While it’s unlikely any of the so-called (even if they are only called that by themselves) draft experts will acknowledge that the draft process is a crapshoot, with so many of the guys about whom they’ve been gushing never doing anything of significance at the next level, at least one of them realizes the flaws in the system.
ESPN’s Todd McShay has decided in the wake of the 2014 draft to wag a finger at those who had a role in cajoling underclassmen to give up remaining eligibility to enter the NFL, and to not be drafted.
“For those agents/media members selling ‘2nd contract’ to these young men, what say you to the 36 of 98 underclassmen not drafted?”
Here’s one thing they/we should say: You shouldn’t have listened to made-for-TV draftniks like Todd McShay when deciding what to do.
McShay and those of his ilk routinely put ideas in the heads of players that have no relevance to what NFL teams actually think. Soon, McShay undoubtedly will unveil his incredibly-too-premature list of the top players for 2015, and he’ll include in that list — you guessed it — underclassmen.
Last year, McShay put Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio Richardson at No. 16 on the top 32 players for the 2014 draft. Inevitably, Richardson gave up his final year of eligibility at Tennessee to enter the draft. And Richardson wasn’t drafted.
Ditto for Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy. Ranked at No. 19 last year by McShay, Purifoy left school early for the draft. And Purifoy wasn’t drafted.
Then there’s LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. He was No. 22 on McShay’s top-32 list last May. Johnson left school early to enter the draft. And Johnson wasn’t drafted.
The fact that these guys left school early without being drafted isn’t entirely the fault of McShay. But it’s hypocritical, to say the very least, for McShay to chastise those who persuaded players to leave school early in order to put in years of service toward a second NFL contract when McShay is a sizable cog in the machine that ultimately supports the argument that these players should quit playing football for free.
Maybe McShay and the rest of the self-styled draft experts should quit ranking players who’ll have remaining eligibility beyond the coming football season. Maybe the self-styled draft experts should ignore underclassmen entirely, until the underclassmen have decided that the time has come to stop playing college football without the influence of draft experts who think they know a lot more than they do.
If McShay and the other so-called draft experts are going to act indignant when players leave school early and don’t get drafted, they need to get out of the business of scouting and ranking and discussing underclassmen. Some of them perhaps need to get out of the business of scouting and ranking and discussing all players, but that’s a rant for another day.