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 Post subject: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:55 pm 
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In the NFL, smart franchises use draft picks to address the future. They use draft picks to replace players who will be too expensive or too old in coming years. They use draft picks to select the best football players on the board.

Bad football teams are constantly treading water. They have holes to fill. They draft for need while other teams eye superior talent. That only widens the competitive gap.

............

This is my concern, and is the theory the Ravens have used to be a perennial contender. Needs drafting can still work if you have a surplus of picks, but that's not what the Falcons use. Without a surplus of picks, you need to go relatively BPA (within a broad category of 5 or 6 needs) and that way, you don't get caught being scared that "last tackle" is going to be gone. It's happened to the Falcons with several players, and I think now that the roster is filled, it's imperative to get ahead of the curve.

Had the OL been addressed a bit in FA, then the Falcons could have been looking for Abe replacement, Gonzales replacement, and Turner replacement (along with great athletes that fell) in the draft. Instead, we'll have all of those as IMMEDIATE needs next year, in addition to whatever other needs crop up over the year (FS, LT).

Does anyone think needs based drafting to the degree the Falcons do it is sustainable? It works with 11 picks, but with 6 or 7, you need to go BPA. Taking 4th-5th round talent in the 3rd is ok for a couple of years, but it catches up to you over the long haul. Or does it?


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:24 pm 
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Not sustainable at all. That's why I was against the Julio Jones trade. We were at a point that we could have addressed future needs. Instead, we went after a shiny hood ornament for a position that we already had covered pretty well. We even had to cut a starter to make room for Jones. Totally backwards approach to building your team through the draft.

So now we have Julio Jones, who will be one of the top paid WR's in the league in a few years, paired up with one of the currently top paid WR's in the league, both on a team that wants to be a power running team.

I would be more accepting of the move to draft Jones if the team committed to being a Matt Ryan led offense. Get rid of Turner and Mughelli and bring in a RB who would compliment the passing game. (Rodgers might even fit that bill.) Snelling fits nicely as someone to spell that person, and to grind out the tough yards. But if the intent is to be a run-first offense, then having Jones, White, and Gonzales on the team together makes no sense to me. If we come out in a 2 TE set, then one of them gets left on the bench, and that's almost always going to be Jones. (Because we know very well that if Turner's on the field, Mughelli will be as well)


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:58 pm 
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I think you have to bridge the gap between the two. The plus of needs-based drafting is that you're going to get a higher percentage of your draft picks wind up being contributors, i.e. you're going to hit a lot of singles and doubles. But the BPA approach means that you can get top-level players, and thus you have the ability to hit triples and homeruns.

I think the happy medium is the way to go. And that's hard to do, but I think it largely means that you skew more towards BPA in Rounds 1 and 2, and then probably shift to need more in Round 3 or later. Although I think too often you can shift too much for need in Round 3, when there is still earlier round talent available.

I think the issue with the Falcons has less to do with need vs. BPA, but the fact that they don't do a good job self-evaluating their roster. I think they don't do a great job targeting guys that are going to excel in their schemes. That's the key to why some draft picks work out, particularly in the middle/late rounds, because you find guys that are near perfect fits in yoru scheme.

And that's something I think the Falcons have rarely done. My oft-used example is Sam Baker, but Jacquizz Rodgers is another great example as well. This team tends to be more about adding complementary and role players than it is about playmakers. And I think the lack of playmakers is what is holding this team back from reaching their goals. And it's sad, when they paid a huge price for their one true blue dynamic field-tilting playmaker, and they only want to use him as a complementary player. For any other team, he woudl be their Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, or Andre Johnson. But for this team, he's just Michael Jenkins on steroids. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 1:10 am 
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Pudge wrote:
I think you have to bridge the gap between the two. The plus of needs-based drafting is that you're going to get a higher percentage of your draft picks wind up being contributors, i.e. you're going to hit a lot of singles and doubles. But the BPA approach means that you can get top-level players, and thus you have the ability to hit triples and homeruns.

I think the happy medium is the way to go. And that's hard to do, but I think it largely means that you skew more towards BPA in Rounds 1 and 2, and then probably shift to need more in Round 3 or later. Although I think too often you can shift too much for need in Round 3, when there is still earlier round talent available.

I think the issue with the Falcons has less to do with need vs. BPA, but the fact that they don't do a good job self-evaluating their roster. I think they don't do a great job targeting guys that are going to excel in their schemes. That's the key to why some draft picks work out, particularly in the middle/late rounds, because you find guys that are near perfect fits in yoru scheme.

And that's something I think the Falcons have rarely done. My oft-used example is Sam Baker, but Jacquizz Rodgers is another great example as well. This team tends to be more about adding complementary and role players than it is about playmakers. And I think the lack of playmakers is what is holding this team back from reaching their goals. And it's sad, when they paid a huge price for their one true blue dynamic field-tilting playmaker, and they only want to use him as a complementary player. For any other team, he woudl be their Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, or Andre Johnson. But for this team, he's just Michael Jenkins on steroids. :roll:


I think the bridge is BPA across multiple needs. So you don't draft a QB if you have one, you don't draft an LT in the 1st round if you have a 2nd year guy who is great.

But, this year, for instance, were the OL shored up a touch, you'd have DE, S, DT, OLB, WR, TE, RB, OT. That's a lot of guys, you'd sort by round, and you'd know DE replacement is more critical than DT replacement for instance, but basically...wouldn't a DT who can contribute year 1, and you get an early 2nd round talent in round 3 be better than taking a DE (or LT) who you have 4th round graded (this is hypothetical.) An athlete, a starter or strong rotational caliber player, at WR, RB or TE would have made a big difference to the offense this year. A DE or S or OLB who you think can be a legit starter could get legit reps year 1, and then be an answer.

I think with the rotation, you have a lot of options for guys who can contribute year 1, but have a likely chance of starting the next year. But if you just have 2 or 3 positions, and you MUST take them, you're nearly certain to reach on the last one, if not two.

I don't count the 5th-7th rounds. I frankly think those are generally for boom/bust type picks who you can groom for a year and see what you have, or for role players. I don't quibble with those too much, unless it's a limited athlete at a full position.

But I will agree the self assessment hasn't helped anything. The things you mention are the things that make me feel like, despite collaborating, TD and MS aren't exactly on the same page.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 1:48 am 
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I also think the happy medium is the way to go!!

I get so sick of hearing What Julio didn't do last year!! I mean he was injured for 2 or 3 games; I don't want to look it up
because it doesn't matter; the kid was a rookie who had a great year!!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jones wears number 11, in tribute to the year he was drafted into the NFL. Jones came to terms with the Falcons on July 28, 2011, signing a four-year contract worth $16.2 million, all of which was guaranteed.[56] In addition, Jones earns income from an endorsement deal he signed with Under Armour.

Jones recorded his first NFL touchdown on Week 9 of the 2011 season, against the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the season leading all rookies in touchdown receptions with 8, while his 54 receptions for 959 yards ranked him second among rookies in each category!! (I consider this pretty darn good especially without training camp; and missing a couple of games)

Considering the games he missed; I don't see any comparison to Jenkins...Jenkins didn't catch many Tds, and on his best year he perhaps broke 700 yards.....Their were many passes to an open Jones and Ryan just kept missing him....Crap
Jenkins was hardly ever open!!

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:23 am 
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Some of this also must be a result of not developing players...If none of your 'projects' ever make it off the PS, then you will always be 'drafting for need', right?

Pudge, how do you think this franchise does in terms of guys moving from the P Squad to a reliable backup or starter? In terms of how other franchises do it?

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Weren't Clabo and Dahl both on the PS.? That was before Thomas D. though but at least it was Smith and Thomas D. that gave them that chance if I'm right? I guess Claybo was playing when Smith got here.

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:01 pm 
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fun gus wrote:
Pudge, how do you think this franchise does in terms of guys moving from the P Squad to a reliable backup or starter? In terms of how other franchises do it?

I'd give TD a D in that regards. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16158

Cyril wrote:
Considering the games he missed; I don't see any comparison to Jenkins...Jenkins didn't catch many Tds, and on his best year he perhaps broke 700 yards.....Their were many passes to an open Jones and Ryan just kept missing him....Crap
Jenkins was hardly ever open!!

Normally, I would jump at this bait. But it's an argument I've made many times before, and there's no point rehashing it when people have already made up their minds that Michael Jenkins was terrible, and Julio Jones is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But for the record, for the sake I'll of brevity I'll summarize: the reasons why there are comparisons between Jenkins and Jones is (1) because the Falcons didn't use Jones to any greater a degree than they used Jenkins. And (2) despite the fact that Jones went into beast mode for roughly 5 or 6 games, he was a non-factor in 10-11 others, which when you average them out over the course of a full season, they amount to being about the same.

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:12 am 
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Pudge wrote:
Normally, I would jump at this bait. But it's an argument I've made many times before, and there's no point rehashing it when people have already made up their minds that Michael Jenkins was terrible, and Julio Jones is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But for the record, for the sake I'll of brevity I'll summarize: the reasons why there are comparisons between Jenkins and Jones is (1) because the Falcons didn't use Jones to any greater a degree than they used Jenkins. And (2) despite the fact that Jones went into beast mode for roughly 5 or 6 games, he was a non-factor in 10-11 others, which when you average them out over the course of a full season, they amount to being about the same.
Huh? How about comparing apples to apples? How many games did Jenkins "go into beast mode" during his rookie season? For that matter, how many times has he done that over the course of his entire career?


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:51 am 
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SteveH wrote:
Pudge wrote:
Normally, I would jump at this bait. But it's an argument I've made many times before, and there's no point rehashing it when people have already made up their minds that Michael Jenkins was terrible, and Julio Jones is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But for the record, for the sake I'll of brevity I'll summarize: the reasons why there are comparisons between Jenkins and Jones is (1) because the Falcons didn't use Jones to any greater a degree than they used Jenkins. And (2) despite the fact that Jones went into beast mode for roughly 5 or 6 games, he was a non-factor in 10-11 others, which when you average them out over the course of a full season, they amount to being about the same.
Huh? How about comparing apples to apples? How many games did Jenkins "go into beast mode" during his rookie season? For that matter, how many times has he done that over the course of his entire career?


I think he's not disputing that Jones is better, and will be much better. A lot of people said it was a "win now" move. Because normally you wouldn't give away picks that could have been used to replace Gonzales, Abe, Turner, Baker etc. unless you are trying to win before they leave. For that, Julio didn't provide a ton Jenkins doesn't (a couple hundred extra yards for the season.)

I think Julio's a 1400 yard receiver in the future, but in year 1, he wasn't a huge upgrade over Jenks, or a FA you could pick up for cheap. The way it REALLY would have been a change, is to have that vet (whether Jenks or a Derrick Mason type) on the outside and Julio in the slot. Then if the outside WR gets 900-1000 yards AND Julio gets 900-1000 yards, you've really maximized it by becoming a passing offense.

Where you could have gained nearly 1000 yards from your receiving corps, you gained only a couple hundred instead. That's why it's important not to just upgrade at a position and lose one, but rather truly upgrade the whole corps. The same is true at CB. If we acquired Asante and dumped Dunta, it would have been an upgrade, but not dramatic. But if you have all 3, your CB corps is dramatically upgraded.

The Falcons didn't take advantage of that opportunity...which was shifting to having 3 legit options (4 with HD) and really utilizing them, so Julio was only a small step forward (in the short term) instead of a huge one, which could have happened for the price of a cheap FA.

That's my take, Pudge can correct anything as we don't see eye to eye on all of it.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:39 am 
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Well since Pudge loves facts more than anything else; I'm not looking this up but I think Jenkins caught 7 his rookie season!!

So how does anyone compare 7 receptions for Jenkins to 8 Tds for Julio.

We all know Julio will be better but just comparing rookie season's their's a world of difference. Julio made teams respect our ability to hit a long bomb when Jenkins could never do that ever!!

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:44 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Well since Pudge loves facts more than anything else; I'm not looking this up but I think Jenkins caught 7 his rookie season!!

So how does anyone compare 7 receptions for Jenkins to 8 Tds for Julio.

We all know Julio will be better but just comparing rookie season's their's a world of difference. Julio made teams respect our ability to hit a long bomb when Jenkins could never do that ever!!


I doubt he ever contends they're equal talents. I've only ever seen him compare what they would have done in 2011. It's irrelevant what Jenkins did his rookie year. You could expect Jenkins to get about 700 yards or so, and Julio got 900 something. This is from someone (me) who really disliked how Jenkins played the game. Julio's no doubt a long term help, but much more so if they'd do as outlined above, and have him as one of 3 legit options. Jenks, Mason types are about 3M a year, and would make the offense radically harder to stop, giving Julio disproportionate value.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:19 am 
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takeitdown has the gist of what I'm saying. I'm not saying Jones isn't better than Jenkins. But here's a simplified version of my argument.

Let's put things on a scale of 1-10. 10 being a huge boon for a team's ability to win, 5 being about average, and 1 being' virtually a non-factor.

Let's say for 5 games that Jones had were he was in "beast mode" he played at an 8 level. And then you factor in the other 8 games he played, and he was only at a 2. That gives you a grand total of a 56 for his contribution to the Falcons last year (8 x 5 = 40 + (8 x 2) = 56).

Looking at Michael Jenkins 11 games he played in 2010, and if you assume he was average, and thus producing at a 5 level every week, then he comes out at about a 55.

Obviously, I'm oversimplifying it but the point is that if you look at Jenkins giving C or B level production in EVERY GAME, and compare that to the huge contrast for Jones which was all over the place, some weeks it was A level, others B, others C, but a lot more than people are allowing were D level, then when you average their performances out for 16 weeks, the difference isn't as huge as they appear to be on the stat sheet. That's the point I'm trying to make. There are other stats that back this up, but they are those "cute stats" that people like to conveniently dismiss whenever they disagree with their opinions.

If the Falcons had been smart, they would have kept Jenkins and Jones on the roster. Thus allowing them to keep Jenkins consistent production and then couple that with the few times Jones went into beast mode, making the best of both worlds.

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:06 am 
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I just totally disagree so let's leave it at that!! So there were 8 games Jones could have been a winning piece of the game plan; and for Jenkins none!!

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:20 am 
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Every game Julio had to be respected as a deep threat!! (2011) Jenkins never had that respect (2011)

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:04 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Every game Julio had to be respected as a deep threat!! (2011) Jenkins never had that respect (2011)

How do you figure these statements to be accurate? Did Jones draw a lot of double coverage last year? Did Jenkins, while here was here? I'd argue that neither of these guys has drawn consistent double coverage. Why? Because they are the 3rd wheel. White draws double coverage. Gonzo draws double coverage. Jones is left to do his thing, when he's on the field. And there's the big problem... 2 TE set, Jones is on the bench.

The move to acquire Jones will continue to be a mistake as long as he is pulled off the field in favor of a TE.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:46 pm 
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I can't help you if you don't think Julio was considered a deep threat; and Jenkins not?

And why are we continuing to compare a rookie in Jones who had more Td catches than Jenkins did catches as a rookie.

When folkes can't win a debate we start comparing the rookie to the washed up guy; who was average and ordinary; to
compare their play in the rookies first year to the veterans last year?? Their's no debate here!!

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:44 am 
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In the future, Jones will blossom into a player where there is no debate and he will be significantly better than Jenkins ever was. But in comparing Jenkins 2010 to Jones 2011, the gap is between them is much smaller than the majority of Falcon fans think. There is plenty of evidence out there that supports said statement, but it would require people to wrap their brains around the notion that yards and touchdowns are not the sole indicator of quality in professional football players. That's a notion that millions of people lack the capacity or willingness to comprehend... including a few on this message board. :beef:

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:54 am 
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Cyril wrote:
I can't help you if you don't think Julio was considered a deep threat; and Jenkins not?

And why are we continuing to compare a rookie in Jones who had more Td catches than Jenkins did catches as a rookie.

When folkes can't win a debate we start comparing the rookie to the washed up guy; who was average and ordinary; to
compare their play in the rookies first year to the veterans last year?? Their's no debate here!!

Apparently, you couldn't be bothered to read what I posted. It's all good. Respect is a two way road.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 12:09 am 
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Quote:
" Pudge Wrote" There is plenty of evidence out there that supports said statement, but it would require people to wrap their brains around the notion that yards and touchdowns are not the sole indicator of quality in professional football players. That's a notion that millions of people lack the capacity or willingness to comprehend... including a few on this message board. :beef:


Well we are specifically talking about receivers here. So you tell me besides catching the football; blocking; yards after catch,
and being a deep threat that the opponent must respect; if a good receiver does these things; their will be yards and Touchdowns in most cases according to the caliber of the receiver...Since you believe, many of us on this message board doesn't understand what makes a good professional football player (in this case receiver) please enlighten us.... I'm willing
to learn!!

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 12:13 am 
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Rob I read your post and responded to it, I can't give more respect than that; except to acknowledge we disagree
about Julio.

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
Rob I read your post and responded to it, I can't give more respect than that; except to acknowledge we disagree
about Julio.

You certainly made another post after it was posted, but you didn't respond to it. I asked you to elaborate as to how Julio was more of a, "threat," than Jenkins. I also pointed out that Julio is the 3rd wheel in our offense. (as was Jenkins before him) Your reply was basically, "I'm sorry you're stupid."

Your original statement was: "Every game Julio had to be respected as a deep threat!! (2011) Jenkins never had that respect (2011)"

I'm asking you to tell me where you saw the difference. Did you see teams give a lot of double coverage to Jones? Did you see teams having to significantly adjust their schemes to account for Jones? From my recollection, that wasn't really the case. Jones certainly put up better numbers than Jenkins, that's not in dispute. The dispute is that Jones is, "more of a threat," which implies that the other teams are doing something more/different to account for him. That is the statement that I'm asking you to elaborate on.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:56 pm 
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Man if your asking me how teams game planned against Julio I wouldn't have a clue. He was a rookie with opponents and
us not completely sure of his abilities; and his response to the NfL vs. college!!

All I know is Jenkins played here 7 years and averaged 3+ Tds a year while Julio had 8 Tds his rookie year.

Jenkins averaged 12.7 yards per catch while Julio averaged 17.8 his rookie season.....

Jenkins averaged 500+ yards a season while Julio had 959 his rookie season......

Ok, you've said Julio had better numbers; but the degree of the better numbers is huge!!

Julio is bigger; faster, quicker, and he blocks better than most think; although I'd give the nod to Jenkins with the blocking.
I mean stats count for something; and I can't compare the difference in these numbers... I don't know how teams game planned for Roddy either but they didn't stop him all that much. Ryan missed many opportunities with Julio.

Jenkins was an 'ok" second receiver but his performances and his seemly disappearing after his good games was disappointing. If you want me to just guess; my guess is Julio was hurt early; so teams didn't know how to cover him until
he'd already had a great season his last few games!!

If I thought "I'm sorry your stupid;" I'd have said that!! Julio is such a better talent and this year it will probably be more apparent how defense are trying to stop him!! The jump from his rookie year to second year should be a big improvement.

Since Julio's numbers were close to double those of Jenkins I think that proves he was a pretty big threat!! Julio was second in receiving Tds to Roddy. I doubt Jenkins could ever say that; Crumpler caught a lot of Td passes while Jenkins was here....

Some receivers are just better than others.... Jenkins had just 7 receptions his rookie year; but I don't know how defenses
stopped him either?

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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Like I said, there's no argument over whether Jones is better than Jenkins, at least with me. Jones is a considerably better player. Again, however, the statement was, "Every game Julio had to be respected as a deep threat!! (2011) Jenkins never had that respect (2011)" This implies that teams were doing something different in coverage between Jones and Jenkins. Last year, I don't think that teams did very much different than they did the year before when we had Jenkins. Perhaps, in the future, teams will show Jones more respect by double teaming him, or by giving him 15 yards of separation (the way our CB's play against everyone) but thus far, I don't think that there's a huge difference between how much of a threat Jenkins was considered vs how much of a threat Jones was considered. Sure, Jones is a much better player, but we really didn't see teams give him a lot of respect last year. I believe that will change with time.


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 Post subject: Re: The problems of drafting for need
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:43 pm 
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Quote:
" Rob Wrote" "Every game Julio had to be respected as a deep threat!! (2011) Jenkins never had that respect (2011)" This implies that teams were doing something different in coverage between Jones and Jenkins.


I really don't think I implied anything except Julio had almost 3 times the Tds than Jenkins; Julio had almost double the yardage
of Jenkins average; and Jenkins 12 yards a pass; vs Julio's 17 yards a pass is just the facts!!

I think almost having a 1000 yard receiving season; and being second on the team in Toutchdowns; VS. Jenkins numbers shows he was a much more dangerous receiver.... We can disagree; but I never purposely snubbed you; this is the only way I
know to explain my thinking on the danger of Julio vs. the danger of Jenkins!!

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"Everything Counts"
Cyril


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