Wednesday, April 28, 2010

9 comments TMQ: Gregg Sums Up the NFL Draft...No Hilarity Ensues

Gregg Easterbrook can't seem to understand why the NFL Draft is so riveting to everyone or why it holds so much importance. Naturally he has written two columns about the NFL Draft. The draft may be overrated, but it sure is good for pageviews which help ESPN believe people actually enjoy TMQ isn't it? There's not much introduction I can do here. It's Gregg Easterbrook and he is talking about the NFL. The heading says Gregg argues the draft is more like a lottery than a science...which must be why they call the Top 14 picks are referred to as "the lottery."

Forty-yard dash numbers analyzed to the hundredths of seconds …

I saw a feature before the draft that showed a difference in a quarterback's release of 2.1 seconds to 2.3 seconds is two extra feet a linebacker can cover. Hence hundredths and tenths of a second are very important due to this. I thought I would add this fact since Gregg hates specificity in numbers so much.

Fascination with the NFL draft is plenty nutty, but the zaniest aspect of this event is the pretense -- shared by NFL scouts, draftniks and spectators alike -- that drafting is a science.

It is a science and it is also luck. I would argue it is probably 50% of each.

Stare at enough film, click enough stopwatches and you'll be able to determine who "should" be drafted in what round.

I hate to be the "science nerd" but this is absolutely correct. Scouts can look at a player's film and see weaknesses or strengths in his game and how that will affect his ability to make it in the NFL. There's a reason Jason White can't make it in the NFL, but he wins the Heisman Trophy in college. His skills don't translate well to the NFL (whether he had skills in college is up for debate) and scouts know this.

But in truth, NFL draft choices are like lottery tickets. They may succeed. They may bust. The buyer has no clue what's going to happen, just like the buyer of a lottery ticket.

But in truth, if this were entirely true there would be as many players in the NFL who were drafted in Rounds 4-7 starting for teams right now as there are players drafted in Rounds 1-3. There isn't an equal probability of success for players drafted in Round 6 and players drafted in Round 1. The draft isn't random like a lottery ticket. It is not like a lottery ticket because there is a difference in good players and not-so-good players. Scouts can see this by looking at film of the players, so there is some science involved with the draft process.

The first player chosen, JaMarcus Russell, was lionized by insider types, both in the NFL and the media. Mike Mayock of NFL Network, whom the league is promoting as the most skilled draftnik, raved unreservedly about Russell, saying "his ceiling is as high as any quarterback I have seen coming out of college since John Elway." Maybe Mayock was referring to the ceiling of Russell's house, because Russell is a mega-bust.

I hate how Gregg takes something a person says and tries to turn it into something it is not. Mike Mayock did not say, "I guarantee JaMarcus Russell will be a great NFL player," he merely said what Russell's ceiling was...meaning how good Russell COULD be. Russell never reached that ceiling. Not understanding this quote shows a lack of knowledge about the NFL, because Mayock was talking about potential, not reality. There's a difference.

Other players from the 2007 first round -- Ted Ginn, Marshawn Lynch, Adam Carriker, Justin Harrell, Jarvis Moss -- have been busts; all were praised by NFL insiders who supposedly had access to scientific yardsticks.

I don't recall too many people liking the Justin Harrell pick, in fact, he is the reason the Packers got a "D" in many draft grades in 2007. I will admit many times people get overly excited about a draft and praise too much. I try to avoid this.

When the Panthers chose Beason, and the Dolphins chose Ginn, neither were engaging in super-sophisticated scientific thinking. Both were buying lottery tickets.

Right, except it is an educated lottery ticket because they had seen these players compared to other players and thought they were better than those other players. It is not like they are drawing names from a hat.

If NFL choices are essentially lottery tickets, then the more held, the better your odds.

JemeHill is upset that Gregg Easterbrook has now taken her patented, "think of an incorrect premise and then base the entire article about it" idea.

Philadelphia traded down so many times it ended up with 13 selections, almost twice the league average, including four picks in the fourth round. Would you rather have four fourth-round choices or one first-round pick? Four lottery tickets are better than one.

It depends on the team. There is no hard and fast rule about this. Do the Colts want four fourth-round choices where two of them won't make the roster and the other two will be backups or do they want a Top 15 pick who is nearly guaranteed to start and make their team better? I would guess they may want the Top 15 pick, but another team may want four fourth-round picks. Let's not make hard-and-fast rules where there isn't a reason to make hard-and-fast rules.

Mayock said Tebow belonged in the fourth round; Peter King of Sports Illustrated said that a weirdly hyper-specific "17 NFL general managers" had assured him Tebow would not be drafted until the second round,

It was hyper specific because Peter King probably polled every General Manager in the NFL and 17 of them said Tebow wouldn't be taken until the second round. Should Peter round up to 20? Or round down to 15? How the hell is the exact number of people who told him something "hyper specific?" Why does Gregg Easterbrook despise exact numbers?

Tebow went in the late first round (exactly where TMQ, possessing no insider information, predicted Tebow would go).

That obviously means TMQ is smarter than anyone else. Of course TMQ missed the team and the exact spot Tebow would go, but he wants us to ignore that. It is not hard to predict the exact round a player of Tebow's stature will go in.

(Yes, I know I missed the round Tebow would go in. I couldn't figure out who would take him so I left him out. Otherwise I think I could have gotten the correct round for many of the players that got drafted.)

Arizona: A mere 15 months ago, this team was leading with two minutes remaining in the Super Bowl. It's now totally off the radar: Cleveland got twice as much attention on draft day as Arizona.

Cleveland got more attention because they were drafting lower and didn't need as many good players out of the draft to improve their team. Indianapolis and New Orleans were also pretty ignored on draft day because they currently have good teams and don't require as good of players out of the draft as the Browns do. ESPN tends to ignore the teams on the day of the NFL Draft who don't draft big name players or who don't have early picks.

Buffalo: It's the year 2010. How can a professional football team totally ignore the need to be solid at offensive tackle?

It's a little disturbing I am asking the same thing as Gregg in my NFL Draft grades. I think I may need to re-evaluate my analysis of the Bills draft if it is like TMQ's in any fashion.

Carolina did get Clausen in the second round, and he might have been the team's first-round choice if there had been a first-round choice. With hyper-precision, ESPN lists Clausen's height as "6-2⅝."

BECAUSE THAT IS HIS ACTUAL HEIGHT. THEY MEASURED HIM AND THE SCALE HAD 1/8 INCHES SO THEY INCLUDED IT IN HIS HEIGHT. HOW IS THIS REALLY THAT WEIRD?

Invariably, Steve Emtman and Ki-Jana Carter, both No. 1 overall selections with brief, undistinguished careers, are included. But Emtman and Carter suffered serious injuries in their rookie years, then more injuries in comeback attempts. They weren't busts -- they just had bad luck in a violent game. The high-drafted player who has bad luck with injuries should be viewed with sympathy, not as a bust.

Which is why you don't see these two players at the top of too many lists for draft busts. Players who had injuries derail their career usually get more of a break from the "bust" label. I had even forgotten Emtman was a #1 overall pick.

Small Schools Rock: Players were chosen from these colleges below the testosterone-pumped level of the Football Bowl Subdivision (the artist formerly known as Division I-A): Appalachian State, Brown, Fordham, Hillsdale, Indiana of Pennsylvania, James Madison (two!), Massachusetts, Montana (two!), Morehouse, Murray State, South Dakota State, Weber State and William & Mary (two!).

Just a few paragraphs above this Gregg is complaining teams don't draft players from small schools...and now he is showing how many players from small schools were drafted this year.

Cincinnati: In 2009, the Bengals played good defense and power-ran well, but a plodding passing game left them helpless once they fell behind the Jets in the playoffs...Bryant would be a motormouth nightmare, but it also would have posed significant problems for defenses. Instead, Lewis tabbed tight end Jermaine Gresham, who should be good, but is unlikely to alter Cincinnati's plodding image.

Jermanine Gresham is a pretty fast tight end and he can catch the ball. He is not a wide receiver, but the Bengals aren't going to be a plodding offense with him. They also drafted Jordan Shipley, so that may help the plodding reputation Gregg seems to think the Bengals have. I think with both Shipley and Gresham the Bengals may not "plod" as much this year.

Dallas: What exactly was the "character issue" regarding Dez Bryant?

Lying to the NCAA. That's it...well except for the fact he knows Deion Sanders.

His NCAA offense was being present when Sanders discussed a marketing deal, then not admitting he'd been with Sanders when the NCAA turned this seemingly trivial situation into a witch hunt.

It wasn't that he didn't admit it. He said he wasn't there and then was found to be lying. You can't lie to the NCAA.

Denver gave a fourth-round choice to jump from 24 to 22, then selected Thomas, a wide receiver. This trade makes sense only if the Broncos believed the team at 23 was planning to take Thomas. But that team was Green Bay -- which came into the draft strong at wide receiver and desperate for a left tackle. Left tackle Brian Bulaga was available; the Packers were likely to select him, as, indeed, they did.

This is the Josh McDaniels era in Denver in a nutshell...or at least the way he makes personnel moves. They basically gave up a fourth round choice to make sure Green Bay wasn't taking Thomas. This is kind of retarded. Of course New England could have taken him also, since they owned the #22 pick, but I am assuming since they gave up the #22 pick they didn't want Thomas. So McDaniels gave up a 4th round pick to leapfrog the Packers when they probably wouldn't take Bryant.

TMQ feels sure Clausen slid in the draft because teams thought, "The last Notre Dame quarterback isn't doing well,"

BotB thinks TMQ is a dumbass for thinking this.

which is true, but also totally illogical as something to hold against Clausen.

So this fake assumption Gregg just made makes no sense, which is why it is a fake assumption that TMQ probably just made up.

After East Dillon's second game, Riggins and Matt Saracen go deer hunting. Last fall, in Texas high school football, the second regular season game was Sept. 4, while Texas deer hunting season opened Nov. 6. Two weeks after deer hunting, Saracen leaves Dillon for art school in Chicago, after seeing Lyla, who is home from Vanderbilt on "mid-semester break." The mid-semester break at Vanderbilt last fall was Oct. 22 and 23. So did Matt leave for Chicago in September, October or November? It's impossible to figure out.

It is impossible to figure out because it is a television show that is completely fictional. Also, quit spoiling the fourth season for those who don't have DirectTV.

Indianapolis: David Caldwell, William & Mary; Tim Hiller, Western Michigan; Brandon James, Florida; Javarris James, Miami; Brandon King, Purdue; Jeff Linkenbach, Cincinnati; Brett Swenson, Michigan State; Thad Turner, Ohio; Vuna Tuihalamaka, Arizona; Blair White, Michigan State. Who are these guys? Undrafted free agents signed by the Colts after the draft ended Saturday evening. If history is any guide, they will mean as much to Indianapolis' fortunes as the team's draft choices.

As evidenced by the offense for the Colts that is made up of 1st round draft picks. I have listed these first round picks 100 times before, we all know them, but the Colts tend to make up their defense with more undrafted free agents, but the offense is made up of a bunch of 1st round picks. So while Indianapolis' fortunes also rides on the coattails of highly drafted first round picks. I don't see how Gregg keeps missing this point.

The G-Persons' first choice was spent on Jason Pierre-Paul, whose YouTube video of backflips has been a hit. Maybe I've missed something -- is the backflip a football tactic? Pierre-Paul, a defensive end, had 6.5 sacks in seven starts in his one season at South Florida, then declared for the pros. Six and a half sacks, just seven starts -- that makes him a first-round draft choice?

I would say a sack in nearly every game he started this season would make a defensive end a 1st round draft pick. Teams in the NFL love players who have athletic potential and have even actually shown they use that potential on the football field. I have gotten some cold feet about Pierre-Paul, but only because I am afraid he may be a one-year-wonder, but not because I think he may not have football/athletic ability.

The Jets also signed Jason Taylor...But TMQ fears Taylor's changing teams three times in three seasons will torpedo any chance he had to don that garish yellow jacket in Canton. Hall of Fame electors favor players who spent their entire careers in one place, toughing out the down years.

Gregg Easterbrook also really enjoys just making up things and talking out of his ass doesn't he? Is Brett Favre going to be hurt by his recent team jumping? Does the Hall of Fame really care if a player changes teams a few times towards the end of his career? I don't think so, but apparently TMQ knows something (nothing) we don't.

The Patriots remain a solid team, but last year lacked playmakers. Randy Moss is in decline, Donte Stallworth is gone, Wes Welker is hurt, Flying Elvii running backs are perennially hobbled, the New England pass rush has dropped from awesome to average. With all those extra choices, Belichick might have packaged a few to move up for an impact player such as C.J. Spiller or Derrick Morgan.

I love how Gregg Easterbrook's main premise for this TMQ is that the draft is a lottery and no team really knows which players are going to be good or not. He earlier said teams like the Patriots are smart by hoarding draft picks, which increases their odds of landing a good player or two under his theory that more chances to draft players will make the draft become less of a crapshoot.

BUT NOW, Gregg Easterbrook thinks the Patriots should trade those extra choices which give them better odds of getting a good player (his words, not mine) to get one impact player, who under his theory of the draft being a lottery may nor may not be good. So Gregg completely ignores his own theory of how to run the draft in order to be critical of the Patriots hoarding draft picks. He wants to criticize other teams for putting all their eggs in one basket (draft pick), but also be able to criticize a team for using HIS OWN THEORY about the draft and get extra picks. Gregg needs to make a decision, because if the draft is a crapshoot like he says, the Patriots have the right idea. If the draft is not a crapshoot and is based on some sort of science (or in-between these two opposite sides of the spectrum), then possibly the Patriots should trade up and get an impact player if they know he will be a good player and worth drafting up for.

If anyone wants to know why I don't like TMQ, this is Exhibit #2,485. He can't even stick to his own idea behind this column.

The thought of the New England offense plus Spiller is scary --

So the draft is no longer a lottery and Spiller is a guaranteed good player? When did this happen? Isn't Gregg's whole idea behind this column that no team knows if a player will be good or not? Knowing this, how does Spiller on the New England offense make them scary? The draft is a lottery isn't?

I have so many questions.

New Orleans: Can you name the defending champion's backup quarterback?

Chase Daniel. Didn't look it up either (I think I am right).

Neither can I.


Not shocking.

Beyond that, a canceled season in 2011 would surely make future NFL broadcasting rights deals much less valuable. A reason payments from networks to the league -- and in turn, payments from the league to players -- have skyrocketed since 1993 is that labor peace makes broadcast rights to NFL games more valuable.

I don't know if this is true. If a labor deal is reached, and a broadcasting deal is offered, I can imagine the networks won't reduce the offer because the NFL just had a lockout. If anything, the new labor deal could potentially make the NFL more attractive because there isn't a threat of a new lockout.

Labor peace (networks and fans assured of games) and a salary cap (rendering all teams competitive) have translated into a spectacular increase in money for NFL players and owners alike. Both parties would be fools to kill this golden goose, so a new deal will be worked out and there will be pro football in 2011.

If a deal is worked out, there will be labor peace, and the games will still be worth a lot of money to the broadcasting companies looking to bid on the games. Obviously a new broadcasting deal wouldn't be struck if there is a lockout, so there most likely won't be a lockout for a new broadcasting deal either, and the value won't decline because of no labor peace.

"Friday Night Lights" Playcalling In one upcoming game scene of the new season, SuperCoach Taylor calls the same play -- a veer-option left -- on four consecutive snaps.

Gregg has watched a high school football game before, right? They are not generally well-known for its creative and diverse play selection...at least none that I have been to.

This year, the advisory board told Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren he'd be a first-round choice, and told Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead he'd be no lower than a third. Both jumped, and neither were drafted. Maybe they'll stick with an NFL team; both should have finished college.

Something with the grandiose name NFL Draft Advisory Committee, composed of high league officials, may sound to impressionable college kids like a fast lane to fame and fortune. But the insiders on the advisory board have no idea where players will be drafted -- nobody has the slightest clue, until draft day!


Unfortunately, there isn't any way for the NFL Draft Advisory Committee to know months in advance where a player will get drafted. I am sure there were also players who got good advice from the committee, but there are also those won't get good advice. That is the way it is unfortunately. Just because they give the advice doesn't mean players have to take the advice.

Abolish this board and end the inducement to leave college.

Abolishing this board will do nothing to end the inducement of players to leave college. Players will still try to leave college for the NFL, they will just go with less information about their draft prospects.

Did Donovan Warren really believe he would be a 1st round pick? I hadn't heard of him as a first round pick, but maybe I just missed something.

Pittsburgh: He's a big, bruising guy who plays quarterback but looks and acts like a linebacker, throwing his body around on the field with abandon. I am referring to Tim Tebow: The Steelers could have drafted him with the 19th choice and been in a position to replace Ben Roethlisberger with a guy incredibly similar, physically and in style of play, to Roethlisberger.

Except for the fact he lacks Roethlisberger's exact height and weight, ability to throw the football, NFL-readiness, and pretty much everything else involved with being an NFL quarterback...except they are both white. They do have that in common.

The Framers -- who created the grand-jury system for a reason -- would have been irate at Georgia prosecutor Fred Bright, who did not have enough evidence to charge Roethlisberger with anything, yet made numerous statements intended to damage Roethlisberger's reputation. Prosecutors are supposed to charge people with crimes or leave them alone, not pass along allegations whose truth or falsity have never been assessed by a jury.

I have been fairly hard on Roethlisberger, but the defense attorney in me says that Gregg is absolutely right. Fred Bright should have charged Roethlisberger with a crime or shut the hell up and quit editorializing if he isn't going to charge him.

San Francisco: The Forty-Niners had two first-round choices and used both on offensive linemen; this causes TMQ to predict that Alex Smith will suddenly seem a lot more talented.

Every quarterback seems more talented when he is behind a good offensive line. Nothing makes a quarterback look worse than when he is constantly being chased by the defense because his offensive line stinks.

Seattle: Pete Carroll skedaddled from USC just as it was in danger of NCAA sanctions, and arrived at Seattle, which was already holding two first-round choices in the 2010 draft. By the end of draft weekend, ESPN and NFL Network analysts both were talking about Carroll having a great draft with the Blue Men Group. It's easy to look good on draft day if you inherit two first-round picks!

For fear of defending Pete Carroll, it doesn't make you look good to just have two first-round picks, you have to do something smart with them. Pete Carroll made two good choices in the draft, so he and/or the GM does deserve some credit.

Reader Comments Reed Miller of San Diego writes, "In response to a reader's remark about Dan Marino's passing record potentially being broken with the new overtime rules: for now -- this may change -- the new rules only effect postseason play. Marino's record is for the regular season. Comparing this to other sports, how many extra points do basketball players get from overtime games in the NBA? How many extra hits, strikeouts etc. do baseball players get in extra innings? Think about the recent Cardinals-Mets game that ran 20 innings, all the numbers from that game count toward career stats. Many other sports include overtime in players statistics, there's no reason the NFL should not."

I think this is a great point and I have never really thought someone had a point when they tried to bring up this is why the college overtime system would never work in the NFL. Other sports have the overtime statistics count, so I don't see the huge problem in the NFL when this happens. As I said previously, if it is such a big deal, just don't count overtime statistics, but I really don't think it would end up being a numbers skewing problem if the NFL did adopt the college overtime system.

Next Week: Next week comes in August, when TMQ resumes, along with the football artificial universe.

I feel a bizarre mix of happiness and sadness that I don't get to mock Gregg on a weekly basis anymore. The good news is I will be well-rested come August to take on TMQ and its idiocy.

9 comments:

HH said...

A few things:

1. Thanks for pointing out that draft picks aren't lottery tickets with equal probability of success. By that logic, each team should sign all the undrafted free agents it can get, and even all of us who didn't enter the draft, and stars will emerge. I hate Gregg.

2. The Lions swapped the 34th selection to Minnesota for the 30th selection, surrendering up (essentially) a fourth-round choice, then took tailback Jahvid Best. He should give the team much-needed quick-strike potential on offense -- last year, the Lions has just five rushes of 20 or more yards. But the clubs at 31, 32 and 33 -- Indianapolis, New Orleans and St. Louis -- are strong at running back, and would have seemed unlikely to select Best. So why trade up?

I don't think Gregg understands that teams on the clock are talking to several teams at a time. Does he not get that the Lions probably knew that a lot of teams would try to trade into the Vikings/Colts/Saints/Rams picks to take the best available player? I'm sure the Vikings gladly shared that they had competing offers to drive up the price, but to say that Best would definitely have been on the board is an idiotic thing to say. These people talk to each other. The same goes for the Broncos/Packers thing.

3. Dez Bryant didn't drop solely due to his character issues. Lying to the NCAA was one thing, but also a thing a team wouldn't really downgrade him for, since the NCAA hates its players. But he also missed the entire last season, which increases the uncertainty surrounding him: could he be another Mike Williams of USC, who was terrible after a year off? Also, it appears Bryant's mother was involved with drugs and he probably has friends who were - if Gregg remembered that it was Michael Vick's posse that got him involved in dogfighting, maybe he'll understand why Bryant dropped as far as he did.

4. Mark Brunell. This past season the backup Saints QB was Mark Brunell, and they were developing Chase Daniel to back up Brees after Brunell retires. Brunell also started the regular season finale to rest Brees. I can also name 90% of Texans early picks, going back to their expansion draft. Fuck you, TMQ, for assuming I don't.

Good to get all that off my chest.

HH said...

On a separate issue, Gregg has the hint of a point when he says that measuring height down to an eighth of an inch is pretty nonsensical. Height varies during the day: one is tallest in the morning and shortest in the evening. During the day, your vertebrae compress, and you shrink by as much as 2 inches or so. So while that particular measurement may have been accurate to within an eighth of an inch, it's really nonsensical to present it as absolute fact.

KBilly said...

I wouldn't mind his lottery ticket comparison if he'd compared draft picks to scratch-off lottery tickets.

Round 1 is the premium $20 scratch-off that my not pay a jackpot, but is more likely to win its money back.

Rounds 6-7 are the $1 scratch tix that you buy because you just broke a $20 on a 6-pack and some smokes and have $2 change that you don't feel like putting in your wallet.

RuleBook said...

- Other players from the 2007 first round -- Ted Ginn, Marshawn Lynch, Adam Carriker, Justin Harrell, Jarvis Moss -- have been busts;

In what sense was Marshawn Lynch a bust? My fantasy teams in 2007 and 2008 enjoyed him pretty well, and he made the Pro Bowl in 2008. He may not be a superstar, and he may have some character issues which the Bills want to get rid of, but he is far from a bust.

- The Jets also signed Jason Taylor. All his recent team-switching -- Miami, then Washington, then back to Miami, now Jersey/B -- makes Taylor seem mercenary. Of course the NFL is fundamentally a business; the owners always think first about the business angle. But TMQ fears Taylor's changing teams three times in three seasons will torpedo any chance he had to don that garish yellow jacket in Canton. Hall of Fame electors favor players who spent their entire careers in one place, toughing out the down years, because the Hall of Fame is, in part, about sustaining the romantic belief that NFL players are motivated by sportsmanship and loyalty. Taylor has made it clear he is motivated by his stats and his payday...

First of all, the argument that the hall of fame wants players that stayed with one team is ludicrous. Just to name a select few:

Warren Moon, Rod Woodson, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Marcus Allen, Mike Ditka, Ronnie Lott, Reggie White, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Deacon Jones, Earl Campbell, Fran Tarkenton, Lance Alworth, Len Dawson, Bruce Smith.

Secondly, Taylor was traded to the Redskins (meaning it was a team decision to get rid of him), and he signed with the Jets as a free agent after the Dolphins refused to make an offer to him. He never chose to leave the Dolphins - they got rid of him.

The irony is that Easterbrook used to write for NFL.com, and now he writes for ESPN because NFL.com got rid of him. By the same logic, Easterbrook is just a mercenary and has no sense of loyalty.

The Casey said...

Actually, Easterbrook only wrote for NFL.com because ESPN.com got rid of him (Wikipedia), so it's even more like Taylor.

rich said...

Other players from the 2007 first round -- Ted Ginn, Marshawn Lynch, Adam Carriker, Justin Harrell, Jarvis Moss

Ted Ginn: universally classified as a terrible pick. Even the guy who drafted him could only point to his punt return ability.

Marshawn Lynch: two 1,000 yard seasons, but major off the field problems. Had everyone passed on him for character concerns, they would have been classified as stupid for passing up a two time 1000 rusher (before last year).

Carriker: Played out of position for a shitty team and was voted the team's rookie of the year. Then got hurt.

Harrell: Started 16 games his rookie year, missed a season due to injury.

Moss: Broke his shin his rookie season. Sucked his second season, moved to LB his third. Basically admitted he's too stupid to learn NFL defensive schemes.

So basically TMQ thinks that the "scientific yardsticks" should be omniscient in knowing injuries, stupidity and character issues... only to be lambasted for letting a guy like Randy Moss slip due to character concerns.

Would you rather have four fourth-round choices or one first-round pick? Four lottery tickets are better than one.

Depends. If my team needs some okay players and has the luxury of going after a project and/or a guy who might not pan out... then give me the four picks. If my team sucks and needs an instant impact player, give me the first rounder.

KBilly hit the nail on the head with this earlier, so there's not much else to say.

"17 NFL general managers" had assured him Tebow would not be drafted until the second round

Here's the thing. It really only takes two teams to screw that all up. Lets say that Denver wanted to get Tebow in round two, but say Atlanta or NE or Minnesota was going to take him as a late first rounder. If Denver felt that they'd lose on him, they had to move up to get him. It doesn't matter if 17 teams thought Tebow was second round talent, it only mattered that one team thought that they'd have to take him in the first round or not get him at all.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, I am not smart, but I feel like that was an important point to make. There is not an equal probability of success among all picks.

I was critical of the Best trade at first but I have come to see the Lions were just making sure they got their guy. I had forgotten the 2nd round was the next day, so there would be a lot of trade talks.

Unfortunately, Dez Bryant does have issues because he missed the entire year. That has to do something to a player, not competing for one year...or nearly that long.

I thought the Saints got rid of Mark Brunell. I looked it up and they did not get rid of him. You are right. So I knew their 3rd string QB and don't feel so badly. I can name 90% of my favorite team's picks and the backups for most teams. I, like many others, follow the NFL closely.

HH, if you are going to get all technical on me then I can't argue with you. You are right. Weight varies also, so maybe teams give approximations for that also.

KBilly, that is too much for Gregg's brain to absorb. The lottery is just the lottery to him, there are no scratch off tickets or black and white.

Rich and Rulebook I agree. I missed that. Lynch was not a bust.

I don't even know where that Hall of Fame comment about how they like players to be on one team came from. It is pure nonsense and has no factual basis. You proved it, Rulebook. In the age of the salary cap, a player will change his teams through no fault or choice of his own.

So Gregg Easterbrook is Jason Taylor.

Rich, TMQ thinks GMs and coaches should be able to predict those things out of a player's control and know whether the player is good or not. Notice how Gregg never says anything about teams that pass over guys like Sapp and Moss for character issues because he changes his point of view based on what makes him look correct.

That point about 4 fourth-round picks for 1 first-round picks...we are in agreement and it is not black and white. Gregg doesn't see it that way, he is just so black and white it drives me crazy. He wants there to be one rule that fits everything.

What you said about the GMs is why I was wrong about criticizing the Jags too harshly for where they picked Alualu. I do have to criticize the pick of Tebow overall though.

KentAllard said...

To echo rich, Ted Ginn was seen as a terrible pick at the time. One of the justifications given by his coach at the time was "I know his dad." His coach lasted only one year, BTW.

The small school draft picks illustrate why the NFL teams do those crazy number-measuring things. It's hard to know if a Division III receiver who caught 50 TD passes is pro-quality without knowing how fast he is, etc.

The Colts' defense is made up of undrafted and low-round players because they spend most of their cap money on offense, not because they believe an undrafted player is genetically superior to a #1 pick.

If Easterbrook hates Friday Night Lights, why doesn't he watch Real Housewives of New York or something else instead. I've seen college games where a team ran the same play over and over, if it was working. If the fictional team is actually running the Veer offense, long defunct, it is the same play every time, just varying sides.

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, this has nothing to do with it, but Ginn did get hurt celebrating a returned kickoff in college.

I am not sure I would argue that small school receivers may be close to par with big school receivers, but you bring up a great point that the reason for these specific numbers and the Combine is to see how the small school receivers would work in the NFL.

I feel like I need to send TMQ a 100 page paper on the Colts and why they draft like they do.

I've seen pro games where they run the same play over and over. The Panthers actually ran the same play 4 times in a game this year when they were ahead. I don't like how he ruined the 4th season of FNL for me. I tried to stop reading and sort of did.