The most talented football players often don’t graduate from college because they enter the NFL draft as soon as they’re eligible, three years out of high school. But one NFL owner says he thinks there’s value in acquiring college graduates for his team.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons owner Arthur Blank was asked about the team’s emphasis on drafting players who graduated from college and who did well academically, and he said he and the team’s front office believe that intelligence and maturity are important traits in players.
“Today’s game, as time goes on, is getting more and more sophisticated,” Blank said. “Not just the size of the playbook, but the complexity of the playbook with the schemes, the number of coaches and the complexity of the way they are coaching today. The players’ ability to understand what’s in front of them and react within a quarter of a second. Frankly, to play in the NFL today you have to be smart. It’s not just being football smart. You have to be smart.”
“We look for players that represent the organization well both on the field and off the field,” Blank said. “That’s always been an important part of my philosophy and an important part about what this franchise is about.”