Time for another installment of NFL News and Notes where I bring you some of the best draft related articles around the web.
One of my favorite Draft writers on the web is New Era Scouting’s Matt Miller Who calls it like he sees it. Miller views Luke Kuechly as a third round prospect and breaks him down here.
Miller summarizes him:
Best Fit: 4-3 MIKE
Kuechly’s success in the NFL will be based solely on how well the defensive line in front of him plays. NFL guards, fullbacks and tight ends will dominate Kuechly at the point of attack. He is not the type of downhill linebacker who will crash the gaps and make plays at the line of scrimmage. Instead, he’ll fade back and make plays three, five or seven yards down field.
NFL Comparison: James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams
Unlike Laurinaitis, Kuechly doesn’t show the strength to be an every down player in the NFL. Both players left college with loads of hype, but talent evaluators correctly saw that Laurinaitis was limited athletically and would need considerable help from his defensive line if he were to ever become even serviceable at the position.
I’ll respectfully disagree about his value. Third round is too harsh for me, I’ve written more than once that to me this draft class is weaker than many at the top, but Kuechly to me is still a late first round talent at worst.
Seahawk’s Draftblog’s Rob Staton has some pretty good connections to the Seattle Seahawks in his latest mock he has the Seattle Seahawks selecting Brock Osweiler the Quarterback for Arizona State University.
The tape doesn’t lie and there’s a lot to like about Osweiler. If Christian Ponder is good enough to go here, so is this guy.
Staton’s the first one to suggest that Osweiler could go to the Seahawks, though during the year in a mock I projected Osweiler as a potential first round pick, many are not aboard that train yet. Osweiler has Big Ben like ability. Interesting mock: Alshon Jeffery and Quinton Coples fall to the very late first round. Staton also loves Dwight Jones the WR from North Carolina
The other nugget from Staton is a breakdown of what the signing of Joe Philbin means for the Miami Dolphins
If the Dolphins do eventually sign Flynn (no guarantee) to work in an offense akin to what he’s used to in Green Bay, it seems unlikely they’ll make a bold move up the board to draft Robert Griffin III. Having committed to Flynn, spending a first round pick on a quarterback would be counter productive unless they want to start with a consistent quarterback controversy. Although many people assume a team will trade into the top-three to draft RGIII, I always felt Miami were the most likely candidate if it was going to happen. They need an identity, a spark on offense. Now it appears that spark will be dependant on trying to emulate the scheme in Green Bay rather than a ticket-selling playmaker to galvanise the franchise.
This could be Miami’s only real option. Can they really coast through free agency investing in the possibility that nearly two months later they can work out a deal for Robert Griffin III? Considering they will own the #8 or #9 pick, the Dolphins front office may simply feel they can’t risk it. By appointing Matt Flynn’s offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach, they not only have a strong bargaining chip for his services in March, but they aren’t pinning their hopes on a deal that’ll be out of their hands. At least by going the Green Bay route they can control this situation.
I think there’s definitely a connection between Flynn and Philbin and Philbin knows Flynn can work his offense, it’s an intriguing possibility I’m sure we’ll read about a lot more during the off-season.
Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer takes a look at 15 prospects to watch out for during the off-season.
Not surprisingly he highlights four defensive players (out of five “Panthers targets”) for the Panthers. Keep that in mind in your mock drafts, the other one OT Riley Reiff.
The Panthers have more pressing needs. But given Jeff Otah’s injury history and Jordan Gross’ age, it might be a good idea to get a tackle to protect the franchise’s future, i.e., Newton. Reiff (6-6, 300) started three years in Kirk Ferentz’s pro-style offense.