Leigh Steinberg thinks travel restrictions could help drafting

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Teams are being forced to do their pre-draft business differently this year.

Some think they might do it better as a result.

Via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBCSportsBayArea.com, longtime agent Leigh Steinberg isn’t sure the additions of layers of information have made the scouting process better.

“When I first started in the industry in 1975 with Steve Bartkowski, there were no pro days, no team meetings, no combine,” Steinberg said. “If you look at statistics from players then, to those selected in 2005, the players in 1975 were more successful and productive.

“Teams obviously believe that the more information they have, the better, but at some point, it’s enough. I believe they have enough information to make educated and prudent choices.”

Because of the isolation forced by the coronavirus outbreak, teams aren’t able to have in-person meetings, and most pro days were shut down.

That will force evaluators to rely on what they have on hand already (e.g. game tape), which could lead them to make simpler decisions. Of course, plenty of teams made bad choices in 1975, which is part of the reason a talented player like Batkowski spent most of his career on some pretty shabby Falcons teams (which went 55-66 with him as their starter).

Regardless, teams still have the ability to over-think things, and if history as taught us anything, it’s that some of them certainly will.

7 responses to “Leigh Steinberg thinks travel restrictions could help drafting

  1. I tend to agree. We have first round busts and 4th round superstars – all with the same information. Look at the tape, make your selections, and live with the outcome. Adjust as necessary. I am on an record Combine-hater anyway – near-zero predictive value – but I think we sometimes find ways to complicate just about everything.

  2. “If you look at statistics from players then, to those selected in 2005, the players in 1975 were more successful and productive.”

    This doesn’t make sense. Every team has fixed 53 players – if your 1975 draft was more successful, that logically means those guys are taking spots from previous drafted players – ie drafts in 1974, 1973, etc weren’t as good and those players lost their jobs.

    What we’re really seeing is that longer careers (like Brady, Brees, Philips, etc) take away opportunity from younger draft picks. In a fixed player limit, there’s just no spot available for them to crack.

  3. “If you look at statistics from players then, to those selected in 2005, the players in 1975 were more successful and productive.”

    Which players and what statistics? The game is so different today it’s crazy to even try and compare them. Running backs in the 70s had great stats compared to today but quarterbacks and receivers look awful statistically compared to their modern counterparts. That has nothing to do with the players but everything to do with rule changes and changes to strategy.

  4. Paralysis through analysis…..they have more than enough information to have a solid draft….

  5. The reasons you see busts today are different from the reasons you saw busts in the 70’s. Busts in the 70’s were probably due to a lack of information. Game tape is probably the best predictor but it certainly isn’t the only predictor. More information is always better than less. Today, the game is much more complex than it used to be. The skills that made you successful in college aren’t always going to translate to the pros, where you need to do things you never did before against players who are just as good as you. The money in the game today also contributes to busts. Some guys get paid and can’t handle the responsibility. Times are different so you can’t compare the success rate of the past to the success rate of today and conclude that having more information is the reason.

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