems like it's finally safe to take a member of Michigan's special teams what with John Baxter, the long overdue implementation of the shield, and O'Neill's propensity for roll-out punts.

SETH: Round 25, Pick 2: Mike Dudek, WR, Illinois

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR Geronimo Allison (ILL), Slot Jalin Marshall (OSU), WR Mike Dudek, TE Jamal Lyles (MSU), OC Jack Allen (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), OT Alex Lewis (Neb), OT Mason Cole (Mich), OG Graham Glasgow

DEFENSE: NT Ryan Glasgow, 3T Malik McDowell (MSU), DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), SAM Joe Schobert (Wis), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), FS Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD), CB Trevor Williams (PSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Rafael Gaglianone (Wis), KR/PR Will Likely (Md) 

Yes he's short. I don't care.

Yes he's injured. I don't care. If he wasn't he would have been the first receiver drafted. Since he is I built an offense that will do just fine the first half of the season without him, then look ridiculous by the end of it despite the fact I just doubled down on the Illini passing game.

Man that sounds stupid. I don't care! He outran the entire Ohio State secondary. He teased 1,000+ yards out of a the Riley O'Toole offense. He was a true freshman!

He appears to be on the Jake Ryan ACL timeline, IE if we see him it will be in October, and he won't really be himself until November. If they were smart they'd use this year to redshirt him and save a weapon for the next coach. If we were smart we'd try to get this born Michigan fan to take a transfer year and come play for Harbaugh. Since they're Illinois they'll play him a ton before he's even ready because the only reason Beckman wasn't fired was this little dude with the 42" vertical putting up 115 yards on Penn State(!), and 63 yards and a TD at Northwestern to get them to a bowl game. 

Because Mikey's a "tall 5'9" Brady Hoke didn't look at him as a recruit (click that). This fact we are going to remember way longer than any injury snark you can muster. And that's why I don't care.

ACE: Round 25, Pick 3: Sean Davis, HSP, Maryland

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), H-back Kyle Carter (PSU), TE Adam Breneman (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Billy Price (OSU), OG Kyle Kalis (U-M), OC Dan Voltz (UW)

DEFENSE: WDE Joey Bosa (OSU), SDE Darius Hamilton (RU), NT Austin Johnson (PSU), DT Willie Henry (U-M), OLB Darron Lee (OSU), MLB Riley Bullough (MSU), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), HSP Sean Davis (MD), S Tyvis Powell (OSU), S RJ Williamson (MSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Paul Griggs (PU), P Cameron Johnston (OSU), KR Josh Ferguson (IL), PR Braxton Miller (OSU)

Sean Davis spent most of his first three years at Maryland as a hard-hitting, tackle-amassing safety. BiSB described him as a "mini-Shazor" when selecting him as a strong safety last year, which drew a lot of snark because, like Shazor, Davis occasionally let plays get over the top of him.

While Shazor was a linebacker masquerading as a safety, however, Davis is a different type of athlete; he started two games at cornerback last year and will start there full-time across from Will Likely this fall. While the initial move was brought on by injury, Davis stuck because he showed natural ability to adapt to the position:

But Terps coach Randy Edsall became intrigued by Sean Davis’ potential at cornerback as early as Davis' first practices at the position last week, watching as the junior flashed potential as a corner blitzer while showing a combination of height, long arms and advanced cover skills for a trained safety.

Davis’ game against Penn State on Saturday included some lapses and mistakes that go along with a player seeing his first extensive action at a position since high school.

However, Davis had three pass deflections, twice stopped Penn State running backs around the line of scrimmage as a corner blitzer and flashed some of the skills that intrigued his head coach during practice last week.

A 6'1, 200-pound run-stopping safety who's also a capable cornerback sounds like an ideal fit for a hybrid role. With a full offseason getting reps at corner, he should be better in coverage, and he's already proven he can make an impact in the box. In case of injury, he can passably play any spot in the secondary. I like his value here.

BRIAN: Round 25, Pick 4: Ray Ball, OL, Wisconsin
Round 26, Pick 1: Brian Cole, WR/RB/P/S, Michigan

OFFENSE: QB Christian Hackenberg(PSU), QB Cardale Jones(OSU), RB Ezekiel Elliot (OSU), WR Amara Darboh (M), WR Tevaun Smith (IA), TE Nick Vannett (OSU), TE/FB Dan Vitale (NW), OL Taylor Decker (OSU), OL Taylor Marz (WI), OL Dan Feeney (IU), OL Robert Kugler (Purdue), OL Ray Ball (UW)

DEFENSE: DE Anthony Zettel (PSU), DT Jaleel Johnson (IA),  DT Maliek Collins (Neb), DE Yannick Ngakoue (MD), LB Nyeem Wartman-White(PSU), LB Vince Biegel (WI), LB James Ross (M), CB Jourdan Lewis (M), CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (MN), CB Wayne Lyons (M), S Montae Nicholson (MSU), S Jarrod Wilson(M)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Brad Craddock (MD), "P" Brian Cole (M)

I need an OL to finish out my line. OSU has been raided, MSU has been raided, even Michigan has seen three guys go: where do you turn? Wisconsin, obviously. Ray Ball is a simply enormous guard (6-6, 330) who will be a redshirt senior this year. He's been locked behind the face-mashers that paved the way for Melvin Gordon for much of his career, but due to injury he played extensively in the final two games last year and has been inked in as the starting left guard this year. Eh, he'll probably be fine.

And I'm gonna take a punter this year! He's Brian Cole! Yes, that's a punter. A high school punter. He had a 62-yarder last year, and probably would had several more if he hadn't been ejected from that game for two personal fouls. I like the duality of Cole both punting and returning punts and I kind of want a slot receiver and he seems like an excellent idea for the slot I usually reserve for Kyle Prater. Also:

  • "…absolutely fantastic athlete, easily one of the best in the country … deadly on the football field … quick-twitch to the max. His ability to stop, and then get right back up to top speed is excellent. He can sky to get the football as a receiver if any defender has managed to keep up with his top-end speed, and he snatches the football well with his hands, naturally."

So yeah.

ACE: Round 26, Pick 2: Kodi Kieler, OT, Michigan State

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), H-back Kyle Carter (PSU), TE Adam Breneman (PSU), LT Jack Conklin (MSU), RT Kodi Kieler (MSU), LG Billy Price (OSU), RG Kyle Kalis (U-M), OC Dan Voltz (UW)

DEFENSE: WDE Joey Bosa (OSU), SDE Darius Hamilton (RU), NT Austin Johnson (PSU), DT Willie Henry (U-M), OLB Darron Lee (OSU), MLB Riley Bullough (MSU), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), HSP Sean Davis (MD), S Tyvis Powell (OSU), S RJ Williamson (MSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Paul Griggs (PU), P Cameron Johnston (OSU), KR Josh Ferguson (IL), PR Braxton Miller (OSU)

When right guard Connor Cruse went down with a preseason injury that would hold him out for five games, Donovan Clark shifted from right tackle to guard and Kodi Kieler stepped into Clark's spot. Even though MSU's line was already replacing three multi-year starters, they not only held steady, but improved from their 2014 performance. 

Kieler played a critical role in that even after Cruse's return, tallying the fourth-most snaps among MSU lineman without giving up a sack all season. While Kieler looks a little stiff in pass protection, he gets the job done, and he's a strong run-blocker—ignore the Oakman/Conklin battle, watch #79 in this video, and you'll see a big reason why State rushed for 238 yards against Baylor. Cruse missed that game with another injury and has exhausted his eligibility; with Kieler stepping in full-time at right tackle, the Spartan O-line shouldn't miss a beat.

SETH: Round 26, Pick 3: Peter Mortell, punter, Minnesota

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR Geronimo Allison (ILL), WR Mike Dudek (ILL), Slot Jalin Marshall (OSU), TE Jamal Lyles (MSU), OC Jack Allen (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), OT Alex Lewis (Neb), OT Mason Cole (Mich), OG Graham Glasgow

DEFENSE: NT Ryan Glasgow, 3T Malik McDowell (MSU), DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), SAM Joe Schobert (WI), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), FS Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD), CB Trevor Williams (PSU)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Rafael Gaglianone (WI), P Peter Mortell (MN), KR/PR Will Likely (MD)

Peter Mortell is a punter who punts well. He has punted 129 times in NCAA games for an average of 45 yards. Thirty-six of those punts went over 50 yards, and 29 went inside the 20.

But let's go advanced: Minnesota was 13th in FEI punting efficiency, while OSU was 22nd. Maryland was 7th, but weirdly Brian elected not to have Craddock punt because the act is mentioned in the recruiting profile of his true freshman slot receiver, which slot receiver is behind Freddy Canteen and Jehu Chesson. And Dontre Wilson was still on the board, the same guy Brian gave me tons of crap for dogging last year as a middle-of-the-draft pick. Weird.

Anyway, Mortell. The MLive of the Cleveland area did a top 50 players of the Big Ten that we've all stumbled upon. Here's what they said about their first entry:

"He's the best punter in the Big Ten."

Okay--helpful. Elaborate?

"Mortell was one of five Golden Gophers named first-team All-Big Ten last season, and he was aunanimous pick. He led the Big Ten and ranked seventh in the nation last season averaging 45.2 yards per punt, after ranking third in the conference while averaging 43.3 yards as a sophomore in 2013. Mortell had a huge game against Ohio State last year, averaging 51.8 yards on five punts, including a 64-yarder."

They put his jersey in the bookstore. He has a fan clan of dudes who wear t-shirts with his number to the games and hockey games. They put his likeness on a bus.

He was first man to ever carry the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy off the field. I think we're done here. #MortellforHeisman

ADAM: Round 26, Pick 4: Joe Julius, kicker, Penn State

OFFENSE: QB J.T. Barrett (OSU), WR Jordan Westerkamp (Neb), OT Jason Spriggs, (IU), TE Jake Butt (UM), C Austin Blythe (Iowa), RB Justin Jackson (NW), OG Brian Allen (MSU), WR De'Mornay Pierson-El (Neb), OT/OG Josh Campion (Minn), WR RJ Shelton (MSU), WR Levern Jacobs (MD), OG Ted Karras 

DEFENSE: DE Shilique Calhoun (MSU), DT Adolphus Washington (OSU), S Vonn Bell (OSU), CB Eric Murray (Minn), LB Raekwon McMillan (OSU), DE Drew Ott (Iowa), OLB Ed Davis (MSU), S/HSP Nate Gerry (Neb), DT Vincent Valentine (Neb), LB Joe Bolden (UM), CB Demetrious Cox (MSU), S Jordan Lomax (Iowa)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Joe Julius (PSU), P Blake O'Neill (UM), KR RJ Shelton (MSU), PR De'Mornay Pierson-El (Neb)

When the last pick rolls around and you have an opportunity to take a player who was on everyone's draft board* you take him. It doesn't matter that there may be more proven options available; there is only one Big Toe. When it became clear he'd be available Seth kindly sent me what he pre-wrote:

How come nobody realizes Clark Kent is Superman? Surely someone envious of Clark's cushy newspaper job in an age when those barely exist would have noticed he bears a striking resemblance to the world's most famous face. Even if at times they appeared together as separate people, he is Superman, with access to not only his own impossible powers, but those of myriad affiliate superheroes. LOOK!

But that's impossible. How could an alien being of unlimited power be a hayseed turned Pulitzer journalist? He would never. So we train our eyes not to see. We must all do this: We constantly convince ourselves the world is ordinary and plausible, and have our brains dismiss all input to the contrary. That is how the greatest being to walk the Earth can hide among us, in plain sight, as plain as day, under a plainly fake alliterative name, seen by nobody:

Open your eyes; it's him.

*Am I making an assumption? Maybe. Just run with it.

THAT WHICH HAS NOW OCCURRED

THAT WHICH WILL OCCUR IN THE FUTURE

We all debate who won. Seth inevitably photoshops me into a Buckeye jersey, for which he will never be forgiven.

Comments

smwilliams

August 17th, 2015 at 12:50 PM ^

Here's a breakdown by the team for the starters only:

OHIO STATE: (18)
QB / RB / 3 WR / TE / 3 OL / 2 DL / 3 LB / 3 DB / P

MICHIGAN STATE: (14)
QB / WR / TE / 4 OL / 3 DL / 1 LB (does not include Ed Davis) / 3 DB

MICHIGAN: (14)
QB / WR / TE / 3 OL / 2 DL / 2 LB / 3 DB / P

WISCONSIN: (11)
RB / 3 OL / 2 DL / 2 LB / 2 DB / K

PENN STATE: (9)
QB / WR / TE / 2 DL / LB / 2 DB / K

NEBRASKA: (5)
2 WR / OL / 2 DL

IOWA: (5)
WR / OL / 2 DL / DB

MINNESOTA: (4)
OL / 2 DB / P

ILLINOIS:  (3)
RB / WR / OL

RUTGERS: (3)
WR / DL / LB

MARYLAND:  (3)
DL / DB / K

NORTHWESTERN: (2)
RB / TE

INDIANA: (2)
2 OL

PURDUE:  (2)
OL / K

Observations:

- This blog is full of tremendous homers (a possibility) or Brady Hoke got fired because he was awful at actually using the talent he had available.

- Teams should think about running the ball against Minnesota.

- Penn State could be pretty good if they find 5 guys to approximate an offensive line.

- Whoever emerges from the East Division bloodbath will probably be facing Wisconsin (again).

- Oh, Purdue.

TSWC

August 17th, 2015 at 1:23 PM ^

My vote, based on a pretty quick review:

 

Best position groups:

QB: Seth, Brian

OL: Brian, Seth

DL: Brian, Adam/Ace

LB: Close to a four-way push

CB: Brian, Seth

S: Adam, Brian

WR/TE: Ace, Adam

RB: Brian, Seth

Specials: Brian, Seth

 

Tallied up: Brian has the top group in four of the nine catagories (not counting the push at LB). Everyone else has one top group. Brian is in the top two in seven of the nine groups (again, not counting LB), Seth is in five of the nine, Adam in three, Ace in two. Though not all groups are worth the same. IMO, QB and the lines are the three most important position groups.

While this was a much, much closer draft than previous years, Brian wins best team by a comfortable margin. Seth probably gets #2, despite not picking a starting d-lineman until the 17th round, which is pretty remarkable.

Ron Utah

August 17th, 2015 at 4:23 PM ^

But I'd pick Ace's team.  Rudock may be the worst starting QB of the bunch, but he's also got Braxton Miller as an option, and with Thomas, Hamilton, and even Carter and Breneman, whoever takes the snaps has plenty of options.  A dominant defensive line helps with any back-end problems, and the LBs are a strong group.  The lone weakness here is his OL, which is just okay, but the weapons and possibilities of the offense overcome that weakness.

But I can't wait to see Ace photo-shopped into a Buckeye jersey, because he's earned it with his selections.

2nd Place: Seth.  Not only did he find value with his U-M picks, his defense is bolstered by two HSPs that are All-B1G talents in  Caputo and Peppers.  Of course, Peppers is still just "potential," but if he's half as good as advertised, Seth's team will be able to control the middle of the field.  Offensively, Carroo, Price, Marshall, and Geronimo (it should be illegal to ever use his last name) are more than adequate targets for the efficient Cook, and Clement is a ridiculous talent at RB.  Add in a strong OL...this is a good team, and there are no gimmicks.

3rd Place: Adam.  A weaker OL (comparable to Ace's) is helped by a great selection of skill players, but I'm not sure it's enough.  Westercamp and Butt would be the stars of this passing game, with Barrett and Jackson combining on the ground, but I don't see this team can beat Ace's.   Seth's squad can match-up because Caputo or Peppers can neutralize Butt, and Likely can handle Westercamp.  Then what?  Seth's defense is built to stop the option, and really only lacks a pass rush, but Turay can come in on obvious passing downs to add spark there.

4th Place: Brian.  I don't know, man.  Hated the Cardale Jones pick (has no value other than as a back-up QB) and the Cole gimmick.  But there are bigger problems: you have the best passing QB and no real threats at WR/TE.  Yes, Elliott is a beast and your OL is good, but in todays CFB, you've got to be able to throw the football effectively, and Kugler leaves a weakspot for the DTs to attack.  Defensively, Zettel and Collins are good, but Johnson and Ngakoue are just fine.  Biegel and Wartman-White are strong, but Ross has been a pernnial underachiever.  I like the secondary, but I'm not sure the pass rush is giving them enough time to do their job, and the safeties are solid-not-spectacular types.