Combine VS. Placement
Combine VS. Placement
Tis the season of the motherfucking NFL combine. Everyone is tuned in watching college kids run drills like their lives depend on it. Analysts have already chiseled in your head who the “top dogs” are and who is likely to be the next big bust. You already know damn well who you want your favorite team to draft, and who you’ve got your eyes on in your rookie fantasy drafts.
Some people find it pointless to even watch. You already have the destination for Taylor, Swift, Burrow, and Tua all mapped out. But let me challenge that thought process. Ask yourself what truly defines an overall great player. Is it the name recognition from ESPN? The highlight reel run or that crazy one handed catch between two defenders? Is it the guy that Mel Kiper tells you is the best. I’m here to tell you that is all complete horseshit.
To me it’s all about placement. Placement is just as important or arguably even more important than how high you can jump or how many times you can bench 225 lbs. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of instances where athletic skill transcends placement. I’d like to be that Peyton Manning was always going to be Peyton Manning, and LaDanian Tomlinson would have been a freak of nature regardless of uniform.
However time and again I've noticed guys that land on teams and never seem to realize their potential. They rot on the depth chart and just never pan out. Some luck out and get a second chance with another team. Look at Wes Welker, who was complete ass in Miami. Once he was in New England a completely different story unfolded. Shaq Barret is a current example of this as well. He went from a mediocre rotational player in Denver, to leading the league in sacks in his first year in Tampa. When players land in the right situation, they are much more likely to succeed.
Let’s say that Taylor, Swift, and Dobbins end up in Philly, New England, and Cleveland respectively. Do you think any of them will reach their full potential in those situations?
Most draft boards have Jerry Jeudy at the top and a guy like Henry Ruggs III several players below him. What if Jeudy is a Redskin and Ruggs ends up with Baltimore. Who will have the higher upside then? Will the combine numbers still matter?
Does anyone feel good about Burrow in Cincinnati with that ratchet ass offensive line, and potentially trotting Tyler Boyd out as their WR 1? Hell No! What about Tua and his misplaced hip running from defenders who are busting through the seams of Miami’s offensive line? I think Jonathan Taylor is the best running back in this class, but if he goes to the wrong team, you can bet your sweet ass I’ll shift and go to Dobbins or Swift.
We all look at things differently. Regardless of how you break things down, and how you interpret the many scenarios that can play out in the wild world of the NFL; be sure to look at where a player lands, and what his opportunity looks like with that franchise. It could be the difference in drafting Joe Mixon and Samaje Perrine. So ask yourself this, do I want to be the default type drafter and take Mel Kiper's word as law, or do I want to really try to understand the dynamics of situation and path to success. Or do I simply want to mindfuck my league for years to come with under the radar rookies who become faces of the league. Gator has spoken. Your move.
So farewell, and good luck when it comes draft day,
refrain your train of thought, and what most analysts say.
For you've heard the truth right here, that is without a doubt,
I'd put me and the guys up against all in a fantasy bout.
Until next time, these few words my last,
On behalf of Serum Nation, Kiper can kiss my ass.