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 Post subject: Las Vegas - 2060 Draft Review
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:24 pm 
Las Vegas Rounders
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:54 pm
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Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Back again for the 3rd straight year is the Las Vegas Draft Review where we examine TurfToe's attempt at reloading the roster and follow these guys through to the regular season.

Here's how the Rounders' 2060 draft shook out...

The Rounders headed into the draft with picks in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th (2 selections), and 7th rounds. Picks 3.30 and 6.19 were acquired during the draft for similar future selections.

2.24

RB - Sedrick Lindie, Kansas
5'10" 209 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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The Rounders came into the final season of 3 without a 1st round pick from the RB Gmerek trade with Boston. Already missing a 3rd this year from moving up in the early 2nd last year to acquire LB Harding, there was nothing to do but sit and wait for the 56th overall selection to arrive. As the pick approached, it was obvious that a lot of talent was already falling in the 2060 draft. Despite quality talent like DT Morris still on the board, TurfToe was faced with several needs and a lot of other talents he wasn't expecting to be there.

Out on the ledge, TurfToe considered players like FB Tyler Doin to provide a backfield presence in the new smashmouth offense or PK Christopher Stephenson to address the release of PK Philip Monroe. TurfToe even considered trading out of this spot to add picks later in the draft. After being turned down by the King of Trades himself, TurfToe realized that RB Sedrick "Triple" Lindie had to be selected and could not be allowed to slide any further.

At age 24, Lindie is a thoroughly developed offensive weapon with experience in the backfield and split out wide (RB-6, FB-4, SE/FL-3) causing speculation that he may transition to the receiver position at the next level.

TurfToe only had this to say, "Everyone gets excited when a versatile player slides in the draft and then gets drafted by a team where there is no apparent need at the listed position. All I can say is we are excited to have someone of Sedrick's caliber on our team and he will play where he benefits the team the most. Nothing more, nothing less."

Pundits point out that TurfToe has a history of not forcing the offense through individual players and relies on team offense to win games. Many speculate that Gmerek will be treated the same way McKnight has been treated recently to increase quality through a decrease in quantity. This opinion is difficult to argue with given its recent success in Vegas and the shift in offensive philosophy to Smashmouth due to the departure of Bill Shillingford and his West Coast offense.

For those who believe Lindie may be the best back in this draft after Hancock, they'll have to wait and see.

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

3.30
LB - Burt Boutte, Texas Tech
5'10" 237 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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TurfToe watched helplessly as the deep linebacker and safety talent got shallow quickly through the first few rounds. After what seemed like days for the first few rounds to complete, TurfToe had to take action and get into the 3rd round. After pausing at an opportunity to jump in at the middle of the round, he was able to secure the 3.30 pick to address a gaping hole in the front seven.

Texas Tech's Burt Boutte was a stout run defender who also spent a lot of time in the opponent's backfield causing chaos. When he wasn't soloing tackles downfield or harassing quarterbacks in the backfield, Boutte was making ESPN cameos on Saturday night on special teams play highlights.

Boutte played a lot of outside linebacker at Texas Tech and looks to get time immediately playing both Mike and Will based on where the Rounders need sophomore Daquan Harding in specific personnel groupings.

Pre-Camp:
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Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

4.24
LB - Francisco Caillouet, Oregon State
5'11" 254 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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As players like T Amir Saddler and S Devon Bard came off the board right in front of the Rounders at 4.24, the plan of drafting a starting T or S changed abruptly. Even though the need at LB was just addressed at 3.30, TurfToe decided to take Caillouet to possibly start at SLB or make the transition to LDE.

Caillouet's addition would allow journeyman McConnell to start at WLB and shift to SLB in the Nickel where he had one of the best pass defense percentages of all OLB's last year. TurfToe has had success converting OLB's to DE in the past, but Caillouet may not be big or strong enough to make the switch.

When asked about his plans for Caillouet, TurfToe replied,"I realize Frankie doesn't check all the boxes I'd normally expect for this type of move, but we haven't even seen this kid at our own facilities yet. Once we get a chance to have a conversation with him and see what our staff thinks about his build, diet, and ambitions, we'll figure out how he fits in our scheme. All I know is, he has a skill we can't teach and that's a 4.55 40 with his frame. Whether we bulk him up or slim him down he'll give offenses fits no matter where we play him. All I can say is you better start learning how to pronounce his name because Frankie's name will be a household one before his next contract."

This will be one to watch as there are mixed reviews on what Caillouet can contribute at the next level, especially in a 4-3 front.

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

5.24
CB - Darrin Godinez, Tulsa
5'11" 199 lbs.

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The CFL faithful that was tuned into ESPN 3's coverage of the 2060 draft around midnight EST was treated to some open dialog between several owners on a war room Zoom call. What started off as a short conversation between the Vegas and Shreveport war rooms, turned into a who's who of CFL GM's.

TurfToe apparently forgot ESPN 3 was streaming the Zoom conference live as part of the COVID-60 expanded coverage and openly discussed Vegas' 5.24 selection. Those fortunate enough to be watching heard several GM's chime in on TurfToe's decision between safeties Moore, Dollilole, Watkins, and CB Godinez. After some candid discussion, CB Godinez was selected due to his superior raw grade. At 21 years of age, Godinez can likely add to his frame and make a run at some playing time at the FS position and see significant time at dime back.

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

6.19
S - Claude Moore, Alabama
5'10" 197 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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After a tough choice at safety at 5.24, TurfToe seemed to hedge his 5.24 pick with the selection of Moore one round later. Somewhat perplexing, these similar players will be fighting for the same role potentially limiting the time either player might get. Moore appears to be the best of the 4 Alabama secondary entering this year's draft but definitely has an uphill battle ahead of him.

Moore's Man and Zone skills will pair nicely with his Play Diagnosis to make a case for a job at FS if he can add some weight. A sub-200 pounder could have trouble, especially in the Ring of Fire where everyone seems to be able to run and throw at will.

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

6.20
FB - Steve Collins, Duke
5'10" 234 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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Bill Shillingford's departure to Atlanta during the off-season resonated with the players, front office, and fans alike. Jackie Tubbs and his smashmouth philosophy were welcomed but there was still some subdued sadness lingering in the halls. Despite Roberto Williams' effort and contributions over the years, it was apparent that the new philosophy will require more out of the position than Williams can provide at this point in his career.

When asked why he waited until the 6th round to address the FB position, TurfToe had this to say, "Even before FB Knight was selected early in the 2nd round, FB Tyler Dolin was the #1 FB on our board. We realized we would have to take him at 2.24 after Knight went at 2.04, but I have a rule about taking a FB before the 3rd. When Lindie was still there, my hands were tied. Dolin had to wait. Morris had to wait. Any plan we had at the time, had to wait. We were trying to reconcile the possibility of taking Dolin ahead of Morris, but the conversation stopped when little orphan Lindie landed on our doorstep."

TurfToe was asked about his #1 rating on Dolin and he explained that Dolin's blocking abilities and his inside power he demonstrated on tape were exactly what he envisioned for Tubbs' new offense. Even though Knight had similar skills and seemed to be as scouted, he said he would love to have had the opportunity to take a chance on Dolin and his overrated label.

It seems TurfToe found his power runner in Collins, who trades run-blocking prowess for some passing game chops - Collins can hold his own in pass blocking and blitz protection or sneak out of the backfield and do some damage catching passes. Sources say there was a lot of discussion over Collins and Prescott leading up to the pick. Prescott seems to have the blocking skills TurfToe wanted, but the ability to pound the rock trumped all. Ultimately, it was Collins' old school approach to the position. When TurfToe found Collins' team photo (see above) he knew he found his next fullback.

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

6.24
PK - Craig Cunningham, UCLA
6'2" 276 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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Rumors have been circulating for a few years that TurfToe was close to releasing longtime Vegas placekicker, Philip Monroe, for salary cap reasons. The Vegas salary cap house of cards is on the verge of collapse and it was only a matter of time before one of the beloved veterans got whacked. Although Monroe was still under contract as the draft started, the rumor mill kicked into high gear when UCLA's Cunningham's name was announced in the 6th round.

TurfToe commented on the speculation, "We all appreciate Phil's contribution to the Rounders organization. He was a vital piece to our championship puzzle and despite some challenges we had with the battery in front of him over the years, he was patient, professional, and a damn fine kicker. We even named him an honorary football player after the 2058 championship. Phil and I spoke and he is okay with me confirming he will be released prior to late free agency. Sophie Rahn and I worked in cooperation to try and get Phil traded to a contender during the off-season but there was absolutely no interest. Fortunately, he should be snatched up quickly as a free agent. We were hoping to prevent the anxiety of the unknown for Phil and his family's sake but we were not successful. We wish him the best of luck and will surely miss him."

That's all fine and good for a news story, but can the Cunningham kid kick? You wouldn't think this kid was a football player, or even a kicker for that matter, except he puts on a uniform and a helmet at some point. He was not only confused for a water boy heading out to kick at the combine but was reportedly outrun and out benched by one to boot. But if he can boot, TurfToe avoids criticism on his handling of the kicking situation.

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

7.24
S - Erik Watkins, Iowa
5'11" 197 lbs.
Not Interviewed

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The Vegas faithful were clamoring for a WR or OT earlier in the draft and the noise increased as the Jamal Gale's and Eugene Dick's started falling off the board heading into the final rounds. When Iowa's Erik Watson was picked, silence fell over the Rounder fan base shortly followed by a low chorus of boos.

TurfToe is aware of the fans' concern and addressed it with the media, "I get it, we all know we needed a tackle or wide receiver. We wanted Kim O'Neill in the 5th, we wanted Jamal Gale in the 6th, and we wanted Eugene Dick in the 7th - it just didn't happen. Our rhythm was off all draft and we couldn't get the guys where we valued them. It doesn't mean we waste our pick's value and reach when there are value picks still available. We were going to take Watkins in the 5th, so the fans should be happy we got 5th round talent in the 7th round - that's the definition of value and if we can do that with every pick, we get better quicker as a team. I get that this creates an issue at the Safety positon, especially since we just signed Manning in free agency, but I have no choice but to do what is best for our team. This is the way.".

Watkins can hit with the best of them and his ability to stop the run and play zone may land him behind Kelley at the SS position, leaving Heuring (2059 class), Godinez, and Moore to fight it out at the FS position.

Many agree it's hard to make a mistake in the 7th and any T or WR the fans expected to see there can easily be had in late free agency. The bigger issue is the log jam at the safety position and how all of these guys get time to be evaluated. We might see some at corner or others limited to strictly nickel/dime duty, but the talent infusion at the position is present and ready to be evaluated further. On to late free agency...

Pre-Camp:
Post-Camp:
Post-Pre2:
Outlook:

Camp Notes

_________________
ROF Division Champions: 2039 - 2043, 2045, 2047, 2054, 2056 - 2058
WFC Conference Champions: 2018, 2041, 2042, 2057 & 2058
CFL Champions: 2018, 2041, 2057, & 2058

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