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One thing you get a lot of before the draft are “interest” stories. This angle is blown way out of proportion. It really is.
I will give you an example of what I’m talking about.
“Boston College running back Andre Williams has drawn the most interest from the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets, according to league sources,” wrote somebody on a football website.
Don’t buy into these stories too much.
It’s not “interest” as much,as teams doing their due diligence. Some do more than others. John Idzik is on steroids when it comes to due diligence.
John Idzik is very “deliberate” as somebody in the building describes him.
They are looking at thousands of players.
Remember what Terry Bradway said at the top of last year’s pre-draft press conference (which is coming up shortly this year).
“This year (2013) we wrote over 6,000 reports, that’s scouts and coaches, which is the most we’ve done since we’ve been here,” Bradway said. “We’ve also scouted 1,450 players, 200 more players than we did last year. And we traveled to 12 more schools, a total of 165 schools. So in addition to the interviews, which were well over 300, a lot of work went into this and we’re excited about the process and ready to go.”
So if you scout 1.450 players, are you interested in all of them? No.
So if you conduct over 300 player interviews, are you interested in all of them? No.
Too often in the press, you hear reports of a team being “interested,” but it’s just personnel departments doing their jobs.
I remember when the Jets picked James Farrior, he said they showed zero interest in him before the draft. They never met with him.
My point is “due diligence” and “interest” are two entirely different things.
The Baltimore Sun reported that the Jets are one of six teams showing the most interest in Michael Sam.
For those living in a cave (just kidding), Sam is the first openly gay NFL draft prospect.
No question the Jets could use another edge pass rusher, and Sam is a good one.
But he’s probably a better fit for the 4-3 end position, as opposed to the 3-4 outside linebacker position in the Jets’ defense.
And is the New York market the best place for the player, who is going to attract a lot of media attention?
I ran into somebody affiliated with the Jets, around the combine, and the person said he liked Sam as a player, “but he can’t come to New York.”
It would just be too much of a media circus around here.
Somebody who has been covering the NFL a long time made a great point to me recently – that Manti Teo went to the perfect team – The San Diego Chargers.
After all the media coverage at Notre Dame regarding his fake girlfriend, he became just another player in San Diego, a small media market. The Chargers love him as a player. He loves playing there, and the media circus around him has calmed down.
In a large media market, Sam could be become a distraction, and NFL coaches hate distractions. I’m not criticizing Sam in any way, just dealing with reality.
So a small media market would be ideal for Sam.
And while the Jets are reportedly “interested” in him, like I said before, it’s more due diligence.
So take these “interest” stories with a grain of salt.
Of course there will be some players they are interested in, that they meet with, and are linked to.
But every time they meet with a player, or work out a player, it doesn’t mean ultimately that they want to pick the guy.
April 18, 2014
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