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Old 02-18-2013, 06:01 PM  
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Geno Smith is Sam Bradford

Geno Smith resembles Sam Bradford; more player comparisons


Associated Press
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (left) offers a similar game to former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford.


The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is on the horizon, which means evaluators are working around the clock to finish up detailed scouting reports on NFL hopefuls. These documents not only describe a prospect's background, character and playing ability, but they also include comparisons to thriving pros, painting a vivid picture of a player's game and potential in the minds of general managers and coaches.

As a young scout with the Seattle Seahawks, I was encouraged by future general managers John Schneider, Scot McCloughan and Ted Thompson to monitor the progress of players across the NFL, and use them as a reference point when projecting the potential of prospects. By obtaining a better understanding of how players succeed in the NFL, despite perceived flaws and/or unorthodox games, I gained a better feel for how future pros could thrive in the NFL with similar skill sets.

Events:
NFL Scouting Combine | Pro days | Draft

Mock drafts:
Norris: Glennon to Cardinals
Jeremiah: Joeckel falls to Lions
Brooks: Version 2.0 still has Smith at No. 1
Breer: No quarterbacks in first round
Brandt: Joeckel, Werner, Smith go 1-2-3

Draft coverage:
Mayock's top prospects by position | Analysis
Brandt's Hot 100 top draft prospects | Top 25
Breer: Evaluating evolution of combine
Scout vs. scout: Is Barkley a first-rounder?
Brooks: Offensive rankings | Defensive rankings
NFL Draft Tracker Podcast: Latest buzz

Video:
Mayock: 'Uncomfortable' combine situation for Te'o
Casserly's biggest draft question marks
Mayock explains the combine drills


In the past few days, I have engaged in several interesting conversations with my Tweeps about some of the top prospects in the 2013 class. While giving my opinion on the talent and potential of several NFL hopefuls, I routinely provided a pro comparison as a point of reference. Not surprisingly, the comparison frequently caused a bigger reaction than my overall assessment of a prospect's game and potential.

Here are the 10 notable comparisons that came to mind while I watched fall tape. Feel free to hit me back with your feedback on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.


Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

NFL comparison: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
Smith has been described as a "ho-hum" quarterback prospect in some circles, but I see a polished pocket passer with outstanding arm talent and passing skills. Smith displays the capacity to throw the ball accurately to every area of the field with zip, velocity and touch. Additionally, he flashes anticipation and awareness by leading receivers into open areas against tight coverage. Although a lot has been made of Smith's late-season struggles -- he tossed six interceptions over Mountaineers' final seven games after throwing 25 touchdown passes with zero picks in the team's first six games -- the fact that he finished the season with a 42:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio behind a leaky offensive line suggests that the reports of his questionable pocket presence and progression awareness are greatly exaggerated. Now, I'm not suggesting Smith doesn't have flaws that should rate as concerns for prospective teams, but I don't believe his deficiencies are significant enough to keep him from being a productive starter in the NFL.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

NFL comparison: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
Bernard surprised some evaluators when he elected to enter the 2013 NFL Draft after a brief (but productive) career at North Carolina. However, I believe Bernard is not only ready for the next level, but he has a game that is ideally suited for the NFL. He is the classic three-down back with the capacity to impact the game as a runner or receiver. He is a slippery, between-the-tackles runner with exceptional vision and stop-start quickness. Although his game is built on quickness rather than speed, Bernard shows the ability to generate home-run plays with the ball in his hands. In the passing game, Bernard is a natural receiver with outstanding hands and receiving skills. Quarterbacks will love to target Bernard on third-and-medium situations on option routes, as he overwhelms linebackers with his quickness and burst in space. Factor in his explosiveness as a returner (see: Bernard's walk-off punt-return TD against N.C. State), and it is hard to find holes in his game, despite diminutive stature.

Robert Woods, WR, USC
NFL comparison: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
Mayock's prospect rankings
NFL Network draft expertMike Mayock has unveiled his initial position-by-position rankings of the2013 NFL Draft prospects. See which players made the cut. More ...


Woods seemingly became an afterthought in the USC offense after Marqise Lee's emergence as one of the top playmakers in college football. But astute NFL scouts see Woods as a polished receiver with all of the traits to be an effective starter as a pro. He is a gifted pass catcher with exceptional hands and ball skills. Woods snatches the ball out of the air cleanly, rarely flinching while making catches with defenders in close proximity. Additionally, Woods is a deft route runner with an innate feel for setting up defenders with various stems and tempos. He understands how to get open against any coverage -- this quality will make him a favorite of play callers and quarterbacks across the NFL. While some scouts will question Woods' top-end speed, I believe his polished game will eventually make him a Pro Bowler.

Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State

NFL comparison: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Glennon is one of the most hotly debated prospects in the 2013 class. Some scouts love his size and A-plus arm talent, while others are concerned with his limited mobility and decision-making under duress. When I watch Glennon on tape, I'm impressed with his pure passing ability. He spins the ball with tremendous zip and velocity, and shows the capacity to put the ball in the strike zone against tight coverage. Additionally, Glennon is a terrific deep-ball passer adept at dropping the ball down the chute on vertical throws. Now, I'm certainly troubled by his penchant for turning the ball over while under duress (Glennon tossed 17 interceptions in 2013, with three separate games featuring three-plus picks), as well as his limited athleticism. But I think he has the potential to thrive in an offense that prominently features the deep ball. With NFL offensive coordinators willing to adapt their respective systems to the fit the talents of the quarterback, Glennon could enjoy a productive career as a classic drop-back passer.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State

NFL comparison: Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
Norris: Top 12 RB prospects
Josh Norris ranks the top 12 running back prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft, providing a round projection for each player.More ...


Bell is one of the few big backs available in this draft, but he displays a game that is typically associated with scat backs in the NFL. He is a powerful runner between the tackles, but is also effective running off tackle or on the edges. Bell shows deceptive speed in getting to the perimeter, while also displaying better-than-anticipated wiggle and elusiveness in space. He is a rare runner with the ability to run over or around defenders, and NFL coaches will love building game plans around a back capable of handling 20 to 25 carries a game. Additionally, Bell is an impressive receiver out of the backfield with strong hands and ball skills. Although his size restricts some of his effectiveness as a route runner in space, Bell is an effective playmaker in the aerial attack with the potential to impact the game as a three-down player.


Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

NFL comparison: Charles Woodson, Free agent
Vaccaro is the kind of hybrid safety NFL defensive coaches covet. The Texas standout is not only an outstanding hitter and playmaker against the run, but he is a terrific cover man with outstanding man-to-man skills, to boot. He can match up with tight ends and slot receivers in space, while also excelling as a deep-middle player in zone. Most importantly, Vaccaro displays the versatility to align anywhere in the back end, which makes him a valuable commodity as a playmaking safety in the middle of a sub-package. With the NFL quickly shifting to a league governed by the pass, Vaccaro is the prototypical safety needed to diffuse explosive offensive attacks.

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

NFL comparison: Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
Austin is a unique playmaker at the receiver position. Checking in at 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, Austin lacks the ideal size to be the primary option in the passing game, but displays a combination of speed, quickness and explosiveness that makes him a dangerous weapon in space. The Mountaineers capitalized on his skills by frequently getting him touches on bubble screens and quick routes on the perimeter. Additionally, Austin showed the ability to carry the ball as a running back (72 rushing attempts for 643 yards in 2012, including a remarkable 344-yard effort against Oklahoma), enhancing his value as a potential difference maker on Sundays. Given the fact that playmakers arealways valued at a premium in the NFL, Austin is an intriguing prospect for several teams.

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

NFL comparison: Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings
Werner only has five years of organized-football experience, but he quickly developed into one of the most dominant players in college football. The former German exchange student is a high-motor pass rusher with exceptional first-step quickness and burst. He overwhelms blockers with his initial quickness, but also shows the capacity to turn speed into power. As a result, Werner routinely made plays off the edge (13 sacks in 2012), emerging as a true difference maker against the pass. As a run defender, Werner is a stout player at the point of attack, showing the strength, power and toughness to set the edge. Although Werner still needs to add some polish to his rugged game, he will enjoy success as a pro due to his persistence and relentlessness.

Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

NFL comparison: Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers
Jeremiah: Five buzzworthy prospects
Daniel Jeremiah identifies five prospects creating a buzz as potential second- or third-day steals in the 2013 NFL Draft. More ...

Fisher is the most athletic offensive tackle in the draft. He displays exceptional agility and lateral quickness in matchups against finesse rushers, yet also shows the balance and body control to contain power players off the edge. Additionally, Fisher showcases the requisite nastiness to be an effective blocker in the run game. Given Fisher's unique combination of skills and size (6-8, 305), it is easy to see why scouts are buzzing about his potential as a standout left tackle at the next level.

Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

NFL comparison: Henry Melton, Chicago Bears
It is uncommon for a defensive tackle to rank as one of the leading tacklers on a productive defense, but that was the case with Richardson at Missouri. He dominates the game with his quickness, athleticism and motor; NFL coaches will love his ability to make plays all over the field against the run or pass. As a pass rusher, Richardson blows past blockers with an explosive first-step and shows a knack for getting skinny in cracks to get to the quarterback. Additionally, Richardson displays excellent hand skills by masterfully winning hand-to-hand combat exchanges in tight quarters. Although Richardson can be engulfed by big bodies in the run game, he continues to produce with his quickness and burst. Most importantly, Richardson hustles and chases all over the field, demonstrating his will to win.

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Last edited by Mr. Laz; 02-18-2013 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:06 PM   #46
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Outside of his arm strength, I just don't see alot about Foles that would make me not take a chance on one of the top 3 in this class.


Apparently neither do the Chiefs, as we've been told the trade talks about him are overblown.
Yeah, I don't see it happening, most likely because it'd take a first or second.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:07 PM   #47
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Yeah, I don't see it happening, most likely because it'd take a first or second.
Thats just wrong. And if thats what it would take, no way do you do it.


They say they want a high pick, likely meaning they want a 3 or 4 rounder.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:09 PM   #48
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Also, if you're only going to draft a Qb who can be top 3 in the league, you might be waiting a while.
For no reason.

The dirty little secret is that it isn't necessary to have an elite QB to win like so many or saying. You just need to have a good quarterback to win.

Flacco ain't elite. Eli ain't elite. Big Ben ain't elite. Those guys are good in their own ways but each of them have massive holes in their games. Look at the list of SB winners and sure you have good QBs winning all of them.

But in recent history there have been maybe 3 instances of the best QB in football winning the SB - Brady (one of his wins), Manning and Rodgers. Brees is also pretty much a flawless passer, though I wouldn't have considered him the 'best'.

And frankly, I think it's going to get easier and easier to find credible QB play as we go forward which is why it really wouldn't surprise me to see the pendulum swing back towards defenses a little bit. Remember - if everyone's special, than nobody's special.

It's absolutely more critical than it's ever been to have good quarterback play but the funny thing is that it might now be less critical than ever to have elite quarterback play because of how the rule changes have bunched up the ranks. Suddenly the gap between the historic and the good (say, Montana and Ken O'Brien) is more easily bridged because the rules now allow the Ken O'Brien's of the world (Eli Manning) to hide their flaws.

It's really a fascinating time to evaluate the position and I could be way the hell off; it's just a thought.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:10 PM   #49
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Landry Jones is Sam Bradford.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:13 PM   #50
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Thats just wrong. And if thats what it would take, no way do you do it.


They say they want a high pick, likely meaning they want a 3 or 4 rounder.
I think they said, first they don't want to trade him at all, but that no way they'd do it for a fourth or even third. The local Philly press is saying they're talking about high picks to discourage trade talk. I think Kelly is hoping for Foles to win the starting job.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:14 PM   #51
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Landry Jones is Sam Bradford.
Not even remotely close.
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Alex Smith is awful.... there, I said it
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #52
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I think they said, first they don't want to trade him at all, but that no way they'd do it for a fourth or even third. The local Philly press is saying they're talking about high picks to discourage trade talk. I think Kelly is hoping for Foles to win the starting job.
That may be.


People automatically think Vick is the best fit there, when they don't knwo what the hell Kelly's offense will look like.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:16 PM   #53
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For no reason.

The dirty little secret is that it isn't necessary to have an elite QB to win like so many or saying. You just need to have a good quarterback to win.

Flacco ain't elite. Eli ain't elite. Big Ben ain't elite. Those guys are good in their own ways but each of them have massive holes in their games. Look at the list of SB winners and sure you have good QBs winning all of them.

But in recent history there have been maybe 3 instances of the best QB in football winning the SB - Brady (one of his wins), Manning and Rodgers. Brees is also pretty much a flawless passer, though I wouldn't have considered him the 'best'.

And frankly, I think it's going to get easier and easier to find credible QB play as we go forward which is why it really wouldn't surprise me to see the pendulum swing back towards defenses a little bit. Remember - if everyone's special, than nobody's special.

It's absolutely more critical than it's ever been to have good quarterback play but the funny thing is that it might now be less critical than ever to have elite quarterback play because of how the rule changes have bunched up the ranks. Suddenly the gap between the historic and the good (say, Montana and Ken O'Brien) is more easily bridged because the rules now allow the Ken O'Brien's of the world (Eli Manning) to hide their flaws.

It's really a fascinating time to evaluate the position and I could be way the hell off; it's just a thought.
It's almost more about fitting the skills of the guy you have or using them the most. Like you've said eloquently about Flacco, he has middling accuracy intermediate and short, so throw it deep more times. Offsets each other.

I think the elite QB's will always give you the BEST chance, but I think, like you said, the difference between the best and the good, isn't exactly a huge leap like it once was.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #54
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For no reason.

The dirty little secret is that it isn't necessary to have an elite QB to win like so many or saying. You just need to have a good quarterback to win.

Flacco ain't elite. Eli ain't elite. Big Ben ain't elite. Those guys are good in their own ways but each of them have massive holes in their games. Look at the list of SB winners and sure you have good QBs winning all of them.

But in recent history there have been maybe 3 instances of the best QB in football winning the SB - Brady (one of his wins), Manning and Rodgers. Brees is also pretty much a flawless passer, though I wouldn't have considered him the 'best'.

And frankly, I think it's going to get easier and easier to find credible QB play as we go forward which is why it really wouldn't surprise me to see the pendulum swing back towards defenses a little bit. Remember - if everyone's special, than nobody's special.

It's absolutely more critical than it's ever been to have good quarterback play but the funny thing is that it might now be less critical than ever to have elite quarterback play because of how the rule changes have bunched up the ranks. Suddenly the gap between the historic and the good (say, Montana and Ken O'Brien) is more easily bridged because the rules now allow the Ken O'Brien's of the world (Eli Manning) to hide their flaws.

It's really a fascinating time to evaluate the position and I could be way the hell off; it's just a thought.
I agree completely with this.

We're probably at a point right now where you can win a SB with a top 10 QB. Anyone in the top 10 can beat anyone else in the top 10.

We're probably inching towards the point where if you half a top half of the league QB, you've got a chance, if the rest of the team isn't dogshit.

Which only makes the QB position more valuable, IMO.

It's gonna get easier to find a guy in the draft, so you might as well keep picking them high.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #55
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It's kind of like anything else. When someone gets something good, everyone else wants it and tries to get it. Then when everyone has it, you have to figure out the next best thing before anyone else does to be successful.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:24 PM   #56
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I agree completely with this.

We're probably at a point right now where you can win a SB with a top 10 QB. Anyone in the top 10 can beat anyone else in the top 10.

We're probably inching towards the point where if you half a top half of the league QB, you've got a chance, if the rest of the team isn't dogshit.

Which only makes the QB position more valuable, IMO.

It's gonna get easier to find a guy in the draft, so you might as well keep picking them high.
Probably more than 10

Brady
Rodgers
Brees
manning
Manning
Wilson
Kaepernick
Flacco
Luck
RG3
Ryan
Rapist
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Alex Smith is awful.... there, I said it
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:24 PM   #57
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I don't think Geno pears well with Bradford
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:26 PM   #58
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Probably more than 10

Brady
Rodgers
Brees
manning
Manning
Wilson
Kaepernick
Flacco
Luck
RG3
Ryan
Rapist
There you go.

Elvis Grbac probably would have been one of the better QBs in the league in this era.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:26 PM   #59
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Eh, people are idiots.

Being a good prospect doesn't guarantee you're going to be a good NFL player - such is life. Bradford was a very good prospect; he was an elite prospect before the shoulder injury worried people about his durability.

So if you take Bradford, remove the shoulder injury, increase his mobility and then give him the upside that if he fixes his footwork, his arm strength will be about 10% better, I'd say you're more than justified in taking the risk.

If this exact draft class were around in 2011, we'd never have the kind of conversations we're having right now. Luck/RGIII dicked this all up.

Geno Smith is easily the equal of many QBs that came before him and went #1 overall. He's a completely justifiable, sensible pick in a position of extreme need.

So naturally we'll take the 2nd best tackle prospect in the draft or a !@#$ing guard.
Yep to all of this.

Plus, Bradford walked into a team lead by a defensive minded HC and an OC that was basically on his own in Shurmur.

Having an offensive guy like Reid makes the selection even more desirable than the situation Bradford walked into.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:32 PM   #60
JASONSAUTO JASONSAUTO is offline
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Originally Posted by Buzz_TinBalls View Post
yes, but I notice you did not say he's a star, which was my point. I like bradford, but he has disappointed imo. He's likely going to become a good player (not a bust), but I expected his progress to be better than this.

Imo bradford's last collegiate season was better than Geno's.
He threw for under six hundred yards in his last season.
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