Monday, April 11, 2005

My New #1 Pick

Well, it's looking more and more like my previous vote for the Seahawks #1 pick, Shawne Merriman, is out of reach come draft day. His stock has risen tremendously since the combine (Previously in the mock drafts he was rated from 18-36 overall, but now I see him between 5 and 12), and unless we trade up (which I think is a bad idea), he's won't be a Seahawk next year (look, three parenthetic interjections in one sentence!).

So, now I have another favorite, Iowa Hawkeye DE Matt Roth. Here's the analysis from USA Today Needless to say, I like his style:

Matt Roth, DE, Iowa
Height: 6:03.3 Weight: 272
Overview: Matthew Roth is regarded as one of the premier pass rushers in the collegiate ranks and one of the toughest players in the country. He is a blue-chip prospect with a blue-collar work ethic. Roth is a colorful character who plays the game as if he is on a "search and destroy" mission. He is the source of a campus urban legend, as many Hawkeyes talk of the time Roth challenged and cleared out an entire bar in a fight. Even in practices, the coaches have to pray he stays under control. They will generally blow the whistle early on plays, so Roth does not hurt any of the offensive players. There are times where he plays with such intensity in practices that the coaches must sit him down, even for walk-throughs.

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  1. Roth was a standout linebacker and fullback at Willowbrook (Ill.) High. He was a consensus All-State pick and named Illinois High School Athlete of the Year by the Chicago Tribune as a senior, totaling 161 tackles with four sacks, 23 stops for losses, 10 forced fumbles and a state-record 12 blocked kicks. He also scored four times while gaining 307 yards rushing. Roth began his Iowa career as a middle linebacker, recording 19 tackles (12 solo) in 12 games as a reserve in 2001. He shifted to the defensive line in 2002, as the coaches felt he played with too much reckless abandon to be effective as a linebacker. Roth responded to the move by recording 48 tackles (22 solo) with 10 sacks, 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 11 quarterback pressures, despite starting only one game. Roth took over left end duties in 2003, collecting 51 tackles (32 solo) with 12 sacks, 16 stops for losses and four forced fumbles. Only Leroy Smith (18 in 1991) had more sacks in a season for the Hawkeyes. With an addional 10 pounds of muscle on his frame in 2004, Roth put together a banner senior season, earning All-American honors. He ranked fourth in the Big 10 Conference with eight sacks and registered 15 stops for losses (sixth in the Big 10), eight pressures and 49 tackles (34 solo) while leading the conference with three forced fumbles. In 49 games, he started 25 times, recording 167 tackles (100 solo) with 23 quarterback pressures, thirty sacks for minus-192 yards, 43 stops for losses of 224 yards, eight forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass deflection. His 30 career sacks rank third in school history, topped only by Mike Wells (33, 1990-93) and Jared DeVries (42, 1995-98). Only Wells (54) and DeVries (78) registered more tackles behind the line of scrimmage in a career for the Hawkeyes.

    Analysis: Roth is a well-built athlete with a powerful upper body, long arms, broad shoulders, quick feet, above average explosion off the snap, narrow hips, thick thighs and calves. His quickness allows him to be very effective on stunts, playing with his hand down wide to the open side to get after the quarterback instantly coming out of his stance. He does an excellent job of generating a strong hand punch, showing good extension to keep the blockers off his body to shed. Roth plays with superb field awareness and has very good agility for his position, making plays in pursuit. He demonstrates an explosive initial burst and can flash upfield, displaying fine foot agility when dropping off in pass coverage. Roth comes off his stance ready to deliver forceful inside counter moves on his upfield rush and has excellent recovery speed in pursuit. While he might be a little stiff in his hips and can sometimes come off the snap a little high in his stance, he uses his power to gain leverage and is very combative with his arms (rip and swim moves) to prevent blockers from containing him. Roth has the short area agility to penetrate the line, collapse the pocket and pressure the quarterback, doing a very nice job of keeping his feet as he works well transferring his weight. He has developed into a disruptive pass rusher who gains leverage with his strong straight-ahead charge off the snap. Roth stays in control and has a sharp and sudden burst coming off the edge as a pass rusher. He also uses his short area speed to collapse the pocket and bring down the quarterback in the backfield. His lateral and up field quickness allows him to consistently get past the offensive tackle when attempting to penetrate. Roth generates explosion as a pass rusher and is very fluid delivering secondary moves after his initial thrust into the pile. He might need to add bulk to play at the next level, but his upper body strength is evident by the way he can rip, stalk and drag blockers down with his hands. Roth uses an explosive first step to gain advantage, but when he gets high in his stance (mostly when redirecting inside), he struggles to disengage, but his lateral agility lets him slip off blocks. He has very good leg drive and lower body strength to gain leverage and prevent the opponent from moving him out when coming off the edge. Roth is best when playing on the move, as he has an uncanny knack for sifting out the play, spotting the ball and then squeezing through tight spaces to zero in on the ball carrier or passer. His hands are a great asset, as he is very effective delivering good spin and swim moves to penetrate the backfield, control blockers and keep separation. He takes dead aim on the quarterback and has the explosive burst to get to his man. Roth is a high energy type who does a good job of clearing his feet when chasing.

    Agility tests: 4.77 in the 40-yard dash...410-pound bench press...675-pound squat...325-pound power clean...33-inch vertical jump...30 7/8-inch arm length...10-inch hands...Right-handed... 14/38 Wonderlic score.

    High school: Attended Willowbrook (Villa Park, Ill,) High, playing four seasons for coach Chuck Tassio. ... Consensus All-American selection as a senior, competing as a linebacker and fullback. ... Named Illinois High School Athlete of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. ... Two-time All-Conference pick, adding All-State and League Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior. ... Served as team captain while earning MVP accolades as a senior. ... Recorded 161 tackles with four sacks, 23 stops for losses, 10 forced fumbles and a state-record 12 blocked kicks as a senior. ... Collected 110 tackles with 11 sacks and 29 stops behind the line of scrimmage during his junior campaign. ... Rushed for 307 yards and four touch-downs as a senior. ... Lettered four times in wrestling, earning the state title as a senior with a perfect 31-0 record. ... Won school Academic Merit honors.

    Personal: Open major. ... Son of Kelley and Tom Roth. ... Born 10/14/82. ... Resides in Villa Park, Illinois.

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  2. ill give you 2 more scouting reports...and btw, welcome to our side Blue ;) roth Roth ROTH!

    Scouting report 1:

    4. Matt Roth, DE Iowa
    6’3” 275 4.77 (40 Time)

    NFL Comparison- Justin Smith, Cincinnati


    Extremely intense and plays non-stop, from snap to whistle. Very productive throughout his career, despite constant double-teams. Roth doesn’t have top-end speed, but his quickness and agility allow him the opportunity to bring down QBs. Has great instincts and anticipation, making him even more of a threat. Fantastic fundamentals and was very well coached at Iowa. Knows how to use leverage and hands to create space from offensive lineman. Had a big Senior Bowl and absolutely used some of the better offensive lineman that week. Is capable of big hits and the highlight-reel sack. Has a temper (which I like very much) and can sometimes take it a bit too far. Is solid against the run and can be strong at the point-of-attack, but also chase down plays from behind. Although I think he’s a much better fit as a DE, some teams may look at him as a 3-4 OLB, where he looked decent in drills.

    Pass Rush-

    This is Roth’s strength. While he doesn’t have the elite speed that most of the NFL’s dominant pass rushers have, Roth makes up for it with solid fundamentals and high effort. He knows how to get under his opponent’s pads to move them. His above average agility and quickness give him more 2nd chance opportunities than most DE’s in the class. Can swim and rip effectively, but can also use the bull rush very well.

    Playing the Run-

    Has solid strength and is able to hold his own at the point-of-attack. Because he uses his hands so well, Roth doesn’t get engulfed very often by O-lineman. Scrapes down the line-of-scrimmage well and hits hard. Is fundamentally sound and is a good tackler. Has a mean streak and sometimes gets flagged.

    Roster Impact for Seattle-

    Would be a huge addition because of his pass rushing skills alone. Has the ability to start immediately, but would probably start as Seattle’s nickel LE, where he could have an impact right away. Roth could be Seattle’s best pass rusher as a rookie.

    Draft Projection-

    Round 1. DE’s usually go fairly high, but because there are so many solid DE’s in this year’s class, the ‘Hawks have a real shot at getting him. Teams like St. Louis, Jacksonville and Seattle will be very interested in his services.

    Final Analysis-

    Roth’s pass rushing skills, attitude and effort make him a very attractive player. Because he shines as a pass rusher, his ability against the run are underrated and he’s a better athlete than people give him credit for. His fiery personality (something the Seahawks need) and drive to win far outweigh the attitude concerns that some scouts frown on. Adding a formidable DE that brings all this to the table would help out the defense considerably. I’d be very happy to see Roth lined up opposite Grant Wistrom.

  3. Scouting Report 2:

    Strengths: Has a motor that never stops...Very quick with a great burst...Intense player...Will hold his own against the run...Very strong...Playmaker with great instincts on the defensive line.
    Weaknesses: Doesn't have a wide array of pass rush moves...Is in trouble if the offensive lineman gets locked on...Technique is lacking at times...Will let his emotions get the best of him...Lacks elite speed and isn't a top athlete.
    Notes: Former linebacker who just moved to end in 2002...Overachiever who gets the most out of his talent...May not have every physical tool you look for but his motor more than makes up for it.

    Reports are from Seahawks Insiders and NFL Draft

  4. Have you been reading my mind? I have been talking about this guy for months now, he would definitely be my #1 pick if it were my choice! Great post! Exactly what I have been saying for a long time now.
    In an article I read about Roth, the coaching staff admitted that during practices, they have to blow the whistle right away, because Roth is so damn aggressive and plays whistle to whistle so well that they are afraid that if they aren't quick with the whistle that he will hurt someone. He might be the most aggressive player in college, MAN do I want this guy to be a Seahawk!!!

  5. I think Justin Tuck should be our pick,we don't need another high motor we need speed.Roth is a good player but two high motor guys just don't work,we need an edge rusher.The thing about Tuck he is a more versitile player.They compare him to Justin Smith,what has Smith ever done.Speed on one side and a high motor on the other is the best combo,look at the Colt
    Freeney makes the whole defences better.Tuck is the way to go.

    What would you think if we traded down and grabbed a good player and extra picks?In the later first round.

  6. Hey Shonuff, I understand what you are saying but I respectfully disagree, unless we did as you suggested and traded down for more picks, in which case Tuck would be great because he will slip into the second round for sure.
    I also think you're wrong about Roth being just a high motor guy, he's a tremendous pass rusher! Although I will certainly admit that Tuck is more the speed rusher the problem with Tuck is that he is very fast and athletic, but he also plays dumb alot. I don't know how many Notre Dame games you watched but I saw enough tosee that Tuck is an amazing athlete, but he may turn out to be the next Lamar King because as athletic as he is, he also takes plays off and looks lost at times. And we're not talking about rocket science here, we're talking about pass rushing. Tuck just doesn't seem to have that drive to succeed that Roth does, he plays too laid back for my taste, but then again, hey, I could be way wrong, he could turn out to be the next Jevon Kearse. He does have speed and athleticism like the freak. So who knows?
    I'll stick with a guy like Roth who is a workout film watching warrior, who never ever takes plays off is the right size, is strong and intelligent.
    The one knock on Roth that I have heard is that he is a bit raw, as far as pass rushing moves go becasue he made the switch from linebacker, whereas Tuck has some sweet moves, great pass rushing technique but can get overwhelmed when locked up on a bigger lineman.

    Anyway, IF we do trade down I like your idea of Tuck he would be a great value pick in the second round where he will likely go. Otherwise if we stay at #23 Tuck is a big reach I think.

  7. Tucks personal workouts were just as good as Roths.We could do worse then Roth but,You know what they say about Rhodes he does like his speedy guys.But the closer the draft comes the more I am liking Mike Paterson,from USC.I just want the best football player we can get.offence or defence