Monday, August 19, 2013

Pointless Ponderings On Preseason Week 2

A few names have carried over from last week's list of players that performed well.

Paul Worrilow, again, had a rather good game.  My man-crush can continue unabated!  This week he had 6 tackles, 1 sack, and would have had a fumble recovery if a flag hadn't been thrown to negate the play.  While those numbers are down from his 12 tackle performance in week one, it's probably partially due to the starters getting more playing time this week.  It might be time to send someone to kneecap Akeem Dent, so that I can watch him play with the first team defense.  Where's Jeff Gillooly living nowadays? 

Glenn Foster followed up his 3 tackle, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, performance in week 1, with 4 tackles and 2 sacks this week.  Not bad for a player who went undrafted.  Currently, he is the third leading tackler on the Saints' roster, despite playing as a 3-4 defensive end.  As I've said before, he has athleticism that is very comparable to J.J. Watt or Mario Williams, but was just lacking the college stats to back it up.  He seems to be making up for it now.  I've probably just jinxed him.

Louis Nzegwu also continues to show promising signs, though I still wish he went to a team that played a 3-4 defense.  This weekend he added another sack, and 1 forced fumble to his stat sheet.  That brings him up to 3 sacks in the first 2 preseason games.  He's still a longshot, but a very talented one.  What would you like to bet that he gets another sack this week, playing against the Ravens' mediocre offensive tackles?

My deranged obsession ends up making me a fan of underdog teams, because they give the greatest opportunity for quality players to emerge (and then flee for better teams).  Naturally that leads me towards watching Bills' games.  Jerry Hughes was a former first round pick of the Colts, who many seem to view as a bust, but is now playing outside linebacker for the Bills.  I would argue that playing behind Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis didn't present him with a great opportunity.  He is also probably more suited to a 3-4 defense than a 4-3, and when the Colts switched to a 3-4 last year, he did produce 4 sacks while only starting 6 games.  As far as his athleticism is concerned, he had a 0.155 Kangaroo Score (very average), but an exceptional 1.038 Agility Score, while averaging 18 TFLs in his last two years in college.  This would put him in the high agility pass rusher group, and his results would have given him a 3rd round draft grade (since his total score was 0.448, which is just a tad below the 0.500 needed for a first or second round pick).  So, he may have been over-drafted, but he was still very interesting.  I wouldn't be surprised if he resuscitates his career in Buffalo.  While the computer can't really predict stardom, it does suggest that Hughes has a higher probability of succeeding than Bjoern Werner, whom the Colts took in the 1st round this year. 

Marcus Dowtin is another interesting oddball who has wound up in Buffalo.  He's more of a longshot, but worth keeping an eye on.  This weekend he had 4 tackles and 1 sack, against the Vikings.  He produced a -0.340 Kangaroo Score (which is decent for a MLB), but an excellent 1.258 Agility Score, and a 4.56 forty yard dash.  In his final year at North Alabama, where he went after getting kicked out of Georgia (where he also played quite well), he produced 115 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception, and 4 forced fumbles.  Those are rather solid numbers.  If you've ever seen him play, murderous intentions seem to be the strength of his game.  Unfortunately that seems to have carried over off of the field where he has gotten into some minor trouble.  Still, he's a very interesting player.

While Emmanuel Sanders 2 catches for 39 yards might not seem terribly impressive, he had two more very nice catches that were nullified by penalties.  If those had counted, he would have had 4 catches for 58 yards in the first half.  More importantly, he looked very good doing it too.  Sanders was one of the computer's top 5 receivers from the 2010 draft (where he was the 82nd pick), so I'm eager to see what he does with more of an opportunity, now that Mike Wallace is gone(who was a top 5 WR pick by the computer in 2009).  As a draft prospect, Sanders had a 1.144 Stat Score, a 1.109 Agility Score, while also running a 4.40 forty yard dash.  Oh, he also had a 39.5" vertical jump.  So, fast, agile, explosive, and a history of proven productivity.  Hmm, wait, now Markus Wheaton (again, highly regarded by the computer) has 52 yards on 3 receptions (plus a 9 yard reception that was nullified).  The biggest obstacle might be the Steelers' offensive line, which appears to be trying to get their QBs killed.

I've only made brief mentions of Mike James before, since I didn't really think he would get much of a shot while playing behind Doug Martin in Tampa Bay.  His draft status (189th overall pick) also doesn't help things.  Nonetheless, he did quite well this weekend, with 81 rushing yards on 16 carries (5.4 avg.), as well as 23 receiving yards on 3 receptions.  Athletically, he measures up as an okay prospect, with a 0.303 Kangaroo Score, and a very average 0.001 Agility Score (as well as a 4.50 forty yard dash while weighing 223#).  While those are okay numbers, they aren't the sort of results that grab my computer's attention, but I'm still a bit of a fan of his.  At Miami, he only had 642 rushing yards as a senior (on 147 carries), and 344 receiving yards on 30 receptions, while splitting carries with Duke Johnson.  In 2011, he was backing up Lamar Miller, and produced even less.  Despite all of this, if you watched him play in college, he actually looked pretty good.  He just seems like a good running back who has always been stuck behind another more highly touted player (and once again, in Tampa Bay, he is in the same situation).  Even if nothing ever comes of this, I think he'll provide good depth for the Buccaneers.  If Martin goes down with an injury, I'd keep a close eye on James.  He also seems like a quality human being, if that matters (it probably doesn't), so the coaches probably won't be eager to unload him.

I still don't know what to make of Aaron Mellette.  The computer loves him.  I, on the other hand, am still concerned about his relatively poor Kangaroo Score, which I feel is pretty important for a large wide receiver.  Regardless, he has now had two passes thrown his way in the preseason, and both resulted in touchdowns.  That's not a very large sample size though.  Despite my cautious pessimism, I do think he should be able to perform at least as well as Jacoby Jones, who the Ravens seem intent on having as their number 2 receiver (despite the fact that Jones sort of sucks).  If only everything I did could be weighed against the performance of the truly incompetent.  Life would be sweet.

1 comment:

  1. Your right....jones sucks.... he's a very good no.3 WR in a vertical offense.... and a very good kick returner... but he definitley not a startable receiver...