Neil's NFL Daily: July 19, 2013
It’s here. The final episode, the last stanza, the series’ “A Dream of Spring”. It’s not that there won’t be follow-ups — indeed, those will commence on Monday — but you get the drift.
We’ve already started the process of re-considering the “blue-chip” players, and on Monday we’ll republish any changes we’ve made to those 50-odd names currently on the list. There won’t be many, but I’ll deal with any egregious errors (sorry Brandon Marshall). I’ll also add a little more detail, some comments, and then ask for your considered feedback.
Anyway, for now, here are the Titans and Redskins. Enjoy.
For those new to the series and wanting to catch up, you can find the other teams covered to date with this handy set of links.
Charts by team:
Friday, July 19th
Tennessee Titans (Click to enlarge)
— All these receivers have the potential for so much more. At times Britt looks like he’s a certain candidate for “blue-chip” before he gets injured or goes and does something unnecessary. Wright was probably worn out from all the WR screens he ran, and Washington still looked reasonable despite a down year for him. With second-rounder Justin Hunter now joining the ranks, they just need someone to get them the ball consistently.
— It’s possible that Chris Johnson could have a big year and is under-graded, but it’s also fair to say we haven’t graded him positively as a runner since 2010 and that, by some margin, is the best part of his game. It’s clear he needs a good run-blocking offensive line in front of him and if Warmack works out, together with the addition of tight end Walker, that is what this unit will be.
— I’ve put down average for Griffin but that, ironically, is the thing he’s least likely to be. One of the most talented players at his position he takes turns playing well (2008, 2011) or terribly (2009, 2010 and 2012). Last year was so bad he’s still biting on a play-action fake from Week 5 now.
Washington Redskins (Click to enlarge)
— I feel sorry for Barry Cofield, an incredibly good player in the right scheme, and apologize for the above grade, but he is not a nose tackle. Even in the Giants’ 4-3 he was not the best player of the run and now it’s getting silly. Hopefully the Redskins won’t be in base too often.
— Orakpo is probably the next closest 3-4 OLB to being called “elite”, but coming off that injury I’m not happy to make the leap just yet. I’m simply hoping “high quality” isn’t too much of a stretch in 2013 given what he’s gone through.
— London Fletcher may have all the intangibles in the world, but unfortunately we can’t (and therefore don’t) measure those. We simply document performance, and in that regard Fletcher was very poor. Considering all games, only Rey Maualuga graded lower and only Paris Lenon was below him in run defense ranking. He missed more tackles than anyone else and only 39 of his 104 tackles were stops. He played well in 2011, so maybe he just had a blip but last season looked like a year too far to me and, while not a good one to finish on, it may have been wise to stop there.
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