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Saints should be proactive in finding a successor

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Texans' struggles at quarterback an example of why the Saints should be proactive in finding a successor

BY NICK UNDERHILL | NUNDERHILL@THEADVOCATE.COM

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The Houston Texans should have beaten the New England Patriots.

Don’t be fooled by the score. Yeah, the Pats covered in a 34-16 victory. But New England didn't play well -- at least not well enough to deserve to win a playoff game. You can be certain the Patriots felt fortunate to walk away with the win and realize they'll need to play much better to make the Super Bowl.

“It doesn’t feel great,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. “We worked pretty hard to play a lot better than we played.”

There were probably a few times New England was worried about things falling apart. But it didn't have to worry for long because the Texans lacked the quarterback to take advantage of the Patriots' sloppiness and quality defensive performance by Houston. Brock Osweiler simply couldn't take advantage of his opportunities.

Houston's situation at quarterback is what can happen when you struggle to find or develop a player at the position. Despite showing some of the same issues with the Broncos last season, Osweiler was signed to a four-year, $72 million contract last offseason. He never visited Houston as a free agent. In fact, Texans coach Bill O’Brien told Peter King that his only interaction with the quarterback before signing him was a 10-second meeting during a 2014 joint practice.

That’s it. That meeting and whatever Osweiler did during his seven games as Denver’s starter last year, when he threw for 1,967 yards on 61.8 percent passing with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions, was enough for Houston to go all in.

But the truth is there was likely some desperation in the decision. The team had assembled one of the better defenses in the league and needed a quarterback to put it over the hump. The Texans almost had to take a shot with no other sure things at quarterback.

Unfortunately, Osweiler responded by completing 59 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions during the season. And after playing well in Houston’s first playoff game, he came back and threw three interceptions against the Patriots.

It’s clear that Osweiler isn’t the answer. Houston might want to move forward with Tom Savage, who avoided mistakes in a few starts this year, but its stuck in one way or another for at least another year. If the Texans cut Osweiler, it would cost $25 million in dead money. And it’s unlikely they can trade him since his $16 million base salary is guaranteed. It's hard to imagine anyone would want to take that on.

These are the things that happen when a team is desperate for a quarterback. You can build a roster full of talent everywhere, but if you don’t have the right guy under center, it’s hard to overcome lackluster quarterback play. And sometimes when you miss on finding someone serviceable for a couple of years, you end up going in blind with a guy you never met.

These are the things Saints fans should keep in mind as New Orleans enters the offseason. Two years ago, the organization used a third-round pick on Garrett Grayson, to the chagrin of a certain segment of the fan base. Those critics felt it was a waste of a pick. That group believes the Saints should wait until Drew Brees retires or moves on to start looking for the next quarterback.

But there are no guarantees you’ll find that player when you need to – especially if the roster improves in other areas and becomes good enough to hover around .500 even with a mediocre player under center. That’s what’s happening with the Texans. Or, worse, there could be no improvement and a quality quarterback remains elusive, a fate the Cleveland Browns cannot escape.

There are also no guarantees that a search for a quarterback will pay off. Grayson’s an example. Ryan Mallett didn’t hit in New England, and the Patriots might have been too early with Jimmy Garoppolo since it doesn't look like Brady is going anywhere. Dallas got lucky with Dak Prescott, but being proactive at the position put the club in position to continue succeeding.

But it’s better to start looking early and either get lucky or have something work out than wait until you have to find a quarterback. That’s how mistakes are made, and mistakes at that position aren’t easily overcome. You become invested in the player and it’s not easy to just drop one and move in another direction. There aren’t enough good quarterbacks to even cover the number of teams in the league.

With Brees entering the final year of his contract and adding another year of mileage to his body, the Saints should have an eye out for their next quarterback. It won’t be a wasted a pick. It should be viewed as a proactive step toward preventing years of darkness.

It might not be what you like today, but it could be what’s best for you tomorrow.

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/sports/saints/article_61a43836-dae6-11e6-a09a-a37e464a375b.html

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It is true, we should look for a successor but at the same time you cannot waste a pick on a Hail Mary. I would not mind a player taken in the 2nd or 3rd round if he is worthy. Miami's QB Brad Kaaya is not it. He panics under pressure. That is never a good sign. Granted a lower completion percentage is expected with having to throw the ball away, but not panicing. I never feared him as an FSU fan. If a college QB cannot scare his rival at anypoint in a 3 year career he should not be a day 1 or 2 pick. I feared their run game far more than the passing game. I only mention him, because I have seen some mocks that have us taking him in the 2nd and 3rd. Quit honestly none of the QB's in this draft excite me. I did like Trevor Siemian when he came out his injury kept him under the radar. I don't think this draft is the answer. I say if we find value on a QB late take him and maybe he can be groomed. but none of them even compare to Cutler in my book. And he is in the bottom half of starting quality QB's in the league.

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One name I just saw mentioned in an article by WhoDatDish is Antonio Pipkin. I read their article. I am putting it below he played at Tiffin same school as Ivory. Interesting to see how he fares through the draft process the video at the end of the article shows some very good accuracy. Does seem a bit small for a QB, but maybe he could pack on some weight while learning behind Brees. 

http://whodatdish.com/2017/01/16/new-orleans-saints-draft-antonio-pipkin-qb-tiffin/

 

T

New Orleans Saints Draft: Antonio Pipkin QB, Tiffin

Antonio Pipkin is a quarterback that most people probably never heard of yet….

First, a little background information:

Height: 6-2

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Weight: 225

Projected 40 time: 4.55-4.65

Projected Round (2017): 5-7

Quarterback Antonio Pipkin is not unknown to the football insiders. Matter of fact, Mel Kiper has him in the top 10 best quarterbacks coming out in 2017. Walterfootball.com has him ranked 9th at this moment.

Pipkin also have an invite to the Senior Bowl upcoming and is rapidly rising up the draft boards. So who is Antonio Pipkin? Pipkin comes from Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio. This is a tiny little school that has a little over 4,000 students that carries the name the Dragons. Perhaps, the name Chris Ivory may sound familiar. The Saints picked up Ivory as an undrafted free agent in 2010 from Tiffin.

Now Ivory plays for the Jets and has a combined 4,470 rushing yards already, while averaging nearly 4.5 yards a carry. Not bad for a guy coming out of a Division II school that no one has heard of. Ivory has also caught 73 balls for 568 yards in his career.

So Pipkin won’t be the first “diamond in the rough” to come out of Tiffin University. A little more about this little known secret weapon. Pipkin has literally shattered all records at the Division II level. He’s started 41 straight games for the Dragons. Furthermore, add in 13,147 yards in total offense with 2,207 rushing yards. Additionally, Pipkin has tossed 88 touchdown passes with 25 extra touchdowns in his career.

This is the scary part. Pipkin is not a running quarterback. The yards that were piled up were mostly just escaping from the pocket. His coach Gary Goff had this to say:

“We built the program around him. He’s fast enough to score whenever someone’s chasing him. That’s all I care about.”

Pipkin is known for making intelligent plays and climbing the pocket. This article details everything about Pipkin, as far as reading defenses. Pipkin has been doing it for years at Tiffin. 

If the Saints wanna pick a QB in this upcoming draft and don’t wanna use a high pick, Pipkin is straight up solid. From his play on the field to his character, this is a guy that Drew Brees would love to mentor for a couple of years.

Edited by Bonckers

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On 1/15/2017 at 2:20 PM, Bonckers said:

It is true, we should look for a successor but at the same time you cannot waste a pick on a Hail Mary. I would not mind a player taken in the 2nd or 3rd round if he is worthy. Miami's QB Brad Kaaya is not it. He panics under pressure. That is never a good sign. Granted a lower completion percentage is expected with having to throw the ball away, but not panicing. I never feared him as an FSU fan. If a college QB cannot scare his rival at anypoint in a 3 year career he should not be a day 1 or 2 pick. I feared their run game far more than the passing game. I only mention him, because I have seen some mocks that have us taking him in the 2nd and 3rd. Quit honestly none of the QB's in this draft excite me. I did like Trevor Siemian when he came out his injury kept him under the radar. I don't think this draft is the answer. I say if we find value on a QB late take him and maybe he can be groomed. but none of them even compare to Cutler in my book. And he is in the bottom half of starting quality QB's in the league.

Agreed about Kaaya,but the reasons you stated for not drafting him is why a team should draft DeSean Watson. All he's done is win wherever he's been. Jr. High,High School,and now College. He's 1-1 against Saban in the NCG. Both times he lit up their defense. Sabans defenses,particularly  the front 7 are a pipe line to the NFL. If he's not intimidated by those defenses,the NFL won't be much different. Dak Prescott was the same way. MSU didn't have the talent of a LSU,Alabama,or  even Texas A&M or Auburn. When he was taking the snaps,the Bulldogs were a very dangerous foe. 

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No I agree Face, and he is a model QB. As much as I want a pass rusher in the 1st round and the 2nd and 3rd round I would not be mad at all if we took Watson in any round at any pick... unless we trade up for him. I think he is a great player who scarred the crap out of me as an FSU fan. More than Tebow ever did. I'm not sure he will ever be Brees, but he could very well be a Joe Flacco type player who you can build around. Not sure he would ever be a firs ballot HOF player. Or even a HOF.   

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I don't follow the SEC nearly as well as most do here, what is yall's thoughts of Chad Kelly? I watched the game he played against FSU the talent is there, but he did run a spread team. I knew he had some off the field stuff, but just read an article to find out what it was. I think in the 5th or later rounds he may be worth a pick. Especialy consiering he is recovering from knee surgery.

 

 http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/01/25/chad-kelly-ive-made-stupid-mistakes-in-the-past/

 

Chad Kelly: “I’ve made stupid mistakes in the past”

Posted by Darin Gantt on January 25, 2017, 2:50 PM EST
BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 22: Chad Kelly #10 of the Mississippi Rebels warms up before a game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)Getty Images

Former Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly can’t run for scouts yet, but he is taking steps this week at the Senior Bowl.

Not only is the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly updating teams on the status of his surgically repaired knee, but he’s also getting out in front of the off-field issues he knows teams want to hear about.

Via Creg Stephenson of AL.com, Kelly is meeting with teams this week, and trying to be up front about the issues unrelated to the playing of football.

“They’re thinking they’re going to be taking a chance on me for sure,” Kelly said. “I’ve made stupid mistakes in the past, I can’t deny that. With that being said, I’ve learned from it. I’m not the same person I was a long time ago. All I can do is keep looking forward and make the right decisions, lead my team the best way I can on and off the field.”

About those stupid mistakes. Have a seat, this will take a second.

Kelly was thrown off the team at Clemson after a squabble with coaches in 2014. After spending a year in junior college and landing at Ole Miss, there was more.

He was arrested outside a Buffalo bar after threatening to “get my AK-47 and spray this place” after he was thrown out. He pleaded down to a misdemeanor for that one. He also had to be escorted off the field when a brawl broke out at his brother’s high school game.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re saying the right thing to every team, because they all speak to each other,” Kelly said. “You’ve got to be honest, of course. You’ve got to admit to what you did, and try to convince them that those mistakes, you’re not going to be making them again. The owner doesn’t want to hear about it, the G.M. doesn’t want to hear what you did, they want to know if you’ve learned from it, that you won’t make the same mistake twice.”

With all that stuff, the fact teams are still interested in him speaks to his talent. He’s probably going to fall in the draft largely because of the torn ACL in November that will keep him off the field for his rookie offseason program, but teams are still intrigued by his skills.

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No thanks on Chad Kelly. Would rather take a hungry defensive player late in the draft.

The plan to succeed Drew is an intriguing question. Seems that most successful elite QBs in the league are allowed to rise to the top. The league is filled with overachieving, hardworking, coached-up QBs that - while awesome teammates and outstanding locker room guys - are destined to backup or wash out.  Coaching is important, but seems to have very little bearing on whether a QB is able to win at the top level. Measuring metrics be damned, give me a guy who has "it".

Those of us who watched Dak Prescott at MSSt saw that "it". Cam Newton and Jameis Winston had "it" coming out of college. Anybody remember if EJ Manuel or Blake Bortles seemed special? Point being, they have to have the measurables within reason, but the guys winning playoff games are usually gifted. Not created or coached up.

Watson seems special.  I expect him to be gone by our pick, but I'd be excited to pick him.

The importance of how this regime handles Drew's twilight can not be understated. History tells us they have a better shot at screwing it up than succeeding. If Payton and Loomis think Watson is special, trade up and get him. 

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6 hours ago, thernasty said:

No thanks on Chad Kelly. Would rather take a hungry defensive player late in the draft.

 

I was originally on his bandwagon and thought he'd be a legitimate choice for the Browns # 1 overall. I changed my mind after the brawl he got into at his brother HS football game. A 23 year old man fighting 15-17 year old kids has serious issues that go beyond immaturity. 

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I will say this when you mention Cam and Winston having "It". The kid at FSU right now Francois has "IT". I never thought Ponder nor Manuel had it at FSU. If we wait till next year I would not be mad to trade up and get him if Drew is not around. The kid got killed all year behind bad O line play. Saw him leave games several times with an injured throwing shoulder, even against Michigan. Only to throw a bomb on the next series. He is tough and he is a leader. Don't believe me go back and watch the game. Third offensive drive for Florida State when he throws a pass about 40 yards on a rope to Murray. The series before he had to have his throwing arm evaluated due to a hit. He played almost all year with a shoulder sprain of his throwing arm. I would watch this upcoming year very carefully. He could be a very interesting player in the 2018 draft. The 2018 Seminoles will rise or fall based on him. Week 1 against Bama will be fun to watch. 

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Payton's take on a successor.

 

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/sports/saints/article_31c5d5e0-ea43-11e6-8203-ab3710f39cf8.html

 

Sean Payton on finding next quarterback: Might not happen same year Drew Brees is replaced

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  • John Bazemore

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) works against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) ORG XMIT: GAMS1

 
 
 
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Nick Underhill

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There’s going to come a day when the Saints decide it’s time to move on from Drew Brees.

Players age, they decline, and it eventually it becomes time to look for a replacement. The Saints do not believe that time has come to kick their franchise quarterback out the door, but the team’s future at the position was a topic of discussion when New Orleans coach Sean Payton appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday.

What's certain is that the transition will eventually come. When or how it happens has not been determined.

 

“That transaction may take place, not in the same year he’s being replaced,” Payton said. “We pay close attention to, ‘Hey, what are the signs?’ And I don’t see any; we don’t see any. We just finished reading our team, and his preparation, his attention to detail is amazing. But his movement skills, these guys are so much further along in their rest, their recovery, nutrition. I mean, it wasn’t long ago where it was a Fresca and a Marlboro at halftime.”

The Saints have had their eye on the future of the position for a few years now. Two years ago the Saints drafted Garrett Grayson in the third round, and they continue to scout and meet with quarterbacks each year as part as their draft preparation. That should not change this year.

During the interview, Patrick asked Payton specifically about DeShaun Watson, who recently led Clemson to a national title. The Saints coach wasn’t shy about voicing his admiration for the prospect.

 

“There’s something special about him, right?” Payton said. “I just met him two minutes ago, and when you watch the game, it’s always interesting to hear him talk afterward. He appears to have all those things that we’re looking for.”

Payton acknowledged that depending on the approach, making a transition at quarterback can have challenges. When the team selected Grayson, given that it was a third-round pick, he was viewed more a possible successor than someone who was knocking on the door. If the situation is like the one in Green Bay, when Aaron Rodgers was selected in the first round and eventually replaced Brett Favre, there’s more urgency involved with the situation and the perception changes.

“I think it’s seen that way the minute it’s a first-round or second-round pick,” Payton said. “And the other part of that that’s difficult sometimes when you’re in his position is you’re looking at it like, ‘Man I want another player that can help me right now.’ And so I think the organization looks at it closely as to now and long term. So, it’s a bigger topic when it’s a first-round selection with the current player. Brett’s the quarterback, but the value changed so much for Aaron we have to take him. It’s really happened 100 times in sports. It’s the cycle.”

 

 

 

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On 1/30/2017 at 0:32 PM, Bonckers said:

I will say this when you mention Cam and Winston having "It". The kid at FSU right now Francois has "IT". I never thought Ponder nor Manuel had it at FSU. If we wait till next year I would not be mad to trade up and get him if Drew is not around. The kid got killed all year behind bad O line play. Saw him leave games several times with an injured throwing shoulder, even against Michigan. Only to throw a bomb on the next series. He is tough and he is a leader. Don't believe me go back and watch the game. Third offensive drive for Florida State when he throws a pass about 40 yards on a rope to Murray. The series before he had to have his throwing arm evaluated due to a hit. He played almost all year with a shoulder sprain of his throwing arm. I would watch this upcoming year very carefully. He could be a very interesting player in the 2018 draft. The 2018 Seminoles will rise or fall based on him. Week 1 against Bama will be fun to watch. 

I agree with you.  Since I've got a kid going to FSU, we've become Seminole fans and we've watched just about every game.  Francois seems to have that intangible you are talking about.  He's a leader and he's tough as nails.  With maturity, I think he can be special.

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The one thing I really want to watch for this upcoming year is if Jimbo allows him to call audibles. Winston was by the far the smartest football IQ QB Jimbo Fisher has had at FSU, He opened the whole playbook and would allow him to call audibles. I have not seen him allow many QB's to do that. He would argue a lot with Winston when he changed the play and it didn't work, but he never pulled that off the plate. He may have had off the field maturity issues at FSU, but I do fear having to play Winston if he stays in Tampa. He could be very good for years to come for them. 

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1 hour ago, Bonckers said:

The one thing I really want to watch for this upcoming year is if Jimbo allows him to call audibles. Winston was by the far the smartest football IQ QB Jimbo Fisher has had at FSU, He opened the whole playbook and would allow him to call audibles. I have not seen him allow many QB's to do that. He would argue a lot with Winston when he changed the play and it didn't work, but he never pulled that off the plate. He may have had off the field maturity issues at FSU, but I do fear having to play Winston if he stays in Tampa. He could be very good for years to come for them. 

This is the absolute truth. One thing I noticed this season with Tampa is that they are very lilmited at the skill positions outside of Mike Evans. That in itself exposed Winston to a high INT number because he refuses to leave plays on the field & throw the ball away when nothing is there. He forces plays at times but that's only because Tampa lacks at WR. If the Bucs get more talent at WR going forward, Winston will be a headache to deal with. Plus eventually he will learn to be more careful with the football. You can tell though he understands & knows what his reads are. The problem is his receivers outside of Evans have problems getting separate most of the time.

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This draft class doesn't have any QBs that feel like potential day one starters but that's not what the Saints need anyway. There's something that seems special about Pat Mahomes II. The physical tools are obvious. He has the feel of a cross breed between Russell Wilson & Drew Brees in a bigger frame while having a much stronger arm than both. He has a learning curve coming from Texas Tech's air raid but he has the genes, experience of being around a professional lockeroom & that it factor about him. This is a good breakdown of his skill set but it also mentions the challenges Mahomes faces in his transition to the NFL. The final paragraph of the article is the most important though.

Meet Patrick Mahomes II, the Two-Sport Freak Who's Already the Talk of the 2017 NFL Draft

https://www.stack.com/video/5270682829001/meet-patrick-mahomes-ii--the-two-sport-freak-who-s-already-the-talk-of-the-2017-nfl-draft

The NFL Draft is a crapshoot. No matter how prolific a player was in college, a myriad of his qualities and characteristics must be examined before scouts can determine their final grades. How fast is he, really? Can he read an offense/defense properly? Is he a product of a system, or do his abilities transcend scheme?

For quarterbacks, it gets even muddier. Footwork, mechanics, arm strength, field vision, IQ, identifying coverages—all are factored in to an overall evaluation; and even when you think you've found the perfect cocktail of a QB, his career can inexplicably flame out. That's why the school of thought that believes "the more draft picks the better" has gained prominence in recent years. Team officials want as many opportunities as possible to find players who will impact their franchise for years to come.

Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech's prolific quarterback who recently declared for the 2017 NFL Draft, is the living embodiment of the draft conundrum. Mahomes ran head coach Kliff Kingsbury's "Air Raid" offense in college, a system that uses tempo and spreads out the defense with four or five receivers on every down, almost always placing the quarterback in the shotgun. Mahomes threw 50 times per game in 2016, many of them quick screens to his running back or wide receivers on slants—plays that are staples of an Air Raid offense, which rarely uses a playbook and typically employs just 25-30 plays, each with slight variations. All of these things can scare NFL talent evaluators.

But Mahomes happens to be one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the draft. His father Pat spent 11 years playing Major League Baseball, and the younger Mahomes received every last one of his dad's athletic genes. He played three sports in high school, excelling at the trifecta of football, basketball and baseball; but he thrived most on the diamond as a pitcher who possessed a 95-mph fastball. Mahomes was so good on the mound that the Detroit Tigers drafted him out of high school. He continued to play baseball as a freshman at Texas Tech before he decided to focus solely on football, where his physical abilities were on breathtaking display every Saturday.

 

His numbers are amazing. This season, Mahomes passed for 5,052 yards and 41 touchdowns, then ran for 12 more. He threw for 734 yards in a loss against Oklahoma—no, that's not a typo. Mahomes' most tantalizing attribute is his Herculean arm strength, as evidenced by the 65-yard bomb he launched from his knees back in April (see the above video). His deep balls are pristine, even if he's off-balance when he throws. Look at this dime below.

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Or how about this gorgeous throw, in the aforementioned game against Oklahoma? Mahomes was up and down in that game, completing just 52 of a whopping 88 pass attempts, but he found time to throw a couple of frozen ropes.

 

gif-2-iloveimg-compressed.gif

Sometimes, Mahomes doesn't even need to be looking at his receiver to hit him in stride. His "no look" passes in training camp caught the attention of Kingsbury so much that he tweeted out a video of it, comparing his young signal caller to Aaron Rodgers. That's high praise.

 

Mahomes has all the tools. After watching the tape, it's hard to deny it. How his skill set will translate into an NFL offense—where he will have to learn a full playbook, study protections and learn to identify an endless range of defensive coverages—remains to be seen. A few mock drafts have Mahomes being selected on day two of the draft, where he can likely sit behind an already established quarterback. All of it adds up to make Mahomes one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.

http://www.stack.com/a/meet-patrick-mahomes-ii-the-two-sport-freak-whos-already-the-talk-of-the-2017-nfl-draft

 

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Could be interesting I have seen him linked to us. My main concern is the mental part, and that is always the biggest concern I have with any QB. We have a very complex call system. Can a guy who did not work from a huddle maybe ever get our playbook? I don't know and it is hard to spend a 2nd or 3rd rounder on a player like that with so little depth across the board on this team. 

 

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3 hours ago, Bonckers said:

Could be interesting I have seen him linked to us. My main concern is the mental part, and that is always the biggest concern I have with any QB. We have a very complex call system. Can a guy who did not work from a huddle maybe ever get our playbook? I don't know and it is hard to spend a 2nd or 3rd rounder on a player like that with so little depth across the board on this team. 

 

You already know that I am extremely critical & skeptical of spread QBs. If we were looking for a QB as a day one starter, I would have serious doubts about taking Mahomes but here are the reasons why I don't have an issue taking Mahomes with a 2nd or 3rd round pick. 

One, he isn't going to be expected to play right away even with an injury to Brees unless Mahomes were to beat out McCown in camp which I doubt would happen. He would have ample time to learn behind the scenes. Because Payton has had Brees for so long now, we tend to forget that Payton has been pretty good in his career helping develop & get the most out of QBs. Also, just having Mahomes be able to watch Drew & how he prepares is invaluable. It's the perfect "incubator" type opportunity that very rarely comes around where a future Hall of Famer can provide a very talented & hungry, young QB with the preparation habits it takes to be an all time great. Mahomes skill set is undeniable but the questions concerning him revolve around the lack of a playbook, no presnap reads, no responsibility to change blocking assignments & never taking a snap under center. Those are legit concerns that can't be ignored but they are also aspects of his development that can be worked on behind the scenes as a back up or 3rd string QB.

Just remember, there were concerns surrounding Aaron Rodgers which ultimately lead to his draft day slide. The concerns were around him playing in Jeff Tedford's offense at Cal & Rodgers ability to adjust to an NFL pro style offense. Everyone is aware that Favre refused to "mentor" Rodgers because Brett wasn't willing to help the younger guy take his job. I'm actually with Favre in his line of thinking. That wasn't his job. His job was preparing  himself as normal & winning games for the Packers. It was up to Rodgers to be a sponge. It was up to Rodgers to realize that he had a golden opportunity to observe the preparation habits, tendencies & crucial insights from the film room of a future Hall of Famer. Rodgers did just that & his play since becoming the starter in Green Bay shows he absorbed that knowledge then was able to apply in his own fashion. Rodgers credits being able to observe Favre on a daily basis as one of biggest reasons for his own success. Guess who else Rodgers credits in helping him develop? Drew Brees.The interview with Favre is spot on. Brett sorta sounds cold but what he says is honestly the truth & the way it should be but I think Brees would be much more willing to give advice than Favre was.

 

One major aspect of Mahomes that sticks out to me is that he is the son of a former MLB pitcher. He has already been instilled with how valuable work ethic & preparation is from his father. The fact he raised in a household with a father who was a professional athlete is priceless. This kid already has values that make great players great, driven into his DNA. This is the "it" I'm talking about. It can't be taught. Certain guys are born with it. Look at Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers. They were born with that competitive drive to constantly work to be the best. Mahomes has that drive along with possibly having the best skill set of any QB in this entire draft. If we draft Mahomes, I really like the organizations chances to continue being successful after Brees hangs them up. Not only do I love his skill set but outside of the Steelers (with Big Ben contemplating retirement in the near future) there isn't a better situation for him to get drafted into than the Saints. One last note.

Remember that Brees played in a spread offense under Joe Tiller at Purdue. He faced the same learning curve in his transition from college to the pros. Think back to Brees' early days with the Chargers. It was a struggle at times for him. Matter of fact, he was awful his first 2 seasons as a starter which included a bunch of back & forth between he & Doug Flutie. In 2002, he threw 17 TDs vs 16 INTs. The following season he regressed. 11 TDs vs 15 INTs before the light switch came on in 2004, 27 TDs vs 7 INTs. Nobody understands what it takes to make the transition from college spread to elite NFL QB than Drew Brees. This is just some stuff to ponder here.

Dru, Slidell Saint and Bonckers like this

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That's a great post Brod.  

It's easy for us to remember so many spread QBs flaming out (especially since the spread became all the rage, even though it's actually been around for decades).  Yet, we don't often give enough recognition to the ones who do make the cut and even excel.  You take a simply phenomenal athlete, and he can make the leap.  Cam Newton isn't known for his amazing work ethic, but he came right into the league and went go.  Mahomes has far more passing accumen and far less reliance on the run in his 2+ years starting than Cam did in his lone season as a starter for Auburn.  Plus, you know how much I like baseball players and the mental part they bring to the game, it makes a big difference IMO.  Brees was an avid baseball player, so was Russell Wilson.  Both of those guys are much better athletes than given credit for.  Alex Smith struggled early in his career, but every single time he's been paired with a good OC or offensive HC, he's succeeded.  Who'd he play for?  Utah and Urban Meyer in a spread offense.  

There's a huge difference in a power spread run by Urban Meyer and a Air Raid run by Mike Leach.  It'd be interesting to see the percentage of Mahomes' passes that were quick screens, bubble screens, slants, etc.  Protection is another part of the game that he has less of a handle on and Brees has it mastered.  You'll notice how much wider the OLine splits are in some of the previous posted plays.  Mike Leach is famous for that, everything they do is to spread you out and expand how much room you have to defend sideline to sideline.  

It is a very interesting debate as to what round Mahomes will be drafted.  Bryce Petty may be one example, Air Raid QB, very similar size, very similar stats.  He was drafted in the 4th round and many people thought it was possible Petty would be selected in the 1st.  When we selected Grayson in the 3rd, we selected a QB from a pro style system who, presumably, would adapt better to the scheme we run and be the guy to groom.  His inability to handle the terminology alone killed his first season entirely according to some reports.  So it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Despite all that, I don't believe Mahomes makes it out of the second round and could even make it into the first.  He's got too many 'plus' factors from a physical standpoint that make him a tremendous NFL QB prospect.  He's also got the bloodlines and stats.  In a QB starved league, it only takes one team to fall in love with you and pull the trigger because they simply cannot find a QB.

 

 

More on the spread QB and transition to the pros.  These two articles I'm going to post are not up to date, but they illustrate how the league is currently running.

All the top QBs today take huge percentages of passing attempts from shotgun. It's not uncommon for even the best guys to take 70, 80 and even 90 percent of their passing attempts NOT from under center.

Per a study conducted by ESPN, while 69.4% of all NFL dropbacks started from under center as recently as 2006, that number plummeted all the way to 21.9% during the 2014 season. Basically, at the same time the NFL is becoming more and more concerned with the fact that quarterback prospects don't take snaps from under center, coaches are having their own quarterbacks take fewer and fewer snaps, and make a lower and lower percentage of their throws, from under center. 

So far as the play call and terminology, it's true that our offense is hard to master and spit out.  But the league is going away from that and in time, we will too if we haven't already begun to.  The Patriots have a one word system that you guys probably already knew about, but the first article I'm about to post here is a very good one and has many additional links to other articles inside of it.

 the Patriots, who famously use a one-word system for calling plays when they do go no-huddle that Belichick adopted from college offenses. That certainly makes it easier to communicate the calls, and it again gives Brady more time to read the defense at the line of scrimmage without having to blurt out a mouthful of a play call.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/product-of-the-system-nfl-already-becoming-a-spread-offense-league/

•  Philip Rivers took 92 percent of his dropbacks out of the shotgun, behind only the Eagles’ quarterbacks.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/qbs-in-focus-shotgun/

 

Edited by Dru
bigbrod81 and Bonckers like this

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Good point Brod, again my concern is any 2nd or 3rd rounder this year should be a starter or part time starter with how bad depth is on this team. If you could tell me we could get him in the 4th I would jump on it, or if we get a few bargain deals in free agency ok sign me up. As of this moment I want a 2nd and 3rd rounder who will contribute day one while we still have Brees. That's just me. I think we will all know more post free agency. As of right now there are so many holes I can't see us taking a QB that high. It would kill this upcoming season again. 

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Hmm.......... Mahomes physical abilities are obvious but I love his mental makeup & him realizing how much of a benefit it would be for him to learn while sitting behind Brees. This opportunity may just be too to pass up if Mahomes is sitting there on the board in the 2nd.

Saints met with Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes at NFL Combine

Could the New Orleans Saints be looking to nab their quarterback of the future in the upcoming NFL Draft?

According to a report from Herbie Teope of The Times-Picayune, the Saints met with Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

Mahomes said that he would enjoy learning the ropes of the league behind a living legend in Drew Brees, per Teope

 

"It would be awesome learning behind Drew Brees," Mahomes said, via NOLA.com. "He's one of the greatest of all time. He (knows) the game, and he sees it in a way no one else does. And I would love to sit behind him and just pick his brain every single day and have someone to just watch do it the right way."

http://nor.247sports.com/Bolt/Saints-met-with-Texas-Tech-QB-Patrick-Mahomes-at-NFL-Combine-51587430

Dru and louder like this

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I think this is due diligence as much as it might be about interest. Just like any other QB they need to vet in case he falls where he fits on their boards. I think we will meet with a lot of QB's between now and draft day. 

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Read this thread.

I do not see this realistically being the draft (if there is one) that the Saints start looking fro Brees' replacement. So what's the thinking?  Draft a QB and sit Brees to give the new kid playing time so he has enough seasoning to take over when Brees retires?  Or do you wait until a drafted QB enters his free agency contract so you have to pay him starting NFL QB money before he ever proves himself?

There are probably only 2 realistic scenarios:

  1. After Brees retires, the Saints suck so bad they get the 1st pick in the draft (or thereabouts) and draft a franchise QB (if there is one in that year's draft).
  2. Sign a proven free agent QB (like we did with Brees).

 

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St. Lee and Herb glad to see you posting again have meant to say that is response to some of your recent posts and keep forgetting so going to start this thread with that. First thing if we draft a QB high I think it would be this year at number 32. I realistically do not see Brees playing another 5 years. At 43 he would be just a game manager like Manning was the last year he played. Saying that it is possible he will be playing that long and in black and gold. if we draft a QB I think we pull a patriots and look to trade him down the road for capital. Just my thoughts. I do see us possibly spending a 2nd round pick on one if not at 32 but only if we gain another 2nd or 3rd round pick this year. We have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds. So if one is spent on a QB that would still allow 4 more picks to be spent on defense. Do I thin that is smart? No, but depending on who is available I can see the team having that discussion. As I have said in another thread I think this year could be the year we finally trade down. This is a very good defensive draft deep at our two weakest positions on the team DE and CB. it is a very good thing we have a DE who has played more snaps than any other at this position in Cam Jordan because even behind him on the strong side there is no depth. 

At 11 we are in a prime spot for someone like Arizona to jump from 13 to 11. That would allow them to bypass Cleveland at 12 to get a QB depending on who is available at that point. Maybe even a team like KC who I hear is not sold on Alex Smith carrying them further than he has so far. Not to mention the 5th year option on pick 11 is the perfect spot as it drops dramatically from the top 10. It may be the perfect storm. Saying that if we do not get a good offer at that point. Come pick 32 we could look to move down to the top of the 2nd round so teams again could leap frog Cleveland or also so a team could get a 5th year option on the last 1st round pick. Cleveland themselves could look to move up 1 spot to save money as with the analytic crew they have moving up 1 spot could simply cost them a 7th or 6th rounder. A lot of hypotheticals, but this is a good off season for this with the trades and unique signings we have already seen.

StLee, bigbrod81 and Dru like this

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1 hour ago, Bonckers said:

St. Lee and Herb glad to see you posting again have meant to say that is response to some of your recent posts and keep forgetting so going to start this thread with that. First thing if we draft a QB high I think it would be this year at number 32. I realistically do not see Brees playing another 5 years. At 43 he would be just a game manager like Manning was the last year he played. Saying that it is possible he will be playing that long and in black and gold. if we draft a QB I think we pull a patriots and look to trade him down the road for capital. Just my thoughts. I do see us possibly spending a 2nd round pick on one if not at 32 but only if we gain another 2nd or 3rd round pick this year. We have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds. So if one is spent on a QB that would still allow 4 more picks to be spent on defense. Do I thin that is smart? No, but depending on who is available I can see the team having that discussion. As I have said in another thread I think this year could be the year we finally trade down. This is a very good defensive draft deep at our two weakest positions on the team DE and CB. it is a very good thing we have a DE who has played more snaps than any other at this position in Cam Jordan because even behind him on the strong side there is no depth. 

At 11 we are in a prime spot for someone like Arizona to jump from 13 to 11. That would allow them to bypass Cleveland at 12 to get a QB depending on who is available at that point. Maybe even a team like KC who I hear is not sold on Alex Smith carrying them further than he has so far. Not to mention the 5th year option on pick 11 is the perfect spot as it drops dramatically from the top 10. It may be the perfect storm. Saying that if we do not get a good offer at that point. Come pick 32 we could look to move down to the top of the 2nd round so teams again could leap frog Cleveland or also so a team could get a 5th year option on the last 1st round pick. Cleveland themselves could look to move up 1 spot to save money as with the analytic crew they have moving up 1 spot could simply cost them a 7th or 6th rounder. A lot of hypotheticals, but this is a good off season for this with the trades and unique signings we have already seen.

 

Screw St. Lee!!!!   This is about ME, okay?!!  default_smiley-scared008.gif

default_smiley-shocked003.gif  

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