NFL Draft Prospects: the Johnny Manziel Debate

NFL-Draft-Prospects-Johnny-ManzielJohnny Manziel is one of the most exciting college football players in recent memory. Like Tim Tebow before him, he’s the kind of player you turn the TV on to watch play.

But also like Tebow, he comes to the NFL with serious questions about how his game will translate to the next level.

Last night, I had an email exchange with a good friend who was one of the first members on our site and who helped us test everything. Here’s our discussion, unedited. I think it captures the issues facing Manziel as an NFL Draft prospect well, and I’ll bet the same discussion is taking place in personnel departments around the NFL…

Me: btw, I’m starting to think my downgrade of Manziel from R1 to R2 might be an insufficient drop. I don’t see his skill set translating to the next level. Plus, you’ve got all the maturity red flags.

Dave: I’d be shocked if I even get to pass on Manziel, but i’ll keep doing it as many times as I have to.

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2014 Senior Bowl Report

2014-Reeses-Senior-Bowl-logoFor the past five years, I have had the unique pleasure of attending the week of Senior Bowl practices. I go for several reasons – taking photos, networking – but I try to get as much time actually watching the players as I possibly can. Nothing beats seeing them live in terms of scouting.

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The Courageous Michael Sam

2014-NFL-Draft-Prospects-Michael-SamMichael Sam’s announcement that he is gay is a story that has dominated sports conversations for two days now. It’s one that has many interesting angles.

 

As an NFL Draft prospect

 

The consensus of opinions I’ve seen is that he’s a bit of a ‘tweener – too small to play 43DE, and maybe not a player who moves around well enough in space to be a 34OLB. Most projections I’ve seen have him anywhere from R3 to R5.

Of course, us amateurs are early in the process (the teams are much farther along,) so I’ll personally get a better sense of him following the Combine and all the buildup to May’s NFL Draft. While I was able to snap this photo of him in Mobile, I didn’t spend a ton of time watching him that week, and he didn’t really “pop” to me. That could change.

There’s no doubt that he has pash rush skills, but his value is very different if he’s merely a situational pass-rusher versus a 3-down player who also contributes on special teams while he develops.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospects Uploaded

Start Scouting for the 2014 NFL Draft!

By Chris Barry, PowerHouseGM.com

2014 NFL Draft Prospects Jadeveon ClowneyHopefully, your iGM team is thinking more about the playoffs right now than the 2014 NFL Draft.  But whether that’s the case or not, it’s never too early to get started on scouting for next spring!

We’re happy once again to give you the tools to do your scouting right here on our site.  And, soon, we’ll again have a downloadable prospects spreadsheet that you can use on your own if you like.

This table will change, probably a lot, over the coming months.  It includes underclassmen who may return to school, and doesn’t include others who may opt to come out early.  We’ll adjust accordingly as the picture clears up.

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NFL Draft Prospects | Review of 2013 “Steals”

Updated iGM Draft Restrictions for Steals of the 2013 NFL Draft

By Chris Barry, PowerHouseGM.com

NFL Draft Review Keenan AllenFor fans interested in our site and our iGM game, one of the most enjoyable events of the NFL season is the NFL Draft.  It’s like Christmas in April (well, now in May,) as the fates of all 32 teams in the league will twist and turn based on the decisions made on Draft weekend.

Every year, we take a look back at the most recent draft after we have had some time to watch the rookies play a bit.  Obviously, we won’t know for sure how each player will do over time until years down the road, but we can at least make some observations at this point with respect to some players that have exceeded expectations (and, by “expectations,” we mean where the players were drafted.)

For NFL geeks like us, this is a fun little exercise, but we have a purpose as well.  When new Members sign up and start running a virtual NFL team in our iGM game, they automatically start back in time – one week after the last Super Bowl.  We do that so new people can really get into the game right from the start.

But, there’s also quite a bit of 20/20 hindsight potential by this time of the year.  Once you know a bit about this year’s class, you could cheat (I’ll leave out the “you’re only cheating yourself” speech) and draft differently.

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NFL GM Simulation | NFL Defensive Schemes

NFL Defensive Schemes – Beyond 4-3 or 3-4

By Ted Bartlett, ItsAllOverFatMan.com

Editor’s note:  We first saw this article in an email from Ted Sundquist’s TheFootballEducator.com site.  The former Broncos GM has been doing a fine job of pulling together some of the smarter independent NFL content of late, as well as continuing to generate excellent original content.

This piece, by Ted Bartlett of ItsAllOverFatMan.com, is one of the most forward-thinking articles we’ve seen.  It’s exactly the kind of thing that appeals to our audience as they participate in our realistic GM simulation, and our cerebral approach to the NFL more generally (we try, anyway.)

And, we’re very amused by the Ted’s site’s name.  According to IAOFM’s “About” page, their name originated from a 1977 game with the upstart Broncos in Oakland visiting the then-dominant Raiders.  As the Broncos closed out their victory, Denver LB Tom Jackson (now of ESPN) approached portly Oakland coach John Madden and said, “It’s all over fat man!”

On to the article…

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