Schneider’s comments reveal what a crapshoot the draft really is

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Despite all of the measuring and studying and interviewing and researching and testing and everything else that gets reviewed and dissected and examined and considered and reconsidered in advance of the process of drafting players, the process largely remains a crapshoot.

Nothing illustrates that point better than recent comments from Seahawks G.M. John Schneider about a draft from 13 years ago.

In explaining the team’s effort to scout the incoming class of quarterbacks despite the presence on the roster of one of the best quarterbacks in football, Schneider pointed out his experience with the Packers prior to the 2005 draft.

Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be the first pick in the draft, and we weren’t necessarily as prepared as we should have been for him to fall,” Schneider said. “So be prepared. And so, quite frankly, when we acquired Aaron that day we had to make some more calls during [the] draft, which you never really want to do, right? ‘OK, why is he falling?’”

Fall he did, past the 49ers at No. 1, the Dolphins at No. 2 (they took Ronnie Brown), the Browns at No. 3 (Braylon Edwards), the Bears at No. 4 (Cedric Benson), the Bucs at No. 5 (Cadillac Williams), the Titans at No. 6 (Pacman Jones), the Vikings at No. 7 (Troy Williamson), the Cardinals at No. 8 (Antrel Rolle), Washington at No. 9 (Carlos Rogers), the Lions at No. 10 (Mike Williams), the Cowboys at No. 11 (DeMarcus Ware), the Chargers at No. 12 (Shawne Merriman), the Saints at No. 13 (Jammal Brown), the Panthers at No. 14 (Thomas Davis), the Chiefs at No. 15 (Derrick Johnson), the Texans at No. 16 (Travis Johnson), the Bengals at No. 17 (David Pollack), the Vikings at No. 18 (Erasmus James), the Rams at No. 19 (Alex Barron), the Cowboys at No. 20 (Marcus Spears), the Jaguars at No. 21 (Matt Jones), the Ravens at No. 22 (Mark Clayton), and the Raiders at No. 23 (Fabian Washington).

Look at all the busts. Rodgers was better than all of them (even the non-busts), and he’s still going strong and performing at a high level, all because the Packers were able to slap together a seat-of-the-pants evaluation.

But for the fact that Brett Favre was a few years into his annual retirement musings, maybe the Packers wouldn’t have taken Rodgers at all. Regardless, they rolled the dice. And it paid off.

The message is this: The draft really is a crapshoot. And to get a player who will truly transform the franchise, it needs to be a franchise quarterback. And if a team wants to transform the franchise, a team needs to be willing to roll the dice.

53 responses to “Schneider’s comments reveal what a crapshoot the draft really is

  1. Schneider has NOT been prepared for the draft since 2012. He drafted Ifedi number 1 as an OL, who is a holding call on every play because he can’t block!

  2. I believe the pick after this one the Redskins took Jason Campbell, and they traded up for him I think while Green Bay was on the clock. I’ve always wondered if the skins traded up thinking about taking Rogers and we got burned by Green Bay, I know the Redskins will say it was for Campbell…. but as a skins fan I have always wondered…what if.

  3. “Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be the first pick in the draft, and we weren’t necessarily as prepared as we should have been for him to fall,” Schneider said.

    If Schneider and the Packers staff had Rogers evaluated as the 1st pick of the draft, how does the rest of this article make any sense.

    “The Packers were able to slap together a seat-of-the-pants evaluation.” They already had him evaluated as the 1st pick of the draft. They had months, if not years to evaluate these players. If anything, the Packers were second-guessing their own scouting reports.

  4. To further stabilize the idea that the draft is a crapshoot, look at the 2014 1st round, specifically what the Rams did. One of their picks ended up being arguably the biggest busts of the class, while the other became arguably the best defensive player in the NFL and is on his way to a HOF career. We really have no idea how it will play out, and that’s what makes this so great

  5. Cal has turned out some good quarterbacks, such as Steve Bartkowski, and Joe Roth (who unfortunately passed away from skin cancer before he could be drafted), but also some busts like Marc Wilson. That may be one reason many teams passed on Rodgers. They do not know if he is a really good quarterback or a bust. It is indeed a crap shoot. In fact, at one point in time in the NFL, the number 1 overall pick was almost always a tackle, someone like Orlando Pace. The reason is that people think that they have a safe bet and good solid player for 10 years if they go that way.

    Picking a qb however has always been a gamble. That is changing now, because a good tackle will still cost a bundle to keep after his rookie contract expires. In contrast, a good quarterback will be playing under the rookie contract under the current labor agreement, instead of getting paid a huge sum before even taking a single snap under center, like Sam Bradford was when he was the rookie. The alternative is to sign a free agent back up like Case Keenum, Tyrod Taylor and Brock Osweiler for close to $20 million. Hoping that a journeyman can lead your team to the Super Bowl is the real gamble nowadays Drafting a quarterback right now is the safest way to go.

  6. The Vikings didn’t pass on Rodgers!!!!! They just signed culpepper to a massive deal coming off a near mvp season!!!!! So sick and tired of that bs. Did the packers pass on Brady? Did the colts pass on Brady? Some teams don’t need a quarterback!!!!

  7. I have to give the Seahawks a lot of credit. They have created quite a bit of good will towards their ex players by how they handle them on the way out. I think to keep word of mouth positive and the vibes of Seattle being a great place to sign with. But it does seem like Schneider has been taken to the cleaners on trades and re-ups past 5 years.

  8. QB position is the biggest of them all:
    Paxton Lynch
    Jameis Winston
    Johnny Manziel
    Teddy Bridgewater
    EJ Manuel
    RG3
    Brandon Weeden
    Jake Locker
    Blaine Gabbert
    Christian Ponder
    Tim Tebow
    Mark Sanchez
    Josh Freeman
    Jamarcus Russell
    Brady Quinn
    Vince Young
    Matt Leinart
    Jason Campbell

    All taken in 1st round since Roger was drafted… 1st round picks wasted because it is indeed a “crapshoot”…

  9. “The message is this: The draft really is a crapshoot. And to get a player who will truly transform the franchise, it needs to be a franchise quarterback. And if a team wants to transform the franchise, a team needs to be willing to roll the dice.”

    I could not disagree more. I think the message is either: draft the best player available, even if you already have a great at that spot (Favre) or only draft a QB when they are either the far and away best player (Luck, P Manning, Elway, etc) or when the team is built with a solid offense and/or defense and the QB is the final piece (Wilson, Brady, etc.).

    Teams that fail (Cle, NYJ, etc.) are the teams constantly wasting picks on QBs with red flags when the rest of their team is meh. Teams should focus on getting a good coach and as much talent as possible more than forcing the pick at QB.

  10. Interesting that in his 9 years of being a GM, he’s only had first round picks in five of those years. That of course assumes he doesn’t trade down to accumulate picks this year, given that after that pick at 18 they don’t pick again until round 4.

    So in practice he’s been the opposite. Trade away picks; 1st, 2nd, 3rd rounders for players and hand the dice to someone else. Kind of the opposite of this article.

  11. Some really good players in that draft. Derrick Johnson was a stud for the Chiefs and is already done. Those 3 years on the bench were good for Rodgers.

  12. Nobody knows how a player will work once they become millionaires with playing time being highly competitive. Many times we see the guy that makes less works the hardest.

  13. The Tedford effect. And he was PAC-10 who hadn’t had many successful QBs. Tedford QB’s didn’t have a good NFL track record. Teams were afraid Rodgers would be the next Akiki Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, or Kyle Boller.

  14. I remember Miami at #2 passing on Rodgers for Ronnie Brown (back-up running back in college for Auburn) picked by Nick Saban. I remember thinking, how stupid could they be? Miami needed a franchise QB since Dan Marino left and they picked a college back up running back instead.

  15. The Vikings passed twice, but give a little context before mocking them too hard….Culppeper was coming off a season where he threw for 4700 yards, 39 TDs and had a rating of 110.9. He looked like a Top 5 QB for years to come until his knee got shredded the following season. So there was a pretty good reason to pass at the time on a 1st round QB and address other areas of need. (Of course, both picks were complete busts).

  16. Crapshoot is the perfect description for the way the Packers organization runs things. 1 good player every 10 years and they think they deserve an award.

    Russell Wilson or Brady late in the draft is much more compelling.

    Remember, Rodgers fell because he’s a Prima Donna, and sensitive. Nothings changed there.

  17. LOL Vikings. No. 7 (Troy Williamson)… No. 18 (Erasmus James). ~all Packer fans
    ——————————————————————————–
    Laugh it up. Troy Williamson was a terrible pick…I’ll grant you that. But remember that James played at your beloved Wisconsin and looked to be a promising player until injuries derailed his career. With Culpepper coming off a MVP-caliber season, it’s not surprising the Vikings passed on drafting a QB in the 1st round considering they just gave Culpepper a 100M contract.

  18. xavier179 says:
    April 25, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    Enough with the myth that Rodgers is elite. How many Super Bowls has he won, let’s count….one!!!
    ____________________

    Sounding like another jealous Viking fan. Being the leading passer in the history of the NFL would qualify him as an elite player to anyone. Not to mention he has another 6 years remaining to win more but lets judge him by S B. wins before he is done, troll logic. Just look what viking fans are claiming, cousins the next purple jesus and he cannot even win a playoff game. See how ridiculous that sounds?

  19. The draft is a crapshoot. Whether a guy caught a ball or not is a crapshoot. Teams can almost never afford to retain star players, so there are no more hometown heroes like back in the day. Every personnel decision is made with the salary cap in mind – it’s mentioned right away in every story about a signing. The NFL has become more about accounting than football, and the game is suffering for it.

  20. So if the Packers pass on a QB this year that becomes a HOFer and Aaron Rogers suffers a career-ending injury like Culpepper did the Packers would be stupid this time right?

  21. kcflake says:
    Wow, the names of some of those players/teams that passed on Aaron Rogers. Wow.

    –Well, you know what they say about hindsight.

  22. jackedupboonie says:
    “it does seem like Schneider has been taken to the cleaners on trades and re-ups past 5 years.”

    Chris Clemmons for Dayrl Tapp. Marshawn Lynch for two 4ths. Percy Harvin for a late 1st, win the Super Bowl. Get pick for Harvin, use it to get Tyler Lockett. Steal Derrick Coleman from the Deflatriots for a 7th. Trade 31st pick for Jimmy Graham, get 170 receptions, 2,048 yards and 18 touchdowns out of him.

    You mean like those trades?

  23. tinye67 says:
    April 25, 2018 at 1:30 pm
    The Vikings passed twice, but give a little context before mocking them too hard….Culppeper was coming off a season where he threw for 4700 yards, 39 TDs and had a rating of 110.9. He looked like a Top 5 QB for years to come until his knee got shredded the following season.
    ————–
    How many of those yards, TDs and the rating were due to him just being able to throw the ball up and have Randy Moss run under it? It may have been coincidental timing with his injury, but once he no longer had Moss to throw it to, he didn’t look like a Top 5 QB.

  24. This is why drafting the Best Player Available approach is garbage…

    No one knows who the best available player is…so here are a few pointers…the WR, RB and Special Teams positions are never ever the best player available in the first round…When it’s time to make your first round pick…if your draft chart says a WR or RB is the best player available…you done already screwed up…

    Always draft for need in the first round!!! Otherwise you end up with too much talent at one position and they all can’t be on the field at the same time…and you won’t be able to allocate salary cap space to 3 really good MLBs if you have needs elsewhere…

  25. Sounds like the Packers got lucky. If they really thought he was special, they would have moved up to get him. I imagine it went like this “well, if he keeps dropping lets take a flyer on him, if someone else takes him then we can go with who is next on our board”

  26. Crapshoot is the perfect description for the way the Packers organization runs things. 1 good player every 10 years and they think they deserve an award.
    =====

    Hmmmmmm….

    Rodgers
    Matthews
    Collins
    Bakhtiari
    Sitton
    HHC-D
    Lang… All-Pros

    That is to say nothing of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, BJ Raji, Sam Shields, Tramon Williams.. ect… ect

    The description for your statement above is; uneducated

  27. This is why drafting the Best Player Available approach is garbage…
    =====

    The opposite is true.

    Say the Packers go best player available in 2004… and get Heath Miller.. Lofa Tatupu.. Barrett Rudd.

    Where are they now? Buffalo Bills, or Jacksonville Jaguars, THATS where!

  28. omeimontis says:
    Cal has turned out some good quarterbacks . . . but also some busts like Marc Wilson.
    ==

    Marc Wilson played at BYU, not Cal. Perhaps you were thinking of Kyle Boller instead?
    Wilson was one of several QBs who piled up a trillion passing yards in that gimmicky Cougars offense, then turned out to be nothing more than an NFL journeymen.

  29. Cal has turned out some good quarterbacks . . . but also some busts like Marc Wilson.
    ==

    Marc Wilson played at BYU, not Cal. Perhaps you were thinking of Kyle Boller instead?
    ——

    Jeff Tedford QBs

    Trent Dilfer
    David Carr
    Akili Smith
    Joey Harrington
    Kyle Boller
    GOAT

  30. I have to laugh at those who criticize teams who passed on Rodgers. You’re looking at this through perfect hind-sight. No one knew at the draft that Rodgers would turn out to be the QB he is. If they had been able to look into the future and see how he’d play and THEN passed on him, the criticism would be valid. Right now, it’s not. Give it a rest. There’s no such thing as a 100% guaranteed, fool-proof, can’t miss pick.

  31. Remember, Rodgers fell because he’s a Prima Donna, and sensitive. Nothings changed there.
    =====

    He fell for the EXACT reasons Schneider discussed here.

    I think many teams had him #1 to the 9ers, and when their picks came up, they went by their boards because they hadn’t done their work on him.

  32. If Schneider and the Packers staff had Rogers evaluated as the 1st pick of the draft, how does the rest of this article make any sense.
    ==============
    Maybe it’s because they already had Bret Favre. Who, by the way, kept Rodgers on the bench for 3 more years.

  33. Coaching will be the most valuable asset in the NFL in years to come. Scheme is not only enhancing in variability but use of players and implementation is becoming scrutinized to a much higher degree than ever before.

  34. One thing I wish people would do is to stop using that draft as anything more than a fluke example. MOST SEASONS, teams obsess over QBs and reach for them. For some reason that year, a guy in the #1 overall conversation (such guys rarely fall out of the top 10) dropped a ton. Over the past decade, meanwhile, teams more and more have reached for QBs, because the demand is so high that they go very high. A Rodgers situation WOULD NOT HAPPEN TODAY. Take it for what it was, but don’t use that as evidence of any sort of wider trend, please.

  35. What’s funny is half the teams in the NFL, objectively speaking, would have drafted significantly better over the last ten years if they had skipped all the work and just made up a draft list using evaluation articles from ESPN, CBS, and Fox the day before.

  36. The knock and criticism on Rodgers was absolutely ridiculous. They said he had weird mechanics. All he did was hold the ball high above his shoulders. This was done to get rid of the ball quicker. Clearly it didn’t affect his throwing as he was extremely accurate and tied the NCAA record for consecutive passes and against the BCS champions* USC away. They said that he was in a “Tedford system” at CAL and all they did was pass. Nonsense. That Tedford system also put a number of running backs in the NFL including Marshawn Lynch, Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen, and JJ Arrington. The previous “Tedford QBs” were when he was offensive coordinator. He only had Boller for one year as head coach.

  37. tinye67 says:
    April 25, 2018 at 1:30 pm
    The Vikings passed twice, but give a little context before mocking them too hard….Culppeper was coming off a season where he threw for 4700 yards, 39 TDs and had a rating of 110.9. He looked like a Top 5 QB for years to come until his knee got shredded the following season.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Favre was coming off 4088 yds, 30 TDs, a 92.4 QBR, and an NFC North best 10-6 record including a sweep of the Vikings. He’d play 3 more years in GB 3 and another 6 in the league.

    So yeah, context ….

  38. That first round actually produced a good few starters for teams. Not every pick lasts for his rookie contract. If you get a second deal out of your NFL career, you’re at least semi-competent. Most of those guys had decent careers and started plenty of games, so I’m a bit hesitant to call most of them busts. None were as good as Rodgers, of course, but there are good number of starters on that list.

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