Paul K warns against reading too much into reports about Combine interviews... but, damn it, reading too much into scraps of third-hand information is what the NFL Combine is all about! If we're talking about things that really don't mean anything at all but satisfy the 24-hour news cycle then lets scrap the bench press, 40-yard dash and Wonderlic. I for one only take NFL Draft tips from one source, because he's prettier than Todd McShay, and a better dresser than Mel Kiper.
John Glennon picks up on the official August West plan for this draft: screw the first round QBs, go DT if it's at all possible there. Marks and Jones haven't showed they can be marquee players week in and week out, and Brown may never fully recover from his knee injury that derailed last season. Behind them we have nothing. A guy like Marcell Darius (who despite the French first name doesn't have an ounce of quit in him) or Marvin Austin (who was docked his entire Senior season over 'improper benefit' issues that don't matter in the NFL), who can bust-up the middle of the line and help create a deep rotation would help us more than Gabbert, Mallett, Locker or Newton. Austin in particular, is a guy I'd love to see in two-toned blue as long as the gifts and agent issues are the only character flags. He's an absolute beast of a man (6'2", 312 lbs.) to be such a phenomenal athlete, and he could provide that 'big boy pass rush' Brown has made his calling card.
So weird to think about how last off-season this was a GM/coaching staff who were overflowing with former defensive backs (Reinfeldt, Fisher, Cecil and Robertson), but in one short month we've gone pretty much the complete opposite direction towards O-linemen (Thorchak, Matthews, Art Valero).
Despite coming from a school where coaches can't take a piss without sparking an NCAA investigation these days, Luke Stocker is going to be better than any other TE in this draft. I promise you that. What he accomplished during his time at UT, during which he probably had 4 total games with good QB play, was very impressive. He can block, he can run and he adjusts to the ball in the air like a seasoned WR. he's going to make some team very, very happy.
For those of you who are, like me, still holding out hope of landing Carson Palmer, FO takes a look at his decline over the past 5 years. What they found is that, while Palmer has undeniably regressed since he was sniffing at the Manning/Brady level in '05, there's a great argument to be made that he's got Top 10 stuff left:
Palmer finished 10th this year in total value according to Football Outsiders' DYAR stats. That puts him right in between Josh Freeman and Joe Flacco in our rankings. A good comparison is between Palmer and Matt Cassel, who finished 14th in DYAR but made the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. Cassel had better standard stats than Palmer, but this difference was entirely due to strength of schedule. By our measurement, Cincinnati played the hardest schedule of pass defenses in the league. Kansas City played the second-easiest schedule of pass defenses in the league.
Obviously, Palmer's biggest problem is turnovers. Palmer was third in the NFL with 20 picks, and our game charters marked him tied for second in the NFL with nine dropped interceptions. However, both interceptions and dropped interceptions can be blamed in part on that tough schedule. And remember: overall completion percentage is much more consistent from year-to-year than interception totals. Palmer's completion percentage of 61.8 percent was actually higher than the NFL average.
The Seahawks re-signed former Titans RB Chris Henry with money that I'm assuming is from the Make-a-Wish Foundation or some charity for the blind. Has anyone ever made more money off of a single Combine 40 time than this guy?
How have we not taken proper advantage of the fact that Thorchak is from Scranton, PA... home of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre?
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