Monday, March 3, 2008

Irish Recruiting Recap: Wide Receiver

The Irish signed a bumper crop of receivers in this year's class, and it could not come at a better time. Mike Floyd, Deion Walker, and John Goodman are in my view the best WR haul the Irish have signed in quite some time. I have reviewed the film on all 3 now and all I can say is WOW!

Mike Floyd: Mike Floyd is hands down the most talented overall WR the Irish have signed in the last decade +. He is just such a complete player that you sometimes forget he is only a high school senior when you watch him. He really does everything well -- runs great routes, great hands, solid speed, technically sound. Mike may not start for the Irish, but he is going to play and play a lot as a freshman. The one knock I have heard on Mike is that he doesn't have great top end speed. This is ridiculous. Watch the kid play. You don't need to run a 4.3 in order to have good football speed and be a deep threat. Mike is by no means a possession receiver and he makes plenty of plays downfield. Give me a 4.5 guy with great technique to work his way deep any day over a track sprinter with poor technique who can be knocked off his route. Mike is the recruit I am most excited about in this class. In this offense, with the QBs the Irish have signed the last 2 years, Mike has All-American potential.

Deion Walker: I will be honest, I am not sure how accurate my review of Deion Walker will be. Of all the prospects in this class, Deion was the toughest to evaluate. On film, 3 things jump out at you with Deion -- he is a smooth athlete, he will make plays with the ball in his hands, and he is fantastic at going up and getting the ball at its highest point. Beyond that, it becomes difficult to evaluate Deion, primarily because the competition he is playing against is very very poor. Deion just looks like a man amongst boys on the field, partially because he is a great player and partially because of the lack of talent he is playing with and against. This makes it very difficult to accurately judge his speed and even his technique and route running, because he often doesn't have to use great technique to beat the guys covering him. I was really hoping to see more of Deion at the Under Armour game against better competition, but he was slowed by injury. While Deion has the pure athleticism to compete early, I think he is going to need some time to adjust to the speed and talent of the college game. He is going to have to learn to work technique and route wise against top corners and it will be interesting to watch him develop and adapt to the frustration all top high school players experience when they can't simply impose their will every play. When he figures it out though, Deion has as much pure talent and athleticism as anyone.

John Goodman: Mr. Anonymous, the overlooked recruit. Because of the star power of Floyd and Walker, I sometimes think Irish fans overlook John Goodman. Some see him as a reincarnation of Jeff Samardzija. John is better than most people think. The first attribute that hasn't been discussed nearly enough is his speed. I will catch heat for this statement, but I would be willing to bet that pure straight line speed, John Goodman is the fastest WR in this class. That doesn't mean he is the best overall WR or best athlete, but it does mean he is faster than Jeff was and is not an Ed McCaffrey possession guy. John is another guy who I see making his mark more down the road than as a freshman. First, he needs to reacquaint himself with the WR position after playing mainly QB as a senior. It is very difficult to miss a year at your natural position and then simply flip the switch back and have your technique and route running perfect. Second, John needs to get stronger. He looked pretty lean at the Army game. Again, however, the future is bright.

Those are my reviews of the WRs signed by the Irish. Your thoughts?

Next Up: Tight End


Sir Johbn said...

Nice analysis and nicely done Irish Glory.

Anonymous said...

Well done. I also have difficulty assessing Deion and his readiness for the college level.
One thing I would like to add with Mike, his top end speed may be better than reported, but that is really not the judge of a WR. The critical speed metric for a wideout is separation speed, and Mr. Floyd has an abundance of that. He will be a major downfield threat and will spread defenses. If Golden Tate can aquire the needed skills of a polished WR, ND will show us a lot of fireworks and big strike capability in the future.!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Floyd definitely has the best chance to impact early next year. With Floyd and Kamara as bookends and Tate in the slot, there could be a lot of good things happening. Of course it all rest with the OL. You can't pass and you can't run if you can't block.

Anonymous said...

Good review on Walker.
All the athleticism in the world, but let's see what he does with it.
He definitey needs to bulk up for college.
If he has a great work ethic, He and Floyd have the ability to be all americans.
When was the last time two receivers made first team AA on the same team?
Has it ever happened?

Irish Chris