April 25, 2007

Wondering About Blades and Palko

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 10:26 am

Sure, sure Darrelle Revis will be going in the 1st round, maybe somewhere in the teens. That’s a given. What is unknown is where H.B. Blades and Tyler Palko will go in the draft — beyond being second day picks.

Based on the draft guides (ESPN, Pro Football Weekly and Sporting News), Blades has remained consistently projected to go in the 4th round, + or – 1 round. The knock on his size, is actually a common theme for many of the linebackers in the draft.

  • Jon Abbate, Wake Forest, 245, 5′ 10+”
  • Buster Davis, FSU, 244, 5′ 9+”
  • Sam Olajubutu, Arkansas, 227, 5′ 8+”
  • H.B. Blades, Pitt, 247, 5′ 10+”

And of course, they all cite NFL linebackers like Zach Thomas, London Fletcher and Sam Mills as undersized linebackers who succeeded.

The common theme for the successful undersized players, is that they are energy guys or “high motor” players. Not necessarily the fastest, the strongest or such. Instead, they are the most tenacious and hard working. In that way, I like both Abbate and Blades to have success in the NFL.

Blades can’t wait to find out where he is going, and is ready.  Blades has the added advantage of having played special teams at Pitt. The versatility is important, especially since it is the most likely place he will see action with a team as a rookie.

As for Palko, he’s been projected as a 6th or 7th rounder. He is appealing as a late grab since he has played in both the pro sets the past two years and the West Coast offense before that.

Plus, it would seem his agent, Ralph Cindrich, has been coaching him to play up being the son of a high school coach and that he’s been around football his whole life. Not a bad approach, as he’s trying to sell himself to coaches and GMs who are essentially football lifers themselves.
With the Rams, he grabs the Marc Bulger link — late draft pick, Western PA, not too big, Big East school. Palko has also had visits to the Ravens.

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