Ask the Expert: Jerry Angelo

by Gary Shelton on March 31, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Jerry Angelo is a former personnel director for the Bucs and former general manager of the Bears. Each week, Angelo answers your questions regarding the NFL. Send your questions to GarySheltonsports@gmail.com with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting question will be selected.

Thursday, 6 a.m.

Jalen Ramsey of FSU says the Titans should draft him first, because he’s the best player. But a defensive back hasn't gone first in the draft for a half a century. If you were picking for the Titans, which way would you lean?

No defensive back can turn the woes around of a maligned franchise like Tennessee’s. I would lean toward the best defensive lineman.

My choice would be Ohio State's Joey Bosa. He not only can impact on all three downs, but he plays with a relentless motor and aggressiveness that can help create an identity for a very fragile Titan defense.

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You take a corner in the first round when you have an established defense and need to fill the position with a quality player. You don’t take the position to build on. You win up front, not from behind.

The story is that the Rams had to take Michael Sam to avoid being on Hard Knocks. I have a hard time believing that ESPN cared that much about a team getting a player when he wasn’t going to be on their show. Does it have the hint of truth to you?

Absolutely not. That’s tabloid talk. That kind of talk may fly in the National Enquirer but it makes no sense in the real world. ESPN could care less. In their minds they create the news, not report it.

We have roughly a month until the draft. How much is a team’s draft board liable to change, or is the hay in the barn?

The hay is never in the barn until your team is on the clock and making their pick. Things are going on all the time that can change someone’s thinking. Trades, negative news about a player at the eleventh hour, an adrenaline rush from a head coach who now wants to go in a different direction than what was agreed to days earlier.

These are some of the things that can happen that can change the course of a team’s thinking at any time. Trust me, I’ve seen it. Unfortunately, I've seen it  first hand.

Tim Tebow said he might become a politician. Would you vote for him?

Yes, why not? He’s got the mannerisms of a political figure and certainly is used to living life in a fish bowl. He loves the spotlight and the cameras love him. I think he’s a natural.

He’s got more pizzazz in one finger than our present governor, Rick Scott, has in his whole body. Tebow has shown the ability he can lead and influence people. How that will translate in the real world remains to be seen.

He has some prototypes, big-time quarterbacks like himself in J.C. Watts, the former quarterback from Oklahoma. Heath Shuler, the ex-Tennessee Vols quarterback, and the late Jim Traficant, a Pitt Panther in his college days, all became political figures after their football careers were over.

Maybe it’s a quarterback thing. The one thing we know: he’ll get a lot of Gator votes and that might be enough to find him a home in, of all places, Tallahassee! Bizarre.

Trent Richardson says it’s very easy to get lazy in the NFL. Do you think this occurred to him when he was talking millions from the Browns, from the Colts or from the Raiders?

It’s easy to get lazy anywhere when you’re naturally lazy as Richardson was. He had a poor work ethic at Alabama and when he got to the NFL it was a major culture shock for him. The money and fame didn’t help him because he was rewarded for his marginal work habits. Trent Richardson is another case of a player who was cursed with ability. He played for the trappings and the Browns, as usual took the bait.

In a non-quarterback’s private workouts, what are the most important things? His 40? His interview? His bench press? Or is it just a matter of making sure there are no red flags?

No red flags. To be a successful NFL QB, assuming he has the measurables and arm strength. His intangibles have to be extremely strong. I believe 60% of his success will be based on them. By intangibles I’m talking about his work ethic, personal character, love of the game, leadership and football IQ.

All those non-physical traits are the glue that will make or break his career, regardless of his physical talents. Being a quarterback is very demanding, both on and off the field. When you get to the highest level of competition, whatever the strengths and weakness of quarterbacks, they are going to surface like a Florida sunrise.

For the Bucs, who faces the most critical year? Tight end Austin-Seferian Jenkins? Wide receiver Vincent Jackson? Or defensive tackle Gerald McCoy?

I would go with Jackson and Jenkins. The Bucs just paid McCoy; he’s going nowhere. The other two have to show. Jenkins needs to stay healthy and Jackson needs to exemplify that football is still important to him. Players hit mental walls like they do physical ones.

Aaron Rodgers says he saw a UFO once. Does that explain anything to you?

The guy went to Cal-Berkley. UFO’s are all over the place when the sun goes down out there. I'm surprised he said he saw only one. I guarantee you he hasn’t seen any in Green Bay. The only thing you see there is the moon!

NFL network rated the top five picks of the last four seasons, and ranked Jameis Winston fourth behind Marcus Mariota. (Behind Khalil Mack and Andrew Luck). Does that sound about right to you?

I would put Winston in front of Mariota at this point. Winston has shown more of what it takes and has the physical traits to play at a very high level. Unlike Mariota. He hasn’t shown he can stay healthy or consistent enough to play at the same level as Winston.

The Ravens turned 20 years old this week. Johnny Unitas hated the nickname. Are you used to it yet?

I think it’s a great name. I grew up a big fan of the Baltimore Colts. They will always be the Colts in my mind, but there are less of me than the fans of today, who I’m sure love their Baltimore Ravens. Few remember Big Daddy Lipscomb, Gino Marchetti, Raymond Berry, Big Jim Parker, Mike Curtis, John Mackey to name a few of the greats of football who wore the horse shoe emblem on their helmets.

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