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Old 01-19-2009, 07:29 AM   #1
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I hate it when players do not accept Senior Bowl invites and fail to compete when given the chance. Personally, I want to change this game to the BPA bowl and allow top ranked underclassmen to compete if they have declared for the draft, but that is another thread Here is my list of guys who declined to participate and who I now hold a grudge against drafting in order:

1. Brian Orakpo DE/OLB TEX-Here is a surprise, not. Another TEXAS player who does not want to compete before the draft. I do not like drafting Mack Brown's players because he develops college players who have a hard time adjusting to the NFL overall. I thought Orakpo might be different this year, but chickening out on the Senior Bowl when he would be the ELITE DE to compete and really have a chance to shine is BS.

2. Micahel Johnson DE/OLB GT-This makes no sense whatsoever. This kid has a few drawbacks like being labeled a major underachiever who can not play the run. Going to Mobile and competing would severely raise his stock f just by showing up. He has a ton to prove, and is not competing.

3. Tyson Jackson DE LSU-This is a weird one as most of LSU's players are playign in this game, even a few who should not be there. I have not heard about any injuries that would prevent him from playing so this is a major headscratcher.

4. James Laurinitis ILB OSU-another top prospect who decided to sit this one out. Rey Maualuga is there and so is Beckwith, but no Laurinitis.

5. Aaron Curry OLB Wake-I do get this one, but I still Do not like it. Curry is the top rated senior in the whole draft and has nothing to gain by showing up.

6. Malcolm Jenkins CB OSU-Top rated CB in the draft does not show up either. WTH is going on with OSU players I think they have the most to prove as their level of competition is suspect and neither of them completely availed themselves in the bowl game versus Texas.

7. Eugene Monroe OT UVA-Debate around whether Monroe is the top OT in this draft has begun and Oher decides to put it on the line while Monroe says no thanks! Typical, and I hope it hurts him as his MO is to not play as well against top competition. This will not help that rep.

8. Jason Smith OT Baylor-another top OT who chickens out with no real legit DE's showing up. I guess some stupid agent convinced these OT's that they could only get hurt by showing up. Well the inverse is also true, they could have manhandled some mediocre prospects and made their stock rise versus other positions in the draft order. They are not competing solely against OT's but the underclassmen who declared and will rise up boards. I hope both take a hit in where they go, but OT is still a premium position.

9. Duke Robinson OG OK-This is a head scratcher. OK players usually show up and play. Three years ago Davin Joseph moved in to the first round on his play at the senior bowl. Robinson is not as good, had a terrible National Championship, and has a lot to gain.

Overall, quite a lot of talent opting out this year. I see this as missing an opportunity to impress and take NFL level coaching. The only reasons to sit out is fear of failure and injury. One is a legit concern, but I do not want the guys who accept fear of failure in the first round. Now, they are going to have to prove this is not a selfish move in their interviews at the combine. Still, I want fighters who take every opportunity to get better. This would drop them on my board in overall rankings until they can alleviate those concerns.

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Old 01-19-2009, 07:33 AM   #2
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just think as it an opperunity to see other players that wouldn't have gotten a shot.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:50 AM   #3
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just think as it an opperunity to see other players that wouldn't have gotten a shot.
Everything has pros and cons. That is the best Pro to come out of it for sure, but it still does not outweigh the con of missing the top seniors compete against each other IMHO.

Those guys can dominate lesser competition, I want to see what they can really do in practice versus elite draftable talent. Especially the guys who have the rep for being great against inferior competition, but average versus elite competition. That does not make them first round talent to me, unless they are way underdeveloped. It also allows me to more accurately project their length to impact at the pro level. Who can make a difference right away, versus who needs to be caoched up to succeed in the long run.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:56 AM   #4
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Everything has pros and cons. That is the best Pro to come out of it for sure, but it still does not outweigh the con of missing the top seniors compete against each other IMHO.

Those guys can dominate lesser competition, I want to see what they can really do in practice versus elite draftable talent. Especially the guys who have the rep for being great against inferior competition, but average versus elite competition. That does not make them first round talent to me, unless they are way underdeveloped. It also allows me to more accurately project their length to impact at the pro level. Who can make a difference right away, versus who needs to be caoched up to succeed in the long run.
I understand, but I am sure the agents are attempting to protect their clients until they have time to training them. I think M Johnson showing up is stupid, because right now he showing that great athlete and not a football player.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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I understand why the offensive linemen aren't showing up. They are going up against largely 2nd rounders and lower, so if they get beat it will cost them big time. If you go up against guys like Mario Williams or Gaines Adams and get beat you are okay, but if you get beat by Paul Kruger or Larry English consistently it is going to hurt your stock.

I don't understand Laurinaitis, Aaron Curry already blew right by him in the rankings and if Maualuga has a strong showing he will assert himself as the number 2 guy and Laurinaitis could end up in the bottom of round 1 unless he really shines at his pro day or the combine.

Tyson Jackson and Michael Johnson are both sliding right now and should do something to stop it. Johnson will have decent measurables, but Jackson won't even shine there and he could end up sliding out of round 1 with all the pass rushers moving up fast right now and some of them will do very well at the combine.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:12 AM   #6
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You're being to hard on Orakpo! He is injured. Without sufficient time off his strained mangina won't allow him to do well at the combine either. Your hatred for Texas players never ceases to amaze me!

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Old 01-19-2009, 08:13 AM   #7
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You're being to hard on Orakpo! He is injured. Without sufficient time off his strained mangina won't allow him to do well at the combine either. Your hatred for Texas players never ceases to amaze me!

Thanks Alec, for setting us straight.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:21 AM   #8
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You're being to hard on Orakpo! He is injured. Without sufficient time off his strained mangina won't allow him to do well at the combine either. Your hatred for Texas players never ceases to amaze me!

It's not the players, its the HC. I think the players get a huge disservice from Brown's approach. I am not the only one who sees it either, I have talked to more than a few scouts who clued me into this when I was still pondering it.

The staff does a great job of utilizing talent down there for college, but they do not "finish" players for the next level and If you were recruiting in TEX you could hold that against them. Problem being TEX is so revered down there by the High school players, they still draw the top players. And, as long as they continue to do that they WILL be successful at that level. They outtalent teams, but they lose games they should not from being out coached. OSU had no business being in that game with them, but TEX still needed a last second TD to win.

Great College program, with great players. Not where I want to go to get a player who is NFL ready to play.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #9
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Last year at the Senior Bowl, Beau Bell injured his knee in practice leading up to the Senior Bowl.
He was considered by many, a 1st-2nd round pick.
After the inujury he went in the 4th to CLE.
Hes recovered, but this is why many dont play there.
Freak injuries.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:31 AM   #10
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Cue Pink Floyd Money...
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:35 AM   #11
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Last year at the Senior Bowl, Beau Bell injured his knee in practice leading up to the Senior Bowl.
He was considered by many, a 1st-2nd round pick.
After the inujury he went in the 4th to CLE.
Hes recovered, but this is why many dont play there.
Freak injuries.
Bell was never that high and had a lot to prove at the senior bowl. He did not show well BEFORE he was injured, had a history of injuries missing half his junior year, and did not perform well at his pro day. So, I disagree that the injury alone was that reason. He did not show he could cover before getting hurt and his speed was less than advertised when tested.

Injury is always a legit reason to skip for top guys, because it will hurt their draft stock. However, injury is a risk every time you train too. Bell hurt himself getting juked and was untouched when it happened if I remeber correctly. Same risk as doing plyometrics in training there.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #12
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I think they do pretty well with RB's and DBs. DL, LBs, QB's not so much so. WR's and OL I don't know about b/c the talent there lately is not "top" notch. The last time they had great prospects was when Sloan Thomas and Roy Williams were Freshmen. Sloan the recruit expected to be the better of the two. Neither were very polished but Roy's abilities were just too good to pass up.

I was half kidding with you anyhow... we've had this discussion "a time or two"!!!

The players I will be watching closely... Raji, Mack, Maualuga, Unger, Pat White, Rashad Johnson, Quan Crosby, Clay Mathews, James Davis, Chung, Moore, and Ziggy Hood.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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I think they do pretty well with RB's and DBs. DL, LBs, QB's not so much so. WR's and OL I don't know about b/c the talent there lately is not "top" notch. The last time they had great prospects was when Sloan Thomas and Roy Williams were Freshmen. Sloan the recruit expected to be the better of the two. Neither were very polished but Roy's abilities were just too good to pass up.

I was half kidding with you anyhow... we've had this discussion "a time or two"!!!

The players I will be watching closely... Raji, Mack, Maualuga, Unger, Pat White, Rashad Johnson, Quan Crosby, Clay Mathews, James Davis, Chung, Moore, and Ziggy Hood.
Do not forget Moala. He is getting overlooked a lot, and is a great run stuffer who could be a a great 3-4 DE. I really liked him the last 2 years.

Ron Brace, Michael Hamlin, Mitch King, Vance Walker and especailly Louis Delmas are guys I want to see against top notch competition.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:18 AM   #14
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A lot of these guys have already produced years of game film and are risking injury if they showed up.

I don't agree with it, and would rather they played, but what can you do? Some agent is in their ear, or they forget they're nearly all idiots and think they're developing some brilliant plan.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:37 AM   #15
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I love the Senior Bowl. The D/O Linemen 1 on 1s are the best.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:46 AM   #16
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Bell was never that high and had a lot to prove at the senior bowl. He did not show well BEFORE he was injured, had a history of injuries missing half his junior year, and did not perform well at his pro day. So, I disagree that the injury alone was that reason. He did not show he could cover before getting hurt and his speed was less than advertised when tested.

Injury is always a legit reason to skip for top guys, because it will hurt their draft stock. However, injury is a risk every time you train too. Bell hurt himself getting juked and was untouched when it happened if I remeber correctly. Same risk as doing plyometrics in training there.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:20 AM   #17
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Several guys have won a lot in the pro bowl, among them Jay Cutler who was a borderline 1st rounder that vaulted up during practices. Same goes for Kyle Boller (who had less to have it in).
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:54 PM   #18
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This is a pretty sad list. SACK UP!

I don't really blame a couple guys like Curry for not playing. His stock can't get any better.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:00 PM   #19
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It's perfectly rational for a Top 10-15 projected pick to skip out on the Senior Bowl. If I were an agent, I would tell my client to skip out, too.

There's only one place he can go.

Down.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:55 PM   #20
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I think to most people and players the fear of loosing is greater than the wish to win. The same thing is seen in the prevent defense, especially when the gameplan with blitzes and confusion has worked. Prevent a win is pretty aptly put.

As for the senior bowl. What players are there that you guys think we may or should be looking at?
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:04 PM   #21
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There's only one place he can go.

Down.
That is what I told the Nurse when referring to lip and head movement. Down.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #22
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It's not the players, its the HC. I think the players get a huge disservice from Brown's approach. I am not the only one who sees it either, I have talked to more than a few scouts who clued me into this when I was still pondering it.

The staff does a great job of utilizing talent down there for college, but they do not "finish" players for the next level and If you were recruiting in TEX you could hold that against them. Problem being TEX is so revered down there by the High school players, they still draw the top players. And, as long as they continue to do that they WILL be successful at that level. They outtalent teams, but they lose games they should not from being out coached. OSU had no business being in that game with them, but TEX still needed a last second TD to win.

Great College program, with great players. Not where I want to go to get a player who is NFL ready to play.
So Michael Griffin, Aaron Ross, Cedric Griffin, Justin Blalock, Leonard Davis, Ricky Williams, Roy Williams, Lyle Sendlein, Shaun Rogers, Casey Hampton, and Nathan Vasher all are not good NFL players? And if OSU had no business being in the game, why do they have 3 guys who will go in the 1st round this year? Robiskie will go higher than any Texas receiver. I understand people on this board are partial to Colorado/Nebraska, but geez.

And I suppose USC is the great place to get talent now. Matt Leinart is so good. Best bench warmer in the NFL. Reggie Bush is good, but nowhere near the force he was supposed to be. Who was the last receiver out of SC to be good? What about the last LB? Guess that means we should avoid Maualuga. I guess Pete Carroll doesn't prepare guys for the league either. Guess what though, THAT IS NOT THEIR JOB. Texas pays Mack Brown to win college football games. Period. He is not there to train guys for the NFL. Neither is Pete Carroll. Nor Urban Meyer (that's a school that puts out a lot of busts). Nor Nick Saban. etc. etc.

Orakpo may be a bust. Who knows? But if you don't take him solely on the reason that he went to UT, you are severely limiting your draft poole on a statistic that is much less relevant than college production/consistency, size, speed, strength, work ethic, and character.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #23
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I hate it when players do not accept Senior Bowl invites and fail to compete when given the chance. Personally, I want to change this game to the BPA bowl and allow top ranked underclassmen to compete if they have declared for the draft, but that is another thread Here is my list of guys who declined to participate and who I now hold a grudge against drafting in order:

1. Brian Orakpo DE/OLB TEX-Here is a surprise, not. Another TEXAS player who does not want to compete before the draft. I do not like drafting Mack Brown's players because he develops college players who have a hard time adjusting to the NFL overall. I thought Orakpo might be different this year, but chickening out on the Senior Bowl when he would be the ELITE DE to compete and really have a chance to shine is BS.

2. Micahel Johnson DE/OLB GT-This makes no sense whatsoever. This kid has a few drawbacks like being labeled a major underachiever who can not play the run. Going to Mobile and competing would severely raise his stock f just by showing up. He has a ton to prove, and is not competing.

3. Tyson Jackson DE LSU-This is a weird one as most of LSU's players are playign in this game, even a few who should not be there. I have not heard about any injuries that would prevent him from playing so this is a major headscratcher.

4. James Laurinitis ILB OSU-another top prospect who decided to sit this one out. Rey Maualuga is there and so is Beckwith, but no Laurinitis.

5. Aaron Curry OLB Wake-I do get this one, but I still Do not like it. Curry is the top rated senior in the whole draft and has nothing to gain by showing up.

6. Malcolm Jenkins CB OSU-Top rated CB in the draft does not show up either. WTH is going on with OSU players I think they have the most to prove as their level of competition is suspect and neither of them completely availed themselves in the bowl game versus Texas.

7. Eugene Monroe OT UVA-Debate around whether Monroe is the top OT in this draft has begun and Oher decides to put it on the line while Monroe says no thanks! Typical, and I hope it hurts him as his MO is to not play as well against top competition. This will not help that rep.

8. Jason Smith OT Baylor-another top OT who chickens out with no real legit DE's showing up. I guess some stupid agent convinced these OT's that they could only get hurt by showing up. Well the inverse is also true, they could have manhandled some mediocre prospects and made their stock rise versus other positions in the draft order. They are not competing solely against OT's but the underclassmen who declared and will rise up boards. I hope both take a hit in where they go, but OT is still a premium position.

9. Duke Robinson OG OK-This is a head scratcher. OK players usually show up and play. Three years ago Davin Joseph moved in to the first round on his play at the senior bowl. Robinson is not as good, had a terrible National Championship, and has a lot to gain.

Overall, quite a lot of talent opting out this year. I see this as missing an opportunity to impress and take NFL level coaching. The only reasons to sit out is fear of failure and injury. One is a legit concern, but I do not want the guys who accept fear of failure in the first round. Now, they are going to have to prove this is not a selfish move in their interviews at the combine. Still, I want fighters who take every opportunity to get better. This would drop them on my board in overall rankings until they can alleviate those concerns.
While I do not agree with all of your takes, I really appreciate you keeping us up to date on these happenings.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:49 PM   #24
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So Michael Griffin, Aaron Ross, Cedric Griffin, Justin Blalock, Leonard Davis, Ricky Williams, Roy Williams, Lyle Sendlein, Shaun Rogers, Casey Hampton, Derrick Johnson, and Nathan Vasher all are not good NFL players? And if OSU had no business being in the game, why do they have 3 guys who will go in the 1st round this year? Robiskie will go higher than any Texas receiver. I understand people on this board are partial to Colorado/Nebraska, but geez.

And I suppose USC is the great place to get talent now. Matt Leinart is so good. Best bench warmer in the NFL. Reggie Bush is good, but nowhere near the force he was supposed to be. Who was the last receiver out of SC to be good? What about the last LB? Guess that means we should avoid Maualuga. I guess Pete Carroll doesn't prepare guys for the league either. Guess what though, THAT IS NOT THEIR JOB. Texas pays Mack Brown to win college football games. Period. He is not there to train guys for the NFL. Neither is Pete Carroll. Nor Urban Meyer (that's a school that puts out a lot of busts). Nor Nick Saban. etc. etc.

Orakpo may be a bust. Who knows? But if you don't take him solely on the reason that he went to UT, you are severely limiting your draft poole on a statistic that is much less relevant than college production/consistency, size, speed, strength, work ethic, and character.
Look, I tried to address this in the most respectful way that I could but I knew Texas fans would feel this way. Almost none of those players were NFL ready when they came out, despite being some of the most talented and gifted guys to come out in the their respective drafts. Aaron Ross, Blalock, and Casey Hampton were the few who were close to being ready. Guys like Michael Huff, Vince Young, Roy Williams, Marcus Tubbs, Cedric Benson, Derrick Johnson, and Leonard Davis were not ready to play despite being drafted pretty high. That is the point. Some of those guys have developed into fantastic players, and Others have not. But more often than not, they are not ready to play their first year because they are not finished products coming out. Most of all, they do not run NFL schemes on either side of the ball.

As for USC, I for one think they do a good job of getting guys ready to play in the NFL, but they are not the standard. No school is. My school is FSU, but they have been abyssmal recently in putting out top notch talent. However, a school like USC has put a lot of guys who played right away into the NFL. On defense like Troy Polamalu, Lofa Tatupu, Mike Patterson, Sedric Ellis, and Keith Rivers before he got Hines Warded They have developed solid NFL QB's in Palmer and and Now former USC Backup Matt Cassel. They have given 2 starting RB's right away in Bush and Lendale White, even though they are not top tier RB's. Their WR's are pedestrian, but they have a ton of NFL Linemen Starting from day one as well like Sam Baker, Deuce Lutui, Ryan Kalil, and Chilo Rachal. Overall, they have prepared their players to be NFL ready and run NFL style scheme's on both side of the ball.

I think Texas is a great College Program as you stated, with superior talent in an otherwise very competitive Bowl division series. You take away their personnel advantage and I think they will struggle as their schemes are not top notch. I also think they do a very poor job of making players NFL ready. That is why I said what I did. The Texas players are at a disadvantage when they enter the NFL. Some are more adept at overcoming like Ross, Blalock, and Michael Griffin recently. A lot of that is talent coming through despite the program however.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:15 PM   #25
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Just speculating, but Jackson heads up a weak class of 3-4 ends. He'll probably be the first one taken and should have a taker at the back of the first round. The Senior bowl is probably not the best place for a 3-4 end to showcase his skills. Strength and burst measurables at the combine will be key to his draft day.
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