Homecoming recap

CougPatrol

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Apart from the ridiculous traffic delay on West bound I-90, Homecoming weekend was great. Attendance was disappointing, particularly the student attendance given the weather and 2:30PM start time, but I was expecting it. 4 home games in 5 weeks is rough on us traveling alumni, but the students had no excuses. Oh well...

As for the game, it was a great performance against a team that I think it pretty solid. The best takeaway is that we showed that we were clearly the better team. We didn't win because we made goal line stops or that we benefitted from bad calls. We were better offensively, defensively, and we controlled the game despite 2 terrible INTs and not forcing Cal into a single turnover. We also held maybe the top running back in the conference to 70 yards.

Cam Ward has looked great these past 2 weeks. His decision making isn't always great, and he makes some easy reads harder than they need to be, but damn, he is incredibly calm and confident under center. He has some Mahommes like qualities about him, and as I said in a previous thread, if he doesn't declare for the NFL draft, he's going to be hard to handle next season. In 2023, we have the benefit of missing USC & Utah. With that said, those INTs yesterday were horrendously bad. The last one was especially bad, as it occurred on 1st down on a play where he could have run for 10 yards himself. Good coaching opportunity though. I don't see that continuing with him.

As for concerns, there are several. Despite their impressive performance yesterday, I'm still not sold on our defense. I think they do a nice job overall, and the effort and tackling are good, but I think wide open offenses will give us problems. Our road games against Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona, games that we'll need to win if this is to be a "special" season, are far from gimmes.

Our running game is also a mess right now. I like our two backs, but the play designs need work. That damn delayed read-option run that we use is a joke. It's not just us. I see so many teams try and use it, when only a few of them have the personnel to pull it off. The frustrating thing is that we have a QB who should be great at it. Cam needs to be coached on selling the fake better and pulling the ball more often. I'd also like to see us use more traditional stretch plays and quick hitters. It seems like 90% of our runs have a bob and weave element to them, and sometimes we just need a straight handoff to Jenkins and let him hit the edge.

Anyways, this has been a fun season so far. I'm still not convinced that we're a great team, and this next 3-game stretch (at USC, at Oregon State, Utah) could be rough, but I think we have the type of coach, QB, and defense that won't get down and will rally down the stretch even if we hit a rough patch in October. We close with Stanford, ASU, Arizona, and UW, and I could see us winning all 4 of them.
 

How_did_this_happen?

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Apart from the ridiculous traffic delay on West bound I-90, Homecoming weekend was great. Attendance was disappointing, particularly the student attendance given the weather and 2:30PM start time, but I was expecting it. 4 home games in 5 weeks is rough on us traveling alumni, but the students had no excuses. Oh well...

As for the game, it was a great performance against a team that I think it pretty solid. The best takeaway is that we showed that we were clearly the better team. We didn't win because we made goal line stops or that we benefitted from bad calls. We were better offensively, defensively, and we controlled the game despite 2 terrible INTs and not forcing Cal into a single turnover. We also held maybe the top running back in the conference to 70 yards.

Cam Ward has looked great these past 2 weeks. His decision making isn't always great, and he makes some easy reads harder than they need to be, but damn, he is incredibly calm and confident under center. He has some Mahommes like qualities about him, and as I said in a previous thread, if he doesn't declare for the NFL draft, he's going to be hard to handle next season. In 2023, we have the benefit of missing USC & Utah. With that said, those INTs yesterday were horrendously bad. The last one was especially bad, as it occurred on 1st down on a play where he could have run for 10 yards himself. Good coaching opportunity though. I don't see that continuing with him.

As for concerns, there are several. Despite their impressive performance yesterday, I'm still not sold on our defense. I think they do a nice job overall, and the effort and tackling are good, but I think wide open offenses will give us problems. Our road games against Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona, games that we'll need to win if this is to be a "special" season, are far from gimmes.

Our running game is also a mess right now. I like our two backs, but the play designs need work. That damn delayed read-option run that we use is a joke. It's not just us. I see so many teams try and use it, when only a few of them have the personnel to pull it off. The frustrating thing is that we have a QB who should be great at it. Cam needs to be coached on selling the fake better and pulling the ball more often. I'd also like to see us use more traditional stretch plays and quick hitters. It seems like 90% of our runs have a bob and weave element to them, and sometimes we just need a straight handoff to Jenkins and let him hit the edge.

Anyways, this has been a fun season so far. I'm still not convinced that we're a great team, and this next 3-game stretch (at USC, at Oregon State, Utah) could be rough, but I think we have the type of coach, QB, and defense that won't get down and will rally down the stretch even if we hit a rough patch in October. We close with Stanford, ASU, Arizona, and UW, and I could see us winning all 4 of them.

Great summary. Thanks.

I don't have any worries about Arizona. Their defense is horrible. Not sure their o line will hold up against our rush, but it should be a high scoring and entertaining game. JdL will be pumped to beat us, but not having a defense and a decent o line will nullify any of his desires to beat his former team and "show them!".
 

CougPatrol

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Great summary. Thanks.

I don't have any worries about Arizona. Their defense is horrible. Not sure their o line will hold up against our rush, but it should be a high scoring and entertaining game. JdL will be pumped to beat us, but not having a defense and a decent o line will nullify any of his desires to beat his former team and "show them!".
Our pass rush is actually another area of concern for me.
 

mikalalas

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Our pass rush is actually another area of concern for me.

After 4 sacks, LOTS of QB hurries, QB hits a split sec after releasing, throwing the ball, in the Cal game.

About 9 sacks vs CSU.

Sacks vs Idaho.

1+ Sack(s) vs Wiscy.

0, maybe, maybe not 1 Sack in Oregon game.

Except the Oregon game, and Maybe, Maybe not the Wiscy game WSU's Pass Rush is just fine.

Of course Alabama, Oregon, etc, types, will make WSU's pass Rush, not look good.

WSU's Pass Rush is just fine, pretty good.
 

M-I-Coug

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Mercer Island
Apart from the ridiculous traffic delay on West bound I-90, Homecoming weekend was great. Attendance was disappointing, particularly the student attendance given the weather and 2:30PM start time, but I was expecting it. 4 home games in 5 weeks is rough on us traveling alumni, but the students had no excuses. Oh well...

As for the game, it was a great performance against a team that I think it pretty solid. The best takeaway is that we showed that we were clearly the better team. We didn't win because we made goal line stops or that we benefitted from bad calls. We were better offensively, defensively, and we controlled the game despite 2 terrible INTs and not forcing Cal into a single turnover. We also held maybe the top running back in the conference to 70 yards.

Cam Ward has looked great these past 2 weeks. His decision making isn't always great, and he makes some easy reads harder than they need to be, but damn, he is incredibly calm and confident under center. He has some Mahommes like qualities about him, and as I said in a previous thread, if he doesn't declare for the NFL draft, he's going to be hard to handle next season. In 2023, we have the benefit of missing USC & Utah. With that said, those INTs yesterday were horrendously bad. The last one was especially bad, as it occurred on 1st down on a play where he could have run for 10 yards himself. Good coaching opportunity though. I don't see that continuing with him.

As for concerns, there are several. Despite their impressive performance yesterday, I'm still not sold on our defense. I think they do a nice job overall, and the effort and tackling are good, but I think wide open offenses will give us problems. Our road games against Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona, games that we'll need to win if this is to be a "special" season, are far from gimmes.

Our running game is also a mess right now. I like our two backs, but the play designs need work. That damn delayed read-option run that we use is a joke. It's not just us. I see so many teams try and use it, when only a few of them have the personnel to pull it off. The frustrating thing is that we have a QB who should be great at it. Cam needs to be coached on selling the fake better and pulling the ball more often. I'd also like to see us use more traditional stretch plays and quick hitters. It seems like 90% of our runs have a bob and weave element to them, and sometimes we just need a straight handoff to Jenkins and let him hit the edge.

Anyways, this has been a fun season so far. I'm still not convinced that we're a great team, and this next 3-game stretch (at USC, at Oregon State, Utah) could be rough, but I think we have the type of coach, QB, and defense that won't get down and will rally down the stretch even if we hit a rough patch in October. We close with Stanford, ASU, Arizona, and UW, and I could see us winning all 4 of them.
Nice write up. I think Wilcox is in the hot seat, and their fans have seen enough these past 6 years.

Amazing that we stopped Jaydn Ott, as he hadn't faced anyone like us before. That freshman was scared, and his face showed it. Our guys just stepped up, regarding stopping the run.

Back to Justin Wilcox. Their fans have seen enough, just like Paul Chryst and Karl Dorrell. Same old, same old. There's a dumpster fire in Berkeley, and honestly, minos Ott, they're not that good.

I'm expecting a major-major miraculous upset this Saturday in the Coliseum, on national television. Call me crazy....as there's a 4% chance of winning.....but I think it's going to happen.
 
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roses04

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Thanks for the recap CP,
I just don’t see Ward declaring for the draft, he still has a long ways to go. Looks great at times, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Needless to say his decision making is bad at times, he seems to have mental lapses. Has good Arm strength, but lacks accuracy at times. His footwork need some work.
He does have the tools to compete at the next, however anyone telling him to leave this year is giving him bad advice
 

mikalalas

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Nice write up. I think Wilcox is in the hot seat, and their fans have seen enough these past 6 years.

Amazing that we stopped Jaydn Ott, as he hadn't faced anyone like us before. That freshman was scared, and his face showed it. Our guys just stepped up, regarding stopping the run.

Back to Justin Wilcox. Their fans have seen enough, just like Paul Chryst and Karl Dorrell. Same old, same old. There's a dumpster fire in Berkeley, and honestly, minos Ott, they're not that good.

I'm expecting a major-major miraculous upset this Saturday in the Coliseum, on national television. Call me crazy....as there's a 4% chance of winning.....but I think it's going to happen.

I don't think WSU will beat USC on the road, but I do think it will be a WSU just barely losing the game, extremely close game.

I think it's more likely WSU beats Utah at home, because Utah injuries like their TE, and their offense is not a high powered offense like Oregon, etc.

So I think WSU will beat Utah and Ore St, and lose a extremely close one to SC.

I think WSU wins 3,4 out of their last 4 games, and that WSU will win 7,8 at minimum, 9 at medium, average, 10 at most.

WSU can HANG with almost anyone.
 
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Coug90

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After 4 sacks, LOTS of QB hurries, QB hits a split sec after releasing, throwing the ball, in the Cal game.

About 9 sacks vs CSU.

Sacks vs Idaho.

1+ Sack(s) vs Wiscy.

0, maybe, maybe not 1 Sack in Oregon game.

Except the Oregon game, and Maybe, Maybe not the Wiscy game WSU's Pass Rush is just fine.

Of course Alabama, Oregon, etc, types, will make WSU's pass Rush, not look good.

WSU's Pass Rush is just fine, pretty good.
Oregon also has one of the top rated OLines in the country having already played GA. There’s other tough teams on our schedule that will give us a variety of problems but I think the pass rush will mostly be there all year. When our starting 4/5 DBs are healthy the defense is pretty solid front to back.
 

CougPatrol

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Thanks for the recap CP,
I just don’t see Ward declaring for the draft, he still has a long ways to go. Looks great at times, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Needless to say his decision making is bad at times, he seems to have mental lapses. Has good Arm strength, but lacks accuracy at times. His footwork need some work.
He does have the tools to compete at the next, however anyone telling him to leave this year is giving him bad advice
I wasn't suggesting that he will declare for the draft, but pointing out that since he used his portal transfer already, the only way he'll leave is for the draft.

The NFL draft tracker sites have Ward listed as the #15 QB in college football, so I don't see him leaving. I love his upside. If I'm Dickert, I'm turning over every portal stone I can to sure up the offensive line for next season.
 
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Coug90

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I wasn't suggesting that he will declare for the draft, but pointing out that since he used his portal transfer already, the only way he'll leave is for the draft.

The NFL draft tracker sites have Ward listed as the #15 QB in college football, so I don't see him leaving. I love his upside. If I'm Dickert, I'm turning over every portal stone I can to sure up the offensive line for next season.
Kiper recently had him at like 6. His stock is going up. Unless he was pretty certain he’d go in the first 2 rounds he’s better off staying.
 

CougPatrol

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Kiper recently had him at like 6. His stock is going up. Unless he was pretty certain he’d go in the first 2 rounds he’s better off staying.
Wow, that's pretty high already. If he's one of the top-5 QBs on the board, he'll declare IMO.
 

CougPatrol

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As of 2020, here's the here’s the average salary in total value for players drafted in each round:

First round: $18.4 million
Second round: $6.9 million
Third round: $4.4 million
Fourth round: $3.3 million
Fifth round: $2.95 million
Sixth round: $2.8 million
Seventh round: $2.7 million
 

Coug90

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Wow, that's pretty high already. If he's one of the top-5 QBs on the board, he'll declare IMO.
Well he could be a top 5 QB on someone’s board and still drop. I’m not saying I agree w Kiper’s assessment just that he’s got draft “experts” putting him in the mix. If I’m an NFL GM I wouldn’t touch Ward right now primarily because of his tendency to run outside the pocket instead of stepping up. He’s gotten better but that’s the number one thing he’s got to fix for the NFL imo. He’s athletic but he can barely outrun defensive ends, NFL front 7s will eat him alive.
 

CougPatrol

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Well he could be a top 5 QB on someone’s board and still drop. I’m not saying I agree w Kiper’s assessment just that he’s got draft “experts” putting him in the mix. If I’m an NFL GM I wouldn’t touch Ward right now primarily because of his tendency to run outside the pocket instead of stepping up. He’s gotten better but that’s the number one thing he’s got to fix for the NFL imo. He’s athletic but he can barely outrun defensive ends, NFL front 7s will eat him alive.
Well, since we've been discussing, I've been scouring the web on his draft status. He's really come up a lot in the past 2 weeks. One sight has him the the 4th QB selected and another one has him at #41 overall. That would be 2nd round, of course. If that's the case, he's gone.
 

BleedCrimsonandGray

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Well, since we've been discussing, I've been scouring the web on his draft status. He's really come up a lot in the past 2 weeks. One sight has him the the 4th QB selected and another one has him at #41 overall. That would be 2nd round, of course. If that's the case, he's gone.
I know he has huge potential upside, but we've seen more often than not that guys who don't have it between the ears (reading defenses/ progressions) usually never get it. He would be served immensely by getting at least another year of college football in instead of finding himself on a bench and never getting a second contract. I understand its hard to walk away from several million guaranteed (if he can get it), so no judgements, but I hope he can see the big picture if his plans are to have an NFL career.
 

CougPatrol

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I know he has huge potential upside, but we've seen more often than not that guys who don't have it between the ears (reading defenses/ progressions) usually never get it. He would be served immensely by getting at least another year of college football in instead of finding himself on a bench and never getting a second contract. I understand its hard to walk away from several million guaranteed (if he can get it), so no judgements, but I hope he can see the big picture if his plans are to have an NFL career.
I don't disagree with your point, but I do disagree with your big picture assessment. If he were my son and was all but assured to be a first day NFL pick, I would advise him to declare. You're talking between $4-7 million guaranteed.
 

BleedCrimsonandGray

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I don't disagree with your point, but I do disagree with your big picture assessment. If he were my son and was all but assured to be a first day NFL pick, I would advise him to declare. You're talking between $4-7 million guaranteed.
And then what? Wash out because you can't catch up to NFL speed and never get a second chance?
 

95coug

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Wow, that's pretty high already. If he's one of the top-5 QBs on the board, he'll declare IMO.
What that tells me is that Kiper isn't watching the games.

Ward is nowhere close to NFL-ready. If he leaves this season, it'll be a bigger mistake than Philip Bobo, James Williams, or Max Borghi. Based on what he's showed so far, he wouldn't get drafted. He hasn't managed to adjust to the FBS speed yet, forget about NFL. And that doesn't even address his issues with mechanics and vision.
 
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kougkurt

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The NFL is about selling tickets and merch. They like cool and innovative players to market their league. Guys that have the “it” factor. Like it or not, Cam is that guy
 

95coug

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I don't disagree with your point, but I do disagree with your big picture assessment. If he were my son and was all but assured to be a first day NFL pick, I would advise him to declare. You're talking between $4-7 million guaranteed.
Not me. I'd tell him to look at the current salary structure in combination with a reliable draft grade and a projection of who's coming out in 2024.

Kenny Pickett was the only QB taken in the 1st round in 2022. He went at #20. Only his signing bonus is guaranteed, which gives him 7.4 million over 4 years. His total contract gives him $14M over 4 years. So you're right on the guaranteed amount, but you have to look deeper.

In 2021, Mac Jones was drafted #15. His signing bonus and half his contract are guaranteed: $15.5M. (In 2022, OT Kenyon Green was #15, his guaranteed money is $15.9M). So, by moving up only 5 spots, you get more money guaranteed than is in the entire contract at #20...and the guaranteed money is double.

Justin Fields was #11, and has just under $19M guaranteed. Trey Lance was #3 and has $34M guaranteed.

My point is, under the new rookie scale there's quite a bit of difference between the late 1st and the mid 1st, and even more between the mid and the early. So while there is some argument for coming out early and starting to get paid, I'd argue that if you're looking at a late 1st-early 2nd grade...you'll make more money if you play another season, polish some of the rough spots, and get to the mid 1st or better.

Sure, there's some risk. But if it works, the money makes sense, and easily offsets what you miss out on by playing another year of college ball.
 

Coug90

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What that tells me is that Kiper isn't watching the games.

Ward is nowhere close to NFL-ready. If he leaves this season, it'll be a bigger mistake than Philip Bobo, James Williams, or Max Borghi. Based on what he's showed so far, he wouldn't get drafted. He hasn't managed to adjust to the FBS speed yet, forget about NFL. And that doesn't even address his issues with mechanics and vision.
100% agree. Then again what do I know about QBs I thought Herbert was going to be a bust after watching him at Oregon.
 

CougPatrol

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100% agree. Then again what do I know about QBs I thought Herbert was going to be a bust after watching him at Oregon.
That's the perspective people miss. The NFL has money to burn. They take player development risks all the time; particularly at the QB position. If Ward is projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick, regardless of whether or not people think he'll make it, why in the Hell wouldn't he sign? You're talking about about $8m - $12m after taxes.
 

95coug

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That's the perspective people miss. The NFL has money to burn. They take player development risks all the time; particularly at the QB position. If Ward is projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick, regardless of whether or not people think he'll make it, why in the Hell wouldn't he sign? You're talking about about $8m - $12m after taxes.
By the time you get to the middle of the 2nd round, you’re only looking at about $3.5 million guaranteed. By the end of the round, less than 1.5. If I’m advising someone like Ward, I point out that he needs to be top half of the 1st to really get paid. A 2nd round grade might mean he maybe doesn’t go until the 3rd…which means he still needs a day job if he gets hurt, and doesn’t even guarantee a roster spot.
 

roses04

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I don't care what number he is on the draft board, unless he is guaranteed first round, he needs more experience. Going from FCS to FBS is going up a couple of steps, going from college football to the NFL is a whole flight of stairs. The offense and defenses are so much more complex, sure the big picture is the same but the plays are far more complex as are the defenses, little nuisances in positioning, motion, disguising the defense, not tipping them off just to name a few is at a much higher level. If he wants to be a success in the NFL and not sign "cheap" for his first 4 years, he needs at least another year at the college level.
 
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Coug90

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I don't care what number he is on the draft board, unless he is guaranteed first round, he needs more experience. Going from FCS to FBS is going up a couple of steps, going from college football to the NFL is a whole flight of stairs. The offense and defenses are so much more complex, sure the big picture is the same but the plays are far more complex as are the defenses, little nuisances in positioning, motion, disguising the defense, not tipping them off just to name a few is at a much higher level. If he wants to be a success in the NFL and not sign "cheap" for his first 4 years, he needs at least another year at the college level.
Another thing to consider is the talent coming out with you, especially at that position. If it’s a QB class heavy with talent and you could use more seasoning, your best option is to bet on yourself for the next draft. This year’s draft is supposed to be pretty solid with franchise QB prospects…I have no idea on next year, but probably will be a step down where he could be one of the big names.
 

Coug90

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That's the perspective people miss. The NFL has money to burn. They take player development risks all the time; particularly at the QB position. If Ward is projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick, regardless of whether or not people think he'll make it, why in the Hell wouldn't he sign? You're talking about about $8m - $12m after taxes.
As for the NFL, I disagree. Draft capital is king in a salary cap league. Teams make billions sure, but what you can spend on players is finite. If you screw up half of your draft it can set you back 3-4 years. And nothing is guaranteed for the players entering in the worlds most over analyzed job interview.
 

95coug

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Another thing to consider is the talent coming out with you, especially at that position. If it’s a QB class heavy with talent and you could use more seasoning, your best option is to bet on yourself for the next draft. This year’s draft is supposed to be pretty solid with franchise QB prospects…I have no idea on next year, but probably will be a step down where he could be one of the big names.
In addition to that...the overall demand within the league. 2022 was kind of a nightmare year for QBs - it was a pretty thin draft, and most teams had an established starter. In fact, at least a couple of starter-quality players were trade bait right up until week 1.

2023 will probably see more vacancies - or teams ready to move on - but is also supposed to be a deeper draft at QB. I'd expect at least 3 teams are looking for an immediate starter (Colts, Bucs, Seahawks) and another 10 will be looking for either an upgrade or an heir apparent.
 

95coug

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As for the NFL, I disagree. Draft capital is king in a salary cap league. Teams make billions sure, but what you can spend on players is finite. If you screw up half of your draft it can set you back 3-4 years. And nothing is guaranteed for the players entering in the worlds most over analyzed job interview.
Well...and most of the player development risks are taken in the middle rounds. You don't see teams rolling the dice a lot with their round 1-2 picks.
 
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Coug90

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In addition to that...the overall demand within the league. 2022 was kind of a nightmare year for QBs - it was a pretty thin draft, and most teams had an established starter. In fact, at least a couple of starter-quality players were trade bait right up until week 1.

2023 will probably see more vacancies - or teams ready to move on - but is also supposed to be a deeper draft at QB. I'd expect at least 3 teams are looking for an immediate starter (Colts, Bucs, Seahawks) and another 10 will be looking for either an upgrade or an heir apparent.
You want to declare in a year where teams think Jake Locker is worthy of the 12th pick. Timing is everything.
 

mikalalas

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As for the NFL, I disagree. Draft capital is king in a salary cap league. Teams make billions sure, but what you can spend on players is finite. If you screw up half of your draft it can set you back 3-4 years. And nothing is guaranteed for the players entering in the worlds most over analyzed job interview.

There have been draft PROSPECTS that have been PROJECTED as TOP 1/3 of 1st round and on mock drafts and on draft boards that have FALLEN been picked as low as rounds 4 to 7.

NOTHING is GUARANTEED in the NFL draft.

In a year where the QB draft is comparable to 83, like this year's draft, as far as number of GOOD QB prospects, if your not graded, projected top 1/3 of 1st round, you wait until next year.

Next draft after this coming draft, is projected to be QB light, like the last draft. That is when you go.

That's the SMART way to do it. But not all are smart, and Cam might be wrongly tempted, advised to declare, stay in draft.

And that's just the draft angle. If he does leave after this season, and get drafted 1st round, he would be carrying a clipboard at best, wouldn't start more then a couple, few, some games(and do horrible in those games), and MOST likely, he would PROBABLY WASH out of NFL, just like RYAN LEAF.

HE IS NOT READY.

If he wants to be a STARTER, and a PLAYOFF QB, MAKE MORE MONEY, in addition to being drafted 1st, 2nd round, HE WILL OR SHOULD WAIT a year until the next draft after this coming draft.
 

dgibbons

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The NFL is about selling tickets and merch. They like cool and innovative players to market their league. Guys that have the “it” factor. Like it or not, Cam is that guy
The NFL is about measurables and potential.
 

95coug

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Blake Bortles just retired at 30 years old. Dude earned over $70M.
$47.6M, actually. His rookie deal gave him $20.6M for his first 4 seasons. Then the Jaguars picked up his 5th year option. Since he was a top 5 pick, that guaranteed that he had to be paid the average of the top 10 QBs in the NFL in year 5 (2018 - $20M). He got cut after 2018, and never got a big contract again.

And sure, if you're a top 5 pick, there's really no reason not to sign. But if you've got a round 2 grade...or even a late 1st round grade...you have to look at the situation. That grade doesn't mean you're going to get picked there - the depth of the class at your position and the demand across the league is significant.
 

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