Brian Asamoah

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VikingLord
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by VikingLord »

I love this pick where the Vikings got him. While I like the speed and toughness Asamoah brings to the field, what I like the most about him is the way he developed in college and became more aware. If he were a little taller and heavier, he'd have gone by the end of Round 2, so I think the Vikes got a steal here and we'll be hearing Asamoah's name called a lot over the next several seasons.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by StanM »

VikingsVictorious wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 9:35 am
Maelstrom88 wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 8:08 am I could see the team moving on from Kendricks after this season and this guy becoming a starter.
He has starter potential, but Kendricks has been so good. We've been spoiled.
One of the methods to the madness of this years draft is that so many of these picks line up with aging veterans with bloated salaries. My take is that they are diving head first into the competitive rebuild they talked about after they were hired. I like it and expect to see more high priced aging veterans phased out. Hopefully this nucleus of young hard working speedy rookies will fill the intended slots and enable us to move on quickly. Love our aging veterans and it hurt when the Purple People Eaters, Foreman, Browner, Tark and the rest of them were phased out but it's part of the sport.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

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VikingLord wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 1:33 pm I love this pick where the Vikings got him. While I like the speed and toughness Asamoah brings to the field, what I like the most about him is the way he developed in college and became more aware. If he were a little taller and heavier, he'd have gone by the end of Round 2, so I think the Vikes got a steal here and we'll be hearing Asamoah's name called a lot over the next several seasons.
he went with the 2nd pick of the third round. Gone by the end of the 2nd wouldn't have been much different.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

StanM wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 2:15 pm
VikingsVictorious wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 9:35 am
He has starter potential, but Kendricks has been so good. We've been spoiled.
One of the methods to the madness of this years draft is that so many of these picks line up with aging veterans with bloated salaries. My take is that they are diving head first into the competitive rebuild they talked about after they were hired. I like it and expect to see more high priced aging veterans phased out. Hopefully this nucleus of young hard working speedy rookies will fill the intended slots and enable us to move on quickly. Love our aging veterans and it hurt when the Purple People Eaters, Foreman, Browner, Tark and the rest of them were phased out but it's part of the sport.
This is a great take.

We all tend to look at the draft like kids with Christmas presents — the fun these new toys will give us right away. But the Vikings have clearly looked at this draft with an eye to the future. Almost man-for-man, many of these picks line up as potential replacements a year or two from now for either aging vets or guys we stand to lose in free agency.

Cine — Hitman
Booth — Pat Pete
Ingram — More of an immediate need
Asamoah — Kendricks
Evans — Will they keep Dantzler once his rookie contract is up?
Chandler — Mattison (free agent next year)

You figure Cine, Booth and Ingram have a good chance to start in ‘22. But they all replace guys long-term except for Ingram (unless you count Oli Udoh, which I don’t). Most have laughed at the notion of a competitive rebuild. We’ll see.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by Pondering Her Percy »

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 9:10 am
StanM wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 2:15 pm

One of the methods to the madness of this years draft is that so many of these picks line up with aging veterans with bloated salaries. My take is that they are diving head first into the competitive rebuild they talked about after they were hired. I like it and expect to see more high priced aging veterans phased out. Hopefully this nucleus of young hard working speedy rookies will fill the intended slots and enable us to move on quickly. Love our aging veterans and it hurt when the Purple People Eaters, Foreman, Browner, Tark and the rest of them were phased out but it's part of the sport.
This is a great take.

We all tend to look at the draft like kids with Christmas presents — the fun these new toys will give us right away. But the Vikings have clearly looked at this draft with an eye to the future. Almost man-for-man, many of these picks line up as potential replacements a year or two from now for either aging vets or guys we stand to lose in free agency.

Cine — Hitman
Booth — Pat Pete
Ingram — More of an immediate need
Asamoah — Kendricks
Evans — Will they keep Dantzler once his rookie contract is up?
Chandler — Mattison (free agent next year)

You figure Cine, Booth and Ingram have a good chance to start in ‘22. But they all replace guys long-term except for Ingram (unless you count Oli Udoh, which I don’t). Most have laughed at the notion of a competitive rebuild. We’ll see.
Yeah that's a good point they definitely had their eye into the future no doubt. I really like this Asamoah pick. I think he's going to be the sleeper stud in this class.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by VikingsVictorious »

Pondering Her Percy wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 8:45 am
J. Kapp 11 wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 9:10 am
This is a great take.

We all tend to look at the draft like kids with Christmas presents — the fun these new toys will give us right away. But the Vikings have clearly looked at this draft with an eye to the future. Almost man-for-man, many of these picks line up as potential replacements a year or two from now for either aging vets or guys we stand to lose in free agency.

Cine — Hitman
Booth — Pat Pete
Ingram — More of an immediate need
Asamoah — Kendricks
Evans — Will they keep Dantzler once his rookie contract is up?
Chandler — Mattison (free agent next year)

You figure Cine, Booth and Ingram have a good chance to start in ‘22. But they all replace guys long-term except for Ingram (unless you count Oli Udoh, which I don’t). Most have laughed at the notion of a competitive rebuild. We’ll see.
Yeah that's a good point they definitely had their eye into the future no doubt. I really like this Asamoah pick. I think he's going to be the sleeper stud in this class.
I like the pick as well, but it will always nag me the possibility that Kwesi made this pick over so many other options due to the shared heritage. I think it's human nature to be influenced by that. I kind of hope somebody else was more invested into us making this pick than Kwesi.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by VikingsVictorious »

I found this scouting report of Brian on YouTube. This guy is IMO very knowledgeable and he loves Brian. The first thing that stands out to me is that Brian looks tiny as a LB. The second thing that stands out is he is really fast.

Last edited by VikingsVictorious on Thu Jun 16, 2022 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by makila »

Long read, good read. What else do you have to do?

The Athletic, Arif Hasan

After letting Anthony Barr walk in free agency, the Vikings signed former Cardinals and Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks to replace him. But with only one guaranteed year on a two-year deal, the Vikings clearly needed to find a long-term solution on the roster or in the draft. Seemingly not satisfied with the young depth already on the team — a group that includes players like Troy Dye, Blake Lynch and 2021 third-round pick Chazz Surratt — they drafted Brian Asamoah out of Oklahoma.

Asamoah weighs 225 pounds and just cracked the six-foot mark at the NFL combine. He is reminiscent of the hybrid safety/linebacker that has become a trend of sorts around the league, with players like Mark Barron, Telvin Smith, Shaq Thompson, Landon Collins, Jamal Adams, Terrell Edmunds, Kyle Dugger and Tanner Muse all playing that role to some degree.

Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah mentioned another such player he was familiar with from his time with the Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Owusu-Koramoah was a second-round pick in 2021 who was a unanimous All-American at Notre Dame, won the Butkus Award as college football’s best linebacker and was rated the consensus 17th-best player in the draft.

On the other hand, Asamoah was ranked 88th overall by the consensus and only earned second-team all-conference consideration.

There are limits to these kinds of comparisons, but it’s clear that the Vikings are comfortable with lighter, faster linebackers as they perceive that the NFL will be heading in this direction. Let’s take a look at the data and the film to determine whether or not their optimism is warranted.

Analytics
There’s no question that Asamoah knows how to move. His size-adjusted speed is well above average for an NFL linebacker, and he’s a top-level straight-line athlete. Beyond that, he’s younger than most linebackers entering the NFL. Below is a chart of size-adjusted workout metrics, where a bigger slice of the pie indicates a better performance.

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Without agility scores (he did not test in them at the combine or at his pro day), it’s tough to get a full read on Asamoah’s athletic profile. His transition speed (20-yard split) is elite and his explosion is above average. His height and weight are well below the NFL average at linebacker, but he does have much better arm length than one would expect for his height, which may allow him to interfere in passing lanes. Overall, this is an even-to-positive profile for a linebacker, and if we inputted average agility drills into his profile, he would have a slightly above-average overall score.

Those agility scores can be important, though, and it’s important that in some critical measures — like size-adjusted 10-yard split — he’s about at the NFL average. His raw 10-yard split score was in the 67th percentile among draftable linebackers this year, but when adjusted for his size — smaller players are likely to run faster — he’s about average.

Generally speaking, he’s an athletic player with some unique workouts. But his athletic profile is incomplete, and size remains a big concern. If he had been more productive on the field, that would have made a better case for a solid analytical profile. As it stands, he has a mixed profile as a run defender and looks weaker as a coverage defender.

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The two things that stand out the most are that Asamoah is young and doesn’t miss tackles. Those are important — but they’re not enough. His “stop” rate (or rate of tackles that result in a net negative play for the offense) is fairly low, and his average depth of tackle is very weak compared to the rest of the class. That is to say, on an average running play where he makes the tackle, he ends up doing it much farther downfield than other linebackers after taking into consideration down, distance, formation and where he lined up.

Because missed tackles are essentially a function of how often a player gets close enough to make a tackle as well as how often they make that tackle, a player with very few tackles may end up with a low missed-tackle rate and be a bad run defender. If the tackles a player makes are also not very valuable, that’s not wonderful either.

That might be why there’s a disparity between the PFF run-defense grade (which is good) and the SIS run-defense grade (which is less good). Both use film analysts to make their determinations, but SIS leans toward its points-produced system, which can be a function of how effective the player was in his role. PFF tends to ask the question of whether or not a player performed his assigned job on a play. That could mean the scheme asks the player to perform a job that isn’t very valuable, and that takes parsing.

Also of note is “tackle share” or the percentage of team tackles in the running game a player is responsible for. This piece of data has a stronger history of predicting linebacker success than the others because it has been tested over a longer period of time. (Tackle data typically goes back into the 1980s, while PFF college data only goes back to 2014, when they first started grading college games.)

Asamoah’s tackle share is low, and there aren’t many linebackers who succeeded over a long period in the NFL without a very high percentage of their college team’s tackles. Asamoah would be quite the outlier if he were to buck this trend. One further confirming factor is that this data happens to line up with what film analysts have said about Asamoah, which we’ll dive deeper into in the film section.

Overall, his best attribute — not missing tackles — is a tertiary skill, while the primary skills of making tackles that hurt the offense aren’t evident in his profile.

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As a coverage player, there’s very little working in Asamoah’s favor. While it is generally assumed that smaller and faster linebackers tend to be coverage specialists, that’s not always the case. It’s tough to find undersized linebackers who can make a splash without being good in coverage, but Asamoah may have room to grow here because of his athletic ability.

The evidence here suggests, however, that he had trouble in every element of the process. Target rate refers to the percentage of coverage snaps in which Asamoah was the primary defender of the receiver targeted by the quarterback. A low score here indicates that quarterbacks and offenses were comfortable going after the defender again and again. In this case, he’s performing below the average set by draftable linebackers.

Catch rate and “deserved” catch rate determine how often opponents caught the ball or should have caught the ball when the defender was the primary coverage player near the target. For raw catch rate, Asamoah is in the 19th percentile of draftable linebackers.

Ball hawk rate looks at how often a player gets his hands on the ball for a deflection or turnover when he’s targeted. Yards per coverage snap looks at how many yards the defender gave up in coverage divided by how many snaps he was in coverage. For both of these measures, Asamoah is well below the standard of his draftable peers.

Right now, he’s not a coverage linebacker — he’s a sideline-to-sideline maven who runs down opposing backs and restricts the wide-open offenses of the Big 12 from running to the perimeter.

Film
Despite what looks like a fairly weak analytical profile, the organizations that loved Asamoah the most are well known for their “data science” approach to football. Pro Football Focus was higher on the Oklahoma linebacker than any other outlet, ranking him 48th overall. Sports Info Solutions was right up there, too, ranking him 49th. Several other analysts did rank him higher, but the most notable might be Tony Pauline at Pro Football Network, who ranked him 46th overall.

It should be said that the people doing much of the legwork on scouting rankings for the analytics firms are themselves primarily old-school film scouts trained by NFL and college scouts. They might use the data provided by the company to inform their viewpoints, but they primarily do traditional scouting work.

PFF emphasized Asamoah’s range and fluidity, praising him for his ability to find and get to the ball anywhere as well as his attitude as a player. They appreciated his approach to tackling and his overall improvement from year to year. SIS describes him as someone who “makes up for his lack of size and play strength with explosive speed, an alpha-dog mentality and desire to enforce his will on his opponents on his way to claiming a starting spot at the next level.”

Pauline’s report is similar, and he concludes that Asamoah is an “outstanding pursuit linebacker who plays big-boy football with fierce intensity. His lack of size will cause mismatch problems. However, Asamoah could be a great fit on the inside of a 3-4 scheme that allows him to use his pursuit talents.”

Others are at the other end of the spectrum, however. Lance Zierlein of NFL Network ranked Asamoah 181st overall, while Matt Miller of thedraftscout.com ranked him 188th. KC Sports Network was the lowest on Asamoah at 196th.

Zierlein’s worries are representative of the group. He criticized Asamoah’s consistency and also argued that he was a “see-ball, get-ball linebacker with an itchy, twitchy trigger and explosive pursuit speed. Asamoah is adequate at reading keys and diagnosing the action with quickness. His pursuit paths to the football are aggressive, but they’re lacking in technique to maintain his gap integrity.”

On top of that, Zierlein lists several weaknesses in Asamoah’s profile, including coverage busts, inconsistent run angles and the build of a “puffed-up box safety.” PFF listed that as a weakness as well, though not in quite as stark terms.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ended up nearly dead-on with the community, ranking Asamoah 86th overall. He described Asamoah as someone “with the foot speed to make plays downhill, outside the numbers and when dropping and covering in space. He can be engulfed at times, but he has decent length and should continue to get better at taking on contact. Asamoah is undersized and underpowered, but he has sideline-to-sideline speed with dependable tackling skills and upside in coverage. He projects as a run-and-chase linebacker with NFL starting potential.”

The Vikings, for their part, aren’t particularly concerned with size. To them, size only explains why a player may not be good at a specific skill, whether that’s block shedding or contesting catches. If a player is good at that skill, then there’s no reason size should matter. One element of their new approach to evaluation is to step beyond evaluating traits and questioning what those traits are supposed to project — and instead focus on those abilities.

If small players get bullied in the run game, a smaller player likely will show up on the film as someone who gets overwhelmed by blockers. If that isn’t on his film, that’s less of a concern — and that’s how they see Asamoah.

To the Vikings’ credit, there aren’t many instances of Asamoah finding himself locked up by an opposing offensive lineman and bullied downfield. But at the same time, there aren’t many instances of him beating their blocks. Instead, Asamoah excelled at avoiding those blocks entirely.

The problem is that this probably wasn’t a great approach; he didn’t end up with too many tackles, anyway. Had he been more aggressive in taking on blocks, he probably would have ended up near the ball more often and would have made more tackles. But then he’d also have many more instances of being blown off the ball or missing tackles as a result.

But beating a 5.30-speed, 330-pound guard to the spot or holding off a 289-pound guard isn’t the same as dealing with a 317-pound guard who also happens to run a 4.95-second 40. When he meets players with both size and speed, he could find himself having to learn take-on skills quickly. While his arm length helps in this regard — it is something he uses to avoid locking up with pulling linemen — it generally won’t be enough.

In one instructive example against Baylor, offensive lineman Jacob Gall makes contact with Asamoah at the logo on the 50-yard line and drives him 20 yards downfield.

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Asamoah is not someone who shies away from contact or sets up deep downfield to avoid the mess only to come in late and clean things up. He very often sets up at or near the line of scrimmage and finds ways to avoid contact to get to the runner. Going around instead of through is clearly a tactical decision — not one driven by a fear of physicality. But that tactic leaves the defense exposed to longer runs.

This is also one reason his tackles don’t tend to occur close to the line of scrimmage despite often lining up there: Trying to get around a blocker reduces his depth, and he travels parallel to the line of scrimmage instead of going downhill to attack the runner.

Asamoah’s speed is evident, though it’s not like he can run down 4.30-second running backs. His sideline-to-sideline coverage is impressive and he’s often making tackles several gaps away from the play. He tested as a fast player and might play even faster.

Unfortunately, he was either coached to key on the running back or is generally slow to react and is often the last defender in the front seven to trigger. That undercuts his speed and he has to play catch-up more often than he’s making plays. This may not be an endemic issue, however, and won’t impact his ability to play on special teams.

A bigger issue might be inconsistent tackling angles. Sometimes he approaches tackles at too shallow of an angle and allows the running back to get upfield. At other times, he takes too harsh of an angle and overruns the play.

He’s not a particularly powerful hitter and sometimes needs help to take down bigger backs, but getting there first is valuable and he was often tasked with extremely difficult assignments. He often had to cover for a missing gap as Oklahoma lightened the box and regularly played with as many defenders in the box as there are blockers — meaning the running back has one more gap than there are defenders.

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This often left him out-leveraged and in some cases gave him a pretty good excuse for why tackles occurred so much farther downfield than average. But that doesn’t explain all of it, and the SIS calculations take into account things like box count and the number of blockers. He can be a good run defender, but there are certainly concerns.

In coverage, he has some excellent moments. One of the better ones came on a play when he didn’t earn a pass deflection but instead executed a ROBOT technique, which required him to quickly turn his back and cross the field to defend a deep crossing receiver.

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His ability to get into position forces the quarterback to overthrow the receiver and leads to an interception. And it’s difficult to execute as it requires high-level athleticism.

For the most part, though, Oklahoma didn’t ask Asamoah to do much in coverage, and he was often lost when left alone on an island. It’s a little unfair because the offenses in the Big 12 do everything they can to isolate linebackers into unfavorable scenarios, but it’s notable that Asamoah was victimized in this way from time to time.

He still has difficulty reading receivers and routes and often takes false steps toward the fake routes rather than the ones the receivers are actually running. In zone coverage, he can keep his eyes on the quarterback but doesn’t have a good feel for where receivers are sitting in their zones, so he can’t quite adjust his landmarks to account for how the routes change his assignment.

When the ball is in the air, he’s a bit late to react and doesn’t know how to put his hands in passing lanes or in spots to disrupt catches. Sometimes, when beaten on a play, he’ll commit penalties that exacerbate the situation.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to be excited about Asamoah in the long term. But in the short term, he’s a liability in the passing game and is likely one in the running game, too, unless he really can replicate his Oklahoma style of defense in the NFL.

But it’s not a plug-and-play role, and the concern is that Asamoah could end up looking a lot like another former Sooners linebacker, Kenneth Murray, who has struggled with the Chargers as he enters his third NFL season. Murray’s difficulty diagnosing plays has not improved and his impressive upside has not turned into on-the-field production.

The Vikings don’t have to worry about rookie mistakes from Asamoah if all goes well on the injury front. He will be behind Jordan Hicks and Eric Kendricks (and possibly some others) on the depth chart.

Asamoah should be an impressive special-teamer right away given his speed and tackling abilities. But his development is not guaranteed and he does not look like a starting-quality linebacker by either the analytics or the film. For now, Asamoah looks a lot like the other developmental linebackers on the Vikings roster. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as any of them could turn a corner, make some progress and become a long-term answer. But he also doesn’t show much more than superior athleticism.

(Top photo: Kevin Jairaj / USA Today)
Last edited by makila on Thu Jun 16, 2022 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by VikingsVictorious »

Not a very complimentary article. Hopefully he proves his detractors wrong.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by makila »

I added the images, realized they didn't show up when pasted. Should have known. Might help with some of the context of his talking points.

I respect Arif. That's why I found it interesting. Not just purple colored glasses analysis. Numerous people, and it's been said here, have mentioned that the Vikings valued him very high. There clearly are measurable they focused on in the draft. Of which Asamoah had (such as the splits). It was interesting to me how much higher PFF and Sports Info had him ranked. I didn't realize there was such a difference between their approach and many of the other rankings.

Obviously we'll see how it goes on the field. As an OU alum and Vikings fan, I hope he destroys anything in his path and develops some good coverage skills (which I do think he has the potential to). Haha.
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by VikingsVictorious »

makila wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 8:46 pm I added the images, realized they didn't show up when pasted. Should have known. Might help with some of the context of his talking points.

I respect Arif. That's why I found it interesting. Not just purple colored glasses analysis. Numerous people, and it's been said here, have mentioned that the Vikings valued him very high. There clearly are measurable they focused on in the draft. Of which Asamoah had (such as the splits). It was interesting to me how much higher PFF and Sports Info had him ranked. I didn't realize there was such a difference between their approach and many of the other rankings.

Obviously we'll see how it goes on the field. As an OU alum and Vikings fan, I hope he destroys anything in his path and develops some good coverage skills (which I do think he has the potential to). Haha.
I like him. I did bring up the shared Ghanaian heritage with Kwesi and wondered if that could have influenced him into a slight overvalue on Asamoah. He's with us now and I wish him the very best. A lot of what Arif said does not sit well. So **** Arif LOL. :govikes:
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Re: Brian Asamoah

Post by Vikingsfanforever »

VikingsFan84 wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 1:29 pm
Maelstrom88 wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 8:08 am I could see the team moving on from Kendricks after this season and this guy becoming a starter.
I will be surprised if they do, Kendricks have many years left
I think it is possible Kendricks could be gone next year depending on how things go for the Vikings this next year. If we go 11-6 and made it to the Nfc championship game. Then I could see him staying but if Kirk Cousins throws interceptions in big games and looses games then Kendricks could be gone.