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Concussions become a bigger factor in draft planning

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This one should be obvious by now, but it’s still worth mentioning:  The concussion issue has changed the way NFL teams assess draft prospects.

Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome recently mentioned that his team is paying closer attention to a player’s concussion history.  The league’s new sensitivity to concussions means that every team should do the same thing.

That information is out there,” Newsome said, via the Baltimore Sun.  “As far as what we do, and most teams do, is once we get guys here, we’ll get a baseline test done with those players, so that if a concussion occurs, then we have something that we can refer back to.  But, it is something now that throughout the league — and in all professional sports and on the collegiate level — that everybody is spending more time looking at.”

Teams have no choice but to consider this information, because a history of concussions suggests a future of more concussions, and the unavailability of the player that has future concussions.

It’s one of the most unfortunate aspects of the league’s new approach, since grown men who are willing to assume the risk of injury while lucid but possibly suffering one or more concussion symptoms are prevented from playing, and in turn viewed as unreliable going forward.  The league has nevertheless decided to protect these players from themselves, which could mean that players who are fully informed of the situation and choose playing pro football over avoiding long-term health consequences will be forced out of the game prematurely.

Now, players who have a history of concussions in college may not even get a chance to embark on an NFL career at all, or they could see their chances of making a roster limited by a lower draft position.

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13 Responses to “Concussions become a bigger factor in draft planning”
  1. steelerhypocrite says: Apr 7, 2012 11:32 AM

    You know what else is important, drafting talented players…a strategy the Redskins avoid.

  2. jbcommonsense says: Apr 7, 2012 11:34 AM

    My guess is that until a rule limits how many concussions a player can have the tendency to have them in college will not make a player altogether undraftable. It may affect what round he is drafted in though.

  3. mitchell83 says: Apr 7, 2012 11:36 AM

    This just encourages college kids to hide their concussions.

  4. khuxford says: Apr 7, 2012 11:45 AM

    Looking forward to shifty colleges specifically manipulating their own reporting of injuries to protect their star athlete’s draft potential, as not to get a reputation with future recruiting classes that they don’t look out for their people’s earning potential.

  5. sanjose61 says: Apr 7, 2012 12:39 PM

    I thought the Lions were downright reckless when they selected Jahvid Best in the first round two years ago. A smallish running back with a history of concussions… and they traded back up into the first round to make it happen.

  6. KIR says: Apr 7, 2012 1:07 PM

    Therefore, a college freshman who is NFL ready could loose MILLIONS of dollars if he gets a few concussions while completing the mandatory 3 year rule. That’s why the colleges should pay these guys. You say what about the free education. Tell that to Morris Claiborne. lol Let’s be honest a lot of them can’t read! You can’t educate someone who can’t read and an illiterate shouldn’t have been allowed to enter college in the first place. Most of these guys are not going to the NFL. They are going to be kicked out on the street after their college eligibility of exhausted.

  7. backindasaddle says: Apr 7, 2012 1:56 PM

    “Now, players who have a history of concussions in college may not even get a chance to embark on an NFL career at all, or they could see their chances of making a roster limited by a lower draft position.”
    ________________________________________________________

    Once the guy has been drafted, the team has already made a commitment to give him an opportunity. His chances on making the roster at that point will be based entirely on his football playing ability and the overall value his skills bring to the team.

  8. laeaglefan says: Apr 7, 2012 2:03 PM

    “Once the guy has been drafted, the team has already made a commitment to give him an opportunity. His chances on making the roster at that point will be based entirely on his football playing ability and the overall value his skills bring to the team”

    True enough, but it can also affect his earnings capability, since the lower he’s drafted, the lower his initial salary is going to be.

  9. zerophocus says: Apr 7, 2012 2:16 PM

    The military does what is essentially the same thing. They make us do a series of tests on a computer that judge critical thinking, long term memory, speed, short-term memory; things like that.

    If we suffer a traumatic brain injury, like a concussion, we have to retake the exam and they compare it against our first one to see how it effected us. Then we have to take it again 6 months later or something like that.

    Its seems smart and while it may help show some damage was done it also feels a lot like a learning tool for the military to figure out how damaging this stuff can be, probably the same for the NFL.

  10. latopia says: Apr 7, 2012 6:20 PM

    “That information is out there,” Newsome said

    But the commissioner just said “that certain information obtained during preparations for the Draft, including personal and family details, results of drug tests, scores on the Wonderlic test, and the like, are strictly confidential for club use only and are not to be disseminated publicly under any circumstances.”

    So make up your mind Roger.

    Can teams share information related to public safety, i.e., sex offenders or habitual miscreants? Questionable character, including false claims, falsified data (i.e., birthdates), gambling debts or point-shaving? Actual health, including undisclosed injuries or conditions deliberately concealed from teams or their physicians?

    Or do they follow the letter of your law a.k.a. the code of omerta which served Penn State, the Catholic Church, Enron, subprime markets, greedy banks etc. so well?

  11. reed20fence says: Apr 7, 2012 6:34 PM

    Does any player who gets denied an opportunity due to a medical history that was out of his control have standing to sue the nfl or its franchises?

    He’s essentially being denied over people with equal or lesser talent because of probability in the future.

    What if you were more qualified than an other applicant and were denied because you had a worse history of getting the flu every year? Or historical susceptability to carpal tunnels?

  12. saintsly says: Apr 7, 2012 6:44 PM

    Modern day concussions will be the downfall of College and Professional football…………..
    Law suits and court appearances will take their place.
    Money and greed will rule us all…..

  13. EJ says: Apr 7, 2012 7:33 PM

    If I were playing college football, I’d just lie if i received a concussion. Knowing how important concussions are to NFL teams, I’m surprised college players are even reporting them at all.
    Money, money, money, the things the human race will do for it are crazy.

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