Why we Need More NFL Talent on Offensive

bshaw28

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Compared to the National Champion teams, it's very obvious we haven't been getting near enough NFL level talent at the skill positions.

Of the 21 BCS Champions since 1998, 18 of 21 (86%) have had at least 2 QB/RB/WR's that at some point in their careers was a:

- Heisman Trophy winner
- 1st Round Draft Pick
- NFL Pro Bowler

1998 - Tennessee - Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry
1999 - FSU - Chris Weinke, Peter Warrick, Anquan Boldin
2000 - Oklahoma - None
2001 - Miami - Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson
2002 - Ohio St. - Chris Gamble, Michael Jenkins
2003 - LSU - Joseph Addai, Dwayne Bowe (only had a minor role on this team)
2004 - USC - Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush
2005 - Texas - Vince Young, Jamaal Charles
2006 - Florida - Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin
2007 - LSU - None
2008 - Florida - Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin
2009 - Alabama - Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Trent Richardson
2010 - Auburn - Cam Newton
2011 - Alabama - Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy
2012 - Alabama - Amari Cooper, Eddie Lacy
2013 - FSU - Jameis Winston, Devonta Freeman, Kelvin Benjamin
2014 - Ohio St - Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas
2015 - Alabama - Derrick Henry, Calvin Ridley
2016 - Clemson - DeShaun Watson, Mike Williams
2017 - Alabama - Calvin Ridley, Josh Jacobs (Tua & Jeudy are likely 1st Rounders)
2018 - Clemson - Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross (I'm assuming between these 4, 2 will meet the criteria)

The Exceptions

2000 Oklahoma
- Miami got screwed in the BCS here. The 2000 Miami team with Portis, Moss and Wayne would've dominated Oklahoma
2007 LSU - This is the only 2 loss BCS Champ, and debate-ably the weakest
2010 Auburn - Cam Newton might count for 2 players. Since 1980 only 3 players have won a Heisman & NFL MVP - Cam Newton, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen

What Miami Teams Would Qualify?

1983 - 1990 -
All Teams
1996 - 2004 - All Teams (although counting Devin Hester in 03 & 04 is a bit of a stretch)
2011 - Lamar Miller, Phillip Dorsett

1991 - We won the NC, and that team wouldn't qualify, but it was very close with Toretta (Heisman), Kevin Williams (2nd)

My Thoughts (Since 2005)

We just haven't been getting enough NFL talent on our roster

QB - So far below where we should be. Kaaya was a 6th round pick, and Brock Berlin played in a couple NFL games. Pretty inexcusable
RB - Lamar Miller has two 1,000 yd seasons and 1 Pro Bowl. Duke Johnson has been good. We're still better than a lot of schools here, but just ok overall.
WR - Allen Hurns had one 1,000 yd season. Benjamin had one 900 yd season. We've had some WR's, but no one close to being a #1 guy in the NFL.
TE - We've been awesome here. I left them off because TE's really don't move the needle as playmakers at the college level.

Our Future

I think if you're being really, really optimistic - you could project Jeff Thomas or Lorenzo Lingard as potential 1st Rounders or Pro Bowlers that are on our roster right now. Heisman winners...I can't see any. Players like Lingard & Chaney give a good outlook - but QB & WR need to improve.

We've been getting good group of skill position players - but barely anyone that makes a real impact in the NFL. Until we start closing more of the Dalvin Cook, Sony Michel, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jerrry Jeudy types that have been leaving out backyard - a 10 win ranked around #10-#15 is probably our ceiling (with a dominant defense).
 

Tad Footeball

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The problem with this is that Heisman Winner & 1st Round Draft Pick don't necessarily equal "NFL Talent". Only Pro Bowler does. It seems like this was a conclusion in search of evidence and what resulted were 3 very broad catch-all criteria.

Soooo basically the good college teams had guys that were great in college (but may have done nothing in the NFL) and guys that did nothing super special in college but may have blossomed in the NFL. That's pretty wide ranging.
 
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I appreciate the research, and certainly appreciate anyone around here who can articulate intelligent thoughts, but being told that in order to be a good college football team, we need more Heisman Trophy winners and/or 1st round picks isn't exactly earth-shattering news.

Yes, the championship teams have excellent college football players. Pretty sure that's understood. Now, of those guys you listed, WHERE did they come from? That'd be interesting. Were they transfers? Highly recruited? Lightly recruited? Developed? Switched positions? etc etc etc.

We all know good teams have good players. And we need more good players. But where do these good players come from, and how do we get them?
 

Go Canes!!

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We really have no idea how much true NFL talent we have offensively because every player at every position has been schematically hamstrung by prehistoric offensive thinking and junior high level QB play.

Could Jeff Thomas, Brevin Jordan and the rest be as good as some of Bama and Clemson’s skill guys? We’ve seen flashes through individual play making that say yes, not because they were put in a position to excel.

I do know with 100% certainty we won’t face a team with more offensive talent than us until we make the acccg.
 
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brock

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The two glaring misses are obviously receiver and qb. Get those 2 positions figured out and we will be okay. Still putting in quality productive players in the league at rb and tight end
 

305407cane

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I disagree on your tight end take. They absolutely made a big difference for us at the college level. But in general nice breakdown. I agree with your conclusion that we need more game breaking talent
 

Kayone

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I guess I’m missing the point of this thread. We have guys in the NFL now and didn’t win a championship.
 

caneaddict

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to think you couldn't is another testament to the abyss we have been in and how many teams we've had that qualify as the "not having" these types of breakdowns just quantify how bad we've been
 

ddann

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Although I don't have any empirical data to back it up, I, too, feel that having lots and lots of future NFL starters on the offensive side of the ball would most likely lead to winning more games.
 
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The two glaring misses are obviously receiver and qb. Get those 2 positions figured out and we will be okay. Still putting in quality productive players in the league at rb and tight end
It's really all QB. There's been more than acceptable talent here at WR. And you don't have to have elite talent at that position to win. You (usually) do need that talent at QB. It's the most important position in sports, bar none. FSU won a championship 5 years ago, and dominated 13 of the 14 teams they played, with Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin, and Kenny Shaw at WR. Miami has had plenty of kids that good, or better. The difference was they had a Heisman QB. Put Jameis Winston on Miami, and watch how good Rashawn Scott and Laron Byrd are.
 

SPAMM

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As your analysis indicates, Miami has had enough numbers to meet your criteria in several years in which it didn't win. IO think the differentiating factor is offensive and defensive lines, everybody has skill players but winners dominate both sides of the ball. An amended analysis with a veiw of the trenches would be better.
 

Halcyon Daze

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Rube Goldberg would be proud of your methodology and processes used to draw the conclusion that.....Canes would be better with more talent....
 

brock

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It's really all QB. There's been more than acceptable talent here at WR. And you don't have to have elite talent at that position to win. You (usually) do need that talent at QB. It's the most important position in sports, bar none. FSU won a championship 5 years ago, and dominated 13 of the 14 teams they played, with Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin, and Kenny Shaw at WR. Miami has had plenty of kids that good, or better. The difference was they had a Heisman QB. Put Jameis Winston on Miami, and watch how good Rashawn Scott and Laron Byrd are.
True
 

bshaw28

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The problem with this is that Heisman Winner & 1st Round Draft Pick don't necessarily equal "NFL Talent". Only Pro Bowler does. It seems like this was a conclusion in search of evidence and what resulted were 3 very broad catch-all criteria.

Soooo basically the good college teams had guys that were great in college (but may have done nothing in the NFL) and guys that did nothing super special in college but may have blossomed in the NFL. That's pretty wide ranging.
I totally agree and see where you're coming from. I'm very much looking at it from a "what did they give you in college" perspective of:

Pro Bowl - They were obviously a legit NFL talent
1st Round - They were productive or showed enough potential in college that the NFL valued them as a 1st Round pick
Heisman - They were voted the best player in college football

But a huge point is even with this "wide range of criteria" - Miami would've only had 1 team (2011) in the last 14 years that meets the criteria.


The Heisman thing basically changes nothing. I just thought it was interesting that 7 of the last 15 NC teams had the Heisman winner.

Here's the Heisman winners on this list either weren't a 1st Round or didn't make a Pro Bowl - Chris Weinke. That's it.


Pro Bowls - if you take out 2018 & 2017 because they're too recent to produce NFL Pro Bowl players, you have:

15 out of 19 had 1 Pro Bowl Player (79%)
7 out of 19 had 2 Pro Bowl Players (37%)
 
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bshaw28

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It's really all QB. There's been more than acceptable talent here at WR. And you don't have to have elite talent at that position to win. You (usually) do need that talent at QB. It's the most important position in sports, bar none. FSU won a championship 5 years ago, and dominated 13 of the 14 teams they played, with Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin, and Kenny Shaw at WR. Miami has had plenty of kids that good, or better. The difference was they had a Heisman QB. Put Jameis Winston on Miami, and watch how good Rashawn Scott and Laron Byrd are.
You're right - QB is 100% our biggest problem. Miami hasn't had a QB drafted in the first 5 rounds since 1992. That's unbelievable.

To be National Championship good, we'd either have to:

1) Get a do everything QB who can take over games by himself - Young, Tebow, Newton, Watson, etc. Those guys are really rare and you just kind of need to get lucky to land one. Bridgewater and Lamar Jackson are our 2 big misses here - and I would've liked to have given Winky Flowers a chance.

2) Get a very good college QB, BUT you have to also be stacked with NFL talent at at least 2 of these positions - RB/WR/OL...and have a dominating Defense. We did this with Ken Dorsey and Alabama has done it with guys like Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron.

Miami / FSU / UF - All are notoriously bad at producing WR's. This has never really made sense to me as to why.

But Kelvin Benjamin has been better in the NFL than any Miami WR since Andre Johnson - and he had to be paired with Jameis Winston and Devonta Freeman to win a NC. A Heisman/1st Round QB can move the needle a long ways, but you'll need to pair him with a big time WR or RB to get over the top. Or he'll have to be Cam Newton.
 

[]_[] swag

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As has been said a million times here, the best way to get those difference makers is by first becoming the 10 win coastal winning ranked team that we should be every year.

These guys know that they can change a program like ours only if we’re already competent and beating who we should beat.

We win 10 games and the coastal this year and it becomes 2 out of the last 3 and a trend instead of an outlier season.
 

954cane

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You're right - QB is 100% our biggest problem. Miami hasn't had a QB drafted in the first 5 rounds since 1992. That's unbelievable.

To be National Championship good, we'd either have to:

1) Get a do everything QB who can take over games by himself - Young, Tebow, Newton, Watson, etc. Those guys are really rare and you just kind of need to get lucky to land one. Bridgewater and Lamar Jackson are our 2 big misses here - and I would've liked to have given Winky Flowers a chance.

2) Get a very good college QB, BUT you have to also be stacked with NFL talent at at least 2 of these positions - RB/WR/OL...and have a dominating Defense. We did this with Ken Dorsey and Alabama has done it with guys like Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron.

Miami / FSU / UF - All are notoriously bad at producing WR's. This has never really made sense to me as to why.

But Kelvin Benjamin has been better in the NFL than any Miami WR since Andre Johnson - and he had to be paired with Jameis Winston and Devonta Freeman to win a NC. A Heisman/1st Round QB can move the needle a long ways, but you'll need to pair him with a big time WR or RB to get over the top. Or he'll have to be Cam Newton.
Greene is FSU’s all time leading wr and Benjamin was a first round pick who was up for rookie of the year in the NFL. They had two of their best wrs in their program history on that team.
 

bshaw28

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Messages
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I disagree on your tight end take. They absolutely made a big difference for us at the college level. But in general nice breakdown. I agree with your conclusion that we need more game breaking talent
TE was a tough call to include or not. I left TE out because:

- It didn't really affect any teams that were listed, including Miami teams.
- A team has never won a NC with a TE as their best player. Multiple have with a QB, RB, or WR as their best player
- The best season a TE has had here is Winslow in 2002 - 726 yds/8 TD & is the only TE to have over 700 yds in a season. Just not enough impact.
- Iowa just had 2 TE's taken in the 1st Round and only finished 9-4 and #25.

In terms of the criteria, it would have to be a super stretch, but you could "technically" include these Miami teams:

2005 - Greg Olsen & Devin Hester. Hester is already a stretch because he barely played RB/WR in college, and made the Pro Bowl as a returner.
2009 - Jimmy Graham & Lamar Miller. Huge stretch because Jimmy Graham hadn't played football since high school, and only has 213 yds in his only year here, and Lamar Miller was redshirting in 2009.

So if you include TE's and bend the rules really, really far - you'd still only get 2 more years that Miami teams fit the criteria.
 

TheU 4ever

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Compared to the National Champion teams, it's very obvious we haven't been getting near enough NFL level talent at the skill positions.

Of the 21 BCS Champions since 1998, 18 of 21 (86%) have had at least 2 QB/RB/WR's that at some point in their careers was a:

- Heisman Trophy winner
- 1st Round Draft Pick
- NFL Pro Bowler

1998 - Tennessee - Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry
1999 - FSU - Chris Weinke, Peter Warrick, Anquan Boldin
2000 - Oklahoma - None
2001 - Miami - Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson
2002 - Ohio St. - Chris Gamble, Michael Jenkins
2003 - LSU - Joseph Addai, Dwayne Bowe (only had a minor role on this team)
2004 - USC - Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush
2005 - Texas - Vince Young, Jamaal Charles
2006 - Florida - Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin
2007 - LSU - None
2008 - Florida - Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin
2009 - Alabama - Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Trent Richardson
2010 - Auburn - Cam Newton
2011 - Alabama - Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy
2012 - Alabama - Amari Cooper, Eddie Lacy
2013 - FSU - Jameis Winston, Devonta Freeman, Kelvin Benjamin
2014 - Ohio St - Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas
2015 - Alabama - Derrick Henry, Calvin Ridley
2016 - Clemson - DeShaun Watson, Mike Williams
2017 - Alabama - Calvin Ridley, Josh Jacobs (Tua & Jeudy are likely 1st Rounders)
2018 - Clemson - Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross (I'm assuming between these 4, 2 will meet the criteria)

The Exceptions

2000 Oklahoma
- Miami got screwed in the BCS here. The 2000 Miami team with Portis, Moss and Wayne would've dominated Oklahoma
2007 LSU - This is the only 2 loss BCS Champ, and debate-ably the weakest
2010 Auburn - Cam Newton might count for 2 players. Since 1980 only 3 players have won a Heisman & NFL MVP - Cam Newton, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen

What Miami Teams Would Qualify?

1983 - 1990 -
All Teams
1996 - 2004 - All Teams (although counting Devin Hester in 03 & 04 is a bit of a stretch)
2011 - Lamar Miller, Phillip Dorsett

1991 - We won the NC, and that team wouldn't qualify, but it was very close with Toretta (Heisman), Kevin Williams (2nd)

My Thoughts (Since 2005)

We just haven't been getting enough NFL talent on our roster

QB - So far below where we should be. Kaaya was a 6th round pick, and Brock Berlin played in a couple NFL games. Pretty inexcusable
RB - Lamar Miller has two 1,000 yd seasons and 1 Pro Bowl. Duke Johnson has been good. We're still better than a lot of schools here, but just ok overall.
WR - Allen Hurns had one 1,000 yd season. Benjamin had one 900 yd season. We've had some WR's, but no one close to being a #1 guy in the NFL.
TE - We've been awesome here. I left them off because TE's really don't move the needle as playmakers at the college level.

Our Future

I think if you're being really, really optimistic - you could project Jeff Thomas or Lorenzo Lingard as potential 1st Rounders or Pro Bowlers that are on our roster right now. Heisman winners...I can't see any. Players like Lingard & Chaney give a good outlook - but QB & WR need to improve.

We've been getting good group of skill position players - but barely anyone that makes a real impact in the NFL. Until we start closing more of the Dalvin Cook, Sony Michel, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jerrry Jeudy types that have been leaving out backyard - a 10 win ranked around #10-#15 is probably our ceiling (with a dominant defense).
Excellent analysis!
 
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