Mailbag Jan 2: Thoughts On How Many UConn Players Go In NFL Draft?

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Q: Hey Dez. Happy New Year. Hope things change for the better for the football program. Ended with some ugly notes the leaving of Don Brown and Clayton White. Now that we are into January any thoughts on a number of players that might get drafted off last years team. Had quite a few good players that are going to the draft I would assume, UCBlue, The Rent

A: Happy New Year! Hard to be exact at this point but I think TE Ryan Griffin, CBs Dwayne Gratz and Blidi Wreh-Wilson will be playing on Sundays. I think DE Trevardo Williams is an Aaron Maybin type (EJ Norris too for that matter) so I think he goes. I think LBs Sio Moore and Jory Johnson will play on Sundays, too. I think TE John Delahunt could surprise and catch on, if not CFL. WR Mike Smith will get an opportunity. Notice I said think, lol. Who really knows? I think we’ll have a better idea during Pro Day in March when those guys work out for NFL teams.

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22 thoughts on “Mailbag Jan 2: Thoughts On How Many UConn Players Go In NFL Draft?

  1. jay

    During the post 2011 fiesta Bowl commentary the 28 point lashing by Oklahoma to our Huskies suggested Uconn unfit to compete with the big boys but last week No.11 OU was slammed by 28 points and no questions about they geing unfit. Why

    1. dconner Post author

      I think the team they lost to, Texas A&M , was ranked No.9 in the country. OU was also facing the Heisman winning quarterback

      1. jay

        toung in cheek of course on original item but after last night it appears ND clearly was over rated and over their head

  2. Bigeastconf

    Dez, Edsall didn’t leave the cup board bare. There was a lot of talent on the team, enough to win more than 5 games. We consistently produced 1000 yard RB’s, but all of a sudden over night, our OL wasn’t any good. The scheme changed, we went to a complicated zone block scheme that wasn’t suited to the skill set of our current OL. Foley is a solid OL coach, but they move him to TE coach.

    The only positive for this years team was Don Brown’s defense, and he’s gone. This is now going to be year three for coach P. I didn’t see any improvement in year two, in fact you can say the team regressed.

    Coach has no more excuses in my book. He needs to have a winning record and go to a bowl. Edsall set a standard and built a solid program that coach P inherited. In just two years somehow this program is a shadow of its former self.

    Coach P was hired to take the program to new heights and has failed thus far. In my opinion he would benefit by taking more of a pragmatic approach, best of luck to coach P, we all want what’s best for Uconn and that’s winning.


  3. Rhatman

    great call Palatine, agree with you 100%. Des, don’t think we can bring Edsall back, but we sure can get someone else in to do a better job than PP

  4. Palatine

    UConn’s problems were clearly on the sideline not on the field. Heck, yes we were as talented as Cinny, SU or Rutgers, we BEAT L’ville at L’ville. We beat Pitt. We should have beaten NC State. UConn was not clearly out talented by a single team on our schedule. We played awful against SU, Stony Brook gave them a better game, think we are not as talented as Stony Brook? You are confusing performance with talent.

    The NFL will clearly prove my point on draft day.

    The offense completely lacked imagination. No bubble screens or screens of any kind. We used very little misdirection. I’ve seen high schools with better offensive schemes.

    As to offensive personnel, the head coach never did even obvious things like rotate running backs. He underused his NFL quality TE. He never let McCummings throw the ball to open up the wildcat. On the other hand, he never ran Whitmer. Never used a QB draw or designed run to keep defenses guessing. Nick illiams was an excellent college player, one of the best in the conference, once again underused. And mark my words, Germeny Davis will play on Sundays. Heck Mike Smith will be in an NFL camp, watch.

    So, in short, I disagree we didn’t have the talent to compete for a BE championship. Cincinnati and Syracuse, c’mon.

    1. dconner Post author

      So what do you think, bring Edsall back, right? And if anyone is confusing talent with performance here it isn’t me, sir. Know what a playmaker is by any chance?

      1. Tom

        Dez, I happen to know what a playmaker is. We had one at TE (a severe mismatch against any opponent) who for some strange reason the coaching staff felt that there was a maximum number of times (usually 3-4) they were allowed to throw him during any game.

        Palatine is correct in that we weren’t out talented by anyone we played this past season. I understand your affection towards PP & GDL but neither has shown anything in their return to the college game. I am not claiming that we need to bring RE back but by stating that in your response to Palatine you are making it appear that we only had two possibilities for HC; RE who left and was no longer an option or PP. The sad truth is that he has undone in two years what was built over ten and there is no excuse for this.

        The overall talent level that PP took over was very similar to what we had in RE’s last season yet we cannot even finish .500 against a very suspect schedule. That is entirely on the coaching staff.

        1. dconner Post author

          Tom – when you bring up my affection for PP, GDL it disqualifies us, from any serious discussion on the topic in my opinion. I didn’t read much past that. If you want to have a meaningful discussion. Lets have it. But we’re not going to have one with statements like that. I like them as people, sure. It doesn’t matter to me how you feel about them personally. I’m not sure why anyone would think that I do care or why its even brought up. I’m down for a meaningful, fact-based discussion. If not, that’s fine, too. Ill start it. No, you weren’t as talented as SU, Rutgers or Cincinnati. You had little chance to wi either of those games and from what I saw. The head coach nor offensive coordinator were on the field when Jawan Jamision was bowling people over in Piscataway. They weren’t on the field when Ryan Nassib was throwing all over the yard, Alec Lemon trotting 70. 80 yards for touchdowns. You mean to tell me it was them missing the tackles on the big back in that game? We’re they blocking for Chandler Whitmer? How Adam Masters get hurt against the Orange? Cincinnati? We’re they on defense against Kay and the big tight end? We can all agree – the staff made some mistakes. Not all of them. If you dismiss that how can we have a serious conversation? Because I think most people know players actually play the game.

          1. Waquoit

            “No, you weren’t as talented as SU, Rutgers or Cincinnati.”

            What about WMU, Temple and USF?

          2. dconner Post author

            Yes you were – however in key spots in those games the other team’s had more will. WMU was a problem on the lines. Temple’s OLine was better when it needed to be on two key runs, one resulted in a TD on third down I think.

          3. Tom


            I will have an intelligent discussion on this. I did notice that you excluded the games against Western Michigan and Temple. I would like your honest opinion on how our talent stacked up against those teams. I also would like to have an honest answer as to whether a home game against Temple should need to come down to the placekicker. My personal opinion is that there is no excuse for either of those two teams being within a couple of scores of us (if we were properly prepared).

            Also, on Cincinnati; I had my normal seats (sec 241) for the Cincinnati game and in all candor the only difference between the two teams was the level of intensity of the coaching staff and how that translated to the field of play. The Bearcats were in no way, shape or form a more talented team but the were completely a better coached team than we were that day. Anyone claiming anything different is lying to themselves.

            Against Rutgers, we ran into a problem when we turned the ball over on a kickoff (something that is beyond a coach’s control) but we seemed to regain some composure and even had the opportunity to score before the half, which would have made it a very close game and given us momentum but unfortunately the head coach screwed the pooch by taking all timeouts into the locker room (this isn’t basketball where you can carry them over).

            The talent gap that you are pointing out is nowhere near as severe as you are claiming. What irritates me the most is the rhetoric from PP & GDL which is basically that unless we have more talent than the opponent, it is unreasonable to expect a win. Leveling the talent gap, gameplanning so that your team has the better chance of winning is what a coaching staff is supposed to do. If (as we heard after nearly every game) it becomes impossible for the offensive linemen to figure out who to block if the defensive front shifts as the QB is calling signals, they need to find a way to scheme it so this will no longer be a problem as nearly every college team (and many HS teams in this day and age) shifts their defensive front before the snap.

            Additionally, I view the idea that we have no talent as an insult to my intelligence. Can we compete with top SEC schools? No, absolutely not. Should we be able to win more games than we lose against the recent versions (2011 & 2012) of the BE? Absolutely! Should we be able to win more than we lose against the FBS schools we’ve scheduled over the past two seasons? Again, absolutely! Add in the automatic (FCS opponent) win to open each season, anything less than eight wins either of the prior two years has to be viewed as a failure by the coaching staff considering the personnel we had.

  5. Palatine

    Only Edsall recruits are seniors. P’s oldest recruits are soph. UCn has never even had a soph in the draft let along drafted.

    Edsall was Mr. Medicority.

    Watch the NFL draft. It will shoot lots of holes in the UConn had no talent argument.

    1. dconner Post author

      Um, no it doesn’t Palatine, sorry. Lets see how many get drafted on offense where the problems clearly were and by the way, I pointed out. I think the point I’ve tried to make – as well as others and unfortunately some want to ignore because of the judgement-clouding focus on trying to disprove what I wrote, challenge it or ding the head coach – is that you couldn’t line UConn up against Rutgers, Syracuse or Cincinnati for example and say the talent was the same. You can’t say that. They proved it. And when it came down to it, when it came down to making plays in a couple other games, who’s talent prevailed? C’mon man. The team needs to upgrade talent to compete against bigger and better competition. That’s hardly arguable. This isn’t a mystery.

      1. Waquoit

        You miss the point. Downgrade the talent all you want, but at whatever level you put it, this coaching staff drops it even further. They will never be able to bring in enough talent to overcome their inadeqacy. Every year they stay pushes us further away from respectability.

      2. Pensacola Dave

        Des, you say Uconn had a talent deficiency compared to Rutgers, Cincy or SU.

        How did Uconn’s talent stack up against Central Michigan, USF or Temple?

        Or for that matter, how did Uconn stack up against Louisville?

        The head coach’s clock management decisions was horrible throughout the year.
        PP allowing DeLeone to continue to only use McCombs in games when McCombs was healthy and the way they used McCombs was horrible. You don’t try to run 175 lbs RB’s between the tackles 20 times a game. After seeing the same poor results week after week on film, the coach’s didn’t adapt.
        The quality of coaching decisions was perfectly illustrated on the Whitmer’s last play of the year. Two plays after he takes a hard hit on the game after he left for a concussion, the coach’s call for a reverse that leaves Whitmer completely naked without any blockers. And he suffers another concussion.

        You’ve lost a lot of respect amongst Uconn fans by choosing to tow the company line and say the problems were all due to having inadequate offensive personnel.

        Which leads to this question. If the offensive players are so bad and so incapable of improving similarly to when Edsall was coah, why no articles on Matt C. and his consistently poor performance as the recruiting coordinator and WR coach?

        This team had the offensive and defensive talent to win 7-8 games. The only reason this team finished 5-7 was the inability of PP and GDL to play to the strengths of the players they had.

        1. dconner Post author

          Right now Im moving on Dave. We cant keep doing this. I’m not going to convince you of what was obvious, especially on offense. And you’re not going to convince me. We’ve gotta move on though. Hopefully people will talk about that. I’m more than willing. You are free however, to talk about what you want of course but it’s 2013 to me. Calendar says so, too. The Huskies haven’t played a game yet this season. Some may think carrying this discussion will change things in Storrs before the first game. I have zero doubt some believe that but they’ve known, you’ve known who your coach was going to be in the middle of last season. Didn’t want to believe it then, don’t want to believe it now but it’s the deal, folks. Here’s a thought, it’s not an original, how about getting behind the team, program, coaches, for a little support? It’s just a thought.

          1. Pensacola Dave


            Fair enought that we won’t see eye to eye on last year’s talent.

            I will put this out there to chew on though?

            How was it Uconn had enough talent against Big East teams to play evenly throughout the first half, but went almost two months without scoring in the second half?

            That’s in-game adjusting and Uconn’s staff was outdone by every team we played from Buffalo to Louisville. By the numbers and by the eye test the players were able to compete and execute against opponents for the first 30 minutes and then opposing teams adjusted and the Uconn staff chose not to adjust or couldn’t figure out how to adjust.

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