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Commentary: Teams that pass on Dillard will be sorry

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Commentary: Teams that pass on Dillard will be sorry
    By JEROME SOLOMON Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
    March 27, 2009, 12:27AM


    RANKINGS AP | USA Today Top 25 | BCS He isn’t tall enough … they say.

    He isn’t big enough … they say.

    He isn’t fast enough … they say.

    “They” showed up for pro day at Rice Stadium on Thursday morning to watch the Owls’ NFL prospects as if they were going to see something from Jarett Dillard they had not seen before.

    Nope. The best receiver in Rice history is still not quite 5-11, stills weighs just 190 pounds, and still runs the 40-yard dash in only 4.5 seconds.

    But man, what a football player.

    And “they” know it.

    Dillard is one of those guys who doesn’t run away from defenders but catches everything near him. Who wouldn’t like that?

    But that’s not enough for the NFL.

    “You have to talk yourself into saying something bad about the kid because he shows so much that it’s hard not to like him,” one AFC scout said. “But say what you want, in this business we can’t get away with too many mistakes. So if we’re going to make mistakes, we’ll make them on big, fast and strong over somebody that did a lot against college competition.”

    So sayeth the scouts

    That’s the trick with NFL scouts: College statistics don’t matter unless they say they matter.

    Dillard produced, scoring touchdowns in 37 of his 49 games at Rice. His 50 career touchdown catches from quarterback Chase Clement (among 60 overall) set an NCAA record, but Dillard probably won’t be picked until the third round of the draft, maybe the fourth.

    If you track wide receivers during the draft, at least 10 and perhaps 15 will be called before Dillard’s name is announced.

    Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree, Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin, Florida’s Percy Harvin and North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks should be off the board early, but others you have never heard of will probably go before Dillard, too.

    He is better than many of them.

    He believes that too, but he suspects that some players projected to be taken after him aren’t overly impressed with his résumé.

    “Come on. This 5-11, 4.5 (second)-running guy? I’m better than him,” Dillard imagines them thinking.

    Typically, a Dillard-type player has to be exceptionally fast to be a top prospect in the NFL, because small guys are supposed to be super-fast.

    But this not so super-fast package is nice. Dillard sports a 42½-inch vertical leap and hands that rank with Super Glue in tackiness.

    Watch the games. This economics major can play.

    Worth the gamble

    I’d take him higher than the projection and just be wrong about him if he doesn’t turn into a decent player.

    It’s kind of cool to talk about a Rice player not getting enough respect as an NFL prospect.

    With James Casey likely to go in the first three rounds, Rice should have two players picked in the first five rounds for the first time since 1976.

    Owls head coach David Bailiff said he was like a “proud daddy” watching Dillard, Casey, Clement and Brian Raines work out for NFL scouts.

    There was a time Rice’s strongest sell to recruits was the quality of the school. That is still the case, but now bowl-trip reality, conference-championship possibilities and NFL dreams can be tossed into the pot.

    “Young men can see Rice as not only a place where you can get a world-class education, but compete, win and possibly go on to the next level if you’re good enough,” Bailiff said.

    Dillard is good enough.

    jerome.solomon@chron.com
  2. DaBoys4Life

    DaBoys4Life Benched

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    I like Dillard.
  3. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I think he is a definite sleeper.

    This guy can flat out run routes, jump and catch the ball.

    He plays every bit of his 4.5 and can cut at full speed while a lot of these 4.4 type guys can't come close to that speed on the field playing football.

    He doesn't play in a super conference but he did play Big 12 teams in non-conference and he delivered in those games.

    In 2008:

    He played UT on the road and had 9 catches, 158 yards and a TD.

    In 2007 :

    UT 3 for 30 yards
    Texas Tech 6 catches for 90 yards and a TD.


    In 2006:
    UT 9 for 91 and a TD.
    UCLA 7 for 102 and a TD.
    Florida State 7 for 113 and a TD.

    So this guy has played solid football and produced against big-time opponents.

    Some of the best WRs in the history of this league: Irvin, Rice, Fitz et al have been of average top speed but were able to play football at that top speed and make cuts at that speed and knew how to catch the ball and get into the end zone. This kid can do those things. He may not be a special player but he is a very solid one who is about as safe as it gets. To me he is almost guaranteed a 10 year career as a number 2 WR who will be where he is supposed to be every play and will make the catches he is supposed to and when you fall a sleep on him he will execute better than you and score a TD.

    I would have zero hesitation to draft him in mid round 3.
  4. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    Rice is one of the quickest players in this draft, his cuts are epic, it's very hard to keep up with him

    he may never be more than a 2nd WR/slot guy, but he's going to perform for you
  5. Bizwah

    Bizwah Well-Known Member

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    Seems like a nice choice for a slot guy.

    Can he return kicks?
  6. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    you never know, if your quick out of your breaks like wesley walker was, you can make it in the nfl
  7. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I do not think you'd use him as a return guy at all.
    Perhaps to cover kicks but not return them.

    Ideally he'd be a 4th WR who could backup both the outside and slot. So you could take him on game days and have him play a few plays in the slot, a few outside and then cover kicks.

    I think he is a far superior WR to Stanback, Hurd and other depth guys we have.

    If we start RW11 and Austin on the outside with Crayton as the slot then Dilllard to me fits like a glove as a 4th WR. We have the kick off returners and the punt returner is Crayton or if they decide they can risk him, Mike Jenkins.
  8. Bizwah

    Bizwah Well-Known Member

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    Crayton is servicable.....I'd rather us have a guy that's actually a threat. But, we could do worse than Crayton I guess.

    Dillard looks a lot like a poor man's Terry Glenn. Same build and body control...nice hands...quickness....He isn't a blazer like Glenn though.
  9. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    Did you mean Wes Welker? Wesley Walker was a pretty good receiver,but I think this kid reminds me of Welker,and that would be good to have on this team.
  10. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    NFLDraftScout compares him to Wes Welker in fact
  11. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I think it is a bad comparison.

    I watched Welker play football for years at Tech and he was a steller punt return guy who was very strong and quick as a former OU state HS running back.

    Jarrett is much more an outside WR who simply executes. And he has great leaping ability. Interesting player but not necessarily a Wes Welker type.

    Welker is quick and strong, Dilliard is a bit more speedy and a better pure route runner. Both have great hands and both find ways to produce.
  12. dmoore

    dmoore New Member

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    I've always thought Dillard was similar to Greg Jennings. Jennings turned out pretty good.

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