With the draft way in the rear view and training camps just a few weeks away, we continue our rookie personnel series with Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN’s “NFL Matchup,” and talk about the NFL by division. Who did themselves the most favors in the draft, and who came up short when addressing their roster deficits?
We started off with the NFC West a month ago, jumped to the hyper-competitive AFC North, and then moved to the NFC South, NFC East and AFC South. Now, it’s time to turn our attention to the AFC West. What did the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers to update their rosters with new blood? Greg also discusses the recent mega-deals given to Matt Forte and Ray Rice, and whether the feature back really is an endangered species in the NFL.
On Denver Broncos second-round DL Derek Wolfe: “I really liked this kid on film, and when I was doing my writing before the draft, he was one of my diamonds in the rough. When I watched him on film, he was a guy I hadn’t really heard much about, but I was not surprised that he was drafted in the second round. I think he’s a very versatile player. Depending on your defensive front — and now, most teams play multiple fronts — he can play end and he can play tackle. He’s a bigger guy than you think — I think he’s close to 300 pounds. And while I wouldn’t say he’s dynamically quick, he is quick. He’s one of those multi-dimensional, versatile lineman who can help you in a lot of areas.”
On Kansas City Chiefs first-round DT Dontari Poe: “One’s evaluation of Poe is dependent on one’s world view. If you believe that production is the most important thing when you evaluate a player, then he may not be your guy. Because he may not make a lot of individual plays. But if you look at attributes for the position — movement skills, athleticism, quickness of feet for a man that size — then you look at this kid and you go, ‘Wow — that’s pretty good.’ This kid has everything you look for. That’s why, leading up to the draft, he was all over the board.”
On Oakland Raiders fourth-round OLB Miles Burris: “One of my favorite players — another diamond in the rough. I kept struggling with where he might play in the NFL, because he kind of moved all over San Diego State’s defense. I thought he might even be able to play middle linebacker in the NFL. The issue he faces is that he rushed the quarterback a lot, and he did that very well at San Diego State, but he was a relentless kind of rusher who showed some power. He wasn’t a bend-the-edge and get low kind of rusher. So, I don’t know if he’s a pure pass rusher in the NFL.”
On San Diego Chargers first-round OLB Melvin Ingram: “He was pick #18, which is lower than a lot of people thought [for a pure pass-rusher]. I thought he had some burst and explosiveness; he’s a really athletic kid. There aren’t that many guys built like he is with that kind of athletic feet. When I watched him, there were elements if Dwight Freeney in his game — particularly with the spin moves, and I thought he was very good at that. He was very versatile in where he lined up, so I was truly surprised that he lasted until the 18th pick in the first round.”
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast,” and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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The Shutdown Corner Podcast: Greg Cosell on the AFC West rookies