Twitter Q&A; - Volume 2
By: Sideline Scouting Staff
April 14, 2010
Jared Odrick: 3-4 DE Candidate
Andrew_Burns @sidelinescouts With so many teams switching to the 3-4, are teams now going to have trouble finding enough of the right personnel?
Switching to a 3-4 can be both a curse and a blessing for many teams heading into the draft. The most glaring negative is the lack of true nose tackle candidates in a given draft. Nose tackles are often a hot commodity because of their scarcity and extreme value as the keystone to a good 3-4 defensive line. On the other hand, switching to a 3-4 can also expand a team’s versatility at defensive end. As we’ve seen so many times in the past, many three-technique defensive tackles fit well at defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. Jared Odrick is one such tackle in this year’s draft that fits that description. Geno Atkins is also a likely 3-4 defensive end candidate, but can play in a three technique in a 4-3 front. However, 3-4 linebackers can be very different from 4-3 linebackers in the sense that size and pass-rushing capabilities are key in a 3-4. So many pieces are interchangeable in different fronts, but finding the right personnel is essential. Brandon Graham is a potential first-round pick with versatility in that he can play defensive end in a 4-3 or outside linebacker in a 3-4, but many would argue the opposite would prove to be an underutilization of his abilities. The draft is not a feast-or-famine situation for 3-4 teams, but front offices need to re-evaluate players based on differing schemes. Nose tackles are a necessity in any 3-4, and are more difficult to come by in the draft (which raises their stock based on need), but players that fit at 3-4 defensive end are conceivably easier to find. In the same sense, different linebackers fit various needs, so 3-4 linebackers are not necessarily harder to find than those that would fit a 4-3 system. With more teams switching to a 3-4 scheme, more teams will be looking for players to fit their system, but finding the right personnel won’t necessarily be more difficult than it would be for a team utilizing a 4-3 defensive front.
--Justin Onslow

Jimmy Clausen
seahawkaddicts @sidelinescouts Why is Jimmy Clausen's draft stock so hard to predict? Seeing him everywhere from 5th to mid-2nd round.
This is a great question because nobody knows where Jimmy Clausen may end up on draft day. The Redskins seemed like a good landing spot at #4 until they traded for Donovan McNabb. The Chiefs and Seahawks seem like they could also work, but both have invested heavily in their current options. That leaves him falling out of the top six. The reason he’s predicted anywhere from fifth to the second round is because there isn’t a very high demand for first round quarterbacks in this year’s draft. There is little doubt that Clausen is the number two QB in this year’s class, but most teams have viable options at the quarterback position right now and need to fill other holes in their roster. What is likely to happen to Clausen is if the Raiders and Bills pass on him, he’ll fall into the twenties where a team could trade up to take him, similar to the Brady Quinn situation in 2007 where he began to fall and the Browns traded up to get him. That being said, I don’t think there are many questions about his actual draft stock, he’s the number two QB in this year’s class and is the most pro-ready of the bunch, where he gets drafted will depend on how many team’s are comfortable with their current QB situation.
--Ian Kenyon

Derrick Morgan
TitansMCM @sidelinescouts The Titans will be looking at DEs in the 1st. Who will be the better pro between Morgan, JPP, Graham, Dunlap & Griffen?
Graham is probably out of the picture for the Titans, he would be a better fit as a linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. We have Morgan at the top of our defensive end rankings, with Pierre-Paul locked in the #2 slot. Morgan is the safe pick for better pro while JPP is the potential pick. Morgan has a very good combination of size, strength, speed and athleticism and had a very productive junior season with 12.5 sacks for Georgia Tech. He’s more polished than Pierre-Paul but does not have as much upside. Pierre-Paul will probably be overdrafted because he’s an athletic freak with the upside to post 14-15 sacks each season. He could draw interest as high as #8 to Oakland, as his 4.69-40 speed makes him very difficult to block off the edge. However, I’d choose Morgan between the two because of Pierre-Paul’s inexperience (one FCS season with six sacks) and higher bust potential. He still has very raw instincts, his stance and technique needs work, and will take some time to develop. I rank Griffen before Dunlap, but both have a lot to do in order to maximize their potential.
--Craig VanderKam

Russell Okung
lionsinwinter @sidelinescouts Could the Seahawks be looking to move up for either Clausen or Okung?
In a word... "no". Even though they recently traded with the San Diego Chargers for third stringer Charlie Whitehurst, Seattle has publicly stated that they might draft a Quarterback in the 2010 NFL Draft. Even if this were true, I doubt they would need to move up beyond their spot at #6 to get Jimmy Clausen. He'll be there. Considering Russell Okung has a good chance of being selected by the Washington Redskins as a replacement for Chris Samuels, moving up for his services, if indeed that is what the Seahawks wanted to do... would be a must. However, the move from #6 in the first round to #2 or even #3 would cost them at least their 2nd rounder and they are without a third round pick in the 2010 Draft. With another real need at Free Safety, it's unlikely that Carroll and crew will trade away one of only three picks in the first three rounds. They will likely stand pat and either take Clausen or select between Bryan Bulaga or Trent Williams... or maybe Anthony Davis at #14, if he makes it past San Francisco.
--Rob Peckham

Kyle Wilson
JCVH60 @sidelinescouts Is there a chance Kyle Wilson will slip to Detroit's pick in round 2?
It would be pretty surprising if Kyle Wilson was available in the second round. There are a lot of teams, starting with the Steelers at #18, that are in need of a cornerback and on most boards Wilson has solidified himself as the #2 corner in this class, behind Joe Haden. There is a slim chance he could fall to #34 if teams in front of the Lions are higher on Alabama’s Kareem Jackson, Rutgers’ Devin McCourty and Florida State’s Patrick Robinson, but it appears unlikely Wilson will fall that far on draft day.
--Scott Porter

Reshad Jones
tymeblind @sidelinescouts With the Bears in desperate need at safety but not having a first or second, what quality of safety will be there?
The Bears will have a lot of options at safety in the third round. The safety value is pretty good in the first three rounds, and then dips off. Any of the following, but probably not all, could be there for the Bears: LSU’s Chad Jones, Kansas’ Darrell Stuckey, Georgia’s Reshad Jones, Florida’s Major Wright. Another possibility is Nebraska’s Larry Asante, who may fall some due to his poor 40-time and Georgia Tech’s Morgan Burnett, who I see as a project but a lot of teams appear to be high on. Ideally, I think the Bears would grab Reshad Jones who can cover well, has good range, good ball skills and is a good wrap-up tackler. The Bears have struggled with cover safeties so it is vital they draft a safety who can cover, opposed to a safety who brings the knock-out punch. They already have some of the latter, but they really need to go get a cover safety who can make a play on the ball.
--Scott Porter

Golden Tate
Dascenzo @sidelinescouts Who goes first, Jimmy Clausen or Golden Tate?
Clausen. Prior to the Donovan McNabb trade to Washington, many expected Clausen to free-fall anyway and with quarterback no longer a high priority for the Redskins it makes Clausen falling even more likely. Seattle has invested a lot in Charlie Whitehurst and seems unlikely to take a quarterback in round one. Clausen seems like a no-brainer to me to Buffalo at #9 but the Bills have plenty of needs and might opt for an OT, WR, LB or NT instead. If Clausen makes it past the Bills then he will probably experience a Brady Quinn or Aaron Rodgers type of fall. San Francisco is one option in the mid-first round but they seem committed to former #1 overall selection Alex Smith. The most likely scenario for Clausen in this scenario would be Arizona at #26 or Minnesota at #30. Most teams have a second round grade on Tate; although the Jets at #29 were a possible landing spot, the acquisition of Santonio Holmes will allow them to add to their pass rush with their first round pick.
--Craig VanderKam

Earl Thomas
Texan Will @sidelinescouts What is the probability of Earl Thomas falling to the Texans at 20? Is this an actual possibility?
I think there is a chance that Earl Thomas is available for the Texans at pick 20. He could be considered as high as #7 to Cleveland (if Berry is off the board), in our last mock draft we had the Jaguars taking him at #10, but its looking more likely that they will be addressing their defensive line. After the Jaguars, the only possibilities for Thomas would be Denver, San Francisco and Seattle but none would be a sure bet. Denver needs to find a linebacker and replace Brandon Marshall so they’ll focus on those two positions. San Francisco definitely needs to address the offensive line and might consider a corner like Joe Haden if he is available. Berry is a possibility at #6, but if they go that route they need to solidify their offensive line or add a playmaker on offense with their next pick. It is definitely a possibility that Thomas is still available at #20.
--Ian Kenyon





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Jake Locker
QB, Washington
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WR, Georgia
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CB, LSU
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DE, Alabama
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DE, North Carolina
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