Leading Up To The NFL Draft

A couple of weeks ago, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said in an interview that he thought quarterback DeShone Kiser would be better off playing another year at Notre Dame instead of being in the NFL Draft this year.  Lots of people jumped all over Kelly after he said that claiming that his statement was self-serving (Notre Dame did not have a winning season last year) and that his comments were spiteful because they might hurt Kizer’s stock in the draft.

I concur that the statement was self-serving; Brian Kelly would have an easier time coaching Notre Dame next year if Kizer were still on the team.  However, unlike many commentators who saw that comment as some sort of breach of faith between a coach and a quarterback, I was not really surprised to hear a football coach say something that was self-serving.  Football coaches do that all the time; think about the stories they tell to recruits who eventually never see the field; think about the assurances they give to parents that the coach and his staff will act in loco parentis for the recruit. Those are self-serving statements and they happen constantly.

When I heard about Kelly’s remarks, I thought that he was probably closer to right than wrong in what he said.  This was before I did my pre-draft analysis but as I went through all of my college football notes from last season, I determined that I did not have any notes on DeShone Kizer.  Not that my opinion amounts to a bit of tid, but I did watch Notre Dame play last year and Kizer did not motivate me to say something positive about his projection into the NFL.

Then I remembered a parallel incident from about 8 or 10 years ago.  Mark Sanchez declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season at USC.  It was either at the press conference to announce Sanchez’ decision or immediately after it that USC head coach. Pete Carroll, said publicly that he thought Sanchez belonged in school and that he was not ready for the NFL.  Pete Carroll was accused of all the same sort of stuff that was thrown at Brian Kelly in the past few weeks but with 8 to 10 years of evidence in front of us, here is something people need to admit:

  • Pete Carroll was absolutely correct.

Mark Sanchez has had a mediocre career and other than the possibility of sustaining a career-ending injury in one more season at USC, his ability to perform at the NFL level could only have been helped by one more year in school.

Time will tell if Brian Kelly was similarly correct…

Staying with NFL topics here, there are plenty of reports out there about the possibility that NFL veteran players will be involved in trades proximal to the upcoming draft.  Lots of bits have been committed to solid state memory about the possibility of:

  1. Kirk Cousins going to the Niners and new coach Kyle Shanahan
  2. Jimmy Garoppolo to the Browns for a cornucopia of picks.
  3. Malcom Butler to the Saints for picks.
  4. Marshawn Lynch out of retirement and to the Raiders from the Seahawks.
  5. Richard Sherman from the Seahawks to any number of new teams.

It would seem to me that most – if not all – of the rumored trades above make sense so I would not be surprised to see a few of them reaching fruition over the next week or so.  However, there is another veteran player who is very good at his position that ought to be sufficiently “on the market” that there are rumors about him.  That would be:

  • Sheldon Richardson – DE – NY Jets

Make no mistake, Richardson is a very good defensive end.  Moreover, he will not be 27 years old until late in the upcoming NFL season; he is not a player who is about to see his warranty expire.  So, why do I think the Jets should be thinking about trading him?

The Jets’ roster is a mess; they have released a bunch of veteran players from the team who were starters last year; there are more holes in that roster than there are in a wool sweater at a moth convention.  At the same time, the Jets have 3 very good defensive ends:

  1. Muhammed Wilkinson
  2. Leonard Williams – – and – –
  3. Sheldon Richardson.

Richardson has one year left on his rookie contract so it might take some time for his agent to work out a longer-term deal with a new team than there is between now and the draft.  That is why I am surprised that talks about dealing Richardson have not been “out and about” over the past month or so.  The Jets need help in so many places that they need to amass draft picks; they are in a position where quantity of picks is a measure of quality for their draft.  This one surprises me…

The Milwaukee Brewers have a culinary item on the menu this year that deserves mention.  I do not know what it is called but it goes in the tradition of midwestern stadium food/state fair food which is to say that you take a dish that normally is eaten off a plate or with your hands and you put it on a stick and fry it.  This item is “deep fired nachos on a stick”.  Here is the composition:

  • Spicy ground beef and refried beans get rolled in taco flavored tortilla chips.  Then a stick is inserted and that mass of food is deep fried.
  • The dish is served with a side of nacho cheese, sour cream, pureed jalapenos and salsa roja as “dipping sauces.

Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times regarding Kirk Cousins who was mentioned in passing above:

“Washington QB Kirk Cousins, it appears, might get out of work on labor day.  Cousins’ wife Julie is due to deliver their first child during Week 2 of the upcoming NFL season.

“In keeping with the theme, all he’s asking for are no false starts, or at least a two-minute warning.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



6 thoughts on “Leading Up To The NFL Draft”

  1. How about when a coach recruits a player and then moves that player to a different position–like from the starting lineup to the bench?

    1. Tenacious P:

      And of course the coach let the player know all about that possibility during the recruiting process…

  2. I think Richard Sherman has to think playing for the Falcons would be his preference. He would never have to defend against Julio Jones again!

  3. With respect to Brian Kelly’s comment, it is not unusual for QBs, even good ones that make it to the notepad (that’s a really damning observation about Kizer, by the way), to fail to succeed even with the extra year in college. So, let’s look at what Mr. Kizer would get:
    1. Another year being coddled as the best thing there is on campus, against competition that will be at least a step or two slower and a degree or two less sneaky / sophisticated on D than the NFL.
    2. Another year probably NOT running the latest NFL style offense or some variant of it against an NFL type defense.
    3. The opportunity for an injury that is a problem for the future (but that could happen in the NFL, too, just with a probable guaranteed contract).
    4. The risk that the supporting cast is not up to speed for him to shine and the speculation about why the numbers dropped off and/or an unhealthy obsession with the numbers (like Wade Boggs at Boston). Conversely, depending upon where he goes in the draft, he may end up like John Elway and have to force a trade just so he makes it to December without becoming a vegan from eating too much grass.

    In short, I don’t think he’s ready either but the draft class is so QB-light it may be a better economic play. However, if the Curmudgeon didn’t see him stand out as a more-than-usually-interested fan, the professional scouts / coaches / staff in the NFL probably didn’t either and that means low rounds, at best.

    1. rugger9:

      I do not give myself a level of credibility here that would relegate Kizer to low rounds at best. I think the analogy to Mark Sanchez is the one that ought to have given him pause when he was making his decision to stay or go.

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