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Once-in-a-lifetime prospect? Scouts break down Clowney

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by Ramifications, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Username Has a Well-Known Member

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    What if the player doesn't want to be coached?
     
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  2. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    Then he'll bust. The same what if scenario applies to pretty much every player.
     
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  3. I get yours as well, it could be more valid, you raise good points.

    That point is more well taken with IND, I agree with your JAG hunch (looking at 2000 IND stats, Wayne was drafted in 2001). Seemingly less so with MIN, they already had Jake Reed in addition to Carter (looking at 1997, Moss drafted in 1998), he was 68-1,138-6 the prior year. He was 85-1,175-4 in 1994, 72-1,167-9 in 1995 and 72-1,320-7 in 1996.

    So in the case of IND, they didn't have a WR counterpart or doppleganger as good to their team as Chris Long is to ours, at his respective DE position. MIN arguably did.

    Agreed ATL made a one-player-away thinking, all in-type move. They may not have been as close as they thought, though they did get to the playoffs. One thing I like about the Rams position relative to ATL, we don't have to blow up our draft to get to that spot needed to take a blue chip, elite prospect that could be a difference maker and future Pro Bowler. Imagine if ATL had been able to get Julio Jones and spend "only" their higher of two firsts, that would have been even sweeter for them.

    As to Chris Long, I thought he played better in 2012, but some suggested he may have been hurt. He isn't old but not young either. Similar to Jake Long, I think they went 1.1 and 1.2 in the same draft. Chris hasn't been hurt as much as Jake. I don't like the fact that he doesn't seem to be that involved in run support, but maybe that is scheme-related (though his tenure overlaps with several regimes/schemes). He might be underrated nationally, playing for a sub-.500 team his entire career. Before this year (or maybe 2012?), I think he was close to top 5 in combined sacks in the trailing 3 years approx? That stat surprised me, I knew he was pretty good, but not quite that good. He led the team in sacks in 2012, and the defense tied-first in the NFL with 52 sacks, so that is commendable. Like I said, 2013 seemed like an off year, I hope, unless he is on a downward trajectory. In 2012, a better year, I think he was top 5-10 as a LDE (if we distinguish from a Robert Quinn-like RDE skill set), with top 10 being pretty good, top 5 maybe or maybe not great depending how you define it. I thought the 2012 iteration was a better complement to Quinn than the 2013 version.

    If you don't like Clowney (important to make a distinction between the physical specimen and athlete and his character, passion for the game, desire to be great, work ethic, teammate and leadership intangibles and how that comprises his value as an overall prospect, as you have), than naturally you would like the LT or WR pick better. I like them, too. I view them as higher floor players, Clowney could be a higher ceiling. I was completely down on Clowney earlier and wanted nothing to do with him (like where some are at now), but am now in the process of reevaluating him, and started the thread in the hopes of learning something new that might give me more clarity on whether he was a good or bad pick. I'm not in the same position as others that have made up their mind one way or the other.

    I do think this thread should have been two-pronged, as noted upthread, with the first establishing if others thought Clowney was elite (clearly many don't), and the second, for those that did, to have the discussion if he was elite enough to go for greatness in a BPA sense, even if it meant setting aside posited "more pressing needs". Answering the second question is sort of incoherent without nailing down the first premise.

    Clowney's intangibles are in question, to what degree they should be is for me an open question. He reportedly had multiple injuries, I don't know how much they slowed him, or if he is a malingerer, or was coasting because of the unfortunate Lattimore injury. Some people in the thread seem to have an almost forensically-detailed level of recollection about the negative innuendo surrounding Spurrier's infamous press conference, but in some cases seem to be completely oblivious of his apology and retraction? I find that a bit one-sided.

    Trading down and getting Clowney may not be mutually exclusive, if we trade to 1.4 and the first three picks are Bridgwater, Manziel and Bortles? If STL thinks 2012 was more representative of Clowney's ceiling than 2013, and that they can work with him, I trust Fisher and Snead to make that decision. Our team can use help in a few places, so if they decide OL or WR best, I'm definitely cool with that, too.

    BTW, if Clowney was coming off a junior year as dominant as his soph campaign, if you thought he was one of the best prospects at the position since Mario Williams and Julius Peppers, would you be more inclined to take him? Still opt for the LT or WR?

    I would just like to redefine "need" in less of a localized, hole-plugging sense, and more of a global, tipping point sense. What moves get us closer to winning the West and Super Bowl? Does adding effectively a guard for a few years, maybe longer (as long as Long and Barksdale are the bookends), tip the OL over to dominant, and could we fill that hole with a cheaper option this year or in a later draft, free agency, etc., since this is a long-term deal? Does adding Watkins make the WR corp dominant (maybe very good, I recognize that), if we also throw to Austin, Bailey, Givens, Quick, Cook, Kendricks, and are a run-centric offense, and maybe he only touches the ball 3-4 times a game (I'm aware they could throw to him more, but I thought they would throw to Austin more, Watkins is bigger and no doubt has a more obvious WR1 skill set)? Does Clowney make the DL dominant added to Quinn, Long and Brockers?

    There is no one way to win, we could all cite many examples and blue prints. I thought of the Giants as a recent example, that kept drafting pass rushers when they were already loaded and stacked (see JPP), developed the all DE DL NASCAR package, and rode an outstanding, dominant pass rush to two Super Bowl wins.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2014
  4. Username Has a Well-Known Member

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    I think it's something that has to be a cause of concern, along with his conditioning and overall effort. He's was still taking himself out of running plays all the way up to the bowl game. Too eager to make the big play instead of playing fundamentally sound football. That's not a good habit to have as a defensive end, and he would never be an every down player in this division if it continued.

    That said, I do think this team and coaching staff is a great fit for him if not perfect. As you mentioned, coach Waufle. I cannot praise this man enough. A coach that truly gets everything out of his players. In the technical, and emotional sense. Then you have Fisher. The biggest players coach on the planet, and made Albert Haynesworth lazy ass good enough to get an $100 million dollar contract. Add Williams defensive creativeness, and 2 of the best D ends in the league to learn from, and you have a pretty solid match.

    Regardless of what we've heard, and what we will hear leading up to the draft I think the Rams are heavily considering drafting Clowney. Even more so given Fishers background.

    I'm still up in the air over it. Raw talent out the ass. I'd like a 2nd overall pick to be A LOT more rounded though. Not crazy about the injuries either. Also, in order for a team to throw on you, you have to be able to score some points yourself.
     
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  5. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty typical of a college DE. Robert Quinn did the exact same thing when I evaluated him. Even had issues with it last year. With NFL coaching and development, that's something that will improve.

    You also have to consider that it might be the scheme that's asking him to do it. He made some monster plays in the run game when they had him slant. SC asks its DEs to be aggressive in getting up-field even at the risk of hurting itself in the run game.
     
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  6. Could injuries effect conditioning. Maybe harder to run a lot of burners if you have bones spurs in your foot?

    Though he recently stated he isn't having surgery for that condition. If it was serious, would he need surgery? Is he putting it off for the Combine? Will he need it later? If it doesn't need surgery, should it have impacted his conditioning? Could this be a chronic condition that worsens? Have other football players had it and been fine, or was it problematic and negatively impacted play in a lingering manner? Is this a condition that lends itself to easy correction if needed? Maybe like a lot of injuries, there is a continuum or spectrum of possibilities?

    Is it in any way related to CAR RB Jonathan Stewart's issues that have stalled his career, or perhaps his multiple chronic foot and ankle injuries are unrelated. His latest in the 2013 offseason was I think heel or ankle-related?
     
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  7. MerlinJones Well-Known Member

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    Ok.

    Here's my point. Of the players on your list how many were considered spectacular, can't miss prospects going into the draft? Some of them didn't get drafted until the second round and later.
    Sherman in the 5th, Brady in the 6th. How did all the draft experts miss those guys?

    Jerry, I know we're never going to agree on this, and that's fine. I just don't think Clowney is going to be the player all the "experts" are projecting him to be. I honestly believe that there are other DEs in this draft who will be as good as he is when it's all said and done.

    Just my opinion.
     
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  8. Thordaddy Binding you with ancient logic

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    Well a LOT come in tauted to have that ability and I've seen enough to know that few live up to the hype.
    As far as whether Fisher can get the most out of a player ,some he can some he can't. But IF he HAS to get it out of Clowney then Clowney is flawed and now you are bestowing him with credit accruing to the coaches.
    Once again ,coaches draft to build a team that they expect to give THEM job security,that's the real world, this 5-10 year greatness model doesn't fit most coaches window /contracts.
    It worked for Landry but his boss endured six losing seasons with him before he got to 7-7.
    This thread has become more and more obsessed with the idea that Clowney is a can't miss guy and as always those evaluations are being made by people with no skin in the game.

    We currently have a culture of draft evaluaters who are attempting to gain attention ,they engage in a feeding frenzy ,sort of like this thread, always looking for a different unique way to extoll the virtue of or pan the ability of /attitude of players.
    Sadly there are two players who we all know are currently in the NFL who seemed to have can't miss potential and bought into their own hype and through the lack of realization of their can't miss potential KILLED their coaches, Suh and RGIII.
    I've seen Clowney loaf on plays with my own lying eyes, no one who loafs on plays is a can't miss player. There is a disturbing trend of players buying in to their own aggrandized worth spawned by the afore mentioned feeding frenzy along with sycophants among their boosters and their agents. ALL of which increases the risk and reduces the "can't miss" reliability.
    IF Mr Clowney is perceived as some here insist we must see him ,universally by NFL scouts he fits someones need and due to his lofty pre draft hype the combination of BPA and need will IMO spur someone to make a blue sky offer to get his rights from the Texans or whoever holds the pick he falls to if they don't use it for him or trade it to someone who does.
    I expect the proceeds of that trade should we be so fortuitous, to fill multiple needs for this team and thereby to increase our coaches job security AND to provide a possible future windfall.
    There was little doubt at the time that RGIII was the BPA when we traded his rights away, he was even tauted as the quintessential transitional player at the leagues most valuable position, how could we pass that up? what were we thinking? Washington got so much the better of that deal was written in most all the papers outside the Lou,trumpeted by ALL the talking heads. UFR here WE are with the rights to the next big thing after all we have already gotten.
    God I hope we find a sucker , a desperate coach and GM who think Clowney will save their jobs,I know they're out there
     
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  9. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    Manning
    Peterson
    Calvin
    Thomas
    McCoy
    Miller

    Then you have other players that were also considered top tier talents that were in the running for or were a top 10 pick like Rodgers, Quinn, Watt, Willis, Revis and Thomas. That's 12 of 21 players.

    You're entitled to your opinion. I just don't agree.
     
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  10. MerlinJones Well-Known Member

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    Is "top tier" the same as the once in a generation tag being applied to Clowney? If so there have been an awful lot of once in a generation players during this generation.
    The top tier designation of the others feels like a weak attempt to strengthen your argument, but that's ok.

    I'd also argue that lot's of "experts" preferred Ryan Leaf to Manning because of spectacular "upside", even though there were significant character concerns. How did that work out for San Diego?
     
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  11. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    And yet Peyton Manning was still seen as the generational prospect. So how did drafting the generational prospect at #1 work out for Indy?

    Top tier talent is top tier talent. Patrick Willis was a freak of nature. Darrelle Revis and Earl Thomas were elite athletes for DBs. JJ Watt put up monster numbers at the combine for a 3-4 DE. Robert Quinn and Aldon Smith were both freaky athletes. Rodgers is a top tier physical talent at QB.

    All those guys were in consideration for the top 10.

    Your argument against the list I provided was that some players were found outside the first round. Well, as I demonstrated, the vast majority were highly thought of prospects and considered top talents in their draft class.

    But you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't claim that the generation tag has to be rare then argue that not enough players on the list were considered generational talents. Since 1998 when Manning was drafted(since he's the oldest player on the list), how many of the "generational" talents failed to reach that elite tier? You've got Robert Gallery who was a flat out bust(but many saw him as the best OT prospect since Pace) and Mario Williams/Julius Peppers who both became great players but not elite ones. That would seem to bode well for the Clowney argument.
     
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  12. MerlinJones Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of any of the players you listed referred to as "once in a generation" when they were entering the draft. It seems that you are applying that label to them after the fact.
    My argument is that the label itself is ridiculous, not that it's not used enough.

    "Top tier", "top talent", or whatever label you want to apply these players isn't strengthening your argument. Excluding number one overall picks, some of the players that went in the first round weren't even the first picks at their position, and yet they somehow managed to outperform players selected ahead of them.

    Also, the fact that Manning has been so successful doesn't negate the fact that numerous "experts" would have taken Leaf based on perceived potential.

    It's obvious that not only do not agree with my opinion, but that you don't respect it. This isn't a conversation, it's you trying to prove me wrong.
    How dull.
     
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  13. MerlinJones Well-Known Member

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    Even if Clowney was coming off of 2012 I'd still prefer Robinson, Matthews, or Watkins.
    His 2013 just solidifies that position for me.
     
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  14. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    Which of these players? McCoy was the only one that I used that tag with that's even arguable. And that's because he was in the same draft as Suh. Who is arguably elite himself. And McCoy was still the #3 pick and considered a spectacular, can't miss prospect.

    The other guys are top tier talents. They weren't talked about as "generational" talents but they were top tier talents in the draft. Because "generational" talents are rare. But those guys were still either top 10 picks or in the running to be top 10 picks because they were great talents.

    Regardless, I don't even see what point is being made anymore in regards to Clowney. The original point was that Clowney has the ability to be elite. And there are few elite players in the league. Which is why I believe he's worth taking.

    Ok...great. How does that relate back to Clowney? Which is the actual point here. That's what we're discussing.

    And it'll be a cold day in hell when I actually care what the media "experts" think.

    That's your own conclusion you've chosen to come to. I've only defended my opinion on Clowney. You're welcome to sulk, though.
     
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  15. Username Has a Well-Known Member

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    Wait, are you saying that there hasn't been any bust according to expectations in the draft Jrry?

    Isn't that what your saying though? When you say "considered" who do you mean by?
     
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  16. flv 

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    Well then you fire Jim Schwartz.
     
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    Username likes this.
  17. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    My biggest pet peeve is people misrepresenting what I said. I didn't say that. I didn't imply that. In fact, I brought up Robert Gallery the post before that.

    No. I don't think people who follow the draft needed the talking heads in the media to tell them that players like Manning, Calvin, Peterson, etc. were special. I think they're capable of seeing it for themselves. I don't judge Clowney based on the media narrative. I know what he is because I've watched him play many many times.
     
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  18. Username Has a Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but you just brought up Gallery. You don't think it's happened more than him since 1998?
     
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  19. rdlkgliders Hugo Bezdek

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    I'm kinda late to the party. 13 pages of Clowney talk well that is certainly once in a ROD generation.
    Clowney to me is
    1. Massive talent
    2. Incredible physical specimen
    3. suspect motivation and character
    4. HUGELY Over pursues and becomes a non factor too often
    5. If he is coachable and motivated Sky is the limit
     
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  20. The last four so called once-in-a-decade, generational talents in my recollection that were consensus were Calvin Johnson, Suh, Luck and Clowney.

    Johnson and Luck were the two I felt strongest about that the consensus was correct (and I think their play has confirmed and validated the heralded status).

    Suh I didn't follow as closely, I thought he would be more dominant than he has been.

    I have to admit I am most wary of Clowney based on the questions. But as an athlete (lets face it, Luck is a very good athlete, for a QB, but not Olympic hurdler caliber like RG3, and not elite, per se, he does have elite arm talent, football IQ and intangibles), I think he has a chance to be the best of this group with Johnson. If he runs a 4.4 at 275 lbs., that may be unprecedented for the position (again, Jevon Kearse was the only comp I could think of that was close, but he was 265 lbs.).

    It will be interesting to see if Clowney cost himself the #1 overall pick if he did coast (I don't know, as I have said, how much injuries may have limited him, certainly his stats didn't line up with 2012, and that has led to lack of effort speculation, right or wrong). Hypothetically, if he did, due to the Lattimore injury or whatever, he suffers in the comparison with the other top 5-ish non-QB positions, Robinson, Matthews, Watkins, Mack, Barr.

    Again, IF he did shut it down in his last season to protect himself because he thought he was a slam dunk to go very high regardless (and he might be right there), any precedent for that? I can't think of one off the top of my head. If so, Clowney could be unprecedented in more than one way.
     
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