It’s finally arrived- April 28th, the day dreams are made for rookie players April 28, 2016 will change the lives of 32 young men forever. Likewise, tonight could be the start of a franchise’s climb out of the gutter and into the spotlight (good luck Cleveland). Because of what the draft means, I’ve been reviewing game tape on some of the top players by using draftbreakdown.com.
The Ravens are picking 6th, so we’re limiting the review of tape to a hand full of players. Those players are Jalen Ramsey, Laremy Tunsil, Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, and Ronnie Stanley. I’m not going to claim that I’m an expert, but I like to think I can analyze the film pretty well. I’m no Todd McShay, but I’ve used the game film to determine who I think should be drafted and the list is put in ordered based on that opinion. These opinions are going to seem harsh. You’ve been warned. . .
Joey Bosa is my favorite player in this slot. I consistently see plays going away from him which tells me that coaches are scared of him. I also see Bosa lining up inside or outside which shows positional flexibility. Bosa shows great hands and keeps his arms extended- he’s able to keep the o-lineman at a distance. In doing so, it sets him up to use a power move or a swim move. Bosa seems to favor the power move, but is relentless in coming after the quarterback. Bosa shows the ability to push a blocker then “roll” off to get to the ball carrier. There’s also a play against ND where he is the reason that the QB throws an interception. The only issue is that after the throw, he gets flagged for unnecessary roughness. What I like the most is that I don’t see Bosa taking plays off.
Jalen Ramsey is frequently said to show ability as a Saftey or Cornerback at the next level. I think he’s at his best when he’s playing center field or rushing the passer. The video seems to say that Ramsey should be a safety. He doesn’t seem to play press coverage very often, and seems to be more comfortable playing off the line to give the WR a cushion. Ramsey does break on the ball well and shows great instincts. I see multiple times where Ramsey is beaten off the line, but makes up for that with his athletic. That concerns me as I don’t know if he can do that in the NFL when he’s facing guys like Antonio Brown or DeAndre Hopkins every week. As a corner, Ramsey can get turned around. I think Ramsey would be at his best in a system that plays zone or lets Ramsey be a safety primarily.
Laremy Tunsil is someone that I said could be the Ravens’ next Jonathan Ogden. The game tape shows that he may not be Ogden-good, but he’s still really good. Tunsil has great quickness off the ball. He seems to anticipate the snap count which may make for a lot of false starts in his rookie season. What I do see is a guy who absolutely shuts down in the run game. When he gets his hands on someone, they are no longer part of the play. Tunsil has great footwork, but can get beat in the passing game. Tunsil will be at his best with a quarterback who stays in the pocket as his go to move is to push speed rusher past the quarterback.
DeForest Buckner’s tape disappointed me. I expected to see an animal who dominates at the line, and I didn’t see that very much at all. At the Alamo bowl, TCU shut Buckner down mostly using a one-on-one match up with their LT Vaitai. He’s ranked as the 25th tackle in the nation, so I would expect Buckner to easily beat him. Instead, I saw Buckner get frustrated and start taking plays off. He plays very upright which will make his rookie season difficult as he adjusts to the talent in the NFL. That being said, I think he still has a lot of upside. He’s going to be a great player one day, but don’t expect great things in his rookie season.
Ronnie Stanley is being pushed up the board in many mock drafts. I’ve even seen rumors that the Chargers could take him at 3rd overall which I think would be a huge mistake. If he’s a top 10 pick, I expect him to show well against top competition. Against Ohio State, Stanley gets frequent help in the form of double teams against a lineman. Before you make any assumptions, he wasn’t facing Bosa. Bosa was on the opposite side. I see Stanley whiff on cut blocks and see him in struggle against the speed rush. Stanely can handle a power move and he does run block very well, but I’m a bit concerned about his pass blocking. Having a significant concern about protecting the QB’s blind side is not something I’m willing to accept that high in the draft.
These may seem overly critical of the best players in the draft, but we’re trying to find the difference between potentially great players. You’re talking about a significant investment at the top of the draft. That means you have to split hairs.
My first post on this site was about the Ravens’ best options at the top of the draft. It was March 2nd, and my thoughts were Bosa/Ramsey/Tunsil or we trade. After reviewing the tape, I still stand by that thought. I’m worried about how upright Buckner is, and I’m worried about Stanley getting beat by average talent.
What do you think about the top of the draft? Are there any players that you want your team to avoid despite the reports of how great they are?