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  1. #31
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    Re: Size does matter.

    Posted Apr. 16, 2002


    NFL draft preview: Offensive line is the land of the giants




    By Pete Dougherty
    PackersNews.com

    Ten years ago, the 1992 NFL draft produced five first-round picks on the offensive line in Bob Whitfield, Ray Roberts, Leon Searcy, John Fina and Eugene Chung. Their average size was 6-foot-4Ĺ and 295 pounds.

    Only five years ago, three offensive linemen were drafted in the first round. Orlando Pace, Walter Jones and Tarik Glenn averaged an inch taller (6-5Ĺ) and 35 pounds heavier (330) than that group in ’92.

    This Saturday, NFL teams probably will select four offensive linemen in the first round: Texas’ Mike Williams, Miami’s Bryant McKinnie, Nebraska’s Toniu Fonoti and Arizona State’s Levi Jones. They’re on average a half-inch taller (6-6) and 13 pounds heavier (343) than the group five years before, and nearly 1Ĺ inches and 48 pounds bigger than in ’92.

    The behemoths who play offensive line in the NFL keep getting bigger, and there seems to be no end in sight.

    “Williams is 375 pounds. That’s huge,” said Tom Lovat, the former Packers and current Seattle offensive line coach.

    “It used to be that 300 pounds was pretty good-sized, but now that’s a little small for a guard. This has to stop sometime, otherwise you’re going to have 8-foot, 500 pounders.”

    Bigger might not always mean better, but usually it does when it comes to offensive linemen in the NFL. Teams such as the Packers and Seahawks that run versions of the West Coast offense generally require guards mobile enough to get outside as lead blockers on screens and sweeps, so they have to make sure they’re athletic enough to do that.

    Generally, the best of the new breed of big men also are sufficiently agile. Packers guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle are both 310 pounds, which isn’t as big as some.

    But 10 years ago, one of the Packers’ starting guards was 280-pound Rich Moran.

    “They are getting bigger, and they’re just as athletic,” said Larry Beightol, the Packers’ offensive line coach. “Some of the testing of the measurables has improved, especially the vertical (jump) and broad jump, which measure their explosiveness.

    “It’s the nutrition and things they have nowadays for working out. Everything is enhanced for these guys, and it’s a wonderful way to make a living.”

    As big as the guards are getting, the biggest of the big are the tackles, who have to protect franchise quarterbacks from the league’s premier speed rushers.

    This draft offers two huge tackles who also are excellent athletes and almost surely will be among the top 10 picks. Williams is 6-5 5/8 and 375, and McKinnie is 6-8 and 343. Jones and Florida’s Mike Pearson, the next-best tackle prospects, are both much lighter (304 pounds) but have the height (6-5Ĺ, 6-6ĺ) to add weight in the next couple of years. Marc Colombo of Boston College, a likely third-round pick, is another giant at 6-7 7/8, though at only 313 pounds, scouts say he’ll have to add some strength and weight.

    Besides evolution, diet and training, the biggest reason these players keep getting bigger is the NFL’s liberalized pass-blocking rules. When pass blockers couldn’t use their hands freely, they had to be quick enough to get their bodies in front of rushers. But as the rules have allowed linemen to extend their arms and use their hands more extensively over the past couple of decades, long arms and strength are just as important as foot quickness.

    Today’s tackles are so big they’re hard to get around if they have decent feet. Defenses are going to smaller speed pass rushers on the outside, in the 250- to 260-pound range, and offenses are countering with long-armed giants who, if nothing else, can push them off course.

    “A lot of these tackles (in college) end up playing guard, and if the quickness and athleticism isn’t there, at least you have to do something, you have to go through them,” said Scot McGloughan, the Seattle Seahawks’ director of college scouting. “It doesn’t matter if you move much, because if you can just get an arm or hand on a 250-pound linebacker, you can knock him back two yards.

    “The tackles have to move their feet a little bit. But the size does matter because eventually you wear guys down just leaning on them. But sooner or later this growth has to stop. It’s just outrageous.”


  2. #32
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    Re: Size does matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos
    NFL draft preview: Offensive line is the land of the giants
    There's a key phrase in there that's rather important.

    Unless we're drafting Jimmy Williams to cover our opponent's offensive linemen, then I don't see how this article has any relevence to the discussion on the evolution of the wide receiver and whether or not it's making such substantial advances in terms of size that we need to draft taller defensive backs to cover them.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Size does matter.

    Originally Posted by Rambos
    Thatís today I agree, I believe the trend is going to be bigger DBís Nick you wonít change my opinion on this, Tennis players are taller then in the day when Johnny Mac was playing, basketball players are taller, in general football players have gotten big faster over the years thatís a fact.
    Offensive line they play football, don't they.

    But just so long as you acknowledge the fact that you're basing this on what you think will happen, not what is happening, then have at it.
    I think this will happen based on the fact that in general football players are getting bigger.

    Are you going by this one?

    Fred Biletnikoff: 6'1"
    Elroy Hirsch: 6'2"
    Steve Largent: 5'11"
    James Lofton: 6'3"
    Don Maynard: 6'0"
    Lance Alworth: 6'0"
    John Stallworth: 6'2"
    Lynn Swann: 5'11"
    Paul Warfield: 6'0"


    Here is your data, 5.89 avg. Height, not sure all these guys where playing at the same time in the same era but thatís fine.


    Randy Moss OAK 6-4
    Plaxico Burress NYG 6-5
    Larry Fitzgerald ARI 6-3
    Chad Johnson CIN 6-1
    Anquan Boldin ARI 6-1
    Marvin Harrison IND 6-0
    Donald Driver GB 6-0
    Eddie Kennison KC 6-1
    Jimmy Smith JAC 6-1

    All current players avg. Height 6.18 the trend to me is going up. I listed the most productive players in the game today. Maybe these guys donít lead the way if DBís are bigger, maybe. I did not use guys that are just the biggest. I used the most productive.

  4. #34
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    Re: Size does matter.

    Size matters to new breed of receivers

    By Jim Vertuno
    AP Sports Writer

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AUSTIN, Texas -- When Roy Williams looks at a defensive back across the line of scrimmage, he usually likes what he sees. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, the Texas wide receiver towers over most college cornerbacks, creating an instant mismatch in man-to-man situations.

    The era of the small-fry receiver ducking for cover in the run-and-shoot is over. Williams and other big men rule the defensive backfields now.

    Roy Williams, Reggie Williams of Washington, Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods, OSU's Michael Jenkins and USC's Mike Williams are some of the best examples of the new breed of receiver. All bring the size to withstand tough hits across the middle and the speed to break plays deep. The group averages about 6-foot-4 and nearly 220 pounds.

    Compare that to the projected starting lineup of the Texas secondary, which stands just under 6 feet and 188 pounds and the potential for the mismatch is easy to see.

    Reggie Williams and Woods were All-Americans last season. Roy Williams is projected as a potential top-three pick in the next NFL draft and could go No. 1 overall. Any member of the group could be considered a favorite for the Biletnikoff award as the country's best receiver.

    Roy Williams doesn't think he can be stopped by a single defender and says even two might not be enough.

    "Not one on one," he said. "I think two of them can. That's pretty hard to beat. They're going to win some, but I'm going to win the majority of them."

    The three Williamses and Woods put up the kind of that told cornerbacks to be ready to give up big plays and a lot of touchdowns. The group combined to catch 346 passes for 5,556 yards and 54 touchdowns.

    And these guys know they're good.

    "I don't think there's anyone who can stop me," said Reggie Williams, who had 94 catches for 1,454 yards and 11 TDs last season.

    "You put a short guy on me, I'll go over him," he said. "Put a big guy in there, I can run past him."

    The mismatch starts at the line of scrimmage, where more defenses are playing a bump-and-run style that tries to jam the receiver before he starts his route. Coaches and quarterbacks depend on big receivers to bully through the press. Once he does, size and speed take over, especially on deep routes and jump balls.

    "You get a tall guy and match him up with a short guy," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "It gives you a better chance to throw the deep ball. Hopefully the shorter guy has to interfere or the tall guy can jump up on a bad throw and make a play. That's what people are looking for right now."

    The old football saying goes like this: A good big guy will beat a good small guy every time. A perfect example was Woods' TD catch last season over former Kansas State All-American cornerback Terence Newman, whom the Dallas Cowboys drafted with the fifth pick overall in April.

    Defensive backs must respect the size difference "even if they don't want to admit it," said USC's Mike Williams, who benefited from Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Carson Palmer to catch 81 passes for 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns last season as a freshman .

    "I've learned to use my body," he said. "It's all about being an athlete."

    Size isn't the only factor. Speed still kills in the secondary. Roy Williams is among the fastest players on the field on any given Saturday, having run a 10.48-second 100 meters in high school.

    "He's a freak of nature," said Texas cornerback Nathan Vasher. "Guys like Roy are probably only born like once every 10 years."

    Gil Brandt says there's nothing freaky about it. The longtime personnel director of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL's senior draft consultant said the latest bumper crop of big quality receivers is part of an evolution throughout football: players at every position are bigger, stronger and faster than ever from high school on up to the NFL.

    "These guys now are like sleek race horses," Brandt said. "Whatever (Roy Williams) really weighs, he looks like it's about 175 the way he runs and jumps."

    And it's just what the NFL wants. Of the nearly 40 receivers at the NFL combine last spring, about 25 stood about 6-2 or taller weighed upward of 215 pounds, Brandt said.

    "Fifteen years ago, the average tight end was 6-1, 220 pounds," Brandt said. "Today, the big receivers do what the 5-foot-8 guys used to do."

    Originally published Saturday, August 23, 2003

  5. #35
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    Re: Size does matter.

    Guys. When you take a break, check out the Video from NFL.Com on the best DBs in the Draft (posted in this Draft section)

    You guys ever get tired?

    .

  6. #36
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    Re: Size does matter.

    You guys ever get tired?

    Will do...

  7. #37
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    Re: Size does matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos
    Roy Williams, Reggie Williams of Washington, Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods, OSU's Michael Jenkins and USC's Mike Williams are some of the best examples of the new breed of receiver.
    Yet of those listed, only Texas' Roy Williams has had any kind of success in professional football, and even he hasn't taken the NFL by storm.

    Reggie Williams has done nothing for Jacksonville, Mike Williams has done nothing for Detroit, Michael Jenkins has done nothing for Atlanta, and if you asked most people to name the receivers on the *****, they probably wouldn't even remember to name Rashaun Woods.

    It should be noted that two of the top three receivers in this year's class are under six foot, the third just slightly over the mark. Only two of The Sporting News' top 20 rookie receivers in this class are over 6'2" while five are under six foot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos
    "Fifteen years ago, the average tight end was 6-1, 220 pounds," Brandt said. "Today, the big receivers do what the 5-foot-8 guys used to do."
    This is really the most telling part of the article.

    It's not so much that the receivers are growing and getting bigger - clearly I've illustrated that all through the modern era of the NFL, there have been tall receivers having success, and it's nothing new to the league or any indication of some kind of drastic change or evolution - but it's just that they're becoming more athletic.

    That highlights the importance of finding someone who can keep up with them. Someone who displays the coverage skills to run with these guys, the ball awareness and instincts to not get faked out by moves and to know when to make a play on the ball, the recovery speed in case a mistake is made, and the leaping ability to contend in the air with these receivers.

    That, IMO, does not describe Jimmy Williams. His vertical marks at his own pro day were the worst of this entire class of cornerbacks except for Penn State's Alan Zemaitis, who also may find himself moving to safety on the next level, and Williams is widely criticized as being inconsistent and undisciplined on the field with questionable instincts for the cornerback position. Maybe he develops consistency later, but these issues take him out of the running for the 11th overall pick, IMO.

    And to top it off, the guy has a pretty poor attitude and character concerns? No thanks.

    If you're going to jump on a tall CB's bandwagon, you'd be better off supporting Antonio Cromartie. His skills translate much better to the pro CB position than Williams' do, in my opinion. But he's going to be a bit of a project as well, because he doesn't have much experience after sitting out last season.

    But again, if these tall wide receivers are taking the NFL by storm, why are the league's best cornerbacks still 6'1" or shorter? In fact, how do some of the 5'9" or 5'10" guys even survive in this league, let alone lead the league in receiving yards?

    Well, it's simple really, and is likely the same reason guys like Steve Smith and Santana Moss can have career years. Height is not the end all and be all of the NFL player. A receiver who is 5'9" can beat a 6'2" cornerback quite easily. Just like a 5'10" cornerback can contend with even the tallest of players. They can cover them, and they can bring them down.

    This was demonstrated quite recently in the Super Bowl of all places, when Steeler defensive back Tyrone Carter (5'8") brought down Seahawks tight end Jeremy Stevens (6'7") after Stevens grabbed a quick dump off pass.

    That's the beauty of the NFL. Is size important? Sure, but atheltic ability and intellgence win out every time over pure size. Otherwise, Dre Bly and Antoine Winfield would not be two of the league's finer cornerbacks. It doesn't take a 6'2" frame to cover a 6'2" receiver. But it does take athleticism, skill, and instincts. And you can find all those in smaller defensive backs.
    Last edited by Nick; -03-26-2006 at 01:52 AM.
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  8. #38
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    Re: Size does matter.

    The old football saying goes like this: A good big guy will beat a good small guy every time. A perfect example was Woods' TD catch last season over former Kansas State All-American cornerback Terence Newman, whom the Dallas Cowboys drafted with the fifth pick overall in April.


    Yeah I agree, to play CB you have to be a atheltic and intellgence guy. The WR know where he's going, the DB has to react.

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