Friday, April 26, 2013

Feeling Drafty? Re-light Your Boiler

Go home, NFL, you're drunk.
As you may know if you know us, we sort of loathe the NFL Draft.

Well, actually, that's not right. What we loathe is the nonsense surrounding it. Like weeks upon weeks of "mock drafts," endless hours devoted to it on TV and radio, and things like, you know... f-cking glass cases with the hats for each team in them. Just stop it, NFL. You're becoming as trite and forced and unwatchable as the Emmys.

But we'll put aside our dislike for the fanfare around the NFL draft to talk about a few prospects from Purdue, since we were asked by a couple people so... fine. We're here to serve.

Josh Johnson - CB

We've made no secret of the fact that we're big fans of Josh Johnson. He's someone we really enjoyed watching and felt very comfortable with knowing he was out there. In fact, I dare say we felt he was a little more "reliable" than the guy on the other side who gets all the accolades.

Johnson's write-up at has him as a 67.2 grade, which puts him in the "Draftable Player" bucket, just below the threshold for "Eventual Starter."

I read this to mean he's a guy who should be drafted and regardless will find playing time in the NFL, with the potential of becoming a regular starter with some hard work. I don't think there's any doubt Josh will work hard and we look forward to seeing him playing on Sundays. He's an easy guy to root for (for us, anyway).
If you like the sometimes-arbitrary measures studied at the combine, Josh was a "top performer" in the 60-yard shuttle, finishing fourth among CBs. He was also sixth among CBs in the bench press. We'll choose to now selectively enjoy those measures and say that for these reasons, a team looking for a fundamentally-sound leader who can be quick and is strong should give Josh Johnson a good look.

Kawaan Short - DT

Short is another guy we've enjoyed watching and seeing develop over his time at Purdue. Is he an NFL prospect because of Danny Hope's staff.... or in spite of them?

Short showed freakish, next-level skills a number of times during his years in black and gold and was a two-time team captain. If you're wondering why there are no combine numbers listed for Short on his NFL draft page, I assume it's because he didn't attend. However, Short is graded as an 80.6, which is  a "quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position."

Skimming the analysis, you see what you would expect to see regarding his size, quickness and development. The concerns, though, seem to center on the worry that Short might let himself get fat and, if he does, he'll be out doing whatever it is JaMarcus Russell does these days. So work hard, Kawaan. Make us proud.

Akeem Shavers - RB

Prince Akeem has no prospect page, which probably doesn't bode real well for him. However, he's hoping to play at the next level and did have a pro day that was generally reported to be a positive experience for him.

From GBI:
Shavers ran in the low 4.4s - perhaps as fast as 4.39 - in the 40-yard dash. It was his only opportunity in front of scouts from multiple teams, after not being invited to the Combine, making his performance all the more critical.
Right now, Shavers will be hoping for a call to be a post-draft free agent invite to a team's training camp. We loved seeing Akeem run and are pulling for him to get a chance to prove himself against the big boys.
The draft resumes today.


boilerdowd said...

Nice post, hoss...LBD asked me if I could DVR the draft last night and I assured him that I wouldn't...and he wouldn't miss anything. I'm not sure if there's an event on TV that is less-worthy of watching in its entirety than the NFL draft. I watched/listened to a little of the DP show this morning, felt caught up.

Looking forward to seeing some Boilers called today.

WinamacBoiler said...

The biggest plus of the draft last night was what DIDN'T happen. Sorry Manti,

Kodiak33 said...

Sounds like Kawaan might have been hurt by Hope and the staff...not disciplined enough on practice and training. I still expect him to be selected early tonight. Teams are now figuring out that the game is definitely won in the trenches.

J Money said...

Winamac -- I heard a Manti defender on SVP's show (I think) yesterday say something like "Oh, so because he had a fake girlfriend, that now means he should drop in the draft and isn't a good football player?"

To which I say, noooo... the fact that he got de-pantsed in the National Title game against a team with lots of NFL-level talent tells us all that he's what many talent evaluators fear: more myth than substance.

Lennay Kalikimaka is the fake name to say, / On a bright NFL Draft Day....

Row Boilers said...

Manti is more proof that the ND hype machine does not have to work very hard to be effective. The idiot part of the sports press (make your own judgment as to whether that part is closer to 100% or 0%) bought all the Manti for Heisman Trophy baloney w/o evaluating the quality of his competition. Nor did they separate his football ability from the Up Close and Personal stuff. Not saying he can't play BUT he obviously was not the best defensive player last year as evidenced by the 18 defenders taken in the first round. He had no business being in the Heisman consideration.

J Money said...

The Heisman ceased being about the best player in college football a long time ago. Don't let it irritate you -- just view it the same way as any award given by People magazine or Hollywood.

zlionsfan said...

or a) the fact that he played out this charade for months thinking he'd get away with it, or unfortunately b) the most-speculated reason why he would do it in the first place. (It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if teams downgraded a player they thought was gay. Gay players aren't out in the NFL for a number of reasons.)

But mostly c) he's not that good. a) and b) give teams cover to choose c), because prior to the Alabama game, they were probably thinking OOH NOTRE DAME GUY MUST PICK.

FWIW, there were 21 Boilers who were on an NFL roster at some point last season, from the dean of the group (Brees, of course) to the newest members, Dennis Kelly (5th-round pick, Eagles) and Nick Mondek (6th-round pick, Texans). Of those 21, only three were undrafted FAs: Kyle Adams (2011), Brandon King (2010), and Ryan Baker (2009).

Purdue guys tend to be taken in the draft, and for the most part, they stick around. I was talking with some friends on Facebook yesterday, and we were comparing various Big Ten draft "classes", specifically OL. (Hint: Wisconsin is not at the top.) Anyway, for a crude version of value, look at p-f-r's Career Approximate Value for Purdue guys. Sort in descending order by year. You'll see a few 0s and 1s, but a lot of double-digit guys. Most of the single-digit guys are still active, too. Wisconsin ... not so much.

Johnson probably has a better shot than a similar CB would have 5-10 years ago because of the trend toward 3- and 4-WR sets. Unless you are playing against the Jets or Jaguars, you want an extra CB or two out there. (And some teams don't really have any decent CBs. Hello, Detroit.)

Short will be good. Unless he's not. It's hard to tell. Let's talk about intangibles. (whoa. NFL Network-type garbage. Sorry about that.)

Too bad Shavers didn't get a Combine invite. Even a 4.43 40 would give him a speed score around 105 (100 is average), which is better than all but two prospects. A 4.39 would give him a 109.3, behind only Knile Davis. That's still probably fast enough for someone to take a post-draft chance on him. The day of the single-RB team is about over, and every team can use a fast backup.

zlionsfan said...

Also, you can probably just follow the Wikipedia page for the draft and get everything you need to know while still enjoying a normal Friday evening. (They do an excellent job of documenting trades, although it doesn't always happen during the round.)

Kodiak33 said...

I think Purdue was ranked 7th in drafting value. I can't remember the website.

Row Boilers said...

J - great point. I only cared this year because I can't stand to see ND clowns get more than they deserve.

zlionsfan said...

Short off the board to Carolina at #12 in the second round. They must have liked him, because he's a little bit of a reach on for that spot in the draft.

Football Outsiders likes the Carolina DEs but doesn't think much of their DTs, which might explain the pick. I suspect Short will be competing for a starting spot right away.

James said...

ESPN's coverage of the NFL Draft is disgusting. These guys are so full of themselves. Chris Berman has become a parody. He says nothing of value anymore and his cliches are simply annoying. He's become the Bert Parks of the NFL (yes, I'm dating myself here). The shameless rooting for individual players is especially tiresome. Geno Smith, Manti Teo and Matt Barkley were their obvious favorites, and I took a little perverse pleasure that none of them were drafted in the first round.

Some years ago a Michigan QB was drafted in the low 100s. He knew he was better than that. Draft Day was worse than a root canal for him. He actually cried at one point, thinking he'd let his family down. Yet the right team found the right guy, and Tom Brady will certainly be a first ballot Hall of Famer. I truly hope that Matt Barkley uses "disrespect" for motivation as Brady did. Hopefully Akeem Shavers ends up with a team close to Purdue: Cincy, Indy, Chicago, or Cleveland.

WinamacBoiler said...

James- ditto for Rodgers in '04.

J Money said...

Well.... Rogers went 24th overall -- still first round -- and was the second QB picked overall.

Brady went SIXTH round, 199th overall.

While everyone makes the Rogers thing out to be this huge slight, the guy still went in the first round.

J Money said...

Lotta good info in here from zlions...

Share the knowledge, son!

Kodiak33 said...

Rogers was mainly pissed because his favorite team (49ers) passed him up for Alex Smith.

It worked out well in the end for both, but not for a few years.

conk said...

I boycott ESPN from the final buzzer of their college basketball coverage to the kickoff of the first college football game. Especially can't stand the massive draft coverage.

21 Boiler pro's out there right now? It's time that Purdue's win column and bowl trophy room reflect the level of talent that has come through this program from Tiller to now. BTFU!

zlionsfan said...

Other things about the 2000 draft I didn't realize until just now:

-- Two picks after selecting Brady, the Patriots took David Nugent. He obviously didn't have the same kind of career, but did get a ring with the 2001 Patriots.
-- With pick 224, the Packers drafted Mark Tauscher, who would start 132 games for them (all but the first two he played). Unfortunately p-f-r doesn't make this easy to find, but that's a really good return on a 7th-round pick. The rest of that round was basically nobodies and Jacksonville LB Danny Clark ... yeah, I don't recognize the name either, but he started for 8 seasons.
-- Other sixth-round picks: Marc Bulger, Neil Rackers, Paul Edinger, Dhani Jones, Adalius Thomas, Robaire Smith. This is why you do not want to be a GM.

It's actually 23, with Short being drafted and Painter landing with the Giants, presumably to hold a clipboard and remind Eli not to get hurt. (Painter's probably a nice guy, but I didn't see anything from him, either at Purdue or in Indianapolis, to suggest he could be a competent starting QB in the NFL.)

Let's not get too excited, though. Maryland has 26. (Maryland??)

Boilergal said...

Gag! It amazes me the legs that the "Rodgers was disrespected" story gets... Every single year we get to see drawn-out profiles on every network that ever shows a Packer game about poor little Aaron plays with a chip on his shoulder because he was too short to be heavily recruited, then he didn't get drafted high enough, then he didn't play right away! What a freaking baby! Maybe his $65M guaranteed money (or whatever the number is) can put that storyline to bed forever!!

zlionsfan said...

One more note: for those of you who don't follow Purdue Athletics on Facebook, three more Boilers are in NFL camps ... Josh Johnson in San Diego, and Robert Marve and Akeem Shavers in Tampa Bay.

Yeah, the Rodgers thing is sports revisionism at its worst. Rodgers didn't start for the same reason that Hasselbeck never played in Green Bay: the incumbent was a future first-ballot Hall of Famer with an ego the size of the Hall of Fame. When you have a guy like that at QB, you don't bother looking for a QB. Brady would have sat behind #4 as well.

J Money said...

Brady DID sit behind the legendary Drew Bledsoe and only got to play once Mo Lewis about put a hole in Bledsoe. Of course, some rumors say Belichick was looking for a reason to play Tawwmy Brady.

Zlions, you have enough for a couple posts in here!

zlionsfan said...

I should probably do something about that. Brain, start researching ...

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

But we'll put aside our dislike for the fanfare around the NFL draft to talk about a few Plumber Parsons Green prospects from Purdue, since we were asked by a couple people so... fine. We're here to serve.

Erica Palm said...

Thanks this one is great. Well... that's interesting but to be honest i have a hard time figuring it... wonder how others think about this..
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