Thursday, May 19, 2011
Shocking Jags and Texans topic: Safeties
By Paul Kuharsky
I’m sorry to say I’ve not been keeping up with this series by Rob Rang. But I found what he had to say about two AFC South newcomers at major positions of need to be quite interesting.
In short: He likes Shiloh Keo as a Texans safety and he’s not all that fired up about Chris Prosinski as a Jaguars safety.
Keo is rated a quality fit:
"I have my reservations about how well Keo will be able to cover against NFL speed, but the primary issue in the Houston secondary the past few seasons hasn't been speed -- it has been a lack of instincts and reliable open-field tackling. In these areas, Keo ranks among the elite safeties in the entire 2011 draft. Keo's initial impact will almost certainly be felt on special teams - where he could prove to be a demon. A playmaking punt returner in college, watch for Keo to make the adjustment to special teams coverage, rather than returning, to be his NFL [specialty]. One might argue that in the fifth round, the Texans should have been looking for a future starter (which I don't know that Keo will ever become), but at pick No. 144, there were few players more guaranteed to make a more immediate impact on special teams, so I see the pick as having good value."
Prosinski is rated a questionable fit:
"It is perhaps a little unfair to characterize Prosinski as a questionable fit considering how badly the Jaguars needed help at safety and the former Wyoming standout's unique athleticism. A three-year starter for the Cowboys, it was a bit of a surprise when Prosinski wasn't invited to the Combine considering his high level of play and the relative weakness of the position. He answered all questions about his athleticism at his Pro Day when he registered a 4.39 40, 39 1/2-inch vertical, 4.28 short shuttle, and 11-foot-2-inch broad jump. That said, I do have some concerns about his ability to transition to the NFL. Jaguars' general manager Gene Smith might be the NFL's most aggressive draft-day talent evaluator. This pick might turn out well like some of his past selections, but in my conversations with other teams' scouts, this was viewed as a legitimate reach."
More interesting stuff on what may be the most interesting position in the division, and by interesting I mean weak. (Indianapolis’ Antoine Bethea is a stud. Tennessee’s Michael Griffin can be good but is very inconsistent. Indianapolis’ Melvin Bullitt is reliable. Beyond that, what’s to like?)
According to Pro Football Focus, Bethea ranked ninth in the NFL in tackle attempts per missed tackle. Remarkably, Reggie Nelson, who couldn’t tackle at all at the end in Jacksonville, ranked 16th in his first year in Cincinnati. People must have been falling down at his feet.
On the other end of the spectrum: Jacksonville’s Sean Considine was the sixth worst safety in the league with a missed tackle every 5.1 attempts, Indianapolis’ Aaron Francisco (who was about fourth string) was eighth at 6.2 and Griffin was 19th at 7.0.