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CurBeatElite

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Everything posted by CurBeatElite

  1. Sorry, but a WR is almost never as valuable as a QB. I like TY a lot -- but right now, I don't think he's a top 10 WR in the league (talent wise) behind at least DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, O'Dell Beckham Jr., Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Larry Fitzgerald, Jarvis Landry ... and arguable Mike Williams, AJ Green and several others. As he ages and a couple young guys (e.g., DK Metcalf) get more experience, he'll probably slide further down the list. Yes, TY is a good leader. A great teammate. When on the field and healthy he's reliable and consistent. That said, QBs like Peyton and Luck make decisions much quicker than Brissett (Luck was also much better at extending plays when necessary). They also were able to make throws which Brissett can't make and are better at putting touch on balls in most instances. Peyton and Luck made mediocre WRs look a lot better than they were and make everyone rally around them with the team always believing they could come back from any situation. Brissett doesn't have those features. I do like TY, but to say his presence is as great as Peyton or Luck is a huge overstatement. TY could take some more attention to him and in doing so, give so-so WRs a bit more opportunity, but to say his presence is as great as a great QB is something I can't get behind.
  2. We did beat Jax last year without TY. I believe that's the win we've had without him since he's been a Colt. That said, we should have beaten Pittsburgh. We lost by 2 to Pittsburgh without Hilton in the roster, and Vinny shanked a late kick that would've likely given us a 1 point victory. We lost to MIA by 4, but Vinny missed an XP, which would have made it a 3 point (and totally different game). We also lost a close (3 point game) to TB in which Chase missed a 47 yard field goal that would have put us up 7 points fairly late in the game (38-31 -- instead the miss kept the game at 35-31 and we eventually lost 38-35). That game, Winston passed for 456 yards with 4 TDs. That game, IMO, was on the defense and kicking game - regardless of if TY was in the lineup or not, the odds of winning are not good when the opposing QB is throwing for 4 TDs with 450+ yards. A lot of talk (and evidence) to suggest Brissett's play diminished after his leg injury. Brissett certainly isn't Luck. Our IDL was not very good last year, neither was our pass rush and our D gave up a very high completion percentage when being thrown on. I don't think our team is that far away from being a legit contender. The additions of Rivers and Buckner should help immensely. Our secondary was very young last year, starting Ya-Sin and Willis as rookies and as the season went on relying more and more on Tell as a rookie. Those three should all improve which should help our overall D. Sure, TY is a vet on this team and obviously a leader of the team. He is our best WR. Losing him hurts, but a lot more pieces than TY were faulty last year. TY is on the wrong side of 30, and I have a hard time believing his calf injuries won't continue to be somewhat of a problem. He also is a tiny WR who relies primarily on speed and quickness, so minor injuries which slow him down just a little are more noticeable on him than they would be on a larger WR who could still use physicality to win matches if his speed is not 100%. So yes, TY is a vital piece to this team, but he does need help. Of course, injuries to Campbell and Funchess didn't help last year. Our WR 1 for most of the year was Pascal, a young guy who was an undrafted FA playing really in his 2nd season (after spending most of 2017 on a practice squad and getting limited action in Indy in year 2018). Ebron's play also dropped off significantly after a probowl year in 2018. Long story short, yes, we need to give TY some more help (along with Rivers). We should also probably be looking for TY's replacement as he's a FA after next year and I don't expect him to have many more (if any seasons) without some sort of nagging injury. That said, his absence last year wasn't our only problem. We could/should have won 2 games with him out of the lineup which we lost and kicking (Pitt and Tampa) and poor D (Tampa) cost us those games. I believe our D is already significantly improved with some of the FA additions, which should be supplemented by growth and development of guys like Ya-Sin, Tell, Willis, Turay, Banogu, Okerere. I don't think every loss without TY in the roster was simply because TY wasn't in the roster - there were other holes on last year's team that were exposed in those losses.
  3. This TE class is not 'loaded' by any means.. but along with Kmet, Trautman, Moss, Albert O.... there are some guys that will be available in the mid-late rounds who I think can be solid in the NFL -- Hunter Bryant (Washington - 6'2" 250, 4.7 40, huge hands)... Colby Parkinson (Stanford -- 6'7" 252, 4.8 forty), Stephen Sullivan (LSU, 6-5, 250, 4.66), and several others listed here: https://walterfootball.com/draft2020TE.php Also trying to find more info on Joey Magnifico (Memphis) since I read about him on the Colts.com front page earlier. Sounds like he got a knee infection after a routine cleaning, but could be a steal in late rounds or UDFA.
  4. Marshall left after the 1998 season. We drafted Edge. Edge was a very comparable back to Marshall, with Marshall being in an offense that used the RB in the passing game a bit more. Edge was a better blocker than Marshall, as well. He lead the league in rushing in 1999 (1,553 yards) and also had 13 TDs, with 62 receptions for 586 yards with 4 TDs (a total of 2,139 yards from scrimmage, less than Marshall) . In 2000, he lead the league in rushing with 1,709 yards, 13 TDS, with 63 receptions for 594 yards with 5 TDs (a total of 2,303 yards from scrimmage, more than Marshall). They were two different backs, but IMO, they were the two best overall backs in the NFL is 1999-2000 before Edge got hurt. Edge produced more rushing yards and was a better pass blocker, while Marshall got more receptions and more receiving yards in a different offensive scheme. I know Peyton was grateful for Marshall, and said he was the 'smartest' back he played with... but he also said Edge was the best teammate he ever had. Also, around that time, it was said Marshall would come to training camp overweight and out of shape. Mora was a strict disciplinarian... and that was >20 years ago, in a different time. Mora wasn't going to let a star player show up late to meetings, come to camp out of shape, etc. that's not how things were run back then. Had EJ not gotten hurt in year 3, I think he would have went down in NFL history as a top 5 back. What set Marshall apart (statistics wise) was the offense he played on with Warner and 'The Greatest Show on Turf' was that he had 5 straight years with 80+ receptions as an RB. Edge, however, was a very competent receiving threat, a better blocker and a more productive runner. I remember being so mad when we took Edge over Ricky Williams. I was actually not too thrilled we took Peyton over Leaf the year before (I was 12, forgive me)... but in hindsight, Polian made two very smart moves to set this franchise up for a lot of success.
  5. I think both of them have high floors and pretty high ceilings, but based on speed and athletic ability are probably close to their ceilings. I think Thaddeus Moss (LSU, Randy Moss' kid) has a very high ceiling based on his athleticism (maybe being 6'2" hurts a little, but he's very thick). His blocking needs improvement, but he's a solid receiver who I think could be a huge threat if he's being guarded by LBers. I also think Albert Okuegbunam (Mizzou) is a complete freak of a physical and athletic specimen. He's by far the fastest TE in this draft, but it sounds like character/maturity concerns are his major issue. IMO, I think Kmet and Trautman (Dayton) are probably going to be more ready to contribute day one and think based on their makeup, are probably high floor guys (low risk) with ceilings not too much higher than where they are now (moderate reward)... whereas Moss and Albert O. are low floors (high risk) but higher ceiling (high reward) guys. I can't imagine going into pre-season with only the group of TEs we have right now. I can see Roosevelt Nix being used similar to how Hewitt was used... but I'd really like to see us have a very dangerous receiving TE who can stretch the field (similar to what Ebron was like in 2018, or to other TEs that Reich has worked with like Gates and Ertz).
  6. I agree. In most instances, they can keep 'social distance' as well... no need for the ball to be hiked by the center. If needed they could use multiple balls or sanitize balls between use (e.g., have a bucket of sanitizer and a couple of rags on the field and have the WR wipe the ball off before tossing back to the QB). And, as you said, the vast majority of these guys in the NFL are much healthier than the average population (surprise, surprise as they all have team dietitians and working out and keeping healthy is a major part of their livelihood). The guys I'd be concerned about are those with pre-existing conditions (e.g., Cutler's not in the league anymore but he was diabetic, and several other players have heart or other conditions that have to be carefully monitored) and perhaps the OL and DL who are often pretty heavyset.
  7. They have similar size. Gronk was slightly faster (based on 40) and a similar overall athlete (faster in the 3 cone, slightly slower in the 20 yd shuttle). I think Gronk was also stronger. I think Gronk was a much better blocker coming out of college and had better hands than Kmet as well. I don't think Kmet will be a bad NFL player, I just think comparing him to a guy who likely would have been a HOFer if not for injury cutting his career short, is a bit much to put on him for right now.
  8. Maybe I'm reading into it - but check is Twitter: https://twitter.com/dc_wilson954 In the recent past he's retweeted Stephon Diggs "They show fake love and be hating lowkey...", tweeted "Been about it since a youngin, u can see it in my eyes... ain't nothing changed, I just wanna ball" with a few broken lock icons next to it (to me that signals he may be wanting to break free?)... tweeted "the real know the deal lol".. retweeted S. Diggs "in trouble waters I learn how to float!!"... tweeted "these ugly days are for the better days"... "better days ahead" ... "I want more for myself, can't blame me" ... retweeted "this generation isn't built on loyalty, it's built on attention".... retweeted 'serious question: how'd you go from locking Kelce up, to being a healthy scratch? That isn't normal.".. "back against the wall, just how I like it." ___________________ Those tweets have all come within the past month. I could be wrong, but seems like a lot of them have to do with loyalty, wanting a new start (better days ahead), etc.. Maybe he's been told he's on the trading block? He was totally inactive on twitter from Sept 8, 2018 through Dec 31, 2019. He's been a lot more active since mid-Feb... and a lot of the tweets are similar to those above. It could just be boredom from not being able to do usual things due to covid, too, I guess.
  9. If a QB doesn't have the physical, mental and character traits which Ballard, Reich and the rest of the staff/front office want coming out of college, it probably doesn't matter who he sits behind for a year or two. If they don't have 'it', they don't have 'it'. If Rivers doesn't pan out this year (and if Kelley isn't the answer), we'll likely have to address QB in the offseason. As it stands now, DeShone Kizer is a FA (age 25) -- there has been a bit of talk about the Raiders trading Carr to let Kizer take over.. so let's say they franchise Kizer, that'd mean they'd want to trade Carr (a lot of rumors before we signed Rivers of that happening this year). Not a huge fan of 2021's QB Draft class, much like I'm not a fan of this year's draft class at QB... but there are some decent guys there, as well. Reich has said numerous times he hasn't seen any drop off in Rivers physical ability. Rivers played behind the worst line in football last year, now he's playing behind one of the best... that alone should help a lot. Rivers and Ballard both just said they are hoping this works out for 2-3 years even though they just signed a 1 year contract. The 2022 QB class seems to have a lot more talent than the 2020 or the 2021 class. Ballard has also said he looks several years ahead when considering drafting. I won't be shocked if he's got his eyes on targets several years away. Javon Patterson (IR) and Gerri Green (Practice Squad) were the only two guys not on an active NFL roster from those 3 drafts. Having 29 draft picks in 3 years and having them all still be in the NFL is pretty darn impressive. I imagine that if he's not the only GM in the league to have drafted anywhere near that well, he's one of the few. Let's look at the team needs for the teams between 34-44. 35 - Detroit -- need CB, Edge, RB (not a likely threat to go for a WR) 36 - NYG -- OT, LB, Edge (not a likely threat to go for a WR) 37- LA Chargers - QB, OT (not a likely threat to go for a WR) 38 - Carolina - CB, LB, TE (not a likely threat to go for a WR) 39 - Miami - QB, OT, RB (not a likely threat to go for a WR) 40 - Houston - CB, DT (after acquiring Brandin Cooks, not likely to need a WR) 41 - Cleveland - OT, LB (not a likely threat to go for a WR unless they trade Beckham) 42 - Jax -- DL, CB (not a likely threat to go for a WR, especially when Ngakoue gets traded or released) 43 - Chicago- G/C, S (not a likely threat to go for a WR) So, a WR is not a top 3 need for any team between 34 and 44. It's arguably our biggest need. Unless some sort of arrest or injury happens between now and the 23rd -- we can expect for certain that CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs will be off the board. In all likelihood, Justin Jefferson will also be off the board. A good chance that at least one of the following will be off the board: Tee Higgins, Chase Claypool, Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Reagor, Denzel Mims, Michael Pittman Jr. Also, a good chance that at least 4 of those guys will still be on the board (maybe all 6). Then we have a group of very solid WRs in this draft including big guys who will likely be around late into round 2, potentially into round 4-5 like Gabriel Davis, Laviska Shenault, Jr., Collin Johnson, Van Jefferson, Tyler Johnson, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Bryan Edwards, Stephen Guidry, Donvan Peoples-Jones... along with some smaller guys like KJ Hamler (who I think could be the replacement to TY at 5'9" 178 with 4.4 speed), Lynn Bowden, Kalija Lipscomb, Quez Watkins (6'0" 185 4.36 forty), John Hightower...who will all likely be around in later round two with some lasting til round 4-5. Given that the teams between pick 34-44 don't have much need for WR (or at least all teams have 3 bigger needs), and several of them have OL and CB needs... it's very plausible that we trade from 34 back to 36, 37, 38, etc. and still have a picking from that top group (potentially two with another being available at 44). A lot of people also think we have some need for CB, OT, Edge.... if the right player fell, we could grab them at 34, too. Then we could still likely trade back a few slots from 44 and a guy from the upper group I mentioned would still likely be available, with some guys from the lower list being available in rounds 3-5. This is a very deep WR class. It also happens to be a very big WR class. I am pretty sure we'll be fine.
  10. We'll see in a few days if we don't take a WR before the 5th round, I doubt we don't .. but not going to worry about it until it happens. He said that talks about Hooker's 5th year will intensify after the draft. Hooker has played 7 games, 13 games, and 13 games so far. Hard to be sold on a guy who's missed that much time in just 3 seasons, especially when he had some injury concerns out of college. Don't think it means Ballard has given up on Hooker, but it seems to make sense to see if the guy can actually make it through a full 16 game season before wanting to rely on him as the future at FS which is a pretty important position in a cover 2 D. He signed Funchess, who was one of the biggest named FAs available last year and a guy who Reich was very high on. Funchess got injured for the year in week 1. Campbell was hurt the majority of the year. If those two guy were fully healthy, and if Luck was around, we could be saying we had a great WR group last year.. also, Ballard inherited a poor overall team with a lot of players who were around based on how they were supposed to fit Pagano's system rather than the system Ballard wanted to run. In just a few years, he's gotten us one of the best OL in the league (both in pass protection and run blocking). One of the best LB corps in the league. A top 7 running game (something Pagano and Grigs always wanted, but never had). Pretty sure the only guys from the initial roster still on the roster today are TY, Doyle, Le'Raven Clark, Ryan Kelly... with Rogers, Vinny, Geathers all remaining free agents. That's a pretty darn impressive overhaul. Had Ballard drafted a WR with top 3 picks in the 2018 draft, we would potentially not have gotten all-pro OL Quenton Nelson, all-pro LB Darius Leonard or very solid OL Braden Smith -- and you'd then probably be complaining that Ballard didn't do enough to give us a good OL or LB corps. He pretty clearly laid his gameplan out from day 1, and so far he's went ahead and executed (built a solid OL, not overspending on older FA, building through the draft, understanding that overhauling an NFL franchise takes time, etc.). Sure he hasn't been perfect, but he's been doing pretty much everything he's said he was going to do. He has publicly stated very recently that he hopes Rivers plays at least 2 years in Indy. Rivers said that, too. They said in negotiation, that came up and they decided to take it one year at a time for now. TBH, after Burrows, I'm really not impressed with this QB Draft class. There weren't a lot of younger FAs to make long term franchises QBs either. The fact that they seem pretty committed to keeping Jacoby around as a backup, to me, is an indicator that we won't be going QB in this draft. What if Rivers isn't terrible? What if we drafted a QB with our first pick in round 2 and he was a bust (no QBs in this draft, after Burrows are locks to be NFL stars, even Burrows isn't a lock)? Then we wouldn't get that coveted WR you complain about above and we'd have a much bigger set back. Relax.
  11. He's 3-4 inches taller than Willis. He runs a 4.39 compared to Willis' 4.52. Overall he's significantly more athletic than Willis (probably Willis' biggest knock coming out of the draft). He had a better 2018 season than 2019 season as well. In 2019, he was bothered by an ankle injury. Not saying he's the guy.. but if we don't bring back Geathers, it's my opinion that we need help at S. In part due to Hooker's inability to stay healthy (he hasn't played more than 13 games once in his short NFL career), sometimes inconsistent play, and I don't really few Milligan or Odum as top notch depth at the position, though they're both solid on STs. Maybe they'll try to move Tell or Wilson to S, but they're not surefire bets there. While I'm fine going into the season with Hooker and Willis as starters, I think after OT and WR, safety is probably the position which I have the most concerns about in terms of depth. Of course, S seems to be one of the easiest positions to transition from college to pros and a lot of quality safeties comes from later rounds (see Willis as a prime example), but I think Delpit will make a fine pro. He'll need to improve his tackling, for sure, but that, to me is a trait which can be coached -- it's not like he lacks the physical ability, size or strength to bring guys down.
  12. If our WR talent increases (and stays healthy) and our QB play improves... I imagine our balance on offense will change. Last year we were the 7th best team in terms of rush yards/game and 30th in passing yards/game. We had one of the least balanced offense in the league, focused heavily on rushing and lightly on passing (in terms of yards, not attempts as we attempted the pass 53% of plays, we just didn't get a lot of yards there). Also, we were 5th highest running play percentage and 28th in passing play percentage league wide. That's a huge discrepancy. I know Reich said prior to the season he wanted a top 5 rushing attack, and with our OL there were obviously some games where they took over and allowed Mack to run wild. With that being said, I expect the Colts will want to still be a top 10 rushing team next year. However, I think with improved QB play and healthier receivers, we will see a more balanced offense which passes more and which converts more 3rd downs to extend drives. So even if a guy like Pascal has more competition from Hines, TY, Campbell, potential rookie, etc... I expect we'll be passing more overall and he'll get his fair share of looks. https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/colts-insider/2020/03/12/indianapolis-colts-wr-zach-pascal-nearly-doubles-2019-salary-performance/5037117002/ ^Very good article there on Pascal. Sure seems like Ballard expects this guy to be a Colt for the foreseeable future. Speaking of time... I think it's important to remember that Pascal spent 1 year on a practice squad (for the most part) and then 2 years playing in Indy. This coming year is really like entering his 3rd season as an active NFL player. He came from Old Dominion, which is a relatively small 'football' school -- typically guys from smaller programs tend to take a bit more time to develop and adjust to the NFL than guys from schools like Alabama, Clemson, etc. By no means should we think Pascal's done developing and improving... he's still young and more likely than not, still adjusting to and learning about the NFL compared to Old Dominion. I'm not saying he'll ever be a #1 WR, but I'm with you in thinking he'll play a significant part of this offense if he stays healthy.
  13. I agree, and can see his point on wanting a long-term deal with guaranteed money, given just a couple years ago there was a bit of doubt that his football career would be able to continue due the neck injury. I imagine the reason he's still unsigned is that he's either (a) asking for long-term deal with guaranteed $ which teams are too skeptical about doing, (b) asking for too much money, or (c) asking for a combination of both. I don't think he had a 'horrible' year last year, but you're right... he's not the same player he was prior to his injury and overall I think his play last year was pretty underwhelming (as evidenced by a 4th round rookie taking the majority of snaps at SS). Geathers isn't increasing his stock the longer he sits as a FA. In fact, later this week, a lot of teams will have addressed concerns they may have had about S through the draft, so his stock is probably getting lower and lower. At some point it'll be take a short, relatively cheap contract and try to show that you can be the guy you were before injury or don't sign any contract at all. From all accounts I've read, Ballard really likes Geathers as a person and a leader. He seems to be a very good teammate (as evidenced by being voted in as captain). Given that Ballard has already completed multiple 1 year contracts with FA's this offseason, I wouldn't be shocked if Geathers comes back here for a 1 year deal, especially if we don't address the S position early in the draft. Just can't imagine us rolling into this coming season with the S group we have now - Hooker's had his own injury problems and we're really not very deep there.
  14. I think Willis is almost better suited to be 'big nickel'. He's a sure tackler and, IMO, better in the box than he is deep. I don't mind Odum or Milligan as defensive safeties, but I think they're both better on STs. One guy who I really like from this draft who most mocks typically have going late first-mid second is Grant Delpit from LSU. At 6'2" 213 lbs, he has the size and physicality to be play 'big nickel' and I think he may be a better overall S than Willis. If he's still on the board come 34, I'd not be shocked in the least if Ballard pulled the trigger and went with him, despite most fans wanting WR, TE, edge, OL, and CB more than S. He signed a 1 year deal after last year. Ballard was pretty straightforward about it, calling it a 'prove it' deal to the media on several occasions. He said he loved Geathers as a leader, but he needed Geathers to stay healthy and improve his play. Geathers only missed 1 game last year, but his play certainly was not stellar. If he is willing to sign a cheap (and likely short) deal, I'd not be shocked to see Ballard bring him back, but I'm guessing Geathers is looking for a longer term contract. As he sits around unsigned for longer, maybe he'll be willing to take a pay cut and come in on another 'prove it' type deal.
  15. If you were our GM, we'd draft players from the 15th ranked Notre Dame every pick. That's pretty clear. There is plenty of depth at several positions of need for us in this draft. Ballard will do what he and his staff deem best. In the scenarios I laid out above, I have repeatedly said, I doubt Ballard will trade back for the sake of trading back.. but if he feels like he can move back a few slots, get more picks, and still gets who he wants, why wouldn't he do that? We'll have no idea for 2-4 years after this draft if he did the 100% right thing drafting as late as we are. The "Build the Monster" was a Grigs thing, and I (with probably 100% support of fans) are glad Grigs isn't our GM anymore. #CmonMan
  16. Yes, Juwan Johnson (Oregon State) is 6'4, 239 and runs a 4.58 with 34.25 inch arms. He's got as good, if not better hands than Funch. He's listed as the 55th prospect by WF. He is faster and slightly bigger than Funch (6'4 225 with a 4.7 forty). He didn't put up excellent numbers (in part due to a calf injury that cost him a few games)... but he'll probably be around in rounds 5-7... with proper coaching, he can probably be as good or better than what they wanted from Funch.
  17. Yea, we won't know that until pick 34 rolls around. There's a risk of a bust at every pick. Ballard, Ed Dodds, Reich are all very smart guys. They also have, which I love, Brian Decker a former Lieutentant Colonel for the US Special Forces and overseer of talent acquisition strategy for the Green Berets, who does intense mental/character evaluations of all players they may be interested in. IMO, that greatly reduces the chance of a bust because all the players we draft are high character, highly motivated guys. What if all 5 of the guys I mentioned in my previous post (Reagor, Pittman Jr., Mims, Claypool, Gabriel Davis) are on the board at 34 and we draft one of them who busts and another goes on to be a pro-bowler somewhere else? That's something that'll take a few years to figure out. We, as fans, know nothing close to what Ballard and his crew do about these kids. Say Ballard and Co. have almost the exact same grade on these kids (physically, mentally, and character-wise), what is there to lose if we trade back 3 spots and grab one of those kids, acquire an additional pick, and use that to get another top quality WR or 2 with later picks. We then double our odds of having at least one of them being successful at the NFL level. Right now it's all hypotheticals. Ballard and his team of pro scouts and professional development experts have put a lot more time into this process than any of us. So far, Ballard has a very solid track record in terms of the draft. I'll trust him until he gives me a reason not to. Even then, I'll still trust him over myself or anyone on this board.
  18. Ballard literally said prior to last year's draft that he looks several years ahead at future drafts. He said he knew the 2020 draft is loaded with WR talent. I posted in a couple other threads about Camron Lewis from Tarleton State (where EJ Speed came from), the guy ran a 4.28 forty, 12 reps at 225, 10'9" broad jump, and at 6'1" 185 lbs. is a WR that'll likely be available if not as a UDFA, as a 5-7 round pick. He's from a small school, but he looks dominant at the level he played at. I like Bryan Edwards a lot, as well. He's listed by WalterFootball as the 18th best WR with a 3-4 round projection. We could easily go with a guy like Reagor with 34 (or a trade back), possibly at 44, and still get Edwards in Round 3 or 4 (or with an additional pick from a trade back). Look at prospects 19-24 here: https://walterfootball.com/draft2020WR.php -- I like all of them as well, and we could likely get at least one of them with our 3rd, 4th (or potentially 5th) round picks. They're all pretty big guys. I happen to really like Donavan Peoples-Jones. Shea Patterson was fairly awful last year as Michigan's QB. That guy is a freak athlete at 6'2, 212 lbs, with a 4.48 forty and 33 inch arms. He declined in production from Soph to Junior year, but I think that's more QB play than his talent. They've got a 3-5 round grade on him. I don't like all of them, but they have 62 WR prospects on that list, I expect the majority of them to be productive NFL players and the majority of them listed after Edwards have unique size/speed/strength combinations.
  19. Ballard didn't trade back last year until we were on the clock and he had a good idea of what would be on the board when it came time for us to pick. I doubt he'll make a major trade before he's on the clock or a few picks away from being on the clock this year. If he's got 3-5 WRs ranked pretty similarly at 34 (easy to imagine with Mims, Pittman, Claypool, Gabriel Davis, Reagor, etc.), he can trade back to pick 37 or 38 with 100% confidence that at least one of them will still be on the board when he gets to pick. In doing so, he can also acquire a 3rd or 4th round pick and there will still be talent there which he can use to either build depth at OL, WR, TE, CB or other positions of need. If, for some reason, there is a major run at WR and only 1 of those guys is available, trading back might not be a good idea. If a high quality OL, DB, edge guy falls to 34, it might also not make sense to trade back.
  20. Look at how many solid 'big' guys are in this draft -- https://walterfootball.com/draft2020WR.php There's no reason to be upset if we got Reagor at 34 or 44 (or trade back a bit at 34 and pick Reagor up at 37-43 and pick up another 3rd or 4th round pick and go 'big' guy then). TY is actually very good in the red zone. Doyle's good in the red zone and on 3rd/4th short situations. Being tall isn't the only attribute to consider when it comes to 'red zone' potential. Reagor is much bigger than TY (5'11 206 compared to 5'10" 183). They're both not very tall, but Reagor is much thicker and high points balls better than TY. To me, KJ Hamler (Penn State, 5'9" 178 is a better comparison to TY -- chances are, he'll be around in the 3rd). See the Walter Football link above, I wouldn't be at all upset if we went Reagor in Round 2 and a big guy with a later pick, nor would I bet upset if we went 'big' with Claypool, Mims, Gabriel Davis, Pittman, etc. in round 2 and went with a guy like Hamler in round 3. Campbell is also quite a bit different than TY. First, he's nowhere near (yet) as refined of a route runner as TY. Second, he's 6'0" 205 lbs (2 inches and 20 lbs makes him a lot bigger and stronger than TY). They're commonalities are (1) both are very fast and athletic, (2) both have yards after catch playmaking ability. ^This !!!! Hard to argue that Marv and Reg weren't the best WR combo in the NFL during their time together (after Reggie's 2nd year), and not too difficult to argue that they were a top 5 all-time (perhaps the best all-time) WR duo in NFL history. Off the top of my head, I'm coming up with Randy Moss/Cris Carter, Isaac Bruce/Torry Holt, Jerry Rice/Terrell Owens, Jerry Rice/John Taylor come to mind.. though, I don't think any of them had the same longevity as Marv and Reg. I don't know if any of us really know Reich's O. He's been a head coach for 2 years. When he was an OC in San Diego, he had Antonio Gates (arguably a top 3 receiving TE of all time), so that probably dictated some of his play calling and he also had a future HOF QB in Rivers. His first year in Indy he had a stud QB (Luck) and a solid Ebron and TY. His second year, he got thrown a curveball and had Brissett as a QB with a severely depleted WR corps and a major dropoff in Ebron. He seems to be able to adjust to the talent he has on the roster. I'm sure he and Ballard talk almost daily about what Reich really wants/needs to build his desired O. In the short time he's been an OC or HC, he has had a wide variety of skillsets at his disposal and he seems to adjust pretty well at adjusting his talent to their strengths.
  21. To above -- yes, he still has his picture in a Colts uni as his Twitter banner. He has no posts on Instagram. He's always seemed like kind of a shy guy, and is not nearly as active (in the case of instagram, not active at all) as other players. I wouldn't read into his social media at all to decide whether he's going to remain a Colt or not, he simply isn't active there. Hooker, IMO, really improved as a tackler last year. He doesn't get thrown at very often. He had 3 INTs in 7 games as rookie before getting hurt. His knee injury is one that many experts say takes a year or more to really get back to form. He seemed more athletic last year than he did in his second year. IMO, that's because he was probably still 'recovering' while he was playing his second year. If he can stay healthy, (he played 7 games as a rookie and 13 in years 2-3, I think he's still go potential.. but who knows, he had to have more than 1 surgery after leaving Ohio State - I think one on his labrum and one on his groin), I think he's an above average, with potential to be more than that as a FS in this league. An above average pass rush helps the secondary tremendously. For the FS, it's not just pass rush though. They require the other members of the secondary to also be above average for them to shine. To be honest, last year wasn't a great year to truly evaluate Hooker. Ya-Sin got thrown in the fire, and even though he improved as time went on, he definitely had some rookie struggles at on outside CB position. Kenny more missed 5 games. Quincy Wilson didn't show up. Desir declined from the previous year. Tell showed signs but was still a rookie. Geathers was underwhelming. Willis played well as a rookie, but was still a rookie and seemed better against the run than the pass at SS. So yes, for a FS in a cover 2, a solid pass rush is almost essential for a FS to shine. Additionally, having your CBs to rely on is also essential for the FS to shine. Hooker didn't have either of those things going his way last year. I'm more concerned with his health and surrounding talent than I am with his ability. Well, Wilson also has some pretty cryptic tweets. Re-tweeted Stefon Diggs' "They show fake love and be hating lowkey".... "The real know the deal lol" ... retweet S Diggs "in trouble waters the real learn how to float" ... retweeted Shaq Wiggins "these ugly days are for the better days" ... retweeted Fournette "by the time they realize your worth, you'll be worth more..." ... "better days ahead" .. "I want more for myself, can't blame me." -- retweeted Desir signing with Jets.. retweeted Keion Adams "this generation isn't built on loyalty, it's built on attention."... retweeted Funchess signing w/ Packers ... retweeted Jaleel "Serious Question: How'd you go from locking Kelce up, to being a healthy scratch? That isn't normal." ... tweeted "Back against the wall.. just how I like it." .. etc., etc. Those all seem like they can be interpreted as a guy who either wants out or knows he's going to get shown the door. Hooker doesn't have anything like that, the guy just doesn't use his social media near as much. Well, look at what Ballard's doing right now. He's publicly stated 2020 is a big year for guys like Q. Wilson and Tyquan Lewis. He has brought in several FAs on 1 year deals. I think for a lot of guys on this roster, it's 'put up or shut up' this year.
  22. Ballard has said prior to last year's draft that he looks several years ahead in drafts. He said over a year ago that the 2020 draft is loaded with WR talent (which it is). I also imagine aside from scouting the players in the draft that Ballard and his staff look very closely at other teams' needs. Last year, I think Ballard had a very high grade on Ya-Sin and also had a good level of confidence that he'd be around at 34 when he decided to trade back based on the needs of other teams prior to that pick. Of course, every draft is different and weird runs often happen with certain positions. I tend to doubt Ballard will make a trade prior to being on the clock and seeing who's available and what teams behind 34 are in need of. We all know WR is a priority in this draft. Unless something odd (some freak injury or major discipline/character issues arise) happens, we can say with confidence that CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III will be off the board before we pick. Several mock drafts have up to 7 WRs going in the first round (Tee Higgins, Justin Jefferson, Jalen Raegor, Chase Claypool, Brandon Aiyuk, Gabriel Davis, Michael Pittman, Laviska Shenault II, and Denzel Mims are the names that get thrown into the first round in some mocks). Chances are out of that second group, several will be available at 34. Other teams have other needs at positions which are thinner than WR in this draft. We also have a need for a couple OL in this draft (1, a back-up plan for Castonzo, 2, overall depth after losing Haeg and Andrews). We don't know who will be on the board at 34/44 yet. If a stud drops, sure pull the trigger. If not, chances are several out of Austin Jackson (OT USC), Josh Jones (OT Houston), Isiah Wilson (OT UGA), Prince Tega Wanogho (OT Auburn), Ezra Cleveland (OT Boise), Matt Peart (OT UCONN), Trey Adam (OT Washington) will be around then. Same with OGs, a lot of guys projects 1-2 or 2-3 rounds. Others say the Colts could use a QB in this draft. Based on Ballard's comments, I don't think we'll take one. However, other teams behind us also have a need. The Chargers at pick 37 need a QB, for sure. The Dolphins at 39 need a QB for sure (a lot say they'll go Tua in Round 1, but we don't know that). Sounds like the Panthers at 38 are going with Bridgewater as their starter, but they could be a team wanting a QB. A lot of negative stuff going on in CLE with Baker Mayfield, they're picking 41 (sounds like a lot of players, including OBJ) are not happy with Mayfield. Pittsburgh at 49 needs a QB to replace Roethlisberger. If a guy like Love or Herbert falls to 34, and if Ballard is comfortable with our current QB situation (sounds like he is based on him saying he wants Rivers to play 2 years here) and the FA and Draft class of 2021, there are several teams we could drop back a few spots with, knowing they'll likely take a QB at 34 (or 44 with the Steelers for their 49) and with confidence that at least a few of the above WRs and OL will still be available. Others say we need a CB. Several guys have 1-2 or 2-3 round projections who seem to fit Ballard's mold. CJ Henderson (Florida 6'1" 204, 4.39 forty), Damon Arnette (6'0 195 4.5 forty Ohio State), Trevon Diggs (Alabama 6'1 205, 4.5 forty), Cameron Dantzler (Miss. State, 6'2 188 4.6 forty), Kristian Fulton (LSU 6'0 197, 4.46 forty), Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn 5'10 198, 4.48 forty), AJ Terrell (Clemson, 6'1, 2195, 4.42 forty), Jaylon Johnson (6'0" 193, 4.5), Jeff Gladney (TCU 5'10" 191, 4.48) are all guys that have a good chance of being around come pick 34, with several being around at 44 and later. Others say we need a TE. This draft has no real 'stud' from day 1 TEs (IMO). But chances are that Kmet (ND), Trautman (Dayton), Thad Moss (LSU), Colby Parkinson (Stanford), Albert okwuegbunam (Mizzou), Hunter Bryant (Washington), Stephen Sullivan (LSU), Dalton Keene (Va Tech), and Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) will all be on the board at 34, most of them at 44, and several late in 2nd or in 3rd and 4th rounds. Then there are studs at other positions who may fall. Reading Ballard's comments about Hooker's 5th year option, when he said he'll reevaluate things after the draft... the first guy that jumps to mind is Grant Delpit from LSU. If he's on the board at 34, it may be too good to pass up. Then you have a bunch of talented WRs who are likely to be available in round 3-5 (some mentioned above, almost all those guys are bigger guys which I think we need and I think is what Ballard wanted from Funchess)... but there are other guys like KJ Hamler (PSU, 5'9, 178, 4.4 forty) who will likely be available in the late second or 3rd -- a lot of people compare him to DeSean Jackson and TY (he could also be like a Dorsett), Lynn Bowden (Kentucky, 5'11, 204, 4.49 compared to Randall Cobb).. and other bigger guys like Tyler Johnson (Minnesota, 6'2" 200 4.54), COllin Johnson (Texas, 6'5" 221, 4.55) and about 10-12 others with freakish physical traits who will be almost for sure available in the 3rd. You have OL, like Yasir Durant (Mizzou, 6'6, 331) Terrenece Steele (Texas Tech, 6'6 312), Charlie Heck (6'7 309, UNC), Hakeem Adeniji (Kansas, 6'4 302 who can play G or T), and Lucas Niang (TCU 6'6 315) along with a few others who should be on the board in rounds 3-5. I would not mind at all if we traded back from 34 and picked up one of the WRs in the first list, got an extra 3rd rounder and got KJ Hamler (TY's eventual replacement, who should be able to contribute from day 1), plus a TE and one of the OL mentioned above. FYI -- my source here is mainly Walter Football -- https://walterfootball.com/draft2020OT.php https://walterfootball.com/draft2020CB.php https://walterfootball.com/draft2020TE.php (they have them for every position). Ballard has done a very good job at doing what the Colts need instead of what the media or this forum wants/expects. The whole world seemed to bash him for Leonard who is a 2x All-Pro after 2 years. They are getting solid talent from smaller schools, too. EJ Speed, who I think still has a lot of upside came from Tarleton State. I really like Camron Lewis from that same school -- ran a 4.28 forty, benched 225 12x, had a 10'9 broad jump and good shuttle times at his pro day. He's 6'1" 185 and has very freakish athletic ability from a small school. Would love to see Ballard grab him as a UDFA or with a 5-7 round pick. Also, I like that they use the Senior Bowl. I get it, the game itself is kind of like a scrimmage (or Pro Bowl). I don't think they put a ton of stock into the game itself. I think they put more stock into seeing how these guys practice with NFL coaches (e.g., the 2020 senior bowl was coached by Detroit Lions and Cinci Bengals coaching staffs). It's also in practice with one-on-one drills where they can evaluate small school guys. It's very difficult to tell from tape how good a kid from a school like Wyoming (e.g., Logan Wilson, LB), Dayton (e.g., Adam Trautman, TE), Portland State (e.g., Charlie Taumoepeau), Liberty (e.g., Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR), or a lot of other small schools who put up great numbers can compete with guys from Alabama, Auburn, USC, etc... from watching their game tape against the competition they played against. You can get a very good sense of how athletic, tough, disciplined, strong, etc. the guys from smaller schools are when you see them go head to head against guys from big conferences.
  23. I have a bit of a hard time believing that in that Buckner deal, Ballard said to John Lynch "...and if Jordan Love falls to 31, we'll swap with you to screw Belichek over and you'll give us a good deal by only wanting our 34 and a late round pick." If anything, I'd expect us to trade slightly down from 34 unless a stud OL, WR, or CB slipped through the first round. There is so much WR talent in this draft, if we traded 34 back a few spots, we could still easily use a 2nd rounder on quality WR and a later round on one or 2 more and use the extra pick from a trade to fill depth at other positions (like OL). Ballard mentioned something after the Buckner trade that we're in a position where we can make more trades if we have to due to our 2 second rounds picks (though, I don't think he indicated whether it be up or down). With the roster expansion, it may allow for us to carry Rivers, Jacoby (or Kelly) and another QB (perhaps a rookie, or perhaps Rivers, Jacoby and Kelly if they fear Kelly being claimed by another team). It'll be interesting to see how Ballard handles that whole deal, it's partially confusing, and outlined below. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28901832/nfl-cba-approved-players-get-new-deal-how-expanded-playoffs-schedule-work
  24. Yes, the 2 extra players will change a lot of things. My guess is ability to contribute on STs will have a lot to do with the decisions for those last spots (I guess it's always been that way, but I imagine a guy like Quincy Wilson who doesn't play STs will be shown the door if his DB play doesn't improve in camp/pre-season faster than an LB who can contribute to STs if needed). One thing I noticed about the article I posted on Speed is he seemed to be a pretty productive at blocking kicks while at Tarleton State (granted, weak competition... but still, maybe he can find a knack for that for us).
  25. If nothing else, Speed should be able to contribute more on STs next year. Of course, the coaches aren't going to say anything negative to the media about players -- but from this article (last year's training camp) it sounds like he was pretty impressive with his athleticism and work ethic but still had a lot to learn (and they don't mention it, but yea, he does need some strength and conditioning work -- I imagine that's been happening with an NFL staff instead of a D2 staff). https://www.colts.com/news/e-j-speed-jumping-off-the-tape-with-added-opportunities
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