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 Todd Gurley: where does he go? 
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Post Todd Gurley: where does he go?
The more I think about it, the more I think Gurley is a wild card in the top-half of the first round. There are some now saying his "sweet spot" is 5-10. I can easily see the Giants or Jets taking him, possibly the Falcons (though I think their priority of a pass rusher and likelihood of one of the studs being there is good) and possibly the Redskins. And I don't know if I'd necessarily rule out the Bears, either. The front office there has notoriously been stubborn when it comes to Forte and it just so happens he's a free agent after this year who will be 30 (cue audible gasp) when the 2016 season starts. He has some wear on his tires for sure, and his YPC and rush yards/game average dropped last season (3.9 & 64.9 respectively), though he was very active in the passing game. It's more than feasible in my eyes that with the Bears wanting to limit Cutler this season and Fox being a more traditional ground-attack guy to draft Forte's stud replacement now and have Gurley get some touches before taking over full-time in 2016 as Forte walks.

Of course I see a lot of Big Boards with Gurley outside the top 15 or 20, though I'll be interesting in seeing those now as the draft nears and Gurley's knee apparently checked out fine. I look at it this way: who are this draft's supposed game-changing blue-chip "studs"? There really aren't that many in my eyes.

-Leonard Williams
-Amari Cooper
-Vic Beasley
-Dante Fowler
-Jameis Winston

And a case could maybe be made for Mariota and White (and maybe Scherff, though I wouldn't consider him a potential "game-changer"). There may be others based on preference. If you look at it that way, I truly think a healthy Gurley is in the top-tier conversation as a game-changing talent that may go lower than he should. If the other guys are off the board, do you pass on him? As much as I like the potential of guys like Kevin Johnson, Peters (OK you can add Waynes if you want) and DeVante Parker none are graded, to me, quite as high as Gurley. And the other running backs (while talented and can be productive) are not in his class. Not even Gordon (IMO).

My preference is still to trade down if the guys above are all gone, but if I'm going to keep the #11 pick, the case can be made Gurley is the top talent on the board. It might be optimal to trade down a few and still land him (in addition to another pick), which isn't out of the question.

What about you? Would you pass on Gurley at 11? And does your opinion change if Peterson is traded prior to or during the draft?

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Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:04 am
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
dead_poet wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I think Gurley is a wild card in the top-half of the first round. There are some now saying his "sweet spot" is 5-10. I can easily see the Giants or Jets taking him, possibly the Falcons (though I think their priority of a pass rusher and likelihood of one of the studs being there is good) and possibly the Redskins. And I don't know if I'd necessarily rule out the Bears, either. The front office there has notoriously been stubborn when it comes to Forte and it just so happens he's a free agent after this year who will be 30 (cue audible gasp) when the 2016 season starts. He has some wear on his tires for sure, and his YPC and rush yards/game average dropped last season (3.9 & 64.9 respectively), though he was very active in the passing game. It's more than feasible in my eyes that with the Bears wanting to limit Cutler this season and Fox being a more traditional ground-attack guy to draft Forte's stud replacement now and have Gurley get some touches before taking over full-time in 2016 as Forte walks.


That's definitely a possibility, although I have to believe the Bears are going to grab Shelton if they get the chance. They're missing that big-bodied centerpiece for their new 3-4 defense and I've convinced myself that drafting Shelton makes so much sense for them that I'll be truly surprised if they go in another direction. That said, they could easily go in another direction.:)

I'd also put Shelton on that list of blue chip players you mentioned but, as you said, such lists are going to vary based on preference.

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What about you? Would you pass on Gurley at 11? And does your opinion change if Peterson is traded prior to or during the draft?


I don't think I'd pass on him, although it would be a bit scary to draft a running back coming off of such a serious injury to his knee. Nevertheless, if I was convinced the knee was okay, I'd draft him.


Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
Mothman wrote:
That's definitely a possibility, although I have to believe the Bears are going to grab Shelton if they get the chance. They're missing that big-bodied centerpiece for their new 3-4 defense and I've convinced myself that drafting Shelton makes so much sense for them that I'll be truly surprised if they go in another direction.

I'd also put Shelton on that list of blue chip players you mentioned but, as you said, such lists are going to vary based on preference.


I don't know; I'm torn on Shelton. He's good, but I don't know if he's a "blue chipper." He's not Haloti Ngata. Opinions on him vary pretty substantially. McShay has him at #14 overall and says he's not "scheme versatile" (pure nose tackle). Josh Norris ranks Shelton as the No. 27 prospect. Via Tony Pauline: "The love for Shelton in the outside world is not shared by decision-makers in war rooms, who feel he's a bit one-dimensional in his game." I tend to put him closer to the top-15 than lower 17. I'm not sure he's that "elite" guy with the others but admit he offers more than a straight lane clogger that some believe him to be. He's a safe prospect with a high floor and high ceiling.

I think he also goes to the Bears, but Gurley or one of the receivers are also in play.

Quote:
I don't think I'd pass on him, although it would be a bit scary to draft a running back coming off of such a serious injury to his knee. Nevertheless, if I was convinced the knee was okay, I'd draft him.


Yeah, I think the days of fearing straight "clean" ACL tears are starting to fade. Granted not everyone is AD in their recovery but advances in medicine seem to make it less of a scary proposition. From a pure "skill position" prospect not named Mariota or Winston he may offer one of the the highest (and safest) upsides in the class (Cooper, White, Parker, DGB being others.).

Would you pass on Shelton?

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Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
dead_poet wrote:
I don't know; I'm torn on Shelton. He's good, but I don't know if he's a "blue chipper." He's not Haloti Ngata. Opinions on him vary pretty substantially. McShay has him at #14 overall and says he's not "scheme versatile" (pure nose tackle). Josh Norris ranks Shelton as the No. 27 prospect. Via Tony Pauline: "The love for Shelton in the outside world is not shared by decision-makers in war rooms, who feel he's a bit one-dimensional in his game." I tend to put him closer to the top-15 than lower 17. I'm not sure he's that "elite" guy with the others but admit he offers more than a straight lane clogger that some believe him to be. He's a safe prospect with a high floor and high ceiling.


Well said. I think his value varies somewhat depending on fit. For example, he may not be scheme versatile but if he fits a team's scheme, who cares?

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I think he also goes to the Bears, but Gurley or one of the receivers are also in play.


Agreed, I just think Shelton is valuable because he's well-suited for a position that can be very difficult to fill in the NFL. 3-4 teams really need a quality nose tackle to make the defense work.

Quote:
Yeah, I think the days of fearing straight "clean" ACL tears are starting to fade. Granted not everyone is AD in their recovery but advances in medicine seem to make it less of a scary proposition. From a pure "skill position" prospect not named Mariota or Winston he may offer one of the the highest (and safest) upsides in the class (Cooper, White, Parker, DGB being others.).


Agreed and that's why I wouldn't pass him up.

Quote:
Would you pass on Shelton?


Possibly, depending on who else was available, because I don't think he offers quite the same value to a team like the Vikings that he offers to a 3/4 team. That said, if he was there, I'd seriously consider him because the Vikes struggled against the run last year and when Pat Williams was a Viking, we saw just how valuable a big inside presence like that can be to the defense.


Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:08 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
dead_poet wrote:
What about you? Would you pass on Gurley at 11? And does your opinion change if Peterson is traded prior to or during the draft?


I think a Peterson trade is the only thing that would change my opinion on drafting Gurley. We already have a 3rd round pick in McKinnon so adding a high 1st plus the most highly paid RB in the league seems like a lot to tie up in one position when we have glaring holes elsewhere. Also, I like the depth of the RB class and I think the Vikings can wait, I don't think Gurley is as head and shoulders above the rest as others.


Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:01 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
Mothman wrote:
I think his value varies somewhat depending on fit. For example, he may not be scheme versatile but if he fits a team's scheme, who cares?


That's very true. Chicago may have him graded higher than Minnesota based on that reason alone. They softened the Marshall loss with Royal and I think they're expecting good things from Marquess Wilson so I agree the need they have for Shelton is probably higher than the need for Cooper or White. But do they go BPA or need (though often that can be integrated to some extent). Of course if the plan is to let Forte walk after this season (which I'm betting will happen), they will have a gaping hole at RB. It has yet to be seen if Ka'Deem Carey can be a worthy replacement, but early signs of that were not promising (though they were tarnished a bit by his injury) and Gurley would be a huge upgrade at the position and Fox likes to run. If the Bears don't trade up for a QB, I think they might be a dark horse to land him. Then comes the question if they try and trade Forte to a team that misses out on one of the top rookie backs.

Quote:
Possibly, depending on who else was available, because I don't think he offers quite the same value to a team like the Vikings that he offers to a 3/4 team. That said, if he was there, I'd seriously consider him because the Vikes struggled against the run last year and when Pat Williams was a Viking, we saw just how valuable a big inside presence like that can be to the defense.


True. Then comes the problem of what to do with Joseph, who is only 26 and presumably in his prime and under contract for four more years.

If Shelton drops to the Vikings I don't think they take him. They probably go #12 to Cleveland (provided Cleveland doesn't give up the pick to trade up). Though I do think he'd be an upgrade over Joseph.

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Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
dead_poet wrote:

True. Then comes the problem of what to do with Joseph, who is only 26 and presumably in his prime and under contract for four more years.


This is the last year he carries a substantial cap hit. In typical vikings fashion, its effectively a 2 year deal with a team option for 3-4 more years.
Selecting Shelton would probably indicate something about what they think of Joseph though.


Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
S197 wrote:
dead_poet wrote:
What about you? Would you pass on Gurley at 11? And does your opinion change if Peterson is traded prior to or during the draft?


I think a Peterson trade is the only thing that would change my opinion on drafting Gurley. We already have a 3rd round pick in McKinnon so adding a high 1st plus the most highly paid RB in the league seems like a lot to tie up in one position when we have glaring holes elsewhere. Also, I like the depth of the RB class and I think the Vikings can wait, I don't think Gurley is as head and shoulders above the rest as others.


And I think that's the question. I'm in the camp that believes he is. Put another way, it's like when the Colts had Manning and then had the opportunity to draft Luck. The Vikings may have Peterson but may have the opportunity to draft Gurley, who many have said is the best running back to come out since Peterson. I want that guy. I don't believe guys like Waynes, Ray, Peters, etc. are to their positions what Gurley is to his, even if some may consider the running back position devalued (which is something I personally don't subscribe to). What would make me pass is only someone could guarantee Peterson will remain a Viking for the remainder of his career. Give me 3-4 more years of Peterson (even if it's 80% "vintage" Peterson) and while that might be a bit short-sighted I can see passing on Gurley for another position. But I'll bet that, barring injury, Gurley will have more of an impact on that team than the guy we draft instead.

I really think the ACL injury is making some people (not you necessarily) forget how special of a player he could be. It's been a long time since he's played in a game so he doesn't have a lot of recent video/memories to draw upon and because of the injury he hasn't been able to participate in offseason draft activities. Here, let me help. :D


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Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Todd Gurley: where does he go?
dead_poet wrote:
True. Then comes the problem of what to do with Joseph, who is only 26 and presumably in his prime and under contract for four more years.


Rotate them and if it looks like Joseph is expendable, they could move on in 2016 without taking a big cap hit.

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If Shelton drops to the Vikings I don't think they take him.


I doubt it. I imagine they're more focused on several other positions.


Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:53 pm
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