We're going with the early edition of the Your Best 11 Mailbag, Thursday. Next week, we'll go with afternoon questions, but we figured it was time to give the morning crowd a little time to shine. No need to dilly dally, here are your questions:
I'm a big Earl Wolff fan, personally. Combine, or not, I think his tape puts him in a position to get on the field for teams looking for a safety. He's got good range and is very effective against the run. He's a complete safety that just doesn't have some of the top-end speed that other guys possess.
Then, at the combine he showed some good wheels and was a very fluid guy in and out of transitions.
I expect he'll be a mid-round pick, and as a safety, he'll likely work his way into the rotation. The kid's got a good understanding of the game and in the right system, I don't think it's a stretch to expect him to be a starter at the next level.
The three-second spike rule is something that I both get and don't get. I understand that they are looking for a standard time to use in order to determine if a team can or cannot spike the football.
However, three seconds just seems like too much time. It doesn't take three seconds to snap the ball and kill it.
I'll be watching to see how it works this season. Obviously, basketball has a clear rule on when you can catch and shoot versus only being able to tip it in. That's the thinking behind this rule and football, aside from the ridiculous Texas-Nebraska 2009 finish, doesn't dip into the fraction of the second clock.
Basically, I'd prefer that it was two seconds, but we're haggling over a second here in the grand scheme of things.
We'll see how much that second matters.
I have absolutely no clue. With that said, I don't think they have what I'd qualify as a "lack of depth" at the position. They only truly lose Sterling Lucas from a linebacking group that was completely clueless at times in 2012. The guys back got a good taste of big-time football, they just weren't sure where they were going, and that led to Wolff and Brandon Bishop having to make all the tackles.
This year, with a new scheme, the real question won't be depth; it will be about just understanding the new scheme. Whichever three guys can understand Dave Huxtables scheme the best will likely be the three who get on the field. The learning curve is steep, and this spring you'll find out who your players are.
I don't expect them to this year. Look, last year Johnny Manziel took the football world by storm and while he looked solid in almost every game, the Alabama contest was one that boosted him to national stardom.
This summer for Nick Saban is about stopping Johnny Football. That means watching his failures from a year ago and looking at how LSU and Florida were able to pull wins over the Aggies. This is what coaches do in the offseason, and I expect a much better game plan against Manziel in College Station than we saw in Tuscaloosa in 2012.
Not a big deal to me.
Can I answer neither, here? Mathieu's bench press matters a lot more to fans looking to make jokes than it does to the folks in the NFL.
They've seen his tape and they know he's a guy that can get off blocks and is physical against the run game. His issues are still covering bigger receivers and whether he did 30 reps or four, that fact would not change.
As for Te'o, there wasn't any surprise to be had. He's a better football player than he is an athlete. We knew that going in and it was merely confirmed by his numbers.
Teams that were going to draft Te'o, ones looking for a run-stopping interior linebacker, already know what they are getting. He's not a guy you want covering a tight end in the league. Even if he ran a 4.6, you know that he cannot cover tight ends in the league from watching his tape.