The Failed CB/WR Experiment of 2014 (1 Viewer)

rockthedox

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In 2014, we tried something different: "Let's grab some BIG-sized wide receivers and defensive backs!"

Here's a look at the draft and UDFA classes for Receivers and Corners for two years before 2014 and two years after. There are a couple of outliers but, overall, the guys we drafted in 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 fit the prototype. Not so much in 2014..

2012 Draft/UDFA WR and CB:
Nick Toon (WR)- 6'4"
Corey White (CB)- 6'1"
Malcolm Beyah (WR) - 5'11"
Chris Givens (WR) - 6'2"
Kevin Hardy (WR) - 6'

2013 Draft/UDFA WR and CB:
Stills (WR) - 6'1"
Ryan Lacy (CB) - 5'9"
Rod Sweeting (CB) - 6'

2014 Draft/UDFA WR and CB:
Brandin Cooks (WR) - 5'10"
Stanley Jean-Baptiste (CB) - 6'3"
Brandon Coleman (WR) - 6'6"
Seantavius Jones (WR) - 6'3"

2015 Draft/UDFA WR and CB:
PJ Williams (CB) - 6'
Damien Swann (CB) - 5'11"
RJ Harris (WR) - 6'
Malcome Kennedy (WR) - 6'

2016 Draft/UDFA WR and CB:
Michael Thomas (WR) - 6'3"
Jared Dangerfield (WR) - 6'1"
Jordan Williams-Lambert (WR) - 6'2"
TommyLee Lewis (WR) - 5'7"
De'Vante Harris (CB) - 5'11"
Ken Crawley (CB) 6'1"

With the exception of Cooks in 2014, we went after some pretty big dudes...that didn't really play big.

But look at the other Receivers that we grabbed during that time that play MUCH bigger than Coleman: Stills, Cooks, Lewis. These are speed guys, but they also aren't afraid to get the ball and play tough. Lewis doesn't play like he's 5'7". Thomas is actually bigger than I thought and I think Deandre Hopkins may be a good comparison (though last night was rough).

Even more telling is our Cornerbacks that play bigger than SJB (6'3"): Williams, Swann, and Harris are all 6' or under. Crawley is 6'1".

It feels like for a year, we just went with our eyes and drafted big guys in the hopes that they would play big. In 2015-2016 we started drafting high character guys that were hungry.

Coleman is the only one left from the 2014 experiment and I think his time is up. He played adequately (at best) last night and that isn't what we need from a 6'6" receiver. We need a Jimmy Graham type of guy in the red-zone and Coleman isn't it. Let some of the hungry and smaller guys play big ball instead.
 

RetroMcBananaFace

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Agree.

I won't blame the Saints FO too hard for that because NFL as a whole is super-obsessed with size and speed. How does a Willie Snead fall through the cracks otherwise? I'll credit Ireland a ton for this, he has a long history of drafting guys based on body of work instead of just measurables.
 
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rockthedox

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Not that there's anything wrong with tall guys or having a variety on your team, but they went pretty hard after it that year. Everyone was trying to get after the Legion of Boom too.

I think it's just important that we get a tall guy, he needs to play to his size. The 2014 guys didn't do that.
 

BiloxiSaint1

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Perhaps the Saints knew Colston's playing days were coming to an end and they have been trying to find a WR to replace his size. I don't think I'd call it a "failed experiment."
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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Since 2013 Sean decided on the bigger faster stronger Mantra. It's why he wanted to switch to a 3-4 initially. Wanted to be physical. He's always liked his big receivers and if they aren't big they better be fast but he prefers bigger bodies. He's also been enamored with the Sea defense since the 2013 season.

One of the other contributing factors is our division. Kelvin Benjamin, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Jalen Strong, Vincent Jackson are all 6'4 and up. That along forces you to adjust and get bigger DBs

Vernon Hargreaves was likely picked with Cooks in mind
The panthers have been building the interior of their D to combat us for years. Teams counter each other in scheme/personnel year to year
 

stevend

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Umm, I don't really see any trend or correlation there.
Agree 100%

We have never gone after a big receiver. We chose Cooks over Kelvin Benjamin. Everyone else was 4th round or later (and 6' isn't really a big receiver in the NFL).

And how do we compare an UDFA in Coleman (that we went after?) to Stills or Cooks (who were drafted) and Lewis who has zero stats and never made a 53 man roster so far?

As for CB, I agree SJB was for his size, but that is it.
 

stevend

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Since 2013 Sean decided on the bigger faster stronger Mantra.
100% disagree.

Payton's philosophy has always been talent/potential in the draft and attributes to position in free agency.

In other words, we have always drafted players who exceed in talent or possibly have the potential to show talent.

In un-drafted free agency 90% of the players have the size and makeup for the position, but have underachieved due to under-performance or injury.
 

RetroMcBananaFace

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To me, if you're drafting players specifically to counter the players on a division rival, you've already lost the initiative. You're being reactive, not proactive. And you end up taking players like SJB that you probably wouldn't have otherwise.

Instead of focusing on drafting a tall corner to combat Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, etc. why not look to find a unique player that can exploit those rivals' weaknesses. I think Brandin Cooks is the perfect example of this.

Take your game to the other team. Don't let them dictate what you do.
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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100% disagree.

Payton's philosophy has always been talent/potential in the draft and attributes to position in free agency.

In other words, we have always drafted players who exceed in talent or possibly have the potential to show talent.

In un-drafted free agency 90% of the players have the size and makeup for the position, but have underachieved due to under-performance or injury.
You can disagree but if I look back far enough I can find the quotes from SP after he got back in 2013 after the suspension and he talked about it all off season. I'm not saying it hasn't always been his philosophy but there was sort of a recommitment to it after the suspension/talks with Bill Parcells.
 

stevend

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You can disagree but if I look back far enough I can find the quotes from SP after he got back in 2013 after the suspension and he talked about it all off season. I'm not saying it hasn't always been his philosophy but there was sort of a recommitment to it after the suspension/talks with Bill Parcells.
Well if he said it, he didn't practice it.

Every player drafted since 2013 (with the exception of SJB and possibly Armstead because of height), has been average to undersized.

Fast yes, but not big.
 
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rockthedox

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To me, if you're drafting players specifically to counter the players on a division rival, you've already lost the initiative. You're being reactive, not proactive. And you end up taking players like SJB that you probably wouldn't have otherwise.

Instead of focusing on drafting a tall corner to combat Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, etc. why not look to find a unique player that can exploit those rivals' weaknesses. I think Brandin Cooks is the perfect example of this.

Take your game to the other team. Don't let them dictate what you do.
This.

We got SJB because he was tall and could supposedly handle the big receivers in our division.

Coleman is still on the team because he is 6'6". He's a decent receiver, but if he and Lewis were both 6'2" this wouldn't even be a discussion.

If you draft for character, athleticism and heart size does not matter. Antonio Brown is 5'10". Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter? 5'11". It's not about size. It's about being hungry and dominant.
 

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