Watching the NFL Draft take place last night in some sort of virtual reality was interesting enough; most importantly, it took place in the present tense as opposed to being a replay of some previous event of the same ilk. You can find a jillion reports this morning analyzing which team “got it right” and which team “got it wrong” last night completely ignoring the fact that it makes little sense to try to evaluate a draft for about the first two years after it happens. However, enough time seems to have passed to revisit a recent draft and point out what appears to be a severe mistake.
In the 2017 Draft, the Jags had the 4th pick. The Jags have had a Top 5 so often that one might assume there is an arcane clause in the NFL Bylaws assuring the Jags of such a status. Actually, the clause is not that arcane; teams get Top 5 picks regularly when they stink year after year after… The Jags were bad in 2016; hence their “elite status” in the 2017 Draft.
The Jags took Leonard Fournette with that pick. He has been in Jax for 3 seasons; in that time, he has averaged 4.0 yards per carry and 73.1 yards per game. Also, in that time, Fournette has shown some meathead tendencies to the point where there are myriad reports that the Jags are trying to trade him but there are no takers. At best, the Jags got a big physical specimen of a running back with the #4 pick who turns out to post nothing more than decent stats and has behavioral issues that have gotten him suspended.
If that were all there were to the situation, you would have to say the Jags wasted such a high pick. But as the guy on the infomercial always says:
- “But wait … there’s more!”
Here are just some of the players the Jags ignored when they had that 4th pick in the 2017 Draft:
- Jamal Adams taken at #6
- Christian McCaffrey taken at #8 [Also a running back I might point out…]
- Patrick Mahomes taken at #10
- Marshon Lattimore taken at #11
- Deshaun Watson taken at #12
- Marlon Humphrey taken at #16
- TreDavious White taken at #27
- TJ Watt taken at #30
That is just a sampling of what the Jags did not want to take with that #4 pick; that list does not extend into anything beyond the first round of the 2017 Draft but it should be noted that all of those passed-over players have already been to a Pro Bowl. [For what it’s worth, these RBs taken much later in the 2017 Draft have also been to Pro Bowls – Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, James Connor and Tarik Cohen.]
Another perspective from previous NFL Drafts demonstrates how short NFL careers are for many players. Consider the players taken in the overall #1 position from 2010 through 2015:
- 2010 – Sam Bradford – not on any NFL roster this morning
- 2011 – Cam Newton – now a free agent looking for a place to land
- 2012 – Andrew Luck – retired
- 2013 – Eric Fisher – still with the KC Chiefs, the team that drafted him
- 2014 – Jadeveon Clowney – now a free agent looking for a place to land
- 2015 – Jameis Winston – now a free agent looking for a place to land
The oldest player on that list is 32 years old. Sic transit gloria mundi …
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are going to fill a bit of the void in the sports world by staging another exhibition match as a made-for-TV spectacle. For this encore performance, the two golfers have added an interesting twist; they will each have an “amateur partner” making it a two-on-two competition. The “amateurs” will be Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Turner Sports will produce and broadcast this event. It will take place sometime in May at an as-yet-to-be-determined venue because the producers have made it clear that this will only happen in a place where the event will comply with all health strictures and with all governmental regulations. All proceeds from the event have been pledged to COVID-19 relief efforts.
I have made it clear on many occasions here that watching golf on TV is not one of my favorite things. I will watch the final round of a major tournament – sort of – but that’s about it. I will probably watch this event for the same reason that I was enthusiastic about watching last night’s NFL Draft – – it is a live event and not something pulled from the video archive at Turner Sports.
Meanwhile the PGA is looking at a restart for its tournaments sometime in mid-June. That announcement prompted Greg Cote of the Miami Herald to make this comment:
“The PGA Tour is planning a mid-June return with no fans, assuring the look and ambiance of it will have all the excitement of a Tuesday practice round. Meantime, GolfTV reported exclusively that the gum Tiger Woods chews on a golf course is orange-flavored Trident. Run to the store and start hoarding!”
Emphasis was in the original …
Finally, since I mentioned “short careers” for NFL players above, let me close today with a pertinent entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:
“Elderly: Of advanced years. Or, as it is known in the entertainment industry, twenty-seven.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………