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 Post subject: Falcons targetting Watkins, Kiwanuka OVERRATED
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:00 am 
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Got this from NFL Draft Scout.com, and Rob "Boomer" Rang had this to say about Watkins and Kiwanuka:

Rang wrote:
Based on our conversations with scouts, the following is a group of players who are considered potential first round selections, but are not yet receiving the attention their lofty grades deserve.

These are the underrated, unknowns of the 2006 first round.

Pat Watkins, FS, Florida State, 6-4, 202, 4.50: The 2006 draft is blessed with several high quality safety prospects, with Watkins consistently grading out the highest. A reliable open field tackler with rare size and speed, Watkins is a true ballhawk, having either led or tied for the team lead in interceptions each of the past three seasons. Atlanta and San Diego, each with considerable questions at safety, have kept close tabs on Watkins all year long, and will have the opportunity to watch him up close at the Senior Bowl.

...

Based on our conversations with scouts, the following is a group of players who are currently being overrated by the media. Scouts are quick to point out that the players below have legitimate NFL potential, but that none are currently earning consistent first round grades.

These are the overrated, over-blowns who likely won't make the 2006 first round.

Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College, 6-6, 260, 4.69: Kiwanuka is undeniably one of the elite natural pass rushers of a strong senior class. The problem is, of course, he was undeniably one of the elite pass rushers in the country as a sophomore and a junior before this season and simply hasn't taken the next step. Kiwanuka, at a lanky 6-6, 260 pounds, is simply too one dimensional for most teams to consider him in the first round. Kiwanuka, despite playing in 48 games over his career with the Golden Eagles, still lacks pass rush technique, gaining the vast majority of his production due to speed off the edge. Kiwanuka also lacks strength, leverage, and most importantly commitment at the line of scrimmage, making him an obvious target for running plays. Teams love his long arms and burst, but not many GMs are able to rationalize taking a player in the first round who they view as only a situational pass rusher.


Other underrated prospects listed were RB Joseph Addai (LSU), WR Jonathan Orr (Wisconsin), DT Gabe Watson (Michigan), DT Brodrick Bunkley (FSU), and Bobby Carpenter (Ohio State). Overrated guys include: DT Orien Harris (Miami), DT Rodrique Wright (Texas), CB Charles Gordon (Kansas), and CB Devin Hester (Miami).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:22 am 
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Thanks for that post. We have been tracking Watkins over at AFMB and he has graded out the best for us too. We think he will be there in the 2nd round though now that Huff, Simpson, & others will be available.

The Kiwanuka view was very interesting because his stock has been falling a good bit over the last few weeks. I just wonder if he would be willing to do what it takes to pack on the extra muscle it will take for him to hold up at the point of attack. He has tremendous talent & if he did add the mass, he could be a Strahan type of player. I have also been keeping an eye on Kiwi throughout the year and he is an impressive player, but he would have a lot of trouble against the run in the NFL at his current size.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:48 pm 
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I still think Kiwanuka could land in the Top 15. A team like Cleveland is looking for a solid OLB prospect in their 3-4 scheme. I could see them likening Kiwanuka to a Willie McGinest type. He has the size, speed, and athleticism to make a transition to OLB.

It's hard for me to imagine at this point him not being a first rounder, with his size, athleticism, and production on the college level. But it would seem from this report that there is quite a few teams out there that probably have him as the 3rd, 4th, or even 5th best DE in this draft. Also when you consider there are a number of teams in the bottom half of the first round that are looking for pass rushers, it's doubtful we'll see Kiwi slip too far in Round 1. But this does indicate that he's got a better shot than most think of being available at #15.

It will be interesting to see what he does in the All Star games, which is probably his best chance to confirm his status

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:16 pm 
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honestly, Kiwi may have the most upside of every defensive player in this draft. He has yet to fully fill out physically and has probably not been playing football as long as most American college players. It will be interesting to see what he is like in 4 or 5 years.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:11 am 
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What do you guys thiunk of McGlover out of Auburn? Personally, I think he should have stayed in school but he is an intirguing player. He might be desirable for a 3-4 defense.A bit undersized for DE but quick a s a cat, big motor and a knack for the big play. I would rather see ATL get guys with a bit more size for the DL to help with run D.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:34 pm 
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He doesn't have great size (6-2/245), but if he were to put on another 10-15 pounds, he could make it in the NFL at DE. He's the type of player that would be a good fit for the Falcons defense, but it all depends on him adding bulk and muscle prior to the draft.

KGB and Abraham I believe are the only starting DEs under 260 pounds. Frankly, I don't believe there is a single DE in the league that is not considered a "liability" vs. the run that weighs less than 265. Weight actually does matter when it comes to DEs, because there really is no amount of strength or leverage that can really overcome a 50+ pound weight discrepancy between you and an OT.

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 Post subject: yes!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:27 am 
Thank GOODNESS, I want Pat Watkins in ATL SO bad, I've been screamin for him over at AFMB for SURE. Can't wait to see what happens, I REALLY REALLY REALLY like him for our Defense, big time ball hawk who can bring the pain when he needs to. VERY bright player


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:47 pm 
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I was never a big fan of Kiwi. But Hali is starting to move up my draft board with some of the things I'm hearing about him. We really need to put a clamp on the leaky run defense and it seems Hali is suited well to stop the rush especially on the edge. Add to that solid pass rushing skills and good atheletcism and I think you have a DE crafted well for the Falcons defense.

Infact some of the comments I've heard referencing Tambi seem awfully similar to those used for one Patrick Kerney: "Solid & Compact", "Intense & Competitive", "Tons of Energy", "Motor that never stops", "Very quick off the ball", "Explosive" all words used to describe Kerney. They are close to the same size (Kerney -- 6'5" 273lbs, Hali -- 6'3" 267lbs.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:11 pm 
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Hali has been getting swallowed up all week at Senior Bowl practices. I am not a big fan of drafting him, even in the 2nd round, and would much rather see someone like Kiwanuka who has the frame & athleticism to play the position. Hali needs to gain about 50 pounds and move back inside honestly, as long armed Tackles will continually control him along the line for all of his 4-5 year career at DE. Hali was actually measured at 6'2" at the Senior Bowl and no motor in the world is going to help you when you're constantly being pushed into reverse by Walter Jones or some other good Tackle.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:57 am 
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Comp, I don't see how you can say that. Kiwi has been dominated all this week at the Senior Bowl, at least Hali has shown flashes he can play against the top talent (he is going against D'Brickashaw Ferguson BTW). Every source I've seen has indicated that Hali has outplayed Kiwi far and wide this week, so just because Kiwi is taller and can run faster, you think he's a better pick? Shouldn't we take the better player? I can understand if you're not high on Hali, but to still be high on Kiwi has me scratching my head.

Also, you should note that Hali is taller and has longer arms than Dwight Freeney. Now, granted Freeney is unmatched in terms of his edge speed, so I'm not saying Hali is going to be as good as Freeney, but I think you are underestimating the power of a motor.

The only thing that Kerney came into this league with was his motor and his toughness. Hali seems to be the same type of player as dirty. A good motor is essential to developing into a top DE in the NFL, while having a great frame and being 6'5" and being able to run a 4.5 40 are not. It's one thing if you are Julius Peppers (and potentially Mario Williams) where you have the strength and athleticism to be a power forward in the NBA and be able to beat most safeties in a footrace. Then you can rely on those things like frame and athleticism like you mentioned and only give 70% effort, because most times you can beat starting RTs just off your athleticism.

Fact is, Kerney has that good frame and decent athleticism and Walter Jones shut him down this past year.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:23 am 
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Kerney is not a good comparison to kiwanuka at all. Kiwi has very long arms and is an untapped specimen. They said he kept using one move all week, so imagine getting him in the weight room for a couple of years & teaching him the intricacies of the position. Kiwi could be great, Hali could be solid, and that is the difference. That is why i am higher on kiwi. People have been fooled into thinking Hali will be better against the run and other foolishness, but he got ate up the first couple days of practice. It's not that Kiwi did so much better, it is that Kiwi has so much more upside. Take it for what you will, but the best DE's in the league are all over 6'4" and have long arms...except for Freeney.

Oh and kiwi has a good motor & the right attitude so I'm not sure why that came up?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Comp you are way to obssessed with Walter Jones. He is the best tackle in the NFL but he is also one of 32 different starting left tackles. Not every player is going to beat every tackle in the NFL and there will be days that it isn't going well and they don't beat the guys they should.

I think Dwight Freeney is the reason you do not discount talent like Tambi Hali. The fact that Hali is performing so well against other upper tier talent in the Senior Bowl and made such a fast and succesful transition from the inside to the outside of the D-Line are all reasons he will succeed at the next level. The only problem I forsee with Hali is probably an inability to bulk up much more. His frame is likely close to carrying his maximum weight. But at the same time I think people are way to obssessed with numbers and weight than they should be. We are talking about a few pounds here, a couple hundredths of a second there. When you get that detailed I think you are going into overkill.

When I look at Hali I'm also looking at his success with Penn State both inside and out and not just his numbers an Senior Bowl reports.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:03 am 
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Hali is not performing well against those guys. He gets swallowed up at the point of attack and engulfed in pass rushing drills. Drafting him would be like drafting "Rudy". If you want to go by success then get Dumervil. I would rather go by upside and potential to be a superstar.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:26 am 
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Comp, you are 100% correct that Kiwi's upside is far and away higher than Hali. And I'm not ready to say Kiwi is not going to be a good pro even after a very disappointing Senior Bowl week. I agree, he probably has the drive and attitude to want to play harder and get better.

But I think we need to look at the near future first. Upside I believe too often burns teams. That's not to say that it should not be factor into your decision, but when you put a bit too much stock in upside is when you're putting yourself in a position to make a mistake.

I think Hali is a great fit for this team. He's relentless in the same manner that Kerney and Coleman are. He doesn't blow you away with his first step or his strength, or a great repertoire of pass rush moves, but he works hard and will get sacks. He's not a liability vs. the run, although of course he could stand to improve there. All reports of his personality and attitude seem to make him a good fit with our defense alongside Kerney, Brooking, Hartwell, and Hall. He doesn't seem the type to be overwhelmed with starting right away in the NFL.

Kiwi, however, seems a guy that your'e going to have to teach a lot more to. He lacked any real pass rush moves at the Senior Bowl, which leads me to believe he's relied off his speed at BC. He's been a guy that his been atop prospective draft boards for 2 years, and scouts and GMs have been just waiting for him to come out. But how much improvement has he shown in the past 2 years? Minimal by most accounts.

Kerney was a 210-pound lacrosse player when he showed up at UVA. Over 3 years, he worked his way to become a 245-pound DE. He then worked his way into an All-ACC DE as a senior, and then worked his way into the 1st round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Then he worked his way into a 3-4 DE although it wasn't a good fit. Then he worked his way back to a 4-3 DE. THen he worked his way into a Pro Bowl DE.

You're right, Kerney is not in the same arena as Kiwi in terms of athleticism. But they are similar players when you look at Kiwi in 2006 and Kerney in 1998. About the same size when they came into the league, Kerney being about 6-5/260. He had a great first step, great motor and work ethic.

And I'm not saying Kiwi has a lacking work ethic, but if his work ethic is so great, where are the results? Where is the improvement that should have been made over the past 2 years? I look at Kerney and the leaps and bounds he made from a sophomore to his senior year. I look at Hali from SOPH to SR, and he turned from a 1-sack DT into a 11-sack DE.

So although Hali's ceiling may not be as high as Kiwi's, I think you have to expect him to be able to improve once he gets to the NFL, becuase he's shown a much better ability to do so on the collegiate level.

I'd say at this point, Kiwi seems a bit too much like Kalimba Edwards, while Hali is more like Derrick Burgess, Freeney, Bert Berry, and Alex Brown, all guys that came into the league considered undersized, but have developed into some of the best and most productive players at their position.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:50 am 
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Hali is no Alex Brown, although Kiwi xould be another Edwards easily. The more I think about it the more I would rather trade down if they were the BPA at our pick.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:53 pm 
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Well there was a high amount of skepticism of how well Alex Brown projected to the NFL when he came into the league from the majority of the experts. And it's clear many NFL scouts/GMs had the same issues with him, as he fell to the 4th round after being considered a 1st round talent for much of his final year at Florida. Freeney and he were in the same draft. And skepticism on Freeney surrounded his height exclusively and whether he could hold up in the NFL. Skepticism on Brown surrounded his work ethic and his lack of size.

When you look at it in that manner, at least you can be a little bit reassured in no one is questioning Hali's work ethic.

I'm not enamored with Hali at all, and my defense of him I hope is not connoting that. But I don't think he'd be a bad pick. I think he'd be a good fit on this defense, but if he was the Falcons choice, he wouldn't be my top option. But at the same time, I wouldn't be too disappointed if we got him.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:15 am 
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Being a UGA fan, I had no doubt that Brown would be a quality NFL player. Same with Channing Crowder. The thing about the SEC is that defensive player who play well in that conference for multiple years are usually going to be good NFL players (about 75% chance). Some of these guys really stand out, like Brown, Crowder, & for this year Ko Simpson.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Yeah Hali was the only DE I saw exhibit more than one move in the senior bowl....he was over agressive at times and that led to him being out of position, but from what I saw he was better than anyother D lineman there....his first step is very explosive, he showed good strength by completely bowling over some RT that had to have outweighed him by 30-40 lbs, and he showed the non-stop motor everyone is talking about....

what I saw from Kiwi was a fella that was trying to use nothing more than size and speed to get past people and it wasn't working....I hate to say it but I see bust written in massive letters across Kiwi's forehead....trust me I'd love to be wrong, it's not everyday you see a player with that kind of physical attributes but I just don't see it.....

my boy Daryl Tapp disappointed me too....

all in all though I have to say that if we don't draft Huff or Williams (one of them I really think will be there) then I will be pissed....


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:32 pm 
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Same here. I'm really leaning heavily towards Jimmy Williams.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:05 pm 
get Jimmy Williams and pair him with D Hall.....whew boy!!!!!!


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