Predictions, please

Now that the draft is done, and a few of the free-agent contracts have been signed, a two-part question comes to mind:

1. Which Tech draftee will make an immediate impact?

2. Which Tech draftee will have the longest impact?

It would be easy to answer Michael Johnson to both questions. He’s got the size, he’ll play an impact position for the Bengals, he was drafted highest.

However, he may have to learn a new position (OLB), and while his rep of taking plays off may be unfortunate, more than one person, including Cincy’s coaches, referenced him not playing as hard as he needs to all the time. (It should be noted that MJ also played a lot of special teams last year, so I wouldn’t blame him if, every once in a while, he wasn’t going full-bore). 

Walker to the Falcons and Richard to the Patriots could both play a lot as rotational players (not to discount their chances of starting), which seems to be the newest trend the NFL has adopted for linemen after the Giants substituted so well in their Super Bowl run two years ago. Of course, if they are in a rotation they may not play as much, which could minimize their impact.

And then there’s Gardner. The Dolphins are seemingly set at tackle. Can Gardner play guard? He’s fast (a sub-5 40 at Tech’s pro day), but is he quick? If he can get out and pull, trap, etc., Gardner could have a long career in the NFL. 

So, what do you think, immediate impact, and longest impact?

54 comments Add your comment

gtfan55

April 28th, 2009
1:14 pm

I can see Gardner going the longest, but I have know doubt that MJ will make an immediate impact. I also think MJ will have the best carreer of the four.

Grant Fieldman

April 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Being a huge Tech and Falcons fan, I certainly hope Vance Walker has the most immediate and longest impact. Gut feeling…I think Michael Johnson will have the most immediate impact. I do think Michael, Vance, Darryl and Jahi will all have decent careers although they may not be Hall of Famers. Darryl might make a huge impact in 10-15 years as NFL team president or general manager.

rduck

April 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Michael Johnson would seem to be the safe bet, but his tendency to take plays off will hurt him unless he changes his ways. Vance Walker will make the lomgest impact in my opinion. He is a strong and determined inside force that will be in the DT rotation for years for the falcons. I wish MJ the best and hope he lives up to his potentual, but I don’t see Cincy as a great place for that to happen.

StingerSplash

April 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Richard with the Pats. The Pats take few flyers on their D linemen and those they get tend to pan out and pan out well. They have a linebacker-centric scheme so if Richard can control his gaps and let the LBs make plays — like former Tech teammate Gary Guyton (props to Mr. Guyton, who is a fine, fine young man), he’ll do well under Coach Hoodichick. Seymour is an anomaly in that he plays tackle and end and just devours linemen and belches up quarterbacks.

chuck

April 28th, 2009
2:48 pm

This all seems to be a bit optimistic. Hopefully MJ will prove his critics wrong and go on to have a long career. If the Falcons don’t cut Vance, then he may get some playing time. As for anyone else, I just don’t see it happening. At least they have degrees from Tech; they can do whatever they want after football.

Not Disappointed

April 28th, 2009
2:58 pm

I’m going with Walker lasting the longest and Micheal Johnson having the biggest impact! Ramblin Wreck!

Do Your Research

April 28th, 2009
3:46 pm

Can you please do some research. Marvin Lewis has already said that he will use him as a pass rusher on 3rd downs not as an OLB.

bb

April 28th, 2009
4:24 pm

Darryl Richards is my guess for longest impact, if not immediate. The young man excels at everything he does and I don’t think the NFL will be any different.

fan

April 28th, 2009
5:11 pm

What is all this about Michael Johnson taking plays off…I watched every Tech game last year, and it wasn’t apparrent to me that he was “slacking” or anything to that nature. He was to me the most energetic player on the field. What are the analysts that say this expecting…Michael Johnson to sack the QB every play, and if he doesn’t, he takes plays off or plays soft?! Thats pretty hillarious…and John Abraham and Albert Haynesworth take plays off too, since they don’t get a sack or a pass deflection every play…

GT

April 28th, 2009
5:29 pm

If there is any truth to MJ slacking off, which puzzles me too, he is in the wrong place.

GTpak

April 28th, 2009
5:45 pm

Does anyone not remember MJ being one of the first men down the field on the special teams and many times making the tackle. So how many other DE’s are out on special teams sprinting down field as hard as they can, then trot out on the field to play defense?

Sorry, but I think Kipper is off base when the said MJ is a slacker. If he can stay injury free, he will be the biggest impact and a lot of teams will bes asking, “Why did we pass on MJ”? I think the Pro’s will add a bit of weight to him, and find out that he has the skills to be All Pro.

I hope MJ proves me right, and Mel Kipper wrong!!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

April 28th, 2009
6:40 pm

First of all, I like MJ very much. I think he is a class act who wants to do very well in football and life. BUT, I did see some evidence last year (i.e. the Virg. game) where he almost seemed to give up on getting to the QB when he was lined up against a great offensive tackle, like Eugene Monroe. Maybe he was told to back off and just try to get a deflection, but it looked to me like he might have been resigned to the fact that he could not get past this guy? Again, I could definitely be wrong, but I think this is what the scouts thought they were seeing also.

I think A. Gardner will have a long, successful career on the O-line in the NFL. I also think that MJ, VW, and DR will be successful, but I don’t think it will be All-Pro level success over a long period. I agree with everyone that Mr. Richard will have some front office success later!!

Go Jackets!!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

April 28th, 2009
6:41 pm

Let me say one more thing about my MJ comments. The refs were letting many of the linemen hold MJ throughout the year, including the UVA game. So if I was getting held every play, I might decide it was no use also.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

April 28th, 2009
6:47 pm

One more comment regarding my previous comment. One reason that MJ may have been “giving up” at times was the fact that he was constantly being held by the o-linemen. The refs almost never called this holding. I can see how that would frustrate anyone after giving 150% only to be stopped illegally.

Go Jackets!!

wrekfan

April 28th, 2009
7:10 pm

I’ve heard rumors that the person that started all this talk about MJ taking plays off was from an old DC. Any truth to this rumor?

GA Tech Insider

April 28th, 2009
7:24 pm

Eugene Monroe, the 8th pick in the First Round this past weekend, and the Offensive Lineman from Virginia some of you are referring to, said that Michael Johnson is the toughest defender he ever played against in his entire career at Virginia.

I would also suggest to anyone who thinks that Michael Johnson is a slacker to tell that to his father. I can’t imagine a retired Officer in our Military allowing his son to be a slacker, and personally, I never saw it myself.

I would suspect that the Bengals got themselves a steal in the third round and the Falcons will be kicking themselves they didn’t grab Michael in the second when they had the chance.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 28th, 2009
7:42 pm

Doug, how many yards do you see Moreno getting this year? One would figure if scrubs like Denver has had the past couple of years can get 1,000 yards, then KM can get 1,500 or so…what do you think?

dawes

April 28th, 2009
8:41 pm

I THINK THE THE FALCON WILL WIN THEM A SUPER BOWL WITHIN THE NEXT 2 YEARS

JETR1

April 28th, 2009
9:19 pm

The entire Gt crew have the talent and desire to be great pro players I know whats being said about Michael Johnson BULL SH– remember folks this is the same guy that ran himself into dehydration early this season the man is a beast along with D-Rich and Walker, Gardner simply wont let anyone out work him.Just remember the first day you fell in love with the game that feeling is whats going to make you successfull at the next level good luck guys and God Bless

Tokyo jacket

April 28th, 2009
9:53 pm

I think Gardner will fare the best over the long haul. I also see him staying at tackle. Miami “seems” set at Tackle, but how many of those guys did Parcells draft? One! AG will start at right tackle from 2011 to about 2019 in Miami. He’s smart, got great work ethic, and let’s not forget that people were talking about him going in the 3rd round last year. That was before he learned how to run block.

I think what’s really important here is how AG fares. It will affect recruiting along the O-line bigtime. If he makes it in the NFL, we have the potential to get high 4- low 5-star recruits. If not, we’re relegated to the low 4-stars and more likely 3-stars along the line. I think he’ll be starting in his third year!

Matt Winkeljohn

April 29th, 2009
2:02 am

“Rambleon,” it was good to see you this weekend. In response to Morgan’s grades you can shoot me an email if you absolutely have to know what’s going on. Later man.

mattwinkeljohn@yahoo.com.

surfrider

April 29th, 2009
3:17 am

What’s kind of surprising is they were not drafted a round higher or so. However, all had experienced some injuries except Johnson who really did’nt start until his SR. year. When I hear people say he did’nt give it his all I wander if they saw the Maryland game a few years ago, when he came in off the bench. He did play special teams a lot and still learning to be a starter, which is different endurance wise. That said all four plus Jahi have some development upside in the NFL and are solid. One thing that should be said is I don’t think most redshirted meaning another year in college could have improved their draft status by at least a round.

exNFLplayer

April 29th, 2009
8:02 am

Yes, it would be easy to say Michael Johnson because of his physical talent and athleticism but I have to go with Vance Walker. You can’t be lazy in the NFL and also the game is a lot more technical. I have been told by several in the league that Johnson’s extremely low W test score is what really pushed him into the 3rd round. Maybe that is why he could never become a starter in John Tenuta’s complicated defense.

the real Old Gold

April 29th, 2009
9:53 am

Vance will probably develop into the most solid player, but so will Richard. I see them both having long careers. Johnson will have an immediate impact though.

ugablows

April 29th, 2009
10:14 am

i believe that bringing MJ in on 3rd down situations and just letting him go is going to be an ideal situation for him, he will stay fresh and he is going be a dominant pass rusher in that scenario

djtruk

April 29th, 2009
10:42 am

Congratulation to all the Tech players. I watched the NFL combines and Mike Mayock comments that MJ reminds him of Vernon Gholston and BUYERS Beware hurt his stock. You cannot base your opinion on another NFL player downfall especially on TV and think the public and other analysts aren’t going to jump on board. I think he did the young man wrong. I think he will be an excellent NFL player and prove many analysts wrong. Keep up the good work Mike and God Bless you and all the others players….

Jacket since 1997

April 29th, 2009
11:41 am

MJ IS A BEAST!!!! FALCONS WILL BE SORRY THEY DIDNT PICK HIM IN 2ND ROUND AND ALL WILL HAVE GREAT CAREERS IN NFL!!! GO JACKETS THWG!!!!!

hem o'roid

April 29th, 2009
11:43 am

Actually, MJ, I believe will be moved to linebacker and sometimes used as a rush de. I recall a number of times this year, he dropped back in coverage rather than rush ( his touchdown return of pick in Miami game I think ) as an example. I never thought he took plays off although he did have a tough day against the Monroe guy from Va.-who didn’t? MJ is taking a bum rap on this. He’ll prove the nay sayer’s wrong.

SlimG

April 29th, 2009
11:48 am

Matt, go back to wherever you have been for the last few years. Your past here in Atlanta was terrible at best. I hope you are not taking TM’s spot.

Matt Winkeljohn

April 29th, 2009
12:02 pm

Slim, I’ll make sure to not lose any sleep on your view of my career path. I report facts and let the readers (the intelligent ones not named SlimG) decide how I’m doing. Thanks again, and have a great day.

BradATL

April 29th, 2009
12:13 pm

Ex-NFL’er: WTF are you talking about MJ’s “low W score”? He scored a 27 on the Wonderlic, which was the 4th highest score of ANY DE in the draft. 27 is a very solid score — well above average.

Nice try, dawgie.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 29th, 2009
12:38 pm

SlimG, that’s my imposter having a conversation with himself posing as Matt W.

pretty sad.

if I was referring to KM, it would be “Noshow”

Doug Roberson

April 29th, 2009
1:46 pm

RAMBLE ON: No idea how many yards Moreno may get. That offensive line is a beast, though, so he could do pretty well.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 29th, 2009
2:14 pm

Doug, I think Noshow will take himself out of the game too much, and there are no Central Michigian’s in the NFL to make himself look good.

Not Disappointed

April 29th, 2009
2:42 pm

Dough, Changing subject for a sec. “What happen to that quarterback at Central Michigian? Did he go pro?
Gardner, is a special player and will have a long impact. We have some great players that will play in the NFL! ;-)

Not Disappointed

April 29th, 2009
2:42 pm

sorry about the spelling Doug!

Who dat?

April 29th, 2009
2:59 pm

Reggie Ball or Joe Hamilton

WTF???

April 29th, 2009
3:13 pm

I predict that Tech’s football season will be as ugly as Paul Johnson’s golf swing.

Maddog

April 29th, 2009
3:52 pm

RAMBLESteveKneejerkONSuperior.

As usual you are way off the mark. Your appreciation of your inflated opinion makes you appear foolish. Let’s see, Moreno is the first back chosen in the NFL draft, is the 12th overall person selected, went through a rigorous evaluation process for the past few months, was Freshman of the year in the SEC, his Sophomore season he was all SEC first team, 2nd team All American and runner up in the Doak Walker award, and in two seasons he ran for over 100 yards on at least 11 occasions (one was against UF Gators) and he split carries his freshman year. Some of the most brilliant football minds have evaluated him extensively and you, yes you, the mighty RAMBLE ON have him figured out better than anyone else. LOL!!!

So he didn’t put up huge numbers against GT. Big deal. Emmitt Smith never put up huge numbers against UGA and if memory serves me right (and it does) I would say he had a pretty good NFL career. You know, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Not comparing the two, but only a toad such as yourself would disparage KM.

Now to take a pin to your last nonsense balloon, UGA doesn’t play many “Central Mighigans”, but I dare say they would have throttled the mighty Gardner Webb. I guess since you claim you whipped us bad with your 3 point margin, you also whipped up on GW with that big 3 point win as well. LOL!!!

Here’s what separates our programs – UGA goes 10-3 and finishes in the top 10 in one poll and that’s a bad year for us. GT goes 9-4 and suddenly you guys are giddy and think you’re on par with the elite.

Remember, RAMBLE, it’s better to be silent and thought the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. If you wish to refute what I’ve written, try to retort with something a little more original and creative than 45-42.

Tech? Really?

April 29th, 2009
3:53 pm

TECH BLOWS DUDES

Tech? Really?

April 29th, 2009
3:54 pm

RAMBLES BREATH SMELLS LIKE NUTSACK

SlimG

April 29th, 2009
5:59 pm

Matt, I think I hit a nerve. Wow. You do know that the AJC is going out of business don’t you? If you have doubt, just ask Bradley. How many years has he been around and all of a sudden there is a high profile meeting? It’s days are numbered.

And exactly how many special teams was MJ on? How many plays per game are we really talking? I personally never saw the dude quit.

Stop reporting things that others are reporting. How about a real scoop, scoop? How’s your relationship with Mora?

Maddog

April 29th, 2009
10:08 pm

By the way, RAMBLESteveKneejerkONSuperior, I counted 3 posts under your name (whether they’re all really by you) but not the first one pertained to the subject of the article. Nice job, as usual.

FWIW, I think Michael Johnson will be a fine NFL player.

macrotech

April 30th, 2009
1:29 am

Tech? Really? YES, REALLY!!! if you’re a mutt fan, then your breath smells like sh!+! EVERYONE knows dogs eat their own sh!+. However, i won’t speak on behalf of Ramble (He handles you little pups well enough on his own), but as a fan of the leghumpin’, crotch sniffin’ mutts….i’d imagine you know, ALL TOO WELL, what a nutsack smells like! MJ, like everyone else, will have to prove himself at the next level. He SHOULD do well! Maddog, you write well and I don’t disagree with you OTHER than the speculative statements about the pups playing GW. WWF?, would’ve been funnier if you’d said, Charles Barkley’s swing! GO TECH!!!

Seriously

April 30th, 2009
8:28 am

What was Knowshon’s wonderlic score? Oh yeah, a 12. Genius.

gtforever

April 30th, 2009
9:16 am

I think Gardner may have the highest impact and the longest career in the NFL. I think the people that call MJ a slacker are delusional at best. It’s very possible that MJ will be very successful in the NFL, I personally think he needs to add some strength to his lower body to compete at the NFL level. I like MJ’s upside, but he needs to grow a BIG mean streak and gain a lot of strength to make it on the next level…. Nobody takes those HACKS from ESPN seriously!

gtforever

April 30th, 2009
9:19 am

And to all the DAWG’s posting on this blog. KISS ARSE! We will own you once again come next fall….

Supersize that order, mutt

April 30th, 2009
10:26 am

I know this has nothing to do with the topic of this blog, but since there are so many mutts who post here—–DAMN, you guys can’t even beat Division 1A Jacksonville State? You lost twice to them even. So much for being ranked number 1 in baseball. Looks like the baseballs pollsters know about as much as the football pollsters.

THWG

Chief

April 30th, 2009
10:29 am

To be honest, I don’t keep up too much with UGA baseball. I hope they do well, but baseball’s just not my sport.

Maddog

April 30th, 2009
10:32 am

Seriously – I don’t recall reading what Knowshon scored on the Wonderlic, but I do remember a big deal being made of Percy Harvin of UF scoring a 12. I feel certain had Knowshon scored a 12 the AJC would have reported on it. Perhaps you confused the two, I don’t know.

I heard where the NFL is putting less emphasis on the Wonderlic, so much so that they give the exact test to some of the athletes BEFORE they take the test. If this is true, then they should discontinue using the test at all.