Today we give you part two of a great 2012 NFL Draft podcast, recorded in studio by our own Davis Hsu and Derek Stephens. This 37-minute segment focuses on linebackers, a position of obvious need for the Seahawks going into 2012.
To re-introduce the series I'll refer back to Davis' blurb about what you'll be listening to:
It is always great to talk football with Derek Stephens. Whenever I bring up a prospect with him, eight out of ten times, depending on how deep we are into the season- he has watched this player and has an opinion on him. This is a more formalized representation of one of these conversations.
In these Seahawks targeted podcasts - we cover a lot of the pass rushers in the 2012 Draft: Quinton Coples, Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilus, Andre Branch, Jared Crick, Billy Winn, Chandler Jones, Vinny Curry, Cam Johnson, Shea McClellin and Jack Crawford. [That was part one, found here]
Obviously, if you are an NFL fan, there is good stuff for you because your team is likely interested in many of the same players. We also move toward several OLB (both pass rushing and more traditional LB) including: Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, Ronnell Lewis, Bruce Irvin, Josh Kaddu, Zach Brown, Lavonte David, Sean Spence and more.
One thing about Derek, he does not care what other draft experts think about a player. Just because ten other analysts like a guy in Round One - he might not touch a guy until Round Four. Additionally, he likes players that others criticize because of their measureables. You may or may not agree with where Derek rates a player, but he is consistent to his framework below:
We talk about this in the podcasts, but Derek looks at four things when evaluating a player (character and measurables are not on the list):
1) Consistency (two years of good football, game tape)
2) Fundamentals (feet, hands, upright or low, weight transfer, etc...)
4) Decision Making
Lastly, the Combine and All-Star Games are low on Derek's list when compared to how a player has played in real games over the last two years. Height, weight and 40 times to him are not as important as football speed and football plays. Awareness, instincts and making football plays.
Hope you enjoy these podcasts!