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2011 NFL DRAFT Blog: Round 4

April 28, 2012

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—Matt Johnson DB Eastern Washington. That’s the pick at #135 for the Dallas Cowboys. I ranked 431 players in this draft and I heard of another 50 or so that could be drafted but I didn’t ever see them on tape so they were called INCOMPLETES. Yet out of basically 500 players Matt Johnson was never heard of by me. I’ve never seen this kid, I’ve never heard of this kid, I’ve only heard of Eastern Washington because I fell in love with their RB Taiwan Jones last year, and Taiwan is the only player taken from this college in the past 6 drafts. This is not what you spend your 4th round picks on! I bet there is a good chance this kid wouldn’t have been drafted if the Cowboys passed on him and he has the exact same reaction from me that Jason Williams in the 3rd round did a few years ago. These are some really dumb picks right now for the Cowboys and is marring what started out to be a great draft with Morris Claiborne.

—Best players available for Cowboys in a few picks: RB Cyrus Gray Texas A&M, CB Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska, RB/WR Chris Rainey Florida, Pass Rusher Cam Johnson, OT Dennis Kelly Purdue (my sleeper who isn’t likely to go this early but I love him).

—Only a few picks after the Texans take my #1 player left on my board in Crick the Giants took my new #1 player left on my board in Brandon Mosley. This is an absolute steal to me in the 4th round but most scouts had him in this area so he’s a steal in my eyes that is just a solid pick by others. Mosley is a beast at RT who had better game tape than Bobby Massie or Donald Stephenson who both already were drafted. I’m a huge fan of this kid and once again I can’t believe how good the NFC East is drafting. The Cowboys are reaching like normal in Day 3 and the Giants and Eagles are making great value picks like normal. Even the Redskins are besting the Cowboys on Day 3. Come on Jerry pick it up!

—The Texans probably just took at #126 the best pick, in terms of pure value, in the entire draft as they selected DT Jared Crick from Nebraska. He was far and away the best player left on my board as I gave him a late 1st round grade at #32 and even though most scouts disagree with me on that I will just say that going into this year he was a mid 1st on my board as he was coming off a great Soph and a great junior year. If he hadn’t had back to back great years I would have lowered him more as his senior season was marred by two injuries (concussion, torn pectoral muscle) yet the one year wonder tag can’t apply to him as he was an elite producer as far back as 2009. Spectacular pick where he can be their 3-4 DE across from JJ Watts. That DL is turning great really quickly.

—The Eagles at #123 just took the #3 player on my board in CB Brandon Boykin. It surprises me that he lasted this long as his versatility is off the charts as he’s a good CB, a good kick returner and punt returner, and is surprisingly effective as a 3rd down back who runs a bit but mainly is in as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Boykin had a great Senior Bowl, great bowl game against Keshawn Martin of Michigan St. (who just went in the draft by the way), and looks the part of a future fan favorite. By the way his high school slam dunk competition is pretty fun to watch on You Tube if you get a chance.

—Every time the NFL goes to commercial with Gary Clark Jr. singing it cracks me up. “Okay Gary this is your big day when we shoot the ESPN spot that millions will see are you ready?” “Yeah I got my black wife beater on, my old school fedora on my head, and just smocked some crack so I barely can keep my eyes open. Let’s shoot this spot.”

—The 4th round to me is where you get those interior OL, #3 WRs, and LBs with the mold working well this year as James-Michael Johnson the LB out of Nevada went 1 pick after Keenan Robinson and both guys are steals at this point. Johnson is a bit bigger and faster than Robinson but Keenan has better strength, shed ability with OL, and instincts. Both are guys I expect to start as rookies in a 4-3 at SLB and reinforces the reasoning of why I rarely have LBs and OGs in the 1st round since they can so easily be found in this round.

—The division continues to draft well with the Redskins now getting in on the fun with LB Kennan Robinson out of Texas. He was my #63 player and gets taken 119th so great value but also a great fit as he’s the fast, tough guy the Redskins seem to be falling for these days on defense. He joins UT alumni Brian Orakpo on arguably the most underrated defense in the league. Look out NFL the Redskins could be get this year.

—Kyle Wilber is a pass rusher out of Wake Forest who had limited production and is an undersized kid who has to be in a 3-4 scheme to play OLB. I wasn’t a huge fan of his (ranked him #179 on my board and taken at #113) but he had a great East-West Shrine Game and showed a legit burst off the edge. At one time I had him this high on my board but his lack of production (3.5 sacks in 2011) and poor Combine results (4.86 40) pushed him down a few rounds later than this. Interesting pick but a bit of a reach by the Cowboys. Here is his full bio for Cowboys fans:

Kyle WilberWakeForest #97 6’3 ¾ 249 Sr.

Stats: ACC









































Combine: Worked out as a LB. I have him as a pass rusher but even at that spot he had a below average time (4.86). Slow in sideline to sideline drill. Good in four bag drill. Solid in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill with a great hands catch. Average in multi backpedalal drill-okay for a conversion guy. Solid 2nd time in two dummy drill.










3 Cone

1 yr %












Notes: In the 2011 Mississippi St. game he had a good TFL on inside run hitting RB Vick Ballard hard in hole and throwing him down (11:24 1st), had good bull rush vs. LT James Carmon getting off block to help teammate with sack (10:23 1st), no rush vs. Carmon, beat Carmon to edge but pushed just past QB missing sack (6:00 3rd). He has the perfect frame for a 3-4 OLB as he is tall, skinny, and has solid rush skills. He will need to gain weight and isn’t extremely productive so he’s a late round type guy but I like him as a project 3-4 OLB type. 7th round 1/4/12. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he had no rush or push vs. LT Matt Reynolds, push LT Matt Reynolds back getting inside rush hitting QB as he threw for INC (1:12 1st), good burst off snap getting edge vs. Reynolds for pressure and would be sack if not for quick throw (1:07 1st), no rush vs. Reynolds, no rush vs. Reynolds but great quickness catching QB from behind when he began to scramble-was a horse collar though, beat Reynolds on edge but ball away, good burst off ball but couldn’t get edge vs. Reynolds, very good burst surprising Reynolds to get edge and hit QB just after he threw for 4 sec almost sack (1:05 3rd), went inside on run play and blocked well by Reynolds creating huge hole outside-called for hold but questionable, beat LT Tom Compton on edge but quick throw, beat Compton almost immediately on quick inside move for 4 sec sack-would have been 3 but kill zone took a little while-not the strongest guy (11:20 4th), great initial push on Reynolds getting him off balance and creating inside rush track to QB but was rollout other way-still very impressive (5:58 4th). Out of the 8 DEs at East-West Shrine Game he was by far the best at #1. 4th round 1/24/12.

Tape: 2011: Mississippi St., East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Kyle is a player I noticed on film both in his bowl game and at the East-West Shrine Game as he has a nice burst, good bend, and a frame that fits him perfectly as a 3-4 OLB. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to carry over his momentum with a good Combine as he had a poor 40 (4.86), average quickness drills (4.31 shuttle is average for a DE, poor for a LB), and didn’t wow me in any of the position drills. Combine his average Combine with his average stats the past 2 years (9.5 sacks, 25 TFL) and he’s suddenly a prospect I’m not as interested in as before. I still am intrigued by him as a 3-4 OLB or 4-3 SLB who rushes occasionally but with a good Combine he could have moved up into the 3rd round and instead he went backwards due to his mediocre athleticism. 5th round as my #20 pass rusher 4/11/12.

—While John Elway is quickly ascending into the status as a top GM the Steelers as a franchise have been up there for decades now as they always seem to draft well. Another example is at #109 as they took Alameda Ta’amu the huge DT out of Washington. One reason I wasn’t a huge fan of taking Michael Brockers at #14 for the Cowboys was because of guys like Ta’amu who are outstanding run stoppers and can be had in the later rounds. I didn’t see Brockers as a future pass rusher so he to me was only a slightly better run stopper than Ta’amu yet his price tag was multiple rounds earlier. Alameda at about 340 lbs is an immovable force who had superior numbers to Dontari Poe and a higher grade on my board as Alameda was a 2nd rounder to me and Poe was a late 3rd rounder. Great pick by the Steelers who always pick great so no surprise there.

—The best pick of the 4th round so far was just made by John Elway. He’s starting to become my favorite GM as I really understand a lot of his picks and think he’s building the team the right way. The most recent example is pick #108 Philip Blake the C out of Baylor who was another player I had targeted for the Cowboys. He was #52 on my board so the value of getting him in the 4th round can’t be overstated. I had a much higher grade on him than Ben Jones whom the Texans took earlier as they went to the same event (Senior Bowl) and did one on one drills against the same defensive lineman (both on the South squad) and Blake looked bigger, longer, and stronger while having equal quickness. Great pick.

—I like the pick at #104 by the Panthers when they selected WR Joe Adams. He along with TY Hilton were two guys I liked in the 3rd-4th round for the Cowboys as they are speedy slot wideouts who also have great punt return skills. Adams was an early 2nd round pick on my board after the 2010 season but he was less effective with Tyler Wilson at QB than with Ryan Mallett and was de-emphasized in their offense. Go back to the 2010 film, their BCS bowl game vs. Ohio St. is a great example, and you’ll see a dynamic wideout with DeSean Jackson type ability. He underperformed in 2011 but even then looked solid so this pick could be dynamic as he joins big armed QB Cam Newton and could loosen coverages for Steve Smith across from him. Very good pick.

—John Elway loves those productive players from 2 years ago in college as much as this past season in college. Last year he took Rahim Moore who had a great junior year but only okay senior year and this year they take Omar Bolden CB out of Arizona State who was projected to be an early 2nd rounder when last season began but he tore his ACL and missed the year. Bolden has big time speed when you go back to his junior game tape and he and Coryell Judie were two guys I would have targeted as an NFL GM to get as a steal in the 3rd or 4th round. Very good pick by the Broncos.

—Lamar Miller the RB out of Miami fits the Dolphins perfectly as he looks like a speedy part time starter early on in the NFL who might improve his toughness and inside running abilities after a few years in the league and become a bonafide work horse back. I doubt that ever happens as he reminds me of RB Laurence Maroney who was a bust for the Patriots as a 1st rounder. I like his value this late but I’m not with the few scouts who saw him as a late 1st/early 2nd as he was a clear step below guys like David Wilson and LaMichael James.

—Best available players still on my board are: DT Jared Crick Nebraska, OT Brandon Mosley Auburn, CB Brandon Boykin Georgia, RB Lamar Miller Miami, RB Cyrus Gray Texas A&M, QB Case Keenum Houston, C Philip Blake Baylor, CB Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska, DT Alameda Ta’amu, OT Ryan Miller Colorado, WR Marvin Jones California. All of those players have a 1st or 2nd round grade (mainly 2nd) on my board so there is still a lot of talent out there.

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