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Green Zone League Articles

2015 Draft Spotlight: Offense (Part 1 of 2)
By Anthony Fernandez
Special to gzl-football.com

2015 GZL DRAFT PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
The Offensive Edition (Part 1 of 2)
AF, GreenZone Media Committee
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013


QB Kendall Irving | Iowa | 63 223lbs
Breakdown: 96THP, 84THA, 77AWR
Irving was questionable to declare early, but ultimately he called it a college career to make himself eligible for a somewhat weak QB class. The exception to that is Irving, who is the full package. He has great poise in the pocket, a GZL-ready arm, and enough smarts to start from day 1. Unlike other top QBs like RG3 and Cam Newton, Irving is not a scrambler and will do his damage from the pocket. Irving is easily as good as last year's #1 pick Geno Smith, and even though a lot of the teams nearing the #1 pick have a QB already, there will be a ton of interest in moving up to secure the next elite Franchise QB.
Comparison: Andrew Luck, Kansas City Chiefs
Initial Grade: Top 3 Pick.

QB E.J. Manuel | Florida State | 65 237lbs
Breakdown: 93THP, 85THA, 71AWR
E.J. has the arm and smarts of a starting GZL QB, but also has a tendency to scramble. Much like previous top scramblers, he is GZL-ready and some team in the Top-20 picks will love the idea of nabbing a near-90 OVR QB to plug-and-play right away. While he may never put up Franchise QB #'s like Boston Mallett, he will put up Franchise QB win totals, which is why you see guys like RG3 and Cam Newton go in the Top 10 picks. As the league develops, there are fewer and fewer QB "seats" in the game of musical chairs, but I still think we have enough needy teams (Colts? Jets?) to make E.J. a 1st Rounder. I doubt the Dolphins could pass on him 6 times in the 1st round, even with Russell Wilson on the roster.
Comparison: Robert Griffin III, Buffalo Bills
Initial Grade: 1st Round Pick.

OT Lane Johnson | Oklahoma | 66 303lbs
Breakdown: 93STR, 83ACC, 90PBK, 86RBK
Lane has everything you want in a Franchise OT. He arrived at OU as a QB, and as he kept growing into his body he was molded into an elite pass blocker. He has the body frame to support another 10 pounds or so, and while he played RT in college most scouts expect him to be an elite LT in the league. While going OL in the Top 10 is not sexy, we saw last year with a run of 4 OL in the Top 13 picks that teams aren't afraid to build through the trenches.
Comparison: Jordan Gross, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Initial Grade: Top 10 Pick.

WR Marquise Goodwin | Texas | 59 183lbs
Breakdown: 99SPD, 94AGI, 99ACC, 67STR, 74CTH, 99KR
Goodwin is small, but he's a tough little SOB. While he's got comparable size and speed to DeSean Jackson (who was just traded for a 1st) and Tavon Austin (who went 2.4 last year), Goodwin has the frame that can almost support 200lbs, he's strong as an ox for his size, and he has no history of injuries. Goodwin is somebody that most are going to hope lasts until the top of the 2nd like Austin, but they will be disappointed as someone won't wait for him. He is going to bring a team a ton of utility from the slot, and will probably have 4 KR TDs a season for a decade.
Comparison: DeSean Jackson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Initial Grade: 1st Round Pick.

HB Knile Davis | Arkansas | 511 227lbs
Breakdown: 95SPD, 83AGI, 96ACC, 82STR, 62CTH, 72BTK, 70CAR
Much of the focus in this HB class will go to Lattimore, who is by all accounts a much safer pick, but perhaps some should switch to Davis. One GM was quoted as to saying, "I'm not in love with this HB class. There are plenty of 1,000 yard HBs, but nowhere close a 2,000 yard HB. In this class, you almost would be better off to take a chance on someone, and hope you can turn him into Adrian Peterson." It was an awkward comparison at first - but on paper, Knile Davis is only 2-3 years of intense loving from becoming another AP. He will need to work on his fumbling, but he has a decent frame that could almost support 240lbs, and is deceptively strong for his size. With some work, you could have Adrian Peterson (the gold standard) or Mark Ingram (who was smashing records a year ago).
Comparison: Mark Ingram, Oakland Raiders
Initial Grade: 1st/2nd Round Pick.


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Part 2 on Offense, plus two Defensive installments! Would love to hear your thoughts!


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