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 questions will be selected.
Thursday, 4 a.m.
Bucs’ general manager Jason Licht said the other day that his team had taken “a handful” of players off of their draft boards. When you ran the draft, how many players would you generally take off your board?
About the same amount. Not that many.
Most all players have something you’ll need to be concerned about. The players that we'd take off the board were the ones that had a severe problem that we had no remedy for in terms of our infrastructure. We weren’t opposed to taking a problem guy, but we had to feel we had program or something within
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our organization to help him and keep him on the right track. Every team has its own dynamic.
So, it’s up to team leaders to discern what problem players you can help and those you can’t.
When you were an NFL scout, who is the best sleeper pick you ever recommended?
Ok, I can come up with one name -- Curtis Buckley. He wasn’t on any list other than ours based on my recollection.
He was from East Texas State; people said he was too small to play. He was one of the toughest players I ever scouted and he could run. He never locked into a position of defense, but was one heck of a special teamer. I remember the ex-Washington Redskins all-time leading punt and kick off returner who Buckley called out before the game and then laid out on the opening kickoff. I have great memories of Curtis.
On the other hand, who were you most wrong about?
There's not enough space to answer that one. All I’ll say is, I made my share of mistakes. I’d really like to forget them, so I’m not going to jog my memory and wake up the ghosts that once haunted me.
Now that the Raiders and Marshawn Lynch have agreed to terms (the Raiders still have to deal with Seattle), how much do you think Lynch has in the tank?
I feel -- if he’s in top shape, particularly his weight -- he should be fine. He’s a "pounder”. He relies on his power and strength after contact for the bulk of his yards
So, if he’s in shape and motivated, no reason to think he can’t help the Raiders become a tougher minded offense and take some of the pressure off their young quarterback, as he did for Russell Wilson.
What is your best memory of former Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney? I remember that he was a great guy, and he ate the same food the sportswriters did in the press box.
Dan Rooney will probably be remembered for his passion for the game and the love he had for his Steelers. He was as much a fan, as he was an owner. A great owner who can’t be replaced or forgotten.
One of the strongest positions of the upcoming draft is wide receiver. How would you rank Clemson’s Mike Davis, Western Michigan’s Corey Davis and Washington’s John Ross?
I disagree that the receiver position is strong. I would agree there are a number of quality receivers, but no elite ones. It will be a position that will get pushed down on draft day, because teams will feed off the defensive side of the ball, particularly with defensive backs.
It's very popular this time of year, but how much do teams adhere to the Trade Value Chart?
I’m pretty sure they all do. It’s the only formula that everyone is familiar with and all agree that is fair. Why? Because there is no bias within the system. Everyone is playing with the same deck.
Is there a player in this year’s draft you’d avoid because of his bust potential?
The player I would be most concerned with is Joe Mixon. I don’t feel he’s a natural runner. I don’t feel he’s tough enough to be a running back and he's too poor of a blocker to count on as a third-down back.
He has size, speed and good hands, but he’s not the sum of those parts. I see bust, because he doesn’t have defined position and guys that lack toughness are bad risks at the next level.
As you know, I’m a Dalvin Cook fan. But if the Bucs wait, could they find value on D’Ontra Freeman, Kareem Hunt or James Conner?
They are all good backs. They certainly would be good complementing runners. In my opinion none would have the ability to be featured like Cook. But history has shown that there have been many backs who have come out of the later rounds and became big producers.