And so begins our Monopoly-style position-by-position look at the football roster for the 2011 season.
Here's how it'll work: We'll wind our way around the Monopoly board, going from the least valuable (worst) properties to the most valuable (best) properties. So I'm telling you that the dark purples are the QBs, that's me saying the QB position is the worst position group on the team heading into the 2011 season. Get it?
The depth chart will also go in order around the board with each specific property. So if the dark purples are the QBs, then Mediterranean Ave. is the starter, QB1. I'll comment on the rest of the depth chart in the Community Chest section.
Chance is where I'll give you my bold prediction for that position for the season.
At the end of the preview I'll tell you how developed (houses, hotel, etc.) that property is, which is sort of an overall rating for the upside of that position group for the year.
I don't know, it makes sense in my mind. I don't think it's a particularly difficult concept to grasp, so I won't bore you with any more explanation. On to it!
Baltic & Mediterranean -- The Quarterbacks
|Dark purples are dirt-cheap, but can be good |
little money-makers if developed properly.
At this point you know a little bit about Mike Rocco. Comes from a coaching family, figures to be smart with the football, good at making checkdowns (though maybe a little quick to check down), decent arm, decent accuracy. I'm not sure what kind of upside he has, but in hindsight I think it's pretty clear that Rocco was hand-picked by the coaching staff to be the QB1 for the 2011 season. You can look back to his recruitment, the decision to play him as a true freshman, and the willingness to overlook his poor play in those games and in the spring. The coaches want him to be their starter and they want him to succeed. I'm not sure I've bought completely in yet, as I have a sinking feeling that Rocco as QB1 is more a choice of the lesser of a few evils than it is a guy who truly pulled ahead of the pack. I see Rocco as a guy with somewhat limited upside, but also with relatively low potential to be a complete bust. Low ceiling, high floor. I like his willingness to go to the 2nd and 3rd read with our quality receivers at RB, FB, TE, and in the slot... so I'm finding myself feeling slightly optimistic that we'll get passable play from Mike Rocco this season.
Baltic Ave. -- David Watford, true freshman
He's got wheels and a developing arm, and has played well enough in practice that the coaches want to give him a real shot at PT this fall. I'm hoping Lazor carves out some situational stuff for Watford this season, so he can kind of be the Tim Tebow to Rocco's Chris Leak. What I'm REALLY hoping is that Watford's passing skill comes on fast and he overtakes Rocco as the starter at some point this fall. I love a true dual-threat QB, and I think we have the right blend of mobile blockers and possession receivers to make an offense centered around a mobile QB run pretty efficiently.
Community Chest -- Ross Metheny, sophomore and Michael Strauss, redshirt freshman
It's possible that Watford fails to progress any further during practice and ends up being redshirted. That means one of these two guys would step up into the QB2 role. Metheny is a southpaw in his third year of college ball, he should be emerging as a guy "ready" for some action. Strauss has the best arm on the team, and a quick release with the ability to fling it down the field, but he takes too many chances. Either one would be a below-average ACC starter, but they do round out the depth chart.
Chance -- Mike Rocco starts all 12 (13? 14?) games this season and plays okay, but Watford gets more and more time in relief and gives us some explosive, exciting moments mitigated by a few crippling mistakes. We lose at least two games due exclusively to below-par quarterback play. At the end of the season, we're all left confused about the QB position, with stud recruit Greyson Lambert stepping into the program to muddy the waters even more.
I like Watford's upside, but he's still raw. He'll take his lumps this season and have his lack of polish in the passing game exposed. Rocco, Metheny, and Strauss all strike me as being guys with Dan Ellis/Jameel Sewell/Marc Verica-type upside. Workable potential starters with zero star potential. Actually, I take that back. I think Rocco has an outside shot at being something like T.J. Yates, who had a pretty good career at Carolina.