Inexactitudinous Impresarios

Dave Razzano recently gave Von Miller a snotty thumbs down, seeing him as another Vernon Gholston bustaroni type. Rob Rang then chimed in via Twitter and “strongly disagreed” with this assessment. “Strongly disagreeing” is PC speak for he’s FOS. Both of these guys are considered to be Draftnik Gurus and one of them is dead wrong.

Being dead wrong about a top five pick in a draft is a good way to get yourself fired, and perhaps a head coach or GM, too. How can two guys who supposedly know what they are doing have radically opposed views about such a highly visible player? Maybe twenty years ago this type of disagreement would be understandable, before RedZone and YouTube and game tape galore. The only way you should miss on a top tier player now is if he gets to the NFL and loses his incentive or passion, a la JaMarcus Russell. There’s no way to predict what is inside a guy — even the guy himself probably doesn’t know.

But Rang and Razzano are arguing about his skills, not his inner psyche. I don’t get it. Razzano is a former NFL scout, meaning he’s been pink slipped from his profession. Rang is a high school poetry teacher. Whom would you trust?

I’ll take the poetry teacher. Poetry and Athletics have very similar requirements of beauty, symmetry, and precisely executed expression. Professional scouts are basically just grunts who have connecs and a dictionary of scout speak mumbo jumbo and don’t mind living in their cars as they motor around the country getting free tickets to watch college football games. It does not appear to be a job with any sort of official degrees or graduate trained skills. “He’s got an eye for talent” is about the only positive evaluation ever uttered regarding these fellows.

One of the concepts often presented regarding the draft is that it is an “inexact science.” Hahaha. Baloney! Science, by its very definition, cannot be inexact. This is clearly an effort to raise the act of guessing to some sort of elevated and measureable skill. It’s used by GMs to either cover their butts or explain bad choices, and by Mel Kiper to make an otherwise dubious living.

The plain truth is all these draftable athletes are just kids. They have not finished growing up physically or, more importantly, mentally. That, more than anything, is probably what makes the draft a crap shoot. These kids are all great athletes. But many of them are dumb as a rock and socially inept. To this point in their lives, they have been coddled and their behavior has been controlled, monitored, covered-up, and excused. This is not what will happen in the NFL and the shock of discovering it can wipe these fellows out in a hurry.

The NFL knows this and makes an inexact attempt to measure this failure pronicity by making these chaps take the infamous Wonderlic Test, which purportedly separates the dumb guys from the smart guys. Teams also conduct interviews and try to throw these young dudes off stride with rude questions designed to put them under stress and see how they handle it.

This is all well and good, but some of the best players in the game have been borderline wackos. And there’s no way to test how each athlete is going to measure up in the locker room, in his own mind, when faced with a room full of peers for the first time in his life. There’s also no way to know how each guy is going to handle the sudden wad of cash that comes roaring into his life, and the fawning aura that surrounds him when he orders a hamburger and gets recognized as being an NFL Player.

The more I think about it, the scarier the draft gets. One or more of these guys drafted in the top ten is going to fizz out or be a marginal player. Please, football gods, don’t drop the ugly wand on us.



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12 comments on “Inexactitudinous Impresarios
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I saw the analogy of Miller being ersatz to Goldston. I happen to agree. I watched only two hi-light reels supplied by Unca on his site and that what I am basing my opinion on. He does not initiate contact. That is a bad attribute for D-lineman. I consider a pass rushing OLB a lineman. Maybe he does initiate contact and I did not see the correct clips, but from what little I saw, I hope we stay away from him. Goldston was a predictable bust, and so was Maybin. Do you know why I was able to predict both busts? Because they did not initiate contact. In two long clips, I did not see Miller initiate contact but once, when he was caught in the middle of a double team on a sweep and had no other choice. To his credit, he did split the double and make the play. Maybe if I have some time I’ll go back and watch some more clips to see if he ever gets physical with a blocker. Usually he just runs around the block, I see him as a one trick pony. I will say this, speed is the on asset that will make a player look good in an all-star game. All-star games are show cases for guys like Miller, it drives them up boards faster than a Ryan Mallet screen pass.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I couldn’t say one way or the other about Miller, but small pass rush guys are a risky bet at the top of the draft. Boom or bust deal. The CB Peterson is not a risky bet, though, which is why I hope we get him instead. I’m going Davy Crockett on this one: Be sure you’re right, then go ahead. I don’t think anyone can be sure Miller will pan out.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Like I was saying above, I haven’t seen enough of Miller to judge him completely. What I saw did not show me a very important key to the NFL. D-linemen need to enjoy contact or they bust (see Goldston and Maybin). He did not show that in the two clips I saw. Maybe I saw the wrong hi-light reel? All it showcased was his speed and him running around blockers.

  4. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs, I never thought Peterson would be remotely availqble at 7, but there’s an outside chance it could happen. He is by far my #1 guy. He’s a kick-ass punt returner, and would fit right in as a CB.
     
    Bye bye Nate. No way he sees his $11.5 mill this season.
     
    Miller? I’ll defer to Reno on this, but guys like Andre Carter made a pretty decent career out of being merely a speed rusher. Isn’t he the last Niner to record at least 10 sacks for the Niners?
     
    Even Fred Dean was pretty much a one-trick pony as a pass rusher. Different era, sure, but he wasn’t a power rusher. He didn’t initiate contact. Speed and moves.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unca- Fred Dean was very physical. Andre Carter hired a martial arts guy to help him attack at for pass rushing purposes.
    .
    I’m not saying Miller will be a bust. I’m saying from what I’ve seen he will bust. I have not seen enough to fully judge. Hi-light reels show you what they want you to see and this one showed his speed. I will admit, that was very impressive, but that is what made Maybin and Goldston look so good too. I watched Maybin and Goldston in actual games to make my opinion. I am sure our staff has seen a lot more than hi-light reels of Miller.
    .
    BTW, I didn’t think Andre Carter was that good.

  6. robNo Gravatar says:

    i think there’s a small chance pat peterson is there at seven ! i sure hope so because he’d fill a need and be an excellent pick for us .
    don’t forget , CB is a good position to go with in round one !
    i wouldn’t mind trading our 2012 first round pick to get back into rd. one in this draft ! i really think this team is just about 4 key players away from being a strong playoff contender !
    NT , QB , CB and maybe one more !
    imo andre carter was a little better than any of the current pass-rushers we have !

    thanks a lot nolan !

  7. robNo Gravatar says:

    berger , any thoughts on phil taylor ? you’ve been strangely silent on a player who might be the best NT in this draft ! remember the whole NT as pass-rush train of thought ?! what’s the word on mr. taylor ? any of the other top d-lineman look like potential candidates for the nose ?

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Rob- I have never seen Phil Taylor play.
    .
    NoFear- Thank you for being my spell checker and I’m glad I can make you laugh.

  9. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Thing is, NoFear, Reno has been pretty damn good evaluating D limemen over the past couple years we’ve known him. Better than 98% of the talking heads out there in the blog-o-sphere or national media, certainly.

  10. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Then how about you say that, NoFear?
     
    A lot of your posts SEEM to be directed at people you then preport to not be responding to. It’s all just a happy coincidence I suppose.
     
    I know ambiguity is your friend, but a little clarity would help to divine where yer coming from most of the time.
     
    Or don’t. It doesn’t really bother me either way, but you seem to enjoy obfuscation rather than talking about football. Pointed comments to no one in particular to garner reactions . . .

  11. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Good for you, NoFear. One of your posts has an actual point.

    Hey, it’s a start.

  12. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    I mean, since it’s you who is blasting the shit out of my blog.

    Get a life, skippy.

2019 Schedule
9-8: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:25pm
9-15: @ Cincinnati Bengals, 10am
9-22: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:25pm
9-29: BYE

10-7: vs. Cleveland Browns, 5:15pm
10-13: @ Los Angeles Rams, 1:05pm
10-20: @ Washington, 10am
10-27: vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:05pm
10-31: @ Arizona Cardinals, 5:20pm

11-11: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 5:15pm
11-17: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:05pm
11-24: vs. Green Bay Packers, 1:25pm

12-1: @ Baltimore Ravens, 10am
12-8: @ New Orleans Saints, 10am
12-15: vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:25pm
12-21 or 12-22: vs. Los Angeles Rams
12-29: @ Seattle Seahawks, 1:25pm

2019 Draft Class
1. DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
2. WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
3. WR Jalen Hurd, Baylor
4. P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
5. LB Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas
6. TE Kaden Smith, Stanford
6. OT Justin Skule, Vanderbilt
6. DB Tim Harris, Virginia
 
2018 Prognostications
Closest to the Pin:
  Mr Fletch: 7-9

Bakkentom: 8-8
Grumpy: 8-8
Winder: 8-8
Bullit: 9-7
NJ49er: 9-7
Skeebers: 10-6
Spitblood: 0-16
Rob!!!: 16-0

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