Call me crazy, call me stupid, call me a bird brain(pun intended), but don't call me naïve. Back at the Owner's Meeting in Florida, Chip Kelly outlined what people were trying to do to his offense. Lets look back at that quote for a second:
"People want to put you in man-to-man coverage. We saw more of that than other people," Kelly said. "Having guys who can get open vs. man coverage is a key deal. Whether it's Coop [Riley Cooper] or Mac [Jeremy Maclin] or DeSean or whomever. I think that's the one thing we know as a group going in, one-on-one coverage is a big deal for us. It is a big deal in this league. I don't have the numbers, but people probably played us more man than most teams in the league. We're always looking foguys who can exploit that matchup."
I was looking for the quote where Kelly was explaining how receivers could beat man coverage but did not find it. What I did find, was him explaining Maclin's ability to beat man coverage.
"He’s one of those guys that if we’re gonna see a lot of man coverage, I think can do a really, really good job because he’s such a precise route-runner, has outstanding speed, is good after the catch," Kelly said. "And so we’re excited to have him back."(maclin)
This along with the fact that Kelly wants Bigger Receivers, who can hang with bigger and more physical corners, gives us a guideline for what to look for in a "Kelly" receiver:
- Precision Route Running
- Good speed/quickness
- Yards after the Catch
- Soft hands
- Good Weight and Height
- Ability/Willingness to Block
There are only a hand full of guys who do all of these things well, and the list of those guys who can come in right away and flaunt these abilities are even lower. Mike Evans will be off of the board and the Next one with speed, YAC, Height, blocking, and good route running is Latimer, in my opinion. Cooks and Odell are not as tall, Lee is great but can he be as physical as Evans and Latimer? Even if you like the other specimens better, or think other guys can be selected, Who is the can't miss product that you know will be there at #22? The safeties are projected higher and probably will not be there, we don't necessarily need a corner that high, Barr may not be there, and WR will probably be the BPA pick. My feelings are you might as well take the one you covet.
Now we can trade back, but with teams like Kansas, Carolina, San Fran and Seattle behind us and teams like the Jets and the Giants ahead of us, whom could go for a WR, there is no guarantee that Latimer will be there in the second round.
Here is his CBS scouting report:
STRENGTHS: Possesses thick, athletic-looking frame and an impressive speed/agility combination that enable him to separate consistently as a route-runner, and extend plays after the catch both in space and on contact. Flashes soft hands and good coordination when asked to extend and pluck the ball off his frame, and positions his body nicely when adjusting to balls thrown off stride. Flashes the physicality and initial quickness to develop into a receiver who could beat press coverage at the next level, and is a willing blocker in the running game with room to improve his technique there.WEAKNESSES: Occasional concentration issues leading to drops. Though Latimer exhibits burst and hip-sink to separate out of cuts, he seems to lack a second gear when asked to pull away vertically and may struggle to consistently threaten the top of the defense. As a route-runner, lacks precision at times as he'll round off his cuts, and he needs to get better at working his way back to the ball on hitches and comeback routes.
Now, lets look at his measurements:
Height: 6' 2"
Latimer possess the same rare height and athleticism that A. Benn flashed, but he is a healthier version.If we want Latimer, we have to get him in the first round. Now I prefer we trade back and get him, but the thought of another team behind us grabbing him scares me, if he is our coveted guy. After getting Latimer, we can get Attaochu, Colvin(S/CB tweener), a late round Nose tackle and sprinkle some guys in between even if we "reach" for the attributes we covet in a WR.
Hopefully the Browns want to trade up to 22 to get their guy and give us an extra 3rd round pick or a fourth round pick in the process. Either way, GO EAGLES!!!!!