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Thread: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

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    Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    The receiver position in the NFL has changed significantly in the last number of years. With the proliferation of multiple receiver sets and the alignment versatility of tight ends, the passing game has expanded considerably. More three-receiver personnel groupings, tight ends who can split wide and threaten all areas of the field, backs who can run vertical routes against overmatched linebackers ó the NFL has evolved into a matchup league, deriving principally from passing concepts.This has enhanced the value of wide receivers. The conventional wisdom that existed for many years ó and still applies in some NFL precincts ó held that wide receivers, in order to be drafted in the first round, needed to work on the outside, with the ability to win isolation routes against quality corners. If they couldnít do that, they were seen as marginal prospects, players with minimal upside and limited utility. As recently as the 2006 draft, Marques Colston was selected in the seventh round, the 252nd player chosen. Hereís what one respected draft analyst said about Colston before that draft: ďLacks burst. Ö Is not going to beat NFL defensive backs with his speed. Ö Has size to develop into a possession receiver.Ē It was the right evaluation in 2006, and it remains fair in 2012.
    Marques Colston (AP)

    Colston, of course, has produced five 1000-yard receiving seasons over six years in New Orleans. (He only started six games in 2008 due to injury, and therefore finished with a career-low 760 yards.) Sean Payton recognized Colstonís strengths, and more importantly, his limitations, and utilized him accordingly in his multiple personnel and formation offense. Colston primarily aligns inside the numbers, in the slot, and works the short to intermediate areas of the field against slot corners, linebackers and safeties.Colston is one of many reflective of the larger trend of greater wide receiver production as a function of scheme and design. If Colston, with what we know now, was in the 2012 draft, where would he be selected? Would his limitations lead to a third- or fourth-round grade? Itís a fascinating philosophical question, and one that leads me to Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd.Blackmon, by all accounts, is the best receiver in this draft, maybe a top-five pick. Floyd seems to be the consensus second-best wide receiver, but in the eyes of most, not the equal of Blackmon.I have watched numerous games of both receivers, dating back to 2010. Always keep in mind when evaluating receivers that college production is secondary to physical attributes. The objective is to transition the player to the NFL, and there are two (not the only two, of course) defining factors that must be acknowledged when making that projection. One is the sizeable difference in the hash marks between college and NFL football. In college, there is a defined wide side of the field; that accounts for many easy catches and yards, and says very little about the receiverís skill set. The second factor is the lack of relative quality at the corner position in college football. Itís rarely discussed, but it must be recognized and conceded.
    Justin Blackmon (AP)

    Blackmon aligned both outside and in the slot in Oklahoma Stateís offense. He is smooth and fluid as a route runner. Heís big ó 6-foot-1, 207 pounds ó and that size shows in his stride length. He has strong hands and a wide catching radius, comfortably snatching passes that are thrown outside of his body frame. He displays very good body control and flexibility to adjust to poorly thrown balls. With the ball in his hands, he is deceptively quick, displaying the run-after-catch ability you want to see.Yet I had a number of concerns the more tape I studied, and this is where the transition to the NFL becomes interesting. Blackmon did not consistently explode out of his breaks at the intermediate level. That was the result of a tendency to run too upright on his vertical stem. That can certainly be coached, and itís always important to remember that no player entering the NFL is a finished product. One thing Iím not sure can be coached, though, is Blackmonís lack of vertical explosiveness. He did not show a second gear on tape. He was a measured, methodical, one-speed receiver.That speaks to the thesis I posed at the beginning of the column. How will Blackmon best fit in the NFL? Is he more like Colston, or can he win isolation routes on the outside? Is Hakeem Nicks a valid comparison? They are similar in size, and Nicks has certainly demonstrated the ability to beat NFL corners at all three levels: short, intermediate and deep. Iíve seen comparisons of Blackmon to Michael Irvin. Itís always a stretch to compare a player who has never played an NFL down to a Hall of Famer. Based on my film study, I certainly donít feel confident saying that about Blackmon.
    Michael Floyd (AP)

    Floyd exhibited many of the same traits as Blackmon. He has strong hands, a wide catching radius, the ability to make contested catches, and he plays fast with the ball in his hands. Floydís a bigger man ó 6-2 1/2, 220 pounds. Like Blackmon, he did not always explode out of his breaks. In fact, he had a tendency to round off his cuts. But there was one critical difference on film: Floyd was naturally quicker ó there was a little more snap to his movement. There was a more explosive element to his game. A second distinction that stood out: Floyd showed a burst with the ball in the air. It was noticeable on vertical routes, and thatís important as he transitions to the NFL. Iíve said this before, and I believe it to be a fair comparison: Floyd reminds me of Dwayne Bowe. They are almost identical in size and skill set.

    Floyd vs. Blackmon: A fascinating and compelling study. Many will disagree, but I see Floyd as the more complete prospect. The film tells me he has more ability to line up on the outside and win one-on-one. Blackmonís success will be more a function of scheme, and how heís utilized in the context of a multi-dimensional passing offense.



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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    "The Guru." Please. The guy has never worked for an NFL team. He is Howard Cosell's nephew and works for NFL Films. What makes his opinion any more valid than mine, yours, or anyone else's?

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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    "The Guru." Please. The guy has never worked for an NFL team. He is Howard Cosell's nephew and works for NFL Films. What makes his opinion any more valid than mine, yours, or anyone else's?
    I would like to read his past years rankings....I think alot of his WR analysis is too vague...

    I know he watches tape but isn't getting his point across in a way of merit, but more of feelings...

    I am interested in this draft and season...

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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    Cosell has covered himself nicely in the last paragraph. Should Blackmon become more successful than Floyd then he will just say that it’s because of the system he is in, not that he’s a superior player.

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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    Blackmon does not show a second gear on tape. Floyd does with the ball in the air.

    My conclusion: Blackmon plays full speed all the time. Can't go faster if you are already running your fastest. Floyd only runs hard when he can see the ball coming his way. Therefore Blackmon is the better football player.
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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    I'd love to sit down with him and watch what he's watching, because to some extent, I see the exact opposite when I watch the two of these guys play.

    To me, Blackmon shows superior quickness and is more explosive than Floyd, especially coming out of his breaks, and yet he's critical of Blackmon at the intermediate level in this regard. But I see a guy in Blackmon who has a lot more suddenness and explosion both in his cuts and accelerating away from defenders to get the ball at all levels of the field.

    I don't see the same snap that Cosell claims is there with Floyd, at least not consistently. I agree with Cosell when he talks about Floyd's tendancy to round off his routes, but I think he's slow getting off the line of scrimmage and he does not cut smoothly, and these are factors that are likely going to impact his success at the pro level.

    These are the two unquestioned top receivers in this class and they both have the potential to be very good, but I think Blackmon's quickness and sharpness as a route runner are among the areas that put him over Floyd as a prospect. I could be wrong, Cosell could be wrong. We both have been in the past, only time will tell who is here.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-17-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    im i dumb or does it seem like Blackmon would be a better fit in our offense because of his YAC (Yards after catch) ability. Floyd (IMO) just doesnt seem to get any more yards after he gets his hands on the ball unless he's ridiculously wide open.

    if im wrong please educate me. i read Turf Show Times quite a bit and the main columnist on there doesnt want Blackmon in the slightest, yet when i watch blackmons positives and negatives on various sports channels i cant see why he wouldnt come in to this organization and be an instant success. Sam needs quick rythem passes and for his WRs to create separation quickly so he can get the ball to them as fast as possible.....Blackmon can do that for him. To me Floyd is your home run threat, your deep ball guy. We tried that last year with McD's "stress" offense and it failed miserably.

    Draft Blackmon PLEASE!!

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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    I still think we shouldn't complain if our #6 pick is Blackmon, Claiborne, Khalil, Floyd, or Richardson....we will be getting a good player anyway you look at it, and a need will be filled...

    The Rams draft becomes serious from round 2 - 6 --- these are impact picks that need to suit up and contribute every week to see an immediate impact in Wins vs. Losses..............


    Second Round picks we have added importance of potential 1st Round talent (like JL) falling to the second round vs . the biggest needs....

    Blackmon vs. Floyd debate is fun --- but something like Kirkpatrick vs Randle could be much tougher...

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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    "The Guru." Please. The guy has never worked for an NFL team. He is Howard Cosell's nephew and works for NFL Films. What makes his opinion any more valid than mine, yours, or anyone else's?
    What a surprise... When someone doesn't agree with you their not reputable, their stupid, incorrect, and you get you're panties in a bunch...


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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    What a surprise... When someone doesn't agree with you their not reputable, their stupid, incorrect, and you get you're panties in a bunch...
    Seems like you're the one with the compacted undergarments.

    I didn't say his opinion is stupid or incorrect. All I said is that he's no "guru." He's just a guy who watches film and expresses his opinion (much like the rest of us).

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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    I know this topic is a few days old, so forgive me for going back to the well.

    While I've read that "the Guru" has a good reputation as a film junkie with good analysis of player skills and whatnot, the more I read about him in this draft cycle, the more I'm wondering if he isn't just trying to get in some headlines.

    This just hit Rotoworld a few minutes ago...

    NFL Network's Mike Lombardi reported on Path to the Draft Friday night that the Jaguars have a higher grade on Stephon Gilmore than Morris Claiborne.

    NFL Films' Greg Cosell also stated in a Friday radio interview that Gilmore is a better prospect than Claiborne, the 2011 Thorpe Award winner. "He's a hot guy," Lombardi said of Gilmore. "I was told Jacksonville actually likes him more than Claiborne." Lombardi also sent Gilmore to the Jags in his latest mock draft. At this point, we'd be surprised if Gilmore got out of the top-ten picks, and No. 7 seems his likeliest destination.

    Add on top of that a write-up Cosell did in late March that concluded:

    The bottom line in my 5 game film evaluation: Griffin is a superior arm talent and natural passer than Luck. Will he be a better NFL quarterback? Weíll find out soon enough.

    I've always said that everyone is welcome to their opinion. It sounds like he does a lot of film study, which is great. Better to base your opinions on what a guy does on the field instead of measurements or media hype. But when you develop a bit of a pattern of preferring someone widely viewed as the #2 at his position over the guy widely viewed as the #1 at his position, then it starts to come across as a play for attention. And for Cosell, the pattern is RG3 > Luck, Floyd > Blackmon, and now Gilmore > Claiborne.

    Cosell is not nor ever has been employed by any NFL team and I don't believe he's scheduled to be on any network's live draft show, so he really has no consequences for gambling on these comments. If he's right, he looks like a genius. If he's wrong, well, everyone's wrong from time to time.
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    Re: Greg "The Guru" Cosell : Blackmon vs Floyd

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    "The Guru." Please. The guy has never worked for an NFL team. He is Howard Cosell's nephew and works for NFL Films. What makes his opinion any more valid than mine, yours, or anyone else's?
    (in my best Howard voice) --- look at that little monkey analyze!
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