GBW Post Draft Analysis - Part One

GoBlueWolverine's Josh Turel takes a look where the now departed Wolverines fit into the depth charts on their new teams. In part one he breaks down the odds of success for Jason Avant, Gabe Watson, and Tim Massaquoi.

Jason Avant:
Wide Receiver
Philadelphia Eagles
4th Round

Depth Chart

Left Wide Receiver:
Todd Pinkston- 6’2, 180, 7th year
Greg Lewis- 5’11, 180, 4th year
Darnerien McCants- 6’3, 215, 6th year
Jason Avant- 6’0, 209, 1st year: 4th round draft pick
Justin Jenkins- 5’11, 207, 2nd year
JJ Outlaw- 5’8, 193, 1st year, undrafted free agent
Bill Sampy- 6’0, 175, 1st year, undrafted free agent

Right Wide Receiver:
Reggie Brown-6’1, 197, 2nd year
Jabar Gaffney- 6’1, 200, 5th year
Billy McMullen- 6’3, 215, 4th year
Carl Ford- 6’0, 203, 3rd year
Jeremy Bloom- 5’9, 185, 1st year: 5th round draft pick

Much like a freshman entering a college program, Jason Avant will have to fight for playing time early on. The Eagles depth chart isn’t loaded with a number of great players but it is a list of solid, experienced ones.

The Eagles invested a second round pick in 2005 on Reggie Brown from Georgia. That move has paid large dividends. He led all rookie receivers in yardage and is quickly emerging as an impact player on the team. Todd Pinkston and Greg Lewis are both vertical playmaker types but lack an element that Jason Avant prides himself in; the ability to go over the middle and make the tough catches.

Jabar Gaffney is a physically gifted receiver who is coming off a career-high 55 reception season with the Houston Texans. Some still question his toughness and he can very inconsistent at times, but he should compete at the top of the depth chart. Fourth year receiver Billy McMullen is a big target but has had a tough time gaining separation on his routes. He has good hands but simply does not have the quickness out of breaks to get open on a consistent basis. He contributed 18 catches for 268 yards and one touchdown last season.

Darnerien McCants hasn’t established himself since coming to the team from the Washington Redskins mainly due to his struggles to gain separation. He’s a big bodied target but only caught five passes last season.

Justin Jenkins, Carl Ford and undrafted free agents JJ Outlaw (Villanova) and Bill Sampy (Louisiana Lafayette) will also be fighting for their roster spots. The Eagles reached on Jeremy Bloom in the 5th round, and he will initially be relegated to return duties. Bloom hasn’t played football since 2003 and he was a very raw receiver in college. It will take him time to polish his route running and release skills before he is able to contribute.

So where does the former Wolverine fit in? Avant will bring the over the middle type ability the team lacks. He fits the Eagles scheme very well. Avant ran a west coast based passing game at Michigan, which is the system of choice for Philadelphia head Coach Andy Reid. Reid is also the teams VP of operations and has total say in personnel decisions. He has his hands on a majority of the scouting and draft work and he knows which players fit the scheme and which do not. Obviously he saw something he liked in Avant. The Eagles also have a solid draft history, especially with later round picks which bodes well for the four-year letterman.

Initially, Avant may struggle to see playing time due to the amount of veterans ahead of him. Depending on how the depth chart shuffles out, his best chance to contribute is in the slot. Marty Mornhinweg will be replacing departed Brad Childress as offensive coordinator but that shouldn't precipitate much change. The system will still need players who can catch quick throws in traffic and over the middle and is Avant’s forte.

Gabe Watson
Defensive Tackle
Arizona Cardinals
4th round

Defensive Tackle Depth Chart

Nose Tackle:
Kendrick Clancy- 6’0, 305, 7th year
Gabe Watson-6’3, 335, 1st year: 5th round draft pick
Tim Bulman- 6’3, 295, 2nd year

Under Tackle:
Darnell Dockett- 6’3, 293, 3rd year
Kenny King- 6’2, 295, 4th year
Johnathan Lewis- 6’1, 204, 1st year: 6th round draft pick
Langston Moore- 6’1, 300, 3rd year

The depth chart looks very appealing to Watson. The Cardinals came into the draft needing to shore up the defensive tackle depth and got a potential steal in Watson in the fourth round. Not only do they acquire instant depth, they also gain a potential starter for the future. Watson will add size and run stopping ability to the nose tackle position, (which needs a player with size). Kendrick Clancy, a pickup from the New York Giants, is undersized for the nose tackle position but offers good range and athleticism. He is going into the season as the starter which will allow Watson to rotate in and maximize his output. Cardinal Head Coach Dennis Green is master motivator who will try to keep Watson in shape and giving maximum effort when he's on the field. If Green is successful, Watson could be the future point man of the Cardinal defensive line.

Tim Massaquoi
Tight End
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7th Round

Depth Chart:
Anthony Becht- 6’5, 268, 7th year
Alex Smith- 6’4, 258, 2nd year
Mark Anelli- 6’3, 245, 2nd year
TJ Williams- 6’2, 265, 1st year: 6th round pick
Tim Massaquoi- 6’2, 257, 1st year: 7th round pick
Boone Stutz:- 6’5, 259, undrafted
Corey Lamkin: 6’5, 250, 2nd year

Anthony Becht and second year talent Alex Smith have locked up their positions on the depth chart. The question is how things will shake out behind them. Mark Anelli first entered the Buccaneers as apart of the 2002 draft class and was bounced around between the active roster and the practice squad. He is now back trying to stick with the squad again. He is most likely trying to latch on as a long snapper.

The main competition at this position will be between the two draft picks; TJ Williams and Michigan’s Tim Massaquoi. The two players actually have quite a bit in common. They are both pass catching tight ends that have good speed, but are a bit on the short side. Williams has the better hands of the two, but Massaquoi may be the better blocker. Expect a tight battle for a remaining roster spot when the preseason opens up. Undrafted free agent Boone Stutz won’t pose much of a threat and neither will Corey Lamkin. Lamkin is a basketball player out of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi that didn’t play high school football but was invited to camp after being cut by the Jets.

Even if Massaquoi falls short in his bid for a roster spot, he is a very good developmental project for the practice squad.

Tomorrow we breakdown the chances of Michigan’s undrafted free agents

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