Welcome to The 3-4, a website dedicated to NFL analysis, predictions and recent events. We wrote 32 extensive team previews and will be writing about all things football throughout the year. We will be scouting players off game tape, evaluating them, predicting NFL and NCAA games, and much more! If you would like us to write about something in particular, let us know!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 2 Reactions

Following the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, here are some of my personal reactions. An inordinate amount of cornerbacks and defensive linemen, however I was impressed with a few times that took impact linebackers; the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys.

New Orleans Saints
Martez Wilson working out at the annual NFL Scouting Combine
Who Dat Nation continued to take the cake in terms of the NFL Draft, grabbing both Martez Wilson and Johnny Patrick in the 3rd round. Wilson, a 6'4 250 lbs versatile linebacker, is a freakish athlete that runs a 4.5 40 yard dash. Wilson was my 39th best player in the draft, and I was shocked to see him last all the way to the 3rd round. Martez has been projected by some as a 3-4 rush backer due to his athletic ability, and Im sure Greg Williams has some exotic blitzes in mind with Wilson. Johnny Patrick is a corner I have been very high on throughout the draft process, as a solid all around corner with shutdown coverage skills. Plays equally effective in press man and off coverage, providing depth and starter ability down the road.

Nate Irving, a fiery competitor and high intensity player
Denver Broncos
After drafting arguably the best player in the draft in Von Miller, the Broncos continue to build a solid nucleus of defensive talent and starters; drafting Rahim Moore in round 2 provides Denver with the top safety in the 2011 draft. Moore is an instinctive, ball hawking safety, who plays with a lot of confidence and simply makes plays. In the 3rd round the Broncos then selected Nate Irving, ILB from North Carolina State. Irving should come as no surprise, being my top mike linebacker in the 2011 draft and the only inside linebacker I graded as a 2nd round draft pick. Irving also plays with excellent instincts and a high level of confidence; Nate Irving is a sure tackler who brings a lot of pop under his pads, as well as an innate ability to rush the passer from the inside linebacker position. Rumor has it, the player has been using SARMS to enhance his performance, but I doubt there is any soild proof behind this accusation. Broncos also added offensive tackle Orlando Franklin from Miami. A 1st round talent, inconsistency pushed Franklin back to the 2nd round; that being said, Franklin provides a nasty, mean demeanor, and elite physical tools to work with.

Dallas Cowboys
Bruce Carter leaping for an interception
Jerry Jones broke his managerial long streak of failing to draft an offensive lineman in the 1st round of an NFL Draft last night with the drafting of Tyron Smith, and in day 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft made solid, value based selections that feature high upside. In the 2nd round, the Cowboys had targeted Bruce Carter as a special game changing type of talent that they simply could not pass up. Once considered a premier, top ten draft pick, a knee injury abruptly ended Carter's final collegiate season and put a damper on his draft stock. Carter has unbelievable athletic ability and a knack for the big play, he can play any linebacker position and will provide D-Coordinator Rob Ryan with an elite playmaker from within the box. 3rd round selection Demarco Murray is in my mind one of the more fully rounded running backs; dynamic runner, excellent pass catcher and route runner, good in pass protection, and was arguably the best back production wise coming out of Oklahoma University. Here's a scouting report I wrote on Murray last December. Murray has pure playmaking ability and finally stayed healthy his senior season. Will be an instant plug and play 3rd down back for Dallas, adding a receiving threat from the backfield and another tool for Tony Romo's success in 2011.

Day 1 Winners and Losers


Jacksonville Jaguars

It was very surprising that Gabbert was not the 2nd quarterback chosen in the draft, and the Jaguars benefited from him falling to them at #10. He will be able to spend time studying on the bench behind David Garrard, and will not be rushed into the starting role, something I don’t think any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft can handle. There are many needs on the defensive side of the ball, but when a potential franchise quarterback falls into your lap, you have to pull the trigger.

Detroit Lions

I can’t think of a single draft that had Fairley going to the Lions, but now that it has happened, it looks awfully good on paper. Lining up Suh and Fairley will give Qb’s nightmares for years to come, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay Cutler was already actively looking for a trade out of the division. The secondary still needs work, but may not be as big an issue if the opposing quarterbacks are constantly finding themselves on the ground.

New York Giants

Your Royal Highness, Prince Amukamara, fell farther than expected and the Giants couldn’t be more pleased about it. They get a very talented corner to help a defense that was toasted by both the Eagles and Packers which left them out of the playoffs. Solidifying the secondary to compliment an already elite pass rush is just what the Giants need to get them back into the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills

No it’s not a mistake, the Bills this year actually managed to pick a solid 1st round choice. After the disastrous picks that were Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Maybin in 2007 and 2009 respectively, and the misguided pick of CJ Spiller to a team that already had two solid running backs in 2010, the Bills went with Marcell Dareus, who will shore up what was an awful defense last year. Perhaps most importantly, Dareus is a guy who can start right away, and without a lot of downside, which the Bills need considering their past draft failures.


Atlanta Falcons

After having the best record in the NFC and then embarrassingly trounced at home by the Packers in the playoffs, the Falcons made a knee-jerk reaction by trading so high up in the draft. Julio Jones is a fine player and a solid pick, but the price to get him was far too high, and he isn’t a player that is the difference between perennial playoff team and Super Bowl champion. Giving up 2 first round picks, a second rounder and 2 fourth round picks is way too much for someone who isn’t even the best wide-receiver in this draft. Patience is the key in the NFL, but the Falcons want a Super Bowl now, and it may be very costly to them in the future.

Minnesota Vikings

Easily the reach of the draft, Christian Ponder wasn’t predicted to go in the 1st round, but somehow finds himself a Viking with the 12th pick. The Vikings desperately needed a quarterback, but if they really wanted Ponder they should have traded down. Instead they have a quarterback who is far from a sure thing, as well as an aging team that could use youth at a lot of positions. Once one play away from the Super Bowl, the Vikings have taken quite a tumble, and look like they might be in the cellar of the NFC North for at least a couple of years.

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton is a very divisive person with about half of NFL fans believing he will be a star, and the other half thinking he will be the next JaMarcus Russell. You can count me as part of the latter half because I think there are just too many questions surrounding the character, intelligence, and ability of Newton to make him the top overall pick in the draft. To me it would have made more sense to either trade down, or go with Miller, Green, or Dareus, three players who can play right away and are about as close to sure things as you get with rookies. The Panthers just used a high draft pick on Clausen last year, and if they really feel like he isn’t going to pan out, just bite the bullet for one more year and get Andrew Luck next year, who is far and away better than any Qb in this year’s draft. I think this pick will end up setting the Panthers back for the awhile.

Chicago Bears

The Bears don’t find themselves in the “losers” list because of their draft picks, but because of the mess they caused with the Ravens. The Bears initiated a trade with the Ravens to take their spot, but somehow didn’t send anyone to inform the NFL that the trade had taken place, effectively making the Ravens run out of time and lose one spot in the draft. Not only will the Bears likely be faced with some sort of repercussion from the NFL, but it reflects terribly on them as an organization and could force some teams to shy away from trying to trade with the Bears in the future.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#32 Pick Packers Select:


Packers Perspective: They were going to go after the best available player regardless, and it also hapeened to be one of there semi-needs.

Keiths take: Has all the talents you look for in an offensive lineman and should be a guy they can develop into a possible left tackle.

ABs take: The top rated offensive lineman in my evaluations, I feel Sherrod gives Aaron Rodgers a solid starting left tackle for the next 10 years. Sherrod has tremendous feet and a great understanding of the game.

Who they should have picked: I think RB Ryan Williams should have been a guy they looked at.

#31 Pick Steelers Select:


Steelers Perspective: A luxury pick for the Steelers, and a good one Heyward was once thought of as a top 10 pick.

Keiths take: Had games where he was unstoppable if they can get the most out of his talents he should be a great player.

Who they should have picked: They could have gone with a number of players here but I thought they needed some help at defensive back surprised they did not go Aaron Williams.

#30 Pick Jets Select:


Jets Perspective: He will be a great fit at defensive end for the Jets.

Keiths take: Very underrated prospect that has all the skills to become a disruptive player.

Who they should have picked: I think Wilkerson was a real good fit for the Jets.

#29 Pick Bears Select:


Bears Perspective: The Bears needed to add some depth to help out their run game, Carimi comes from a school known for producing top lineman.

Keiths take: I am very surprised that the Bears, who have not had a first round pick the last two years did not try for a flashier pick. I like the decision Carimi should be a solid player.

Who they should have picked: It would be cool to see Bowers and Peppers on the same line.

#28 Pick Saints Select:


Saints Perspective: They end up getting their running back for good value in the late rounds.

Keiths take: Saints are having a great draft Ingram and Cam Jordan both in the late rounds? Great day.

Who they should have picked: Made a smart move their team should be much more balanced next season.

#27 Pick Ravens Select:


Ravens Perspective: They get a big, fast, talented corner.

Keiths take: I think Smith is a great fit for the Ravens defense which has a lot of man coverage and bump and run.

Who they should have picked: I like CB Brandon Harris a little more than him, but Smith may fit better.

#26 Pick Chiefs (Jumped over Ravens) Select:


Chiefs Perspective: They wanted another playmaker to help out Cassel, and they got a big one in Baldwin.

Keiths take: I think he could be a great deep threat and red-zone threat, but I don't know if he is an all-around receiver.

Who they should have picked: I would probably rather have Hankerson or Titus Young.

#25 Pick Seahawks Select


Seahawks Perspective: They wanted to add some depth on the offensive line, there has been a run on lineman so he was the available.

Keiths take: I think they really should have added someone that can make plays for them on offense or defense, they don't have any real young explosive players.

Who they should have picked: I thought they may have tried to get TE Kyle Rudolph, a big body that can make plays over the middle.

#24 Pick Saints Select:


Saints Perspective: They needed another end opposite of Will Smith, they get great value with Cameron Jordon at 24.

Keiths take: I thought Jordan was a lot more talented then some of the defensive ends that have gone off the board so great pick.

Who they should have picked: I think they really should have gone Ingram, they needed a running back to balance their offense. But Jordan is a great player in his own right.

#23 Pick Eagles Select:


Eagles Perspective: They add a very talented lineman that is versatile enough to play different positions

Keiths take: You just new the Eagles were going to select offensive or defensive line so not much surprise. Watkins definitely a great prospect the age thing is overrated.

Who they should have picked: I think a cornerback maybe Brandon Harris would have been the better pick but you can never have too many good offensive lineman.