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Offline play2win  
#1 Posted : Sunday, April 27, 2014 11:28:37 AM(UTC)
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Well, we are getting closer to draft day, and a lot of mocks and commentaries have been made on many draft prospects.

One thing that I am seeing that is a bit concerning is a seeming willingness to overlook shortcomings in player speed and quickness.

Borland looks to be an incredibly instinctive player at ILB, as does Skov. Both, however, are very slow players. As much as I love the raw instincts for the game, I feel this lack of speed will be a huge detriment at the pro level, where everyone is faster.

In all cases, give me the player with both instincts and speed to make plays at the pro level. If the player has instincts but lacks speed, no thanks.

Our run D really needs some speed in the middle, ILB alongside Hawk. Two of our biggest concerns should be stopping players like Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick. How are we going to do that if we add players who can't keep up?

I would say the same should hold true at S and on the DL. Speed should be trumping these decisions. Without that, I just don't see how we can improve. One of the attributes that set Nick Collins apart, aside from his ball skills and instincts, was his incredible speed to make and finish plays. I want to see that again at S for GB. I want to see way more speed at ILB, and more speed on our DL.

Players like Borland and Skov are not going to be as successful at the pro level - that's my guess, and they will get killed in coverage. This draft for GB, speed should be a premium.
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DakotaT on 4/27/2014(UTC), Wade on 4/29/2014(UTC)
Offline porky88  
#2 Posted : Sunday, April 27, 2014 2:33:15 PM(UTC)
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Ryan Shazier of Ohio State sounds like your kind of guy then. He runs a 4.40. He is a three-down linebacker. He can play outside and inside linebacker. The more you see, the more you like.

I actually think Shayne Skov has the athleticism to thrive in the NFL. He suffered a bad knee injury a few years ago, but finally began to flash his athleticism near the end of the season, especially in the Rose Bowl. His pre-draft process disappointed, but I tend to put more stock in his Rose Bowl performance than his pro day.
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play2win on 4/27/2014(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#3 Posted : Sunday, April 27, 2014 3:47:33 PM(UTC)
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You're right porky88.

I'm just concerned at many positions where speed makes players special at the NFL level, but some lacking that still have great success in the college ranks with guts and instincts, and those guys are all over these boards.

I guess with Borland and Skov both ranked in many mocks at R2, that gives me great concern. Not unlike some high ranking CBs with really poor ball skills. Makes little sense, right?

We've seen where a lack of speed really hurt when Hawk played a little heavier in 2011-12. As much as I enjoyed seeing Micah Hyde's play last year, his lack of speed was quite noticeable. Great player, great instincts, natural abilities to play the game, but his speed was a bit lacking. Maybe that can change for the better in such a young player.

We've also witnessed where exceptional speed can overcome some other misgivings. Look at Sam Shields. The guy is not the biggest CB, but I would put him up right now with just about anyone in the NFL, mainly due to his big quicks. That speed allows him to make some exceptional plays. Shields has developed some great ball skills, but that speed coupled with the ball skills makes him effective against much larger WRs. That makes Shields a very special player.
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porky88 on 4/27/2014(UTC), Wade on 4/29/2014(UTC)
Offline steveishere  
#4 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 2:08:28 AM(UTC)
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instincts and quickness > 40 time for ILB. I care a heck of a lot more if a guy can quickly read whats happening and get on the move than if he can keep up 40 yards down the field. We could use more speed in the middle of our D for sure but I just don't agree that 40 time = speed. Id add the ability to shed blocks over 40 time too. I've been watching Skov some and he really doesn't look like a slow player to me at all.
Offline play2win  
#5 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 4:48:30 AM(UTC)
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Steve, I agree instincts > 40 times.

My point is putting premiums on those players who have both. I like both Borland and Skov. But they share equally in one flaw, and that is pass coverage. Neither player can keep up with TEs/receivers in the middle, and that is mostly due to a lack of speed - at the Div I level. How much worse will this be at the pro level?

Add, Skov has good size. Borland is really short <6'. It's not just these two players. A lack of speed is dropping the stock of Anthony Barr and Kyle Van Noy as well.

No question, the players listed are incredible talents, all highly instinctive. I just think the speed issue matters. Maybe more than we think. We'll know more a week from Thursday-Friday how teams will factor that into their draft status.
Offline nerdmann  
#6 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 4:54:52 AM(UTC)
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"Luck follows speed."

"You can't coach speed."

That said, two guys who were criticized in the draft for not having enough speed were Greg Jennings and Jerry Rice. They turned out ok.
Offline play2win  
#7 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 5:13:49 AM(UTC)
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nerdmann said: Go to Quoted Post
"Luck follows speed."

"You can't coach speed."

That said, two guys who were criticized in the draft for not having enough speed were Greg Jennings and Jerry Rice. They turned out ok.


Well, if I'm tired of being run on at will by Kaepernick and AP amongst others (PHI)... I'm drafting a player with both instincts and speed to best counter that.

I do think "bigger and faster" is a mantra we should be holding to this draft, with the only exception being a slot WR or KR.
Offline uffda udfa  
#8 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 5:59:23 AM(UTC)
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Speed is very important without question. However, the metrics employed by the NFL to measure it oftentimes are meaningless.

Borland's 40 time was 4.83...up toward DE territory. Clay Matthews ran 4.62

The 3 cone times 7.18 for Borland and 6.90 for Clay.

One guy will be inside the other needs to blow off the edge.

These measurements are one moment in time without football pads on. Plus, they're chasing air, not football players. The NFL is littered with stories of guys who just weren't fast enough who had great NFL careers.

I think part of the reason Alex Smith was drafted over Aaron Rodgers was the 3 cone time. Aaron was 7.39 to Smith's 6.82... that is more than a half second difference. Does it appear that Alex Smith is that much more elusive in the pocket? A half second is incredibly substantial. Borland is almost 2 hundredths of second slower than Clay over 40 yards, and almost 2 hundredths of a second slower on 3 cone.

Many of these speed projects don't have anywhere near the instincts. How many hundredths of a second does that cost them? NFL doesn't measure for that. It seems clear that a guy like Borland has all world instincts and pedestrian speed. The combo can work if instincts are truly elite. If his instincts weren't incredible then his 4.83 is really going to show itself.

Smart, instinctive and sold out work for me vs. dumb, confused, and football doesn't really matter but they can run like a deer.

Ultimately, like you wish, it would be best to find a guy who can run... and has more height and longer arms. Zach Thomas would tell you not to be so worried.

Offline steveishere  
#9 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 6:10:08 AM(UTC)
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Even pass coverage for a LB is more about his reaction time and reading the QB and the play than it is about 40 time. How often is a ILB running down the seam on a super fast TE with no safety help? Maybe 1 or 2 times a season? Most of ILB coverage is inside the hash marks or running out to the flat on a RB. Speed helps with that stuff but I really wouldn't say it's the main thing you look for.
Offline mi_keys  
#10 Posted : Monday, April 28, 2014 7:02:06 AM(UTC)
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This is one reason why I like CJ Mosley: he has the instincts AND has pretty good athleticism.

That said, I'd like to add some speed to the team but I don't want them to go out of the way to do so.
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