Detroit Lions Offseason Plans

Posted by Jeff Risdon On February - 14 - 20126 COMMENTS

Jeff Risdon is a new addition to the NFL’s Future team.  Jeff boasts an impressive resume which includes covering the NFL Draft for RealGM.com

"Detroit Lions management team"

Martin Mayhew has his work cut out for him in 2012

I’ve been a Lions fan long enough that my Honolulu blue #20 jersey says “Sims” on the back and it’s not a throwback. And not since another #20 retired at the end of the last century have I been so excited and positive entering an offseason. However, the newfound glory brings about a new set of challenges for GM Martin Mayhew and his team.

For most of the past 15 years, the offseason plan has been to accumulate better talent across the board. This year is about managing the talent already here, with tough decisions about whom to keep and whom to let go. I have donned my Chris Speilman jersey and my Lions hat, and while drinking Hawaiian grog coffee from my Detroit Lions mug I shall offer my plan for keeping the team moving forward towards the goal of winning multiple playoff games in the same season. As you might know, that is a feat that has not been accomplished even once in team history.

First comes free agency. Here’s a listing by position of the Lions free agents:

QB: Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton

RB: Jerome Harrison, Maurice Morris, Kevin Smith

WR: Rashied Davis, Maurice Stovall

OL: Jeff Backus, Leonard Davis, Corey Hilliard

DL: Cliff Avril, Andre Fluellen, Sammie Lee Hill

LB: Cody Brown, Bobby Carpenter, Isaiah Ekejiuba, Ashlee Palmer, Stephen Tulloch

CB: Brandon McDonald, Eric Wright

S: Erik Coleman, Chris Harris

ST: punter Ben Graham, long snapper Don Muhlbach Read the rest of this entry » «Detroit Lions Offseason Plans»

Quinton Coples Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 13 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Quinton Coples"Quinton Coples

North Carolina

Ht. 6-6 Wt. 281

Pass Rush:  Quinton Coples possesses a ton of versatility as a pass rusher.  He can line up at a variety of positions and is scheme diverse.  For his size he can bend off the corner as well as most smaller ends.  He’s a powerful bull rusher that is tough to stop once he gets moving.  To loves to set up his inside moves with his speed off the edge.  He has a bevy of pass rush moves including a strong inside rip and swim move.  He doesn’t have the elite speed off the edge that teams look for in high first rounders.  He’s comparable to Da’Quan Bowers in terms of edge speed and first step. Read the rest of this entry » «Quinton Coples Scouting Report»

Ben Jones Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 12 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Ben Jones"Ben Jones

Georgia

Ht. 6-3 Wt. 314

Pass Blocking:  Ben Jones has a solid anchor in pass protection and can hold up against power or speed.  He mirrors well with decent short area quickness.  He was much quicker off the snap in 2011 although I would like to see him work his hands a little more efficiently.  He has a tendency to catch defenders rather than deliver the first blow.  He will have to work on extending his arms through contact to be an effective pass protector in the NFL. Read the rest of this entry » «Ben Jones Scouting Report»

Michael Brewster Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 12 - 20121 COMMENT
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Michael Brewster"Michael Brewster

Ohio State

Ht. 6-5 Wt. 305

Pass Blocking:  Michael Brewster is a four-year starter for the Buckeyes.  He has heavy hands and mirrors defenders really well.  Despite being tall for a center he gets pretty good leverage and plays with a low base.  His technique is solid with good hand placement and is sticky through contact.  He will be susceptible to the bull rush in the NFL as he doesn’t possess a real strong base.  He will get overextended and lunge into contact too often.  I counted 13 bad snaps out of the shotgun in 2011.

Run Blocking:  Brewster is an above-average athlete with solid short area quickness.  He shows solid footwork and has solid range.  He can break down in open areas and hold his own in the open field.  I can’t see him anchoring against bigger DT’s in the NFL.  Much better as a move blocker that isn’t hat on hat.  He doesn’t generate enough lower body power to push defenders in reverse.

Bottom Line:  Michael Brewster is a good athlete that lacks the lower body strength to hold up against powerful defenders in the NFL.  He really struggled his senior season as some thought of him as a first-round center prospect.  He is an experienced leader that should warrant early attention base on leadership.  He could be a starter in the NFL in short time but may never be “elite”.

Draft Projection:  3

David Molk Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 12 - 20128 COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, David Molk"David Molk

Michigan

Ht. 6-2 Wt. 288

Pass Blocking:  David Molk has good range from his center spot.  He can mirror defenders with excellent short area quickness.  Despite his size, he is a gritty center that will fight for leverage and position.  His biggest flaw in pass protection is playing upright.  He doesn’t have the girth or base to match power and his inability to sink his hips kills him against power.  He’s a short armed center that struggles to control larger DT’s through contact.

Run Blocking:  Molk is quick off the snap with a lightning quick first step.  He gets his hands in good position quickly after the snap.  He is a good move blocker that works angles and would be an ideal fit in a zone blocking scheme.  Shows solid awareness and excels as the leader of the line making all the line calls.  He lacks the power to win in-line against NFL DT’s.  He will only appeal to teams using the ZBS because of his lack of in-line power.  He’s a much better run blocker than pass protector and excels on the move.  Read the rest of this entry » «David Molk Scouting Report»

2012 Offseason Primer: Top 50 NFL Free Agents

Posted by Brad On February - 11 - 20122 COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Free Agent, Mario Williams"

A $22 million franchise tag price, could mean Super Mario hits the open market

The 2011 offseason was marred by the NFL lockout which stripped football fans of a proper NFL free agency period. The 2012 offseason offers a ray of hope with the class of free agents stocked with big name talent.

A lot of these guys will never see the light of free agency day but its good conversation piece. In our first edition of the Offseason Primer series we released 2012 cap projections. This edition should give the fan a pretty good idea of who they want their team to spend that money on. For over half the teams in the NFL this list is irrelevant with the money or philosophy to spend big in free agency. We aren’t likely to see another Eagles-esque spending spree but there are some names that could make dollars fly out of wallets.

Here’s a look at our top 50 NFL free agents:

1. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Keep dreaming. Brees is a lock to be re-signed or franchised by the Saints. New Orleans will look to make him a Saint for life.

2. Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans: It’s going to cost the Texans $22 million to franchise Williams. Probably not going to happen, so he’s the prize of free agency. Williams is 27 and one of the premier pass rushers when healthy. He’s coming off a season ending knee injury but will have his choice of suitors.

3. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Forte was playing the best football of his young career before a season ending injury. One could make an argument that Forte is the most complete back in the NFL. I can’t see the Bears letting Forte walk, but stranger things have happened.

4. Carl Nicks, G, New Orleans Saints: Nicks is arguably the best guard in the NFL and he will be 27 next season. A big payday will be coming for Nicks and the Saints may not be able to afford him with Brees and Colston looming.

5. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens: The 25-year old will most likely be franchised by Baltimore but there’s a slim possibility that they let him walk. Real slim, like not happening slim.

6. Calais Campbell, DE, Arizona Cardinals: A see about a .0001% chance of the Cards letting Campbell test the market. He’s young with a ton of upside. No chance.

7. Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit Lions: Coming off an 11 sack 2011 season, Avril will receive a big payday in Detroit or elsewhere. Detroit is tight on the cap and will have to work at restructuring some contracts to fit Avril in.

8. Brandon Carr, CB, Kansas City Chiefs: 26-year old corner that is bordering on top corner status, will get top corner pay. Read the rest of this entry » «2012 Offseason Primer: Top 50 NFL Free Agents»

Philip Blake Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 10 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Philip Blake"Philip Blake

Baylor

Ht. 6-3 Wt. 320

Pass Blocking:  Philip Blake does an excellent job of playing low with a solid base in pass protection.  He keeps his pads low and wins leverage battles.  He’s quick to re-set when he’s beat initially.  He possesses a ton of power and once his hands are engaged he’s tough to break free from.  He lacks the athleticism to mirror quicker DT’s.  He needs to become more efficient with his hands as he has a tendency to get lazy with them allowing defenders into his body.

Run Blocking:  Blake’s a big body center with a solid base.  He sits in his stance well and stays sticky through contact.  He has surprising short area quickness for a guy this size.  Ideal fit in a power running scheme.  He’s not a great move blocker and struggles breaking down in the second level.  He gets a little high into contact with a tendency to fall off blocks. Read the rest of this entry » «Philip Blake Scouting Report»

Peter Konz Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 10 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Peter Konz"Peter Konz

Wisconsin

Ht. 6-5 Wt. 315

Pass Blocking:  Peter Konz is tall for a center at 6’5” but is a natural knee bender.  He keeps his low base through contact.  I was most impressed by the amount of line calls and his general awareness of pass protection.  Above-average athlete with exceptional foot quickness.  Mirrors defenders well.  He can quickly re-set after an initial surge.  Has a powerful lower half that allows for a strong anchor.  He does get overextended through contact, losing leverage.  Would like to see a little more aggressive initial punch.  He is susceptible to allowing defenders under his pads because of his height despite his low base.

Run Blocking:  Konz is a plus run blocker.  He along with a fantastic OL at Wisconsin paved the way for Montee Ball’s record breaking season.  He’s a heavy handed athlete that is sticky through contact.  Great angle blocker.  He’s a quick twitch athlete for his size that has exceptional short area quickness.  He’s got a nasty demeanor that is seen when he’s finishing blocks to the whistle.  He is a little slow off the snap which can result in him being pushed into the backfield.  He needs to breakdown in the open field as he has a tendency to lunge into contact. Read the rest of this entry » «Peter Konz Scouting Report»

BSN Collegiate Showcase

Posted by Brad On February - 10 - 20122 COMMENTS

"BSN Collegiate Showcase"The NFL Scouting Combine has become the premier event for athletes looking to further their NFL dreams.  This week the NFL released its official list of attendees.  As always, it sparked a flurry of internet responses on who got snubbed.  The fact remains that non-invitees to the NFL Combine still have a chance to get drafted.

The stories of players not getting invites to the Combine and going on to NFL success are well documented.  Guys like Wes Welker and Osi Umenyiora didn’t get the all important invite and managed to turn themselves into perennial Pro Bowlers.

For FCS, Division II, and Division III players the Combine invite is a badge of honor.  They were found and the selection committee recognized them as deserving participants with the “big school” guys.  Each and every year, “small school” players slip through the cracks.  No Combine invite, no place for a Pro Day workout, and inevitably sliding into the abyss of undrafted free agents.

It appears that one organization may be looking to change the fortunes of these less publicized players.

Over the course of several weeks, I have had the privilege of working with Jimmy Kibble.  Kibble is the CEO of the Beyond Sports Network (BSN).  BSN is an online tool for coaches and scouts to utilize for scouting talent that may otherwise go unnoticed.

This year, BSN has decided to step up to the plate in offering “small school” prospects an opportunity to showcase their talents in an NFL Scouting Combine format.  The BSN Collegiate Showcase will offer an NFL Combine-like experience for players from the FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA level.  The three day event will take place at the University of Akron Stile Athletic Field House from March 9th- March 11th, 2012.  Scouts from the NFL, CFL, UFL, AFL, and Professional Indoor football will be in attendance to evaluate the skill sets of these players.  The weekend events will include a testing combine, position drills, 7-on-7 drills, and two fully padded games refereed by Big Ten officials.

For more information on the BSN Collegiate Showcase visit:

http://bsncollegiateshowcase.com/

To access the roster for the 2012 BSN Showcase visit:

http://www.bsncollegiateshowcase.com/roster.html

Rishaw Johnson Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 9 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Rishaw Johnson"Rishaw Johnson

California (PA)

Ht. 6-4 Wt. 308

Pass Blocking:  Rishaw Johnson has some natural strength with a strong punch and heavy, sticky hands through contact.  He’s a definite work in progress in pass protection.  He isn’t a natural sitting in his stance and pops upright on contact.  His feet go dead too often on contact and has a tendency to end up in the QB’s lap.  He’s a got a strong lower body but it doesn’t show on film.  Needs a ton of work from the technique standpoint in pass protection. Read the rest of this entry » «Rishaw Johnson Scouting Report»