WRs to watch

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mondry
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by mondry » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:32 pm

CaptainKirov wrote: He's drawing comparrison to Reggie Wayne, who was also taken where his value is. Not the biggest or fastest but he makes up for it with soft hands and great route running ability and he plays bigger than his measurements.
I've been saying that for a while, we'd all be happy with Reggie Wayne at #23 / #25 even though he isn't built like megatron. Wayne was taken #30 I believe.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by losperros » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:07 pm

Mothman wrote:Anyway, there IS a learning curve at the position and expectations for any rookie should be tempered. I think this article serves as a cautionary take about drafting a player like Patterson and expecting to get a lot out of him as a receiver in his first season or two. I suspect he'd make some big plays but would struggle and disappear at times simply because of the steep learning curve he'd face. All the more reason to use him asa returner if he's drafted. I think he could have an immediate impact in that capacity.

Good point. Patterson has a big natural talent upside but he's going to be raw as a WR and will need time to develop. But you're right about him being able to be an impact returner right away. And yes, I can see him making some big plays here and there as a WR too, but I'd be shocked if the Vikings drafted him to be an every down starting wideout.

You know, Jim, regardless who the Vikings draft at WR, I really don't think they're necessarily looking for a #1 kind of WR. I believe that's what signing Greg Jennings was for. I still think the Vikings want someone to stretch the field and give Ponder another formidable target. What the WR corps really needs is more depth and weaponry, in my view. It's not like some guy should have to carry it all on his back the same way AD does as a RB. OTOH, a rookie MLB might have to be an immediate starter and full time contributor.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by CaptainKirov » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:45 pm

Another late round WR to keep an eye on is Kenny Stills out of Oklahoma. Bleacherreport's Matt Miller had this to say about him as his top sleeper WR
Stills has everything you look for in a solid possession receiver, and if you're a team running a West Coast offense, he's the ideal fit as a No. 2 or No. 3 option there. It's easy to get caught up in numbers, and while Still did produce in college, his last two seasons were spent with a quarterback that greatly struggled under pressure. That didn't allow him to fully break out in a stats game.

Stills has talent, though. Don't be one of the old-timers who look at his funny hair and tattoos and write him off. He's not a character risk and brings immediate impact value to the NFL.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Texas Vike » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:03 am

Interesting read on the top tier WRs:
http://www.dailynorseman.com/2013/4/23/ ... Tier-1-2-3


Surprisingly, he doesn't include Austin or Patterson in his top 5, which goes like this:
1. DeAndre Hopkins
2. Keenan Allen
3. Robert Woods
4. Da'Rick Rogers
5. Markus Wheaton
6. Aaron Dobson
I know Moth has been an Allen supporter throughout, despite a lot of us having our reservations. The writeup on Allen here does make me want him a bit more. I hope we trade back from 25, because there will be a ton of WR talent taken in the 35 to 50 range of this draft.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Mothman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:22 am

Texas Vike wrote:Interesting read on the top tier WRs:
http://www.dailynorseman.com/2013/4/23/ ... Tier-1-2-3


Surprisingly, he doesn't include Austin or Patterson in his top 5, which goes like this: I know Moth has been an Allen supporter throughout, despite a lot of us having our reservations. The writeup on Allen here does make me want him a bit more. I hope we trade back from 25, because there will be a ton of WR talent taken in the 35 to 50 range of this draft.

Thanks for the link. The writer was focused on fit for the Vikings, not just talent and he and I share the same choice of top two receivers for the Vikes: Hopkins and Allen. They may not possess the athletic upside or breakaway speed of players like Patterson and Austin but I think they'll fit the Vikings needs nicely and I believe they have room to grow and improve. One of the reasons most often given for the Vikings to draft a WR early is that this is potentially a make-or-break year for Ponder and they need to give him enough weapons to truly see if he's the right QB for them. While I think a team has to draft a player primarily for what that player can do for them in the long term, immediate needs are a concern as well and in Hopkins and Allen, I see two receivers who I think could fit with Ponder's strengths and weaknesses and conceivably be productive right out of the gate. Route-running skills tend to be a little undervalued at this time of year because size and speed are such attractive attributes in receivers but I think Allen and Hopkins both have demonstrable skills that should translate well to the NFL and at certain times, skills trump raw talent (at least to me). YMMV.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Mothman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:33 pm

losperros wrote:Good point. Patterson has a big natural talent upside but he's going to be raw as a WR and will need time to develop. But you're right about him being able to be an impact returner right away. And yes, I can see him making some big plays here and there as a WR too, but I'd be shocked if the Vikings drafted him to be an every down starting wideout.
I would too. If they draft him, I have to believe they'll try to make use of his skills as a returner and runner, not just as a receiver.
You know, Jim, regardless who the Vikings draft at WR, I really don't think they're necessarily looking for a #1 kind of WR. I believe that's what signing Greg Jennings was for.
I agree. If they get a #1 receiver, I'm sure they'll be thrilled but my guess is they're looking for production more than anything else. As you said, what the WR corps really needs is more depth and weaponry.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by mondry » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:21 pm

Mothman wrote:
Thanks for the link. The writer was focused on fit for the Vikings, not just talent and he and I share the same choice of top two receivers for the Vikes: Hopkins and Allen.
LOL, I was gonna say, I'm a pretty big patterson hater but to not even have him in the top 6 is pretty insane.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Mothman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:39 pm

mondry wrote:LOL, I was gonna say, I'm a pretty big patterson hater but to not even have him in the top 6 is pretty insane.
Yes, it's purely about fit. here's what he had to say about Patterson:
Don't mistake this as a judgment that Patterson is overrated. He is simply not ready to contribute right away, and that is critical to this big board's goals. Patterson is an athlete who evaluators speak of in terms of potential instead of established talent.

His athletic capability hasn't translated into an ability to constantly create separation, and his route-running ranks among the worst in the class. He doesn't sink his hips appropriately at the break, will signal routes and doesn't "tell a story" to defensive backs about where he's going—a critical skill to sell deception. This is important because he can flag downfield and will need to rely on more technical skills than you might expect when trying to go deep. This is why only 4% of his targets were deep despite a quarterback willing to sling it. I cannot overstate this point. He could be a deep threat, but does not have the combination of technique and athleticism to be relied on in this respect.

The rough route-running and imprecision will translate to seeing defenses a step ahead of him and in a position to break on the ball better. He doesn't enforce himself against press coverage either, allowing it to determine how he reacts. He also doesn't continue to put forth effort in a lot of his play, willing to jog through his routes if the play isn't called for him.

You can see this when he blocks, taking a lot of these running plays off, but occasionally mauling his defensive back. His technique is sloppy, and doesn't place his hands correctly, punch out, figure out who to block or play with effective feet on blocks.

Despite a relatively decent ability to adjust to the ball in the air, Patterson also doesn't work to make space for the ball. Some of this is easily coachable, and some of it isn't. He doesn't work back to the quarterback on broken plays or high-point the ball. Neither does he bring his hands up at the last moment. He still makes difficult catches and makes sure to use his hands, but he also doesn't make it a lot easier for the quarterback. He also needs to work on creating separation. Despite power and elusiveness, he's inconsistent at the release and needs to use his hands better.

All of this negativity is only to emphasize that while Patterson is the singular elite athletic talent in the class—athletic potential on par with Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss—he's not ready to contribute right away. Despite an athleticism score of 5.5, there's not many wide receivers in the NFL right now who are better with open-field running—potentially no one. Patterson can turn on a dime and accelerate quickly while also finding cutback lanes or necessary holes.

Not only is he an incredibly elusive runner, he's a hard one to take down once defenders get their hands on him. He knows how to take on contact, drive through tackles and keep tacklers away with a powerful stiff arm or body movement. He only had slightly above average YAC, but he should be a leader in this category with the right coaching.

If the Vikings were to take two receivers, grabbing Patterson would make some sense, but if they feel it is more important to give Ponder tools in order to fully evaluate him, they should pass. Patterson won't make an impact for a couple of years. He should make an impact in the return game right away, though.

For a generic board, Patterson would be near the top.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Eli » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:40 pm

Can the Vikings afford to draft another 6 ft or under WR at the top of their draft? He'd be joining Greg Jennings and Darius Wright in that department, leaving only Jerome Simpson, at 6'2", as the only over 6 ft receiver in their top four.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by dead_poet » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:07 pm

Eli wrote:Can the Vikings afford to draft another 6 ft or under WR at the top of their draft? He'd be joining Greg Jennings and Darius Wright in that department, leaving only Jerome Simpson, at 6'2", as the only over 6 ft receiver in their top four.
6'0" or shorter: Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Steve Smith, Roddy White, Victor Cruz, Mike Wallace, the list goes on. They could always get Dobson or someone taller in later rounds. Keenan Allen is 6'2. I guess I'm less concerned about height than I am overall performance. Austin would be the only one I'd have reservations with.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Eli » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:13 pm

The point is, do you want your top three WRs to _all_ be 6 ft or under? Ponder has a difficult enough time as it is. Do you want to continue to handicap him by giving him (or the next QB, for that matter) nothing but small targets? Do you want your best redzone targets to be Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph? Not bad, but it's slim pickings.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by dead_poet » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:21 pm

Eli wrote:The point is, do you want your top three WRs to _all_ be 6 ft or under? Ponder has a difficult enough time as it is. Do you want to continue to handicap him by giving him (or the next QB, for that matter) nothing but small targets? Do you want your best redzone targets to be Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph? Not bad, but it's slim pickings.
I honestly don't care as long as they can consistently create separation and win one-on-one battles (not every throw is going to be a deep jump-ball where size is a large advantage), have decent hands, can make plays/score, etc. I don't think it's a handicap to give him a 6'0 receiver. YMMV
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by VikingLord » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:23 pm

Don't mistake this as a judgment that Patterson is overrated. He is simply not ready to contribute right away, and that is critical to this big board's goals. Patterson is an athlete who evaluators speak of in terms of potential instead of established talent.
Because, as we all know, the draft is about finding *immediate* contributors who will, in turn, step on the field and propel their teams to newfound heights solely by their presence on the field.

Some of these draft discussions remind me of that math question where someone is asked whether they want $100 straight-up, or to start with a penny and double it every day for 30 days. We all know the answer to that question (and if you don't, do the math).

The draft, especially at the top, is about finding talent and depth. It's not generally about finding a guy who can step into a spot and be better than anyone the team has at that spot right out of the gate. In fact, teams that are in the situation where they constantly rely on the draft to fill critical, immediate needs, have probably done a pretty crappy overall job of drafting, especially in the middle rounds.

I've read the discussions about Patterson, and all I can say is that any team that passes on this guy is going to wish they had not. As Craig (losperros) pointed out, the guy was perhaps the best offensive player for the Vols despite his single year with them being his only year playing at that level in that conference. While he may be raw, I think he's also clearly demonstrated he can learn and he can have success against talented opponents. His physical abilities are off the charts, his instincts impressive, and while he might not be an instant impact WR, he will certainly make people forget about Harvin when it comes to returning kicks while he learns the WR position.

This is about as close to a no-brainer as Spielman will ever see short of taking Kalil last year should Patterson fall to #23.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Mothman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:48 pm

dead_poet wrote: I honestly don't care as long as they can consistently create separation and win one-on-one battles (not every throw is going to be a deep jump-ball where size is a large advantage), have decent hands, can make plays/score, etc. I don't think it's a handicap to give him a 6'0 receiver. YMMV
I don't either and I wouldn't necessarily call a 6' receiver a small target. That's taller than the average NFL CB.

Hopkins, Allen, Rogers and Dobson are all taller than 6' anyway. Of the 6 receivers on that list from the Daily norseman, only two (Woods and Wheaton) were 6' or shorter.
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Re: WRs to watch

Post by Texas Vike » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:55 pm

VikingLord wrote: Because, as we all know, the draft is about finding *immediate* contributors who will, in turn, step on the field and propel their teams to newfound heights solely by their presence on the field.

Some of these draft discussions remind me of that math question where someone is asked whether they want $100 straight-up, or to start with a penny and double it every day for 30 days. We all know the answer to that question (and if you don't, do the math).

The draft, especially at the top, is about finding talent and depth. It's not generally about finding a guy who can step into a spot and be better than anyone the team has at that spot right out of the gate. In fact, teams that are in the situation where they constantly rely on the draft to fill critical, immediate needs, have probably done a pretty crappy overall job of drafting, especially in the middle rounds.

I've read the discussions about Patterson, and all I can say is that any team that passes on this guy is going to wish they had not. As Craig (losperros) pointed out, the guy was perhaps the best offensive player for the Vols despite his single year with them being his only year playing at that level in that conference. While he may be raw, I think he's also clearly demonstrated he can learn and he can have success against talented opponents. His physical abilities are off the charts, his instincts impressive, and while he might not be an instant impact WR, he will certainly make people forget about Harvin when it comes to returning kicks while he learns the WR position.

This is about as close to a no-brainer as Spielman will ever see short of taking Kalil last year should Patterson fall to #23.

It's not clear to me where you've pulled that quote from, but if it is from the Norseman article I linked upthread it kind of needs some context.

The writer is extremely prolific on the topic (excessively so, perhaps). He is working on the premise that one of Spielman's central motives is to find a WR that can contribute NOW because Ponder, Spielman's pick for franchise QB, is in a make or break year. The writer is making some assumptions: mostly that Spielman isn't primarily motivated by a long-range vision (which may or may not include Christian Ponder as our QB). I don't know that I agree with that assumption. I also agree with you that Patterson is a very intriguing prospect due to his truly special physical talents.
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