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 Post subject: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:41 pm 
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The more I read on Kerrigan the more I like him probably for the Falcon's 1st round pick. He might not be the fastest or strongest player but he seems to have great football IQ. Can he succeed in the pros and be a decent pass rusher? I predict the Falcon's to draft 25-30 overall and to find a no1 pass rusher with the pick will be extremely difficult. Based on his drafting history TD will take the player with the most upside to fill a need.





No player has been as disruptive on defense this season as Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan.

Michigan had no answer when it came to neutralizing the charge of Purdue's 6-foot-4, 263-pound senior DE Ryan Kerrigan at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette on Saturday afternoon. After totaling 11.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks as a sophomore, Kerrigan established himself as one of the more disruptive DEs in the country in '09. During that season, he finished with 18.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. The latter was the third best mark in the country.



Saturday was a whole new level of dominance. The type who is always looking for ways to get better, Kerrigan's five tackles for loss and four sacks against the Wolverines on Saturday brought his season totals in those respective categories to 23.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. And his big-play ability is not limited to those two areas. Also very effective at dislodging the football from the opponent, he had two forced fumbles in the game and has 12 over the last two seasons. He showed you a very good rip move against the Wolverines. And he did a terrific job of holding the point, locating the football, shedding the blocker and making stops against the run. This guy has been rising all season.



A.J. Green | WR | Georgia
On Saturday, Georgia WR A.J. Green looked every bit the part of a top-5 prospect in the 2011 NFL draft. Remember, he's currently No. 2 overall on my Big Board and has been at that same exact spot since mid-October. Highly acclaimed since he was a junior at South Carolina's Summerville High, he's been every bit as good as advertised since arriving on the Athens campus in '08. Forced to sit out the first four games of the season, he came into Saturday with just one 100-yard receiving game in the five he played against top competition. Against No. 2-ranked Auburn, the 6-foot-4, 209-pound junior totaled nine catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. What he showed you against the Tigers wasn't just the size, but precise route-running, the speed to beat you deep, the willingness to make the tough grab across the middle and the ability to adjust and make the difficult catch when the throw is off target. When you look at all the attributes that go into being an outstanding, Pro Bowl caliber feature receiver in the NFL, Green has them all.



There were a pair of linebackers who got my attention in the ACC over the weekend.



Nate Irving | LB | N.C. State
Considering that last year at this time, Irving was forced to be a spectator after suffering several injuries in an automobile accident over the summer, he has to be thrilled just to be back on the gridiron. When I saw the box score and noticed that Irving was credited with eight tackles for loss, I thought it might be a misprint. But when I checked the tape, indeed, he was that disruptive in their win over Wake Forest. Every time I looked up, he was making a tackle in the backfield, (he also finished with a game-high 13 stops). At 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, he lacks ideal size for a middle linebacker, but compensates with very good athletic ability, excellent anticipation and a knack for making big plays. And while not the biggest player at the position, he very much enjoys the physical aspects of the game.




Getty Images
In a program that has churned out defensive talent, Taylor is the latest find.Bruce Taylor | OLB | Virginia Tech The most improved player for the Hokies on defense this season has been Taylor. Used sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 2009, the 6-foot-2, 247-pound third-year sophomore was given an extended chance to see the field in the spring as the coaching staff sought out a replacement for injured LB Barquell Rivers. Taylor impressed enough to earn the starting job. In their win over the Tar Heels, he did a nice job against the run. He also showed some coverage ability, and was able to get after the quarterback. At his best attacking the line of scrimmage, he leads the team in tackles for loss (15.5) and sacks (6). He's also tops in overall tackles with 77. What was once a source of concern has now become a team strength.



Jordan Todman | RB | Connecticut
Connecticut RB Jordan Todman put himself on the national map as a sophomore, teaming with Andre Dixon to give the Huskies a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. Not only did Todman impress running the football that year, he also did a nice job for them on special teams (he averaged 25.3 yards per kick return). With Dixon no longer in the mix, the 5-foot-9, 191-pound junior has seen his average carries per game increase from 18-plus in 2009 to 26-plus this season. His 147 rushing yards per game is second only to Oregon's LaMichael James. In the Huskies' 30-28 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday, Todman went for a career-high 222 yards on 37 carries. Known for his breakaway ability, what stood out against the Panthers was his ability to excel in short-yardage situations. On their game-tying drive in the first quarter, he converted a third-and-2 and a fourth-and-1. Then with under five minutes to go in the fourth quarter and Connecticut up by just two points, he converted a critical fourth-and-1 from their own 19-yard line and another fourth-and-1 on the final play of the game.



Keith Tandy | CB | West Virginia
In watching the first half of the Cincinnati-West Virginia game, I came away impressed with Mountaineers 5-foot-10, 198-pound junior CB Keith Tandy. Matched up against talented Bearcats senior Armon Binns on several occasions throughout the first half, Tandy managed to more than hold his own. Overall, he displayed good closing speed, did a very nice job of tackling in space, and showed good ball skills. Whereas fellow junior Robert Sands is their best pro prospect on the defensive side of the football, Tandy has actually been their top big-play performer in the deep patrol. His five INTs match the total for the rest of the team.



Marc Tyler | RB | USC
Coming out of California's Oaks Christian High three years ago, Tyler was regarded as one of the top running backs in the country. For Tyler, the son of former NFL RB Wendell Tyler, the road to success with the Trojans would be a trying one. A broken leg suffered late in his senior season in high school forced him to redshirt in '07. In spot duty in 2008, he showed flashes of the player we witnessed in high school, but simply didn't get the reps. He got off to a nice start as a sophomore, but a toe injury limited him to just one game. Approached by the new regime about a possible position change in the offseason, Tyler, now a fourth-year junior, entered the summer low on the depth chart. The only real buzz at the position surrounded incoming freshman Dillon Baxter. Slowly but surely, however, Tyler worked his way up the depth chart and was named the starter for the opener against Hawaii. He turned a few heads in that game by rushing for 154 yards on 17 carries. His next 100-yard effort, though, didn't come until USC's ninth game of the season against Arizona State. But he showed again this week some of the innate skills many saw earlier. In the Trojans' win over Arizona, Tyler had a career-high 31 carries for 160 yards. He showed good burst through the hole, elusiveness and very good body lean. His stock is finally back on the rise.



Keep up with Mel Kiper throughout the year via his home page.

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 Post subject: Re: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:03 am 
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I'm not super high on Kerrigan. I think he's a good player don't get me wrong, and would not be a mistake for a team to take him in the latter part of the 1st round. I've seen him now 3 times (vs. Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin) and while he's a good player, I don't think he's going to be a top pass rusher.

The player I would compare him to is Justin Smith in terms of his potential. I think he's quick, but not overly explosive to think he'll really be a top edge rusher. Smith has averaged about 6.3 sacks per year for the past 9 seasons since he's been in the pros, and in the past few years has been a very good 3-4 DE for the 49ers, although I think Kerrigan is a much better fit as a 4-3 DE for the time being. But in time, if he bulks up and gets up around 280, I think he could make a nice 3-4 DE just like Smith.

And while Kerrigan would improve the Falcons pass rush, I don't think he's really the answer that we are looking for in terms of an heir apparent to John Abraham.

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 Post subject: Re: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:20 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I'm not super high on Kerrigan. I think he's a good player don't get me wrong, and would not be a mistake for a team to take him in the latter part of the 1st round. I've seen him now 3 times (vs. Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin) and while he's a good player, I don't think he's going to be a top pass rusher.

The player I would compare him to is Justin Smith in terms of his potential. I think he's quick, but not overly explosive to think he'll really be a top edge rusher. Smith has averaged about 6.3 sacks per year for the past 9 seasons since he's been in the pros, and in the past few years has been a very good 3-4 DE for the 49ers, although I think Kerrigan is a much better fit as a 4-3 DE for the time being. But in time, if he bulks up and gets up around 280, I think he could make a nice 3-4 DE just like Smith.

And while Kerrigan would improve the Falcons pass rush, I don't think he's really the answer that we are looking for in terms of an heir apparent to John Abraham.


Pudge, I knew you were going to say that about Kerrigan but all things being equal and no otherp layers of value are on the board to fill a need Kerrigan is as good as any to draft. So we get another Biermann type player, it's better than the status quo. Biermann and Sid may never develop and how do you get a shot at a top pass rusher when it's very likely the Falcon's will be drafting 25-30 for the foreseeable future if things progress. It's rare teams let pass rushers go to free agency or trade. The Giants have great success in finding def ends so our scouting dept needs to scout the ranks and maybe someone lands in our laps.

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 Post subject: Re: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:56 am 
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Obviously, it depends on who is all available. And it's too early in the process to wager a good guess who will be available. But DE is one of the positions that is very much overdrafted because of the high premium placed on the position. There are so many busts at that position, particularly in recent drafts for that very reason.

It comes down to value, and if I can get a potentially great player at another key position of need vs. just a good player at DE, then I'll take the great player every time.

Again, Kerrigan would definitely improve the Falcons, so I'm not against drafting him. And if he's a high character guy (and it appears that he is), and is coached up he could be a lot better player than I project him to be. He does fit the Falcon mold in that way.

But you constantly bring up the Giants, and the truth is that since Strahan retired, their DEs don't look as good as people once believed. Yes, I'm aware that Umenyiora already has 9 sacks this year, but 7 of those sacks came in 3 games against Frank Omiyale, Rashad Butler, and Jeff Backus, not exactly premier talent at left tackle. Otherwise, he's had 2 sacks in 6 games which is good but not great. Justin Tuck has been nothing special since '08, and Mathias Kiwanuka appears to be just a good situational rusher that can get you 3-5 sacks every year and not much more. Which is why I think they went out and drafted JPP this year because they realize that they don't have what they thought they had.

And as I argued last off-season, pass rush is a bit overrated. Not to say that it doesn't matter or doesn't make an impact, but you can hide the flaws of not having a strong pass rush by blitzing better than you can if your DBs and LBs cannot cover.

So if you're just going to settle for a "good" player, I think it makes more sense to use that pick on a CB or S rather than a DE or DT.

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 Post subject: Re: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:07 pm 
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It depends on how much quality is currently at the position for the Falcon's. Is the def line better than our secondary? Better yet do we get a good enough pass rush from our blitzes? I'd say we are average at getting to the qb ranking 18th in the league with 18 sacks. Of course pressure is more important than sacks but I don't feel we get enough pressure.

I don't know who will be available but it would be nice to find a good prospect at corner. Dunta is better than we had but gets paid to much. Grimes can't matchup with bigger receivers and eventually a corner will be needed to replace one of the 2 in the long term future. Better to have depth in case injury happens also and Owens has taken a step back this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:50 pm 
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It just makes more sense in my book to target CB over DE. If you can't get pressure up front, and have to blitz then you need better covermen. If you have good cover men, then you can dial up the blitzes. Obviously you want to be strong in both areas, but if you trade strength at one for mediocrity at the other, it seems to me that being strong CB/mediocre DE is more beneficial than the opposite.

Probably the reason why I'm not super thrilled on the notion of adding Kerrigan is subconsciously I know it might spell the end of Chauncey Davis's time in Atlanta. Either him or Sid. I think Anderson is playing at a high enough level this year that I think he would be relatively safe. But Davis or Sid would be most vulnerable. Davis is actually contributing, but Sid is young with upside as a pass rusher, which probably wins in a tie.

I like to think I'm a logical and objective enough person to understand that Kerrigan's ability and potential trumps my man-crush on Chauncey, but it would be tough to see him go. Especially when one considers that the real problem area is not the DE position. If you rank our Top 5 DL today, 4 of them are DEs. The DT position is the real weak spot up front.

But IMO, getting a SAM linebacker that can cover and/or a big slot corner with potential to be an upgrade over Grimes are just as big needs as improving the pass rush.

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 Post subject: Re: Notes from Mel Kiper
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:28 pm 
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I know some players fans love but unless their a significant player I think GMs our of the mindset they want the best talent and player to fit the mold of the club. I do wish we had another Babs in the lineup at def tackle.I don't think Peters or Jerry have near that potential so if def tackle needs improvement that is something to consider. How much Peters and Jerry's potential is must be weighed.
JAM has improved but still is he producing at a level where we need to take the next step or for that matter Peters/Jerry/JAM? I know you like Chauncey mainly because of his run stopping ability but Kerrigan seems like a player that will make plays and produce all the time.He's like a blue collar worker who will do what it takes to get the job done and I think we need a few of those on the team. He would push Sid/Davis/JAM to be better or be cut. Some players have potential but don't want it bad enough. Kerrigan would provide competition and motivate our other def ends to be better. I also like the Purdue bloodline because they have been known to produce some solid football players from that university.


I'm sure TD will scout the ranks and find the bpa to fill a need like he usually does. We need to keep drafting solid players. Jerry and Owens don't look like their going to be anything but average but they still have time to improve. It would be nice to hit on some good players that can make a decent contribution if not become starters on the team. I know their hard to find but good GMs find those nuggets.

Premium positions like corner and def end are hard to find so all things being equal in talent then TD must decide who will help the club the most. Chances are there will be a player that is high on the board whether SAM, def end,corner, even off line,receiver,running back when it comes to the Falcon's pick.

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