DG at WR?

Submitted by Mr. Rager on March 19th, 2012 at 8:39 AM

What are your thoughts on Devin Gardner, the Wide Receiver?  Because unless the coaches were pulling a fast one yesterday, that's where he spent most of his time practicing.  Discuss.



March 19th, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

that it's some combination of pulling a fast one and getting as many reps as possible with Devin and Denard on the field together. I don't remember where to find them, but Devin had some disgusting highlights at a WR camp in HS. He sounds like a worker, so maybe the coaching staff trusts him to get work in at both positions.


March 19th, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

if belomy was close to dg end of last year, why not move dg to wr to get him on the field

Belomy is game day backup, if denard goes down for multiple games, let dg and belomy compete for the spot.
frankly though if dg can catch, I like him at wr permanently baring a catastrophe , think poor mans cj

that being said I would like to see another qb recruited this year for depth instead of a wr if the coaches are considering this.


March 19th, 2012 at 8:44 AM ^

Doubt it would be a permanent switch, but I like this.  We are paper thin at WR, and Devin is taller than roundtree, gallon and jackson.  He's a great athlete and I think he could be used pretty effectively in the short term.


March 19th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

The thing is, if something happens to Denard then he can switch back to QB, but if Denard stays healthy, then we'd be wasting a very talented football player by leaving him on the sidelines.  I'm not sure how good Gardner could be at WR, but if the coaches think he's good enough to warrent a switch, then he should be on the field.


March 19th, 2012 at 9:00 AM ^

Did you see something in Gardner that I didn't see?  He didn't exactly shine while he was in the game last year.  This is by no means a knock against him, and he could actually prove to be very effective if given the keys for an extended period of time - my point is that we haven't seen anything to say that he is a huge improvement over Bellomy, who by all accounts has done a tremendous job in practice.

I could certainly see a situation where although we may take a small step back at QB with Bellomy in there, the team is ultimately more balanced if Gardner is out wide with Bellomy under center.


March 19th, 2012 at 9:54 AM ^

Gardner is more familiar with Borges system by one spring practice.  And you're right, Gardner could shine if left to drive the team for a while.

But, I don't necessarily think we'll be more balanced with DG at WR.  DG does have great size, and he might even have great hands, but he doesn't have phenominal speed to be a game changer outside.  Even if Bellomy beats him out at QB, i would rather keep DG at QB.  If he was moved, next year we'll have DG and Bellomy at QB. The year after we'll have Bellomy, and true freshman Morris.  2 deep at QB with one being a freshman scares me a bit.  


March 19th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

Morris's skill in high school is better as a junior than Chad Henne was as a senior.  And Henne led Michigan to a Rose Bowl as a true freshman.  I am not concerned about Morris being the back up.  For all intents and purposes, I expect him to compete for the starting job.  I think the pros outweigh the cons in having Gardner at WR for this year at least.  He can always move back to QB if his skills are needed there.


March 19th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

Recruiting analysts have often mentioned that Morris's ability as a junior would have put him around the top of this year's recruiting class.  And while I agree that Henne's performance should not be expected from every frosh QB, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect that sort of ability from similarly (or better) ranked QBs.  I still maintain what I said: Morris, as a 5-star QB with ability as a junior that's comparable to his senior counterparts, should be able to compete with Bellomy for the starting job.  And in so many words, the fact that he is a freshman does not concern me.


March 19th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

Saying he compares favorably with members of the 2012 class (against whom he's actually competed) is one thing, but flat-out stating that he is more skilled than Henne was back in 2003 sounds like hyperbole.  Henne was really, really good.  PSU was absolutely devastated when he committed to us.


March 19th, 2012 at 3:41 PM ^

My original response (and the point of my comment) was that I don't see Morris as a freshman as a liability on the two-deep and as someone with his apparent ability and recruiting profile should be able to step in and compete with Bellomy for the starting job.  I'm using Chad Henne as a basis for measurement because of his success as a freshman.

What do you want me to say?  When looking at tape, I subjectively think Morris as a junior is more skilled than Henne as a senior.  Henne has nothing to do with the 2012 class and I'm not saying he does. I'm using that as a basis to compare Morris to his peers and the fact that he maintains his stature as one of the top prep QB's in the country.  You are missing the point of my post entirely in order to nit pick over the statement that to me Morris right now is further along than Henne was as a senior.

No, I don't have any sort of advanced metrics to spew to you.


March 19th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

Practice reports are practice reports. 

BWC, Cam Gordon, Brink and Poole all got huge hype out of practice reports.

I'd much rather have Gardner under Q, who has seen actual game snaps and game speed. I'm not saying Bellomy wont be potentially the starter next year, but right now moving Gardner to WR (which will decrease his snaps and efficiency at Q) is a bit premature.

Dont forget, to be able to RS Sugar Shane next year, we need both Bellomy and Gardner at Q.

Nothing in practice will prepare you for a 290Lb all-big ten DE coming after you with everything he has to damage you.



March 19th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

Gardener has gotten good practice reports in the past also. Practice reports tend to be over-hyped. The coach, an advocate for all his players, is telling us that some kid is doing well in practice. By all accounts, the kickers did incredibly well in practice in 2010 but that did not translate to the field (understandably so when in front of 110,000 people). We know Gardener is not great yet, but he was also in the first year of a new offense and showed something impressive at times and then showed his inexperience at others. We have little evidence that Bellomy, a RS freshman, will be better than DG. If Denard goes down then we are down to 2 QB's, and if DG is hurt from playing WR we only have Bellomy. Things could get very bad then. Obviously, there is some benefit to having DG play WR and I think he will be used creatively a bit, but there are grave risks to his playing, so hopefully the coaches will use him sparingly.


March 19th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

DG would run as a WR with the 1's and QB the 2's. He knows the routes already, so in Indy drills he would need to work on take off, separation, and footwork into and out of breaks for the WR position. He should already know what WR are doing every play, hot reads, etc. How hard would it be for him to transition back to QB if something happened to Denard? If he is worthy of starting at WR then play him and don't have him waste another year on the bench.


March 19th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

is one thing, but receivers are expected to block down field. I'm not sure how experienced DG has blocking and I'm not sure I want my backup QB to be exposed to injury.  Having said that, it presents intriguing potential especially given the current state of our WR corp.


March 19th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

This is basically just fleshing out what RR always said.  Teach QB first and moving to any other position is no big deal since they already know the big picture.  Moving DG--which doesn't at all have to be permanent--seems like a way to get talent on the field where we are exceptionally thin, particularly pre-Fall.


March 19th, 2012 at 10:30 AM ^

Anquan Boldin was one of the two or three best QB's I ever saw in HS.  He got a bit more playing time at QB when he was at FSU than DG has, but not much.  He requested a move to WR because he wanted a chance to play, and a chance to escape Pahokee and the cane fields.  It worked out pretty good for him. 

At this point, it's probably best to just trust the coaching staff to make the right moves.  They've done a pretty good job so far.


March 19th, 2012 at 8:53 AM ^

I really don't see the coaches taking him away from the quarterback position as much as they are simply trying to find a way to get the best athletes on the field. I honestly like this denard devin combo more than what was run last year when we saw both on the field together.


March 19th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

Ongoing development of getting Devin and Denard on the field at the same time.  Gives you lots of options, in terms of both running and throwing the ball using either of them in various places and moving them around before the snap as well.  Sounds like an interesting offensive wrinkle.


March 19th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

I know their site can be painful to read sometimes due to the horrible grammar, spelling and layout of the site but for pure football discussion its not bad.  Its run by a bunch of guys who used to be "insiders" on the scout board but had a falling out of some sort with the Scout mods.


March 19th, 2012 at 8:54 AM ^

Get the best eleven on the field.  He's probably the best athlete of the wide receiver bunch.  Otherwise, we have a bunch of short (Gallon, Dileo), slow (Jackson), or inexperienced guys at the position.  Chesson/Darboh should help in the fall . . . but Gardner's our potential #1 wideout if he's not needed at QB.  Hopefully Denard can stay healthy.

Also...I think Bellomy's a pretty good backup.


March 19th, 2012 at 9:05 AM ^

Exactly - agreed 100%.  Assuming this is even true, this would lead me to believe that the coaches have a lot of faith in Bellomy to run the ship in the (likely) event that Denard has to come out for a period of time.  Get Gardner out wide and see what he can do.


March 19th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

Roundtree?  Jerald Robinson?

I think both of those would probably be ahead of Gardner on the depth chart at WR.  And let's be honest, the past two years has taught us that our backup QB will take snaps.  I'd rather that backup be a guy like Gardner with an extra year in college football under his belt than Bellomy.


March 19th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

Yes Tree fell off a bit last year, but he still is second on the team in terms of receptions last year that are coming back next season and he has more than 100 career receptions.  I believe Hoke said they were looking at Roundtree and Gallon as their top WRs coming back. I'm not trying to make the argument that he can be as dynamic as Gardner could potentially be at the position, just that he can be a solid posession receiver coming back, and could have a breakout senior year, as Hemmingway did this past season.