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Snippet of The Athletic Football Show: NFL Draft Prospect Scheme Fits with Matt Bowen

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We know most teams tend to draft either for value or position of need. But which player in the 2021 draft class could fit with certain teams because of their unique skillsets or the way they fit into certain schemes?
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what we do that though. Very excited to welcome my friend, multi year NFL veteran presence on the ESPN matchup show. That is completely essential viewing for any good football fan, matt. Bowen bad, How you doing man? Great robert, how are you? I'm doing awesome, I'm excited. We are getting closer and closer to the draft. I know you guys are doing your first draft special for matchup relatively soon. Right? Yeah, the first one is uh, this Wednesday night, nine eastern ESPN two and then we'll be back during draft week, 1st, 2nd 1, which would be that Tuesday night of the draft. We get things around the same time, prime time on ESPN two. So excited about, you know, we take a different approach there, robert, we look more a player traits and how they fit in. Today's NFL schemes with our offense or defense, especially at the quarterback position, but our breakdown pieces are more focused on the traits and what they can be in an NFL scheme passing game or split safety defense on that side of the football. So it's fun to do and I'll be back in studio for the first time and in all year. It's exciting. Yeah, we're doing the same thing. We're doing a live draft show on draft night of round one and I cannot wait to actually sit down and have somebody next to me and have a conversation about football. But like you mentioned, that's what you guys do on the show. It's projecting these guys through a schematic lens. So when I was just behind the current a little bit, about a month ago when I was planning all the draft shows, one of the first ones on my list was scheme fits with matt bone. Like I just knew I wanted to have this conversation with you because I love the show, I've watched it for years. I've communicated that to you and to Greg and to sal even and we had a scheme show earlier this year in the fall, we went out and you're our favorite offensive defensive play callers and we had a great time doing it. So, I definitely wanted to have this conversation with you because I think that it's a really important way to think about these guys. It's a necessary way to understand All right. How does this actually project beyond what we saw them doing college? How does it fit through a schematic lens? So, I just want to talk about that process in general. So, as you're watching these guys and you're thinking about it through that kind of filter. What are the difficulties of that? Because you're having to do some imagining? I would assume, because what they're doing in college isn't necessarily what they're going to be doing in the NFL. So as you're trying to make these projections, what are the things that you're trying to identify to give you the best sense of it moving forward? I think you have to start with the traits right on the physical tools of the player and how those traits project. Like you just said. I think examples Justin Fields a quarterback from Ohio State. He reminds me a lot of Justin Herbert coming out of Oregon in terms of the physical tools. The high level traits in terms of their arm talent or mobility, the way they can be steamed as runners, their physical element, they both bring inside and outside of the pocket might say, okay, how does that project to the NFL robert? Well, look at a heavily scheme passenger. That's what we saw from Herbert last year with the charges, you know, play ash and constant attack. The intermediate windows get him on the edge with boot. When you take your vertical throws down the field. You scheme those shot plants over the top of the occupy defenders down the field create third level windows or create scheme one of ones outside the numbers. So just to feel regardless of the offense he played in Ohio State. Look I like the offensive played in Ohio State. They threw some higher level processing involved in terms of wide receivers. The depth they break at the conversions, they can make within the route stem. And that offense will project more to the NFL and served as some of the concepts. But taking those vertical concepts from Ohio State. Now messing with more of a scheme the NFL pasching getting minor center more getting on the move more. That's how we try to project four. But eventually robert it still comes back to Detroit to the player. So I think that's so important to have this discussion with one of our guys in matching and the greatest things for me. We're working on matchup. It's a graduate course of football. Former scouts in the building, former coaches at the pro and college level. I've learned so much and I have a tendency from coaching at the high school level. And I see catholic is that I look at it through a coaching lines too much. So what can you do in this system? And I've always been that corrected the saying, hey, we look at the trait first. What can he do, even if he hasn't played cover to necessary, for example, talking about defensive act, does he have the ability to do it? Can you open his hips and get to debt? Does he have good transition for me to drive? Tap down the full? Does he have enough range to get off the numbers based on what you see? Maybe he played in the post at the cows up. Can he do those things within an NFL scheme? So again, it goes back to focusing on those traits and how they project.
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