IQ - Football Wiretap

Kyle Shanahan Details Why 49ers Selected Trey Lance

May 3, 2021 1:29 PM

The San Francisco 49ers settled on Trey Lance as their pick at No. 3 on April 19th, several weeks after trading up to No. 3.

Kyle Shanahan was asked by Peter King how they decide upon Lance.

“It’s so hard for me to give a quick answer,” Shanahan said from California.

“His natural ability to play the quarterback position, just in terms of how he plays in the pocket, how he can go through the progressions, how, when no one’s open, that he gives it a chance, that he recognizes it. And how quick he reacts to turning it into an off-schedule play. He plays on tape like he’s a very poised, smart person who’s been playing the position for a while.

“Then you look into the other attributes, and you’re like ‘Oh, I haven’t even gotten to the running skill set.’ I haven’t gotten to the upside of how much better he can get, the more he plays. That’s what made me like him so much right away.

“But it’s also, once you do that, you see all this, now let’s talk about what’s wrong. Why isn’t this a slam dunk? You hear his school [level of play], the lack of throws, not playing the 2020 season. Those are real things. That’s why I’m glad that we had a long time to go through it. Because you love the tape, but just like everyone in the league, there are some stuff you can’t just say it’s a slam dunk. That’s the stuff that worries you about it. But that’s what was so cool about the kid, that going through this process after we moved up to where I talked to him so many times, to have him go through the number of tests and stuff that we have them all go through . . . I can’t tell you how special of a person he is. It has nothing to do with football.

“He’s extremely intelligent. He knows how to handle situations. He knows how to carry himself. The guy that I see on tape that I tried to describe that I see such a natural quarterback, such a smart player. Well, if I never saw the tape, and I got to hang out with him first, I would’ve felt that same way with him as a person and been like, ‘Man, I hope the tape matches this person!’ You know? That’s kind of what was cool about it. The first time you watch the tape, ‘Man, hell yeah!’ But no decision’s set in stone in January. That’s how I felt in January when I saw him. But I was going to do the process right. Watch everybody. Every guy. I can always spend two hours and get myself to like anyone. Then, I go to the time getting myself to not like him. And I see what ends up sticking. That’s what was cool about him through the process at the end. No matter what I tried to do to say, It’s too risky!, all that stuff kind of went away the more I got to know the person. I went back to how I originally felt about the tape.”

Peter King/NBC Sports

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Draft, Draft Misc, IQ

NFL Moving More Towards Position-Less Player Profiles

Feb 24, 2020 11:18 AM

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are tow teams that have been using defensive players at multiple spots freely as a matter of strategy. The Kansas City Chiefs also use Tyrann Mathieu all over the back of their defense.

Isaiah Simmons of Clemson is a safety/inside linebacker/outside linebacker and played more than 100 snaps at four different positions, which is part of the reason why he could be selected in the top-10 of the draft.

“Are we heading toward the position-less player profile as we go into the future? That’s where I think it’s going,” Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network said. “And I think guys like Isaiah Simmons have tremendous value. I’ve talked to a couple defensive coordinators around the league about this and they see it. It’s like the way the NBA went. You just want to get as many tall, long, explosive guys on the field as you can. And some weeks you might deploy them differently than others.”

Peter King/NBC Sports

Tags: Draft, Draft Misc, IQ

Patriots Thought Transition From Brady To Lamar Would Be Too Dramatic

Nov 22, 2019 3:42 PM

The New England Patriots were tied to Lamar Jackson during the 2018 draft a few months after they had traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. New England no longer had an heir apparent for whenever Tom Brady would decide to retire. 

The Patriots had a pair of late first round picks, but they instead selected Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel, which left the Baltimore Ravens trading back into the first round at No. 32 to select Jackson. 

"Now, you've got to know this: the Patriots spent a lot of time on Lamar Jackson," said Lombardi on the GM Shuffle Podcast. "They spent a ton of time. When Baltimore traded from 22 to 25 with New England sitting at 23, they had to have known New England was all over Lamar. They had sent Josh McDaniels there. They spent time with him. There was a lot of talk... I was talking about it that I thought they would draft him. I really did.

"At the end of the day, I think they felt like they had to change completely and the transition from Tom to Lamar probably would have been too dramatic in one year, and so I think they passed. I think they had genuine, genuine interest in the kid.

"I know this because my son coached at Louisville."

Michael Lombardi/The Athletic

Tags: Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, IQ

Rams COO: The NBA Is Coming To The NFL

Oct 21, 2019 11:14 AM

The Los Angeles Rams acquired Jalen Ramsey last week from the Jacksonville Jaguars in a deal that some in the NFL compare to the type of transaction now typically seen within the NBA. Ramsey sought a trade from the Jaguars over several weeks and the Rams finally traded their 2020 first round pick along with first and fourth round picks in 2021.

“The NBA is coming to the NFL," said Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff. "This [the Ramsey trade] is a similar case to those NBA deals.

“Prior team-building formulas, where you basically had guys for their careers, is pretty much over,” he said. “Think of the guys who’ve moved in the past year. Khalil Mack. Marcus Peters. Jalen Ramsey. Jarvis Landry. Laremy Tunsil—”

Bill Polian believes the younger generation of general managers are more transactional.

“I think this generation of GMs might be a little more transactional," said Polian. "It used to be not many GMs thought about taking risks. They were from a generation where their parents might have grown up in the Depression, or remembered the Depression. Life was hard enough without taking risks. Today, the idea that you can make these decisions and change your team quickly is inculcated in this generation. I’m not sure of that, but it seems to be true.”

There have clearly been a spike in trades this season.

2009: 39 trades in the calendar year, involving 50 players. Seven traded players were Pro Bowlers at least once.

2019: 54 trades (with eight days left in the period), involving 69 players. Thirteen have been to at least one Pro Bowl.

Peter King/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, IQ, Misc Rumor

Bills Have Fewest Draft Picks On Roster In NFL, Bengals Have Most

Sep 16, 2019 11:22 AM

The Buffalo Bills have the first draft picks they selected still on their roster with 18, followed by the New York Jets with 19. The Cleveland Browns and Kansas Chiefs are tied for third with 21 apiece. 

The Cincinnati Bengals have the most draft picks they selected on their roster with 37, followed by the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks with 36.

Jason Fitzgerald/OverTheCap

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Draft, IQ, Stats

Steve Keim Calls Kyler Murray 'Generational Talent'

Aug 14, 2019 11:03 AM

The Arizona Cardinals made the bold decision to draft Kyler Murray with the first overall pick one year after taking Josh Rosen at No. 10.

“Taking this guy no. 1, I took a lot of grief for that,” Steve Keim said. “You have to make the tough decisions and avoid the outside noise— ‘Why’d you give up on this guy? Why would you trade this guy?’ … It’s unprecedented. I took [Rosen] in the top 10. I just felt that [Murray] was a generational talent that I just couldn’t pass up.”

Murray was already familiar with the ethos and mechanics of Kliff Kingsbury's system.

“To be able to process so many things at once and look at the defense and execute the play, it’s a lot,” Kingsbury said. “All he’s done his entire life is no-huddle spread stuff. So he feels really confident in that.”

Robert Mays/The Ringer

Tags: Arizona Cardinals, IQ

Sean McVay: Watching So Much Film Watered Down Thought Process For SB

May 8, 2019 11:42 AM

Sean McVay believes he may have over-prepared for Super LIII in which the Los Angeles Rams lost to the New England Patriots 13-3. The extra week gave McVay the opportunity to watch more film than usual.

“In the back of my mind, [when making the Super Bowl game plan back in L.A.], I operated knowing I had another week. That urgency to completely finalize the gameplan wasn’t quite there, and that led to me watching so much film that you can almost water down your thought process.”

McVay admits “you have so much time that you can over-prepare and get away from some of the things that helped you get there. I watched every game from New England’s season. You see stuff that worked in, say, Week 3, but you forget about the amount of stuff that’s taken place since Week 3. You can watch so much film that you lose perspective. You have 18 games of film you can pore over. And then I even watched the Philly and Atlanta Super Bowls closely.”

McVay also gives the Patriots credit.

“But you have to give the Patriots credit, they were their best when their best was demanded. And personally, I wasn’t good enough. I have to do a better job.”

Andy Benoit/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, IQ

Video: How Contracts For NFL Quarterbacks Have Increased

Apr 16, 2019 8:34 AM

The contracts for NFL quarterbacks have increased significantly since Aaron Rodgers signed his five-year, $110 million deal with the Packers in 2013. 

Now, new deals for Rodgers and Russell Wilson have raised the bar again for quarterbacks.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: IQ, Video

Belichick Praises Quinnen Williams For Ruining OU's Scheme In CFP

Mar 25, 2019 12:17 PM

While watching game film of Alabama's Quinnen Williams against Oklahoma, Bill Belichick praised his effectiveness for continually splitting two blockers to create pocket pressure on Kyler Murray.

“(Williams) is basically ruining [Oklahoma’s] scheme right now," said Belichick.

Williams is expected to be a top-5 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jim McBride/Boston Globe

Tags: Draft, Draft Misc, IQ

Nobel Prize Winner Explains Raiders' Logic Of Khalil Mack Trade

Mar 25, 2019 10:12 AM

The Oakland Raiders received the Best Transaction award by MIT for the Khalil Mack, which was explained by Richard Thaler.

Thaler won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics and has consulted with an NFL team about the value of draft choices and how to build a team.

Oakland received two first round picks, a third round pick and a fifth round pick for Mack and a second round pick.

“Here’s the argument,” Thaler said. “The Raiders are down, and they will be getting these [four] picks to help them rebuild their team. I believe the only way to win in football is to have players who play better than their salaries. Let’s stipulate that Mack is getting top-of-market value for his services, so it will be hard for him to play better than his salary. Let’s also stipulate Mack is worth the money. But is Mack worth all that money plus four good draft choices?

“Now Jon Gruden can build through these multiple high picks on rookie contracts instead of just having one great player being paid at a market rate. In fact, if Gruden were talking to me, I’d tell him to trade the number four pick for multiple picks. I’d trade down every year. If I had a pick in the top 10, and I wasn’t drafting a quarterback, I’d want to trade down every year. There is value in multiple high picks versus one pick in the top 10.”

Thaler believes the draft-trade value chart devised by Jimmy Johnson overvalues high picks.

“Teams still use that stupid chart,” he said. “That chart overvalues high picks. It’s a joke. High picks, to me, are over-valued stocks. Smart teams should have a portfolio manager, to basically analyze every draft decision or trade.” 

Thaler also believes NFL teams need to expand their analytics departments.

“Football,” Thaler said, “is way behind baseball and basketball. [Houston Rockets GM] Daryl Morey has a staff of I think 15 full-time analytics guys. Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself every edge when you’re building a team?”

Peter King/NBC Sports

Tags: Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, IQ

Raiders Given Best Transaction Award By MIT For Khalil Mack Deal
The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT honored the Raiders with the Best Transaction award, calling it the best move any franchise made in 2018 in any sport.

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Chiefs, Rams, Saints, Patriots In Top-5 Offensive DVOA
The combined over/under for both Championship Games is the highest in NFL history.

RealGM Staff Report

Nick Bosa Headlines Latest ESPN 2019 Mock Draft, Two QBs In Top-10
Todd McShay has released his latest mock draft with Nick Bosa going to the Cardinals with the No. 1 overall selection.

Todd McShay/ESPN

Chiefs Have Three Of ESPN's Top-5 Players Under 25
Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt are first, second and fifth on ESPN's list.

Mike Sando/ESPN

Access To Game Tape At All Levels Credited For Offensive Boon
Plays and schemes can immediately rise up from the high school or college to the NFL due to technology and a new group of coaches who are ready to run them.

Kevin Clark/The Ringer

Chiefs Talk Up New Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
The Chiefs find the new offense far easier.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Washington Redskins
Washington was pretty good but not great during the Kirk Cousins era and enter 2018 optimistic about Alex Smith.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Tennessee Titans
The Titans have largely been stuck in the bottom half of the NFL since their 13-3 season in 2008, but they reached the playoffs in 2017 despite a negative point differential.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers haven't reached the playoffs since 2007 and they've had a few false starts in turning it around.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Seattle Seahawks
Finishing first in DVOA over the first four seasons of Russell Wilson's career was an extraordinary run for the Seahawks.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers hope Kyle Shanahan can similarly turnaround the 49ers as Jim Harbaugh did in 2011.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have been consistent contenders throughout this century (and last).

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been one of the NFL's most consistent winners this century.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: New York Jets
After the initial success of the Rex Ryan era, the Jets have struggled since 2012 and even missed out on the playoffs in 2015 when they won 10 games and ranked 9th in DVOA.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Oakland Raiders
The Raiders struggled for many, many years following their Super Bowl loss in the 2002 season, but they became competitive again in 2015.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: New York Giants
The Giants have struggled in four out of the past five years in DVOA and they again put their faith in Eli Manning in drafting Saquon Barkley over all of the quarterbacks available to them.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: New Orleans Saints
It looked like the best days of the Drew Brees' era were in the past, but a great draft boomeranged the Saints up to first in DVOA in 2017.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: New England Patriots
The level of consistent excellent during the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era has been extraordinary.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings were ranked 7th in DVOA in the Brett Favre season in which they nearly reached the Super Bowl and then dropped down and surged back up based on Adrian Peterson's availability.

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Ten-Year DVOA Rankings: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have been an overarching downward trajectory throughout the snapshot with playoff appearances coming in 2008 and 2016.

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