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March 22, 2022 34 mins

In this episode of the Tape Heads: Draft Season podcast, hosts Bob Wischusen and Greg Cosell discuss the tight end position and how it's evolved over the years.  Greg explains how the TE went from being a blocking position to being used as a WR.  Bob wonders if the position has gone too far away from protecting the running game and looks at Hall of Fame TE's and their numbers compared to today's player.  We look at the top TE's in the 2022 Draft including Trey McBride, Greg Dulcich, Jelani Woods, and Charlie Kolar.  Greg explains the traits you're looking for in the position and which prospect could have an immediate impact in the league.  We wrap up with some sleeper WR's that Greg has highlighted as his film study has gotten deeper.  There will be plenty of opportunity in this Draft to find a highly skilled player and prospect that will evolve into a quality player in the NFL.

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Tape Eds. It's a production of I Heart Media and
the NFL. Welcome to a brand new week and a
brand new edition of tap Eds Draft Season. Bobo Shusen,
longtime radio voice of the New York Jackson and ESPN
college football broadcaster for boy going on twenty years now.
I think it's a little scary to think about that.

(00:24):
And great cost Sells much older than me. He's been
doing this for over forty years, breaking down to tape
the all twenty two for NFL films for the better
part of four plus decades. And you know, we try
to on this podcast dig behind the draft, dig behind
the xs and ohs, dig deeper and give you a
perspective as we lead up to the draft that hopefully

(00:45):
is a as we said, a deeper dive into football
than you're going to get anywhere else. This is not
the mock draft podcast. This is more how teams put
together their board, how they evaluate positions, the whole process
that goes into it. Later on this week our episode
that will drop on Thursday, we will talk to longtime
NFL general manager or with the Jets and the Dolphins,
Mike Tannenbound. So we'll do a pretty deep dive with

(01:09):
Mike t into how he put together his board and
what his draft experiences are. But Greg, we're gonna start
this week with the tight end position because this is
a position that has gone through probably about as much
of an evolutionary process in football over the last twenty
to thirty years as any position in the sport. Right,

(01:29):
there was a time where back in the eighties, there
were some tight ends that were some big time playmakers,
and then football seemed to minimize the tight end, and
like the glory days of the wide receiver, the tight
ends became and you you know, tweaked me and brought
back horrible memories of the Kyle Brady draft with the Jets.
But like there was a time where teams seemed to
concentrate on just the blocking ability of a tight end,

(01:51):
as if it was a fullback, as if it was
an extra offensive lineman. Now we are absolutely back in
an era, even more so than ever before, of the
tight end as a skill, true skill position. So how
do you think that evolutionary process continues today and and
even factors into this draft class. There's so much to
unpack there, Bob. I mean, as you were speaking with

(02:12):
so many thoughts were going through my head, and I
just want to start with just a little football history,
because the first coach that really saw the tight end
as a detached split player and as a receiver first
was Don Corriel when they drafted Kellen Winslow back in
might have been seventy nine. Uh. Winslow, obviously, Kellen Winslow sr.

(02:36):
Uh was a very athletic tight end. There hadn't really
been an athlete quite like him yet. He might did, obviously,
uh played. I think there was Jackie Smith with the Cardinals. Uh.
But Kevin Winslow was a different breed and the old
school tight end lined up attached to the formation right
next to the offensive tackle obviously, so they looked at

(02:59):
Winslow and Joe Gibbs was on that staff. A lot
of people might not know that Joe Gibbs was on
Don Corriel's staff, and Joe Gibbs was the one who
basically said, Hey, this guy is such a good receiver.
When we put him and line him up attached to
the tight end, he just gets bumped and hit and
chucked and he can't get into his routes. And he's

(03:21):
such a good receiver. We want him to catch the ball.
So let's get him out of there, let's get him
away from the bodies, and let's split him out. And
that was relatively brand new in football, and all of
a sudden you saw the tight end as a split player.
And that was back in the day, Bob, where defenses
did not play a lot of what we now just

(03:43):
know as sub defense is meaning five defensive backs, six
defensive backs. So what would very often happen is killing Winslow.
This sixty pound dynamic athlete would split out and either
a a safety who was a strong safety in those days,
almost like a linebacker, or a linebacker would have to
go out and cover room because teams played far more

(04:05):
manned coverage in those days. And it was just a
terrible mismatch. So that's where it all started. Then we
went through the stage you talked about where you know,
a Mark Bruner from Pittsburgh is the first round draft choice.
Kyle Brady with the Jets, I believe it was nineties six, maybe,
if memory serves me correctly, is a first round draft choice.
He's essentially, you know, a smaller tackle. That's that's what

(04:28):
Kyle Brady was. But he was a top fifteen pick
and then all of a sudden, we now seneer of
football where it's spread offense in terms of formation, and
tight ends have to be receivers. And I'll stop and
when you jump in, because there's a really another important
element to this, but that's where we are in the
NFL now with tight ends who are seen as valuable,

(04:49):
they must be receivers first, and they must be able
to be split from the formation. Has it tilted too
far back in the other direction where they don't value
the blocking ability enough, And there are teams that might
pay for that a little bit because it's it's it's
tilted so far now back towards basically a lot of

(05:09):
tight ends just being big slot receivers. Well, now you
get into the run game and the nature of NFL
run games, which years ago we're all conventional in the
sense that the quarterback was under center. Now you see
so many run games where the quarterbacks in the gun,
and the run games come out of spread formations. Now
there are times in every game, and there are certainly
certain teams in the league, the Tennessee Titans, for instance,

(05:32):
with Derrick Kennery. Certain teams that want to line up
and run the ball and what we would be considered
old school run games, and then you need your tight
end as an attached blocker for the most part um.
And there are certain teams that have those kinds of
tight ends. So because teams now have two and three
tight ends on their roster and they like to have

(05:54):
one that is essentially a run blocker, but you can
also run the ball. In the NFL out of spread formations,
there's not one way to run the ball, and you're
tight end doesn't necessarily have to be an inline blocker
who's going to block either defensive ends or stack linebackers.
Your run game does not have to be that. It
is amazing looking even statistically at the tight ends of

(06:17):
old and the tight ends of today, like Ozzie Newsome,
who was obviously in his day, I mean a great,
top level Pro Bowl level tight end, and Ozzie Newsom
caught six hundred and sixty two passes in his career
for seventy yards. You have guys current day that caught

(06:40):
thirty or forty fewer balls than Ozzie Knewsome for like
two thousand more yards than he has done for his career.
It's it just shows you the evolution. Even the guys
that we think of like Kellen Winslow of the big
down the field threat, receiving, playmaking tight end back in
the seventies, eighties, even the early to mid nineties, they

(07:01):
just don't have the statistics to match up to what
the tight ends are today and how that probably affects
how teams draft defensively as well. Like we're talking about
Kyle Hamilton's being drafted as a top two, top three,
top four pick in this draft. I think one of
the biggest reasons why his position has so much more
value to it than maybe a safety would have been

(07:22):
thought of five, ten, twelve years ago, is again that
evolution back to the tight end being such a receiving
threat over the middle on so many teams and so
many of their offensive systems, and the ability for your
safety to be able to go cover one of those
guys has to be paramount, right. Yeah, Well, two quick points.
Number one, Azie Newsome was a wide receiver in Alabama

(07:44):
and they made him and the Yeah, I remember back
in whatever year that was that he came out. I
remember watching the Senior Ball and Doug Williams throwing to
Ozzy k Newsom that I think he threw two touchdowns
Azzi Knewsom in the senior ball. But anyway, to play
off your point. One of the things that is so
critical now in the NFL, and you see it with

(08:05):
almost every team, and therefore they look for tight ends
like this is teams line up when they line up
with three wide receivers what we call eleven personnel, one back,
one tight end, three wide receivers. They line up in
what we call one by three sets, meaning the tight
end is the single receiver to the short side of
the field and there's three wide receivers to the wide

(08:27):
side of the field trips, so the tight end is
what we call the boundary X on the back side
of trips. Every team wants a tight end like that
for a number of reasons. Number one, when you do that,
it gives the quarterback far more information before the snap
of the ball because of how the defense has to
match up. Because if the defense, let's say, stays with

(08:50):
the corner out there, there's a very good chance that
they're playing zone. Now it's not a pcent, but there's
a very very good chance because who's going to match
up to the inside slat receiver on trips. That means
they have to match up to a wide receiver on
the inside with a linebacker, and they don't. Teams don't
normally do that. So you want to have that tight

(09:10):
end that can split out, not just because it gives
the quarterback more information, but because he can win. You
want him to be a guy that can win versus
safeties or linebackers. Um. The Chiefs over the last two
years have been the team that's lined up in this
particular formation more than any other team. Why they have
Travis Kelsey, you mentioned Hamilton's, Kyle Hamilton's and obviously we'll

(09:33):
get to safeties you know, at some point here. But
when all said and done, now the defense, it's changed
for the defense safeties who ten years ago, fifteen, twenty
years ago were viewed as oh, you can get a
safety anywhere. That's not the way defensive coordinators think about
the safety position because you have got to match up
to tight ends. So the tight end position has become

(09:54):
a really, really important position in the way offensive coaches
build and structure their offense overall and their past game
in particular. That's Greg Cosell on Babo shoes, and not
only are we gonna take a look at some of
the top tight end prospects coming up. Next, we'll take
a look at this year's class and if your team
is a team that needs a tight end, there are

(10:15):
some good ones in this draft. We're gonna talk about
those guys coming up, but also a little bit later
on in this episode, we're gonna talk about the sleeper
wide receivers. We did an episode a few weeks ago
about the top end wide receivers and we made mention
of a couple of these guys. But there are some
wide receivers that could slip third round, fourth round, fifth round,
even that your team might be able to grab a

(10:36):
guy that turns out to be a long time starter
and a productive player for your team. So the big
time tight ends, the sleeper wide receivers that is to
come on this episode of Tapeds Draft Season. Coming right back.
We are back here on tape Heeds Draft Season Bobo
Shoes and Greg co Sell right now talking tight ends,

(10:57):
sleeper wide receivers still to come. All right, Greg, let's
dig into some of these tight end prospects, the ones
that we expect or going to be the first ones
off the board. Um, look, I'm a Jets guy. They
just went They just went out and got a couple
of tight ends in free agencies, So maybe their focus
changes a little bit. But I'm wondering if one of
these players slips a bit, does he become one of

(11:19):
those I can't believe he's still there prohibitive talents that
we have to take a little bit later on in
the draft. Let's start with Trey McBride of Colorado State. Yeah,
I think that he fits the profile of what we
were speaking about. I think he can line up in
multiple locations. I think he can be that boundary X
tight end, the single receiver to the short side of
the field. Now, he's not a great athlete. For instance,

(11:40):
when I finished watching McBride and I saw all his numbers,
you know, his measurables, what I did is I looked
up Travis Kelsey because I was just curious to see
what the comparison was. Because McBride, by the way, played
UM a lot of boundary X at Colorado State and
he made a lot of catches from that alignment. So
you saw him do that on tape. UM. Now I

(12:03):
have a c didn't play in the SEC or or
you know, one of the so called Great Great Conferences.
But he did that in college. So Kelsey's measurables, his
pre draft measurables, were better than McBride's in every area.
So McBride is not Kelsey in terms of what he
can be just as a pure athlete. But I think
McBride is the is tight end one in this draft class.

(12:26):
And I think that he can line up and be
a receiver. He can detach and split from the formation. Uh.
He was the most complete tight end prospect, uh with
his competitiveness and ability as an attached blocker, because you
do have to do that at times, um, But for
the most part, you're dealing with a guy that is
really a receiver, I think first and foremost. And I

(12:49):
think he can do that at the NFL level. He
just won't do it at the highest athletic level that
you'd like to see. Let's get to U C. L
A Side and Greg dulcinch. Oh. I find him to
be really really fascinating. Um. You know, he's probably we
not a blocker, uh, and I think you know therefore
he's not a guy you would necessarily use as an
attached player. But I think he fits the profile of

(13:13):
what teams are looking for in today's NFL. He's got
build up speed, he's got stride length, he can run
the vertical scenes. See that's the other issue, Bob. In
today's NFL, you'd love to have your tight end be
a three dimension threat. Be it a vertical threat as well,
three level threat. Uh. And he can run the intermediate crossers,

(13:33):
the deeper crossers. We saw him do that at U c.
L A another tight end that can line up in
multiple locations in the formation. And when you can stretch
the field, that changes your offense and it changes how
the defense has to play against your offense. So uh.
You know, I remember speaking to so many coaches at
the combine this year, and it's funny how the world

(13:55):
has changed with offensive football, Bob, Because the number one
thing that offensive coaches now say is the priority of
offense is explosive of plays. And Greg dolsch Is is is
the kind of receiver that can give you that. So
there's no doubt he'll play in the league. Certainly, his
snap count and target value wibly a function of team
and scheme, but his athletic and receiving traits will get

(14:18):
him in the NFL. And will make him a factor
at some point, if not as a rookie. Gelanni Woods, Virginia. Yeah,
did you do any Virginia games by any chance? I
did not. I saw them a couple of times against
teams that we were then going to have, but did
not call one of their games because this kid, you know,
I don't know if you noticed him at all. I mean,

(14:38):
this kid is over six seven and two three pounds.
He's not hard to fund, no, no, and and for
whatever it's worth, he ran a four six, which is
pretty good for a guy that size, and I think
he's just scratching the surface of what he can become
as a receiving tight end. I mean you're talking rare size,

(14:59):
good movement, good hands, body control, run after competitiveness. He
certainly doesn't have a lot of experience, so therefore he
may not be the guy that you say, hey, let's
draft him and plug him in. I think he's still
learning the tight end position as he's playing it. But
there's really a lot to like and develop. I mean,
he's a plus athlete, not a great athlete, a plus

(15:21):
athlete and stride length. Stride length is something I had
to learn over time years ago, I'd watch receivers tight ends,
you know, and I would I would look at them
and and I'd say, oh, gee, they're not really fast,
but all of a sudden, they'd eat up a lot
of ground because of stride length. And I kind of
had to learn that that's a trait. Um and he
has enough build up speed to be a factor on

(15:42):
vertical routes and crossing routes. He can post up defenders,
he can play above the rim to make tough contested catches. Um.
I think he's one of the most intriguing overall prospects
in the draft, and certainly one of the most intriguing
tight end prospects in this draft. I have a question
along those lines, but let's squeeze in, Charlie co laure
vilewa stay at the kind of double back and talk

(16:05):
maybe philosophically about how the traits that you're talking about
some of these players having fit in today's NFL. But
give us a little, you know, thumbnail on Color. Yeah,
Color is very intriguing guy because he he possesses the
kind of movement and overall athleticism that you you know,
he doesn't quite have that Um, but his size and
his length and and to me he looks bigger and

(16:27):
plays bigger than his measurables. Um. He's got great hands,
he's got a wide catching radius. Um, he makes tough catches.
You know, here's a guy that's probably not truly a
vertical threat. He's more a short intermediate threat, but he
catches everything. You Know, when I think of it of
a Charlie Kohlar, I tend to think more along the

(16:49):
lines of, let's say, is zach Ertz because I never
saw zach Ertz as a true vertical dimension. Obviously, you
can scheme up a vertical shot with any receiver at times,
but you would you would never think of zach Ertz
in the same way you think of Kelsey or or
Darren Waller or or even someone like Jared Cook who
was a true vertical player. Um. But Charlie Colars is

(17:13):
one of those guys that works the short intermediate areas
really well. He had intuitive feel for creating space to
catch the ball. So he's going to play in the league.
He's not one of those guys. It's gonna be a
top fifty pick. But I would bet whoever gets him
is gonna find out that he'll be a productive player.
Back to Woods for a second, and just philosophically with

(17:34):
the tight end position. Yeah, I mean there's look, you
come to the NFL, if you are drafted in the
top two or three rounds, they want you to immediately
come in and help and produce. I mean that's you know,
your your thought of as being taken with a high
leverage pick. But how much room is there specifically at
the tight end spot for being a project, Like how

(17:54):
much a learning curve is there in today's NFL with
the complication of the offensive systems. Yeah, all of the
different things that a tight end is now asked to do.
If you're Gelati Woods, what's out in front of you, Well,
now you've got to go as you said, he might
just be scratching the surface from an ability standpoint and
what he could be. But that can be a big

(18:15):
ask to now go to the pros and learn how
to play that position. Yeah, I think there's a lot
there because keep keep in mind that you do have
to be able to block in the run game, and
you have to be able to block in the run
game from multiple alignments, whether you're attached or flexed or split.
You have to be able to block number two. There's
going to be snaps in which you have to pass
protect as well, so you have to learn that and

(18:38):
be able to do that. Then you have to be
able to run multiple route concepts from different locations within
the formation. So you you have to learn a lot
of things at the NFL level that maybe you didn't
do very much at the college level. So tight end
is becoming a position because it's essentially an inline position

(19:00):
and a split position. It's essentially a position you have
to be a factor in the run game, in past protection,
and in the past game as a receiver. So there's
a lot of different elements that you have to be
able to execute at a pretty high level in order
to be on the field if you're going to be
tight end one for a team and not just play

(19:20):
fifteen or twenty snaps in a game. So there's much
to learn, Bob. When you talk about what does a
tight end have to do? It makes it a lot
different than tight ends you know years ago, right, And
I guess the interesting part would be to be in
one of these war rooms. If one of these extremely athletic,
gifted pass catching tight ends is on the board, you

(19:42):
need a tight end. But the scouting department is all
looking at each other, going, Guys, he can't block me, right.
He's a really gifted receiver. He has been brought up
through a college program that pretty much just asked him
to go catch the football. We don't have any tape
on him blocking anybody, right, So, now, how does that
guy's value get a that in the NFL? Because because now,

(20:05):
I mean and again, we are in an era now
where the tight end is thought of much more as
a pass catching skill position weapon type than an inline
guy that's gonna give you a sixth offensive lineman type.
So that that Yang and Yang when they're trying to
decide if they're going to draft the tight end, they
could go catch the ball, but can't block anybody. And
that's a great point. And there are tight ends in
the NFL like that now. Gerald Everett, when he was

(20:27):
in college, Gerald Everett, I don't want to say never,
but he rarely ever lined up attached next to the tackle.
He was essentially a split player. By the way, so
is Tyler Higbee. He was the same way when he
was at Western Kentucky when uh, your buddy Mike White
was the quarterback Mike White was throwing to Tyler Higby
at Western Kentucky, and when all said and done, you know,

(20:48):
Higby had to learn how to play as an attached player,
which by the way, he's done okay with the Rams,
but guys have to learn that you're starting from scratch.
You never know for certain how that's going to work out.
Some guys can do it and some guys can't. And
you know, just watching a guy on at his pro
day or at the combine hit a few bags, you know,

(21:09):
that doesn't really tell you whether he can do that
at the highest level of football. Whichever general manager that
was just calling you right now, tell him to hold on. Yeah,
they want to hear our next segment. They probably think
we just did the sleeper wide receiver segment and they're
trying to call you to pick your brain. Right. So,
if you're a general manager out there and you want
to know who to draft, say fourth round or later,

(21:30):
and find a diamond in the rough and wide receiver
that's coming up next. Greg's film study has gotten deeper,
and so his list of players takes us not only
back to the wide receivers, but some of those sleeper
prospects that are worth an extra look after the first
or second round. We will get to those guys when
we come back on TAPEDS Draft Season. Boba Showsn't Gregg

(21:52):
cosal back on TAPEDS Draft Season. All right, we hit
the premier wide receivers in an earlier episode, and as
we get closer to the draft and teams really start
to finalize their boards, we'll circle back to those guys
and talk after the pro days are all done. And
obviously the combine now in the review mirror, free agency
being over, that might change where some of those wide
receivers are being thought of. But what's never going to

(22:13):
change is if you have a player that you think
is a diamond in the rough, you have him as
a second round grade, and all of a sudden, you
may not need a wide receiver, you may not need exposition,
but that player is on the board in the fourth round,
you might be compelled to take him. And I wonder
if some of these guys were going to talk about
fit in that category. How about Tae Kwon Thornton of Baylor. Yeah,

(22:38):
I was fascinated by Taekwon Thornton because Taekwon Thornton is
a track guy as well as a receiver, and but
he's not just a track guy. And I'm gonna say
something in a minute that might blow people away, but
I'm gonna say it, but I think he's one of
the more intriguing wide receiver prospects in this draft with
his length and speed profile. Now he's got a rail
thin frame, he's six two and a half pounds. Um.

(23:03):
He maybe, along with Jamison Williams, the most vertically explosive
receiver in the class, and his track speed consistently showed
up on tape. He got on top of and ran
by corners. Now at Balord, he lined up almost exclusively
on the outside. Um. But I thought that there was
some refinement to his game as well, particularly defeating press coverage.

(23:27):
And he was competitively tough and gritty a trade almost
He's from South Florida. Almost all South Florida receivers possessed
that kind of grit. UM. So I'm watching this kid,
Taekwon Thornton, and he's really there's a physical dimension to
his game even though he's a one pounds And I'm
thinking to myself, he reminds me a lot of crysal lava,

(23:49):
but he's physically tougher than chrysal Lave. So I'm not
gonna sit here until you should be drafted before him.
But Taekwon Thornton to me, was one of the most
intriguing whiteouts I watched. And he is going to get
drafted and he's going to play in the league. Do
you think there are programs before we get to some
of these other guys where the program that they play
at becomes a little bit of a handicap for that

(24:11):
guy in terms of how they're viewed in the draft.
Like Baylor has had some explosive athletes at wide receiver,
but there have been some misses. Right now the Jets
are suffering through Denzel Mims being a second round pick.
He just hasn't produced. Um, you know, And we talked
about Baylor even you know, a few years ago, being
a program that would line up a lot of times

(24:32):
and two by two and just run a place a
half the field and the opposite side of the field.
The two receivers wouldn't even leave a line of scrimmage.
They would like they have trot like two or three
steps and just stop and go to sleep. So if
you're Tae Kwon Thornton, are you at all a victim
of the program that you play at in terms of
how the NFL views you as a player. Well, different

(24:53):
coaching staff this, you know, Dave rand Is who was
there this year at Baylor, so different offensive coordinator, different system,
you know. The one you were talking about was was
that Art Briles at the time was And I remember
Coleman was the twentieth pick in the draft with was
it Cleveland who drafted him? Um, I'm trying to remember. Um,
but he was a perfect example of that. He could

(25:13):
run fast, explosive athlete, but you didn't on tape you'd
see him half the place. He just stood there at
the line of scrimmage, you know. Um. But uh, I
think Look, I think there's no question because I've had
a lot of conversations with coaches and scouts that certain
conferences are seen at a higher level. Look, there's a
lot of coaches that would tell you they would draft

(25:34):
a backup from Alabama as opposed to Uh, I don't
want to say a number one guy, but a staughter
at you know, a school that's not in the SEC.
You know, So I think that that does factor in.
So I don't know how someone like taekwon Thornton will
be looked at. You know, let's say Taekwon Thornton played
at Ohio State instead of Chris Olave. He probably put

(25:55):
up the same numbers, And would he be seen differently
by people, you know, in the scouting and coaching community.
That's an unanswerable, but we could speculate and I would argue, yes,
he probably would, that he'd be seen the same, no differently.
I think he would be seen because of the just
the style of play in that league. I think, you know,
probably a little bit more NFL s, you know, I

(26:18):
do think that that they probably would be maybe a
few slots higher, um if he puts up those numbers,
you know, Big ten football, then maybe Big twelve football.
And I agree with that a thousand percent. And you
know what, you mentioned backups at Alabama. Since you just
said that, Let's get to this next guy who was
at one point for you know, a decent part of
his career starter at Alabama, and that's John Metchi, who

(26:39):
you know, I mean, he's got an injury that probably
puts him on this list. So where do you take
Metchi and and slot him in this draft? Well, first
of all, I think John Mitchi is a big time
prospect and and he's coming off the A c L.
So I don't know you know what that means for teams,
But to me, Mitchi is he's got the look of
an NFL wide receiver. I watched both his twenty tape

(27:00):
and his one tape, and let's assume a full record
every I mean to me, the player he reminded me
of was Robert Woods. To me, Mitchi at his core
is a route technician. He's got a great feel for
the pace and tempo of different routes. He's got a
detailed in her fine understanding of how to set up
and work corners. He knows how to get them off

(27:21):
their spot. That's what you're trying to do, particularly with
corners and off coverage, You're trying to get them off
their their spot. He has a great feel for finding
voids in zone. UM, there's a subtlety and a nuance
and apologhed to his route running. While he's not a
true vertical threat, I think his route running Bob gives
him an opportunity to get over the top at times. UM,

(27:45):
I really like John Mitchi's tape. UM, Like I said,
assuming full recovery, he won't be seen as explosive, nor
was Robert Woods coming out of USC. I believe Woods
was a second round pick. Woods just got traded to Tennessee.
But Woods has had a really, really good career. Um.
I think Mitchie can be that kind of guy, a

(28:06):
player keeping it in the SEC. That I did see
a couple of times this year which I liked a
lot was McKay polk from Mississippi State. Now, having said that,
he comes from probably the most modern day or current
day version of what we were talking about with the
how much does the system maybe warp the numbers and
affect the player we're looking at from an NFL standpoint,

(28:29):
You got the Mike Leach, you know, air raid system
at Mississippi State. But McKay polk, I thought against SEC
talent putting up those kinds of numbers. Uh, certainly worthy
of a relatively high draft choice. Yeah, and I really
like him. I didn't know anything about him. He was
one of those guys that was totally virgin territory for me.
So I put the tape on and look, obviously he

(28:49):
doesn't have great speed. I think he was timed at
four or five nine but I don't know what that
means because I cautioned people that DeAndre Hopkins and Michael
Thomas ran I think four or five seven and four
or five eight at their combines, So you know that
in of itself, Yes, So he's not a burner straight
line speed, that doesn't necessarily mean a lot. Now he

(29:12):
lined up almost exclusively on the outside to the right
side of the formation, so he's going to have to
learn how to line up in different spots, and there
is a meaningful learning curve to that. But he's got length,
he showed some detail and nuance as a route runner.
He's got really good body control and ball skills. Um.
You know, I think that this guy actually has a

(29:33):
lot of good receiving traits and maybe it takes time.
And this is where um you know, when we're going
to talk to to Mike Tannenbaum later this week, and
I'd be very curious to get his take on this
kind of thing about the learning curve for certain players,
because I think that's a big factor when teams draft
players who come from systems that don't ask them to

(29:55):
do a lot. So McKay polk, to me, has a
lot of ability and a lot to work with. But
I don't know McKay polk I obviously, so I don't
know how his learning curve and his ability to learn
will be seen. But there's much to like about him
when you watch his tape. All right, how about Calvin
Austin from Memphis. Calvin Austen, he's fascinating to watch. I

(30:20):
think he could be a guy that breaks the mold
a little bit because he's five seven, little more than
five seven, and I think he's just over a hundred
seventy pounds. But he ran a four three two at
the combine. I didn't I didn't need to see him
run a four three two. The tape told me he
was fast. Um. He lined up predominantly on the outside
at Memphis, and he beat press coverage. He understood how

(30:43):
to run routes, He attacked the ball, um, he challenged corners. Um.
I don't think this guy is a just a piece
that I don't want to use the word gimmick, but
I don't think this guy is just a situational piece.
I think he can be more than that. And I
hate to throw the name Tyree kill out ty because
a little bigger man, But I think in the right situation,

(31:07):
Calvin Austin could really be a dynamic, explosive receiver for
our fantasy fans out there. I'm not suggesting he's going
to catch ninety five or a hundred balls, but I
think he's much more than just a situational player that
you throw out there just to run one or two
routes and maybe running jet sweep Bob. I think he
can be much more than that despite the five eight

(31:28):
a hundred seventy pounds and a guy you actually brought
up who I had multiple times this year calling games
for ESPN as well. You brought this guy up when
we were talking about the primetime receivers, right like the
guys we think that could go in the first or
high in the second round as a sleep. I mean
he jumped out at you as a sleeper in relation
to those guys. And that's Alec Pierce from Cincinnati. Really

(31:52):
productive player. Yeah, so you've seen him then, Alec Piers, Yeah,
multiple times. Yeah. I don't know what you thought of him,
but I think you throw it, he catches it. I
mean that's pretty much. He just finds a way to
make a catch. I mean he plays big and long
and fast with his stride length. He has really good
body control and hands to make contested catches. I think

(32:12):
he's a factor on those kinds of throws. He's a
red zone factor. I thought at the top of his
route stem he had a sense of separation, quickness and burst.
There was a powerful feel to his movement. He was
two eight pounds at the combine, but there was a
powerful feel to his movement. I mean, you're dealing with
a guy whose profile is stride length, body control, physical competitiveness, hands. Um.

(32:36):
You wouldn't call him purely sudden or explosive. But he wasn't. Yeah,
he's not twitchy, but he certainly wasn't slow. Um. I
gotta tell you. And this will come, of course as
a big, bold controversial take. I never think of myself
as making bold controversial takes, Bob. I think of myself
as watching the tape and drawing conclusions from tape study.

(32:56):
But I liked Alec Pierce more than I like Drake London. Wow,
based on tape, didn't I might be misremembering this, But
didn't you bring up an Quan Bolden's name when we
were talking about Pierce? Maybe when we had this conversation
about like just that, maybe not the the explosive run
away from you athlete, but just big and strong and

(33:17):
can go challenge a defender and make a catch in
almost any circumstance. Yeah. I might not have brought up
Bolden with Pierce. I might have brought up Bolden with
some others, but because Pierce he ran really well Bolden.
I was at the combine when Bolden, by the way,
ran a fourth seven too, and there was an audible
sigh in the dome that this guy could not play
in the NFL because I think they Yeah, so you know, again,

(33:40):
we we've probably discussed that before, but that's why forty
times can be very misleading. But I just really like
Alec Pierce's tape. Um, I think he's a pro. Again,
as you've said many times, we're not here too for
me to say where a guy is going to get drafted.
I have no idea, but um, I think Alec Pierce
will play in the league, and I think Alec Pierce

(34:00):
will be a good pro wide receiver. Well, those are
great guy to keep. If you're a football nerd, like
we are, your eyes on uh day two, even day three,
you know, over the weekend of the draft, because you're
you're gonna see some of these names pop up and
if they fall on the draft board for your team,
Greg's telling you should be happy and speaking of, you know,

(34:21):
formulating the draft board. We're gonna come back on Thursday
and be joined by a former NFL general manager, Mike Tannenbaum,
ran the Jets, ran the Dolphins. How does he go
through the evaluation process. We'll talk prospects with him, perhaps
his biggest hit and maybe his miss in his drafting
days as well. So Mike T joins us in our
Thursday episode. Hopefully you will listen, you will rate, you'll subscribe,

(34:45):
and you'll join us on Thursday. Thanks so much for
being a tape. It
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