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Chat: Mike Tanier (Football)

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday April 28, 2008 3:00 PM ET chat session with Mike Tanier (Football).

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Football Outsiders' Mike Tanier checks in to recap the 2008 NFL draft.

Mike Tanier (Football): Greetings, podium gazers! The draft is over and the grades are in. Everybody gets an A+! Hey, when no one has even put a helmet on yet, it's easy to be optimistic. Mike Tanier from FO here, talking draft and pimping Pro Football Prospectus, which is being assembled by elves as we speak.

Craig K (Fayetteville, AR): Please tell me these past few months have given the Saints enough talent to get deep into the playoffs!

Mike Tanier (Football): Their secondary got better, but that's not saying much. Ellis and Pressley were good D-line additions; I think Porter is a reach who won't help this year. Vilma was a good pickup. The Saints really should win the NFC South based on their offensive talent and the upgrades on defense. After that it depends on your faith in guys like Randall Gay and Aaron Glenn at cornerback.

Darren (NY): As far as the Jets pick of Victor Ghoulston, I can only speculate that it seems to fit the team's needs well. Reading the discussion about the pick on a Jets board as an observer that's not as informed about football as baseball and had not seen Ghoulston play, I could only note the dissenting opinions (though there is always dissent on this board, and all forums). While his talent is clear, some questioned his ability to play at a star level in the NFL, with words like "inconsistent" and "stiff" being used. My question is, as a learning football fan, how much of a finished product is an NFL draft pick generally expected to be compared to a MLB pick; to what extent should I expect the Jets' coaching to remedy any such faults in Ghoulston's game?

Mike Tanier (Football): Now Gholston is no "stiff", and you know that some Jets fans on the 'net were venting because they wanted Darren McFadden. I had a chance to talk to Gholston pre-draft and to some scouts about him, and I am sure he's going to be a good all-purpose pass rusher and a good fit in the Jets system.

The biggest difference between an MLB and an NFL prospect is that NFL prospects must change roles and learn all new terms and plays as a rookie, in addition to getting up to speed with the game. In some cases, it could be like taking a AA outfielder, moving him to second base, and telling him that every other at-bat is going to be a hit and run. Or something like that. It's a pretty complex question.

Branden the Cheeky Engine (Sodor): Look what I can do!

Mike Tanier (Football): Guess you read Deadspin. Hey, it's tough saying funny things about boring old offensive linemen!

Felix Hebert (Montreal, QC): Do you think Jake Long will have a direct and major impact on the 2008 Dolphins?

Mike Tanier (Football): Yes, and I think he and Samson Satele will be the backbone of a great line in a year or two. One thing I know is that Sporano will not put him in position to fail. The Dolphins traded for blocking tight end Anthony Fasano, and they'll use him to support Long this season and keep the quarterbacks alive.

Col. Angus (Knoxville, TN): So with about 18 hours of hindsight, which team had the worst draft? It has to be the Titans, right? Did there appear to be any rhyme or reason to what the Titans did?

Mike Tanier (Football): I am not a Chris Johnson fan. I think he's a small "moves" back without many moves. Jason Jones was a good pick. I like Craig Stevens on a team that uses lots of multi-TE looks and needs a tight end who can lead block. More help at wide receiver would be nice, but this wasn't the draft to upgrade at wide receiver. The best thing the Titans did in the last few weeks was re-sign Roos. They can stay competitive on offense if they keep those two big tackles together.

I can't say who had the worst draft. I hate most of what the Lions did, as usual, but Andre Fluellen was a good choice for them.

Brecken (Chicago): Any chance on expansive thoughts on the Bears draft? (MDS may be closer). Morrissey and others ahve fun teasing the Bears that Angelo doesn't know how to draft offense. And there certainly is a track record (close to 15 years or so). This draft epitomized it - They had big needs on offense. So they admit they took their second choice at tackle (Williams over Alberts) because Williams could play now (and presumably wouldn't need to be coached sotto voce). Then rather than add the QB they desperately need... they take a RB.. then a WR... then a bunch of back-ups. They signed 2 FAs, but it appears that they're crossing their fingers. Or avoiding the choice and hoping that a FA will be there next year? What's your take?

Mike Tanier (Football): The Chicago Commodores? I like Chris Williams. Forte and Bennett aren't really impact guys. The Bears have committed a few cardinal sins in recent years in my book. They have over-committed to the quarterback who "got them there"; too much of their payroll and scheme is built around their two great linebackers, who can't help much when there are holes in the line; they are enamored with the idea of making Devin Hester an all-purpose player when he should be returning kicks and playing nickelback. I think they are a team headed in the wrong decision until they finally cut bait with Grossman. The fact that they didn't take Brohm when they took Forte just baffles me.

jedmonds15 (St. Louis): Donnie Avery: he has the speed and put up some great numbers at Houston. To me that sounds a lot like the report that I heard about Kevin Curtis when he was drafted. How similiar would you say the two are and are you as down that selection as everyone else?

Mike Tanier (Football): I have a hard time evaluating these spread receivers, and I don't see much Houston football. I saw a little Avery when I was watching Kevin Kolb games last year, and Avery looked good, but you know how that offense is: he runs a five-yard smash, a slip screen, and all this other junk, and next thing you know he has 90 receptions. He should help right away as a return man, but he may be a project at receiver. The Rams did draft two other rookie WR, and I'm a fan of having 2 or 3 young players compete for those slot roles, because everyone benefits from the competition.

TomG (Salem): While Jerod Mayo seems to be a perfect fit given his skill set, should we be concerned that the Patriots’ other selections seem to be more immediate depth than eventual starter material?

Mike Tanier (Football): You know, they went 16-0 and came within a minute of winning their fourth Super Bowl last year. I think they can be forgiven for trying to "win now." If their sandwich picks (Mayo on top of Wheatley) get them a ring this year, how bad will it be if they go 7-9 in 2011?

ajmorriso (Chicago): Did anyone get as much talent in the first two rounds as the Raiders did with Darren McFadden and DeAngelo Hall? Kansas City? Pittsburgh?

Mike Tanier (Football): Talent: yes. Headaches: yes. I really don't know what McFadden will bring and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I do know that Hall is a pain in the butt.

The Chiefs did a great job in those first two rounds. I like what the Dolphins did: Long and Merling, and they got Fasano, who was a second round pick two years ago and is better than any tight end in this draft (I count the night before the draft as part of the first two rounds).

Or (Dallas): So we passed on Mendenhall because Jones was the better complement to Barber, but then we added Choice to allow for the fact that Barber's going to want big money next year? Bah. Mike Jenkins at 25 made me throw a celebratory air-punch that injured my fist very badly, though.

Mike Tanier (Football): I think Barber and Choice would make a great 1-2 punch. Jones can do a lot of things well, but there are only so many balls to go around in the backfield, and Barber's skills match his in a lot of areas. I guess Barber is gone once the contract is up. Jenkins is a great choice: the Pac Man risk is suddenly a lot lower.

CP (Indy): Mike Hart -- steal of the draft? Good fit with the Colts offense?

Mike Tanier (Football): He's got a lot of mileage for such a small guy. I know he can catch the ball, but his experience as a receiver is limited. It's not just a matter of slipping into the flast and catching a Peyton Manning pass. They have a lot of option routes for the running back, so he will have a lot of learning to do. I do like the fact that the Colts got a real "depth" back instead of just pulling a Kenton Keith off the wire. He'll help in a 5-10 touch role.

CP (AA, Mich): Is it just me or does football really lose its shit when it comes to the Combine? They spend years watching a player in games and on film, then completely change their opinion of a player depending on what he does on one day. What am I missing?

Mike Tanier (Football): The interviews and physicals at the Combine are very useful for teams. Some of the drills can really help evaluate a kid: you know, if a tight end only caught 25 passes because of his college system, it's good to throw him a bunch of balls and watch how he catches them. Same with a linebacker: okay, he had 10 sacks as an edge runner, but let's drop him into coverage and see how he moves his hips.

I think some NFL teams talk themselves into guys at the Combine. But I know for sure that draft gurus lose their stuff after the Combine and move guys all over the place on their draft boards. We get to hear (and generate) all the hype, but most of the voices in the real war rooms are calmer, and they are taking those hundreths of a second on the track and tossing them in the circle file.

BL (Bozeman, MT): I can't remember the Chiefs ever lauded for a draft the way thay have been for this one, so can I count on you for some more flowery praise before grim reality of another miserable season at Arrowhead begins?

Mike Tanier (Football): Oh yeah. I think Dorsey can be an immediate impact guy. Albert will fill one of those gaps on the line. Flowers should start right away. Jamaal Charles doesn't excite me, because he's real angular and looks like a guy who will take 4000 hits and break in the pros, but they really did gobble up some skill position guys to sort through.

Let's face it. The Chiefs didn't have a lot of talent entering the draft. This wasn't a drop in the bucket. It was a nice 20-oz grande cup in the bucket. But there's still a bucket.

Grasspike (NC): Thoughts on the Texans draft? Duane Brown was abviously a reach, and I'm not sure about Molden and Brink, but the other picks aren't bad, and I absolutely love the Adibi pick. Please don't tell me I'm misguided...

Mike Tanier (Football): Kubiak and his staff obviously think they can work with Brown. Kubiak likes fast, athletic linemen, and Brown fits the bill, but he will need at least a year. Slaton might have been a reach, too; I like his "dangerous" element but he'll need time to adjust to a pro offense and will never be more than a 3rd down guy. Guess I'm not sold on this draft. Adibi is good, though.

wilk75 (Houston): Duane Brown seems to be a perfect fit for the Texans' new zone blocking scheme. Why the criticism of the pick?

Mike Tanier (Football): He gets real tall and he lunges and twists. You are right that the athleticism fits, but he's a poor mechanics guy. Good coaches can fix mechanics but it's often a long battle. You don't want to do that much repair work with your #1 pick

JD (CT): Mike - thoughts on the NY Giants draft?

Mike Tanier (Football): Love Philips. He fills a major need and should be a starter for years. I am not going to pretend to psychoanalyze Manningham, who can replace Toomer as the ex-Michigan guy who drops a lot of passes, but he's the kind of risk-reward player a Super Bowl team can afford to gamble on in Round 3. I think Bryan Kehl could develop into a starting Will backer: good speed and aggressiveness.

Vikings Fans Everywhere (Minnesota): Please say that Booty starts right away. PLEASE.

Mike Tanier (Football): You should see him out there sometime this year. The Vikings system should be real QB friendly, with a great line and tons of running. They really shouldn't dither around with that Jackson kid much longer once Booty learns the scheme.

Brecken (Chicago): Thoughts on Chicago WRs - I thought it interesting that they took a guy noted for good hands - that is he can catch from a variety of QBs. Hardy seemed similar as well. Given the erratic nature of Bear QBs, it seems like they've decided to get guys who can hold onto the ball (which was an issue last year). Of course Moose was known for his hands before he got here. Any stats in the works that may get at the difference between QBs and pass catchers on whose "fault" it is?

Mike Tanier (Football): Bennett does have that good hands reputation. It doesn't help when the ball is nowhere near him. There's another Bears question in the pipeline, so...

JasonC23 (Huntley, IL): Grossman and Orton and..playoffs be thwartin'? Time to start snortin'? How could the Bears not pick even one QB???

Mike Tanier (Football): My gut tells me that they are scared that Grossman would perceive any rookie QB as a threat, not as healthy competition. Also, they may think he needs all the reps, which shouldn't be the case at this point in his career. I really don't understand their overall offensive plan. I mean … Brandon Lloyd?

It's hard to evaluate anything else when so much of their system is built around hiding the weaknesses at QB.

Joseph (Metepec, Mexico): Mike, your thoughts on the Saints draft. Also, how do you like their defensive upgrades? Will Ellis, McCray, and Vilma (among others) make the secondary (look) better because of a better pash rush?

Mike Tanier (Football): Again, the upgrades aren't bad. They really should compete for the division. Sometimes, the easiest way to improve the secondary is to actually improve the secondary, and I would have liked to see them take a CB earlier.

Joseph (Metepec, Mexico): I'm not a Chiefs fan, but how many starters do you see them coming out of this draft with? (Obviously Dorsey and Albert--not sure who else they drafted)

Mike Tanier (Football): Dorsey, Albert, and Flowers could all be starting on opening day, or in the case of Flowers working the nickel and being on the field 60% of defensive snaps.

Eric J (Norman OK): Who were your favorite players picked on Day 2?

Mike Tanier (Football): Andre Fluellen. Oniel Cousins. It's easy to cheat and pick Round 3 guys, because I am so used to Round 3 being Day One. I like JD Booty in the fifth round and Xavier Adibi and Beau Bell in the fourth.

phillyangst (Virginia): Are the Iggles front office cheap or frugal? And will the number of undrafted free agents determine how many of the recent draft picks make the roster?

Mike Tanier (Football): The Eagles do spend money, they just do it a different way, extending contracts on guys they like in mid season. And they used to always move up to take guys they liked. I really wanted them to take a safety (Phillips) or a corner in the first round, maybe resolving the Lito situation in the process.

Ditka (Chicago): Dream with me that the addition of James Williams and John Tait's move to RT moves the Bears up in Adjusted Line Yards, and as a result, Cedric Benson becomes a 1200-1400 yard runner. Would that make the Bears a playoff contender in the weakest division, or are there too many holes to plug?

Mike Tanier (Football): Too many holes. And how is the North the weakest division? The Packers are still strong, the Vikings are a QB away, and the Lions ... ok, they are bad. Anyway, Benson could grind out 1400 yards. That's not going to get you anywhere when you can't throw the ball.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Most productive draft-day trade packages of the weekend?

Mike Tanier (Football): I liked the Fasano and Ayodele move the Dolphins did. I was mad when the Eagles traded down but will be happy next year. It wasn't a draft day deal, but the Jared Allen deal helped both the Vikings and Chiefs. And all of the Ravens dealing worked out for them: they got players they wanted in the places they wanted.

jphan44 (medford MA): do the additions of phillips and thomas mean that either mcquarters or madison won't be back next year? the g-men secondary seems awful crowded if everyone is healthy

Mike Tanier (Football): Madison just turned 34. He had a fine career and can still play a role, but not past this season. Phillips fills a big need at safety. McQuarters is 32 and not that great a return man. I would probably keep Madison over him. I don't think they drafted Thomas to contribute right away.

Mini-Ditka (Chicago): Given that our team hasn't given us much to cheer for, does the fact that Green Bay keeps drafting QBs give us something to gloat about?

Mike Tanier (Football): No. You should be drafting quarterbacks. And really, they drafted Rodgers a few years ago and Brohm this year: both decent prospects, both at the right time in the draft. That's not like the Lions and their WR fetish.

MarinerDan (San Francisco): What is your take on the Seahawks' 2008 draft? Tin Ruskell has a particular style -- take long-term starters at elite schools with few, if any, character question marks -- but is Lawrence Jackson really worth a first round pick? What about the TE from Notre Dame?

Mike Tanier (Football): Someone else asked about Jackson. I saw him as a guy who got a lot of clean up sacks in a very good program. He's not a superior athlete or a super-creative pass rusher, so I am not real high on him. I lost sight of Carlson last year, but what I saw in 2006 looked like a good West Coast TE, the kind the Seahawks have lacked for years.

Will (Iowa): I know that criticism of them is not allowed unless on moral terms (Spygate) but what the hell is New England doing? Many of their pics look to be guys they don't actually want to make the roster/pay.

Mike Tanier (Football): I think they want to make those OLBs they drafted duke it out in camp and see who can play. Take a look at their backup QBs, and the O'Connell pick makes sense. The lack of offensive linemen is strange, though.

Erik (NJ): Did Carolina give up too much to move up and take Otah? Will the 2009 #1 they gave the Eagles end up as a Top 10 pick?

Mike Tanier (Football): I think that was a lot to give up for a solid-not-spectacular line prospect. They've really done a lot of work in the offseason but I am having a hard time seeing what it adds up to. If DJ Hackett can stay healthy, maybe this turn out to be a great offseason for them.

Early projections here at FO offices have the Panthers as a middle of the pack team. I'll buy that. They should definitely be able to play some power football and keep games close.

Tim (Brooklyn): Mario Manningham got a 6 on the Wonderlic?!? Now, I don't know all there is to know about that test, but it seems like that score is in the neighborhood of your typical ficus plant. Is he really that dumb or is his refusal to even try to get a good score reflective of his "makeup" issues?

Mike Tanier (Football): Never met the kid, but everything I hear and read suggest that he isn't another Steve Young. The word out of his interviews wasn't really encouraging.

tim (brooklyn): Are low Wonderlic scores something to be concerned about? I'm thinking of Manningham's 6 -- that's where I'd expect the leftover Chinese food in my fridge to score. Is this something teams think about?

Mike Tanier (Football): Everybody has a Wonderlic of 6 joke! I think they worry about a ridiculously low score like that, and when they interview a kid they can tell if he's a little slow on the upkeep. It matters more, of course, for a QB or a MLB than for a defensive tackle. Again, the Giants have the luxury of putting him on the bench, getting him help with the playbook, creating a real small role for him this year, and seeing what happens. A third round pick is a small investment for his overall talent.

Brecken (Chicago): The converse of the Bears of course is Green Bay. Thye add not 1 but 2 QBs in the draft, seemingly the same "couldn't pass up the value" questions as how they got Rogers. What do you think of that? In today's NFL is it OK to stockpile like that and avoid more immediate needs (like a nickel CB to go along with a replacement for CB)?

Mike Tanier (Football): Yeah, forget Flynn a few moments ago when I was joking with mini Ditka. I hate having 2 rookies on the team at QB because the reps are limited and one guy will get screwed. Take a look at the roster behind Rodgers and you see they needed bodies. Most teams would have gotten and old guy who only needs a few reps to be ready, but that's not what the Packers did.

Danny Boy (Landover, MD): how do you think the Redskins did? Would'nt Groves or C.Campbell be the better pick in the 2nd round over Fred Davis considering the old weak D-line and OLB's?

Mike Tanier (Football): I probably would have taken Campbell over Davis.I do like the fact that they grabbed two wide receivers who might actually work the middle a little. The Davis thing would make sense if he was more of a blocker like Craig Stevens. Now it seems like they have Cooley and Budget Cooley.

Brecken (Chicago): Thoughts on the Eagles by now? Would you have liked them moving up 2?

Mike Tanier (Football): I wanted them to take somebody where they were. I am happy we got Booker in a trade, because he can play a role on special teams and as a mini Westbrook. I just want to see the money they are saving spent somewhere ... maybe to appease Lito so we can enter the season with the best CB's, 3-deep, in the NFL.

pkeffer (Ottawa, ON): Any thoughts on Colt Brennan and whether you think he will play in the league?

Mike Tanier (Football): Wasn't impressed with Brennan when I saw him. Lots of little soft passes to wide open receivers in a spread. Doesn't have great arm or top-notch accuracy.

phillyangst (Virginia): I think the Iggles wanted to move up for OT Clady or Williams. Just like last year when they tried to move up for one of the safeties. Who do you think they were after? Do you agree that the Iggles try to rob other teams blind when trading? (i.e. Carolina)

Mike Tanier (Football): Clady and Williams both sound like Reid picks. Heckert said today that they were seriously considering Otah. I don't think they try to rob teams; heck, last year we were supposedly robbed by the Cowboys. The Feeley-to-Dolphins deal a few years ago was robbery, but the Dolphins had it coming at that point.

Brecken (Chicago): Thoughts on the Vikings? It seems like it made sense to get some kind of back-up QB to Jackson given his issues. But they went with the immobile guy. Do you think it makes sense to go with different styles? (or is it more BPA)?

Mike Tanier (Football): The only time the "get a scrambler to back up a scrambler" strategy makes sense is when the guy you are targeting is someone you like anyway, or when the whole scheme is built around QB mobility, like the Vick system in Atlanta. The Vikings are a West Coast team that does some designed running, not a rollout-type team. I expected them to pull the trigger earlier.

D (Champaign, IL): "Anyway, Benson could grind out 1400 yards. That's not going to get you anywhere when you can't throw the ball." The Bears could always resort to the '05 strategy of the "run the ball at the line three times and make the defense and special teams do all the work".

Mike Tanier (Football): The division is tougher. The defense isn't as good. Do you really want to try to duplicate that strategy?

CNB (San Francisco): Mike, please allow an attempt at defense for Oakland: As you said with Miami in Audibles, "Turn your decent unit into a strength first." Drafting McFadden increases the chances that either Jordan or Rhodes will be traded/cut. An improved running game allows the Raiders to control ToP better, taking a little pressure off of their defense. Sure, it's not the same impact as drafting Dorsey or Ellis, but it's not a *total* stretch, is it?

Mike Tanier (Football): It's not a super stretch. The Raiders have a lot of RBs, but are any of them really impact players? I still would have taken Ellis.

Brecken (Chicago): How about the look on the Jets fans when they traded up at end of the second round? They were thinking QB! Then the TE comes out and they're all too dazed to Boo...

Mike Tanier (Football): Why do those poor people show up every year to get their hearts broken?

Devin (Green Brook, NJ): As a Jet fan, I have an instinctive dislike of drafting a TE in the first round. On the other hand, they liked the guy better than any of the WR, which sounds promising, if also a bit unrealistic. Other NY-area question: Does anybody leak more than the Giants? Everybody knew they wanted Williams, and this isn't the first time (Shockey comes to mind)

Mike Tanier (Football): You have post Kyle Brady Stress Disorder. Or maybe Doug Jolley Disease. I think the Jets had other needs and there were a lot of other tight ends running around the draft. I don't think the Giants leak more than any other team, though there are some teams (the Eagles) who are completely unpredictable.

zgeems (Philly): In some mock drafts (including FO's) Don Connor was a first rounder. Why/how did he fall so far?

Mike Tanier (Football): Small, not super fast. I think he is going to be a fine player

Nineball (Boston): Any guess as to where Shaun Alexander ends up?

Mike Tanier (Football): Dunder Mifflin. He's very washed up, and I think 32 teams know it.

ipulse (mass): Kevin Smith - a chance to say something nice about the Lions? Or not?

Mike Tanier (Football): Hey yeah, let's take a kid with 900 carries. No way that can backfire. Three years from now, they'll release him the way they released Kevin Jones, after a bunch of injuries and before he gets a chance to complete his contract. Even the names sound the same.

jack (springfield, OH): thoughts on the browns' second-day exclusive draft bonanza? i see you like bell. what kind of value did we get? did we make a mistake by not taking a corner?

Mike Tanier (Football): A good effort for a bunch of late picks. I like Bell. Martin Rucker goes back to my Jets comment: here's a good H-back type who can catch and he is out there in the 4th. Keller is better, but by how much?

Justin Zeth (Altoona, PA): The four positions the Steelers least needed to upgrade were, roughly in order, QB, RB, LB and WR. So naturally with four of their first five picks they draft -- a RB, a WR, a LB and a QB/WR. And it's not like these were value picks. When they had one hideous, glaring need, and did nothing to address it outside a fourth round tackle, that's an F-minus-minus, right?

Mike Tanier (Football): I'm sorry, are you upset with the Steelers draft?

Justin Zeth (Altoona, PA): OK, I'll ask a little more politely: Could you explain what the Steelers might have been thinking, spending their top picks on iffy talents at positions they don't really need to upgrade and mostly ignoring their horrendous offensive line?

Mike Tanier (Football): I like Mendenhall and Sweed, but yeah, they should have grabbed some O-line help.

Eddie (Midwest): As a Lions fan, is there any reason for me to think Gosder Cherilus will be anything more than a mediocre right tackle?

Mike Tanier (Football): He might be a very good right tackle. But I don't think he'll ever be a left tackle. You know, it's like every Lions move is just wrong by 10%. Few of them are out-and-out stupid, but each one seems to be off by 10%. Compound them all and it becomes one big uber-stupid move.

Tim (Philly): What insight can you offer into the Bills Draft? Was Hardy the #1 WR on their board?

Mike Tanier (Football): Tom Modrak is one of the smartest scouting directors out there, and their need for a big WR is pretty obvious. I like Hardy as a value pick once McKelvin is in their back pocket. Hardy doesn't have to start right away to help them: they need him in a role like Joe Jurevicius played for years.

Big Ern (Fort Worth): I've heard a few pundits say Dorsey is the best DT prospect of the last 10-15 years. Is that accurate? Is he really a Sapp-like player, or is there a better comp?

Mike Tanier (Football): Sapp is a pretty good comp. I think Russell Maryland was a better player but a good comp. Maryland would never show up in the stat sheet but would just shut down the whole middle of the field.

Justin (Milwaukee): So what do you think of the Packers draft on the whole? I think they did a great job filling in their depth chart, and still taking guys that fit their system. What are the early projections saying about where they will finish? Thanks,

Mike Tanier (Football): A lot depends on Patrick Lee in this draft. I like his size and toughness but I am not sure he's ready, and I think he's one guy they need to play an immediate role. Aaron would yell at me for talking too much about pre-cooked projections, but the early printouts are very Packer friendly.

Franklin Stubbs ((LA)): Speaking of Wonderlic tests and dumb players, I remember Devin Hester's first post game interview... We realized at that time why he didn't have a bigger role on offense or defense.

Mike Tanier (Football): His lack of "book smarts" was well known before the draft. Return kicks, my friend.

Mike (Lansing, MI): Why did you hate the Lions draft? What would you have done differently?

Mike Tanier (Football): I wouldn't have released both Kevin Jones and Duckett, so my RB need wouldn't be so glaring. I would have taken either Albert or DMQ.

cseguin (Hartford, CT): Does the Manningham pick mean the end of the Sinorce Moss era in NY?

Mike Tanier (Football): Someone else asked about Moss. There was a Sinorce Moss era? I would say the 2,3, and 4 WR spots are up for grabs and that there are lots of contenders. Manningham and Moss are both contenders.

Brian (Nashville): Chiefs: Great draft or greatest draft? Seriously, can you remember a draft that looked better on paper than this one?

Mike Tanier (Football): Off the top of my head I remember the year the Redskins took Samuels and Arrington right away. Really, the trick is to part with a great defensive end a few days before the draft so you have two high picks, don't screw them up, then bask in the accolades.

JOESAV (n.y.): BIG STEELER FAN--GIMME A GRADE WILL YA

Mike Tanier (Football): I don't like giving grades. I think the F-minus guy was a little harsh, but again, a lineman before round 4 would have been swell.

Roger Clemens (School yard playground): If I was in the NFL, where would I register on the creep meter amongst the players?

Mike Tanier (Football): I don't know. Do you have Off the Chart Intangibles?

Jay (Madison): Ravens. Flocko is going to go boffo or make us go "oh-no boller-o?" Ray Rice seems like good value but unless he can cover a wide receiver i don't see how his 10 touches will help. your thoughts?

Mike Tanier (Football): My Flacco and Rice theory is that the Ravens are trying to lure away disgruntled Eagles fans from New Jersey. You'll be happy with both picks, though you may have to cry Boller for another year.

Bob (Chicago): With the rookie pay scale the way it is, does it make any sense to pick in the first round?

Mike Tanier (Football): Yep. Most of the expense is in those first few picks, so you have to be extra careful up there. The draft is still the best way to improve your team, so you may have to pay some premium prices. The trick is to try to trade down if you really don't think the player you are taking is worth the price.

Bob (Chicago): Whats the worse trend in the draft that you are seeing?

Mike Tanier (Football): I see scouting getting much harder because of the rise of spread and spread option offenses. For a few years it seemed like many colleges were running West Coast offenses or pro style systems. With Michigan switching over, you have another big school running a gadget type scheme that makes everybody hard to evaluate. I really have a hard time scouting Spread and S-O QBs and receivers, and a lot of scouts complain about the spread option for linemen, who have these wide gaps between them and are always blocking rollouts. It is going to be like 25 years ago, when you had to take a wishbone option offensive player and figure out if Bill Walsh could use him.

Mike Tanier (Football): I am sorry for everyone whose question I did not get to, but it is time for me to bug out and get back to Pro Football Prospectus book work. Stop by Football Outsiders to talk more draft, and feel free to drop me a line if you have a really in-depth question. Take care!!!


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