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Superman

Supes 2018 draft analysis

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Here are my grades/thoughts on the draft.

 

1/6 -- Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame, B+

I love the player, in my mind he's the safest prospect in this year's class, I don't see any flaws in his game, and he's no worse than then 3rd best overall player from the draft. He also plays a position of significant need for the Colts, a position the Colts have struggled to fill for a decade. He could wind up being a perennial Pro Bowler, a long time fixture on our line. My only problem with the pick is the positional value. 

 

The trade -- I'm going to assume that Ballard was targeting Nelson all along. Maybe if Chubb was still there he would have been the pick, but I'm not sure of that. So if Nelson was his guy the whole time, he played it perfectly, getting his guy and picking up some extra picks along the way. Seeing what Tampa got from Buffalo to move down to #12 doesn't excite me, so I'm good with staying at #6; and rumor for a while was that Tampa liked Nelson, so moving down again probably wouldn't have worked for Ballard. 

 

2/4 -- Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina St, C-

Simply put, I think this was a big reach. It's impossible to know when he would have been drafted if the Colts didn't take him here, but it's hard to find anyone who had him as a top 40 player, and I didn't see any mocks with him earlier than the third round. I get how the Colts set their board based on what they value, but even if Leonard was the best remaining player for them, they could have maximized the value of their draft standing in a number of ways. (On the other hand, Ballard undoubtedly has more info about how other teams viewed players, and he may have had reason to believe Leonard would be coming off the board soon.) Specific to the player, Leonard looks like a rangy, athletic off ball linebacker who can change direction, make plays in space, and who will be a reasonably good tackler. I think he has lots of upside to be a game wrecker, but his footwork and hand usage will need work right away. I thought there were several better players still on the board.

 

2/5 -- Braden Smith, G, Auburn, A-

I really like this pick. Could have seen Christian Kirk, Harold Landry or Josh Jackson with this pick, but after watching Smith carefully, he looks like a solid starter as well. And with his combination of size, length, athleticism and versatility, the coaches will be able to use him to do a lot of interesting things on offense, even if he doesn't win a starting job right away. He needs some technical refinement, which Ballard acknowledged, but I'm assuming the position coaches will get him whipped into shape before long. 

 

2/20 -- Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers, B-

Another player I like, he's an explosive athlete with good length and a good motor, but he's raw and will need a lot of work to perform at a high level in the NFL. Reminds me of a developmental edge rusher we already have -- Tarell Basham, except Basham had more production. Big concern for me is his injury history.

 

2/32 -- Tyquan Lewis, EDGE, Ohio State, B

Solid prospect with good length, good initial rush/burst, decent athleticism and some versatility to play on the inside on passing downs. Not great against the run, seems to lack the power to anchor especially on the inside, and gets washed out at times, but he uses his hands well (not surprising coming from Ohio State), and I see him as a potential 3-down guy if he can work at 3 tech eventually. Maybe they reached a little on this one, but this is where everyone's board starts looking different. They traded up to make this pick, so it stands to reason they didn't think he would make it another three picks.

 

4/4 -- Nyheim Hines, RB, NC State, B+

It's great to hear how they plan to use this guy, including as a slot receiver and returner. He's quick and fast, good with the ball in his hands, does a good job catching the ball and can make defenders miss in a variety of ways. He's small but won't be an every down guy, and he doesn't have a lot of miles on his legs (347 plays from scrimmage in three seasons). If they get him the ball in space, he can be a good weapon. He should also be a really good gunner on punt coverage.

 

5/22 -- Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa, A-

I don't see how anyone can watch him play without being impressed by his hands and catching radius. He has great size, he's athletic and explosive, and he can make plays when he has the ball. He has moments where he looks like he's great finding the ball in the air and going to get it, but other times he seems lost, doesn't handle the defender well, loses track of where the sideline is, etc. Route running and physicality need work. He's not the name that everyone wanted, but he's a solid pick at this point in the draft. Trading down didn't cost them anyone I'm impressed by.

 

5/32 -- Jordan Wilkins, RB, Ole Miss, A

Love this pick, a guy who can play every down, one-cut runner who has good enough vision to find the holes in zone blocking but also disciplined enough to stick with designed power plays and follow his blockers. Runs through arm tackles, plays with good balance and gets through tight quarters to make big plays, doesn't wear down easily. Like Hines, not a lot of miles, with only 311 touches from scrimmage in three years. (For reference, Barkley had 773 touches in three years.) Not a power runner, doesn't move the pile, runs too upright at times, and not necessarily creative or game-breaking in the open field, but a steady ball carrier who can handle 20 carries a game in a variety of situations. He reminds me of Arian Foster.

 

6/11 -- Deon Cain, WR, Clemson, A

Like a lot of people, I think this was a great value for the Colts, as Cain was a Day 2 prospect if not for his off the field issues. Ballard said he waited until after the fifth round to take any chances on guys who had questionable character/work ethic, etc., but evidently every team was scared off by Cain's issues. Great size and athleticism (maybe the best all around athlete the Colts drafted), good routes, good awareness as a route runner, works zone well, fights for the ball, good hands (struggled with some drops that seemed focus related), good with the ball in the air, good after the catch. Doesn't always play physical, again struggles with focus (had a lot of penalties), and his production kind of cratered once Watson left. If he stays on track, he's a starting caliber receiver. He'll probably be tested on special teams, and maybe he should talk to Quincy Wilson about the importance of putting in the work during the offseason.

 

7/3 -- Matthew Adams, LB, Houston, B+

Run and hit guy who has quickness, tackles well, plays tough has good spatial awareness. Good at making plays on the ball. He closes fast, breaks down well in space, sticks, wraps and finishes. Not the biggest guy, but is a good prospect at Will and should be a four-core special teamer. 

 

7/17 -- Zaire Franklin, LB, Syracuse, D

I don't see much to like with this pick. Lots of hype around the Internet, including from his former head coach, and it sounds like he's a great person and a leader. Will be great to have in the locker room, but I'm not impressed by his movement or change of direction. He's kind of boxy in shape, looks tight in the hips like a straight-line, phone booth inside linebacker who moves on a track. He does have some speed, having chased down Hines in the open field, but I don't see much speed from him on most of his tape. He struggles to get to the outside, and doesn't look comfortable in zone coverage. I hope I'm wrong, but he seems like a Jon Bostic / Antonio Morrison combination. 

 

What I think Ballard did well: I think he did a great job of adding athletic players at several positions, even at OL. He got good value on Day 3, with players who have starting potential (Fountain, Wilkins, Cain). If Turay and/or Lewis work out at edge, he'll have added three rush end prospects over the last two drafts. And most obvious, he added a rock solid guard who will help protect Luck and get the running game going.

 

What I think Ballard missed on: Two picks I'm not a big fan of, at the same position -- Leonard and Franklin, which also happens to be the thinnest position on the roster. I think he missed a chance to add some good corners in Rounds 2-4. I also think the big trade from 3 to 6 cost the team a chance to draft a never-hits-free-agency player in Bradley Chubb, easily the best edge rusher in the league. And taking Nelson at #6 probably isn't the most value he could have gotten, despite Nelson being a great pick.

 

And the best thing Ballard did all draft season was invite local media in to explain to them what they were going for in this draft. Ballard has a clear vision for how he wants to build the roster, and he's doing a great job of controlling the narrative and promoting his vision through the media. They mostly seem to have bought in, also. This is something neither of his predecessors appreciated, nor did they have the personality to pull it off nearly as well as Ballard is right now.

 

This is not a sexy, high profile draft. I'm glad that doesn't matter. 

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Thanks for the write up.......

 

Great points

 

a small comment.......The full benefit for the team for THE trade isnt fully realized until we see what we get with this years take and next years 2nd. 

 

I think Leonard will turn out ok, and we will be happy with the pick

 

 

 

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So you give Nelson a B+ and you say he's no worse than the 3rd best player in the draft even though we picked him at 6? If you think we got a top 3 player guaranteed at 6 (which if true would probably be a hall of famer), how do you not give that an A+? The positional value is irrelevant, you would still get a HOF guard. That's really inconsistent there.

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17 minutes ago, Jared Cisneros said:

So you give Nelson a B+ and you say he's no worse than the 3rd best player in the draft even though we picked him at 6? If you think we got a top 3 player guaranteed at 6 (which if true would probably be a hall of famer), how do you not give that an A+? The positional value is irrelevant, you would still get a HOF guard. That's really inconsistent there.

I thought the same thing. But I don't think he is grading the person, but the overall value of the pick; assessing position, person, relevance to team, number drafted, etc.

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25 minutes ago, Jared Cisneros said:

So you give Nelson a B+ and you say he's no worse than the 3rd best player in the draft even though we picked him at 6? If you think we got a top 3 player guaranteed at 6 (which if true would probably be a hall of famer), how do you not give that an A+? The positional value is irrelevant, you would still get a HOF guard. That's really inconsistent there.

It’s kinda relevant. If someone takes a kicker in the first round, and that kicker happens to turn into Adam Vinateri level, you still wouldn’t give the pick an A (especially at the time of the draft).

 

Its the same thing here, just not quite as extreme. I love the Nelson pick as much as the next guy, but there’s no denying, there are other, more valuable positions than G (although I think Guards are slowly gaining more value).

 

The fact that Q was a consensus top 10 pick DESPITE his position tells me even more about how great of a player he can be, which is even more exciting.

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52 minutes ago, Jared Cisneros said:

So you give Nelson a B+ and you say he's no worse than the 3rd best player in the draft even though we picked him at 6? If you think we got a top 3 player guaranteed at 6 (which if true would probably be a hall of famer), how do you not give that an A+? The positional value is irrelevant, you would still get a HOF guard. That's really inconsistent there.

I was one of those that felt that we should wait until round two to address the guard spot.

but....... now knowing that CB wanted two starting guards from this draft..... I dont see a clearcut way, unless he did it this way.

 

My first choice.... No....... am i happy with the pick?.......  99.9% yes

 

After the draft, I am now excited to know that we will be better on the OL...... it doenst matter if there is an A pickor a B pick opinion in the long run.. its all good

 

But.... man...... I see the thoughts by a few folks that call Nelson HOF,   I get the opinion that he has a CHANCE to be HOF, but that is a huge jump.  I think thats probably what you meant. (right?)

 

I am excited to see how this team plays out.

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I wanted Nelson from the get go, so I think the move down from #3 to #6 was an absolute rock solid move. That said, I would give the Quenton Nelson pick an A+. Even Ballard said it was the easiest pick he's ever been a part of. 

 

I thought for sure the Colts were going to pick Josh Jackson with the first 2nd round pick. I hope Leonard proves us all wrong. 

 

I agree with everything else except the Nimes pick. That to me was a crazy good value pick and worth an A. 

 

Ballard strengthened the lines just like he said he was going to do. 

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1 hour ago, Jared Cisneros said:

So you give Nelson a B+ and you say he's no worse than the 3rd best player in the draft even though we picked him at 6? If you think we got a top 3 player guaranteed at 6 (which if true would probably be a hall of famer), how do you not give that an A+? The positional value is irrelevant, you would still get a HOF guard. That's really inconsistent there.

I don't think positional value is irrelevant.The easiest way I've found to explain that is to go to the extreme - imagine a punter or a kicker was the best player in the draft. Lets say he kicks with 95% success rate FGs of 40 yards and lower and 90% rate for 50-55 yarders... even thought this is very much HOF type of performance at the position, pretty much everybody would kill Ballard if he drafted him at 6.... or 16... or hell even 36... positional value matters. The question with guards is - how much does it matter? Like... if you have a grade 8.5 for a pass-rusher and a 9.2 on a guard, would you rather have the guard or the pass-rusher? What about a 8.7 corner back? or 8.0 QB? Where's the line for each position? IMO there is unexplored analytics perspective to positional value that teams very likely are missing or at the very least I doubt they have explored in a very sound and coherent advanced analytics way. 

 

I personally am starting to value guards a bit more after the last couple of off-seasons when guards started getting paid almost the same as tackle money. This means they are becoming valuable commodity. For example, right now the value of guards is much higher than the value of running backs for example... or even safeties... and maybe even linebackers - I have to check the numbers but I think guards are getting more guaranteed money than all of those positions in the last 2 FA classes. This of course is not a perfect measure for how positions should be valued since it's the same teams that set the initial value through draft evaluations and picks that determine how much the players are paid and thus - there might be a disparity between the actual value a position contributes to wins and the money that position is getting paid. But back on the point - that's why I personally didn't knock Ballard for taking Nelson this high - the position is getting more valuable it seems, and the other top players we had available at 6 were again at positions that are not very valuable(safeties, linebackers, interior linemen with questionable 3downs potential like Vea, Payne?).. so in essence we had a draft where the best available players were at low-value positions... I really don't mind if we just got the best player from all of those. 

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1 hour ago, NorthernBlue said:

It’s kinda relevant. If someone takes a kicker in the first round, and that kicker happens to turn into Adam Vinateri level, you still wouldn’t give the pick an A (especially at the time of the draft).

 

Its the same thing here, just not quite as extreme. I love the Nelson pick as much as the next guy, but there’s no denying, there are other, more valuable positions than G (although I think Guards are slowly gaining more value).

 

The fact that Q was a consensus top 10 pick DESPITE his position tells me even more about how great of a player he can be, which is even more exciting.

Obviously we would never take a kicker 6th overall. Nelson was the BPA at a position of need though, and if he is a top 3 player in the draft, usually there are 3 players in any given draft that will turn into HOFers. So if it's a G, we would still get a HOFer, even though he'd be a G, and that's worth the 6th pick any day. This is, of course, saying he will be a top 3 player in the draft. I would rather have a G if he is a top 3 player in the draft, than a ILB if he is a top 10 player and Leonard is somewhat close to him in value at that position anyway.

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51 minutes ago, MikeCurtis said:

I was one of those that felt that we should wait until round two to address the guard spot.

but....... now knowing that CB wanted two starting guards from this draft..... I dont see a clearcut way, unless he did it this way.

 

My first choice.... No....... am i happy with the pick?.......  99.9% yes

 

After the draft, I am now excited to know that we will be better on the OL...... it doenst matter if there is an A pickor a B pick opinion in the long run.. its all good

 

But.... man...... I see the thoughts by a few folks that call Nelson HOF,   I get the opinion that he has a CHANCE to be HOF, but that is a huge jump.  I think thats probably what you meant. (right?)

 

I am excited to see how this team plays out.

I was only calling Nelson a HOFer based on the assumption that he will end up a top 3 player from this draft class. If that's true, then I believe he'll be a HOFer as there are normally 3 players that become HOFers at least from a given draft class.

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25 minutes ago, stitches said:

I don't think positional value is irrelevant.The easiest way I've found to explain that is to go to the extreme - imagine a punter or a kicker was the best player in the draft. Lets say he kicks with 95% success rate FGs of 40 yards and lower and 90% rate for 50-55 yarders... even thought this is very much HOF type of performance at the position, pretty much everybody would kill Ballard if he drafted him at 6.... or 16... or hell even 36... positional value matters. The question with guards is - how much does it matter? Like... if you have a grade 8.5 for a pass-rusher and a 9.2 on a guard, would you rather have the guard or the pass-rusher? What about a 8.7 corner back? or 8.0 QB? Where's the line for each position? IMO there is unexplored analytics perspective to positional value that teams very likely are missing or at the very least I doubt they have explored in a very sound and coherent advanced analytics way. 

 

I personally am starting to value guards a bit more after the last couple of off-seasons when guards started getting paid almost the same as tackle money. This means they are becoming valuable commodity. For example, right now the value of guards is much higher than the value of running backs for example... or even safeties... and maybe even linebackers - I have to check the numbers but I think guards are getting more guaranteed money than all of those positions in the last 2 FA classes. This of course is not a perfect measure for how positions should be valued since it's the same teams that set the initial value through draft evaluations and picks that determine how much the players are paid and thus - there might be a disparity between the actual value a position contributes to wins and the money that position is getting paid. But back on the point - that's why I personally didn't knock Ballard for taking Nelson this high - the position is getting more valuable it seems, and the other top players we had available at 6 were again at positions that are not very valuable(safeties, linebackers, interior linemen with questionable 3downs potential like Vea, Payne?).. so in essence we had a draft where the best available players were at low-value positions... I really don't mind if we just got the best player from all of those. 

I agree we would never take a K or P at 6, that's why I was saying position value was irrelevant, because that wouldn't even come into question for any GM to draft to draft a K or P at 6. Any other position is fair game if they are as hyped as Nelson and without weaknesses that we get at 6. Guards are definitely getting paid more and much closer to tackles, add to the fact that we drafted a player at a position of need that was BPA, and I found the grade a little odd. The old adage of a G being drafted too high is outdated now. The NFL has adapted and I feel this is old thinking to give Nelson a B+. If anything, that was easily our best pick.

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At the end of the day moving back three spots and still grabbing a potential almost sure fire HOF G is an A+ to me. Esp on this team ..

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One thing that I found interesting was that 6 of the picks were the captains of their team in college, per Matt Taylor.

 

Obviously we know Ballard puts character as a huge requirement for his players and this seems to reflect that.

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4 minutes ago, Jared Cisneros said:

I was only calling Nelson a HOFer based on the assumption that he will end up a top 3 player from this draft class. If that's true, then I believe he'll be a HOFer as there are normally 3 players that become HOFers at least from a given draft class.

I have no time to do it,

but...... if I searched through the last 25 years of drafts, 

I bet the percentage of the first 3 players chosen in the draft each year, making the HOF, would probably be less than 20%

 

Overall 1st round.?  I would give you that.... but top 3? There have been WAY too many cant miss projects, taken

1-3, that didnt come close to sniffing the HOF

 

Jeff George

Quenton Coryatt

Art Schlighter (sp?)

Steve Emtmann (SP)

Bert Jones

 

Come to mind, just for the Colts

 

But Peyton and Faulk did fit that criteria........

 

 

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2 minutes ago, MikeCurtis said:

I have no time to do it,

but...... if I searched through the last 25 years of drafts, 

I bet the percentage of the first 3 players chosen in the draft each year, making the HOF, would probably be less than 20%

 

Overall 1st round.?  I would give you that.... but top 3? There have been WAY too many cant miss projects, taken

1-3, that didnt come close to sniffing the HOF

 

Jeff George

Quenton Coryatt

Art Schlighter (sp?)

Steve Emtmann (SP)

Bert Jones

 

Come to mind, just for the Colts

 

But Peyton and Faulk did fit that criteria........

 

 

I 100% believe you, but remember, I said that there are 3 players that normally become HOFers from a draft class from the quote you quoted me in, it doesn't necessarily have to be the top 3, though those 3 are the most likely.

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4 minutes ago, DaveA1102 said:

One thing that I found interesting was that 6 of the picks were the captains of their team in college, per Matt Taylor.

 

Obviously we know Ballard puts character as a huge requirement for his players and this seems to reflect that.

If you get the character right every time as a hypothetical example and none of your draft picks ever get into trouble, then you just have to worry about them not being busts as players. Ballard is obviously going for high character, leaders on the field. If we always get that, then we only have to worry about if they can play, the intangibles will be set.

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You took a lot of time to write this up, so for that I wont debate it too much but Nelson should be an A+, JMO. He IMO is the 2nd best player in the Draft only behind Barkley. I also think Hines will be better than Wilkins, so I give Hines the A and Wilkins who I like a B+.

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I love the discussions, Draft grades before the players play are good dialog for fans, but the activity on the field will be a better way of grading.

 

 

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1 hour ago, NorthernBlue said:

It’s kinda relevant. If someone takes a kicker in the first round, and that kicker happens to turn into Adam Vinateri level, you still wouldn’t give the pick an A (especially at the time of the draft).

 

Its the same thing here, just not quite as extreme. I love the Nelson pick as much as the next guy, but there’s no denying, there are other, more valuable positions than G (although I think Guards are slowly gaining more value).

 

The fact that Q was a consensus top 10 pick DESPITE his position tells me even more about how great of a player he can be, which is even more exciting.

Not a criticism of your post but a comment. I keep seeing people referring to guard as a diminished value pick over others yet we have seen the price for a top guard go 13+ million/season in free agency now. I think guards are as valuable now as many tackles are and sometimes even more if a team wants to run up the middle and have pass rushers stay out of an up the middle pass rush. I’m fine with getting the guy who solidified a huge weak spot on our team for the next 10+ years and protecting Luck who desperately needs protection. Another point is, Nelson will give us 5 years at a very nice but reasonable contract where as getting this type of guard in FA would have been 13+ as we’ve seen this year in FA. If we could have been as guaranteed that the top pass rusher this year was as much of a lock as the top guard was, I’d say it was a mistake. However, Chubb has constantly been considered just the best passrusher in this years draft, not the generational type of pass rusher every team hopes is there when they draft high and don’t need a QB. I’m fine with a safe sure fire pick that’s considered a top 3 pick in the entire draft and get additional players in the deal with 3 other high picks. That’s super great value. 

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If there was any draft to take a Guard at #6 this one would have been it.  I preferred Chubb but Nelson is outstanding.   I tripped on positional value for like 1 minute then got over it quickly.

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I more or less agree with every grade except for Leonard. I really like him. I can see the thinking that he’s a reach though, and I think we’re gonna see a whole lot of sort of weird picks on defense in Ballard’s drafts considering the scheme.

 

I agree with the overall summary though, very happy with the day 3 picks. The first few picks were solid especially the guards. I think what will help elevate this to a great draft is one of Turay/Lewis contributing right away. I like Turay but I think he’s got the biggest gap between his floor and ceiling. The injuries also concern me too, surprised by the lack of mention it gets. 

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I keep hearing how guards are increasing in value but yet we were the only team to select one in the first round?

 

The perception may have more to do with some of the wages given out recently however that's surely more to do with the increased amount of cap space around the league and the fact that All Pros quality  guards have hit the market. 

 

Still there's only 5 guards (right or left) earning over $10m in the entire NFL compared to

 

12 left tackles,

14 cornerbacks,

15 edge rushers,

17 interior defensive lineman 

17 wide receivers

 

So even in terms of wages they're still not seen as being worthy of massive resources league wide.

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Just now, Fisticuffs111 said:

I more or less agree with every grade except for Leonard. I really like him. I can see the thinking that he’s a reach though, and I think we’re gonna see a whole lot of sort of weird picks on defense in Ballard’s drafts considering the scheme. I do hope that doesn’t mean all out neglecting CB in the future though.

 

But I agree with the overall summary, very happy with the day 3 picks. The first few picks were solid especially the guards. But I think what will help elevate this to a great draft is one of Turay/Lewis contributing right away. I like Turay but he injuries also concern me too, surprised by the lack of mention it gets too.

I sort of felt Leonard should have been taken in the 3rd round at the time of the pick, but it goes a bit different if you are approaching things the way Ballard and his staff did.  Placing a higher premium on front 7 players than anything else.   Then also for the character and leadership traits I can kind of see why he did what he did.   I can't think of any Will linebackers that were taken after Leonard that had more upside when you use Ballards criterias.  Although I'd be interested to see where Ballard had Fred Warner ranked.

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1 minute ago, ClaytonColt said:

I keep hearing how guards are increasing in value but yet we were the only team to select one in the first round?

 

The perception may have more to do with some of the wages given out recently however that's surely more to do with the increased amount of cap space around the league and the fact that All Pros quality  guards have hit the market. 

 

Still there's only 5 guards (right or left) earning over $10m in the entire NFL compared to

 

12 left tackles,

14 cornerbacks,

15 edge rushers,

17 interior defensive lineman 

17 wide receivers

 

So even in terms of wages they're still not seen as being worthy of massive resources league wide.

nelson would have gone in the next two picks if we didnt take him.  the first two picks of the second were both guards so we really could not wait

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Ballard said by the time we got to the Braden Smith pick he was the only Starter Level guard remaining on the board.  So if we didn't take Nelson in the first round then we would have gotten Braden Smith and somebody else who wasn't starter level most likely instead of getting what we got which was two Starter level guards.

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the patriots took someone who is a safer bet a guard than tackle too, time will tell where he ends up 

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4 minutes ago, krunk said:

Ballard said by the time we got to the Braden Smith pick he was the only Starter Level guard remaining on the board.  So if we didn't take Nelson in the first round then we would have gotten Braden Smith and somebody else who wasn't starter level most likely instead of getting what we got which was two Starter level guards.

You're reading my posts aren't you? :) 

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There was basically six guards (8 interior lineman if you include centers) taken in the top 50 picks. To me that shows the growth of importance of interior linemen. As I've stated before Nelson will change the culture of our oline. I remember playing Titans last year and Taylor Lewan is on the sideline acting like a wild man cause they were running the ball at will. 

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Just realised there was just 10 guards taken in the entire draft and we took a fifth of them.

 

8 guards drafted over the full seven rounds by the other 31 teams??

 

But yeah, definitely a position growing in importance in today's NFL. 

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5 minutes ago, ClaytonColt said:

Just realised there was just 10 guards taken in the entire draft and we took a fifth of them.

 

8 guards drafted over the full seven rounds by the other 31 teams??

 

But yeah, definitely a position growing in importance in today's NFL. 

There were way more than 10 guards. There were lots of tackles and centers taken who will move to guard. 

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3 minutes ago, ClaytonColt said:

Just realised there was just 10 guards taken in the entire draft and we took a fifth of them.

 

8 guards drafted over the full seven rounds by the other 31 teams??

 

But yeah, definitely a position growing in importance in today's NFL. 

6: nelson

21: price ( which could play guard

22: rag now ( same as price)

23: Wynn projects better as a guard

33 Corbett could play tackle or guard

34 Hernandez 

37 smith 

39 Daniels center with guard potential

50 Williams projects better at guard

 

Thats nine in top 50

 

 

 

 

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The game is constantly evolving, and positional value evolves with it.  Now unless the NFL changes the rules DRASTICALLY, then we'll never see a K, P, or long-snapper ever valued high enough to be picked in the 1st round (unlike the silly example some posters are using for their argument), but I think Ballard is ahead of the curve here on the increasing value of good interior linemen.

 

Guys like Aaron Donald, JJ Watt, and Fletcher Cox are making pass-blocking guards more important.  And the Colts are going to be dealing with a few pretty good interior pass-rushers in the AFC South with JJ Watt, Jurrell Casey, Malik Jackson, and Calais Campbell on the schedule six times.  There's only a handful of games this year where the Colts DON'T have to face an elite interior DLineman.

 

The Nelson pick is an A+.  Since I'm a Notre Dame fan and I wanted this pick from day 1, I personally give it an A++.  :D

 

:clover::coltshelmet::yahoo:

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I don't know about the Franklin grade.  Seems kind of harsh.  I don't think Ballard would have drafted him if he didn't think he was fast enough for our team and also considering how much attention he put on getting us faster with his pre draft comments.  According to the hype on the internet he has a very high football IQ and is mature beyond his years.  He reportedly killed it at his pro day and his measurable's were solid when compared to the combine results.  A three time team captain and a natural leader.  I believe they see him as a Mike which makes sense to me.  I really think he has a shot to make the team and be a solid player for us. 

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@Superman Great write up, thank you for putting the time in to this.

 

One question, I can understand your reasoning vis a vis Nelson and positional value, but were there any players on the board who if taken at #6 you'd have given an A or A+ grade for? Or was Nelson the BPA? 

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3 minutes ago, richard pallo said:

I really think he has a shot to make the team and be a solid player for us. 

 

I do too.  I think he'd be a good situational player. Maybe Goalline plays, I could see him as the special teams captain.  Or captain of the practice squad.

 

Seems like a perfect Role Player.  A coachs' player.

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6 minutes ago, richard pallo said:

I don't know about the Franklin grade.  Seems kind of harsh.  I don't think Ballard would have drafted him if he didn't think he was fast enough for our team and also considering how much attention he put on getting us faster with his pre draft comments.  According to the hype on the internet he has a very high football IQ and is mature beyond his years.  He reportedly killed it at his pro day and his measurable's were solid when compared to the combine results.  A three time team captain and a natural leader.  I believe they see him as a Mike which makes sense to me.  I really think he has a shot to make the team and be a solid player for us. 

Harsh would be an F. I have respect for Superman that he didn't give everybody a high grade and he was honest on here. The worst thing he could do is give everybody an A-C because they were drafted by us. I could find a few reasons to give some of these guys a D if I looked hard enough. It's below average, which isn't exactly harsh. 

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Honest questions about Guard value...

 

Is the guards arent traditional high picks stigma because all tackles can play guard, but very few guards can play tackle? 

If not, and the positions are different enough that interchangeability isnt a major factor then couldn't it be argued that guards are for running and tackles are for passing? I seldom see teams that are running the ball off tackle as the defensive speed is too hard to overcome on the edges when your first 6 steps are sideline to sideline. Everyone runs up the middle though (some more effectively than others) which points to guard play in my mind.

 

Im not an OL expert but Id like to understand a bit more from those on here that do know these things. I loved the pick of Nelson but I dont know enough to understand the onfield impact why others maybe dont as much.

 

 

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I disagree about Leonard being a huge reach. He was a really popular name on here prior to the draft and was indeed mocked in the second round in a lot of places. Zerlien had him mocked to us at #49. Is 36 a little high? Probably, but he was certainly the top 4-3 WILL left on the board and Ballard had to have him so I'm good with it.

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Judging between the two 7th rounders I have to say I agree with Supe as far as which one is the better player of the two.  I like Matthew Adams a lot better than Franklin.

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