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Devaney: Intangibles the key to avoiding another Ryan Leaf

St. Louis Rams General Manager Billy Devaney was the director of player personnel for the San Diego Chargers when they drafted Ryan Leaf in 1998. He doesn’t want to make that mistake again.

And so, Devaney told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he’s learned a lesson that with quarterbacks, you’re not going to succeed in the NFL “If you don’t have the intangibles to play that position.

With the Rams now 10 days away from an NFL draft in which they’re expected to select Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford first overall, Devaney sounds like a man who has made up his mind about whether Bradford can make all the throws, but wants to make sure Bradford can deal with all the other aspects of being a franchise quarterback.

“To me, the physical skills are almost the easy part now [in evaluating] these kids,” Devaney said. “There’s so much that goes into being a quarterback in the NFL. The work ethic that you have to have. The leadership. The time that you put in. The media scrutiny. If you can’t handle all that stuff, you’re going to have a hard time performing on the field.”

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22 Responses to “Devaney: Intangibles the key to avoiding another Ryan Leaf”
  1. Krow says: Apr 12, 2010 9:13 AM

    Don’t be a junkie Sparky… don’t be a junkie.

  2. Tre-nitty says: Apr 12, 2010 9:18 AM

    Bradford is a level headed respectable young man and a hard worker, Ryan leaf was a douche. We know ur drafting Bradford, which you should and get brian price in the 2nd if nobody offers a great trade.

  3. comment_submission_error says: Apr 12, 2010 9:21 AM

    Jeez, why didn’t he just hold up a picture of JaMarcus Russell?

  4. packfan4ever says: Apr 12, 2010 9:22 AM

    bradford will be just fine, clausen will be a bust and therefore i hope he falls to #30.

  5. Freebird2010 says: Apr 12, 2010 9:22 AM

    Sounds like a man who wouldn’t be interested in Jimmy Clausen.

  6. Drat says: Apr 12, 2010 9:25 AM

    Well, Devaney did draft Leaf. And he doesn’t know what “intangible” means, because then he lists them (work ethic, leadership, put in time, media scrutiny). Devaney doesn’t impress me one bit — so far with the Rams he’s had one poor draft and made lots of odd personnel decisions. I can see their record plunging even below 1-15 this year, if you can call that a plunge.

  7. JaredSlansky says: Apr 12, 2010 9:28 AM

    This guy drafted Ryan Leaf and he still has a JOB

  8. dboom92 says: Apr 12, 2010 9:30 AM

    I’m no psychiatrist, but Ryan Leaf definitely had some serious untreated personality disorders going on… The way he screamed at that reporter like a little child was simply unprecedented… How the draft process missed that the guy was total a psychotic A-hole is a great mystery.
    I don’t think any of the QB’s in this class are in danger of going down the Ryan Leaf path.

  9. XLI says: Apr 12, 2010 9:31 AM

    For there to be a “Ryan Leaf” there has to be a Peyton Manning drafted alongside him… and there is no Peyton in this QB draft class. A few potential stars maybe, but nothing that could measure up to the disparity between Manning and Leaf.

  10. raybin says: Apr 12, 2010 9:33 AM

    “St. Louis Rams General Manager Billy Devaney was the director of player personnel for the San Diego Chargers when they drafted Ryan Leaf in 1998″
    Stop right there. How does this guy still have a job in the league? And a more important one at that.

  11. Hap says: Apr 12, 2010 9:36 AM

    Bradford’s another Ryan Leaf ? No QB except Heath Shuler (RedSkins) has been that big of a bust. Maybe not “nobody” but you get the drift.

  12. Hosstyle In Tampa says: Apr 12, 2010 9:37 AM

    HA HA…Bucs fans are crying over the fact that Tampa is using the same scouting department, from previous seasons…at least we don’t have the guy who drafted Ryan Leaf…

  13. Krow says: Apr 12, 2010 9:41 AM

    The Chargers specialize in passing on Superbowl-winning QBs. It’s their core competency.

  14. Raiders757 says: Apr 12, 2010 9:47 AM

    What this guy speaks of, is exactly the reason I didn’t want the Raiders to draft Russell. It doesn’t matter how much potential you have if you don’t have the work ethic to pull it all together. Not only that, it was obvious he was never going to be a true leader. Sadly Al Davis pulled the trigger on this kid, and my Saturday was ruined, as well as many Sundays since.

  15. raiderkeith says: Apr 12, 2010 10:04 AM

    From dictionary.com:
    in·tan·gi·ble (ĭn-tān’jə-bəl)
    adj.
    Incapable of being perceived by the senses.
    That should make his job easy.

  16. norton99 says: Apr 12, 2010 10:46 AM

    As freebird said…Devaney (if he’s smart) is talking about Clausen.

  17. Chiefs2010 says: Apr 12, 2010 10:47 AM

    The Draft coverage becomes more of a joke every year..
    We get it! There’s risks!
    Big Boards, Mock Drafts = Cottage Industry.
    There’s hits and misses every year, move on!
    Oh and take Suh #1
    Bradford is incredibly injury prone, you’d be isane to make a first pick of a guy who tore up the soft Big 12 and was knocked out of the game by a player from BYU.. and we all know how good White and Heupel did in the NFL
    /free advice

  18. Michael LaRocca says: Apr 12, 2010 12:34 PM

    Physical skills are easy to judge in a QB? Then somebody explain Jim Druckenmiller.

  19. edgy1957 says: Apr 12, 2010 1:43 PM

    Drat says:
    Well, Devaney did draft Leaf. And he doesn’t know what “intangible” means
    ******************************************
    If you asked half the scouts and GMs back then you would have found them 50-50 on both players. If the Colts had made the pick, half of the teams would have went for Leaf and the other, Manning. SD moved up from 3rd to 2nd to pick the QB that the Colts didn’t, so if the Colts had went with Leaf, they would have “settled” for Manning. The ONLY thing that Manning had going for him were his intangibles. He had a problem with his delivery and he didn’t have a strong arm. The “Florios” of his day criticized him for not throwing at the Combine and waiting until his pro day so he could spend more time working on his mechanics.
    Look, Carson Palmer was Ryan Leaf until his senior year. He was bullheaded, didn’t get the most out of his abilities and would have fallen in the draft if he had come out as a junior. Chow got him to do the things he needed to do to be a better player and he grew up a lot in that last year. You can’t blame Leaf for jumping while the iron was hot. Manning actually wanted to leave after his junior year but Parcells wouldn’t guarantee that he’d take him with the first pick, which Parcells traded to the Rams, who took Orlando Pace. Would Manning have been able to deal with New York AND Bill Parcells?

  20. edgy1957 says: Apr 12, 2010 2:07 PM

    raybin says:
    Stop right there. How does this guy still have a job in the league? And a more important one at that
    ******************************
    Really, name me ONE GM or scout that hasn’t made a mistake. I bet that your friends could probably tell everyone here how you were so pissed because your favorite team didn’t draft a player that you loved and he was a bust.
    You have to expect that these guys are going to make a mistake. SD traded up that year to take the QB that Indianapolis wasn’t and if they hadn’t, some other team would have.

  21. edgy1957 says: Apr 12, 2010 2:17 PM

    Chiefs2010 says:
    Bradford is incredibly injury prone, you’d be isane to make a first pick of a guy who tore up the soft Big 12 and was knocked out of the game by a player from BYU.. and we all know how good White and Heupel did in the NFL
    ***************************
    He’s NOT incredibly injury prone. He made the mistake not to get the surgery at the time he was hurt so he could hold out the possibility of finishing out the regular season.
    As for White, Heupel and Hybl (whom you didn’t mention), they were drafted according to how the people felt they would perform, that is to say that ONLY Heupel was drafted, in the 6th round and the other two went to camp as undrafted free agents.
    Finally, you do realize that BYU has sent several players to the NFL and they CAN hit just as well as the guys from the BCS conferences..

  22. Bious says: Apr 12, 2010 7:14 PM

    It is the exact opposite.
    He has the mental intangibles
    He just doesn’t have the physical ones such as his shoulder injuries….his average arm….

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