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NFL Draft Follies

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Nobody could have seen this coming!

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released 2016 second-round draft pick Roberto Aguayo over the weekend. It isn’t hindsight to declare that decision stupid, because it was foolish at the time and only looked more foolish when Aguayo, one of the most accurate kickers in NCAA history, turned out to be verybad in the NFL.

The MMQB’s Peter King was able to get Bucs GM Jason Licht in the aftermath and asked him, “How badly did you fuck this up?” (Okay, King actually asked “How do you feel?”) Unsurprisingly, Licht has some regrets about the decision…

To be Scrupulously Fair, before this Florida teams blowing draft picks of real value on kickers had a great track record:

Meanwhile, Barnwell has a good rundown of the two trades made by the Bills, which is another lesson in dumb drafting.  In summary:

  • The Bills traded a first round pick to trade up for Sammy Watkins. Watkins was certainly an A prospect, but this is still a bad gamble. Very few wideouts are good enough to be worth two first rounders. Yeah, the Falcons don’t regret trading up for Julio Jones, but even a top prospect is unlikely to become that good.
  • Still, the Bills certainly needed weapons, and maybe you could justify it if it was a really thin draft at WR. But, of course, the draft was extremely deep in WR talent, and this was known at the time — 4 more went in the first round. As of now, Watkins ranks below three of them (OBJ, Evans, and Cooks) and given his injury history that’s likely how they’ll end up. To be clear, I am not criticizing Buffalo for picking Watkins first — I’m sure the Giants, Bucs and Saints all would have taken him if they had the 5th pick, and Watkins has underachieved the other 3 because of injury, not talent. But the point is that the difference between high quality prospects is never going to be worth an extra first rounder — there are too many things you don’t know.
  • Fast forward to 2016. The Rams traded approximately 20 first round picks to trade up for Jared Goff. Now, a first-rate QB is actually worth multiple first rounders, and I might consider doing that for a true generational prospect like Peyton Manning or Luck — someone who scouts saw as a great prospect, who had shown high accuracy and several season’s worth of starts against serious competition, and was running a pro-style offense. Problem is, Goff his only 1 out of 3 — his numbers were very good, but the scout consensus was more good-than-great prospect, and QBs from the Air Raid system have a dismal track record.  This was a bad gamble.
  • It’s too early to write him off entirely, but he was atrocious in his first year. The fact that a coach who couldn’t survive another losing season kept him on the bench for half the season to play behind a below-replacement-level veteran was a bad sign, and when he played…well, let me put it this way: Goff’s Rating+ was 61. JaMarcus Russell’s in his two seasons as a starter were 93 and 59, Ryan Leaf’s 54 and 70. His DVOA was -74.8%; Brock Osweiler, the next worse, was -26.8%.  He didn’t get much help from the coaching staff or the personnel, but in contemporary football it would be pretty rare for a good QB to be that bad in his rookie year.
  • And to bring us full circle, desperate to do what they could to make a bad gamble work out, the Rams dealt another second rounder for one year of a very talented wideout with injury problems.

In conclusion, there’s a reason the best organizations are much more likely to trade down than up and would never, ever use a real draft pick on a kicker — they know what can’t be known. The Bills, for the first time since early in the Clinton administration, seem to be in competent hands. The Rams, apparently, remain the Rams.

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  • encephalopath

    Rams rookie WR, Cooper Kupp, looked pretty good in the first preseason game. Sean Mannion played really well in the #2 QB position so if something happens to Goff, maybe things won’t be a total loss.

    The Ram’s problem looks to be that the don’t have a credible #1 RB. As Drew Magary put it, “Somewhere between his glorious rookie year and the 2016 season, [Gurley] died and was replaced by a Razor scooter with square wheels.”

    • Kevin

      I still think their biggest problem is at QB. And the OL. And D other than Donald…and…

      (Seriously, RB is the least of their worries)

    • DN Nation

      I hope hope hope hope hope hope that Gurley was merely de-motivated by playing for Mr. 7-9 instead of becoming the Next Trent Richardson. Because Lord knows he looked like the complete package in college, and is a fun, cool dude to boot.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY5Bci4FnYo

      That’s a 19-year-old true freshman running his ass off in a de facto national semifinal against a Bama defense loaded with future draft picks. I want that Gurley back.

      • Kevin

        Then the Rams should invest a little in the OL, and really hope Goff isn’t a complete bust, because it’s hard to do that when everyone knows its coming all the time.

        This is why you never draft a RB this early. There are so many other positions whose success isn’t dependent on so many other factors. Even a great RB needs so many things around him to be great. Watch how the Cowboys won’t even miss a beat during Elliot’s suspension. McFadden and the others will fill in with nearly the same YPC behind the line Dallas has invested so heavily in.

        • Phil Perspective

          This is why you never draft a RB this early.

          Tell that to the Bum Phillips-era Houston Oilers.

          • Scott Lemieux

            I think everyone agreed that the game has not changed at all since 1979. Frankly, I can’t even remember the last time a team won a Super Bowl without a star running back.

            • ColBatGuano

              What would Tom Brady be without the long line of great RB’s behind him? Wait, I’ll come in again.

            • Phil Perspective

              I think you’re missing the point. A good running back can make a huge difference to an offense. Do you remember Earl Campbell’s career at all? His QB was fuckin’ Dan Pastorini for the first two years of his NFL career yet they made it to the AFC Championship game both those years. Did Campbell play with any other HoF caliber talent on offense? No!!! He was their offense those two years. Here is Vin Scully describing Campbell steamrolling Isiah Robertson, a Pro Bowl LB at the time, into retirement:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9y_KZwOq9g

  • Spot Letton

    I still get a warm feeling in my heart every time you mention JaMarcus Russell. God, I loved watching him play.

    • mongolia

      he also had a nice warm feeling during that time because of all the purple drank

  • aab84

    The Air Raid point on Goff is dispositive in my mind, and reinforces my view that no one on NFL teams watches any college football until the combine. It’s been over a decade, and no Air Raid QB has been any good in the NFL, and there are good reasons why (e.g., the Air Raid intentionally deemphasizes mechanics on certain throws in favor of getting the ball out as quickly as possible), and yet teams just keep getting sucked in by the huge numbers.

    • Denverite

      Does Cam Newton at Auburn count as an Air Raid QB? (Honestly, I don’t know.)

      • enlightenedbum

        Auburn ran a spread to run offense, not the Air Raid.

        • Denverite

          Thanks!

          • DN Nation

            Cambot would’ve been aces in any system, too. Generational talent.

            • apocalipstick

              Unless the NFL continues to let defenders take shots at his head. His lack of protection from officials is shameful.

      • aab84

        Gus Malzahn (current Auburn head coach, OC during Cam’s time there) runs maybe the most extreme spread running offense in college football. They’d throw like 4 times a game if everything was going perfectly.

        The biggest current Air Raid practitioners are Mike Leach at Washington State (the main modern innovator and the OC of Hal Mumme when the offense was invented), Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, Dana Holgerson at West Virginia, and Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State. Sonny Dykes at Cal was a big Air Raid guy too but couldn’t win.

        You can think about the QBs those coaches have produced and see why coaches should be more concerned (Tim Couch, Geno Smith, everyone from Texas Tech, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, Goff).

        • Domino

          I mean, Brandon Weeden was a once-in-a-generation type situation, since he was like a 27 year old Senior.

          As a Chiefs fan this history makes me nervous about Mahommes. But at this point I gotta think the brain trust were confident enough to give up so much in picks for him. Alex Smith is competent, but the draft trade makes me think they don’t have confidence they can win with him at QB.

          • aab84

            I’m definitely expecting Mahomes to bust and was baffled when people started talking about him as a first rounder. His numbers aren’t even particularly great for Air Raid QBs. A 65% completion percentage in that offense is actually pretty bad (Graham Harrell’s was 70+% his last two years).

            • billcinsd

              but 65% when throwing 50 yards downfield off your back foot while rolling left is pretty good. Those are the only highlights of Mahomes that get shown

          • Phil Perspective

            As a Chiefs fan this history makes me nervous about Mahommes.

            If there is one thing Big Red(aka Andy Reid) knows how to do it’s to be able to make chicken salad from chicken shit re: QB’s. Taking Mahommes was Reid’s call undoubtedly.

            • Kevin

              Reid is such a strange coach. I think overall, he’s clearly a very good to excellent coach. but his flaws just get magnified in big games, and they make him look like a joke to a lot of people. I mean, who doesn’t love an 8 minute 2-minute drill? “I thought we’d have enough time” should be his epithet. But even saying that, he’s better than 90% of coaches out there and has been for a long time.

              • Domino

                I mean, over the past 5 years, only Belichick has more wins than him. And he’s had Brady! A vastly superior QB to Alex Smith.

                He’s a players coach – I remember a bunch of Eagles players embracing him years ago in his first game after being fired. And he brought on Mike Vick as a Summer intern coach. He has his shortcomings, but he’s been top 5 in the league for a long time.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  He’s an outstanding coach. It’s strange that he hasn’t progressed on time management at all, but he’s really good.

            • Domino

              Yeah, that’s what I’ve talked myself into – he did great job with McNabb, Alex Smith plays as well as he can, and they’re able to give Mahommes a year to take everything in before giving him the reigns.

              • Phil Perspective

                Don’t forget that he also turned Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley into serviceable NFL QB’s. Serviceable as long as they played for Reid of course.

          • billcinsd

            Alex Smith is also younger than Weedon and had like 5 offensive coordinators before Brandon hit the pros

        • Captain_Subtext

          Not to quibble too much, but Brock Osweiler is from Arizona State. Not sure if ASU qualifies as an Air Raid team or not.

          • aab84

            Dammit. You’re right and I’m an idiot.

            • Captain_Subtext

              Don’t take it so hard. I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t been an ASU fan. Certainly his throwing style and completion ratios merit some concern regardless of where he went. I have to say I was surprised when Denver drafted him since ASU QBs have been sub-par for quite a few years.

  • Van Buren

    The Rams, of all teams, should have known better. They were the beneficiaries of the RG3 draft pick haul. Which they pretty much wasted in its entirety, so maybe they figured 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    • Brien Jackson

      I think there’s a pretty strong case to be made that pre-injury RG3 was a really good QB and someone you’d happily give up a bunch of picks to get. Washington did win their division in his rookie season too.

      • Van Buren

        That’s true, but the injury was only a matter of time. Plus, Russell Wilson was available in the same draft. No need to trade up. Plus plus, they drafted Cousins in the same year, the guy the coaching staff really wanted. I guess given the dysfunction of the Snyder regime, it was/is hopeless for the Redskins.

        • Be careful about the “Wilson was available” argument. It isn’t wrong, but I believe Wilson went in the 3rd round. That means the whole league missed him. Even the well run teams.

          You can ALWAYS find good players who the league missed (so they were drafted in a late round) and compare any failed draft choice to them. The more relevant criticism is where some player the team needed was both available and was picked soon thereafter by another team, meaning that someone else in the league knew more.

        • mattius3939

          This “Russel Wilson was available” stuff drives me crazy. Wilson spent 3 years as a mediocre qb at NC state, played minor league baseball for a couple years, then had one lights-out season on a loaded Wisconsin team as a 25y/o. If you were a scout looking at Wilson’s amateur career, would you be like: “Wilson’s a guy who can take our team to the next level!” Or would you be like: “RW could be special in the right situation.” -?

          Robert Griffin looked like the total package coming out of college. I agree with Brien that Griffen was worth multiple first round picks. RW was available in the sense that every qb in the draft was available.

          • billcinsd

            At Wisconsin, Wilson also kind of pooped the bed in their big games IIRC

            • Scott Lemieux

              Uh, in the Rose Bowl Wilson was 19-25 for 11.7 Y/A and 3 TDs.

              He wasn’t drafted in the first round primarily because of his height, not his performance.

              • billcinsd

                I was thinking more about Michigan State (regular season) and Ohio State, where he had his worst games of the year. Also Wilson only threw 2 TDs against Oregon in the Rose Bowl and had an interception, which I think led to the go-ahead score. He did run for a score, but I don’t think he did well in the 4th quarter, although that was enough years ago I could be thinking of someone else entirely.

                I would agree that he wasn’t drafted higher because of his height, but I saw most of his games at Wisconsin and he didn’t play that well in the big games except for the second Michigan State game

                https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/russell-wilson-1/gamelog/2011/

          • Boots Day

            had one lights-out season on a loaded Wisconsin team as a 25y/o.

            When Russell Wilson was 25, he won the Super Bowl.

            • mattius3939

              apologies When RW was a 23 y/o at Wisconsin, he was far from an obvious prospect.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Anyone who completes 73% of his passes for 10.3 Y/A and 33 TD/4 INT running a non-Air Raid offense in the Big 10 is, in fact, an obvious prospect. I’m not saying he should have been drafted ahead of Luck and RG3, but he sure as hell should have been drafted ahead of Brandon Weeden. Or Bryan Anger.

                • mattius3939

                  You’re just a homer. If RW played for anyone other than Seattle, you’d be like, “Yeah, drafting a qb who wasn’t good until his 5th year and with a drastic upgrade in talent around him was, at the time a gamble.”

                  It’s just hindsight and Bill Simmons-level-homerism that has you fixating on his one year at Wisconsin as RW’s true potential.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  This is completely false. Thinking Wilson was an undervalued prospect because of his height is completely consistent with how I analyze football. And I didn’t say drafting Wilson wasn’t a gamble; I said he should have been drafted ahead of a punter and Brandon Weeden.

                  Adding 2 years to Wilson’s age — not trivial when evaluating a prospect! — shows you’re totally engaged in dispassionate analysis here, tho.

          • apocalipstick

            I still think that horrible management and coaching killed RG3. He was allowed to rush back from injury, his mechanics fell apart, and he was robbed of the gift (and I mean literal “gift”) that made him so special. I know he’s kind of a dick, but plenty of those have succeeded in the NFL.

            • Scott Lemieux

              I don’t know if RG3 would have been able to sustain his rookie performance, but I would have liked to see him get a fair shot. That playoff game was just disgusting and should be a serious blot on Shanahan’s reputation.

    • sk7326

      The Griffin trade was defensible to me – his scouting at the time was much higher than Goff’s. The Homestead Grays knew that if he was what his upside projection was – they were set for a decade. It was worth 3 first rounders. And indeed, he was a legitimate MVP candidate his first year. His inability to avoid hits has been his downfall – he is fast, but lacked Wilson (or heck Tom Brady) ability to make guys miss.

      • Kevin

        Not just his inability to avoid them, but also his inability to take them properly. Some of it is just bad luck. last year when he broke his sternum running out of bounds seemed kind of late if I remember, and he was out of bounds, so what can he do? His last year in Texas, he had that freak ankle break just running. A lot of unlucky breaks, and really, Shannahan and the front office pretty much destroyed his career for short term gain.

      • Captain_Subtext

        He never learned to make people miss because he could simply outrun them. I think Michael Vick had the same problem. When they get to the NFL, the speed of the defensive players and the schemes to defend against the QB running make it much more difficult for that level of athletic ability to make a difference.

      • Downpup E

        Ben Volin is the BostonGlobe’s Old time Smashmouth F’ball columnist. He ACTUALLY put forth a colum claiming it was a good thing in the exhibition that Garoppollo stood up & took hits – after he got knocked out in 1.5 games of Standing Up last season

        Legacy Newspapers still don’t get the need to upgrade their writers.

        https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/patriots/2017/08/10/there-reason-jimmy-garoppolo-still-here/GJx0ao83Bsg6TsAVrGcUFJ/story.html

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    C’mon it’s not like they drafted Hackenberg, for God’s sake.

    • Downpup E

      Hackenberg is worthless, and will probably never play a down. Goff is worse than useless – the only player I’ve ever seen with a negative AV (-2)
      https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2016/draft.htm

      • Kevin

        After his 18/25 preseason game, I guarantee you somebody in Jersey is going to buy his jersey and argue with people in bars how they just need to give Hack a chance!

        It’s funny fans overrate players. My brother used to live in Cleveland, and every year he’d talk up the shitty QB. “Brady Quinn just needs a chance” “Brandon Wheeden was a first round pick, he should be good” (I had to tell him that Wheeden, the rookie, was older than he was…)

    • Scott Lemieux

      If you’re going to invest multiple first round picks in a QB, it seems to me that “better Christian Hackenberg” is not the metric you’re looking for.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        Yes, but nevertheless: HACKENBERG. If nobody’s nicknamed him “Hindenburg” yet, I call it.

  • Denverite

    and would never, ever use a real draft pick on a kicker

    Eh. I’m totally OK using a seventh rounder (and maybe even a sixth) on a kicker or especially a punter. Those picks rarely pan out anyway, and it locks in someone who would otherwise be a priority undrafted free agent.

    • enlightenedbum

      Gostkowski was a 4th round pick from an organization that obviously knows what it’s doing.

    • Kevin

      I think “real” draft pick is the key. First 3 rounds or so is where you get the best talent at great cost control. Anything after that it’s more rare. Personally, I’d be OK in the 5th round or later.

    • NobodySpecial

      Eh, it worked for the Lions. Jason Hanson was a HoF kicker for them.

      • anonotwit

        …and placekickers were the only players the Lions knew how to draft.

        (Although maybe there’ll be able to draft another Heisman trophy winner with the initials “BS” next year. I can only hope.)

      • liberalrob

        Janikowski for the Raiders too. But I think the point is that it’s such a gamble to spend early picks on someone whose point production, while prodigious, is largely dependent on the performance of every other position on the team. And the opportunity cost of spending early picks on kickers is very high.

    • Scott Lemieux

      That’s what I meant by “real draft pick.” Nothing in the first 3 rounds. The value of picks drops considerably after that.

  • SomeTreasonBrewing

    Really like what the Bills did. You have to deal first with the situation you inherit. Beane/McDermott got some real value for 2 players they obviously didn’t have in their plans. It’s possible they even upgraded their CB position, as Gaines is no slouch. Matthews is a reliable slot WR, even if only for 16 games (in 17 games against NFCE opponents Matthews had 94 receptions for 1,100+ yards and 10 TDs). Plus what will likely be a high second rounder and a mid third rounder. That’s how you start a total rebuild while probably getting no worse in the current season.

    Although, as a general rule, I would say that if a known player is available in August you should be very wary. These trades could possibly be pretty unproductive for all three teams, which is why the Bills coming away with two higher draft picks makes them the winner.

    • Thrax

      I think this works for the Eagles as well. They fill an enormous hole at CB with a very good young player who has two years left on his rookie contract, at the cost of a third-rounder and a good but far from irreplaceable slot WR. (They may well have drafted his replacement this year, a 4th-rounder named Mack Hollins with similar size and skills and special-teams expertise to boot.) That’s not an exorbitant price. Their secondary should be decent this year, and if Sidney Jones (1st-round value who fell to the 2nd round because he was hurt) can come back as expected from injury, they might just have a very good secondary next year to go with a strong front seven.

      (Which is not to say it was a bad move for the Bills. Some trades work out for both sides.)

      • efgoldman

        Which is not to say it was a bad move for the Bills.

        It’s the Bills. Everything becomes a bad move somehow.

        • Kevin

          And they’ll just be back in the same position, trading whatever high draft picks they draft with all their picks the next two drafts in 3 years anyway, and someone will say it was smart, you need to tear it down to build it up, and on and on it goes.

          • Scott Lemieux

            This idea that organizations are just doomed to be bad no matter who’s running them is really silly.

            • billcinsd

              doesn’t that depend on how much the owner wants to commit to winning, although I guess that fits under who’s running them

            • Kevin

              Let’s just say I haven’t been too impressed with the decision making of the Pegula’s so far.

              • Scott Lemieux

                What have they done that you don’t like since Rex was fired?

        • Rob Patterson

          If they don’t get a franchise QB in the 2018 draft I seriously may (finally) give up.

          • Domino

            As a Bills fan, how do you feel about the trade with KC and the Chiefs drafting Mahommes? Gonna have to wait a few years to see how he turns out before making a judgment?

            • Scott Lemieux

              I’m not a Bills fan but it was a really good trade. I’d rather have Taylor than any QB they could have drafted.

  • Adam King

    Whoever gets the most brain damage wins.

  • FMguru

    Sebastian Janikowski has been everything the Raiders had hoped he would be as a kicker, and may be headed for the Hall of Fame once his (18 year long and counting) career wraps up, and is pretty much the best-case scenario for drafting a kicker – and Raiders fans still debate the wisdom of using a first-round pick on him.

    • keta

      Ray Guy. Twenty-third overall and only “pure” punter in the NFL HoF.

      “Just kick, baby!”

      • Slothrop2

        When I was a kid, attending Broncos games, and when the Broncos could never beat the Raiders, Ray Guy was pretty amazing – passing, running.

        But I digress – I do think it’s pretty cool that fewer and fewer people actually give a shit about the NFL.

      • Phil Perspective

        Where was Shane Lechler drafted? Then again, Al Davis did things his own way.

    • Van Buren

      I was thinking along those lines, and FWIW Pro Football reference has about 35 guys from that draft as having a higher career value. One of whom, strangely enough, is Shane Lechler.

    • mongolia

      looking back on that draft, none of the next 10 drafted were anything of note, and jano’s combination of accuracy and distance helped the raiders quite a bit – especially compared to the disastrous kicking game they had the prior couple of years.

      i don’t think teams should ever pick kickers that early. in retrospect, this example worked out, though if there was any high-level player taken in those next few picks it would have been a bad pick

    • njorl

      It isn’t necessarily a matter of his value so much as the difference between his value and that of an undrafted free agent kicker. The drop-off for kickers is small compared to that for linebackers or guards. Would you rather have Janikowski, or Adam Vinitieri and a first round draft pick? You can find a few great undrafted offensive and defensive players, but they are rare. Good, undrafted kickers are pretty common.

  • rwelty

    there’s a rumor swirling in Bucs circles that ownership may have pressed GM Jason Licht to draft Aguayo. at the time of the draft, it seemed like a very strange move for Licht, who generally doesn’t do that sort of thing.

    • DN Nation

      “Get the local guy” sort of thing?

      • rwelty

        might have been. the move was never popular amongst the bucs fans, Aguayo would have to have been perfect to win them over and instead he was the worst kicker in the NFL last season. the real surprise is how long it took; arguably Aguayo cost the team at least one maybe two games last season and that’s the playoffs right there.

        • Kevin

          I wonder what the hurry was though. Did they have some inside knowledge that someone else had him high on their board and would take him? From the outside, it really looked like a team bidding against itself, which is what annoys me about guys like Peter King when he interviews Licht.

          We know the guy regrets it, and it’s great that he will still stay “aggressive” when making moves…but why did he make this move? That’s the insight I’d like to know. What caused him to package 2 picks to grab a kicker in round 2?

          • rwelty

            that’s why the rumors (from Tampa Bay Times write Rick Stroud, and Pete Prisco of CBS Sports) are so interesting. it may not have been Licht’s choice.

    • mongolia

      no way licht and his staff could go to ownership and say “kickers are almost never picked early, so lets just wait 3 rounds and pick him then”? i know ownership in sports tend to be deluded and idiotic, but seems like that might have had a chance of tiding over the owner while you pick real players in those first few rounds

      • rwelty

        Licht is in an odd situation. he was brought in as Lovie Smith’s hand picked GM, but survived Lovie’s firing. he has one year left on his contract, and everyone is wondering why he hasn’t been extended yet. he may be inclined to tread lightly when it comes to ownership whims.
        in any case, the Aguayo cut will probably be featured on tonight’s Hard Knocks.

        • mongolia

          ah, so it’s the classic case of a gm on the hot seat trying to save his job, so he blasts the teams medium-term future searching for a short-term gain

          • rwelty

            i think the opposite actually. word is that Licht drafted Aguayo because the owners wanted him to. if he were in a stronger position he might have been able to stand his ground.

  • royko

    The Aguayo thing is kind of interesting. Even if he turned out to be a good kicker, it would be debatable whether he was worth a 2nd round pick. But you would think kicking would be one area where college success would be predictive — kicking is kicking, after all. And yeah, there’s added pressure, but college kicking comes with a lot of pressure as well.

    And what’s really funny is the speculation seems to be that the pressure of being such a high pick is what messed with his head. Which would be kind of funny, if true: overvaluing a player actually made him less valuable than he normally would be.

    • DN Nation

      Kickers are fragile creatures. I often warned Vikings fans that Blair Walsh became unable to hold his bowels on the field at Georgia because his girlfriend dumped him. Thankfully one incident didn’t destroy his pro career or anything.

      • Domino

        You really can see the generational talents that Vinateri and Justin Tucker are. As solid as a bunch of pros are, there are only a couple that truley stand out.

        • Phil Perspective

          I’d be willing to bet that the Patriots and Ravens have top notch special teams coaches too. It always helps.

    • apocalipstick

      College kickers are allowed to use a tee for field goals. The NFL kicks off the ground. That seems to have stumped a lot of great college kickers. Ball shape is slightly different as well.

  • Broken link in the OP to the Barnwell piece.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Fixorated!

  • royko

    Somewhat off topic, but I am super psyched to see NU’s Austin Carr (WR, undrafted) doing well in camp and pre-season for the Patriots, even if he still is a long shot to make the roster. He was a walk-on who earned a scholarship and became the Big Ten’s leading receiver last year, so he’s a pretty special kid.

    • Captain_Subtext

      As a fellow NU athlete I applaud. There aren’t many of us out there…

      • mnuba

        not an athlete, but a fellow NU alum. super happy to see Carr performing well. he’s definitely earned a shot somewhere, if not necessarily with the Patriots.

        • jeer9

          Yeah. Don’t see him making this year’s squad unless one of the Gang of Five goes down in pre-season. However, I also don’t believe he’ll be put on the waiver wire (where he’d be immediately scooped up) but placed on PUP or IR with a mysterious injury as this is likely to be Amendola’s last year. Hollister, a TE from Wyoming, also looks good as UDFA.

          TeamTrump is loaded.

  • Joe Paulson

    Item: http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/08/15/248570756/miami-dolphins-sign-ken-griffey-jrs-son-trey-griffey

    [Wide receiver Trey Griffey, son of Ken Griffey Jr., has signed with the Miami Dolphins]

  • smartone2

    Meanwhile in 2015 Giants trade to move up in the 2nd round from 40 to 33rd
    lost their 4th and 7th round picks from that year
    and selected …. Landon Collins.

    So sometimes it works out

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