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Supes 2018 draft analysis


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On 5/7/2018 at 4:55 AM, Superman said:

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. 

I give your analysis a B+.  :)    Thanks for doing this work!

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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 i

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

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 pic

On 5/11/2018 at 1:25 AM, Superman said:

 

So you hated it? ;)

Hah, really good work!  I give Nelson an A, I think position value is a relative measure.  For the Colts, the need at OL outweighed all other needs, so when you can get a generational lineman in a position of need I think that's a perfect pick.  Otherwise, I think we see it the same, I couldn't speak to Leonard, I hope you're wrong on that one but I really like this draft.  I think your analysis is wonderful, I gave it the same grade you gave Nelson!!!  :)  Go Colts!

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The fact that posters have continued to discuss this analysis day after day shows it was either very well done or so bad they couldn't stop talking about it. I fall into the former category....excellent work, and thanks for doing it! I give Nelson an A+ and Leonard a B. Other than that, we pretty much agree. 

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2 hours ago, Hoose said:

The fact that posters have continued to discuss this analysis day after day shows it was either very well done or so bad they couldn't stop talking about it. I fall into the former category....excellent work, and thanks for doing it! I give Nelson an A+ and Leonard a B. Other than that, we pretty much agree. 

It was very well done. Sup was thorough in explaining his grades so I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with it.

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3 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

It was very well done. Sup was thorough in explaining his grades so I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with it.

 

Being thorough doesn't mean he is right.

 

You can be thorough and have a wrong evaluation.    

 

You can fail to see the Big Picture.

 

There are all sorts of reasons why a poster might not agree with it.

 

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6 hours ago, Hoose said:

The fact that posters have continued to discuss this analysis day after day shows it was either very well done or so bad they couldn't stop talking about it. I fall into the former category....excellent work, and thanks for doing it! I give Nelson an A+ and Leonard a B. Other than that, we pretty much agree. 

Lol... Indeed. Evaluations of evaluations is a lot of evaluating to be going on!

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44 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

Being thorough doesn't mean he is right.

 

You can be thorough and have a wrong evaluation.    

 

You can fail to see the Big Picture.

 

There are all sorts of reasons why a poster might not agree with it.

 

Well maybe Sup's scouting team was out to lunch or getting drunk?  :billiejean:

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