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Reed83HOF

Case against first round TEs

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2 hours ago, Doc Brown said:

Some experts have Fant in their top 10 on their big board.  It wouldn't be a Tim Tebow or Darrius Heyward-Bay reach.

What about an EJ manuel level reach?

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4 minutes ago, Reed83HOF said:

 

BTW I really like Hock, loved Shockey, like Howard, Engram and Njuko. The issue is the production at that draft position, the cost and the other players at more impactful positions.The positional value just does not justify the investment when there are other players who will add more production and value over the life of their contract

 

What could be more impactful than 3rd down conversions and TD's?  -Especially to a team with a 30th -ranked offense last season... What could be of more help on the field to a young, big-armed QB?

 

I think if we let the Jets, or the Cheats take Hockenson, we're going to regret it...  And regret it for a looooong time.

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14 minutes ago, Reed83HOF said:

 

BTW I really like Hock, loved Shockey, like Howard, Engram and Njuko. The issue is the production at that draft position, the cost and the other players at more impactful positions.The positional value just does not justify the investment when there are other players who will add more production and value over the life of their contract

So on positional value I think there is first round value (I think other posters agree) BUT the return on that capital takes longer. 

 

This is why I am intrigued with Hock but sorta just want a stud pass rusher instead because we seem to wanting to win now.  If you’re pounding for Hock you’re probably try to set up for the long term.  

Edited by YattaOkasan
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There’s a lot of good ones in this draft, Hockenson Fant sternberger Smithx2 any of those are instant upgrades imo

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6 hours ago, Reed83HOF said:

 

Let's see the success rate of first round TEs? Who are the players that were OK (TOP 10 players for a 3-6 year period who flirted with the top 5 at times? Very few outright busts?

 

The TE position is overvalued on this board and by some teams. So here is a little TE history

 

First round TEs in NFL history

 

1.) Games Played...In the 1997 draft, Kansas City selected Tony Gonzalez with the 13th overall pick and to date, his 270 games played are the most for a first round tight end.

2.) Receptions... Gonzalez leads all first round tight ends and all at his position with 1,325 catches. The second-highest total by a first round tight end is Greg Olson's 666, followed by Ozzie Newsome at 662.

3.) Receiving Yards...The first round benchmark is Gonzalez, with 15,127 yards, with fellow first-rounders Ozzie Newsome (7,980) and Greg Olson (7,847) the only others to gain at least 7,500 yards.

4.) Touchdowns...Among first round tight ends, Gonzalez again is in sole possession for the title with 111 scores. Vernon Davis tops active first-rounders with 62, followed by Greg Olson with 57. Dallas Clark is the only other first round tight end with at least fifty touchdowns (53).

 

Now a little more info:

 

1.) NFL teams have utilized 978 draft selections to select players at the tight end position,

a) 740 out of the 978 appeared in an NFL game.

b.) 83 in < 10 games 

 

2.) 11 TEs (in NFL history) played in at least 200 games,

a.) 3 are HOFers, Tony Gonzalez (270), Jackie Smith (210) and Shannon Sharpe (204)

 

3.) 500+ receptions (in NFL history) = 14 TEs,

a.) 4 of the 14 are HOFers Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe, Kellen Winslow and Ozzie Newsome.

b.) Gonzalez receptions (1,352), Jason Witten (Dallas; 2003-17, 19) is the only other tight end with at least 1,000 (1,152).

c.) Sharpe (815), Greg Olson (666), Newsome (662) and Jimmy Graham (611) are the only other tight ends to inch past the 600-catch level.

 

4.) 9 TEs in NFL history at least 7,000 yards receiving:

a.) Gonzalez ( 15,127 ), Shannon Sharpe (10,060 yards), Ozzie Newsome (7,980) and Jackie Smith (7,918). The only other tight end with at least 10,000 yards (12,448) is Jason Witten.

b.) Rob Gronkowski, (7,861 yards). The other three members are all currently active - Greg Olson has gained 7,847 yards, followed by Vernon Davis (7,439) and Jimmy Graham (7,436).

 

5.) 12 TEs (in NFL history) have at least 50TDs

a.)  Gonzalez (111 TDs). Gronkowski (79 TDs) and Jimmy Graham leads all active tight ends with 71. Shannon Sharpe (62 TDs).

b.) Only others with 60+ TDs are: Witten (68), Vernon Davis (62) and former Redskin Jerry Smith (60).

c.) Greg Olson (57) Wesley Walls (54) Dallas Clark (53) Ben Winter Coates (50)

 

6.) Except for Sharpe (seventh round), Jerry Smith (ninth) and Coates (fifth), all members of the 50-Touchdown Club went during the first three rounds of the draft.

 

Edit: @Nihilarian @Mojo44@billsfan1959 Sorry I don't see the value in Round1 and history as a predictive indicator of RD1 success for a TE is pretty damn bleak

I had two points regarding your assertions.

 

First, you can make the same argument (specious as it is) about any position drafted in the first round, as success (per your definition) rates are low for all of them.

 

Second, draft history has no predictive value regarding individual players. I have addressed this same argument with posters who cite the lack of success of QBs in the NFL that had sub 60% completion rates in college as a predictive indicator of Josh Allen's success/failure.

 

(1) The sample size of TEs drafted in the first round is too small to draw any significant statistical conclusions and (2)  even if there was a large enough sample size, it would have no relevance whatsoever regarding whether or not Hockenson should be selected in the first round or whether or not he will be successful. Those are group statistics. 

 

For example, if I told you that the average life expectancy of a male in the US was 72 years of age and that 70% of all men die by the time they are 82,  it would not mean that you have a 70% chance of dying by the time you are 82 years old. As a matter of fact, it would mean nothing at all in regard to your personal life expectancy.  That would depend on variables unique to you.  Statistics might suggest that 70% of all men die by the time they are 82 years old; however, they cannot in any way say whether you are in the 70% that will die by age 82 or the 30% that will live longer. 

 

 It is the same with Hockenson. He will succeed or fail based solely on variables unique to him. The statistical analyses of any group of tight ends, or how well or how poorly any specific tight end played, or where they were selected in the draft, in the entire history of the NFL, has no relevance at all to Hockenson.

 

None.

Edited by billsfan1959
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10 hours ago, Reed83HOF said:

 

image.thumb.png.32ecf3ebe62f671f3d60dcca85f282f4.png

 

 

Plus I think there was one guy a few years back who didn't perform all that well, right?

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10 hours ago, Cornette's Commentary said:

I don't care.  Hockenson will be the next Gronkowski.  Take him at 9!
- JM57

   The OP cautioned that it might take 2-5 years before the TE understands the pro game and develops the instinctive smarts to be good at blocking edge rushers, blitzing (or not blitzing) linebackers, finding the soft spots in zones and analyzing what defense is actually being played (versus 'shown'), so they can find the seam and not screw their QB.

    Are you willing to wait 3 or more years for this?   College offenses are usually spread offenses and the defenses are built to stop them.  The TE has a whole new learning curve.  Might it be better to use more mature players here? 

 

10 hours ago, inaugural balls said:

 

So we can never have a relevant TE?

Yes you can.  Draft a good guy in a later round and get him trained. Also, substitue TE's who have different performance envelopes and run plays that use their best abilities.  You get a mismatch because the LB/safeties have to be generalists because they have to defend against run/short pass/ bump for long pass on every play.

 

10 hours ago, Inigo Montoya said:

I am still a Hockenson at #9 guy.  I think he is the best TE prospect to come out of college in the last 20 years.  If he is there at #9, and it is looking increasingly likely that he will already be gone, I think the Bills should grab him and not look back.

 

Elite run blocker.

Elite pass blocker.

Elite receiver.

Process guy.

True #1 weapon for Allen.

Position of need.

Kittle from same program, Pro-Bowl year 2

 

I don't know how you pass on him.

 

IF you get a great DE/DT/LB  who is better.

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9 hours ago, Nihilarian said:

That article is irrelevant as most of the teams with top tight ends are also top offensive teams. Now all NFL teams are looking to find one of those top tight ends for their offense. 

 

Zack Ertz Eagles 116 receptions, the #2 receiver in 2018, playoffs!

 

Travis Kelce 103 receptions Kansas City, playoffs

 

Gronk, Patriots, playoffs, super bowl winners

 

George Kittle, SF, 88 receptions for 1377 yards

 

Austin Hooper, Falcons 71 receptions

 

Jared Cook, Raiders, 68 receptions

 

Eric Ebron, Colts, 66 receptions, playoffs

 

Teams have discovered what the Patriots have known for years about having a top pass catching TE. What happened in the past is in the past.

 

I see three tight ends going in the first round this year. Hock, Noah Fant and Irv Smith. 

 

 

 

 

You picked the top seven TEs?

 

Eagles 14

Chiefs 1

Pats 5

Niners 16

Falcons 6

Raiders 23

Colts 7th

 

Three out of the top seven are ranked 14th or below in offense. I don't think you made your point.

 

I'd argue that if you look at the good teams on your list here what they have in common is that they're QB'd by some of the best in the business. That's probably not going to be the case in Buffalo, at least for another two or three years, if it happens, and I hope that it does.

 

 

And you're being a bit choosy about who are the best TEs.  The top ten in receptions are

 

1) Ert

2) Kelce

3) Kittle

4) Hooper

5) Cook

6) Ebron

7) Rudolph

8 ) Njoku

9) Graham

T-1010) Burton

T-10) Reed

 

Four out of those 11 teams made the playoffs.

 

Top ten in yards:

 

1) Kittle

2) Kelce

3) Ertz

4) Cook

5) Ebron

6) Gronk

7) Hooper

8 )  Njoku

9) Graham

10) Rudolph

 

Three out of those 10 teams made the playoffs.

Edited by Thurman#1
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10 hours ago, Reed83HOF said:

 

image.thumb.png.32ecf3ebe62f671f3d60dcca85f282f4.png

But,15 or so have gone in the first round since 03

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8 hours ago, Nihilarian said:

That article is irrelevant as most of the teams with top tight ends are also top offensive teams. Now all NFL teams are looking to find one of those top tight ends for their offense. 

 

Zack Ertz Eagles 116 receptions, the #2 receiver in 2018, playoffs!

 

Travis Kelce 103 receptions Kansas City, playoffs

 

Gronk, Patriots, playoffs, super bowl winners

 

George Kittle, SF, 88 receptions for 1377 yards

 

Austin Hooper, Falcons 71 receptions

 

Jared Cook, Raiders, 68 receptions

 

Eric Ebron, Colts, 66 receptions, playoffs

 

Teams have discovered what the Patriots have known for years about having a top pass catching TE. What happened in the past is in the past.

 

I see three tight ends going in the first round this year. Hock, Noah Fant and Irv Smith. 

 

 

Gee, you forgot to consider whether these were pretty damn good offensive teams BEFORE they got this TE, or did the TE make them an offensive juggernaught.     A high draft pick TE, is a luxury AFTER you get the rest right.  High grade OT before spending a high 1st pick on a TE.

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8 hours ago, Peace Frog said:

Passing on Hock at 9 would be inconceivable!

Knowing what we know now, would you have drafted any of these TEs in the first round?

 

 

No, I wouldn't.

 

Ridiculous argument, though.

 

I mean, sure, if we knew how Hockenson was going to turn out, then yeah you'd draft him based on that. But we very much don't know the future.

 

They got drafted where they were based on what people knew at the time, same as will happen this and every year.

Edited by Thurman#1
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10 hours ago, dubs said:

 

Paraphrasing: What are you going to do with Hock?  Put him at D Tackle or watch him sit on the bench while the bills get the ball stuffed down their throat!?!?

 

did I do that right?

 

 

Thanks for pointing out that The Bills have just one pick in this Draft and are completely out of cap space so signing any FAs is off the table too. 

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8 hours ago, billsfan89 said:

 

Heath Miller in 2005 drafted 30th overall borderline HOF career contributor on some very successful Steelers teams. 

 

Vernon Davis in 2006 was drafted 6th overall and he turned in a good career.

 

Mercedes Lewis in 2006 drafted 28th overall and he played a long career turning in a 6 year stretch where he was one of the top 10

tightends in the league and probably would have been better had he not been on an awful team most of his career.

 

Greg Olsen in 2007 was drafted 30th overall and turned in a HOF career

 

Dustin Keller in 2008 was drafted 30th overall and turned into one of the top 5 TE's in the league for a 2-3 year period before a catastrophic injury derailed his career. 

 

Brandon Pettigrew in 2009 was drafted 20th overall never an elite TE but turned in a 4 year stretch of top 10 to 5 production before injury derailed his career. 

 

Jermaine Gresham in 2010 was drafted 21st overall opened his career with a 5 year stretch turning in top 10 to 5 production before injuries knocked him down a peg although he hung around longer than Pettigrew and Keller.

 

Tyler Eifert the first true bust of this bunch although Eifert put together a very good 2015 he never eclipsed 500 yards outside of that one season. 

 

From 2005 to 2013 there were 8 Tight Ends drafted in the first round. I would say 3-4 were great players. Davis, Olsen, and Miller that more than justified their first round billing. I would then say that Lewis is borderline as while he was never elite he was a good player consistently for a long time and probably would have been a top 5 TE in the league had he been on a better team. 

 

I would then say 3 players Pettigrew, Gresham, and Keller gave you 4 years or more of top 10 production at their position before injuries derailed their careers or declined their careers. So can you call them busts? That depends, in the NFL 4 years isn't a short time to produce at an elite level, but for a player drafted in the first round you at least want 7-8 highly productive years. So I would put them as a semi-bust. 

 

I would only say that 1 TE drafted in the first round is really a bust and that's Eifert who only turned in one good season. That leaves the TE position in the first round at the following hit rate. 

 

50% Hit (HOF or borderline HOF career) 

37.5 Somewhere in the middle (4-5 years of high end production) 

12.5% Outright Bust (No prolonged stretch of production)

 

 

Heath Miller is a borderline HOF player? No, he really isn't. With two pro bowls in eleven seasons, he really is not a borderline HOFer.

 

Marcedes Lewis managed 1006 yards total in his first three years. A good solid guy, but as a first rounder, not a great pick. One pro bowl in 13 years.

 

Greg Olsen may indeed be a HOFer, though it's not a sure thing. But as the OP points out, he was not especially productive in his first five years. Do we want to wait that long?

 

Dustin Keller ... "one of the top 5 TEs in the league for a 2-3 year period"? Really? Not seeing that, dude, not at all. One year over 687 yards and was never a great blocker. In what year was he top 5? 2011, when he ranked 17th in both receptions and yards? 2010, when he was 11th in receptions and 9th in yards? In 2011 he was at least a bit close, 9th in receptions and 6th in yards. Not much of a blocker and was never a big TD guy, which is one of the main reasons you want a TD ... 17 TDs in five years. Zero pro bowls. Yeah, not seeing that at all. 

 

Brandon Pettigrew? "4 year stretch of top 10 to 5 production"? Zero pro bowls. 

 

Good grief, dude, are you trolling your own argument here? 17 TDs in 7 years? You've wildly overestimated pretty much every one of these guys. "50% HOF or borderline HOF career"? Of that bunch of mostly pretty decent players? Seriously? Good grief. Most of them wouldn't be in consideration for the Hall of Very Good.

 

Other than Olsen these guys were disappointments for first rounders. And Olsen as pointed out took till well into his second contract to become top-flight.

Edited by Thurman#1
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11 hours ago, Reed83HOF said:

Outside of the quarterback position, tight ends have the steepest learning curve when transitioning to the NFL. The reason it can take years for a player to acclimate to an offense and develop into a starter is that the position demands a player to be a dependable piece in both the running and passing game. That means understanding the blocking scheme and how to read defenses from a blocking and passing game perspective. It's also a time for these 21-22-year olds, who are competing against the most athletic and skilled players they've ever faced, to continue to fill out their frame and learn technique because there is zero room for error in the trenches. Then there is always the time it takes to polish your route running, possibly expanding your route tree and gaining rapport with your quarterback. Until a player can develop an all-around game they'll be pigeonholed into a limited role.

 

Drafting and developing a tight end is the ultimate patience play and it can understandably be uncomfortable and difficult to hold strong when you see other first-rounders become instant impact players. The Lions are a perfect example of this. They drafted Eric Ebron 10th overall in 2014 and low and behold the next seven picks would make a Pro Bowl while still on their rookie deal.  Those players selected would include the likes of Aaron Donald and Odell Beckham. Last offseason, Detroit decided to move on from Ebron as they determined that he wasn't worth the price tag of his 5th-year option ($8.25M). 

 

Both the franchise and the player are in a tough spot. Eric Ebron arguably wasn't worth paying $8.25M but he also was progressing like the majority of successful tight ends do. And that's exactly the point! It is really worth investing your most important draft asset into a player who may take years to develop and you may not see the benefit until four years down the road or until their second contract? Is there a better use of your resources?

 

Greg Olsen has a similar story to Ebron. He was taken 31st overall in the 2007 draft by the Chicago Bears. He put up respectable production his first four years and heading into his 5th season he was shipped off to Carolina where he continued to grow and later became a Pro Bowler and All-Pro on his 2nd and 3rd contracts.

 

http://www.optimumscouting.com/news/replacing-gronkowski

 

Numerous tight ends made a huge impact early on...

Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, Reed- They just happened to be picked up in rds 2-3.

 

if you re did those respective drafts today, they’d certainly be first rounders. 

 

To me this whole line of thought speaks more about a past problem projecting TEs from college to pros or teams overvaluing a position they don’t use enough in their scheme.  

 

So whatever tangibles have pushed some of these others into rd 1 in the past look to be the wrong ones. 

 

At some point folks are going to start getting it right 

 

 

 

 

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I'd be surprised if we went TE in the first. Hockenson is going to be a very good TE and would be a good fit in Buffalo but I just don't see him as a special talent. The TE class is super deep this year and it is a position that teams regularly find excellent talents in the middle rounds. Here are my top reasons against TE in the first for the Bills.

 

1. People are sleeping on Tyler Croft. The Bills signed him quickly in free agency and he appeared to be high on their target list. He got a decent contract and when he got the starting spot in 2017 he was a productive tight end for the Bengals. I believe Croft is still only 25 years old and we may not have seen his best football yet. I do believe the Bills need to draft a tight end this year, but I don't think it is as big a need as some would have us believe.

 

2. The tight end class this year is very deep. It begins with Hockenson and his teammate Fant but there are at least 10-12 talented prospects at this position. A player like Trevon Wesco can be had in the 5th or 6th and if you watch his blocking ability (excellent) and how nimble he is with the ball in his hands he has some potential. There are a lot of interesting tight end prospects in the middle rounds from Jayce Sternberger to Kaden Smith. Many of these players show excellent potential and have had excellent college production. If the Bills wait, they can still find a good prospect in the middle rounds. George Kittle was an afterthought in the 2017 draft (5th round) as he had little production at Iowa and we have seen how he has exploded in the NFL.

 

3. If you examine the quality and elite tight ends playing in the league right now, you will notice that the majority of them come from the 2nd and 3rd rounds. In fact, when I looked at the numbers more came from the 2nd (30%) and 3rd (30%) than the 1st round (20%). And with the depth this year at the position I see no reason to think this trend won't continue. Hockenson may be the safest tight end pick, but can anyone really say that he will be better than a player like Jayce Sternberger. To me it is too close and for that reason I would wait at the position and draft for value beginning in the second round. And with the depth this year, I think there will be a productive player or two found in the 4th and 5th rounds.

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11 hours ago, fansince88 said:

47 hours and 12 minutes to go!!!! will we make it?

 

We shall all expire, my friend. Take heart, though... there's always next year 😭😭😭

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8 hours ago, #34fan said:

Hm. Maybe go back and watch some Iowa games... Because of Iowa's offensive style, Hock ended up doing may of the things he'll be asked to do in the pros.

 

I don't think he's anything like Ebron at NC or Olsen at the U.... TBH, I've never seen a better route running TE at the college level... And a better run-blocking TE, you simply won't find.

 

Hock is one of a kind... If you were talking about Drew Sample, or kahale Warring, I might agree, but Hock is in a completely different category... -Easy money at 9.

Have you ever considered that:

 

#1 the Iowa tight ends got more catches and more targets then ALL their wide receivers.

 

#2 they mostly were playing against college linebackers who ever will play in the NFL.     Look at their schedule last year:

     and look at when they played against.   Here are the best linebackers they played.    How will they do when the LB's are smarter and a half second faster in the 40?

 

Using Walter Football

college OLB

#17   Andre Van Ginkel                Wisconsin               round 5-7

#18  R. Connelly                            Wisconsin               round 5-7

 

college ILB

#7  Blake Cashman,                  Minnesota                round 3-5

#11 T.J. Edwards,                     Wisconsin                 round 3-5

 

By the way,  the success rates of drafted LB making the nlf by round is approximately

round               success %

3                           34%

4                           16%

5                           4%

6                           5% 

7                            2%

 

Might you suspect that a team who throws more to the TE than all the WR is runnng a gimmic offense?  Does that translate to the pros?

Edited by maryland-bills-fan

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3 minutes ago, maryland-bills-fan said:

Have you ever considered that:

 

#1 the Iowa tight ends got more catches and more targets then ALL their wide receivers.

 

#2 they mostly were playing against college linebackers who ever will play in the NFL.     Look at their schedule last year:

     and look at when they played against.   Here are the best linebackers they played.    How will they do when the LB's are smarter and a half second faster in the 40?

 

Might you suspect that a team who throws more to the TE than all the WR is runnng a gimmic offense?  Does that translate to the pros?

This just might be the worst assessment I have read regarding Hockenson….

 

Have you actually watched any film on him? 

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Very, very few players dominate as soon as they step on an NFL playing field - regardless of position played. There is a learning curve that ALL players go through. You are drafting a player for the long term. That is one reason coaches don't like to play rookies if at all possible. It simply takes time for a player to adjust to going up against the best of the best on a weekly basis. TE's also tend to be handicapped a bit because they usually excell at either blocking or pass catching but usually not both. Remember that in college an athlete can get by on natural ability because he is not going up against great opposition on a weekly basis. College results can be very misleading. If you draft an OT early with the intent to play him from day one he is gonna be playing all 3 downs for you every offensive series. That is not necessarily true of TE's. A lot also depends, as others have pointed out in this thread, on how many other offensive weapons are present on the roster as well. Eric Moulds and Bruce Smith were not all everything in their rookie seasons just to name a couple. I could name many, many more players who didn't shine straight away.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, billsfan1959 said:

This just might be the worst assessment I have read regarding Hockenson….

 

Have you actually watched any film on him? 

Yes.  I'm an old guy. If you put me in a football uniform and had me run pass patterns against an even older slower guy, I might look pretty good.  Be aware of what most nfl rookies say.  They can't believe the speed of the pro game.  Part of that is speed and part of that is that the players are all smart and instictive.

 

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