Friday, April 20, 2018

Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph Belong in the First Round.

"Elliot Kennel, you stupid jerk!  Did you really say Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph might be better than me?  Man, I'm putting you on my enemies list!"
   
Call me crazy but Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph are darned good and belong in the first Round.   Let's think this through a little bit, shall we?
   First, Mason Rudolph has done everything Baker Mayfield has done, except get arrested or grab his crotch on national TV.   I mean, 4900 passing yards, 37 TDs and 9 INTs. Jeepers.  Well, of course he did that in the Big 12,  and it may be argued the Big 12 does not know how to play pass defense.  
    That may be true, but isn't that the same conference that Oklahoma plays in?   Mason Rudolph is known for having a deadly accurate deep ball and has plenty of arm strength, though quite not at the level of Mayfield or Allen.  I think both Mayfield and Rudolph are candidates  to play in Game 1, depending on who drafts them.   Rudolph seems to have the right kind of work ethic to succeed in the NFL, whereas Mayfield is going to have to work hard to shake off the comparisons with Johnny Manziel. 
    Like Mayfield, Josh Rosen has also alienated a few people with his mouth.  It's not that he's said or done anything bad,  but there is some concern that he might not have the right kind of personality to play quarterback in the NFL   
   CBS Sportsline, incidentally, ranks Mason Rudolph as the top quarterback in America in at least one mock draft, but 10th overall.  They also like Lamar Jackson at 11th overall. That's probably not a bad estimate for where he will be taken. The main gripes against Lamar are that he is a running quarterback, has his mother for an agent, and scored poorly on the Wonderlic intelligence test.    Well, all those are true.  
    I am not crazy about running quarterbacks, either, but this fellow is just as talented if not more so than DeShaun Watson. Jackson will probably never have to pass against a seven man front, because other teams are going to have to stack the line to prevent him from running wild.  So it may be that Jackson is not quite the passer of the other five, but he doesn't have to be.  He will succeed.
    The Wonderlic flop didn't have to happen.  I blame his inexperienced agent (namely his mother) for not preparing him for the test.  There are test taking strategies that a normal agent would prepare his client for (i.e., if you don't know an answer, should you guess or not?  How much time should you spend on a tough problem before giving up and moving to the next). I doubt whether his well-intentioned but inexperienced agent knew how to prepare. Hence her son wound up being embarrassed.  Thanks, Mom.  But irrespective of test scores, he ran a complex Louisville Offense and is clearly football smart. I'm not buying the stupid quarterback narrative.  Jackson will be a star.       
    Per my own evaluation, I'd go with the following order:  Allen, Darnold, Jackson, Rudolph, Rosen and Mayfield.  But I think the draft order will be Allen, Mayfield, Rosen, Darnold, Jackson, and  Rudolph at the end of Round 1.  Really I'm comfortable with all 6 guys.  Although Mayfield and Rosen may have some perceived risk factors, it's still a worthy gamble that they will grow up to be star players.   

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Village Elliot's 2018 Mock Draft 2.0 Saquon to Giants, Lamar Jacson to Patriots? Browns trade back, Buffalo, Denver trade up.




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  I updated the draft based 

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  Mock drafts are ridiculous because there are so many things that people can do that every prediction will soon fall apart. Nevertheless, like a moth driven to fly into a flame, I have a compulsion to try to predict the future and read the minds of NFL General Managers. I'm going to take my best shot at predicting some absolutely improbable future events. Thus, I have the following outlandish scenario to propose for my mock:   I think the Broncos and Bills want to move up, and the Browns and Giants are interested in moving down.  The first four four picks are going to be quarterbacks.

Here's how it goes:
1.  Browns draft Josh Allen.  He has the most talent but lousy stats.  I think that the stats can be overcome. Mainly, he needs to throw to people better than a converted point guard as his top wide receiver and things will improve.
2.  The Broncos move up and draft Baker Mayfield.  Originally I had Josh Rosen in this slot, but I realize that I made a mistake in estimating Rosen's arm strength (his Pro Day was on an 80 yard practice field, so his throws were not as deep as they seemed by looking at the yard markers).  Mayfield actually finished second to Allen in the Combine velocity measurement.  Denver is okay at qb with Case Keenum, not to mention Pax Lynch and Chad Kelly. Nevertheless, John Elway is both brilliant and super-aggressive. He sees quarterback talent in this draft and it will drive him crazy unless he trades up to get his guy.   Elway can evaluate the talent better than anyone. The Giants might be willing to move, because Coach Pat Shumur wants to win now with Eli Manning. He wouldn't mind having a quarterback, but there are some attractive guys later on in the draft, or they can get Elway to include either Lynch or Kelly in the deal. What Shurmur really wants to do is help Eli by adding some pieces on offense.  So the Giants should be open to be rewarded for moving back. Elway will be willing to overpay, so Denver  blows the 2018 1st/5th overall, plus their 2018 2nd round choice and a 2019 number two, in order to move up to Number 2 overall. Whew!  But if Elway gets his man, it's worth it. 
3.  The Jets are up next, and they go for Josh Rosen. Based on what his coach says, Josh really wants to be on one of the coasts, anyway.  Good luck to him.  
4.    The  Buffalo Bills trade their two number one picks (12th and 19th) plus a number 2 this year and a number 2 next year in order to take Sam Darnold.  That's a steal, because Darnold is a franchise and probably worth four number one picks.  They might have to outbid the Giants, though the Giants are primarily interested in drafting Saquon Barkley to create a more balanced offense.  The Giants wouldn't mind the Bills drafting ahead of them, but they can not know that the Browns won't take Barkley. So I think they make an offer to the Browns also, but the Bills are more willing to overpay.  
5.  The Giants are relieved that the Bills have taken a qb, because now they get a premier running back for Pat Shurmur's revamped offense.   Hello Mr. Barkley, welcome to New York.
6.  Indianapolis drafts Bradley Chubb, the brilliant defensive lineman.  They really didn't want a quarterback anyway, since they are banking on Andrew Luck coming back. 
7.  Tampa Bay solidifies their secondary by drafting Denzel Ward, the shutdown corner from Ohio State
8.  Chicago Bears draft Quenton Nelson,  to take care of Franchise QB (they hope) Mitchell Trubisky. 
9. San Francisco 49ers take Minkah Fitzpatrick.   The draft always seem to deliver top defensive talent to San Francisco in Round 1. 
10. Oakland Raiders select Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia. Jon Gruden needs to fix the Raiders' defense. 
11. Miami Dolphins have to replace Ndamukong Suh, and go with
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan. 
12.  With the Bill's pick, Cleveland goes for Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. They need to replace Joe Thomas. This is a no-brainer. 
13. Washington Redskins go with defense, Vita Vea, DT, Washington. 
14. Green Bay Packers  The Packers try to plug a leaky secondary with Derwin James, SS, Florida State. 
15. Arizona Cardinals.  Hey, did everyone forget about Mason Rudolph?  He had four fantastic years with Oklahoma State and is ready to play NOW.  He might make the All-Rookie Team.  Arizona was not able to move up, and  is overjoyed with Rudolph. 
16. Baltimore Ravens address a need for a wide receiver, by selecting Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. 
17. Los Angeles Chargers select Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. If you want a great defense, just draft someone from Alabama. 
18. Seattle Seahawks need to replace Richard Sherman, and pick Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa. 
19. Dallas Cowboys pick Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist.
20. Detroit Lions get a pash rusher by selecting Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA. 
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo) adds to Marvin Lewis' defense with  Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech.  They have to replace often-suspended Vontaze Burfict.
22. Cleveland Browns did not get Saquon Barkley, so they take another stud runner in Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. 
23. New England selects Lamar Jackson, and the entire NFL groans. Why didn't we think of that?  Jackson is the most talented qb in the draft, but obviously fits a running quarterback style offense that most teams don't like. The Patriots don't care, they can morph into any kind of team that they want on a particular Sunday. Jackson may also decide to be on the field at the same time as Tom Brady, and emulate Kordell Slash Stewart.  
24. Carolina Panthers get Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia. They want to protect Cam Newton.  
25. Tennessee Titans draft Will Hernandez, G, UTEP, who was a Combine stud.  
26. Atlanta Falcons bolster their front line with Taven Bryan, DT, Florida. 
27. New Orleans Saints recently learned how to play defense.  Great idea, so they will add   Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama. 
28. Pittsburgh Steelers select  Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars go for Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State because they hate current starter Blake Bortles.  
30. Minnesota Vikings  go with Leighton Vander Esch ILB, a sideline-to-sideline linebacker.
31. New England Patriots draft Shaquem Griffin.  He's gotten plenty of attention for overcoming the handicap of having only one hand, but what is being missed is that he is an incredible player.  He also weighs 229 and runs a 4.3 40 yard dash. People who think he is a day 3 pick are insane. Watch the film and believe your eyes.  He is a first round draft pick.  
32. Philadelphia Eagles need some O-Line help and go with Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. 
    
Well that's a lot to have happen.  Do you think I will get anything right?     

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cleveland Browns' Plan to Weaken the Rest of the NFL

Comebacking Johnny Manziel is seeking to add to the burgeoning list of ex-Browns quarterbacks making a living in the NFL.  

It seems as the Cleveland Browns want to make  as many trades as possible, especially their ex-quarterbacks, in order to  weaken the rest of the NFL. It may be working.  Come to think of it, right now there are an unbelievable 9 former Browns quarterbacks on NFL rosters, plus another two or three hoping to catch on somewhere, including Johnny Manziel.  Amazingly, the retread crew combined for 39 starts in 2017, including last year's one-and-done champion, DeShone Kizer who started 15 times for the Cleveland Browns. Still would you have guessed that the other ex-Browns had combined for 24 additional starts?  

Some will no doubt be gone after training camp, but for now they are (with the number of 2017 starts, if any):   



Brian Hoyer, Patriots, 6 starts for SF
Colt McCoy, Redskins
Josh Johnson, Raiders
Josh McCown, Jets, 13 starts in NY.
Robert Griffin III, Ravens
Cody Kessler, Jaguars
Kevin Hogan, Washington, 1 start for the Browns
Brock Osweiler, Dolphins, 4 starts for the Broncos.  
DeShone Kizer, Packers, 15 starts for the Browns

Also looking for a new job are three guys with an outside chance of getting on an NFL roster this year.  

Derek Anderson
Johnny Manziel
Thad Lewis

Honorable Mention:
Doug Pederson, now the Super Bowl winning coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.  

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tracking Josh Allen's Worst Game in 2017 vs Oregon: Was He Inaccurate or Not?

Why didn't Josh Allen complete more passes against the Oregon Ducks? 

     I've been very interested in determining whether to agree with the popular assessment that Josh Allen is a strong armed but inaccurate passer.  Accordingly, I've asked for readers to cite examples of inaccuracy on game film, but so far none have emerged.    

     I don't have a vested interest one way or the other.  I'm an amateur at this, not a Pro, and I don't claim to be a good talent evaluator.  Nevertheless I wanted to from my own opinion on Allen's accuracy or lack of it.   
     Elsewhere, I've documented that the Cowboys team was depleted in offense in 2017, as 4800 yards of total offense (receiving and rushing yards) graduated after 2016.  See   Why Josh Allen's Low Completion Percentage Does Not Matter

     That's their best two wide receivers, tight end and running back, so the 2017 crew was very, very thin. Their best guy is a converted quarterback who seems to be a good athlete, but he is just learning the position.  

      Anyway, I looked at the worst game of Josh Allen's career, a 49-13 drubbing by Oregon last Sept 16 2017.  Allen's stat line was 9 for 24 for 64 yards and an INT.  Wow, that was horrible, 37.5% completion percentage.  So Josh must be horribly inaccurate, right? 
    I went through and cataloged each pass from the video record and tabulated the results below including one extra pass that was called back due to penalty.  I saw passes hit receivers in the hands and bounce off.  I saw receivers fall down and others run the wrong route.  I saw receivers covered, and the ball thrown out of bounds to avoid a sack. Look, the stats suck.  But I didn't see much inaccuracy. Maybe one pass that was clearly overthrown, and a few others that were higher than desirable but catchable.  Is that the reason we are going to turn down an opportunity to draft a guy who throws the ball better than John Elway?   
   No.  Maybe a scout can determine that Allen makes bad decisions, doesn't go through his progressions well or has no touch.  I don't know about that.  But the accuracy narrative is not what the film says. 
    As previously noted, the Wyoming team graduated 4800 yards of offense after the 2016 season, with corresponding stars to replace the players they lost. Moreover, they are an FBS team playing a Pac 12 team.  So of course they are going to be totally ouclassed, at least at that early point of the season.  To put it bluntly, the receivers couldn't get open and they couldn't catch.  
    Given that the 2016 Cowboys had four guys on offense that made NFL rosters.  Maybe a better question is why Josh didn't put up better numbers in 2016 with all that talent. He also threw 15 INTs in 2016 verus 6 in 2017.  Maybe he wasn't very good in 2016.  To me the data suggests that he really did get a lot better in 2017, even though the stats show the opposite.  
    Maybe someone else can find some other game films where Josh misses several open receivers.  I invite you to do so and publish the results.  Until we see the evidence, however, I disbelieve the inaccuracy narrative.  It's easy to read the stats and note that sub-60% accuracy is not very good.  But I strongly suspect that the writers claiming Allen is inaccurate just didn't watch much film.  Just look at the tally below.  For these reasons I believe Josh Allen is the no-brainer first pick of the 2018 draft.  


   

2018 Cleveland Browns, Pre-Draft Free Agent Summary

The Browns have been prolific in the off-season, with several key additions, but also some unexpected subtractions.  The net summary is posted below.
    On balance they added major players at quarterback, Slot receiver, tight end, plus three starters at defensive back. Major adds:  QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Carlos Hyde, SR Jarvis Landry, TE Darren Fells, RT Chris Hubbard, CBs E.J. Gaines, DeMarius Randall, S T.J. Carrie.  On the loss side, we lose Isaiah Crowell, LT Joe Thomas, DT Danny Shelton, CB Jason McCourty.  The net add, depending on how you count, is probably at least four major upgrades.  

     Main takeaways: 
     a.  Carlos Hyde may be a little better than Isaiah Crowell, but they are similar in talent level.  Crowell's major problem with the Browns was Coach Jackson's play-calling. Maybe we should be sympathetic, as a lot of observers had the same issue.  . 


     b.  Tyrod Taylor is an enormous upgrade.  It's not that Tyrod is so super, but DeShone Kizer had a horrific rookie year.  He was too inexperienced for the job, and it made no sense to pass over Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.  But okay, what's done is done, and three quarterbacks' careers are in the dumper, but we now have a bona fide quarterback, two in fact, with career winning records.  By contrast the career win totals for Kizer, Kessler and Hogan:  zero.  That's just crazy. 
   
     c.  Jarvis Landry and Darren Fells help the receiving corps immensely.  Last year's wide receiver group was beyond terrible. OC Todd Haley now at least has slot receivers (Landry and Duke Johnson) and  but they can now at least field a team that doesn't make opposing defenses fall down laughing.. 
     d.  The secondary is significantly improved by adding E. J. Gaines, T. J. Carrie and DeMarius Randall, with Terrance Mitchell as another experienced player.   The reason for giving away Jason McCourty is not clear, as most observers thought he played well in 2017.  

        e.  Trading Danny Shelton for minimal value is also a bit of a head scratcher, but the Browns have several good defensive tackles, and Danny Shelton's lack of speed makes him best suited for Nose Tackle in a 3-4 defense, which the Browns no longer play.  He's a good player, but will help New England more than he helped us.  
     
         f.  The 2018 draft will add major players:  2 first round and 3 second round as now constituted.  Those guys are normally starters, meaning that the Browns will probably add a net of 8 or 9 good players.  That's a huge number, and the talent level might be upgraded to the point that they are actually competitive in 2018. 

     g. Trading away late round 2018 picks is almost a necessity because of the large number of incoming players. It's almost too many for the system to handle.  For example, if you wind up cutting a good player in order to add a sixth round draft pick guy, that is a net negative.  Better to trade that late round pick for a better 2019 pick.  The exact number.   Currently, the Browns have a net addition of about four players from Free Agency, and 9 draft picks are expected.  The right number is subjective, but my guess is that reducing the number of 2018 draft picks to about 6 or 7 is probably better than staying with 9.  

Off-Season Cleveland Browns Player Moves.  




Wednesday, March 28, 2018

2018 Mock Draft from the Village Elliot: Elway Moves up to 2nd, Browns move down from 4th, Saquon to the Giants.

  The Village Elliot does not know any more than anyone else. No secret sources or anything like that.  Of course, mock drafts are ridiculous because there are so many things that people can do that every prediction will soon fall apart.  Nevertheless, I have a compulsion to try to predict the future and read the minds of NFL General Managers. With that in mind, I'm still going to take my best shot at predicting some absolutely improbable future events. Thus,   I have the following outlandish scenario to propose for my mock:   I think the Broncos and Bills want to move up, and the Browns and Giants are interested in moving down.  The first four four picks are quarterbacks. 

Here's how it goes:
1.  Browns draft Josh Allen.  He has the most talent but lousy stats.  I think that the stats can be overcome. Mainly, he needs to throw to people better than a converted point guard as his top wide receiver and things will improve.
2.  The Broncos move up and draft Josh Rosen.  Denver is okay at qb with Case Keenum, not to mention Pax Lynch and Chad Kelly.  Nevertheless, John Elway is a brilliant but super-aggressive guy.  He sees quarterback talent in this draft and it will drive him crazy unless he trades up to get his guy.   Elway can evaluate the talent better than anyone, but my guess is that Josh Rosen actually grades out a little better than Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold. The Giants might be willing to move, because Coach Pat Shumur wants to win now with Eli Manning. He wouldn't mind having a quarterback, but there are some attractive guys later on in the draft, or they can get Elway to recycle youngsters Lynch or Kelly. What Shurmur really wants to do is help Eli by adding some pieces on offense.  So the Giants should be open to be rewarded for moving back. Elway will be willing to overpay, so Denver  blows the 2018 1st/5th overall, plus their 2018 2nd round choice and a 2019 number one, in order to move up to Number 2 overall. Whew!  But if Elway gets his man, it's worth it. 
3.  The Jets are up next, and they go for Baker Mayfield.  Baker is a big of a loose cannon, but what better guy to mentor the youngster than Josh McCown?  
4.    The  Buffalo Bills trade their two number one picks (12th and 19th) plus a number 2 this year and a number 2 next year in order to take Sam Darnold.  That's a steal, because Darnold is a franchise and probably worth four number one picks.  They might have to outbid the Giants, though the Giants are primarily interested in drafting Saquon Barkley to create a more balanced offense.  The Giants wouldn't mind the Bills drafting ahead of them, but they can not know that the Browns won't take Barkley. So I think they make an offer to the Browns also, but the Bills are more willing to overpay.  
5.  The Giants are relieved that the Bills have taken a qb, because now they get a premier running back for Pat Shurmur's revamped offense.   Hello Mr. Barkley, welcome to New York.
6.  Indianapolis drafts Bradley Chubb, the brilliant defensive lineman.  They really didn't want a quarterback anyway, since they are banking on Andrew Luck coming back. 
7.  Tampa Bay solidifies their secondary by drafting Denzel Ward, the shutdown corner from Ohio State
8.  Chicago Bears draft Quenton Nelson,  to take care of Franchise QB (they hope) Mitchell Trubisky. 
9. San Francisco 49ers take Minkah Fitzpatrick.   The draft always seem to deliver top defensive talent to San Francisco in Round 1. 
10. Oakland Raiders select Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia. Jon Gruden needs to fix the Raiders' defense. 
11. Miami Dolphins have to replace Ndamukong Suh, and go with
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan. 
12.  With the Bill's pick, Cleveland goes for Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. They need to replace Joe Thomas. This is a no-brainer. 
13. Washington Redskins go with defense, Vita Vea, DT, Washington. 
14. Green Bay Packers  The Packers try to plug a leaky secondary with Derwin James, SS, Florida State. 
15. Arizona Cardinals.  Hey, did everyone forget about Mason Rudolph?  He had four fantastic years with Oklahoma State and is ready to play NOW.  He might make the All-Rookie Team.  Arizona was not able to move up, and  is overjoyed with Rudolph. 
16. Baltimore Ravens address a need for a wide receiver, by selecting Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. 
17. Los Angeles Chargers select Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. If you want a great defense, just draft someone from Alabama. 
18. Seattle Seahawks need to replace Richard Sherman, and pick Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa. 
19. Dallas Cowboys pick Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist.
20. Detroit Lions get a pash rusher by selecting Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA. 
21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo) adds to Marvin Lewis' defense with  Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech.  They have to replace often-suspended Vontaze Burfict.
22. Cleveland Browns did not get Saquon Barkley, so they take another stud runner in Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. 
23. Los Angeles Rams Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia. They want to protect Jared Goff.  
24. Carolina Panthers get Will Hernandez, G, UTEP, who was a Combine stud.
25. Tennessee Titans  Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama.  
26. Atlanta Falcons bolster their front line with Taven Bryan, DT, Florida. 
27. New Orleans Saints recently learned how to play defense.  Great idea, so they will add Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers select  Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State. 
29. Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves with Lamar Jackson, who slides all the way to 31st overall.  Most teams hate running quarterbacks, but Jacksonville will take him, because they hate Blake Bortles even more than running quarterbacks. 
30. Minnesota Vikings  go with Leighton Vander Esch ILB, a sideline-to-sideline linebacker.
31. New England Patriots draft Shaquem Griffin.  He's gotten plenty of attention for overcoming the handicap of having only one hand, but what is being missed is that he is an incredible player.  He also weighs 229 and runs a 4.3 40 yard dash. People who think he is a day 3 pick are insane. Watch the film and believe your eyes.  He is a first round draft pick.  
32. Philadelphia Eagles need some O-Line help and go with Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. 
    
Well that's a lot to have happen.  Do you think I will get anything right?     

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Six Quarterbacks to go Round 1 in the 2018 NFL Draft?

     This is an insane year for quarterbacks.  It's very possible that six or maybe even seven quarterbacks are going to be taken in Round 1.  I thought that the Combine would clarify who the top guy is, but probably the top four guys are still very close to one another.  One of them will likely be taken by the Browns first overall.  I still like Josh Allen, but I could easily be wrong.   I would rank them as follows:

Is Josh Allen the top dog in the 2018 draft?  Maybe


1.  Josh Allen.  I still think Allen will be the first overall pick.  His poor numbers at Wyoming are attributable to having a converted point guard and quarterback as his best wide receiver.  When he had a good receiver in 2016 in Tanner Gentry who became a borderline NFL prospect, he hit him for 1300 yards.   But they didn't replace him, and they didn't have running backs to catch high percentage passes either. Plus all winter long I've challenged the folks at Browns Bloggers and Friends group in Facebook, and no one can produce any game film showing Josh Allen's alleged inaccuracy.  No, if he were playing at Oklahoma or USC he would put up big numbers.  There's no such thing as a zero-risk quarterback, but in this case the potential reward is so high that you must accept the risk and draft a quarterback first overall this year.  

2.  Josh Rosen.  Probably the most polished of the group, his arm is close to Allen's.  Watching him launch an accurate bomb 80 yards in the air, it is clear that no one has ever thrown the ball like the quarterback class of 2018. He has size, accuracy and production on his side as well.  There's a legitimate concern about his tendency to put his foot in his mouth at times.   

3. Baker Mayfield.  Two years older than Rosen and a year older than Josh Allen and Sam Darnold, Mayfield is significantly more advanced and could be a Day 1 starter if necessary.  He thinks faster on his feet than the other qbs, and he has plenty of arm strength.  Concerns about his drinking and run-in with the law are real, but not enough to dissuade a team from taking a chance on his obvious on-field talent.  

4.  Sam Darnold.  Sam has an arm comparable to the others, though he does not have the quick release of the other three.  He has more of an elongated delivery, but still he is very strong armed and accurate. He is a year younger than the others, with only two years of college, and he fumbled a lot in college. He'll get better of course. I think that some team will trade up with the Browns  to get him, and qbs could go 1-2-3-4 this year.

5. Mason Rudolph.  A very accurate passer with arm strength probably above Mitchell Trubisky's, who went second overall last year.  He put up huge numbers at Oklahoma State, plus he's bigger than Mitchell, though not as fast.  How can he not be a first round pick?  

6.  Lamar Jackson.  Lamar is an incredible runner and did everything for Louisville the past three years.  His arm is not otherworldly like the top 4, however, and for that reason he might last till the end of Round 1.  Because he gained 1600 yqrds on the ground, there is some thought he should be a receiver or running back.  But, on the other hand, what does DeShaun Watson  do that Lamar cannot?  Lamar is the better runner and has a better arm. He has got to be first round, but because teams are afraid of running qbs due to injury risk, he might be later in Round 1. 
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Somebody like Mike White of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers may be ignored by the media, but the right NFL team might really like him.   

7.  Somebody else.  It's not crazy to think that yet another quarterback will sneak into the first round.  If you like ball velocity, college stats, size, there are some other guys who seem to meet those requirements.  They are not getting much attention, however, as the media is focused on the top guys.  Mike White, Riley Ferguson, Tanner Lee, Kurt Benkert and others come to mind.  Analysts complain about J. T. Barrett's lack of arm strength, but he threw the ball 60 yards once in a spring practice game contest.  That's plenty strong, but in this year's draft, analysts just yawn.  In any case, some team might very well conclude that one of these guys has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, and take him in the first round.  Put it this way, I'll be very interested to see if the Patriots decide to draft someone to back up Tom Brady.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Why Tyrod Taylor May not be the Long Term Messiah (guest post by Mark F. Barnes)

(Editors's Note:  Mark F. Barnes was thoughtful enough to compose a breakdown of new Browns QB Tyrod Taylor for Browns Bloggers and Friends discussion group on Facebook.  I've compiled it into a single blog.  This is the kind of stuff you just can't find anywhere else, folks.  Thank you, Mark).
     Bringing in Tyrod Taylor was in part pushed by Hue, but ultimately Dorsey makes the decisions now, but I can see he's attempting to give the HC part of what he wants, but the leash is short and Dorsey is being careful it appears. But for those that think we need to pass on a QB this draft need to really rethink that. This draft has some really good QB talent in it and two very probable, possibly 3, franchise player QBs. I'm an Allen guy and I make no bones about it.  He's six-foot-five, 240 pounds and wielding a howitzer on his right arm.

Now this is not meant to be a blast Tyrod Taylor piece, because it's not, but it is a full breakdown on what to expect, because if you think he's going to come in and light up the AFC North, you better get ready to be disappointed. Is he going to be better than Kizer? Absolutely.

A big ding in Taylors game is his ability to ready and anticipate his receivers. He's been on a team with better talkent than the Browns have so he's starting against a stacked deck. Dorsey signing Landry is a big plus. This guy gets open quickly, makes separation and after he catches the ball he's dangerous, so he makes DBs play him a little soft so he can't get behind them, because if he does. he's gone.

Taylor holds the ball a long time, longer than average.

Here are the NFL’s average throw times in 2017, you lovers of PFF can likely verify this quickly. I use PFR because it's free stats and no nonsense internal rating BS.

Snap to throw=2.65 seconds (Taylor: 3.13, 2nd-highest)

Snap to attempt=2.50 seconds (Taylor: 2.73, 5th-highest)

Snap to sack=3.35 seconds (Taylor: 3.98, 3rd-highest)

Taylor has struggled in the drop back game, registering in the low 60's completion percentage and a 56.4 NFL QB rating. Now don't let that low 60's completion percentage fool you, it's worse off than that, and I will explain later. His 62% +/- is very misleading. His struggles from the pocket are mainly due to his tendency to hold the ball and, ultimately, not pull the trigger. That tendency has led to him to take 46 sacks in 2017! That is the 4th-most in the NFL. Now, not all of them are on Taylor. Sure, there are many factors as to why he took that many last season, I want to focus on the context of sacks that I believe were on him. I have watched every game from last year and he has tendencies, and I will post videos and critique on what I think is causing them.

When watching the following clips, pay attention to a few things: down and distance, shotgun vs under center, the defensive pre-snap and post-snap picture. Is it a single or two-high safety look? Depth of the QB’s drop (3-5-7 steps), where are the QB’s eyes from snap to sack? Was it a straight drop back or play action (this affects the depth of the drop AND how long he is holding onto the ball). Is he working right-to-left or left-to-right? The route concepts and depth of the routes; is the QB reading high-to-low or low-to-high? Man or zone coverage?

Understand, Taylor didn't play under center in college and he's struggled in the transition to the NFL, it matters and it makes a big difference. So from the tight camera angle shots focus on the protection. Which side does the center slide to? Did they have enough guys to block each defender? Depth of the pocket (remember, the interior offensive line sets the depth of the pocket, and the tackles and tight ends manage the width of the pocket). Did he have enough space to climb or slide in the pocket? How much time did he have from the time he hit the top of his drop?

All these things are going to factor into his success or lack thereof. The Browns struggling OL isn't going to be fun I promise you, if they can manage to get him 3 seconds I will be highly impressed and Taylor is going to have to man up and make the throws. The running game is going to be critical as well. Taylor has a league leading low INT% for a reason. He holds the ball and takes sacks, and this also leads to a misleading completion percentage. If he threw the ball away instead of taking a sack, his COMP% would be in the 50's and that's a fact.

Case Study 1: Tyrod Taylor Flees the Pocket Too Soon Versus Panthers.  


Taylor completed 68% of his passes in this game against the Panthers, a good defensive team, but was sacked three times. This play was completely on Taylor. Bills are in 22 package and they have McCoy in motion out of the backfield right and Jones wide right. They run a smash against a cover 3, this should be a boom boom timing play and Taylor gets happy feet and flees the pocket into a sack, he runs right into pressure separating off their blockers and get him in pursuit. Now to be fair the receivers spacing is off from the beginning but if Taylor holds the ball a half a tick longer the routes developed and there are two open receivers. He left the pocket in 2 seconds, had he waited 2.5 he would have seen the separation develop and bang first down move the chains.



Case Study 2:  Tyrod Taylor Needs to Throw it Away versus Broncos. 
  (Editor's note:  from here on out I have not included the direct link to the associated video, in order that your computer not have to deal with too many videos on the same page.  However, you may click on the link below each case study and it will play the youtube video on a separate page).  

Here's a play where he should have thrown it away. I get it it's only first down but taking a sack or failing to throw it away on first down leads to predictability on second down and, more than likely, 3rd-and-long situations. Here the Bills are going after a big play right after the second half KO and Denver has decent coverage. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, time to get rid of the ball. He bails out left and instead of throwing the ball away he takes a sack and now it's 2nd a 16. This is all on Taylor, once he clears that tackle box, throw the ball out of bounds. He doesn't and he puts the Bills back against the wall.


Case Study 3:  Tyrod Taylor Fails to Climb Pocket

Let's concentrate on a team he will see at least twice a season if he stays in Cleveland and he has a terrible game, 54% CP sacked 6 times, 1 INT and ZERO TDs. Here he fails to step up into the pocket first and foremost, and then he holds the ball way too long. The cover 3 is average at best and he completely misses his read. Step up into the pocket and deliver the ball into space. Pretty plain and simple. This is on Taylor. He has to understand that those tackles are one on one out on a island and he has to be aware of his pocket and what's going on around him. That's not something you can coach. Instincts you are born with. There were a lot of knocks on Johnny but he had eyes in the back of his head and great pocket presence. Taylor has neither.



Case Study 4:   Tyrod Taylor Moves Too Quickly Through Progressions vs Bengals

 3rd-and-6 and Taylor completely bails on his read progressions and it's looking like single high Man, and they are showing a possible backside robber, however the blocking is pretty good and the robber peels to the flat. At the 2 second mark Jones is open at his cut and breaks wide open over the middle. Taylor in this instance steps up too far when the Geno Atkins is taking an inside move and he pulls the ball down and steps into a sack at 3.5 seconds. Instead of sticking to his progressions he stared down a covered receiver on a deep comeback route and got sacked on a play that was an easy first down and a momentum changer. Had he paid attention and kept his head, made the right reads following his progression he would have seen Jones open at the top of his route and bang first down and a missed tackle could be six points.


Case Study 5:  Tyrod Taylor Fails to Pull the Trigger vs Bengals

     1st-and-10 3 minutes left in the game, it's go time, game on the line. Move the chains and keep going. Cleveland is once again in the Marv Lewis favorite single high man, and they have Clay on the hot dig route at the sticks. Pre-snap read should be to him, boom move the chains. Instead Taylor holds the ball, looks around to Jones, who is breaking over the middle past the sticks, and could have been thrown into space, but Taylor again holds the ball. Shady McCoy was in a play flake and drifts to the left flat. But Taylor holds the ball over FIVE SECONDS, that's a death sentence in the NFL. The DE sacks Taylor, and two plays later in 3rd and 16 throws an INT when he sails it over the middle. Game over.


Case Study 6: Tyrod Taylor Misses TE Logan Thomas in MOF vs Falcons 

     Here's the Falcons in the same look Single High Man, he has three receivers running quick digs, and Thomas in a dig up the seam on the middle of the field is never looked at at all. The play fake bites the LBs which opens up the Middle of the field, the Single High safety was in a deep drop since he's last man standing in coverage. He makes one look to his left, looks hime down and in 3.5 seconds is sacked. Ball should have been gone a two, over the middle to Thomas. Maybe it's debatable as to if Thomas was even part of the read, but it was pass all the way and he was wide open, in the middle of the field, that's QB101.


Case Study 7:  Tyrod Taylor Bails Out of the Pocket on 3rd and Long vs Falcons

     3rd and a long 15 working out of his endzone in the shotgun. Cover two in tight trips left 00 personnel empty backfield so the DE's are coming. WR to the right is running an 8 step bang route over the middle slant, and the nickel releases at the cut realizing he has cover two behind him. Taylor completely misses him open in space. They ran out routes from both sides to purposely open up the middle by design. Left slot runs a bang seven over the middle but is covered somewhat, he does separate late. However Taylor first leave the pocket right, for whatever reason, and breaks back left because he hung his right tackle out to dry. He's now destroyed the pocket and not looking up field. He scrambles left and instead of again throwing the ball away he runs out of bounds and now puts his punter's heels on the back line in the endzone.




Saturday, March 17, 2018

Why a QB Absolutely Has to Be Chosen First in the 2018 NFL Draft

Dude, if you are an NFL GM, you are so not going to draft anyone but a quarterback in at least the first three positions this year.  Why?  Well, let's take you through the proof that today's quarterbacks are unlike anyone we have ever seen before.  Let's first take a look at Aaron Rodgers in college, courtesy of the 2005 College All-Star festivities.  This is a simple drill, throw the ball as far as you can and see where it lands on the turf.  Now watch Aaron heave the rock for an amazing 64 yards, and then 70 yards (but off target).  



At around 3:30, a 22 year old Aaron Rodgers, at the same age as Rosen and Allen, heaves the ball 70 yards.


Ok, got it.  Impressed?  Good.


Well, now let's watch Josh Rosen throw from his own 15 yard line and hit a receiver chest high at about the 4 yard line.  That's a bit more than 80 yards, and it the receiver hadn't caught it, probably it would travel a few more yards before hitting the turf. The press couldn't quite believe it, and in fact they reported this throw as a 60 or 65 yard pass.  But check out the yard markers.  Josh is clearly behind his 15.  The receiver is clearly beyond the opposite 5 yard line. This ball traveled 80 yards in the air, not one inch less, and if the receiver had let it go it would have gone several yards further.  

    This is real. I'm not aware of John Elway or Dan Marino doing something like this (show me the tape, you geezers, before swearing that some old timer could do it). The only conclusion is that this kid can throw a football at least 10 to 15 yards farther than Aaron Rodgers at the same age.  



Go to 1:25 or so...Rosen is definitely throwing from behind his 15 yard line and hits his man beyond the opposite 5 yard line.  Do the math, that's 80 yards.  It's so shocking that the throw is reported in the press as 65 yards because they can't believe he really did that. 


Now, let me remind you that Josh Rosen is thought to have the third best arm in the draft behind Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield. Sam Darnold didn't throw at the Combine, and in my mind has to slide to fourth best, but he is up there too.  

     This is borne out by velocity measurements at the Combine.  Unfortunately, there is some confusion between average and peak velocity,  as I pointed out in a previous blog, and in 2018 so far only the slower numbers have been reported.  But with that understanding, Josh Allen's peak velocity is best estimated at 66 mph (62 mph average), which is 6 mph faster than the previous high ever recorded (Logan Thomas). The College All-Star game also reports measuring Josh Allen at 66 mph.  Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen are also significantly above the previous record.      

   The inescapable conclusion is that these kids throw harder than anyone else has ever thrown before.  Better than Aaron Rodgers for sure.  Has anybody got film of Elway throwing 80 or 90 yards?
    To be sure, a strong arm isn't everything, and many times the guys with the strongest arms don't make it. So check the scouting reports and find out if they have bad decision making or accuracy issues.  Supposedly, the latter problem will hold Josh Allen back.  However, if you check into it, you find out that Josh Allen's best receiver is a converted quarterback who also plays guard on the basketball team. That's his best guy.  I keep on asking for someone to produce game film on Allen showing inaccuracy and no one has sent me any yet.  Anyway, if you don't like Allen, there's Mayfield and Allen who did put up good numbers in college.  Sam Darnold's velocity is unproven, but the eyeball test says he is comparable to Rosen. 

   Now, knowing that you have arms in the draft that are the best in history, better than John Elway, tell me again how you're going to justify taking a running back instead of a quarterback.  How can you have four guys with a better arm than Elway, and you're not going to draft the guy you think is best.  Because what?  You want a running back or a safety?

      That is insane!  There's a reason why quarterbacks get paid twice as much as running backs.  It's very hard to imagine that an NFL GM is going to turn down the opportunity to draft the most talented quarterbacks of all time in order to draft a very good position player such as Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb or Minkah Fitzpatrick.  I think all of them are going to the Pro Bowl soon.  But some of these qbs are headed to the Hall of Fame, and probably more than one.  These guys are going to change the face of the NFL forever.  You cannot pass that up.  


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What's Up With Very fast QB Ball Velocity This Year?


Quarterback velocities are up this year--way up.    Josh Allen reportedly can throw a football 66 miles per hour, which is 6 mph better than the previous best (Logan Thomas, who by the way didn't make it as an NFL player).  That's a full 10% improvement, an amazing figure.  To put it into perspective, if a person were to beat the previous 40 yard dash by 10%, he would run a 3.8.  Holy kazoo!  What is going on here?  It may be that this year there has been a quantum leap in the ability of human beings to throw a football.



That of course piques my curiousity, so I did some research on the subject.  First thing to know is that there are two sets of numbers being used. Dan Shonka of Ourlads.com published results in 2017 and 2018 for a pass to the right, and another pass to the left. His results are found here:

 Others use numbers from Dan Brugler of NFL Draft Scout.  




For example, Our Lads lists Mitchell Trubinsky's speed thusly:  51 (left), 50 (right).  But NFL Draft Scout lists is velocity as 55 mph.  Supposedly 55 is usually the cutoff for a successful NFL quarterback.  


Who's right?  Well, both of them. I emailed both of them, and from what they say,  the numbers both come directly from the Combine.  However, NFL Draft Scout lists the "peak velocity"  whereas Our Lads lists some sort "average velocity". I'm not sure about the details, but basically what we need to know is that the ball slows down a little as it travels due to air resistance.  It does not travel at constant velocity. Presumably if you throw a wobbly ball, that will slow down more than a tight spiral.  The net is that you have to add about 4 mph to the Ourlads.

Okay, but now let's look at the 2018 numbers from Our Lads.  Are these still the "slow" numbers as in 2017?  If so, they are ridiculously higher in 2018 than 2017.  In the case of Allen, however, they measured his velocity at 66 mph at the Senior Bowl, whereas Our Lads lists it as 62 mph. The 4 mph difference is very similar to the difference between the two 2017 data sets, so quite possibly the Our Lads numbers are still the "average" (lower) numbers.   If so then we should add 4 mph to all the numbers to estimate  the peak velocity.  So let's first  list the numbers from Our Lads


Austin Allen - Arkansas - 53 (left), 54 (right)
Josh Allen - Wyoming - 62 (left), 62 (right)
JT Barrett - Ohio State - 52 (left), 52 (right)
Kurt Benkert - Virginia - 55 (left), 56 (right)
Sam Darnold - Southern Cal - did not throw
Danny Etling - LSU - 54 (left), 56 (right)
Luke Falk - Washington State - 52 (left), 52 (right)
Riley Ferguson - Memphis - 52 (left), 54 (right)
Quinton Flowers - South Florida - 49 (left), 49 (right)
Lamar Jackson - Louisville - 49 (left), 49 (right)
Kyle Lauletta - Richmond - 52 (left), 52 (right)
Tanner Lee - Nebraska - 56 (left), 57 (right)
Chase Litton - Marshall - 53 (left), 55 (right)
Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma - 59 (left), 60 (right)
Josh Rosen - UCLA - 57 (left), 59 (right)
Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State - 52 (left), 52 (right)
Nic Shimonek - Texas Tech - 55 (left), 55 (right)
Mike White - Western Kentucky - 53 (left), 55 (right)
Logan Woodside - Toledo - 52 (left), 52 (right)

Without adjusting anything, there are 8 guys who throw at the 55 mph threshold or higher:  Allen, Benkert, Darnold, Etling, Lee, Mayfield, Rosen, Shimonek.  Darnold sat out the throwing competition, but I'm putting him on the list because we know darn well that he can. If it is true that we should add the additional 4 mph then  add another 7 guys to the list of faster-than-Trubisky club at 55 mph and above. The All-Time list would be headed by the first four guys from 2018 (Allen, Mayfield, Rosen and Tanner Lee). That is hard to believe. Perhaps these guys are not from planet Earth.  

As an engineer, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that  something is different about the way they carried out the tests, and that the numbers are too high.  Perhaps the old radar gun broke and they replaced it with a new model or something like that. Different guns have different readings depending on where they pick up the ball (earlier = faster, later=slower).  

It would be nice if the NFL used a standard, documented test procedure, similar to an ASTM standard (American Society for Testing and Materials).  It takes several thousand dollars to get the method approved, but once it's approved there would be no doubt that the test is reproducible and can be compared from year to year.   



Irrespective of the comparison between conflicting data sets, the eyeball test tell me that nobody in NFL history has ever thrown the ball like Allen, Mayfield, Rosen and Darnold.   We have not seen this level of ability in years, if ever.  This quarterback class may be able to smash the records of the fabled 1983 class with Elway, Marino, Kelly and O'Brien.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Why Was Danny Shelton Given Away?

Danny Shelton has been traded from the Browns to the Patriots.  Plus the Browns thrown in an extra 7th round pick.  The Patriots give nothing in 2018, then in 2019 they will send a third round pick to the Browns.  This for a guy who was 12th overall in the 2015 NFL draft.  

I've been a big fan of the giant Samoan kid, Danny Shelton q Defensive Lineman formerly of the Cleveland Browns, and now a New England Patriots.  At 6'2" and 335 pounds, give or take, he was one of the biggest and strongest guys on the team.  Pro Football Focus rated him as the 31st best interior lineman in the NFL, an above average player.  What gives?  Why did they get rid of him?

Ultimately, I don't know any more that the rest of you.  But I'll offer this speculation--to me this has the mark of Paul DePodesta, the baseball "analytics" guy that Sashi Brown hired.  DePodesta has been quiet, but new GM has kept him on the team, rather than fire him along with Brown.  DePodesta might really be the better analytics expert, not Brown, who was prone to make crazy decisions (like give away Joe Haden to the Steelers, for one).  Anyway, DePodesta understands the concept of "negative value" in a salary cap sport.  A player's value is related to how much he gets paid.  You try to maximize value and minimize cost.  So a guy who plays great and doesn't cost too much is worth adding to the team.  Conversely, if you feel he is overpaid, you should not add him to the team unless someone actually pays you.  The clearest example was Brock Osweiler, a backup quarterback who somehow got signed to a huge contract with substantial guarantees. The Browns wouldn't give anything to get him, they demanded and got a second round draft pick from the Texans in order to accept Osweiller's $16 Million salary cap charge.  So could it be that  the Browns thought that Danny Shelton was not worth $3 M?  DePodesta would ask, what if we took that $3M per year and signed a comparable player?  What have teams gotten when they invest $3 M on a player on the open market?  I looked up on spotrac.com the amounts that teams paid for defensive tackles in 2017.  Guys like Akeem Spence, Margus Hunt, Al Woods, got paid less than Shelton, but performed at a comparable level by Pro Football Focus' estimation.  They had Shelton ranked as the 35th best interior lineman (nose tackles and DT's all mixed together). Hunt was 33rd, Woods 24th.  Others, like Damien Square (99th) and Smith (65th)  were not at Shelton's level. 
Another question is how good Shelton actually is.  Danny had trouble with his weight as a rookie and really didn't play well.  But in 2016, a slimmed down Shelton was outstanding and there was talk that he might even make the Pro Bowl--as a Nose Tackle.  Shelton is perfect for a nose tackle.  He's big, strong and can plug up the middle of the line and stop the run.  But the Browns switched to a 4-3 defense, and Shelton became a Defensive Tackle, rather than a Nose Tackle.  They are not the same position. 

In particular, Danny was notorious for a plodding 5.64 time and the Combine.  For a Nose Tackle, it doesn't matter that much.  But a Defensive Tackle, there are increased responsibilities for rushing the passer and moving laterally.  In this case, his lack of speed is going to limit his effectiveness in Gregg Williams' defense. How could he be as effective as a mobile DT in the 4-3 versus the immovable object NT in the 3-4?  That seems unlikely.
Danny Shelton is slower than Tom Brady. By a lot. Ouch.  


Well, what about Pro Football Focus?  They gave Danny fairly high grades,right?  Well that is true.  PFF says they have several graders who watch every play.  I doubt whether they pay that much attention to the Browns, however.  I'm not a genius grader, but I thought in particular Joe Schobert was greatly improved starting in Preseason 2017.  But PFF gave him lousy grades for a few weeks (like in the 40s, which is F minus). before someone woke up. In the same way I doubt whether they paid attention to the defensive line. Trevon Coley?  Who's that?  Well Trevon had more tackles, more assists, more tackles for a loss, 2 sacks (versus zero for Danny), and a fumble recovery (none for Danny).  That earned Trevon a D plus.   How can anyone get a D plus on a line  on a line that was second in the NFL in yards allowed per carry??  Danny Shelton got a solid B, and especially surprising is that he was rated more highly against the pass than Coley.  Are you kidding?  There are glaciers that move faster than Danny's pass rush. 

Hence I'm not sure how accurately they graded the Browns in general, and in particular the defensive line.  
PFF says they evaluate performance, and not talent level, and if so they are sloughing off on the Browns.  I think Shelton played out of position last year, and his performance was not nearly at the same level as in 2016.   He is just not that good in the 4-3 defense, and the PFF grade on Shelton as well as other Browns is hard to justify.  Coley, in fact, was rated as the worst interior lineman on the Browns, rated behind Larry Ogunjobi, Shelton, Jamie Meder and Caleb Brantley.   That is nuts that Coley is rated so poorly and once again I can't take PFF seriously in their evaluations of the Browns' players.

  However the larger point may be that all the Browns' Defensive Tackles have actually played well.  I could totally believe that after a winter of reviewing film, they felt that their 4-3 defense is better off with Coley, Ogunjobi, Meder and Brantley.   Maybe then Danny was headed for third string, and $3 Million per year was too steep of a price for someone not getting a lot of snaps.  

I think Danny will perform much better for the Patriots, and it would not shock me if he makes the Pro Bowl one of these years.  I'm sad to see him go, because he is a personal favorite.  It seems like a crazy move, but matbe not if you look at the salary cap, who's available, and who we already have.