Third-and-Long: Kyle Long taking different path to the NFL than father Howie and brot

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by RS12, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    LOS ANGELES -- Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long may share a last name and bloodline with his father, Hall-of-Fame defensive end Howie, and his brother, current St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris. He also shares a dream of playing in the NFL, but Kyle Long has gone about things a bit differently. Howie was a four-year standout at Villanova, and Chris was selected second overall by the Rams in 2008 NFL Draft after establishing a dominant pedigree at Virginia. Kyle has taken a far more circuitous route.

    Once a fireballing pitching prospect who got a full ride to Florida State because of his 96-mph fastball, Long fell from grace when academic issues that forced him to leave school, and a DUI in January, 2009 that landed him a night in jail, had him at a crisis point. He returned home to his family, sorted himself out, and enrolled at Saddleback Junior College in Mission Viejo, Ca. There, he switched from pitcher to defensive line, and the young man who was deemed too big to play Pop Warner football grew into a force as a 6-foot-7, 300-pound pass rusher. Eventually, Oregon came calling, and head coach Chip Kelly saw Long as an offensive lineman. He used his final year of college eligibility to play well at two new positions -- left guard and left tackle -- in one of the most complicated offenses possible.

    With a new life, a new grasp on the game, and a chance to impress at next week's Senior Bowl in Mobile Ala., the younger Long is training at Travelle Gaines' gym in West Hollywood under the supervision of Gaines and former offensive line coach Tony Wise, who ran the lines for Jimmy Johnson at Miami and with the Dallas Cowboys, and most recently did the same for Dave Wannstedt at Pitt.

    Now, the question is, how will a one-year Division I O-line prospect fare in the draft evaluation process? At 311 pounds, Long looks to take the scouting combine by storm, but as Wise told me, mastering the line -- especially at the next level -- is technique and leverage, not just size and speed.
  2. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Good read. One of the most intriguing guys in the draft IMO.
  3. tm1119

    tm1119 Well-Known Member

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    Even though he played OG in college I think he projects well as an OT in the NFL. Going to be interesting to see what round he gets projected to go in after the combine.
  4. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    In the days before free agency this guy would have probably been worth a really high pick on the basis that his upside is high and teams had time to develop talent.

    In the modern NFL, a team would be hard pressed to give up a high draft pick on him and then try to develop him. He might be worth the risk, but risking a first or a second rounder on him would require a lot of guts, because those are picks you don't want to miss on.

    I would hope that if we are going to take a flyer on a guy like him (especially as high as a second round pick) that we acquire an extra pick or two in a trade down scenario and acquire a player in the trade down that we think is a sure fire starter first.

    This article on Long sounds a lot like the QB turned tight end (from Arkansas) that the Jags drafted a few years ago. IIRC Ebeneezer Ekuban was also a guy who didn't have a lot of football experience when we drafted him.

    These are generally the types of players that smart organizations like NewEngland pass on. If you go with low bust options with premium picks I think you are generally better off in the long run.
  5. ABQcowboyJR

    ABQcowboyJR Well-Known Member

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    Right now I have a fifth round grade on the guy. I took him in my last mock, bit said I think he will sky rocket after the combine. If he slips i grab him.
  6. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    I don't follow the college game enough to be able to say where a guy should go without soliciting the inter-webs for an idea.

    CBS has him in the 2nd. Could you elaborate a bit on your projection? Perhaps they have the same assumption about him moving up and have already considered it a done deal.
  7. MonsterD

    MonsterD Quota outta absentia

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    Not that I am even searching for draft info yet in hardcore mode, but the jest of him is character and his rawness at the new position.

    I believe Jr. is right about his grade, but even if blew the doors off at the combine I think he might be something like a late-mid third.

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