FanPost

Recently Overhyped Prospects

 
I recently posted an article similar to this one on The Phinsider.

Pre-Draft workouts/games such as the NFL combine and the Senior Bowl are positive events.  They give prospects a chance to show Front Offices how good they are and how they can help an NFL team.  They also give FOs reasons to write off a player who can't compete.  But the worst thing about these events is that sometimes they trick GMs and coaches into thinking a player is legit, because they have an amazing 40 time and broad jump length.  And they also trick fans more than anyone else.

Christian Ponder

I never like it when a prospect rises too quickly.  It just doesn't seem right.  With Ponder, it feels like after the Senior Bowl and NFL combine, everyone just threw away what they previously knew about Ponder and adopted a new view.  And that view was based solely off of one game and some drills.

Before any pre-draft workouts occured, Ponder was considered a 3rd round pick by many, and a 2nd round pick by many others.  And now just a few days ago, I saw this mock draft and this Ponder-promoting FanPost, both on The Phinsider.  I'm wondering why nobody is promoting Jake Locker instead of Ponder. 

Christian Ponder Florida State Statistics

6'3" 225 lbs.

Year

Yards

Comp%

Avg.

TD

INT

Rating

2009

2717

68.8

8.23

14

7

147.70

2010

2044

61.5

6.84

20

8

135.68

 

Jake Locker Washington Statistics

6'3" 227 lbs.

Year

Yards

Comp%

Avg.

TD

INT

Rating

2009

2800

58.2

7.09

21

11

129.75

2010

2265

55.4

6.82

17

9

124.20

Ponder had better stats than Locker, but only slightly.  And while they both battled injuries, Locker had the worse supporting cast without a doubt.  Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay see what I mean because they both have Locker rated higher than Ponder.  Guys like Kiper and McShay aren't fooled into thinking Ponder is a stud simply because he was good at the Senior Bowl.  And neither am I.

Christian Ponder showed enough in a few weeks to suggest he is worth a 2nd round pick to a team not looking for a superstar, but he can't all of a sudden be worth the 15th or 16th overall picks in this years draft.  For the Dolphins and Jags, they should be looking for star potential to replace Garrard/Henne in a few seasons.  And while his bust potential is higher, Locker is more athletic in several aspects with a stronger arm, and thus he has more star potential if a team is patient with him.

 

Brooks Reed

Reed is what Wes Bunting calls a "Workout Warrior"  Reed was superb at the NFL combine and Pro Day.  He ran good 40 times, showed explosiveness with his jumping, and pushed a 225-lb bar pretty well.  But sadly, strong numbers make people forget that Reed isn't as strong a player as recently advertised.  Just ask the person who posted this mock draft why they think Reed rose so quickly.  This Jags fan would likely want his team to reach about 20 spots for Reed because of those combine/Pro Day numbers.

When I watch a highlight video of Reed, I am completely unimpressed by what I see.  Every sack he gets is either as a free rusher, beating a running back 1-on-1, or simply running past a slow offensive lineman.

 His 2nd and 3rd sacks, he runs through a 200 lb running back (A. Robinson).  At 1:05, I laughed out loud because Reed completely overran the play but luckily got the sack because Sanchez was unaware of his surroundings (not uncommon).  And at 1:50, he is a free rusher so he gets the easiest sack of his life.

I am disspointed when a highlight tape doesn't show a prospect even once beating a double team or making a nifty pass rushing move.  I don't see him beating Jake Long once in 30 tries, because he won't be able to run past Long as he doesn't utiliize a swim or spin move (any pass-rush move of that sort).

When fans get caught up in numbers, they forget why Reed was a 3rd round prospect to begin with.  I would be shocked if Reed went before #32 to the Packers, and wouldn't be shocked if he was available in the 50s.  And for those who love numbers, have you ever looked at his collegiate stats?  Not eye-opening.

 

Notes 

Just some things I have to say about recent talks about prospects.

Julio Jones, is not better than A.J. Green because he runs a faster 40.  Green is faster on the field and has better hands.

Marcel Dareus, is not better than Fairley because he weighs more.

J.J. Watt, is as good as Mel Kiper says he is.

Mark Ingram...running backs are Dime-a-Dozen, but great running backs are not.

John Clay, should not ever be compared to Ron Dayne ever again.  Dayne was a 1st-round pick while Clay is Day 3.

Justin Houston, can play 3-4 OLB despite weighing in at 270.

Casey Matthews...finally I stopped seeing him in the 2nd round of mock drafts.  He's a 4th round prospect.

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