Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pilfered Senior Bowl Observations: Day 2.

It's very interesting how much a day can change opinions, for better or worse, but even more interesting to see how those opinions can so decisively diverge from critic to critic. Here's an example:

Todd McShay has what is probably the most thorough Senior Bowl analysis that there is to find, and he had this to say about Dalton's performance yesterday, in which he called AD the South's Top Performer:

The more you watch him, the more you see him do all the little things that are so important to the quarterback position. He doesn't have the big size, strong arm or great athleticism, but he's doing a really good job. He's a sponge. He's always around the QB coaches or offensive coaches, always asking questions, always talking, always engaged. He's never standing off on his own. He's leading everything. His ball is not pretty -- it flutters sometimes -- but he's got adequate arm stregth and probably the third-strongest arm of the QBs here. He can make the deep throws and he does the other little things right, so he has a good enough arm. He missed two times, throwing high on a couple of inside routes, but he was the most accurate QB from beginning to end.

True, some of the things he says sounds a little back handed, making it sound like AD is more of a football nerd than a football player, but you get the idea that he appreciates what Dalton brings to the table and recognizes that he has what it takes to make a roster somewhere.

And then there's draftinsider, who had this to say about the exact same day's work:

Really not impressive throwing the ball. Rarely throws tight spirals in either the long or short field. Cannot drive his deep throws. Does a nice job commanding the offense but lacks top physical skills for the next level.

Really? So the guy who Todd McShay thinks has one of the strongest arms in Mobile may as well be throwing left handed in the eyes of draftinsider? What gives? After reading this, I decided to eschew whatever reservations I had about watching the SB practices and have recorded this afternoon's session to make my own opinions because, quite frankly, I'm not sure how opinions can be so divided. Although, given the stake that has and will always be driven in our fanbase in regards to the Dalton Haters and Dalton Enthusiasts, I'm not sure why this surprises me. And while McShay is the same guy who thought Jake Locker was going to be one of the greatest prospects to every come out of college football at the QB position, and while ESPN is an evil entity that should be mocked at every turn, I have a feeling we're going to have very similar opinions when it comes to Big Red.

Also, here's a nice little video from McShay talking about the QB competition:

As for our other guys, the reviews from draftinsider were overwhelmingly positive for Kerley:

Best receiver on the South squad. Quickly gets off the line, runs some of the best routes of any receiver in Mobile and always makes the catch. Not a downfield threat but really established himself as a terrific slot receiver prospect.

But not as much so for Kirkpatrick:

Kirkpatrick continued to come off the snap high and was eventually reminded by his coached to stay low. He also struggled to move laterall off the snap. Plus he liked to wrestle his assignmentd while getting his hands too wide.

The news about Kerley is very, very nice to hear. Kerley gets so much publicity regarding his return game that I was afraid he might be pigeon holed solely as a special teamer at the next level, which isn't a bad way to make a living, but I just think he can be SO dangerous as a slot guy. So to hear he ran the best routes of any receiver yesterday is a very positive thing.

The opinions on Kirkpatrick bother me though, and unfortunately this has been the story all off-season - all 20 days of it. I mean, is it so far fetched to think that the Rimington Trophy winner is worthy of a 2nd or 3rd round draft choice? Especially when said Trophy winner is probably the most athletic of all the linemen in Mobile? Actually, yes. I checked back through the past few Rimington Award winners, and while last year's winner Maurkice Pouncey clearly did well for himself this year in Pittsburgh, the others have not. Of the three winners before Pouncey, 0 of the three are currently on NFL rosters above the practice squad, and one of them is no longer in the NFL at all. Actually, if you dig deeper, the two winners before that group are no longer in the NFL at all, either. So is the Rimington Award college football's version of the Madden curse? Just ask Maurkice Pouncey and his high ankle sprain.

So what can we really expect of Kirkpatrick? I definitely think he gets drafted, but unless he improves his technique, it appears he's a low round and possible a practice squad casualty at best. Let's hope he figures some things out before the combine.

That's all I have for today, but I promise to be a bit more thorough tomorrow as I should have my own biased opinions to toss into the mix.

1 comment:

shortnkerley's said...

Jake Locker in 2 starts this season against Nebraska had a total of 9 completions. 9!!! In 2starts. That guy has no chance.