Bad Picks Are A Tradition For Many Teams
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com NFL Blogger
If there’s one thing you can count on at the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s not that a team’s prized first-round pick will turn into a perennial All-Pro but that several NFL general managers will blow it.
That’s because it happens every year. GMs are blessed with scouting, pro days, the combine (in most years, anyway) and every evaluation tool at their fingertips, yet they still somehow manage to make head-scratching choices.
It’s as much of an NFL tradition as the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving Day and the Super Bowl.
Yet they do baffling things like draft Mitch Trubisky, who started only one year at North Carolina, a non-football school which is hardly known as Quarterback U. Josh Rosen was the 10th pick in the 2018 draft while Lamar Jackson was 32nd, last in the first round.
There are too many other boneheaded picks to list here but let’s just say that NFL GMs are the most overly-paid people in sports.
I don’t get it, either. Don’t they watch college football? I can tell more about players by sitting in a bar pounding down beers during games than most GMs can do by pouring over stats and watching the mechanics and 40-yard-dash times of prospects.
I also know the programs of the players and the conferences in which they play. Those are important factors to consider when evaluating a player. For instance, anyone in the SEC has had the best coaching, plays big games in full stadiums and are highly talented individuals who have produced on the field.
Certain programs you think would produce winners at key positions don’t for some reason. Quarterbacks from USC, for example. Wide receivers from Oklahoma.
Although the trigger-happy Jets dumping Sam Darnold so quickly after making him a first-round pick just three years ago makes no sense. It does, however, demonstrate that not all questionable GM moves occur on draft day.
The biggest flop in NFL Draft history, of course, was teams passing on Tom Brady. I watched that guy shred Alabama’s defense in the Orange Bowl. Every time Alabama scored, he would bring Michigan right back to a TD. The guy simply would not lose. I said right then and there that if I were a GM that I would take him with my first pick in the first round because the guy’s a winner.
Yet NFL GMs do boneheaded things like take Ryan Leaf in the first round.
This year’s Tom Brady, by the way, is Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. I know that because unlike apparently many GMs, I watch college football on Saturdays.
And take Devonta Smith over Kyle Pitts. The latter is a Florida Gators “flake” and won’t be consistently dominant. Smith will bring it every game.
Fans can complain about their GMs choices by watching ESPN, ABC or the NFL Network starting Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m., ET.