Tuesday, April 24, 2012

5 comments MMQB Review: Peter Cuts Through All the Misinformation To Give Us More Misinformation Edition

I love this time of year. The time of the year around the NFL Draft. Many NFL columnists are constantly telling us about the massive amount of misinformation that can be found, but then report on the latest rumors they are hearing. So basically we shouldn't believe the rumors they are reporting to us. Not to be one to feel left out, last week Peter King told us about all of the misinformation that surround the NFL Draft this time of year. Peter has consistently told us not to believe the rumors we hear this time of year due to all the misinformation and his column last week was partially about that. This week, Peter provides us with the latest draft buzz and rumors. I've always found it interesting how NFL columnists will warn readers about misinformation prior to the NFL Draft and then tell readers the latest information they are hearing. I'm not saying they shouldn't report what rumors they are hearing, but it is interesting they dismiss a lot of the same type of information they are providing to readers.

Michael Brockers is hot, Ryan Tannehill may not be.

What we can take from this is Michael Brockers isn't hot and Ryan Tannehill is still very wanted by teams in the Top 15.

Seattle may not want to move as much as the current rumor suggests and, speaking of rumors, I'd advise you not to believe many of them about moving up.

So basically, Seattle is among a large group of teams who desperately want to move up.

Movers and shakers ... Not so much. One of the things you're going to hear in the run-up to Thursday night's first round of the draft is how badly the Jacksonville Jaguars want to trade down from No. 7, which is true. And last night, one of the stories hatching around the league was that Seattle would move from 12 to seven -- ahead of Miami at eight -- to pick Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

I say do it. Make the move to get Tannehill. It is an offseason ritual for the Seahawks under Pete Carroll. In his first offseason as head coach they traded for Charlie Whitehurst, the next offseason they Tarvaris Jackson, this past offseason they signed Matt Flynn and now they are thinking of drafting Ryan Tannehill. That would be four quarterbacks in a little over two years who Pete Carroll has acquired with an eye as the future or present starter. Finding a quarterback is not so easy when you play other college teams and your quarterback depth chart isn't Matt Barkley, Aaron Corp, and Mitch Mustain.

I think it's unlikely, and not just because the Seahawks just bought a quarterback, Matt Flynn, in free agency, last month.

Well, of course. Why would a 26 year old free agent quarterback signed a couple months ago as the presumptive starter affect the Seahawks from drafting another quarterback in the first round? It's not like there are any other holes on the Seahawks roster, and quite frankly the Seahawks have already seen what Flynn can do from his Green Bay tape. Not too impressive. It's probably time to move on from him.

Think of it: There's one team that might take Tannehill between five and 11 -- Miami at eight. Let's say Seattle GM John Schneider feels there are multiple holes not at quarterback he needs to fill, and let's say he had to throw in his third-round pick, 75th overall, to be able to draft Tannehill. That means, after taking a quarterback in free agency and budgeting $15.5 million over the next two years for Flynn, he'd have used the 12th and 75th picks to procure another quarterback.

That's a great point. This great point brings me to another question. Namely, why the hell would the Seahawks have interest in Tannehill in the first place? I have a hard time believing they are interested in him. Seattle does have other holes on the roster (like every other NFL team) they need to fill and they just signed Matt Flynn. Even if the Seahawks did like Tannehill, I don't get why they would trade up for him. So logic has never been on the side of trading up for Tannehill, at least in my mind. So Peter King has effectively just shot down a rumor that never even made sense to me in the first place.

Of course, rather than trade up to get Tannehill and spend the 12th and 75th picks on another quarterback after budgeting $15.5 million to sign Flynn in free agency, the Seahawks would spend the 12th pick on another quarterback after budgeting $15.5 million to sign Flynn in free agency if they just stayed where they were. I'm not sure this is a good decision either.

From what I heard over the weekend, the trade market up to seven is comatose, unless Jacksonville's asking price is downright minuscule.

Come on Peter. That was a good chance to take a cheap shot at Jacksonville. Let's re-write this sentence:

From what I heard over the weekend, the trade market up to seven is comatose, unless Jacksonville's asking price is downright minuscule, much like the attendance at Jaguars games.

LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers leads all potential draftees with 16 pre-draft visits to NFL teams, and he leads it by a lot.

It makes sense. He has a ton of "potential" and NFL teams don't have as much tape on him because he was a redshirt sophomore when he declared. Because they know less about him, this means they like him more.

Intriguing Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson (teams wish he were faster than 4.58 in the 40, but he has the size at 6-foot-2 to match up with the new generation of wideouts)

Because Trumain Johnson is 6-foot-2 he is going to match up better with Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Larry Fitzgerald. Those extra couple of inches in height are going to negate the talent disparity between Johnson, Green and Fitzgerald. Why draft a guy who is only 5-foot-10 inches tall, even if he is more talented than Johnson? A 5-foot-10 inch cornerback with more talent than Johnson is just not tall enough to absolutely stop Johnson/Fitzgerald/Green. It makes perfect sense.

I'm beginning to get a headache concerning Peter and the NFL's infatuation with tall wide receivers. I know everyone loves a tall wide receiver, but history has shown "short" wide receivers who aren't 6-foot-1 inch and taller can actually succeed in the NFL. Of course, NFL teams are more interested in searching out "tall" wide receivers who only lack the ability to catch the ball and be a good NFL wide receiver.

I don't expect the Rams to give either man a final grade as high as A.J. Green's last year (few teams would), but I do expect them to be comfortable picking Blackmon sixth overall, if that's what it comes to.

I would certainly hope the Rams would choose a player at #6 they are comfortable picking. Assuming it comes to that of course. Whatever the hell that means.

Tannehill, fact and fiction. Just remember one thing on the Monday before the draft: It's in the Dolphins' best interests for the rest of the league to not know what they want to do about Ryan Tannehill -- and for teams like Jacksonville to be able to say to teams like Seattle: If you want Tannehill, and he gets by Cleveland at four, you've got to jump ahead of Miami at eight. And maybe you do.

So everything Peter King just told us about the market to move up in the draft and get Tannehill is lukewarm may just be a lie. Or it may not be a lie. It could be the truth. Either way, Peter can report the market to move up and get Tannehill is hot or cold and teams either will or will not move up to get Tannehill. Aren't you glad you read MMQB for news like this?

Over the weekend, I was told the same thing that Mike Florio reported on ProFootballTalk.com: that owner Stephen Ross wanted the Dolphins to pick Tannehill. I was also told Miami's offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, likes his former A&M quarterback (Sherman was Tannehill's coach before getting fired after the season) but isn't standing on the table for him.

Shouldn't that tell the Dolphins something? Mike Sherman was the Texas A&M head coach just last year. He was Ryan Tannehill's head coach and he isn't "standing on the table for him." Either Mike Sherman is a bad judge of talent or Ryan Tannehill isn't worth the #8 pick in the draft. Maybe there is a third option in there as well. Either way, shouldn't this say something about Tannehill or possibly Sherman?

Sunday night, respected Dolphins beat writer Armando Salguero reported the Ross item is not true and said a highly placed club source told him, animatedly, that Ross hasn't told anyone who to draft.

The drama!

And this morning, I got a call from someone saying Florio was right on; Ross wants the quarterback

Who was this "someone" who called Peter King saying Mike Florio was right? Probably Mike Florio.

So what will happen here? I don't know.

Sounds good. Thanks for the update.

But I do think it's less of a lock Tannehill goes no lower than eight than it was a couple of weeks ago. If Miami passes on him at eight, I expect him to go either to a trade-up team with Kansas City at 11 or to Seattle at 12.

But I thought Peter King said no teams wanted to trade up in this draft and we shouldn't pay attention to rumors of such madness? Perhaps I got confused. Let me review Peter's exact statement:

and, speaking of rumors, I'd advise you not to believe many of them about moving up.

Oh, so we should not believe "many" of these rumors. Peter's rumors we can believe of course. I get it. So don't believe many of the rumors to move up, but this one Peter just described is spot-on.

So rookies this year will sign for four years, through the end of the 2015 season; but in May 2015, teams have to tell the players if they intend to exercise the fifth years of the contract and lock up players through 2016. For picks 1 through 10 of the first round, that fifth-year salary will be the transition number, the average of the top 10 salaries at the position that season. For picks 11 through 32, the fifth-year salary will be the average of the third through 25th salaries at the position that year.

Now this is some good information that I didn't know. That's kind of crazy. I can't help but wonder how this is going to work out in the future because the transition tag is a really high number and a team would have to make this decision on whether to exercise the 5th year option after the 3rd year of the contract.

I'll give you an example. Let's use Tannehill.

Well, of course we will use him. He seems to be the only player in the 2012 NFL draft currently on Peter King's mind.

The transition number for quarterbacks this year is $14.3 million. The average of the third through 25th quarterback salary this year is $8.1 million. Who knows what the numbers will look like in May 2015, but they probably won't be smaller, or the gulf narrower. In other words, if you pick Tannehill at eight, you'll be paying $6.2 million more in a five-year deal for him than if you picked Tannehill at 12.

Of course, in the case of Ryan Tannehill he probably won't have to worry about the fifth year of his contract. He'll be a free agent sometime after his third year in the NFL when whatever team that drafts him this year him releases him.

In case you're interested, the difference in fifth-year numbers for defensive ends picked in the top 10 versus in the final 22 picks of round one ($4.3 million), and defensive tackles ($2.6 million), could come into play because of the big numbers of each position in the first round. "In any case,'' one club official told me over the weekend, "the old draft trade chart is obsolete.''

Thank God. I was so tired of hearing about a twenty year old draft chart. Even when teams ignored it in making a pre-draft trade, writers like Peter King would compare the compensation received in the trade to what the trade chart said that team should have received in compensation.

The Colts would love to pick Stanford tight end Coby Fleener at No. 34, atop round two, but I think they'll have bigger fish to fry.

Do it Indianapolis! You don't want to improve your defense. You want to build your entire team around a strong offense and use all of your high draft choices on that side of the ball. Let's recreate the Peyton Manning era exactly and use lower round draft choices on the defense.

Indianapolis is transitioning to the 3-4 defense without a lot of players to play it. GM Ryan Grigson has been working hard to find players who will fit new coach Chuck Pagano's 3-4, which would take a couple of years of player procurement. When you've been a defense built for speed for so long, and now you're going to a defense built for bulk, that's a major transition.

Wait, so it takes a couple of years to move over to a 3-4 defense from a 4-3 defense? I wish someone would tell this to every single idiot who posts a "Should Team X move over to a 3-4 defense?" on the message board of every single NFL team that runs a 4-3 defense.

The Vikings are still a Matt Kalil team, but if he slips out of three, he could fall and be in play for Buffalo at 10

This is the worst rumor out of this NFL draft. The rumor the Vikings are trying hard to perpetuate that they aren't taking Kalil at #3. It makes sense and I see no reason why this wouldn't happen. The Vikings have a young quarterback, why not protect him with a potentially great left tackle? Offense line draft picks are the ones that don't make noise until a few years down the road when a team has a great offensive line and everyone suddenly remembers how that team spent higher (Rounds 1-3) draft picks to get this great offensive line.

The Stephon Gilmore train continues to pick up steam. I had him seven in my mock draft to Jacksonville last week, and I have no regrets. I know two teams that have him rated higher than Claiborne ...

Both of those teams need to be drug-tested. Also, how does Peter King know two teams have Gilmore rated higher than Claiborne? Does this mean he has access to the draft board of two teams? I seriously doubt it. So Peter doesn't know for sure these two teams have Gilmore rated higher than Claiborne unless he has access to the draft boards of these two teams, which I doubt he has.

The Patriots worked out Boise State outside 'backer/defensive end Shea McClellin and liked what they saw ... "Write it down,'' said a good personnel man. "Ted Thompson's taking help for Clay Matthews.''

So I guess this means we can count out the Packers doing anything to help Clay Matthews.

Speaking of the Cards, I talked to Larry Fitzgerald over the weekend. Let's just say he wants fellow Minnesotan Michael Floyd with that 13th pick. Badly ...

This is a brilliant idea for the Cards. Take a wide receiver, which isn't really a position of strong weakness for the Cards. Who really cares who is going to actually throw Floyd the ball or protect the guy who is going to throw Floyd the ball? This is why NFL players shouldn't pretend to be GM's. I understand Fitzgerald wants Floyd on the team, but I see the Cardinals as having greater needs.

The longer the process goes, the more holes scouts poke in Dontari Poe.

You mean poking holes like asking obvious questions such as, "Why didn't Poe have better production at Memphis?," "Why didn't Poe have even decent production at Memphis?," and "Why is it the best thing about Poe over his collegiate career is that he performed well at the Combine?"

"He is one of the 10 best players in the draft. Historically, inside linebackers are not valued, mostly because they get replaced on sub downs in sub packages and nickel packages. He's the opposite and his strength lies in the pass game. He's the best pass-dropping inside linebacker I've ever seen in college football. He has instincts and speed. There's real value there because he's a three-down inside linebacker.''

-- NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock on Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.

I have Kuechly at 11 in my mock draft, to Kansas City, and until I heard Mayock say that, I hadn't considered Kuechly might not be there for the Chiefs.

Peter King worships at the altar of Mike Mayock and uses him as a reference on quite a few draft prospects. Let's take a quick look at Mayock's Top 32 players from April 2011 to see how incredibly accurate and brilliant he is:

-He has Blaine Gabbert as his top quarterback.

-He doesn't see how Dareus gets past Denver at #2.

-Nick Fairley is his #8 ranked player.

-He only had Aldon Smith at #13 on his board.

Yes, Mayock gets other stuff right as well on this Big Board of 32 draft prospects. My point is Peter shouldn't take what Mayock says as gospel and rely on his expertise as if he were infallible. The draft is all a guessing game to an extent.

Luke Kuechly is the best pass-dropping inside linebacker he has seen in college football? That's some high praise and praise I haven't heard another draft analyst repeat. I am sure it is just an absolute coincidence Kuechly went to the exact same college as Mike Mayock, Boston College. Just a coincidence.

"I want to know their names, so I can put them in my book of people not to hire.''

-- Bill Polian, former NFL general manager with the Bills, Panthers and Colts, on ESPN's "NFL Live'' Friday, asked about the anonymous scouts who spoke to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One said, among other things, that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was selfish.

Hire for what? You don't currently have a GM job. I'm not a Bill Polian fan.

I know it's fashionable to give Trent Richardson, far and away the best back in this draft, to Cleveland at No. 4 in round one Thursday. But with the game becoming more and more of an aerial show, the Browns should be thinking hard about their choice before Thursday.

Six teams in the NFL won 12 or more games last year. Here are those teams, and where the leading rusher on each ranked in league rushing stats last season:

TeamRecordLeading RusherNFL Rank
Green Bay15-1James Starks39
New England13-3BenJarvus Green-Ellis27
New Orleans13-3Darren Sproles33
San Francisco13-3Frank Gore6
Baltimore12-4Ray Rice2
Pittsburgh12-4Rashard Mendenhall21

While I do see what Peter King is trying to prove here, he is leaving out a very, very important element in this discussion. The quarterback for each team. The quarterbacks for the teams that didn't have a Top 10 rusher are Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Ben Roethlisberger. The quarterbacks for the teams that did have a Top 10 rusher are Joe Flacco and Alex Smith. The Browns currently have Colt McCoy as their quarterback.

So Peter is essentially proving the advantage of having a franchise back like Trent Richardson by trying to prove how a franchise back isn't worth much. If a team doesn't have an elite quarterback, that team often needs a strong running game to help win games. The Browns don't have an elite quarterback, so the addition of Trent Richardson could help them win games...assuming he is as good as advertised.

I'm saying the Browns and the Rams -- St. Louis also loves Richardson -- should think what awful receiving corps they have first ... and how they have quarterbacks desperate for a franchise wideout.

This is true as well, both teams need a franchise wideout, but in the case of the Browns it may help them more to draft a franchise running back while they still have Colt McCoy as the starter. A franchise wideout is great, but a strong running game could help the Browns control the game and take pressure off McCoy.

1. I think this is this week's sign of the apocalypse: Tim Tebow possibly buying or renting an apartment in a chic building in Hoboken, N.J., was the fourth story on the early-morning newscast on WINS radio in New York Friday.

What is really this week's sign of the apocalypse is a writer who has spent the past year writing columns about QB Jets is complaining about the existence of QB Jetsmania. I'm not blaming Peter for QB Jetsmania, but he had written MMQB stories about QB Jets as well during the 2011 NFL season. He participated in the media's fascination with QB Jets. Take a look at Peter's archive for December 2011. Even if QB Jets isn't in the title of the articles, QB Jets features prominently in what Peter is writing.

7. I think one thing about the release of the schedule last week that struck me was how quickly the NFL takes the upstart teams and makes them national teams. The 49ers, for instance, have a full complement of five primetime games ... including four in an eight-game stretch: a Thursday-nighter (Seattle, Week 7), two Monday-nighters in the span of 22 days (Arizona, Week 8, and Chicago, Week 11), and at New England on Sunday in Week 15.

Of course taking teams who have had one good season and then elevating them to 4-5 primetime games is how we end up with Monday Night Football stinkers like San Diego v. Jacksonville and St. Louis v. Seattle.

9. I think the news this weekend that the Falcons don't want to do "Hard Knocks,'' the NFL training camp reality series, should mean the Jets are in line to do it again. The franchise would be foolish to open the doors to TV again, in a year when there'll be enough tension as it is.

Why wouldn't the Jets do "Hard Knocks" again? It's free publicity for them. The point is to create as many crazy storylines the New York media will follow in order to take the focus off the Giants being successful. If you can't have success, at least get publicity.

b. Speaking of incredibly youthful-looking Syracuse University products (Clark, 82), how about these three: Marv Albert (71),

Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Like Marv Albert hasn't had any outside help looking younger than 71.

c. After that little elbowing incident Sunday, I think Ron Artest's name should be Metta World War, not Metta World Peace.

Ladies and gentlemen the comedic stylings of Peter King!

g. Don't know that I've ever seen back-to-back seven-run innings by the same team, as the Yanks did the other day.


Naturally, the Red Sox bullpen collapse is all Bobby Valentine's fault. Who would have ever seen that a manager who has never won a division title in 14 full years of managing could struggle to succeed in the tough AL East?

h. Congrats Phillip Humber -- even though it sure looked like Brendan Ryan checked his swing on the final pitch of the perfect game.

Yes, it did look like Brendan Ryan did check his swing. This doesn't answer the biggest question I have, which is why the hell Ryan even started to swing at that pitch? It was clearly low and outside. Ryan has to know any borderline strikes or check swings wouldn't go his way, but that pitch was WAY outside. I don't see why he even started to swing at it.

l. Coffeenerdness: Keep trying the coffee, Amtrak. It's no better.

Who would ever have thought coffee served on a train wouldn't be Grade-A quality coffee? Certainly not Peter.

n. Great line from the Newark Star Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro on the Nets, who play their final game in New Jersey tonight: "Died of a mutual indifference.'' Sixers at Nets tonight in Newark. It'll be only fitting if it doesn't sell out. The team will play in Brooklyn next year.

o. If anyone cares.

The Nets aren't a very good team, so no one cares. Once they start winning, then magically people will care again.


KentAllard said...

I love Peter King. "Ryan Tannehill is definitely going to be a Top 10 draft pick, unless he isn't, in which case he won't be."" It's hard to beat that kind of analysis.

I wish sportswriters would recognize most of the "nuggets" that come from teams pre-draft are part of mis-information campaigns to disguise who you want to draft. "Oh, he's an okay quarterback I guess, but I heard he had both arms severed in a threshing machine accident. He'll drop to the third round now".

I can't think of anything smart to say about the idea of a corner not needing to be fast as long as he's tall.

EP Robert said...

It seems like a going through the motions kind of column for Peter Potamus. It might be that it is harder to report fresh material due to an inundation of draft coverage from ESPN (including the inevitable Bill BB Simmons podcast with new life partner Mike Lombardi), NFL network and various blogs and sites.

QB Jets threw me off briefly, what about QB Tim, too familiar?

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, I understand there is a lot of misinformation out here about the draft. Peter tells us teams don't want to trade up, then says a team may trade up. It's very confusing. I do partially blame us as readers because we do want information on the draft, but then it ends up being misinformation. Still, it is up to the writer to pick and choose what is real information and what isn't.

Any information that says Tannehill isn't going to Miami is misinformation in my opinion.

Robert, that's funny. You called Mike Lombardi Bill's life partner. I think next week will be a longer column after the draft with stories on how all the players got chosen.

I call him QB Jets because I am tired of saying his name and somehow I settled on the Super Tecmo Bowl version of the name. I'm still open to other names. I thought Reverend Timmy Teebs was a bit too mocking of him and way too long to write.

Justin Zeth said...

Punt Gunner Jets just doesn't have the same ring to it as QB (or RB) Jets, does it?

Bengoodfella said...

Maybe I could call him PG Ex-QB Jets? That's probably too long.