Saints running back Alvin Kamara possibly could have ended up being drafted earlier than pick No. 67, but he refused to compromise who he is. And that’s a great thing.
Kamara recently explained to Andrew Hawkins of Uninterrupted.com that Kamara received a specific request prior to a pre-draft meeting — and that he declined.
“I had a team before I went into a meeting, one of the guys came up to me and was like, ‘Well, you’re about to go in with the G.M. so, you know, he doesn’t really understand the nose rings and things like that. So you might want to — can you take them out or tuck them?’ I was like, ‘No.’
“Basically, if you don’t understand it or you don’t like it, then you don’t need to draft me. It wouldn’t be a good choice to draft me.”
Although, in theory, Kamara could have been selected higher (and, in turn, could have made more money), Kamara stayed true to himself. In so doing, he also pushed back against the over-the-top “job interview” nature of the NFL draft, which tries to put players on pins and needles while creating the perception that it’s an “honor” to surrender the right to choose an employer and in turn to be chosen by the employer.
Here’s the reality: NFL teams want the most talented players. If NFL teams let factors other than talent get in the way of those decisions, they risk other teams drafting them. And those players can then become a thorn in the side of the team that refused to draft them for reasons other than talent.
Possibly while wearing a nose ring.