Continuing our conversation from earlier…
Rank this years draft able Tigers with actual NFL success.
Drew: Michael Brockers and Morris Claiborne look like they are both as close to sure things as there can be in draft. I think both will have significant impacts throughout their careers, but for the sake of rankings I’m putting Brockers ahead of Claiborne. Next is Brandon Taylor. His leadership alone ought to secure him a long career playing on Sundays. Reuben Randle has the chance to be another Early Doucet-type receiver, becoming a go-to guy for QBs in the red zone. Then I’d pick Deangelo Peterson. Peterson has great hands, and, as guys like Jimmy Graham have shown, the tight end can be an effective offensive weapon. Finally, Ron Brooks will probably be the last LSU player drafted. He could be a key guy on special teams or stepping in for defensive packages in key situations.
Buzz: I like Drew’s list, but I have a few twist. My list ranks the players not only on potential, but chance to have staying power in the league.
Mo Claiborne- He is a lock to be in the league for a long time. Above average instincts and has the ability to become the quiet leader and anchor of any secondary.
Brandon Taylor- Don’t know if he has far to go to reach his ceiling, but I agree with Drew about his leadership. For the last two years Taylor was the anchor to the secondary and even though he wasn’t the most talented, he made sure that all of those players were in the right position to show off their talent. He will bring depth to any defense and special teams unit.
Michael Brockers- Might have the highest ceiling of all Tigers in the draft, but my reservations on his success are the same as Ryan Tannehill. Brockers had a breakout sophomore season, but that is all scouts have on him. With as high as NFL teams regard defensive linemen, you get the feeling that he might be selected higher than he is worth. This is great news financially for him in the short term, but will teams stay with him long enough to develop, or after three years will he become a journeyman or worse?
Ron Brooks- The super-sleeper of the draft. Brooks had the unfortunate college experience of playing with Patrick Peterson, Mo Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu. Due to the overall talent Brooks was stuck playing as a key reserve in the LSU defensive backfield. When he did play key minutes, it was hard not to pay close attention to Brooks. He can play man/zone coverage, he can come off the edge with elite speed against either the run or the pass and can become a team’s returner if needed. I don’t expect many pro bowls from Brooks, but a very steady career.
Ruben Randle- The problem with ranking Randle is that in the past decade LSU had a receiver just like him, Michael Clayton. Clayton had a nice carrier, but never developed into a elite receiver. I like Drew’s comparison to Early Doucet, but luck for Doucet, he found a team willing to let him develop. Will Randle find the same team? The problem with Randle is that he is a big receiver, but he isn’t physical and slow. I know the quarterback play for LSU during his three at LSU was weak, but only on few occasions did Randle exude the type of athleticism he needs to play on the next level.
Add all that together, plus the fact that the talent pool to play receiver is seriously deep, then it is easy to see my reservations for Randle’s success.
Deangelo Peterson- I am not going to waste your time with too much analyst on Peterson, but instead will give you one story.
During the 2010 Alabama game, LSU had the ball trailing late in the game deep in Alabama territory. The Tigers needed to convert a fourth and one play to keep the game alive. Peterson received a hand off via a reverse and had a whole side of the field to run. It seemed like Peterson was going to score a game winning touchdown, but instead of running over the Alabama defender, he went out-of-bounds at the two yard line.
I am still confused on why he bailed on the play. Perhaps he was trying to avoid fumbling the ball and avoiding the chance of that happening, but I still and never will like how that play finished. Peterson has the talent to have a nice career, and the tight-end position has never been hotter due to the success at the position last year, but it has always seemed that Peterson was a wide-receiver in a tight-end’s body.
Over/under the number of time Les Miles makes you face palm yourself after a confusing comment he makes? (Miles will be a guest analyst for NFL network coverage)
Drew: Les Miles has ceased to astound me with his rambling analyses and I now simply accept it as the comedy it is. I’m laying down a conservative estimate of five.
Buzz: Five is a fair number, but I have one concern going into the show. How much coaching will he get before the cameras come on Thursday night? When “Mile-isms” rip, it is usually off-the-cuff comments. How many times will Miles use the word want as a noun, or stutter while trying to collect his thoughts. Saying all that if five is the number I am taking the over.
If you could change one thing about the NFL draft, what would it be?
Drew: The one thing I’d change is the full on media blitz surrounding the draft. There’s something to be said for the drama of the unknown, and with ESPN covering every sneeze of draftees that drama is completely lacking. For all the hype surrounding the draft, the TV special has little draw for me as all the information gleaned from it is little different than what commentators have been saying since January.
Buzz: I agree with that, and apparently so does the NFL. Never will we see the clip of a player talking on the phone with the team that is about to draft him. That should help with the drama of the draft, but I think there is an element missing that ESPN or NFL network should jump on.
If you’ve seen the 24/7 or Hard Knocks series then you know where I am going with this. Why not follow around a team during the off-season and make a three week show out of it leading up to and covering the draft? This wouldn’t fix the coverage, but it would give the fans some insight on just how insane the prep time leading up to the draft is. Wouldn’t it be interesting to following a particular team’s scout from the combine to the pro-days while they create their wish list of players? Even better, after the draft, they would air the war room episode that covers the team’s actual draft. The last element in sports coverage that needs to go mainstream is the business side of it and this would be a great launch show for the NFL to get a jump on the other leagues.
I know the negative of this is a team threat of giving away inside information, but the show would air a few weeks behind what the episode covers. If HBO can do a reality show on training camp, someone can make this happen.