Draftageddon 2015: The Order Of Kovacs Convenes

Submitted by Ace on August 10th, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Four_Horsemen_by_MarkWilkinson1

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 16, Pick 2: Billy Price, G, Ohio State


Price (#54) made the key block to spring Elliott 85 yards against Bama

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

DEFENSE: DE Joey Bosa (OSU), DT Darius Hamilton (RU), NT Austin Johnson (PSU), OLB Darron Lee (OSU), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU)

If you don't want to watch a season's worth of Ezekiel Elliott highlights while focusing on the left guard, which I can understand, at least skip to the 3:17 mark to see Billy Price chip a defensive tackle and then seal off a linebacker with surprising suddenness for a 6'4", 315-pound human. Then take these things into account:

  • He started all 15 games as a redshirt freshman on Ohio State's offensive line, which became arguably the best run-blocking unit in the country by the end of the season. Incidentally, Price only got better as 2014 wore on.
  • Just one year prior, Price was adjusting to offense after moving from defensive tackle, his primary position in high school.
  • "The 6-foot-4, 312-pounder is regarded to be the strongest guy on the team. He bench-presses 475 pounds, has done 34 reps at 225 pounds and has a vertical jump of 30 inches."
  • 34 reps at 225 would've placed Price fourth among offensive linemen at this year's NFL combine. He's still a year away from draft eligibility.
  • He's learning from Ed Warinner, one of the best offensive line coaches in the country.

Assuming Price develops at a reasonable rate he'll be one of the best guards in the conference this year. He might've reached that level by the end of last year and he'll be much more comfortable as a second-year starter. He got a lot of praise for his play in the spring after he showed enough command of the offense to fill in for a banged up Jacoby Boren at center. The term "night and day" was thrown around a couple times. He's got a ton of physical ability; if the light comes on, he'll be really good, and he's already shown he can reliably push around defensive tackles.

SETH: Round 16, Pick 3: Graham Glasgow, OL, Michigan


[Bryan Fuller]

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR Jalin Marshall (OSU), OC Jack Allen (MSU), OG Pat Elflein (OSU), OT Alex Lewis (Neb), OT Mason Cole (Mich), OG Graham Glasgow (Mich)
DEFENSE: DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), DB Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD)

We've now exhausted the preseason all-[thing] lists and NFL mock drafts, and Brian is taking the Aussie kicker we all desired. He just did this despite having zero anybodies on the interior OL to protect Hackenberg, because that always turns out well. So I feel bad for taking this one, since it's totally Brian's fault that I know Graham Glasgow is good at football

MGoBlog has said enough on that subject since 2013 that we can save most of the details for next month's O-line preview. I'll add that two springs now two coaching staffs have threatened the OT depth chart with Glasgow sliding outside if they don't outplay the interior guys too. Graham's probably the center this year, but we've seen him mostly at guard, where he's strong enough to hold up against very good DTs (+4.5/-2 in PSU UFR) and blast light ones (+9/-1 vs Rutgers).

More importantly he has often been Michigan's only lineman making the quick heady adjustments that good running games must have for consistent success. I've also noticed a trend in that he gets better as the game progresses and he starts to pick up opponents' tendencies. The last link is Glasgow recognizing his second-level target is backing out and there's no chance against the blitzer, so he just seals Cole's guy. 

Ironically for such an exceptionally bright player on the field, this pick is in jeopardy from an offseason repeat of the same bad judgment that cost him last season's opener. From here to January, the margin for further error is .001 percent. But if you're going to put your faith in something, it might as well be a Glasgow.

ADAM: Round 16, Pick 4: Nate Gerry, S/HSP, Nebraska
Round 17, Pick 1: Josh Campion, OG, Minnesota

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)

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)

Gerry is nominally a free safety, but I can't help but watch him and think that he's an ideal hybrid space player. He's the same weight (205) as Peppers and an inch taller, and his stats—88 tackles (49 unassisted), 7 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 3 QB hurries, 5 interceptions, 4 PBU—paint a picture of a guy who's adept playing near the line or in coverage. 

He isn't lined up over the slot, but there are shades of HSPness in this interception. Nebraska lines Gerry up as a linebacker to disguise the coverage. That he can line up there on 3rd-and-11 and the only red flag is what he's wearing says something about his versatility. Gerry then bails as the ball's snapped. He adjusts to an underthrown ball, jumping in front of the receiver for an interception. More evidence: Gerry ran a state-record 10.3 second 100-meter dash in high school; with that speed I'm confident he can linger in space near the line and carry a receiver into coverage or blow up a run in the backfield.

I'm going to move my next pick to a different position as well, but this isn't as much of a stretch as turning Gerry into a HSP. Campion is a former tackle, though Minnesota has decided to move him to guard this fall. At 6'5" and 310 pounds I'm inclined to leave him at tackle, especially considering he's started 39 straight games there; the versatility is a nice bonus. He garnered an All-Big Ten honorable mention on a Minnesota line that wasn't bad—19th in adjusted line yards, 26th in standard downs line yards per carry, and 56th in opportunity rate. He has also been compared to former Gopher Adam Haayer, because "...both share a bond as very dependable Gopher starters with a love for the outdoors." Minnesota, man.

[After THE JUMP: HEY WE DRAFT A BUNCH OF MICHIGAN GUYS IT'S SAFE TO CLICK]

SETH: Round 17, Pick 2: Lawrence Thomas, DE/DT, Michigan State

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

DEFENSE: DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), DB Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD)

Since this five-star arrived with blue chip size and speed, LT has bounced from huge linebacker, to huge fullback, to still-sizeable (6'4/309) tackle. Both Lawrence Thomas and I have learned a lot about football since I made him my by-far worst pick in the original draft-o-snark. Since last year's glut left us very few proven commodities, I was happy to hear that LT's finally found a home at (4-3 over) WDE:

The Spartans, however, might find his max value at defensive end. Thomas showed that pass-rushing skill by blowing past All-American tackle Jack Conklin. He later erased a fourth-and-short situation with a big hit on Madre London. Thomas even hit quarterback Tyler O’Conner a touch late in the fourth quarter.

He did the same to Baylor's Kyle Fuller in the sack that set up the end of the Cotton Bowl victory. At the end of Spring, LT had slimmed to a more active 285, and successfully fended off Demetrius Cooper, a rising rush end who will back up Calhoun and come in for passing downs as LT slides inside.

Thomas's stats last year as starting NT are eh (30 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 sacks) but keep in mind his job was mostly to stand against double-teams and play to spill. Perhaps more relevant is MSU was #3 last year in adjusted line yards, and #1 in keeping rush attempts under 5 yards. That was scheme, yes, but also the pivot doing his job. What makes LT a VIP for me is flexibility, as he can be a 5T/DE who can blow by, through, or under opponent LTs, or roll inside as a pass rushing 3T.

ACE: Round 17, Pick 3: Willie Henry, DT, Michigan


[Bryan Fuller]

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Billy Price (OSU), 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), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU) 

I might be Heiko-ing up my defensive line a bit, but I think this is a relatively low-downside move that has the potential to be brilliant. While Darius Hamilton is forced to play the interior on Rutgers' tiny defensive line—average starter's weight last year: 259—he projects as a strongside end in the NFL. He's an excellent pass-rusher who's already proven he can hold up to double-teams; he'll be more effective when that double is coming from a tight end instead of a center.

That allows me to add a three-tech, where there are more desirable options than SDE. (Just look one pick above for evidence.) Willie Henry has yet to scrape his ceiling as he enters his junior year. He's been a good, not great, part of M's excellent defensive front by covering up technical flaws with Herculean strength, as shown in the canonical Henry clip from the 2013 MSU game:

He didn't have the breakout year we hoped for last season, in part because he missed time with a hand injury. When healthy, he alternated doing things like blowing up a QB power from the back side and stuffing a RB draw when his job was to absorb blockers on a stunt with occasionally getting blown out of the hole when he played too upright; his ratio of good-to-bad tended to fall comfortably on the positive end. He scored an impressive FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN that ESPN briefly gave double bonus points, which should absolutely be the rule.

Henry is a solid starting Big Ten 3-tech already and he's got the potential to be so much better. In this year's HTTV, Brian compared him to former FSU star Timmy Jernigan, a technically raw, bull-strong prospect (albeit a more touted one than Henry) who morphed into an All-American terror as a junior before going in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft. If Henry can make a remotely comparable leap, this is a steal, and I'm pretty comfortable declaring I have the best front seven in this draft before I've selected a MIKE.

BRIAN: Round 17, Pick 4: Montae Nicholson, S, MSU 
Round 18, Pick 1: Nick Vannett, TE, OSU

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), OL Taylor Decker (OSU), OL Taylor Marz (WI), OL Dan Feeney (IU).

DEFENSE: DT Anthony Zettel (PSU), 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), S Montae Nicholson (MSU).

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Brad Craddock (MD).

Montae Nicholson may go down as one of the all time great recruiting WTFs. Nicholson, a badly-needed safety, was supposedly set to commit to Michigan; Michigan asked him to hold off and he ended up at Michigan State, where he got plenty of playing time as a true freshman. That wasn't great for Michigan State, as their safeties were repeatedly exposed by teams placing their #1 receivers in the slot and running them straight downfield, but adjustments are coming and for any freshman to just about walk into the starting lineup at redshirt-obsessed Michigan State speaks volumes about his talent. 

At 6'2", 220 he's got great size, and he's started that KURTIS DRUMMOND thing:

Nicholson, who started in three games last season as a freshman, went above and beyond lofty expectations following the team scrimmage at Spartan Stadium this past weekend, picking off quarterback Conner Cook twice and returning both for touchdowns.

Dual pick sixes are bit more impressive against third-year starter Connor Cook than Michigan. It's a slightly speculative pick, but I'm betting that we get to moan "WTF, Hoke?" for a few more years because of Nicholson's play. /waves tiny "punt" flag.

Nick Vannett is an OSU TE. This means he is 6'6", 260, does a lot of blocking in space, occasionally finds himself blindingly wide open, and will go in the middle rounds of the NFL draft. If there was any way to distinguish between the pile of tight ends after Butt in the league this year I have not found one, but he seems like a slightly better bet than Penn State's Kyle Carter or Iowa's Jake Duzey. He doesn't get as many targets as those guys, but he's the safest bet to be good.

ACE: Round 18, Pick 2: Kyle Carter, TE/H-back, Penn State

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), TE Kyle Carter (PSU), OT Jack Conklin (MSU), OG Billy Price (OSU), 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), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU)

There's admittedly a little risk here, as Carter didn't produce a ton last year (PSU's offense and all) and his team is deeper at tight end than any other spot on the roster, with Adam Breneman and Mike Gesicki providing two other talented options. PSU utilizes a lot of 2TE formations, however, and Carter impresses with both his skill set and his versatility. CBSSports ranks him as the #2 senior TE prospect in the country:

STRENGTHS: Carter's skill-set is more of a hybrid receiver, tight end and H-back with his size and versatility to line up anywhere on the offense. Number of highlight reel catches, using his sticky hands and focus to make tough grabs look easy. Carter knows how to sell and create separation for himself over the middle vs. linebackers, showing toughness to make catches in traffic and turn upfield. 
WEAKNESSES: He has some frustrating drops on his resume. Not a silky smooth athlete in his routes.

NFL.com also has him as a draft prospect to watch. With Jesse James off the NFL, Carter should get a good number of targets despite the crowded depth chart, especially since he can line up at three different spots. That positional flexibility would come in handy on a team with Braxton Miller playing both in the slot and, on a hypothetically frequent occasion, the backfield.

SETH: Round 18, Pick 3: Ryan Glasgow, NT, Michigan


[Eric Upchurch]

OFFENSE: QB Connor Cook (MSU), RB Corey Clement (WIS), WR Leonte Carroo (Rut), WR 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 (Mich), DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), DB Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD) 

Why are we so quick to forget Ryan Glasgow is good? I planned to take Vincent Valentine, who's a fourth-year starter and made WalterFootball's list of top 10 NT draft prospects. But Brian's three-day hiatus from drafting allowed me to watch a bunch of Valentine. What I saw is a guy who looks like a monster, but just kinda stands there, getting held a lot. 

I'm laying that down, and picking up my set, because Glasgow he don't care about your holding. He don't care about your holding, he don't care about your scholarship, and he don't care about your tempo. When he want you off the field he tell you. 


You off the field now. Git. 

It took his brother most of the season to earn the Order of St. Kovacs; Ryan got his before we got to the Big Ten season. The short history of UFRs that Brian wasn't too angry to write last year read:

Opponent + - T Notes
App State 3   3 Was fine. Pipkins has more upside.
Notre Dame 8.5 1 7.5 Prepare the Order of St. Kovacs.
Miami (NTM) 7 0.5 6.5 Shine up the Order of St. Kovacs.
Utah 6 1 5 Summon the vicars and shine the silver.
Rutgers 8 2 6 Order of St. Kovacs: awarded.
Penn State 5   5 Did this in about a quarter of PT. Super super weird.
Indiana 8.5 2 6.5 FF, FR

The danger of this pick is Mone may be so good he'll eat up snaps. But the second Glasgow scion has been holding off the deepest set of tackles at Michigan since the last time Mattison was just their position coach. In fact Ryan may damn may well be the best player on the team. So keep your Valentines, hype your Heath, shine your Sheehy, explain your Epke, or catch Chris Carter because every red and gray 'O' will look good when we make the final diagram. I say this is what a good nose tackle looks like.

ADAM: Round 18, Pick 4: Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska
Round 19, Pick 1: Joe Bolden, LB, 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), OG Josh Campion (Minn)

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)

Thank you, Seth, for the introduction. As previously mentioned, Valentine was included on WalterFootball's list of the top 10 nose tackle draft prospects. The most substantive piece of their report is that he "has upside to develop." From there I also turned to some film of Valentine, and Seth's scouting report is accurate: he occasionally looks like a monster but is often just held. 

None of that bothers me, because I was simply looking for a hefty NT who could take on double teams and hit something if it shows up next to him; that's why I originally had Glasgow penciled in here. At some point I flipped and decided to take Valentine even if Glasgow was still available because he's got more pass-rush upside, as his 7 TFL and 3 sack 2014 season illustrated. That should open up the space my more adept pass rushers (Calhoun, Washington et al.) need.

I'm not trying to devolve this into some Drake-Meek Mill thing. I think Glasgow is the more consistent NT; Valentine's going to fluctuate from game to game and probably drive me insane. I'm fine with that if it means I get an 18th-round pick who's 6'3" and 320 pounds.

My situation at WLB was similar to NT, as I needed a WLB who wasn't necessarily dynamic but who did his job. Joe Bolden, you are that man. Probably.

We've become accustomed to Bolden looking All-American in intrasquad stuff and then getting knocked down or looking confused in actual games. I'm banking heavily on Bolden being Durkinized, and if he is...man, if he is. Bolden had 102 tackles last year, and though he didn't have a banner game aside from Miami (NTM) he generally graded out fine in Brian's UFRs. The one instance where he didn't was against Penn State, and the errors clipped at the bottom seem awfully coachable. I can live with that.  

SETH: Round 19, Pick 2: Geronimo Allison, WR, Illinois

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, DE/DT Lawrence Thomas (MSU), DE/OLB Kemoko Turay (RU), MLB Desmond Morgan (Mich), WLB Steve Longa (RU), HSP Jabrill Peppers (Mich), DB Jordan Lucas (PSU), S Michael Caputo (WI), CB Will Likely (MD)

I am standing at a precipice. I see, far below, an experienced, explosive receiver who's  6'4/200, can't be jammed, has a ridiculous catching radius, loves to block, consistently generates receptions in tiny windows, takes the top off defenses, or screws with corners trying to prevent that with a nifty stop and go. That's the highlight reel, but it looks as good on tape: 

Theory: the refs called that incomplete just for an excuse to pause the game and watch it 10 more times

This object's main competition for targets will be out of order through October, so doubling up his 605 yards from last year seems quite plausible.But to get him in any kind of shape to be appreciated, I have to leap into an orangey blue churning river of Wes Lunt hope, scrub away all the Riley O'Toole "targets" that Tacopants would call uncatchable, and then hope nothing gets broken during the farewell tour of  his walking dead coach that promises to make Brady Hoke's 2014 seem comparatively jolly. 

Oh what the hell. /jumps

ACE: Round 19, Pick 3: Kyle Kalis, G, Michigan


[Eric Upchurch]

OFFENSE: QB Jake Rudock (U-M), RB Josh Ferguson (IL), OW Braxton Miller (OSU), WR Michael Thomas (OSU), WR DaeSean Hamilton (PSU), TE Kyle Carter (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), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU)

This is, by and large, a vote of confidence for Kalis' natural talent and Tim Drevno's ability to turn potential into on-field results. Even though the latter was sorely lacking under the previous regime, Kalis took a noticeable step forward in 2014; something appeared to click right around the Rutgers game, when he showed a much-improved feel for who to block as well as the raw power that made him such a touted high school prospect.

Now Kalis enters his redshirt junior season while going from this to this. He's at the age when a lot of linemen put it all together, he's got as much raw potential as any guard in the conference, and he's certainly got a higher ceiling this year than, say, Ted Karras, the Illinois guard who's probably next off the board at the position. Kalis should be a decent starter on an improving line at worst, and at best he breaks out and becomes an all-conference caliber player this year. I've got a lot of faith Drevno is able to get the most out of him.

BRIAN: Round 19, Pick 4: Jarrod Wilson, S, Michigan 
Round 20, Pick 1: Robert Kugler, C, Purdue


[Eric Upchurch]

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), OL Taylor Decker (OSU), OL Taylor Marz (WI), OL Dan Feeney (IU), OL Robert Kugler (Purdue)

DEFENSE: DT Anthony Zettel (PSU), 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), S Montae Nicholson (MSU), S Jarrod Wilson(M)

SPECIAL TEAMS: K Brad Craddock (MD).

Jarrod Wilson is boring. Jarrod Wilson has always been boring. Jarrod Wilson was not 50% responsible for Melvin Gordon setting an all-time rushing record. When it comes to safeties, I am a Michigan fan and a Michigan fan is always going to look at a safety and say "PLEASE BE BORING." Jarrod Wilson is boring. 

I like my made-up safety stats because they were a way I could point at Jordan Kovacs and say YES GOOD HIM, so here it is again: Michigan was 13th in 20+ and 7th in 30+ yard plays allowed. This was while playing a half-season in a very inadvisable man press system that generally isolated Wilson from blame for long plays. He had a rough game or two in there in the morass that was the Hoke era falling to pieces all around him; I am still confident he will be on the wrong end of very few WHAT NO plays this year. 

At center I will take Robert Kugler, who is not Patrick Kugler. He is Patrick's brother, and thus the son of Sean Kugler, the longtime Steelers OL guru who parlayed that expertise into a head coaching job at UTEP. Kugler has the requisite size (294 as of last year), experience (he is entering his fourth year as Purdue's starting center), and general good-ness (he was the offensive MVP in 2013 and captain last year) to be an asset on any team in the league.

I know we are all currently chortling at the general Purdue-ness of Purdue right now--lord knows I am--but Purdue was pretty decent at all things other than having a vaguely functional passer on offense a year ago. They were middle of the pack in sacks allowed and sixth in rushing YPC despite not having any of the Big Ten's panoply of monster robot backs.

It's going to be tough for this pick to get external validation since you can probably pick out the All Big Ten centers already and C is a position where NFL teams look for UDFAs, but I like it all the same. 

SETH: Yay I finally get to use the Purdue graphic. 
 
...which I made in anticipation that Kugler (or maybe Repogle) went off of the board.

ACE: Round 20, Pick 2: Adam Breneman, TE, Penn 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), OLB Joshua Perry (OSU), CB Eli Apple (OSU), CB Darius Hillary (UW), S Tyvis Powell (OSU)

I'm sorry, Seth, but I kept looking for other positions to fill, saw multiple options on the board, and decided to go with the guy I thought has the most potential to make a major impact next year. Despite NFL scouts' focus on Carter, it's Breneman who's getting the most hype as PSU's top tight end, in large part because he's better suited to lining up with his hand in the dirt every down; blocking isn't a strength for Carter, but it is for Breneman.

If Breneman had been healthy in 2014, I doubt he would've fallen this far, but he missed the whole season after getting surgery to correct discomfort in his left knee. (He missed his senior season of high school with a torn left ACL.) Despite the senior-year injury, Breneman was nearly a five-star recruit (#44 on the 247 Composite) coming out of high school, and he looked the part as a freshman in 2013, hauling in 15 of his 19 targets for 186 yards (9.8 yards per target) and three scores. In addition to being a solid in-line blocker, he's a natural receiver:

If Breneman is 100% he could emerge as the best tight end in the conference. It sounds like he's well on his way:

So a few weeks ago, Galt allowed Breneman to run inside Penn State's Holuba Hall. The redshirt sophomore, who has missed two of his past three football seasons because of injuries, ran the 40 in 4.63 seconds. Galt marveled at the time for a 254-pound tight end. 

"He's back," Galt said -- and Breneman agreed.

Breneman and Carter will both see extensive time in PSU's TE-heavy offense. Pairing them up on my offense adds another dimension to a unit that could show a lot of different looks. Josh Ferguson is more than capable of taking the top off the defense from the slot. Braxton Miller is a very dangerous man in the slot, at running back, or at quarterback. Carter can play tight end, H-back, or split out. Just think of the pre-snap motion possibilities, let alone what could happen once the ball is snapped.

SETH: What Ace failed to mention is that right before he took Breneman I showed him an excerpt from We Are! 2015 (the PSU version of HTTV I do with them) where they said Carter's the third TE and Breneman is first despite missing two of his last three seasons with the same knee injury. For context, the editor who wrote that, Cari Greene, would marry Breneman.

ACE: Guilty as charged. For context, I'll add Seth had to completely redo his writeup for Geronimo Allison after I pointed out #17 on Washington, whom Allison repeatedly torched, wasn't first-round pick Marcus Peters—as Seth believed—but a senior making his first, and ultimately only, career start.

SETH: Round 20, Pick 3: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan 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 (Mich)

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

In every video I watched while trying to figure out what Lawrence Thomas would look like at WDE (MSU's heavier end), my eye kept being drawn to the freshman next to him. I needed an end, but I also knew I'd left a better player from that unit on the board, since to get at the praise for Thomas I first had to sift through epic gushing over the reason why Thomas was being pushed outside. In true Sparty fashion, they also brag about last year's weird recruiting battle with Michigan, as if "I want to go to State but my Mom thinks the education is crap" is a vindication. 

What was vindicated, and quite thoroughly, was the 5-star ranking. I reiterate what Brian said re: Nicholson about freshmen playing in MSU's redshirt-everybody system, and add—with the caveat that DL is a FAR easier position to learn than quarters safety—that this one actually looked really good at it. In McDowell's first year he slowly siphoned snaps from incumbent Joel Heath, and pushed Damon Knox to the bench, accruing 4.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks in about a third of team snaps. 

His progression from that was the talk of Spring, by which completion McDowell at nose was the most secure starting position after Calhoun, overa billion seniors. At 6'6"/285 that says a ton about the kind of leverage McDowell plays with (that they were trying him at end says as much about his athleticism). It also unfortunately means lots of double-teams he wins will end up as someone else's stats.

Dantonio went to Big Ten meetings saying the line Malik will anchor is the most talented he's had since Ohio State 2002. I do hate picking a breakout DT from a rival when Michigan has two potentials, but McDowell has shown appreciably more, against far better competition, on the field at this point than Mone or Hurst, and isn't fighting for snaps against Glasgow and Henry.

ADAM: Round 20, Pick 4: Demetrious Cox, CB, Michigan State
Round 21, Pick 1: RJ Shelton, WR, Michigan 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), OG Josh Campion (Minn), WR RJ Shelton (MSU)

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)

There aren't many corners left I'm comfortable selecting, and there are fewer still that are adept at press coverage. The Big Ten is full of guys who are either kinda sorta alright if you let them sink back into a zone, getting media hype for ephermeral stuff like getting their confidence back, very tiny people, or all of those (I'm looking over at you, Sojourn Shelton). 

The newest model just rolled off the line at the cornerback production facility in East Lansing. This year's version is built on the chassis of a safety, but is functionally like what we've seen before at corner. Per Mark Dantonio, Cox has acclimated himself to his (relatively) new position quite nicely:

Dantonio indicated he's so comfortable with Cox at cornerback that he'll continue to work him at safety to provide as many repetitions as possible for the players auditioning for the other starting cornerback job.

I'm perfectly content with a guy who gets bumped from his new position because he's already so good at it that practicing him there seems like a waste of reps. 

Cox's stat line was fairly empty to start the 2014 season (he had 12 tackles through eight games), but his play noticeably improved after switching to corner for the last four games of the season. He finished the year with 26 tackles, a sack, two TFL, and two PBU. MSU's secondary is dealing with high turnover for the second straight season, and though the starting field corner could be any of four guys Cox has the boundary corner spot locked down thanks in large part to what he did at the end of 2014. 

My next pick is a 5'11" wide receiver around whom I'll attempt to create a convincing argument for selecting after roundly dismissing most of the conference's corners for being too small. Draftageddon: come for the laughs, stay for the hypocrisy. 

Shelton had 1,114 all-purpose yards last season, of which ~71% came on kick returns. He had almost as many yards rushing (148) as receiving (173) despite his position title. That should probably have scared me away, but then I watched him run a jet sweep and realized maybe that isn't so bad.

In fairness to Shelton, his receiving numbers aren't awful. Though he was only targeted 21 times, his catch rate was 76.2% and his yards per target 8.2. Seth's quarterback singled Shelton out as a guy who may have had the proverbial light switch flip on during spring practice, and that's a very good sign for a guy who should get even more playing time thanks to the departures of Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphrey. 

SETH: Round 21, Pick 2: Joe Schobert, OLB, 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 (Mich)

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)

The conference is silly with 3-4 OLB types; Wisconsin has two. Schobert wasn't used like an 4-3 under SDE, but everything else Brian said about Biegel pretty much applies to big white hunk of cheese on the other side. This one had 69 tackles with 13.5 for loss and 3 sacks, plus a team-high seven PBUs.

Of course I was concerned about 59-0 so I ran through it. Big runs were on 1) Biegel getting destroyed by Heuerman (they tried the same in the 4Q vs Schobert and got zero yards), 2) the ILB getting ripped out of his hole by a Boren clothesline and Caputo tripping over the ref*, 3) Biegel getting cracked by an H-back, 4) Biegel losing contain when Schobert was about to sack, 5) Hillary biting on a clever misdirection plus a good block by Elflein, 6) Biegel missing an arm tackle and letting Cardale escape out the backside of a rollout they had covered, 7) a DT missing his gap or the other missing a stunt assignment, 8) Wisco getting RPS-3'd outside, 9) MLBs bit hard on zone-read give, optioned Schobert couldn't close it down, garbage time safety whiffed.

The worst to happen to Schobert was getting optioned on #9, and a missed TFL where Elliott regained his balance that should have been a TFL. He got it back later, and turned in enough solid plays against the run and in coverage I bet you a fictitious UFR of this disaster, if 59-0 allows heroes, would have to call Schobert that.

The SAM role in my defense is pretty much the same thing Schobert does for the Badgers: line up outside the OT, play run force, cover a short zone, edge rush, and let Caputo clean up behind him.

*Poke a Badger fan about this one day. It's hiiiiilarious!

ACE: Round 21, Pick 3: Riley Bullough, MIKE, 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)

My team may not be a fan favorite, but it's got a damn strong front seven. Bullough was the productive backup of Ed Davis at the SAM last season. Barring a surprise, he'll start at the MIKE this season, as has been ordained since birth. He had 3.5 sacks and two picks as a sophomore in 2014. He looked good in his new role in this year's spring game; by that time, the coaches considered him a stabilizing force for a linebacker corps that had alignment issues last season with Taiwan Jones manning the middle, even though Bullough is flanked by two returning starters.

He's a Bullough. He should be a thumper against the run, a productive blitzer firing into those A-gaps, and a generally instinctual player. (Video clips on him are limited, but I was impressed by this one of him dropping into a zone, realizing he had nobody around him, and closing the gap on Hackenberg quickly to prevent any chance of throwing out of the sack.) With the rest of that front seven around him, I don't need much more than that.

BRIAN: Round 21, Pick 4: Wayne Lyons, CB, Michigan
Round 22, Pick 1: Dan Vitale, TE/FB, Northwestern


[Bryan Fuller]

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: DT Anthony Zettel (PSU), 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).

Wayne Lyons was a consistent contributor for Stanford's lights-out pass defense, and according to many he's Michigan's best NFL prospect and one of the Big Ten's best

The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Lyons is projected to go in rounds four through six by draft site WalterFootball.com, and rates as the third-best draftable cornerback prospect in the Big Ten, behind Minnesota's Eric Murray and Penn State's Jordan Lucas.

That size helps him to project to my nickel/HSP spot. He's a big ol' corner who can take on a bunch of run responsibilities, as Michigan should find out this fall as he plays boundary corner. CBS on Lyons' strengths:

Fits the press-man style that Michigan will ask of its cornerbacks with a highly aggressive and confident demeanor on the field. He does a great job leveraging the field and is physical downhill vs. the run. Lyons has the size and length to match up with receivers on the line of scrimmage and make them uneasy off the snap.

He started seven games for Stanford last year and has 22 starts overall; he did tend to get beat badly when he did get beat. I'm not too worried about that since he's my third corner. Not a lot of draftable guys of any description left on the board right now.

I'll finish my skill position players with a Northwestern H-back.That more than anything else should tell you about the state of Big Ten receivers this year. It ain't good. It's so dismal that I'm willing to basically forfeit a punt returner (Elliot would hypothetically be damn good at KOs) because the slot receivers left on the board are that guy from Rutgers and... uh. 

I'm sure someone will emerge in that department, but I'm not gambling on who that will be. Instead I'll add a versatile blocker and receiver who's been a key and efficient performer for the Wildcats. With 40 catches for 402 yards last year he goes head to head with most blocky/catchy types in the league, and while he's not a deep threat I've got a "whoops lol play action" guy already in Vannett. Vitale adds a 240 pound brick as a blocker, as well. NFL Draft Scout has him the #2 fullback in the upcoming draft.

He's a truly impressive receiver for his role, basically what Michigan fans hope Khalid Hill will develop into:

I'd rather have him than any 5'9" guy you'd care to name. Seriously, watch that video. Dude is the best slot receiver in the league, at 240.


THAT WHICH HAS NOW OCCURRED

THAT WHICH WILL OCCUR IN THE FUTURE

The Aussies invade.

 

 

 

Comments

His Dudeness

August 10th, 2015 at 12:25 PM ^

Ive been reading this site for a long time and I have no idea what these are. The guys who write on the blog pick random players from the conference and fill out a team... who wins? How do you keep score for a Wisconsin CB ? Why did I read this? What are colors really? Who invented the corn dog and why?

GoBlueInNYC

August 10th, 2015 at 1:20 PM ^

I love how much the readership don't understand or outright hate these Draftageddon posts, and how the writing staff devotes so much time to it anyways.

As far as I can tell, there is no scoring and it's not any kind of competition. I think it's literally just an exercise to try and draw attention to key players across the conference. The draft process itself is the focus, it's not the first step in a longer process..

I think; who the hell knows what this shit is...

UMAmaizinBlue

August 10th, 2015 at 12:25 PM ^

Ace has the highest proportion of main rivals (OSU, MSU) on his team with 10/21 belonging to either the Buckeyes (8) or the Spartans (2).

Adam is the next worse traitor with 9/21 being drafted rivals. Adam's breakdown is four (4) Buckeyes and five (5) Spartans.

Seth is next with 6/21 belonging to the Buckeyes (2) and Spartans (4), with Brian rounding out the Order of Traitorous Draft Behavior with 5/21 coming from the Buckeyes (4) and Spartans (1).

Let the comments reflect this behavior.

GoBlue96

August 10th, 2015 at 1:07 PM ^

Guessing where I've been for 7 years would be more interesting than draftageddon.  Actually I didn't even realize I had an account until I tried to register today.  I must have registered in a drunken stooper when rich rod was hired.

jackw8542

August 10th, 2015 at 12:53 PM ^

Agree with GoBlue96.  When will we see posts that are about the team?  I may have to resort to reading the Freep, something I have avoided since stretchgate.  As it is, I spend more time these days reading MLive and MaizeNBrew than MGoBlog, because there has been precious little worth reading.  I am not nearly as interested in whatever happened to coach's pinky as to how the QB battle, the RB battle and the other position battles are shaping up.

Ron Utah

August 10th, 2015 at 3:55 PM ^

  • Ryan Glasgow was an absolute steal
  • Hate to say it, but that was good value for Riley Bullough, too
  • WOW.  The B1G WRs are really down this year.  After a pretty damn amazing group last year, this year's crop is B-A-D

Time to start judging (from best to worst in each position group):

QB: Adam, Seth, Brian, Ace

OL: Seth, Brian, Ace, Adam

RB: Brian, Seth, Ace/Adam

WR/TE: Ace, Adam/Seth, Brian

DL: Ace, Adam, Brian, Seth

LB/HSP: Seth, Ace/Adam, Brian

Secondary: Brian, Ace/Adam/Seth

Using a simple scoring metric, here are my standings:

  1. Ace/Seth - 20
  2. Adam - 19
  3. Brian - 17

I would probably pick Ace's team right now.  Willie Henry was a very good value, IMO, and Ace's WR/TE group is absurdly good.  His OL is ranked third, but it's close to Brian's and very good.  His only weakness is at QB, and Rudock's film suggests he's plenty good enough to distribute the ball to those athletes.

Seth has, in my opinion, a deceptively strong offense, and still has a TE to add.  But with the best OL and a close-second at RB, Seth's team is going to make you put 8 in the box.  And Cook, Carroo, and Marshall will make you pay for that.  The trouble for him is his DL.  I believe that weakness outweighs Ace's QB issues.

Adam's team is boom/bust on offense and middle-of-the-road on defense.  He's got a great QB and two good weapons in Westercamp and Butt, but the weakest OL does not pair well with a RB that is just okay, IMO.  His strong DL and good back seven give him the #2 defense.  Though the score suggests otherwise, I think his team is on par with Seth's.

Brian...why do you always take the double-QB?  Cardale Jones, IMO, does not have value if he's not playing QB, and neither does Hackenberg.  Jones is no Braxton Miller, whom I unfortunately believe will be a terror.  But a strong OL and an amazing RB--a true Heisman contender--do a lot to offset a lackluster receiving corps.  Boddy-Calhoun and Jourdan Lewis were both high value picks, IMO, and Wilson and Nicholson are adequate on the back end.  The fourth lineman is going to be an issue on the DL, as is the other LB.  If Brian had taken a DT, LB, or even an OG in round 6 instead Jones, he's probably in the discussion for second place.  In the fantasy world, Jones was a good pick.  In real life, I'd rather have more talent at a different position.

Yard Dog

August 11th, 2015 at 9:19 AM ^

The crew does a great job recapping a bunch of players you may have only heard about, or some younger guys who are coming into prominence.  Good stuff.