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Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:02 pm
by mike2mike
So this is just an idea but it would be fun to get a group from vikingsmessageboard (possibly recruit others from wherever too) and make our own draft board. I'm interested to see what this could evolve into.

The way it would work is we can each focus on a particular position and use game film from of a small handful of prospects and take notes and come up with a rating at that position.

each person to a positional group. If we get extras, we can have multiple scouts for certain positions and possibly a few people to try to determine the master draft board... If we have a shortage people can take multiple areas.

Even if all we come up with is a ranking by position or a couple detailed notes about a number of players that's be cool. And even if these rankings don't mean much... It will be a fun way to pass the time and get to know about players through the eyes of a fan.

First come first serve I think will be best but if you have some kind of expertise from playing high school ball or fantasy football or whatever you can sign up
I'm in. Who else is in?

GM - dead_poet

OL - dead_poet
WRs - mothman

DL - HardcoreVikesFan
LBs - Jackal
Secondary (mostly safeties)-mike2mike
Secondary2 (mostly CBs) -

Special teams
Other possible positions?:
Lead scout? (Role is to work with GM and also resolve desputes between scouts, understand needs of team's schemes and condense/organize data. The lead scout communicates with GM and scouts to get them on the same page)
GM/Assistant GM? (Work with lead scout to create the final draft board rankings relevant to the team. If GM needs some letter grade or categorical grades, or a score 1-100 to make decisions on how to enter mine if the top LBer is worth a higher draft spot than the top OL, he tells the lead scout and the lead scout communicates with the positional scouts.)

Insert role here

Let me know and I'll edit this post until we are full.

If no one is interested... I'll just let this thread die and be sad. :-(

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:19 pm
by mike2mike
I'll take secondary. I'm hoping I at least get another so we can split the workload on the CBs
If you go to this page you can choose position and see prospects. ... position=S
I'll probably check basic highlights on YouTube if I get short on time... But it's a long way before the draft so just a couple prospects a week and that will be a couple dozen.

For those with limited time, using youtube highlights as a "screener" for talent and then just looking at the tape more in depth at draftbreakdown or asking the lead scout to break the tie if you have difficulty in determining which player is better is fine. Some effort is better than none and if you want to try to pass the workload to someone else later that's okay.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:21 pm
by dead_poet
Sounds fun. I'm in. I'll take OL and/or can be some version of GM. I'd be happy with an assistant on OL as I know this is a big priority.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:27 pm
by mike2mike
dead_poet wrote:Sounds fun. I'm in. I'll take OL and/or can be some version of GM. I'd be happy with an assistant on OL as I know this is a big priority.
Cool! Thanks for stepping up! For now I'll make you OL scout and GM. If the workload is too much feel free to find someone to help you in either spot.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:11 pm
by dead_poet
I'll be particularly interested in your evaluations of Mills, Bell, Cash, Killebrew, Kearse and Darian Thompson

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:13 pm
by mike2mike
I think what I'm going to do is to score a player 1-100 by a number of categories. I also think it needs to be clear in terms of understanding a player's developmental potential which of these are "coachable" and which of these are "Uncoachable" in other words... Which categories tend to be genetic/permenant, and which can be improved.

For safety for now I'm going to be using the following categories....

(Mostly) uncoachable:
Height+frame size
Desire (effort/finishing plays) (unless there's a curable reason such as depression, poor diet, etc)

Somewhat coachable:
Cohesiveness with team
Tackling in the open field
Weight (how "filled out" the player's natural frame is)

Understanding responsibility/ role and knowledge of the game.
Technique+some fundamentals
Taking on blocks

The lower the grade on the coachable skills, the higher a player's ceiling relative to his current rating.

Guide on how to rank player to try to standardize it among categories and positions.

0-50 is Below standard of NFL player
50-60 typical of someone fighting to survive from the 90 man roster on
60-70 is backup quality
70-80 is NFL starter quality
80-90 is pro bowl to all pro quality
90-100 is elite, generational talent, hall of fame quality

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:53 am
by mike2mike
I looked at Jeremy Cash and have a lot of notes saved... I haven't graded what I saw yet. I'll put the full notes up later, I may even add to them and link to a few gifs of plays that demonstrate what I'm seeing.

What stuck with me: versitile as LBer or SS. Could at least play/star in a limited role if Zimmer has Blitz packages in mind. The thought of Danielle Hunter off the edge with Cash crashing in on a blitz excites me. I love how he accelerates into tackles, gets through traffic and gets off blocks. Excellent when blitzing. He seems unblockable once he "smells blood" and accelerates towards the ball carrier. His play recognition and instincts are good. It really jumps out at you when you see him crash through and make a play and disrupt anyone in his way. I don't like a few nuances that should be coachable, but some may take time. Most concerning is not always playing through the whistle when other players are engaged and attempting a tackle, how he seems to overpursue and looks more lost when he is completely unblocked than when he is blocked or double teamed. I think he can be trusted in coverage... Particularly zone... But I'm not completely sold and I'd like to see more first. He may be better as a linebacker if he doesn't respond to coaching. Has the frame to put on more upper body strength and weight.
I'm going to do Kearse next. I think I need to try to standardize the 1-100 rankings so they translate into some kind of meaning.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:01 pm
by mike2mike
I was really excited about Kearse when I saw his height+size. He looked excellent in man coverage. He was very tight in coverage and with his long arms you can trust him in press coverage. He would not be the weak point of our defense in coverage. Currently I think you see QBs like Rodgers targeting Sandejo/Blanton/etc. That wouldn't be the case with Kearse
But I expected more and was a little disappointed when it came to things like effort/desire and instincts. Didn't seem to play as quickly and fast as I would hope. Didn't get through traffic or take on blocks from bigger players well. Didn't seem to react quickly to break on the ball right when QB planted his foot or crossed the line of scrimmage to run. Took less than optimal angles and gave up when he was easily within range to tackle a guy inside the 10 yard line when he's supposed to sell out to prevent the TD. I found myself angry because he looks like an athlete and has the Kearse/Buchannon bloodline and seems to have so much going for him starting for a very tough defense, but he doesnmt manage to be in the right place at the right time when in zone coverage or in diagnosing a play.

If all you plan to do is leave him in man coverage all game, you're getting a great player and can take him early in the 2nd or in the 1st round. Otherwise I think he's not all that spectacular and you can wait at least a few rounds. If you only run zone, you're not going to be able to draft him at a spot that provides value. As it stands we run a lot of man, but also blitzes and one of the safeties runs free in coverage. So unless Zimmer wants to gameplan a defense around Kearse, Kearse should probably be a 2nd round grade and I imagine Cash should rank higher IMO. I know Zimmer likes to change his defense based upon his players to some extent... But you can do that around Cash's enormous blitzing and tackling potential and not leave him on an island until he proves you can trust him to be isolated in man coverage.

At this point, if you're thinking Cash is a blitz specialist only and you don't trust Cash in coverage and Kesrse is best left in man coverage, I think Cash has way more upside to eventually start or possibly surprise and start right away because of the instincts.

Maybe I'm too excited by Cash's ability to stop the run and be virtually unblockable when a ball carrier is near and I should instead be thinking that our defense is so stout that there is no weakness against the pass if we lock Kearse in man coverage. If we overhaul the offense to put up an early lead, we won't need to defend the run as well and although we'll miss the ability to make big exciting blitzes from Kearse, we'll be able to just play man coverage and let our DL get to the QB.

For now Imm hoping there's a prospect that has the size and man coverage ability of Kearse, the instincts and ability to accelerate into the hit of Cash, and the ability to do it all like Harrison Smith... Is that too much to ask?? :-)

Up next will be Mills

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:48 pm
by mike2mike
I wish I had more tape on Mills. He seems to be well rounded and is constantly in position to make plays. He seems to understand his responsibilities and has a nice football IQ. Can play CB as well as safety.

The problem is, when he is in position to make plays he doesn't seem to make them. He's obviously doing a lot right, but when the ball comes his way when he has the guy blanketed in coverage, too often, the WR and QB connect somehow. Maybe it's just a little bit of luck against him, maybe it's because his arms are 2 inches short of being able to make those plays, maybe he simply needs to learn a couple of nuances about how to read his defender's hands or be a split second faster or go out and get the ball in front of the WR rather than staying with him through the catch.

Hopefully someone on the Vikings organization can diagnose the reason behind this better than I can and provide an easy solution because he has a lot going for him otherwise. Seemed to occassionally struggle with open field tackles as well but I think that's correctable.

I want to look at Darian Thompson next.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:13 am
by jackal
I will take LB if it is okay and no one else has claimed it, as of yet?

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:31 pm
by mike2mike
jackal wrote:I will take LB if it is okay and no one else has claimed it, as of yet?
Awesome jackal, the spots yours! welcome aboard.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:46 pm
by mike2mike
Darian Thompson is my top target at safety right now. I feel he can do it all and make plays. Explosive acceleration into ball carrier. Could improve some fundamentals on not tackling with head down but manages to accelerate into ball carrier and make open field tackles aggressively. When he does miss, it can be a problem because of aggressiveness, but more often then not made great plays. Also a ball hawk unlike Mills.
I will be interested to see his 40 time and splits because I suspect his top end speed might not stand out as much, but really stands out to me overall.

I had more notes... I thought I posted them, but I seemed to have lost them so I'm going by memory a little bit. I remember being impressed across the board and like him ahead of even Cash right now.

Cash Vs Thompson
Cash is more disruptive in blowing up blockers and crashing to the ball carrier though and can play as an undersized linebacker but occasionally seems lost in the open field when he's unblocked and doesn't rely on teammates as well in closing the cutback lane and forcing the runner back into his teammates. Thompson excels when unblocked, but doesn't crash through blockers and make plays as well as Cash (but who can?). Thompson could play CB and do alright if needed as well. I think since Zimmer likes to have Harrison Smith do it all, we may want a guy like Thompson who can be more than just an "in the box" safety. I think Cash is a little bit of a risk in man coverage especially and would be more comfortable if he were left "in the box" safety, and/or as a blitz package LBer. Nevertheless, it would be fun to see Zimmer play with Cash because he is so explosive when crashing into the backfield either through run recognition or blitzing off the edge.

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:52 am
by Mothman
I've held off on responding to this because I wasn't sure if i'd have time to do it. That said, it sounds like fun so I'll take the WRs (or QBs if someone else really wants WRs).

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:11 am
by mike2mike
Mothman wrote:I've held off on responding to this because I wasn't sure if i'd have time to do it. That said, it sounds like fun so I'll take the WRs (or QBs if someone else really wants WRs).
Awesome, welcome aboard!

Re: Offseason scouting: VMB draft board

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:50 pm
by jackal
OLB ... myles-jack
Myles, Jack a quick three down OLB that would fit the Vikings but likely gone early
Played with Barr and Kendricks but likely a top ten pick if nothing weird happens
before the draft..size can drop guys too..Kendricks drop due to that reason..

Daron, Lee ... darron-lee
Another quick twitch solid player rated in the first 15 picks. The only negative
on him is his lean frame. Will be a 3 down back in the NFL

Leonard Floyd ... nard-floyd
Prototypical size for an NFL OLB "6'3" Strong player with good size and powerful
hands. Teams that run 3-4 might try and make him an edge rusher. could be there
for Vikings but not a great match in Zimmers system.

Jaylon Smith ... ylon-smith

I love this guy.. I am hoping we take him..
He is a greased up athlete with natural twitch and flexibility, showing balance,
burst and excellent speed in pursuit. Scouts are
enthralled with Smith's explosiveness and it isn't difficult to understand why.
He reads plays quickly and keeps his eyes glued on the ball to collect himself in
space and burst toward the ball carrier with excellent closing speed. Shows tremendous
secondary quickness to unhook himself from blocks and make up ground in a flash.
He might be the nation's most forceful tackler, generating incredible power to knock ball carriers
back. Smith is every bit as fast and fluid as he is powerful, however, slipping by (or leaping over)
would-be blockers in the running game and dropping effectively in coverage.
Deion Jones OLB 3-4 projected this guy might fit Zimmers system a little bit of a tweener.
The scouts like him as a three down LB guy 6-1 seems like a player who could have enough flexbility
against the pass.

Eric Striker tweener size guy 6'1 ro so
I think this another guy that could play for zimmer good tackler projected 4th round ... dss_bd_com

Yannick Ngakoue 6-2 240 another Maryland Alum same school
Diggs and the henderson brothers came from
Ngakoue has the edge athleticism to burst off the snap and threaten the corner with quickness and flexibility. He has an active and powerful hand slap and good lateral agility to keep opponents from latching on. He stays balanced in his movements to easily change directions and make an impact in pursuit, showing an explosive burst to close when the ball is near. He possesses a compact, athletic build and flashes the power to anchor when he keeps his pad level low. Ngakoue has experience rushing off the edge from either side and on stunts, showing the balance, agility and quickness to project as an immediate impact rusher in the NFL.