I will start this diary with a random prediction. Colt Brennan will be the San Francisco 49ers 4th round selection and will be one of the most talked about picks in the entire draft. SF loves to take players they coached at the senior bowl. Mike Martz would love to prove how brilliant he is (or thinks he is) and takes a player who fits his offense prety well and will generate a lot of attention. QB is a need for SF, but due to the salary and status of Alex Smith, it is a position they will likely address in the middle rounds.
Now on to McKelvin. I have just assumed that McKelvin, being a somewhat consensus top 10 prospect would be a great pick for the Bills. But I have been doing some research on him and am beginning to think otherwise.
I am not advocating the Bills pass on McKelvin if he is available. I do think that if the Bills decide to go in a different direction they wouldn't be crazy.
McKelvin has questionable instincts and poor ball skills. 4 career interceptions is pretty bad. He didn't exactly get the Champ Bailey treatment either as 70 passes were thrown to the receiver he was covering his senior year. He displayed great hands at the combine, but misplayed many interceptable passes this season. His average instincts were often covered up by his elite athleticism, but will that still work at the next level?
McKelvin is a sound tackler who displays solid technique. He has had about 60 tackles in each of the last two seasons. My problem is that he isn't aggressive moving forward and shys away from contact. He is very blockable and made most of his tackles in pass coverage. Scouts Inc. has this to say about McKelvin:
"Is a finesse cover corner. Does not like to support the run and will avoid contact if at all possible."
While McKelvin shows the skillset to be an elite kick returner he was anything but one in college. The draft analysts tend to lump kick and punt return ability into one category, but they are very different. McKelvin has Roscoe Parrish type ability as a punt returner, unfortunately he also has Roscoe Parrish type ability as a kick returner. McKelvin averaged 23.7 yards per KR for his career and only 23.2 yards as a senior. He has one career TD in 99 kick returns. Considering the talent in the Sun Belt conference, that is a pretty mediocre. Forget elite when talking about McKelvin as a KR, the question is can he even be average?
Elite athletic ability like McKelvin posseses is tough to pass over on draft day. For this reason I would still be OK with the Bills picking McKelvin. He is incredibly fast and fluid and if he can learn to read WRs and QBs better and if he can be coached to be more aggressive in run support, then he can be a true superstar. He could be the next Terrance Newman or Marcus Trufant, OR he could be the next Tye Hill or maybe even the next Philip Buchanon. I just hope the Bills make the right call, whatever that decision may be.
I am going to use McKelvin to transition into an entirely different subject. Sorry if this multiple things in one diary is a bad idea. I just wanted to get this all out at once.
I think it is crazy to think that teams don't shuffle their draft boards after the combine and pro days. Complete Insanity. McKelvin is a player who has climbed an entire round since the end of the season. A lot of that climb had to do with Senior Bowl practices, but some of it is also related to workout numbers.
Dwayne Jarrett slid last year after poor workout numbers.
Daymeion Hughes fell at least a round after running slower than expected.
Justin Durant jumped an entire round after the combine.
Chris Henry is another example of a player who had a metioric rise after the combine. I strongly doubt Tennessee drafted Henry 50th overall based on his stellar senior campaign that included 165 carries for 581 yards (3.52 per carry)
2006 saw much of the same with Tye Hill and Manny Lawson improving thier draft stock at the combine. Jimmy Williams is a good example of player who stock was hurt by a poor 40 time. This might be a bad example because everyone knows that Al Davis loves speed, but Thomas Howard had an disappointing senior year at UTEP. He then ran a 4.44 forty at 240 pounds and was picked 38th overall. He earned a job as a starter and had 84 tackles as a rookie.
The only reason that workout numbers don't have a bigger effect on draft boards is that scouts are good at predicting them. If a fast WR runs fast then that doesn't help him. If a slow LB runs slow than it won't hurt his draft stock. When a player runs more than a tenth of a second faster or slower than the scouts predict, it most definately has a direct impact on where that player will be drafted.
The tape doesn't lie is a popular cliche, but I think there isn't a lot of truth to it. Speed is all relative on game film. A between the tackles power type runner can look really fast when an offensive line opens up some running lanes and the opposition has slow LBs. Players who take long or short steps can appear to be running faster or slower than they really are.