Red Zone League Articles

2019 Annual 1st Round Draft Analysis CONTD! Picks 17-32
By Matthew Davis
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[1.17] -- New York Giants --
MLB Donta Hightower - Alabama
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 73 HT: 6'4" WT: 253lbs. SPD: 80 / STR: 85 / AGI: 79 / ACC: 84 / AWR: 56 / CTH: 60 / TAK: 83 / INJ: 91

The 2nd Alabama guy to go in a row for the 2nd time in a row! thats 4 in the top 17 for the Crimson Tide. Hightower is an interesting prospect. He has ELITE size/weight combination, strength, and very good acceleration. He can make turnovers with that size as well and is a sure tackler. He isn't an injury risk, which is a great thing over the middle, BUT he isn't the fastest. With work he can be one of the best young MLB's in the league. I think GM Jon Paglia got a great player with Hightower (did he miss this pick by chance again this year?). If he did, he got even better value. With starts he will get the awareness he needs, agility is a bit low, but not the most important thing out there. I like the upside of this guy, and someone would have stretched for him very soon if not for Pags. This LB class outside of the obvious top two was pretty shallow on good talent. With speed, Hightower could be one of the best in the league in a few years if he plays from day one.

Pros: Amazing size, burst, strength, tackling ability, and good injury rating.
Cons: Slow for a middle guy, will be a run stopper for a few seasons. Will have trouble diagnosing plays in the RZL for a few seasons. Not the most agile either.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A- -- Nothing wrong with the pick, I really like Hightower with TC points in speed over the next few seasons. He can be an elite-level guy and fills a need on a team that will be looking to the young guys more and more as they see regression begin to hit them hard over the next few years.

[1.18] -- Arizona Cardinals --
DT Nick Fairley - Auburn
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 20 OVR: 84 HT: 6'5" WT: 301lbs. SPD: 72 / STR: 90 / AGI: 70 / ACC: 87 / AWR: 63 / TAK: 74 / INJ: 84

With the Cardinals 3rd and final pick in the first round, our second DT comes off the board and he is another top 20 guy for sure. Fairley is an elite 4-3 DT, or a 3-4 DE. He has speed, elite acceleration, and average tackling and awareness for a rookie. No true weakness, which says a lot about the #18 pick when reaches have already been made. Seeing that people who needed a DT passed on guys like Dareus and Fairley, I'd say this is GREAT value for the Cardinals. He will instantly be the best DT on the Cardinals roster (he has 4 to compete with). Can't see a better mix of BPA/Need for the Cards at this spot. So I think its a great pick.

Pros: Good size, elite athleticism and speed for a big and strong-enough DT. Very well rounded player with no major weaknesses, will only get better in time.
Cons: average awareness and tackling ability, but not a liability.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A -- great player and cant think of a single guy that would be a contender for this selection. Will be a stud for years.

[1.19] -- Detroit Lions --
DE Allen Bailey - Miami
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 87 HT: 6'3" WT: 287lbs. SPD: 79 / STR: 87 / AGI: 78 / ACC: 80 / AWR: 54 / TAK: 77 / INJ: 92

The Lions are up next and they go DE for the second year in a row. Allen Bailey is the POLAR OPPOSITE of last years [1.13] selection by the Lions, Da'Quan Bowers. Bailey has elite size and strength for a run-stopping DE. He, however, lacks the speed of most prototype first round DE's. Bailey is an amazing RE, however, like many already know, I don't value RE that highly and feel lesser guys can do more than enough of what is expected, with much less investment. If the idea is to groom Bailey on the right side until he has enough spd/acc to play LE, then move Bowers at that time, this would be an All-Pro move. I just don't think that is the focus here. I will be harsh on the principle of going RE in the top 20 of a top-heavy draft, but all-in-all Bailey is a great talent. He will be able to push weaker OL out of the way, can disrupt plays at the line, but likely won't see a lot of deep in the backfield disruption because of his average acceleration. Again, I expect SPD to be pumped into him, and he can be a rare talent if he gets a few seasons of love. Just maybe a reach right now as he will be a guaranteed RE on the Lions team featuring the "Yin" and "Yang" of DE's.

Pros: ELITE size and strength for a DE. Decent tackler, and isn't an injury risk.
Cons: Will have some trouble diagnosing plays early in his career. Doesn't have the prototypical burst that top-end DE's tend to have or top end speed.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: B -- Not a bad player, but with no hope of playing the more important LE position for at least a few years, his value is greatly diminished. Again, LESSER guys have proven they can contribute with much less investment...

[1.20] -- New England Patriots --
DT Mike Martin - Michigan
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 84 HT: 6'2" WT: 301lbs. SPD: 63 / STR: 98 / AGI: 60 / ACC: 78 / AWR: 60 / TAK: 80 / INJ: 85

This MAY be a BPA pick, but I find that hard to believe. At this point in the draft, at pick 20, its ok to go for a lateral-move in talent to fill a need if its available. For the second year in a row, I will have to flame Mr. Richmond (as much as I do not want to) for missing the GAPING hole he has on both ends of his OL. I know he says he can fill that in FA and get away without investing any true value in the position, etc., etc.... BUT at SOMMEEEEEE point the very very important OT position HAS to be addressed to turn a true corner with this franchise. With Andrew Luck coming to the division, and the Bills still being the Bills, things have to look bright in the future. I just dont see that with this pick. Being the best DT left on the board is great, leaving RT and LT WIDE OPEN as he has, is a terrible shame. He has 2 OT's on the roster and neither one of them has played a snap at the position in the last 7 years. WOW. With guys like Carimi, Solder, and even moving an OG like Cordy Glenn to the outside would be a better move than this IMHO. As for the actual player he chose, Martin is a big man, with NT-type ability but 4-3 DT type size. It isn't a big issue, but not the norm for someone as strong as him. He has manageable athleticism and that won't cause too much of a problem. He is a great young tackler, however, and that will certainly help the outlook on him.

Pros: Big, very strong guywith great tackling ability out of the gate.
Cons: Could use some weight, will struggle reading plays early on.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: C- -- If I find myself saying the same harsh criticism 2 years in a row, thats usually not a good sign. I think the Pats need OL help to reach a new level, and they failed once again to do so. A pick like Glenn-->OT or Carimi would have been the way to go IMO. No other choice seems right when he has this bad of OT's on the roster.

[1.21] -- San Diego Chargers --
CB Prince Amukamara - Nebraska
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 23 OVR: 75 HT: 6'0" WT: 207lbs. SPD: 92 / STR: 68 / AGI: 88 / ACC: 90 / AWR: 59 / CTH: 59 / TAK: 62 / JMP: 88 / INJ: 86

The Prince. Led by a GM-less team, CB prospect Prince Amukamara is selected with the 21st overall pick this season. Prince is a stellar player that I think has a shot at being something very special, but never amongst the top of the top no matter how good he gets. That's not a knock on him, just a limitation to his ceiling. Prince has a lot of the intangibles, with a solid 6' frame, good weight, good speed, great strength, decent athleticism, and will be able to make a few plays with his hands each season if he starts right away. He will be a decent tackler as far as CB's go, and isnt a big injury risk. He will blow coverages from time to time as he develops, but will be a great player with adequate attention and care spread his way. The pick is solid, low-risk, and continues the steady stream of good CB's that seem to just flow right along in San Diego for the last decade. He will be groomed, out with the old and in with the new, and be a great starter for years when he is ready to go. Could possibly have looked at Safety here with maybe Gabriel Arnold (God Jason... that just feels weird saying...) but I suppose I can't knock a choice to get the CB of the future over a Safety.

Pros: Brings a good total package, speed, strength, athleticism, and tackling. A fundamentally sound player with good upside.
Cons: Has a high ceiling, but not ultra-elite type player ever without an insane amount of work in TC for 5+ years. Will get beat in coverage here and there over the course of a season.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: B+ -- Not penalizing a team for taking the "safe" route, not a lot of flare here, just a safe solid choice for the future of the franchise. At least this isn't a broken gamble.

[1.22] -- Green Bay Packers --
DE Tim Crane - Northwestern
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 79 HT: 6'4" WT: 320lbs. SPD: 63 / STR: 86 / AGI: 71 / ACC: 75 / AWR: 50 / TAK: 81 / INJ: 87

THE CONTROVERSY!!! Is he good? Is he destined for great things? or will he be a flop?!? Alright, taking a step back from this we look at what he is. Apparently drafted to be a 3-4 DE. OK. So he has a big body, great size for a big guy. He lacks the normal strength attributed to the size, but nonethless isn't a weakling. He isn't the most mobile guy with all that fat though, but when he gets a hand on someone he usually brings them down. The problem is, he is dumb as they come and really might struggle on the outside hitting the gap he needs to be in and might be more of an "occupy-blockers-type-of-guy". Not someone you would want with the 22nd overall pick in a pretty top heavy draft. Granted we are starting to see the decline in talent in the draft, there is still GOOD talent left. Looking into their roster, the Packers have what I can only imagine is the worst defensive secondary in the league. They could use help or upgrades at every starting position there. It baffles me how a team has not one clear starter in the whole group (and PLEASE James don't try and get anyone to believe Santos, Bennett, or Taylor are your answer to any legitimate Offensive Passing threat... Not surprisingly 2 of those 3 guys come from the Bucs originally, so maybe that's what he is seeing in them... Personally I would have went with CB Ras-I Dowling or SS Gabriel Arnold if I were the Packers, but this is Paronne. And he loves being able to tell you what your head-to-head matchups are and shy away from ever winning anything of importance. This kind of move goes with the flow in Green Bay, so it's not shocking. While others may not say it, its my job to bring this out there. So.. "anonymously" a staff member of the RZL wished the best to the Packers saying "Hope you like height, weight, and AGI more than SPD, AWR, and ACC"... Sadly enough Black was taken at the top of the 4th round. Bad pick? Yes. Too much talent left this high to be reaching for a guy you can get at least 2 rounds later.

Pros: Great size, can be a good player with some TC work in maybe strength to set him apart. Great tackler for a rookie.
Cons: Very low awareness, not that great at any ONE thing, pretty low in strength for a "big" guy.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: D -- (yes a worse grade than the Dolphins received for those of you that are already looking...) Might as well have missed the pick for at least a full round so he could use that as an excuse. I would have either traded the pick back a round if this was the only guy I wanted, or looked elsewhere of need. The Packers have a TERRIBLE secondary, can't even begin to understand how that wasn't their pick.

[1.23] -- Houston Texans --
OG Cordy Glenn - Georgia
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 20 OVR: 80 HT: 6'5" WT: 332lbs. SPD: 61 / STR: 96 / AGI: 65 / ACC: 74 / AWR: 53 / PBK: 81 / RBK: 88 / INJ: 87

So here we are with a guy who everyone has heard if they have read this so far. A guy I said picks ago could have gone and made sense there and really turned around other people's bad grades. So here he is. A BIG OL, the kind Ricky really loves. IF size got you in the Hall-of-Fame, as you might think is the case with the way Ricky talks of good OL, he would already be there. He not only has size, but decent speed, and great/elite strength. He isn't the most agile, but he has decent acceleration to meet most guys before they penetrate the LOS. He isn't the smartest, but he is a steller Run-blocking OL. His Pass-blocking will quickly mature and I see him being a stud within a few years. If he were to gain some acceleration (although it isn't completely necessary) he could be one of the best around. Soooo... WHY would I have any reserves for this pick?? Because Ricky has 38 OT's, no C and 4 OG's. There is such a mess there that its hard to see what he has that's startable, who does/did start, if he even has a need, and if this is the right person for whatever need MAY be there. LOL. Again, the case isn't WHO Ricky picked, but the simple fact that Ricky has the talent, but all in the wrong places and won't be getting real value for some of the players he has. If he takes a new lesson and learns the art of "consolidation" he could be a force within a few seasons. He needs to figure out what he wants, trade away whats left, and then make sure what he gets back lines up with what he NEEDS. He doesn't need more good players, he needs to start upgrading positions now. This is like watching the Hoover Dam crash down and all the water trying to get through a straw. Talent is everywhere, but it needs to be focused down into 20-25 high quality starters that can bring this franchise around.

Pros: Elite size and strength. Mixed with a manageable burst, good speed, and great run-blocking ability.
Cons: borderline-Low agi (if that matters), otherwise almost nothing.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A- -- LOVE the guy, my favorite OG in the draft and a great pick. I'm sure he will start, not sure where. Wish Ricky could move around his roster and make some value out of what seems to be a plethora of "stuff" all over and fill in some of the holes that are wide open right now.

[1.24] -- San Francisco 49ers --
WR Justin McDaniel - Western Michigan
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 23 OVR: 76 HT: 6'2" WT: 205lbs. SPD: 94 / STR: 51 / AGI: 97 / ACC: 90 / AWR: 59 / CTH: 68 / JMP: 98 / INJ: 86

Our 4th (3rd? - Dolphins choose yet?) WR taken in the draft. McDaniel is a good player with good size. He is a bit weaker for a bigger WR, especially in a draft where Blackmon and Floyd are still in everyone's mind. But he is still a good talent himself. The good thing about McDaniel is he can play the slot AMAZINGLY if you like high AGI guys. While he gains some more acc or speed, he can play there and be a star. When he is ready in a year or two to really be unleashed, he can go out and be one of the best there if he gets the right kind of love. He won't lose a jump-ball, and isn't a big injury risk. I like the pick, they needed another WR.

Pros: Good size, great agility and workable acceleration
Cons: Not the best catcher, might run the wrong route from time to time.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: B+ -- Seeing the decline in talent in the draft quickly. McDaniel is still a great young WR that I think could really benefit from playing in the slot for at least a year, while getting some TC love.

[1.25] -- Cincinnati Bengals --
SS Gabriel Arnold - Colorado
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 72 HT: 6'1" WT: 208lbs. SPD: 91 / STR: 61 / AGI: 88 / ACC: 95 / AWR: 63 / CTH: 69 / TAK: 72 / INJ: 83

Gabriel Arnold... For Jason so loved the RZL.. that he gave his only begotten son...

YEA YEA... enough with the mushy stuff. Arnold was arguably the best Safety in the draft. Can't disagree with the pick here. The Bengals now solidify the most improved secondary of the 2019 draft with Arnold and Peterson. They instantly demand respect from opposing QBs, and I personally think this is a great move in the right direction. I like the pick the more I look at it for the simple fact, that while they have many needs in Cincinnati, they would only be putting a small patch on any major leak by trying to go elsewhere with this pick. By going for another secondary member, they permanently rebuild the hull to that part of the ship. Now they need to continue and put together maybe one or two more strong drafts on the other side of the ball and make the turn towards a bright future. I don't like the QB's outside of Luck in this class, so I won't be one of the guys screaming they should have gone Moore or Foles at this point.

Pros: Great size, good speed, and acceleration for a Safety, and is a ball-hawk. A pretty sure tackler and decent enough starting awareness makes him a solid all-around player.
Cons: While 83 INJ isn't necessarily low, take it from a guy with great young Safeties, the better they are, the more they get hurt. Always being in the action makes them very valuable, but prone to see big hits. 83 will likely be 75 within at least 3 years in my opinion, and this guy could be destined for a hard life after he becomes injury prone.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A -- The right direction. Don't just patch a hole, make it so it's not broken for a long time to come. I think the compliment of [1.2] and [1.25] go hand in hand. However, I still don't know what the Bengals are going to do abut QB or is that a story for a different year?

[1.26] -- Denver Broncos --
QB Kellen Moore - Boise State
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 24 OVR: 82 HT: 6'0" WT: 192lbs. SPD: 68 / STR: 48 / AWR: 69/ THP: 86 / THA: 92 / / INJ: 80

Not surprised by this at all. When you let your brother run your draft room, this is surely going to be your guy at this spot for this team. Does it make sense? Sure. Do I like the pick? I'm in the middle. I hate the player. That's for sure. I am not a guy that feels good with a Jo Bro under center. That being said, Jo Bro has this guy dominated on a myriad of attributes. He isn't an INJ risk, he of course, has awareness by now, and actually can throw the ball more than 20 yards. Moore? No way. He has a weak ass arm, can barely see over the line, and will make lots of mistakes before he ever gets good. For a first round pick, this is not what I would want to have patience with. If I am going to have to REALLY suck it up for a guy, I want him to have elite potential. His size alone keeps him from that, but his arm will never be there either. 5 years of TC can only make him mediocre. Thats an utter shame. Sorry Jeremy, but your brother killed your pick here. DT's are out on the market that could have gone for that pick and gotten you some other value as well most likely. I just dont see this working out for Moore, even with the notion that he will "spot-start" behind a glass Brohm.

Pros: Decent starting awareness for a rookie QB, great THA for a rookie too.
Cons: Just about everything else goes against this guy at this spot. He is fast and will likely try to scramble with his low AWR which will get him outside the pocket and take hits he shouldn't be taking. He is going to be fragile in just a year or two of starting, and he can barely see over the line. When he does spot someone WHO KNOWS if he can even get the ball halfway there. I wish I was in the AFC West when this guy goes in.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: F -- First "F" grade of the draft, and it wasn't a missed pick. Thats just terrible in a really good class. Not a first round talent IMHO. Undersized, overspeed, terrible arm. Has one thing going for him. Accuracy. Whoop-dee-f***ing-dooo! LOL Does NO good when you cant throw it far enough to be worth anything.

[1.27] -- Kansas City Chiefs --
OT Gabe Carimi - Wisconsin
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 23 OVR: 77 HT: 6'5" WT: 328lbs. SPD: 61 / STR: 94 / AGI: 67 / ACC: 75 / AWR: 67 / PBK: 79 / RBK: 86 / INJ: 87

Carimi is a big man from Wisconsin where they know how to feed a big guy. He has super size, speed, strength and a good first step. He can run-block right away, but will have to learn to block for the pass at the RZL level. Love the pick for a team that otherwise, has few holes. I assume he will be a starter from day one, and I agree with that assessment. There is no shying away from the pass blocking skill, that will just have to be addressed the hard way by busting out games with him. Starting on the left side for some time should do him some good, but he will have his hiccups. He would really benefit from some ACC training if at all possible. He could be a real steal with that kind of work in a few years.

Pros: Great size, strength speed, and decent first step. Great run-blocker as well. Smart as far as rookie OL go too.
Cons: Liability in the passing game.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A -- I like the guy and he is a solid talent to be picking up near the end of the first round. Also, only the second OT taken in this great draft, it's excellent value for where the Chiefs stand. I think he will be able to do a stellar job in KC and will have a stellar career there as well.

[1.28] -- Atlanta Falcons --
HB Mikel Leshoure - Illinois
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 80 HT: 6'1" WT: 230lbs. SPD: 91 / STR: 78 / AGI: 84 / ACC: 90 / AWR: 60 / CAR: 78 / CTH: 57 / BTK: 85 / INJ: 83

Mikel LeShoure is the 3rd HB taken in the first round. That's quite a statement for this year's HB class. With Richardson and Bowlinger off the board at picks [1.8] and [1.11], LeShoure offers a good price on the next HB taken at [1.28]. He offers a rare mix of athleticism and size. Quick enough to make a big play from time to time and still big enough to take the pounding of an every-down back. LeShoure can carry the load of a team that calls on him, but isn't a big receiver out of the backfield. He may have a few fumbles early in his career, and may see some downtime if he gets his name called too often. But after 16 straight picks of non-HB positions, he isn't a stretch. He was bound to go soon. The Falcons clearly heard their peers calling for them to improve their offensive attack, and they did just that this draft. After selecting WR Justin Blackmon at [1.3] and now adding LeShoure, they finally give their franchise QB Jimmy Clausen some much needed weapons on that side of the field. Like the Bengals pick at [1.25], I can surely appreciate picking a certain area and giving a focused effort to improve or rebuild it. If that really was the Falcons aim... they succeeded. LeShoure is the best back available and gives the Falcons something to be real excited about entering 2019, great news for a team cursed with such a competitive division. And one that just continued to improve this offseason.
Pros: Great size, with a great mix of speed, athleticism, and ability to create big plays by making people miss.
Cons: Not the best hands out of the backfield, and may have a few fumbles early in his career until he gets used to RZL speed (if he ever does). Also, if relied upon too much, may see some injury issues arise.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A- -- More for the concentrated drafting effort of the Falcons this offseason, than the actual guy himself. Bringing in two new exciting weapons to an offense that will have to keep up to stay in games in a tough division is a great accomplishment. Getting the player at [1.3] was the easy part, but stealing another playmaker at [1.28] when reaches have occured already multiple times.. thats another thing to be happy about. Solid choice.

[1.29] -- Minnesota Vikings --
QB Nick Foles - Arizona
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 71 HT: 6'5" WT: 238lbs. SPD: 52 / STR: 68 / AWR: 59 / THP: 93 / THA: 81/ INJ: 81

The Vikings finally get to chose in the draft and welcome Mr. Lincoln Ison to the RZL. He came in with a "splash" making a big trade with the Jags just before the draft started to gain the talents of former [1.4] CB Sam Shields. The lightning-fast 6'0" speedster should compete for a starting job immediately, and also netted them a future 4th and 5th round pick for [1.8] in this years draft. So, that leads us back to their first pick, QB Nick Foles out of Arizona. Foles is the prototype body of a QB, 6'5", 238lbs., and he has a great arm with decent starting accuracy. The problem is he was rumored to struggle with college playbooks, and still has a ways to go to be the type of accurate passer that really excels in the RZL. IMHO Foles is the next best QB after Luck and is a steal at [1.29]. I think he makes sense on a team with an established QB that isn't a big injury risk, but one that will likely see some down-time at some point during the season. That way Foles can get spot starts that may be forced, but the hardships of a full season will not go on his young shoulders. After a few seasons of grooming, this guy could be a really special player, and one that scares other NFC North teams. As long as they don't move current starter Brady Quinn anywhere, this is a stellar pick.

Pros: Elite size, great throwing power, and the mobility you look for in a pocket passer.
Cons: Will struggle early with a full RZL playbook, will miss receivers from time to time until he starts to shore up his accuracy and teammwork with Vikings starting receivers.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A -- Not having too many major holes, I think the Vikings made the safe move of investing in their future with Foles. With spot starts and maybe even a little TC love, he can be a real special player in two years. Hats off to a great pick by the new GM

[1.30] -- Miami Dolphins --
CB Ras-I Dowling - Virginia
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 22 OVR: 70 HT: 6'1" WT: 201lbs. SPD: 88 / STR: 64 / AGI: 93 / ACC: 93 / AWR: 50 / CTH: 60 / TAK: 51 / JMP: 92 / INJ: 83

Ras-I Dowling is the last CB I had ranked on my personal "1st round talent CB Pool Board" Dowling, not so strangely, is also the last CB taken in the first round. At [1.30] I find it to be great value for a solid CB with pretty good upside. Dolphins could still use a good LB, but are pretty set at least with manageable starters throughout their lineup. They may not have stars everywhere, or depth in a few places, but manageable is a good word for the team right now. After missing [1.10] and, I believe, their target of LB Aldon Smith there as well, the chose WR Posey and now they choose to go to the outside on the opposite side of the ball at [1.30]. Dowling has the size you want in a future star. Good acceleration, and one fo the traits I really love about a real project player. Having just one trait that I REALLY need to focus on to get him elite. I love a player that has it all and then one gaping flaw. So I shore that up as quickly as possible, and I don't have to waste resources and decisions over what and where to spend points each season and breaking promises to myself to work a player next year! Dowling needs speed, and I'm sure he will get it. With 4-5 points, and yes I know that's quite a bit, he will be a very good player.

Pros: Great size, with great athleticism. Can create a few turnovers when given the chance, and only has the "one-flaw" build.
Cons: Speed. He needs it. Bad.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: A- -- Dolphins redeem themselves by taking the best CB left on the board. They get a good player that can someday be elite with the right kind of lovin'. Dowling can be a playmaker if he gets the care.

[1.31] -- Washington Redskins --
SS Kenny Tate - Maryland
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 23 OVR: 71 HT: 6'3" WT: 228lbs. SPD: 90 / STR: 65 / AGI: 80 / ACC: 88 / AWR: 57 / CTH: 61 / TAK: 62 / JMP: 90 / INJ: 86

Winding down, we have the "Creator" back on the clock. Why do I refer to him as that? Because for some strange reason, as players came up to the podium to shake League Commish Ricky Lung's hand, they all seemed to stop and thank GM Jason Arnold on the way up and all called him "Creator". One can only imagine sick and twisted conspiracies to go along with this odd behavior, and no-doubt it all stems from the Pope in Rome, but that is a tale for another story on another day....
SS Kenny Tate goes off the board at [1.31]. He has a huge body that is the dream of any prototype safety. Mix that with good speed/strength combination and workable athleticism and you have a very solid young safety. I like the value at the end of the first round. He could use some more speed maybe for a year or two to be the truly elite presence that makes sense for him, but can get by with what he has if need-be. Tate can also make a play from time to time with his hands, but will not always make the sure tackle or be in the right place. Some big weaknesses to have if you want to be one of the better ones in the league. At a position that isn't the easiest to progress, trust me... I KNOW... I think he has a shot of being a flop, but likely will always see time no matter where he is at throughout his career. His natural abilities are very good.

Pros: Great size, the dream body of a safety in football. Great speed/stength combination. Can make a play or two with his hands as well.
Cons: Will struggle reading plays quickly and may lead to some easy scores early in his career. Will not always make the sure tackles either.

DRAFT ANALYSIS: B -- Solid pick, not too risky. Still not a huge fan of his receiving corp outside Manning, and wonder how potent his offense really can be for Wright.

[1.32] -- St. Louis Rams --
OT Nate Solder - Colorado
-- Attributes of Notice --
AGE: 21 OVR: 71 HT: 6'8" WT: 308lbs. SPD: 68 / STR: 85 / AGI: 70 / ACC: 85 / AWR: 53 / PBK: 86 / RBK: 76 / INJ: 75


Yes, he is a project. Time to move on. At [1.32] in a draft that is openly known to be top-heavy, this pick can't be expected to be some stud for the Two-time-defending-Super-Bowl Champs. That's the bottom line here. If your expectations are that we will magically see a [1.1] type player out of a team that just won a Super Bowl, those need to die outside of Anthony Fernandez' reign. That being said, Solder is a guy I can really like. Personally I never have the nerve to give an OL any love in TC, so any projects I've ever picked up, have never gone where I once dreamed they could. That said, if Solder can get any more than 3 points of strength in him over his career... he can be one of the best that ever was drafted. That is a feasable task for a team that just won the Super Bowl and may have the patience to share a point on a bench player for a few seasons until he is ready to go. If he can, this pick is gold. If he doesn't, this pick is worthless. A guy that might never start anywhere.
Pros: Huge OT, the prototype height for the outside guy with long arms. Has ELITE athleticism with his first step, and great speed. Great Pass-blocker as well.
Cons: Pretty dumb player. Also needs to really work on his run-blocking skills quickly before he should start. Of course he needs to hit the weight room. HARD. It's keeping him from being a guy worth 10M a year... (tell me that and I would be living in the gym.)

DRAFT ANALYSIS: B -- I'm going to grade this pick as a mix of what he is (C-level talent) and what he can be (A+-level talent). IF he gets the TC love, look out. If he doesn't and you are a team that will invest in him.. LOOK OUT! Smile

-- UGH!!!! 13 hours, and finally finished! I really hope you all enjoyed this as much as I genuinely do of writing it. I learn a lot about the teams and the players of the draft, albeit a few hours too late in some cases Smile

-- This may set a forum record as the longest article ever. Pretty happy about that. One post would only hold up to the beginning of pick [1.21] Cheers!

-- Thanks to all those who have and are continuing to help this be a great annual article.
-My editor Kevin Mullendore
-My assistant critic Anthony Fernandez
-My illustrator Kurt Ison
You all certainly help a ton!

Until next year... Have a good season everyone and Good LUCK!!!

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