Business decisions didn’t keep teams from doing business in round one


Multiple first-round prospects made business decisions before the draft. And it didn’t stop teams from doing business with them.

A pair of running backs skipped bowl games, and that didn’t keep Leonard Fournette (pictured) from becoming the No. 4 selection. It also didn’t prevent Christian McCaffrey from going No. 8 overall.

Likewise, McCaffrey declined all requests for private workouts. It didn’t matter. The Panthers didn’t hesitate to add him.

For safety Jabrill Peppers, who had both a positive drug test and a late scratch from Michigan’s bowl game, he still went right about where most thought he’d go, at No. 25 to the Browns.

Here’s the lesson, first-round prospects: You have a lot more power than they want you to think. If you’re confident that a first-round selection is coming, take control of your situation. Take no unnecessary physical risks, whether it’s ditching a bowl game or the Senior Bowl or private workouts or even the Scouting Combine and/or the Pro Day workout.

Ultimately, these decisions are driven by game film. Interviews also help, and since they don’t entail physical risk, there’s no downside to submitting to those.

14 responses to “Business decisions didn’t keep teams from doing business in round one

  1. “The natural progression of this argument is of course, don’t even play or practice football until you’re given your contract.”

    Not true.

    If as a rookie you don’t participate in OTAs and camp you are way behind, it is easier to get injured without proper strength and conditioning for playing at the NFL level, and you reduce your chances of surviving in the league until you can get the big money on a 2nd contract.

  2. Good for the kids for being smart, but I still don’t like seeing players ditch their teams for their bowl games, as meaningless as some of them may be.

    I’m sure this will be the growing trend in the next few years until the league decides to step in and make things like the Combine mandatory for those invited.

    How else will the NFL get their unpaid, unemployed “actors” to show up for their reality shows??

  3. Couldn’t have worded it better myself.

    Tell me people…. if you were going for an interview in say a lumber mill….. and the employer wanted you to operate some saw or something to demonstrate your skills (without being paid of course, it’s an interview)…. and you happened to slice off your hand…. then the employer moves onto the next candidate because you are damaged goods….. its the same thing. If you are a top talent, you have NOTHING to prove by putting yourself at any sort of risk. Get your contract.

  4. celticsforever: Yeah, but if you refuse to operate the saw, and another guy does it and the owner says “Hmm, well now I feel reasonably secure in saying that this guy knows how to work that saw, I think I’ll pay him $100k to work for me” and when it comes to you, he now only is willing to pay you $40k to operate the saw because he’s not as confident that you can do it correctly since you didn’t come in and do it beforehand.

  5. I think they should hold out their entire careers to keep themselves healthy for the NFL draft.

    Refuse to play in Pop Warner games. Only go in on victory formations in high school. Not even play in college to maintain their marketable health. Do a few interviews and wait for the draft!

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