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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    [size=18px]Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft[/size]

    By DAVID LOCKE
    SPECIAL TO THE P-I


    The NFL draft has become a national holiday of sorts. Two national cable networks will broadcast every pick live.

    Football fans across the country will knock off their entire honey-do list so they can plop themselves in front of the tube for endless hours of picks, analysis and consternation.

    And throughout the draft, some of those fans will be led to believe their 2006 season has been made, while others will be convinced their team made a crucial error.

    All of this over an entire sham. The NFL draft is the single most overblown two days in sports.

    Think back to 1994, when famed NFL draft expert and hairstylist Mel Kiper freaked out that the Indianapolis Colts would never survive after passing on quarterback Trent Dilfer.

    The NFL draft is a weekend big on blowhards and short on accuracy.

    History shows the draft is like hitting a number on a roulette wheel.

    Go back to 2005. It is fair to say that only 10 to 13 players who were drafted last April made a significant impact on their teams. Two of them, Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill, happened to play for the Seahawks.

    All day Saturday and into the late rounds on Sunday, you will hear talking head after talking head tell you about "how this player will change that team" or "he fits perfectly into their system" and "I think he changes their outlook."


    All of it is garbage. This thing is a crapshoot.

    Quarterbacks and their failings get all the publicity. Considering the top quarterbacks taken over the past four seasons have included David Carr, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller and J.P. Losman, one can understand why.

    Quarterbacks aren't the only ones, however. In all likelihood, Chad Jackson or Santonio Holmes will be the first wide receiver taken. Only four first-round wide receivers since 1990 have gained 1,000 yards as a rookie.

    Moreover, only five of the 546 wide receivers drafted since 1990 have gained 1,000 yards or more, according to the research of Len Pasquerelli at ESPN.com. The average first-round wide receiver since 1990 has produced 34.5 catches, 474.5 yards and 3.1 touchdowns as a rookie.

    Every position is vulnerable to the bust. If there were any real science -- or any real predictability -- you would expect to find it in the top 10 picks, right?

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The players who have the most money thrown at them after teams spend endless hours analyzing every nook and cranny of the player's anatomy, psyche, background and Wonderlic test scores bust almost half the time.

    Breaking draft pick results into four categories -- Hall of Famer, Pro Bowler, solid NFL player, and bust or failed to meet expectations -- the results of the top 10 picks from 1990 to 2003 are shocking.

    Whereas 25 percent of the top 10 picks during that span became Pro Bowl caliber and 25 percent became solid NFL players, 46 percent were busts.

    From the drafts of 2001, 2002 and 2003, of 30 top-10 picks, 14 went bust. On the flip side, the success rate has been higher -- nine of the 30 are playing at a Pro Bowl level.

    For example, in the 2001 draft, six of the top 10 players flat-out busted. The top 10 picks included Leonard Davis, Gerard Warren, David Terrell and former Seahawks wide receiver Koren Robinson.

    The post-2001 draft analysis from SI.com's Pat Kirwin reads like a comic strip five years later.

    In regard to Robinson, Kirwin said, "Look for him to catch the quick slant and take off like Jerry Rice did when he was younger ... can really change this football team this year."

    Robinson's rookie totals -- one touchdown and 39 receptions -- didn't remind anyone of Rice or change the Seahawks one iota.

    Truthfully, what the NFL draft is all about is an excuse to talk football again, and that is a good enough reason to waste two days. Just don't believe everything you hear this weekend, and certainly wait a while before you grab the jersey of your team's newest player at the team store.

    Chances are it will look pretty silly in November.

    David Locke hosts "Locked on Sports" from 7-10 p.m. weeknights on Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM. His column appears Wednesdays in the P-I. You can e-mail him at [email protected]

    Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    digital420's Avatar
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    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    now this is the first article i've read on the draft that I liked.


    lets just hope that Scott, Foley and company have their lists going strong and everything is on the up.. no busts except 4 the cheerleaders..


    DiGiTaL

    "We tried to stick with it, but there was a point where we were beating our head against a wall," Seattle Coach Mora talking about running at the Williams Wall

  3. #3
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    "singersp" wrote:
    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    [size=18px]Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft[/size]
    Something for everyone to keep in mind this weekend. Being a #1 pick does not guarantee stardom (see: Troy Williamson, Erasmus James, Kenichi Udeze and Demetrius Underwood) and being a 6th-round pick does not make you a stiff (see: Tom Brady).

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  4. #4
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    EXACTLY! And this article points out the best reason why it would be foolish for the Vikings to give up two or three draft picks to pick up a higher rated QB.
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  5. #5
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    "AWZeus" wrote:
    "singersp" wrote:
    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    [size=18px]Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft[/size]
    Something for everyone to keep in mind this weekend. Being a #1 pick does not guarantee stardom (see: Troy Williamson, Erasmus James, Kenichi Udeze and Demetrius Underwood) and being a 6th-round pick does not make you a stiff (see: Tom Brady).

    =Z=
    That's pretty harsh to include Williamson, Erasmus, and Udeae with Underwood.....either that or pretty nice of you to include underwood.

    I think the author has just as unrealistic expectations as the draft analysts.....a guy didn't blow your socks off the first year he played NFL football so he is a bust? I don't think so.

  6. #6
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    I LOVE draft day! I think it is one of the most entertaining sports events of the year.

  7. #7
    renovikesfan is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    What this article also fails to mention, and alot of people fail to realize, is that all the Front Offices of all these teams drafting all these players EXPECT a season's worth of adjustment period for the rookies.

    To think that the "powers that be" for these NFL teams are demanding that their new players go out and produce like Randy Moss their very first year in the pros is just ridiculous. Any team's Front Office that does expect that is in serious desperation mode to begin with, not to mention an even more serious case of denial.

    OF COURSE a team and it's fans would like to see a Randy Moss-caliber of player drafted in every round. OF COURSE they want to see their #1 draft pick go out and blow away the competition their very first year.

    The reality, however, is that these kids, no matter how well they did in college, are NOT "Instant Pro-Bowler, just draft high". The reality, is that the majority of them (read: 80-90%) will take at LEAST one full year--more than likely two -- to fully realize their potential as pros.

    To sum up, all I'm saying is this article makes it sound like, if these kids don't carry their new teams to the Playoffs on their back during their rookie year, they should be considered busts.....and that's just stupid.

    JMO

    (addition)

    Very well-put, Del Rio...and shorter than my rant, to boot. LOL

    I'd just like to add, that, as for the "analysts and experts" who like to put the best spin on the higher picks.....anyone who believes their words as gospel and buys into all the hype should really try to stay as far away from used car lots and flea markets as possible. :wink:

  8. #8
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    "renovikesfan" wrote:
    What this article also fails to mention, and alot of people fail to realize, is that all the Front Offices of all these teams drafting all these players EXPECT a season's worth of adjustment period for the rookies.

    To think that the "powers that be" for these NFL teams are demanding that their new players go out and produce like Randy Moss their very first year in the pros is just ridiculous. Any team's Front Office that does expect that is in serious desperation mode to begin with, not to mention an even more serious case of denial.

    OF COURSE a team and it's fans would like to see a Randy Moss-caliber of player drafted in every round. OF COURSE they want to see their #1 draft pick go out and blow away the competition their very first year.

    The reality, however, is that these kids, no matter how well they did in college, are NOT "Instant Pro-Bowler, just draft high". The reality, is that the majority of them (read: 80-90%) will take at LEAST one full year--more than likely two -- to fully realize their potential as pros.

    To sum up, all I'm saying is this article makes it sound like, if these kids don't carry their new teams to the Playoffs on their back during their rookie year, they should be considered busts.....and that's just stupid.

    JMO
    I got that impression as well. Take the WR example, a guy goes from playing 4 years in one system, to a new system he has to learn while playing against bigger and faster players and is expected to gain 1000 yard or he is a bust.

  9. #9
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    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    The dude just wants to be shocking for a few reads.

    The NFL draft is the future of the NFL. Most of the productive players in the NFL today came from the draft. Does that mean that a 1st rounder will be more productive than a 4th? No guarantees, but I would be willing to bet if the author did the numbers of how rounds 2-7 went his number of successful NFL players goes down drastically.

    If he's trying to point out that just because a player goes in the first round doesn't mean he will be a wild success in the NFL, then yea sure, but you've got to base your picks on something. And the hype around these guys is based on college production, game film, combine results and personality. Sure a few bad ones will fall through the cracks, but thats what makes this game and the draft so interesting. Its what helps one organization do better than the next. You pick the right rookies that can be productive in your system and you've got a great recipe for success (vs. paying big bucks in free agency ala the Skins).

    Also, agreeing with Reno and Del, his success stats of first rounders is pretty unrealistic. I would also add that a lot of these players would have been a lot more successful in a different system. Your drafting potential, they still need to be molded to become great players and put into a situation where there talents can be used appropriately.

  10. #10
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Locked on Sports: Hype outstrips hunches in NFL draft

    I guarantee if it was a crap shoot as much as he makes it sound then people would have no problems trading picks, teams would not have analysts and scouting reports......they would just be like...we need a DT so just grab whatever one you see first because its just a crap shoot.

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