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Thread: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    My argument was that Jeff Fisher would be less worried about a guy's measurements and more on his work ethic and playmaking abilities.
    This makes more sense than your previous comment, so thank you for elaborating.

    Getting back to the primary point though, I doubt you'll find many respected personnel people or coaches in this league that take sosa's "Who cares?" approach to size in pro football. Yes, they may feel that an individual player's talent outweighs any concerns that are present about his size, but size is not simply ignored in the evaluation process.

    It's all part of painting the whole picture of a prospect. For some, their limitations outweigh their talent; for others, the opposite is true. But nothing is ignored, because their jobs depend on getting it right. They're going to look at everything.

    I would be utterly shocked if the team that drafted Donald didn't, at some point in their evaluation process, have a conversation about how they feel his size will impact his efficiency as a pro football player.

    Having said all that, I would like to point out that I said earlier in this thread that I did think Donald would appeal to the Rams. Not because they don't care much about a prospect's size, but because (1) he'll see a lot of one on one situations where he should be successful due to the Rams' existing personnel and (2) Fisher has had some success with smaller DTs before (Tony Brown in Tennessee).

    But like everything else, I do think his measureables have to be factored in, and ultimately that affects my view of him and where I would feel comfortable taking him.
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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Make him lose 35 lbs and convert to linebacker! OLB I tell you! Rams 2nd / 3rd round pick.

    Or, beef him up with 25 lbs. of mighty muscle. I don't know what is easier, lose 35 or gain 25.



    NFL draft watch: DT Aaron Donald
    By Scott Brown | ESPN.com
    January, 24, 2014, 2:00 PM ET

    PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Donald has continued at the Senior Bowl what he did during a storied a career at Pitt.

    The Steelers have the advantage of familiarity with Pitt's Aaron Donald but have to wonder whether he fits into their defensive scheme.

    The Penn Hills High School graduate has been the hardest player to block during practices, according to anyone within three zip codes of Mobile, Ala. No less an NFL draft authority than the NFL Network's Mike Mayock has compared Donald to Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

    Whoa.

    ESPN's NFL draft experts on the ground are similarly impressed with Donald. Here is one item from a story that Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl collaborated on after watching the Senior Bowl practices: "Donald showed the ability to beat offensive linemen with quickness, power and active hands, and his ability to do it so many different ways make it that much harder to keep him off the quarterback."

    Sounds like a player who will really help a team.

    And the Steelers should know as much if not more about Donald than any other team by the time the NFL draft rolls around in May.

    Pitt shares a practice facility with the Steelers, and general manager Kevin Colbert has said the team does more homework on local prospects because proximity provides that advantage -- and because the Steelers don't want to let a potential great player get away.

    The problem with Donald: He clearly is a better fit in 4-3 defense as an attacking tackle rather than a hold-the-point-of-attack end in a 3-4 scheme.

    The 6-foot, 288-pound Donald is probably too small to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense and would likely be miscast in that role, too.

    But he also seems like a classic case of player who transcends measurables and can play regardless of scheme. The Steelers, I'm guessing, would love to keep Donald in Pittsburgh but their top picks will be used on players who are better fits for them and fill a need.

    And since it is unlikely that Donald lasts beyond the second round of the draft, he will probably continue his football career outside of Pittsburgh.

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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    So because the Rams drafted Tavon Austin, that proves they don't care too much about the size of any prospects they draft?

    That seems like an incredibly weak argument to me.




    Would you prefer guys like Colt McCoy, Pat White, or Troy Smith? I mean, it's not as if there's a huge pool of 5'11" quarterback prospects to use as examples. It's almost as if it's pretty rare for a player who doesn't meet the size expectations of a position to be highly regarded as a pro prospect. Who would have thought?

    Even the two examples you're holding up for your argument - Brees and Wilson - were second and third round picks themselves, not Top 20 amazing prospects when they came out. Why? Because size is an important consideration, not a throwaway "Who cares?" part of the process.

    I mean, I could go on and continue listing the numerous examples of undersized guys who haven't found success at the NFL level, or you could simply admit that there are more players who did not satisfy the size standards of a position and have failed than there are those who have succeeded in the league.

    That doesn't mean Donald will be one of them, just that he'd be the exception and not the rule.
    I could go on all day on players who were considered too small and yet succeeded. Look no further than the best MLB the league ever had - Ray Lewis, or even London Fletcher.

    Size is the most overrated statistic of any prospect, and we all know it. I mean were acting as if Donald is tiny, the guy is maybe 1-2 inches and 8 lbs away from being a prototypical 3 tech.

    I've watched a healthy amount of Aaron Donald tape, and I don't see his size as a problem. He can absolutely bull rush, keep his ground, or use his finesse to KILL interior lineman on passing situations. Disruption trumps EVERYTHING, and Donald gets a hell of a lot of disruption.


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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    I could go on all day on players who were considered too small and yet succeeded. Look no further than the best MLB the league ever had - Ray Lewis, or even London Fletcher.
    Ignoring for a moment that Ray Lewis is listed as the same size as Patrick Willis which is hardly considered too small, there's simply no reason to keep going around in circles on this. You're either missing the point or intentionally avoiding it, and there's no point to continue with nothing being accomplished here.


    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    I've watched a healthy amount of Aaron Donald tape, and I don't see his size as a problem. He can absolutely bull rush, keep his ground, or use his finesse to KILL interior lineman on passing situations. Disruption trumps EVERYTHING, and Donald gets a hell of a lot of disruption.
    That's fine; I wouldn't consider Donald an option for the Rams in a trade down scenario in the first round if I thought it impossible for him to overcome his size limitations.

    But to suggest that size shouldn't matter at all is simply laughable. It's part of the evaluation, just like everything else.

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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    during the senior bowl...wasn't he the one who they said had "size issue" and then batted down a pass lol

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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Since this has become a Donald thread, I'll note that he received the top grade of all Senior Bowl performers from Profootball Focus this week. Here's what they had to say:

    A perfect example of week-long hype showing up in the game, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald continued his march toward the first round with a dominant performance. He picked up a hit and four hurries on just 22 rushes, but he was well on his way to even more pressure had the opposing quarterbacks not gotten rid of the ball in less than two seconds on a few occasions.
    Donald was right in the middle of the action in the middle of the second quarter when he put guardGabe Jackson on skates on a bull rush that flushed quarter David Fales from the pocket. He came back two plays later with more of the same, this time using the bull rush to put Jackson on the ground while teammate Michael Sam broke free for the sack. It was left guard Gabe Ikard feeling the strength of the bull rush later in the quarter as Donald put pushed him into QB Derek Carr’s lap. Carr’s quick release got the ball off in 1.4 seconds to avoid the “official” pressure, but Donald’s strong work was noted toward his +6.4 pass rush grade.
    While Donald didn’t make as big of an impact against the run, he did provide disruption on a few plays and his +6.4 overall grade put a nice bow on his strong week in Mobile.

    Of note is his performance against the pass vs. his performance against the run, where he wasn't as effective. What does that mean? Who knows at this point.





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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    I think this topic has become too centered around Donald, so let's get back to the original question.

    Would the Rams be tempted to go with a DT (early in the draft)?

    I think pretty much everyone would agree that there are not any DTs in this draft who would merit consideration at the 2nd pick. I also don't think many would argue against considering a DT in Round 2, if a DT were deemed the BPA at that spot. So what we're really talking about is either the 13th pick, or a later first round pick if the Rams make a trade.

    In my mind, DT is a position that could be considered as high as #13, but it would not be my first choice. Assuming that an OT is taken with pick #2, the first positions I'd be looking at at #13 are S and CB. If there is a player at one of those positions who is considered among the best remaining prospects, that's where I'd look. I would also consider a WR if either Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans were still on the board.

    After those positions, the next place I'd look is DT and OG (though, at the moment, the only OGs I think I'd consider at #13 are David Yankey and OT/OG prospect Zack Miller).

    The next question is, what type of DT would the Rams favor.

    If they want a big bodied guy who will clog the middle and tie up blockers, I'd say Louis Nix would be the top option.

    If they want a quick DT who can penetrate, I'd say its a toss-up between Timmy Jernigan and Aaron Donald.

    If they want a player who combines size and quickness (though is neither the biggest nor the quickest prospect available), then I'd look at Rashede Hagerman.

    This is a position I'll be following very closely at the Combine. In particular, I want to see how the four guys listed above do in strength exercises and short shuttles.

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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Fisher has a history of really liking to draft defensive tackles early, and the Rams really have only two of starting caliber now.
    I won't venture any predictions on what Fish/Snead might do. Since taking over the Rams, they don't seem predictable to me. If they really like a guy, it seems they'll try hard to land him. Position? I have no clue. I agree with others here that given the current DT class - selecting one at #2 overall seems highly unlikely. I will be surprised if we don't add at least one rookie DT to the rotation, but which round? I'll just wait and see. Okay - I lied. One prediction: They will trade out of the #2 overall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    What they do not have is a pass rushing DT, a Warren Sapp type if you will, a true three technique that can blow up a running game and sack the QB as well.

    In this draft, you have possibly the top two defensive tackles who are that type, Timmy Jernigan and Aaron Donald. Donald tore up Senior Bowl week, and Jernigan has been a big riser on draft boards.

    The other two possible first round DTs, louis Nix and RaShede Hageman, are more like the guys the Rams have starting now.

    The Rams move Hayes inside partially because they don't have a guy like these two, and with Langford probably not here in two years, the Rams need to add a fit here soon.

    It's very difficult to ever get a DT like thse two I mention after the first round, or at worst the top 40 picks. And even the ones taken high have a very large bust potential.

    However, if one of these two is there at 13, they would have to seriously consider going there due to the level of talent versus other positions of need, and how a middle guy like that could really make this defense a lot better immediately.
    Sounds good to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    If the Rams solve their OT problem by re-signing Saffold, and if they feel comfortable with Barksdale at RT, I might even look at a DT after a trade down to say, 6th, and then go safety, linebacker, cornerback at 13,

    If you add the 5th pick in round two in the trade, plus other picks, You have a good chance of getting a very good CB, G, C, safety, RB or WR there as well as with your 3rd rounder.

    I can see Donald and Hernigan being two guys who might wow them at the combine and move right into the top 15 by draft day, just like Michael Brockers, Fletcher Cox and Dontari Poe did, and like richardson and Lotulelei did last year.
    Signing Saffold would certainly help, but I wouldn't say it completely solves our OT situation. Hopefully we address the O-line early in the draft even if Saffold signs. The big question for me is how many picks will we end up with by trading our #2, and possibly even our #13. Obviously we'll need to find willing partners, but my guess is that suitors will abound after the combine and individual Pro Day workouts. Should be fun to watch come May.

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    Re: Would Jeff Fisher Be Tempted to Go DT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Just so everyone knows, Aaron Donald has no more problems against the run than any DT... He is probably better against the run than guys like Ra'shede Hageman who is 6'6 300+ lbs. Donald being small works in his favour. His low centre of gravity will win everytime. It's hard to get your hands on a guy that's small and extremely quick, not to mention has excellent hand usage. Once Donald hits an NFL team he can add at least 5-8 lbs putting him around 295, which is just fine for a pass rushing 3 tech.

    Guys like Henry Melton are amazing against the run and he only weighs 295 lbs. Matter of fact, he used to be a RB in college at one point.
    I dunno Sosa - Aaron could develop into a HOF player - or not. I prefer the "hindsight" method. Here's a story for you that came to mind when reading about Donald.

    I donít know much about Aaron Donald. I havenít even had time to watch the Senior Bowl yet; I have it on DVR though. I do know that once in a great while, a guy will come along that is pound for pound far stronger than others in his weight class, born with that strength if you will. Roberto Duran was one of those guys at 135 lbs. Aaron Donald may prove to be another - or not.

    I knew a guy like that way back when I worked in the MGM lab as a film technician. The guy was quite a character as well, but thatís another story. My friendís name was John, and he stood a bit over six feet, and weighed between 155 Ė 160 pounds. I donít remember how it started, but somehow an arm wrestling craze swept through the lab, and John over a short period easily beat everyone in 35 millimeter color positive, color negative, and then smoked everyone in film processing downstairs to boot.

    John was on the skinny side, and never worked out. However, the weight he did have was whipcord and steel. As it happened, there was a body builder (Don) working in 70 millimeter negative developing (think Dr. Zhivago), who had been lifting weights for over 10 years. Don was just about the same height as John, but outweighed him by at least 45 pounds. This preceeded the steroid era by the way. Instead, back in those days, body builders took bagfuls of supplements and had to work out long hours for years to acquire huge muscles.

    Prior to matching up with Don, John had flattened everyone with ease. There were no prolonged tests of stamina Ė Iíd say the longest anyone lasted was 3 seconds if that. It was deflating to say the least.

    When the match between the two took place, it was decided that a movable metal film cart would provide a stable platform at an optimum height. The steel cart itself weighed about 200 lbs empty - loaded completely with film cans containing full reels of 70 millimeter film, I have no idea how much one weighed, probably at least 500 lbs., perhaps a lot more.

    Iíll never forget that event. When the ďgoĒ was given, John nearly took Don down within his usual three second interval, but Donís huge arm finally held scant inches from being down. Then began a battle of stamina and will. Each guy was gripping one edge of the film cart with their free hand for balance. As they strained against each other, we onlookers were completely astonished to see the entire cart slowly rise of the ground hovering an inch or two off the cement floor. Slowly and inexorably Donís arm began to very slowly creep up until both their arms were back where they started. John made one more heroic effort, but just couldnít put Don down. Gradually Donís stamina and years of weight training carried the day Ė John was finally beaten. What it took to beat him however, was truly amazing, and I doubt any of the other guys who witnessed that contest have forgotten the display of strength those two guys put on .. Thatís not the only story about Johnís strength either but itís enough for today. Now back to the thread:

    Is Aaron Donald one of those uniquely ďcountry strongĒ kids born far stronger than his peers? If he is, and he has solid technique, heíll win the leverage battle more often than not because of his size. Some have compared him to Warren Sapp, and there are similarities. Warren stood 6í 1Ē and weighed in at 281 lbs. entering the draft.

    The late draft guru Joel Buchsbaum listed Sappís negatives as follows: (Joel also projected Warren to go #2 overall to the Jaguars)

    Negatives:
    Lacks size and size potential. Never will be as big as coaches would like. Height creates other problems. Will get engulfed by bigger blockers. Needs to be rested because he doesnít want to play when he is less than 100 percent.

    Summary:
    A better athlete and pass rusher than Russell Maryland, but he will never be as thick, dense, powerful and dominating as Cortez Kennedy and Jerome Brown because of size limitations.

    In hindsight, Warren was a monster - especially against us!

    One never knows for certain about college players transitioning to the NFL until they strap on the pads and play at the pro level. If Aaron turns out to be one of those ďfreaksĒ of nature, Iím sure there will be more than one team wishing they had picked him.

    Hindsight .. I love hindsight! It always works for me.
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