Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 8/12/13
One of the best things about the NFL is the NFL draft, but the problem is most, if not all websites stop talking about the draft when the NFL season starts. No I am not talking about the next year’s draft; I am talking about the previous drafts. One of the things I am always interested in is how my evaluation of players played out, while a lot of draft writers, are looking forward to 2014, I am looking back to 2011, 2012 and 2013, and identifying where I was right, where I was wrong, and how I can make sure those misses are less frequent. This will be an ongoing case study for the whole season, along with data pulled from previous seasons, but to start out in the preseason I am just going to look at six recent draftees who played well, or struggled in each game. Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings review Three who impressed: David Quessenberry, LG Houston Texans- If there was ever a matched made in offensive lineman heaven it was Quessenberry and the Texans zone scheme. Quessenberry was solid in pass protection, and showed his athleticism and understanding of the Texans run blocking scheme in his elongated first look. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Quessenberry push for playing time throughout the season. Sharrif Floyd, DT Minnesota Vikings- While Floyd was limited in his snaps because of an injury; he looked downright dominant in his brief appearance. His ability to penetrate, push the pocket, and generally wreak havoc against the interior of the Texans offensive line was a site for Vikings fans. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Minnesota Vikings- Patterson was plagued through the draft and during the summer with rumors of his inabilities to grasp an NFL playbook. Well in game one of the preseason that looked like it wouldn’t be a problem at all. Patterson was a technician in his routes, working the inside, outside, boundary and field side with excellent timing and seemed to be in sync with Matt Cassel of all people. Patterson is a playmaker, and the Vikings just need to worry about getting the ball in his hands. Three who disappointed: DJ Swearinger, S Houston Texans- While Swearinger was his normal downhill self in run support; he continued to show his warts in coverage. He gave up a touchdown, and was generally late, over overly aggressive from his safety position. While I have little doubt Swearinger will be a good pro, he needs to clean up his coverage ability to prove it. Michael Mauti, LB Minnesota Vikings- There are few who like Mauti as much as I did as a prospect coming out of Penn State, knee problems and all, but he showed that he is either not fully recovered from his third knee injury, or lacks the short area quickness that made him such a highly regarded prospect before. Either way his star is one I will be paying close attention too throughout the preseason. Brandon Brooks, OG Houston Texans- Brooks was the anti-Quessenberry if you will in the Texans first preseason game. He was solid in pass protection, but consistently missed and/or fell of his blocks in the run game. Brooks was a favorite prospect of mine coming out of Miami of Ohio, but hasn’t shown the consistent ability in the run game that is needed to get playing time in the Texans scheme, to be fair I never liked his fit in a zone scheme.
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