Saturday, March 7, 2009

Feelin' the Draft '09: Do They Contradict Themselves? Yes They Contradict Themselves

I first had the idea for this post when this blog was but a fingerling swimmin' up the broadband stream, yet it took me three years to make it happen. Coming soon, my first driver's license.

One of the things that bothers me about draft season is the amount of conflicting information. Cripes, you can't trust anything that comes out around Combine season--40 times vary depending on which old scout was holding the watch, the results that the NFL network shows on screen aren't official, half of the guys are two inches shorter than their listed college height, etc. You have to carry the two and dot the E and make an educated guess about half of it.

The opinions that scouts hold about individual players also vary wildly--frequently from sentence to sentence in their reports. How are we, scant elements of the lumpen proletariat that we are, supposed to know if Dink McSnood from Tech State needs more sand in his pants or in fact has a bubble butt? When we read that the small-school receiver with character concerns is also an Eagle Scout, hrum fah bluh? Confusing, head hurt, must smash.

So I present to you all, following the drop, examples of this annoying phenomenon, courtesy of the formerly great and now sadly superannuated Pro Football Weekly's 2009 NFL Draft Guide.

First, we'll look at Oklahoma WR Juaquin Iglesias. PFW's Nolan Nawrocki--who can't carry the memory of Joel Buchsbaum's jock itch powder--says that he has "good short area quickness and agility to make a defender miss and create extra yardage after the catch." Nice, eh?

Except for that he also evidently "lacks great foot energy or show the vertical burst to finish routes." OK. So he's agile, and can turn big plays, but not that agile. Not those kind of big plays.

Or how about Coye Francies, cornerback from San Jose State? His "character is solid" and he has been a "model citizen at San Jose State" yet he was kicked out of Oregon State for an illegal weapons possession charge. Now, I don't wanna throw dirt on the Francies kid--I'm currently cleaning my Glock in between sips of 151--but last year Nawrocki couldn't shut up about "character concerns" that he never identified doggin' Ryan Clady. Make up your fucking mind, Nolester.

Then there are the projections without evidence. USC linebacker Clay Matthews, whose biggest attribute seems to be the ol' try-hard/tough guy label--along with having the real Clay Matthews as a dad--has "upside to continue developing as a pass rusher" but "average sack production." I have upside to scoring 40 goals for the Minnesota Wild but average ability to not fall down on skates and tear a knee ligament.

How about the left-handed compliment? Roy Miller, defensive tackle out of Texas, "uses suddenness to get to the ball" and has a "good motor" with which he "hustles and chases." Too bad he's only in possession of "marginal speed." Sorry, Roy, maybe there's work down at the post office.

The list goes ever on. Stanford defensive end Pannel Egboh "can disrupt the quarterback's vision" but, sadly, "does not make plays." Alabama running back Glen Coffee, a kid I love for my Broncos in the 6th round or thereabouts, "hits holes hard and shows the toughness to lower his shoulder and fight for yards." Unfortunately, that seeming advantage is negated by the fact that he "too often goes down on first contact and does not bust through arm tackles." MMM-hmm.

Then there are the real bogglers: Darry Beckwith, linebacker from down LSU way, "reacts quickly to the thrown ball." Yet, wait! How can that be the case, when he also "does not have a great nose for the ball" and is "too slow to diagnose"? Why is the negative "pear-shaped body" of Arizona State offensive tackle Paul Fanaika also the positive "very good mass"? Safety Patrick Chung from Oregon has "good instincts" but those evidently aren't good enough because he does not have "deep-hash instincts."

I could go on. But you all get the picture. And this booze ain't gonna drink itself.