The”top” college football prospects have been in Indy for the annual NFL Combine. They are being measured on a wide variety of short term tests to see how they stack up against their peers at the same positions. Tests such as the vertical leap, timed agility drills and the 40 yard dash. The question is whether this annual ritual is an effective way of judging talent. Last year in the NFL there were 582 players made NFL rosters that were NEVER drafted. Wow, one third of the players. That is amazing to me. Evaluated and somehow deemed unworthy by the traditional talent evaluation process.
What they have a difficult time measuring at the NFL Combine of course is harder to measure – heart, grit, character, ability to overcome adversity and do the right thing when no one is watching or even when everyone is watching. Many of you know I am a proud Oregon Duck and I have followed the career of Marcus Mariota very carefully the last 3 years. Based on what I can see his character and work ethic are impeccable. I believe he will be an amazing pro, especially if he gets in the right system and is not expected to be savior from day one.
The other top QB prospect of course is Jamis Winston from Florida State. I have to admit going to the Rose Bowl and seeing the Ducks thrash the Seminoles was tremendous. Full disclosure – my wife is an FSU grad, she did not enjoy it. So far Jamis has not shown the character traits of Marcus with many known and likely many unknown discretions in college. He does have tremendous charisma. I will admit that. But there is a big difference between charisma and character. It will be interesting to see which NFL team that will put their billion dollar franchise in his hands.
The University of Louisville did a study where they looked at how players were evaluated at the NFL Combine and how their career turned out. Their study determined there was NO statistical correlation between the results and the Combine and their subsequent NFL careers. None. If you are a college player and read this – GREAT NEWS! Stick with it. If you are not drafted you can make it!
Legendary Bill Belichick whose Patriots luckily beat my Seahawks recently on that amazing last play interception by underrated free agent of out Western Alabama Malcom Butler is traditionally skeptical of “raw talent.” You will rarely see them spend a high draft choice on key skill positions like running backs or receivers. He looks for players who will fit into their system.
How are you currently evaluating new talent you want to bring into your organization? What are you looking for? Be careful about looking too closely at traditional measurements. Look for hungry people of high character who are coachable and will fit in.Read More
Wow, is that possible? If there was a pill you could take each day to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers by 60% it would be an epic multi-billion dollar block buster drug. The Wall Street Journal had a fascinating story about Our Amazing Plastic Brains this Saturday. Research in the past concluded that there was not much you could do with brain problems and reversing damage. It turns out that is not true. There are new and under publicized dementia treatment options.Read More
I just got done watching the Superbowl. I grew up in Washington so I am disappointed in the play call at the end of the game. How do you know run the ball with Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, you only have a yard to go and it is second down with plenty of time left and a time out? They said he scores 87% of the time on 3rd or 4th down. Every other Seahawks fan in the world is asking the same question. You virtually had the game won! Pete Carroll said he had a 3 receiver set in and the Patriots had their goal line defense in and he did not like the match up so they threw it. Call a time out and change your personnel! Russell Wilson could have not run the play and called a time out himself to change the play. Sorry but I am pissed! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! Then a miracle happened for the Patriots.
The player who secured the game for the Patriots was a long shot to make the team. Malcolm Butler went to a small Division II school called Western Alabama after he was kicked out of Hinds Community College. He was evaluated at the Alabama Pro Day according to NESN and at only 5”11” 190 his workout did not impress and he was not drafted. In the pre-season NESN reported that:
“Butler can’t burn up a track or jump out of gym, but he’s proven to be a playmaker on the practice field and in the Patriots’ first preseason game, when he allowed just two receptions on seven targets from Washington Redskins quarterbacks.”
He is a “proven playmaker”. It just goes to prove that talent is overrated. He was evaluated and deemed unworthy by the pro scouts and was not drafted and got his shot with the Patriots and made the most of it. At the Pro Day in Alabama they just measured him on short term physical tests. They could not measure the intangibles – GRIT, TENACITY, HEART and the ability to make plays! In the post season interview he said before the play he saw himself making a play before it happened! That is a play maker. He said, “I did my job.” A Super Bowl hero.