Saturday, January 17, 2015

Does Mike Maccagnan's Draft History Bode Well for Him as Jets GM?

The firing of general manager John Idzik after the end of season become more formality than speculation as the Jets' season spiraled out of control after a Week 1 win over the Raiders. While many, including myself, argued that two years was not enough time to evaluate a GM saddled with an overpaid roster and issues at quarterback, Idzik did little in two seasons to prove he deserved a third season. 

Idzik succeeded "cap expert" Mike Tannenbaum, who spent seven years in New York and created a monster that Idzik had to clean up. After nine straight years of cap specialists parading as general managers for the Jets, owner Woody Johnson decided to hire somebody with experience in personnel to oversee the organization. Enter Texans director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan. 

Maccagnan has been involved in scouting since the 1990s, and joined the Texans as a scout in 2000 before finally becoming director of college scouting in July 2011, shortly after the team drafted J.J. Watt with the 11th pick. Maccagnan came highly recommended by Jets consultant Charley Casserly, who hired Maccagnan while working as Redskins GM in 1995 and brought Maccagnan with him to Houston in 2000. 

After his hiring, Maccagnan oversaw the Texans' draft for three seasons from 2012 to 2014. With the overwhelming consensus being that Idzik botched the Jets' last two drafts, which brought only Sheldon Richardson into the fold as a surefire long-term contributor, it seemed prudent to take a look at Houston's drafts with Maccagnan as their scouting director. 

While Maccagnan wasn't pulling the trigger on these picks as GM, his opinion certainly carried a lot of weight and it should be assumed that his thoughts and assertions were behind most, if not all, of the Texans' picks in the past three years. Unfortunately, this sample leaves out the 2011 draft that netted J.J. Watt and two other starters, second-rounder Brooks Reed and seventh-round right tackle Derek Newton.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 Rookie Wrap Up: Best First-Year Values

Every year, there are hidden gems that slide into the later rounds of the NFL Draft. This year was no different, with teams finding impact players after the top-75 picks once again. Chris Tripodi breaks down his top-10 value picks of the 2014 NFL Draft below, including two 49ers and two Jaguars, seven players drafted outside the top 140 and one undrafted gem.

1. Chris Borland (LB-SF, Round 3, Pick 77)

An afterthought on the San Francisco defense to begin the season, Borland started the year third behind Patrick Willis and Michael Wilhoite on the depth chart. When Willis went down in Week 6 with what turned into a season-ending injury, Borland got his chance to shine and never looked back.

While he struggled in coverage in his first start the following week against the Broncos – certainly nothing new for a rookie linebacker – Borland made at least 13 tackles in five of the 49ers’ next six games before succumbing to an injury of his own in Week 15, hurting his ankle against the Seahawks.

Read the rest at Draft Insider