Originally posted by dj43:
About the half way point of this past season, in a Vernon Davis thread, I suggested that Jermichael Finley was a better all-round TE than our own guy. My suggestion was that, with the exception of blocking, Finley was a better player: Better route runner, better hands, more athletic, reads defenses better, nearly as fast as Davis. Of course, I expected, and got, a lot of heat it for saying that.
Now I am not coming back to boast too much about my prior observation, just to say that Finley earned the kind of reputation from yesterday's performance that is going to make it harder for Davis to go back to the Pro Bowl next year. Close observers around the league have been saying since early in the season, that Finley is one of the next wave of young stars who would make their name well known soon. Though he missed four games during the season, and shared the ball with other good receiver at GB, he still put up some very nice numbers during the season, and certainly made those early prognosticators look good with the way he finished the season. Yesterday was no fluke.
So maybe you can say you heard it here first: Jermichael Finley is one of the elite TEs in the game.
Here's to the 'zone.
I think statistics largely dictate the outcome of comparing Vernon Davis to Jermichael Finley.
Vernon Davis, while having superior numbers, was targeted 116 times over sixteen games for an average of 7.25 throws per game. Jermichael Finley was targeted 71 times over thirteen games for an average of 4.5 throws per game. Prorated over sixteen games based on targets, Davis' still comes out statistically superior.
Finley also lacks severely in blocking, which reduces his roll significantly on first and second downs. In this way, Donald Lee saw significant snaps throughout the season. Vernon Davis doesn't share snaps and doesn't take plays off.
The final issue is Finley's down field speed. While his YPC is inline with Davis', Finley doesn't have the vertical speed Davis does. His 4.66 40 yard dash at the 2007 combine proves this.
I think most of the NFL already knew Finley's abilities are indeed special. His negatives (blocking, experience) have been largely masked by other positives (route running, hands). He most reminds me of Shannon Sharpe; dominating physical presence with above average hands and speed, but lacking in blocking technique and wide receiver speed. He should be a good one, assuming he keeps healthy.
[ Edited by redrathman on Jan 11, 2010 at 13:30:00 ]