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Dre Kirkpatrick Has To Be Our First Pick!


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I can't disagree...I've been looking at a number of different players to pick early but our our DL and LBs played incredibly well today. I'd still like to see Foster replaced, but we might have to go drastic like we did last year on the OL and take Dre Kirkpatrick and Morris Claiborn in the 1st and 2nd rounds. We did it several years ago with Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden....might have to do it again. I would like to see what Lefeged can do...he played better today imo than Caldwell did but after only 1 game there's still no way to know for sure what we have in these guys. Same could be said regarding the secondary too...hopefully the coaches will continue to mix things up and try different CB combinations so we can really see what we have in Johnson, Rucker and Thomas.

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I'd go Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina (6'4", 233 lbs) with first round pick, Morris Claiborne, LSU (CB, 6'0", 185) with our second round pick, and Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (CB, 5'11", 188) with our third round pick (you should check this guy out, he is so underrated since his team is not winning, just like Jerraud Powers was at Auburn when Auburn was not winning like it was with Cam Newton). That should give us good talent for our outside WR and CB corp. The dropoff in elite WR quality is considerable after the first round. We will only get the slot kind later. Again, we have to keep in mind that someone other than Peyton might play QB soon and may need weapons like Stafford has Megatron now.

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I'd go Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina (6'4", 233 lbs) with first round pick, Morris Claiborne, LSU (CB, 6'0", 185) with our second round pick, and Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (CB, 5'11", 188) with our third round pick (you should check this guy out, he is so underrated since his team is not winning, just like Jerraud Powers was at Auburn when Auburn was not winning like it was with Cam Newton). That should give us good talent for our outside WR and CB corp. The dropoff in elite WR quality is considerable after the first round. We will only get the slot kind later. Again, we have to keep in mind that someone other than Peyton might play QB soon and may need weapons like Stafford has Megatron now.

For those not convinced about Jeffery, here's a very interesting scouting piece I found on him:

The Grading Scale

Grade

Draft Profile

Description

10 No. 1 overall pick Elite, once-in-a-decade player

9.5-9.9 Top 5 Pick Exceptional, difference-maker early

9.0-9.4 Top 10 Pick Excellent, rookie starter

8.5-8.9 Top 25 Pick Special, rookie starter

8.0-8.4 Top 32 Pick First-rate, rookie starter/contributor

7.5-7.9 Top 50 Pick Very good, rookie starter/contributor

7.0-7.4 Top 64 Pick Very good, rookie starter/contributor

6.5-6.9 Top 75 Pick Good

6.0-6.4 Top 100 Pick Average

5.5-5.9 Top 125 Pick Average with issues

5.0-5.4 Top 175 Pick Average with issues

4.5-4.9 Top 250 Pick Borderline NFL talent

4.0-4.4 Priority Undrafted FA Below average

3.5-3.9 Street Free Agent Marginal

3.0-3.4 Camp Body Marginal

2.5-2.9 AFL/UFL/CFL Inferior

2.4 < Reject Unworthy

Burst

Jeffery: 9.1 | Johnson: 9.1

Johnson was an unbelievable talent upon leaving Georgia Tech. For a player of his size (6'5", 239 lbs) he ran a jaw-dropping 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. Johnson’s speed and numbers were off the charts, but in terms of pure burst he was "just" above average. Johnson is one of the fastest wide receivers to enter the NFL in some time, but his first five yards are not as impressive as DeSean Jackson or Percy Harvin.

Jeffery is able to accelerate off the line in a hurry—that’s not an issue—his initial burst off the snap compares very well to what Johnson displayed coming out of Georgia Tech. Jeffery shows more quick twitch, raw burst in his takeoff than Johnson, but is not as fast in those first five yards. It’s a push.

Blocking

Jeffery: 8.2 | Johnson: 9.5

Playing in a run-first system at Georgia Tech, Johnson had to learn to be a reliable blocker on the outside to propel the running game to the edge. Jeffery is no slouch himself, but he has not shown the aggression that made Johnson an elite college blocker.

72701586_original_crop_340x234 Marc Serota/Getty Images

Catch in Traffic

Jeffery: 9.6 | Johnson: 9.1

Having a huge frame and big hands definitely helps both players here. Johnson was surprisingly single-covered often during his junior season, largely due to the threat of the running game and the fact that most passes came to him hot off the snap of the ball. Johnson showed great ability to separate from defenders by using his body and his long arms.

Jeffery is very similar, if not better than Megatron when it comes to catching in traffic. The Gamecocks use Jeffery more up-field than Johnson was used during his 2006 season, which creates more double coverage and bracket looks that he must deal with. Credit some of this to the improvement of NCAA offenses, as more teams are now throwing the ball downfield. Jeffery, like Johnson, has long arms and big, strong hands. His concentration is on another level altogether, making him a threat even in double and triple coverage.

Deep Speed

Jeffery: 9.0 | Johnson: 9.4

Calvin Johnson was fast, and I mean fast, when he put on the pads for Georgia Tech. Where Johnson may have lacked the burst of a smaller receiver, his stride and strength made him a fast runner once he got going. Johnson was able to eat up yards after the snap with his sprinter-like speed. Johnson easily ran past corners he faced in college once his momentum got going.

There are going to be concerns about Jeffery’s speed until the day he runs his 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. I have seen estimates ranging from 4.65 all the way down to 4.46 with Jeffery, and anywhere in between is possible. Game film shows he can run away from talented cornerbacks—like Dre Kirkpatrick—without issue.

Field Vision

Jeffery: 9.1 | Johnson: 9.5

The ability to not only see what the defense is doing pre-snap, but to also make moves in the open field once you are running your route and then once you catch the ball is an underrated skill for potential NFL receivers. These two players do it better than most.

107929229_crop_340x234 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Johnson was great at recognizing what the defense was doing, whether that was press coverage or a soft zone. He also did a great job of seeing where the safety was once his route started and was able to cushion himself from big blows downfield by recognizing where the safety was.

Jeffery shows the same downfield potential, but he also excels as a runner underneath the coverage. Jeffery is more dangerous with the ball in his hands than Johnson was while at Georgia Tech because he sees the field faster and is better able to interpret running lanes.

Hands

Jeffery: 9.7 | Johnson: 9.9

Jeffrey has become well-known among football fans for his one-handed catches and highlight-worthy plays. Jeffery does a nice job looking the ball in to his hands and securing the catch. You will not see many drops from either of these wideouts. Jeffery is also a wonderful sideline/boundary receiver, as his concentration and hand strength make him reliable on the edge.

Johnson, as you may have already noticed, had very few flaws entering the NFL draft. Johnson’s big, strong hands were almost a guarantee to catch everything thrown his way. Whether it was running deep or flashing to the quarterback across a zone, Johnson caught them all. Playing with an erratic quarterback at Georgia Tech helped showcase Johnson’s ability to adjust to poorly-thrown balls and still make the catch.

Leaping Ability

Jeffery: 9.5 | Johnson: 10

A 43" vertical never hurts. That’s what Johnson put up at the NFL Scouting Combine, cementing himself as one of the best athletes to play the position during our generation. Johnson had a knack for using his arms when he jumped to push the defender away and gain separation (he could also flat-out jump over them to high-point the ball).

Jeffery has had no trouble out-jumping the best cornerbacks the SEC has to offer or jumping to catch the ball with defenders draped all over him. Jeffery has the strength to be a very dangerous deep ball player.

Lateral Quickness

Jeffery: 9.4 | Johnson: 8.7

You can see it when Jeffery jukes out a defensive back in the open field or makes an acrobatic move to the sideline. His ability to flow from left to right makes him a dangerous route-runner and an even more dangerous receiver after the catch.

Johnson, at times, would look stiff. He was clearly faster than the defense, but he rarely made moves that left you shaking your head. Jeffery does.

Press Coverage

Jeffery: 9.5 | Johnson: 9.2

Neither player is afraid to get physical at the line of scrimmage—something I love in a wide receiver. Jeffery dominated former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins at the line, and Jenkins was one of the best press cover men in the game. He is tough enough to take a jam to the face and keep going.

There is fight in Jeffery, and that’s what you need to succeed in the NFL.

72660985_crop_340x234 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Calvin Johnson was so big and so intimidating that defenses never really tried jamming him. The talent was there, but we hadn’t seen it yet, as no one was crazy enough to try and jam a receiver built like this.

Route-Running

Jeffery: 9.3 | Johnson: 8.7

Johnson was used on a number of screen plays and bubble routes designed to get him the ball as fast as possible, and to allow him to work in space. As far as being a true technician in route-running, Johnson was more of an unfinished product when he entered the NFL. Of course, having massive size and speed definitely helped mask some weaknesses here. A common knock on Johnson coming out of Georgia Tech was that he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, run over the middle. This was something that plagued his pre-draft visits and workouts.

Jeffery is used as more of an all-around receiver. He will run more deep routes than anything and works particularly well on comeback routes. Jeffery also works in a more complex passing system under Steve Spurrier, making him more NFL-ready to devour a playbook and passing tree. Jeffery does a great job setting up cornerbacks. See his performance against potential Top 10 draft prospect Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama for examples where Jeffery torched him for two touchdowns.

Run after Catch

Jeffery: 9.6 | Johnson: 9.6

This is an area where both players are very dominant, especially compared to the competition. Both Johnson and Jeffery have a unique make-up of speed, size and strength that makes them hard to tackle in the open field, as well as hard to catch. Each player has been utilized in offensive systems designed to get them the ball in space, whether that be on a bubble screen or a quick slant over the middle.

Neither player would be considered elusive, but their ability to outrun defenses and use their size in the open field makes them equally dangerous any time the ball is in their hands.

Size

Jeffery: 10 | Johnson: 10

Calvin Johnson came into the NFL as one of the most impressive physical specimens I had ever seen. He still is. At 6'5" and 239 lbs of ripped muscle, Johnson was truly a man among boys. Jeffery, at 6'4" and 233 lbs, is the closest thing to Calvin Johnson the NFL draft world has seen since the 2007 NFL Draft.

107929260_crop_340x234 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Both players use their size well, which is really the only reason you worry about height with receivers. Johnson became very well-known for his ability to separate from defensive backs by using his hands and long arms to generate a cushion. You can start to see Jeffery doing the same things at USC.

Track Ball

Jeffery: 9.2 | Johnson: 9.6

Johnson had a great feel for where the ball was going, and he could adjust and manipulate his body in a way that made catching even poorly-underthrown balls look easy.

Jeffery benefits from playing with a much better quarterback. When Jeffery runs deep he can trust that his quarterback is putting the ball where it’s supposed to go, making his job easier. That’s not to say he’s not great at tracking the ball—he is.

Zone Routes

Jeffery: 9.1 | Johnson: 9.6

Zone routes are incredibly important to the NFL game, but not something you see at every college. Thankfully for scouts, both Johnson and Jeffery were exposed to the idea of finding the soft spot in the zone and sitting down in it.

Johnson did this better than any college receiver I have seen. His feel for the coverage and ability to fake cornerbacks into thinking he was running deep were textbook perfect. Johnson knew how to use his body to trick the coverage into thinking he was running through their zone when he was really sitting in the hole waiting for the ball. Jeffery runs more of his zone routes going across the field, something Johnson was never asked to do. Jeffery may be better prepared for the NFL because of this, but he’s not on the same level as Johnson—yet.

Overall

Jeffery: 9.2 | Johnson: 9.8

Coming out of college, the only question I had about Calvin Johnson was his ability to run NFL-level routes. He was such a huge player compared to the opposition that you had to worry about the fact that he was playing against lesser cornerbacks each week. The measurables were off the charts, the film was off the charts, his character was off the charts—Johnson was everything you wanted in a wide receiver.

Jeffery is a tremendous athlete, a dangerous player with the ball in his hands and a great deep threat. He’s as close to Johnson as we’ve seen in college football over the last five years. That being said, Jeffery needs to back up his breakout 2010 season with another big year. If he can prove he’s the nation’s No. 1 receiver with the pressure and attention he’s received this summer, I’ll feel safe calling him a lock for the Top 10 picks.

The Tale of the Tape: Alshon Jeffery vs. Calvin Johnson

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Maybe i over reacted too much from watching the game but going CB with a top 10 pick is pretty risky. I've just seen so many 1stRD CB's get abused recently, maybe we should just add a solid CB in the 2nd or 3rd round. I just wish there was a sure fire 1st rd pick for us but it just seems it's going to be risky unless we get Luck. If we do get the 1st pick though i'm sure some trades will be very tempting to take for Luck. Why couldn't their be another Suh in this draft!!

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Maybe i over reacted too much from watching the game but going CB with a top 10 pick is pretty risky. I've just seen so many 1stRD CB's get abused recently, maybe we should just add a solid CB in the 2nd or 3rd round. I just wish there was a sure fire 1st rd pick for us but it just seems it's going to be risky unless we get Luck. If we do get the 1st pick though i'm sure some trades will be very tempting to take for Luck. Why couldn't their be another Suh in this draft!!

I know exactly what you mean. There are a few elite players that should be high quality impact players but which one is the most value to us? Are any of them of true value to us or would they be more of a luxury than a necessity? Should we instead go after more mid round picks where there are still going to be a lot of talented players with the potential to become good or great starters in the NFL.

Honestly I'm almost to the point where I'd be happier if we traded out of the first round completely so long as we wound up with 3 picks or more in each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds and also with at least one additional 1st round pick next year. That would give us an opportunity to double up at several positions to better protect ourselves against a potential bust. Just imagine if:

Instead of taking Dre Kirkpatrick in the first, we instead took Morris Claiborn and Stephon Gilmore in the 2nd. There are also going to be potentially solid CB's in the 3rd and 4th I'm sure but these are the 2 I'm most familiar with that aren't Kirkpatrick.

Instead of taking Alshon Jeffrey in the first, we took any 2 or even 3 of Jeff Fuller, Dwight Jones, Juron Criner, Rueben Randle or Derek Moye (all big bodied, 6'3" to 6'5" WRs) along with a Ryan Broyles, Marquis Maze etc. All of these guys could be available anywhere in the 2nd through 5th rounds.

Instead of Brandon Thompson in the first, we take Jaye Howard and Devon Still (a NT and UT respectively) in the 3rd-4th rounds.

Instead of Manti Teo in the first we could take Nigel Bradham OLB, Chris Galippo, MLB, Keenan Robinson OLB in the 3rd-5th rounds.

Bottom line, we could pick a potential elite playmaker, or we could pick several solid players who should provide excellent depth with the possibility of at least 4-6 or more new eventual starters.

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I am looking at WR (Blackmon, Jeffery), or DE (Coples, Crick) with our first pick, believe it or not. We could get immediate impact players which would also allow us to consider alleviating the contracts of Mathis and/or Wayne, or seeking trade value. At the worst, they would provide us with suitable replacements as the veterans age.

People are NT crazy, but 3-4 NT's won't fit here, and there aren't any prospects who fit picks 1-5 right now. Also, our defensive interior has been a strong point this year.

I like the top CB's (Kirkpatrick, Claiborne), but they are true man corners. We wouldn't see a whole lot of benefit from spending $6 million a year on a rookie CB that stands 7-10 yards off the target. Kirkpatrick does get SOME zone play, however, and he is very adept at covering space quickly. He's also a sure tackler. That could be the way to go.

Trading down is still one of my favorite options, as always, should we get such a high pick.

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It all depends where you we land with the overall pick. If we get in the top 5 or 6, we DONT go Kirkpatrick. If we go anywhere from 7 to 15, we go Kirkpatrick. We could always trade down to the 7th spot and pick him....

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I am looking at WR (Blackmon, Jeffery), or DE (Coples, Crick) with our first pick, believe it or not. We could get immediate impact players which would also allow us to consider alleviating the contracts of Mathis and/or Wayne, or seeking trade value. At the worst, they would provide us with suitable replacements as the veterans age.

People are NT crazy, but 3-4 NT's won't fit here, and there aren't any prospects who fit picks 1-5 right now. Also, our defensive interior has been a strong point this year.

I like the top CB's (Kirkpatrick, Claiborne), but they are true man corners. We wouldn't see a whole lot of benefit from spending $6 million a year on a rookie CB that stands 7-10 yards off the target. Kirkpatrick does get SOME zone play, however, and he is very adept at covering space quickly. He's also a sure tackler. That could be the way to go.

Trading down is still one of my favorite options, as always, should we get such a high pick.

We definitely need to draft a NT but it definitely doesn't have to be in the top 5. The only way I'd want to take a NT in the first round is to trade back and get Brandon Thompson in the top 20 or so but even then it's not totally necessary because there are a couple of guys who will be available later.

As for DE, a lot of people will say we're fine at DE, and I can see the argument but at the same time, if we were to draft a DE that has both size and strength and can play the run as well as rush the passer then I'd be all for it. We need guys who are versatile and can play both so we're not telegraphing our defense by running situational personnel onto the field every play.

As for the CB's....I can definitely see your point. However I'll simply counter by saying the Colts do seem to be playing more man coverage this year than in year's past so maybe that would continue if we got a couple of lock-down man CB's. They would definitely have to be solid in zone coverage as well though and I can't say one way or another how well either Dre or Morris are at zone coverage.

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Drafting Kirkpatrick would be pointless for the organization. It'd be better to either get an Cb in the second round or trading till later in the first and taking Morris Claiborne. Kirkpatrick is a good CB with great size but his weakness is zone coverage, everyone will tell you that. Unless we change our scheme, which is highly unlikely because losing Peyton Manning and having no offense hasn't made us change our defensive philosphy, I don't think Kirkpatrick will.

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Jeffery is just a monster prospect, imagine having Manning throw to that type of a caliber receiver. He is also a good route runner like Wayne and like Harrison was. His physical tools make him a huge target in the red zone, he could be our Randy Moss/Calvin Johnson.

Wayne, Jeffery, Collie, Clark would be a deadly core

The only thing is from what I read he runs a 4.5 which isn't exactly blazing fast (Moss high 4.2 Calvin 4.35)

but what do I know maybe his game speed is quicker

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Already many scouts and mock draft sites project Dre Kirkpatrick in the top 10. I agree the Colts need a better CB than Jacob Lacey to complement Jerraud Powers, but is the team willing to use a high 1st round pick on a CB? Does the team's zone-defense scheme require a shut-down corner? If that's the case, Morris Claiborne would be a much better draft value in the late 1st or early 2nd round.

Another elite CB I've not seen discussed here is Janoris Jenkins -- also rated in the late 1st to early 2nd. Before he got kicked off Florida's team this year (for two marijuana possession arrests in 3 months), Jenkins had proven himself equal to or better than Kirkpatrick and Claiborne. The scouts note that he is excellent both in zone defense and man coverage, and he played very well against elite SEC receivers like Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and Alshon Jeffery. Here are a few of his YouTube highlight videos:




There is no question Jenkins has 1st round talent, but his off-the-field issues could push his stock down into the 2nd round where he'd be a steal. Would the Colts draft a pot-smoking knucklehead who got into a fight outside a bar and was tasered by the cops for resisting arrest? *

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I agree the Colts need a better CB than Jacob Lacey to complement Jerraud Powers, but is the team willing to use a high 1st round pick on a CB? Does the team's zone-defense scheme require a shut-down corner?

The simple answer is no and one that I've tried telling people a dozen times. I used the example of Nnamdi Asomugha, great shutdown corner in Oakland, but then went to Philly where they play a zone defense(just like the Colts) and he has sucked. He has been burnt more this yr. than he had his entire career in Oakland. In a zone defense we really only need a guy that can run with recievers and tackle.

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The simple answer is no and one that I've tried telling people a dozen times. I used the example of Nnamdi Asomugha, great shutdown corner in Oakland, but then went to Philly where they play a zone defense(just like the Colts) and he has sucked. He has been burnt more this yr. than he had his entire career in Oakland. In a zone defense we really only need a guy that can run with recievers and tackle.

True...but this also depends on how much the Colts want to stick with their current scheme. If they're going to continue primarily using zone coverage only then I agree with you...but they have used man coverage some this year as well and if they were able to get an elite CB then that would allow them the flexibility to play man more often, blitz more etc. So it really depends on how whether they want to alter or modify the existing scheme or stick with the primary zone coverage.

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