For those of you who admire the dedication and/or question the sanity of Washington quarterback Jake Locker for deciding not to enter the NFL draft in what could be the last year of the big-money windfalls at the top of the pecking order, the decision to stay in school isn’t as honorable and/or stupid as previously believed.
As pointed out in the Associated Press article regarding Locker’s decision not to forgo his final season of college eligibility, Locker had submitted his name for consideration to the NFL Collegiate Advisory Committee, which estimates where a player might be drafted.
Despite a proclamation by ESPN’s Todd McShay that Locker would/should/could be the first overall pick, a league source tells us that Locker didn’t receive a first-round grade from the Advisory Committee.
The source concedes that Locker might have still be drafted in round one given the value of the position, but the source insists that McShay was flat wrong in his assessment of Locker.
“That’s the problem,” the source opined. “McShay is clueless. Up until three weeks before the 2008 draft, he said that [Kentucky's] Andre Woodson would be a first-round pick. He went in the sixth and is out of the league.”
And the source explained that these opinions come not from the same-old rant by NFL scouts that guys like McShay and Mel Kiper have the luxury of popping off with no accountability as long as it all sounds good (the same-old rant has a significant amount of accuracy, by the way), but from concerns that guys like McShay do kids a disservice by pumping up their expectations.
“The problem I have with people like McShay saying stupid things is parents and others who ‘advise’ these kids think McShay knows what he is talking about,” the source said. “And they believe him before they believe the Advisory Committee. Then, when the kids go a lot lower than projected they are pissed and/or depressed. . . . This stuff happens every year and we have to deal with the broken hearts because people who don’t know what they are talking about put visions of grandeur into young players’ heads.”
This item isn’t intended to be a shot at McShay. But if the Advisory Committee didn’t give a first-round grade to the guy that McShay had at the top of his board, then something is wrong with this picture. And we’re inclined to think the defect doesn’t come from the Committee made up of folks who scout players for a living — and whose ongoing careers depend not on their ability to talk smoothly about their views, but on whether enough of the players whom they believe to be good players become good players.