Nolan Nawrocki's comments on Geno Smith, RG3, Cam Newton

Discuss your thoughts about anything draft related. Mocks, College and Pro. Knock yourselves out!!! RATING: PG-13
  • I was wondering how you guys felt about this. Nolan Nawrocki (of pro football talk) is no stranger to controversial negative comments, though he tends to report what he's told and has a good reputation for the most part. If you aren't aware of his harsh anti- Geno Smith comments, you can hear them in this video with Mike Mayock. There's also an article here that rips Nawrocki and covers some of his previous negative statements about RG3 and Cam Newton. Here is what he said specifically about Geno Smith regarding intangibles:

    Not a student of the game. Nonchalant field presence — does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire. Mild practice demeanor — no urgency. Not committed or focused — marginal work ethic. Interviewed poorly at the Combine and did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board. Needed to be coddled in college — cannot handle hard coaching.


    He also reported this (from a pair of anonymous NFL scouts) on RG3 last year:

    “‘Everybody is just assuming because of the Heisman and the socks and all that bs. . . . they are ignoring a lot of bad tape that he’s had,’” one scout told McGinn. “‘I don’t think he has vision or pocket feel, which to me are the two most important components of quarterbacking. He’s just running around winging it. He’s [Michael] Vick, but not as good a thrower.’

    “He has better arm action and is more accurate with his deep ball, but he’s not as good as Cam Newton,” another scout said. “As much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn’t even close to Cam Newton’s. This guy, the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he’s got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him. He’s got a little bit of a selfish streak, too. Everybody was laying on Cam, but for some reason this guy has become gloves off. He doesn’t treat anybody good.”


    Now for Nawrocki's own words again- this time on Cam Newton:

    “Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”


    I mention all this because Nawrocki is solidifying his image as a "hater" when it comes to a certain type of top quarterback, and it hasn't gone unnoticed that all three quarterbacks in question are black. He's gotten a ton of blowback for it, I even saw an article on SBN the other day that more of less accused Nawrocki of being racist.

    I bring all this up because... well... I actually agree with Nawrocki almost 100%. I too was worried by Cam Newton's fake smile and diva personality, even though I loved him as a prospect. I too complained that RG3 was overhyped and I made the same exact comparison to him being an inferior version of Cam Newton (RG3 proved me mostly wrong, obviously). And while I don't hate Geno Smith and think he's a worthy gamble in the top 5 picks (especially this year), I too have noticed that something just seems "off" about Smith in the intangibles department, and reading Nawrocki's scathing review it feels like he nails it.

    I was wondering what you guys thought. Agree/disagree?
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  • Some of his assessments have been right on, but I question his sources. Nawrocki never writes these negative articles until the 30 days before the draft, and they reek of misinformation when he quotes scouts. Teams want players to fall, so they lie. The Dan Marino cocaine rumor has often been attributed to the team that actually took him. If Nawrocki had said this stuff 4 months ago, I would pay it more heed. But the timing, so close to the draft, kind of hurts the veracity of these reports. If Nolan is relying on insiders as much as these reports indicate, it might actually be the same guy giving him the dish on all three. Maybe that dude is the one who has a racial issue.



    I wonder what his critique of Ryan Mallet was? That would be interesting. Because that guy had lots of issues.
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  • On Smith, my real problem with him is that he comes up short in the clutch. That matters more to me than anything else. But Nawrocki isn't the only guy to say he is less than impressive in interviews. And him not playing the senior bowl was a diva move. You either like to compete, or you don't.
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  • Are there any samplings of what he said about Luck, Dalton, Barkley that could inform us of a racial bias Kearly?
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  • I'm curious on what he wrote about Kaep and/or RW. I got a similar vibe from RG3 and Cam. Hard to sense a pattern from just those 3
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  • Scottemojo wrote:Some of his assessments have been right on, but I question his sources. Nawrocki never writes these negative articles until the 30 days before the draft, and they reek of misinformation when he quotes scouts. Teams want players to fall, so they lie. The Dan Marino cocaine rumor has often been attributed to the team that actually took him. If Nawrocki had said this stuff 4 months ago, I would pay it more heed. But the timing, so close to the draft, kind of hurts the veracity of these reports. If Nolan is relying on insiders as much as these reports indicate, it might actually be the same guy giving him the dish on all three. Maybe that dude is the one who has a racial issue.

    I wonder what his critique of Ryan Mallet was? That would be interesting. Because that guy had lots of issues.


    Interesting take. The RG3 comments in particular do come across as an attempt at building anti-hype, and given the bidding war that broke out for RG3 around that same exact time, it wouldn't shock me if the source in question came from a team that was in the bidding.

    Lady Talon wrote:Are there any samplings of what he said about Luck, Dalton, Barkley that could inform us of a racial bias Kearly?


    I don't know. Personally I think the "racist" accusations for Nawrocki are utterly lame. Boy, the things I get to look forward to if I ever get my big break as a writer, eh?
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  • I wouldn't play the race card. I would play the being used to float negative info to possibly affect drafting position.

    Since Smith's coaches and fellow players are attempting to dispel the notion, it will just have to be taken with a grain of salt whether Smith does his homework and is sensitive to hard coaching. This is the silly season for football fans and a time period I look forward to getting past. Bring on the draft.


    Mayock hit the nail on the head there. Top-shelf analysts are asked to evaluate film, but their use of scout information falls more into a reportorial role. That can get tricky. Mayock once mentioned Blaine Gabbert and Matt Leinart as two prospects who concerned him regarding their love of the game.


    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000156971/article/mike-mayock-defends-nawrocki-cant-stand-qb-class?campaign=Twitter_atl

    Florio's article has a few points regarding how this information is disseminated and when that makes one reflect on the motivation behind these late character bashes

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/03/geno-smiths-draft-stock-could-be-more-vulnerable-to-draftnik-criticism/

    The problem with scouting reports from so-called draftniks is that, while many of them rely on their own assessment of a player’s game film, most if not all of them rely for off-field information on scouts who have rolled up the sleeves and tracked down the people in and around the various major college programs about the various prospects. Scouts talk, for example, to head coaches, coordinators, position coaches, strength coaches, current and former teammates that like the guy, and current and former teammates that don’t like him.

    The best scouts go even farther, talking to landlords and neighbors and the guy who washes the towels in the weight room and the lady who empties the trash cans in the film room and the clerk at the Kwik-E-Mart down the street from the player’s apartment to find out how the player behaves when the player thinks no one who can impact their career is watching.

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  • While I think the "draft position" argument makes a lot of sense, it's worth noting that it didn't have any impact on Newton or RG3. Newton still went #1 and RG3 still commanded a Hershel Walker type draft haul. Geno Smith is not as firm in his draft stock as those two, but I'd be stunned if he fell out of the top 10. As Mayock says himself, what people in the media think means nothing. It's all up to what each individual scouting department determines from their own work and investigations.
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  • The one player I saw this type of scouting affect was Ryan Mallett. Was hoping the Seahawks back then would have taken a chance on him in the 2nd before they traded away the pick. A player something like this should have held back was the QB Matt Jones out of Arkansas who ended up a top pick for the Jaguars as a WR. Reggie Williams as well.

    As far as gaming the system with false info, I doubt it really affects anything either since these teams need to do their due diligence. If last second rumors make them miss out, they weren't earning their pay.

    Maybe Smith is what Nawrocki is hearing from scouts? If so, he will drop like he should or some team is going to make a huge mistake.
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  • I have a hard time with all the negativity towards him,yes its a negative report of a top prospect but he has every right to that opinion.He has deep connections in the nfl and if scouts see Smith as an Alkili Smith or the other qb(his name slips my mind at the moment) he has been compared to then that's his right.I don't get why people won't accept that there is more than one opinion out there on these prospects and no one knows for sure if they will compare well to the superstars they are aligned with or the busts.If you go back and watch or listen to the early season press conferences of Cam Newton he was disconnected and played the blame game when things got rough.
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  • kearly wrote:
    Lady Talon wrote:Are there any samplings of what he said about Luck, Dalton, Barkley that could inform us of a racial bias Kearly?


    I don't know. Personally I think the "racist" accusations for Nawrocki are utterly lame. Boy, the things I get to look forward to if I ever get my big break as a writer, eh?


    Perhaps its a read-option bias. Maybe he thinks whoever drafts him will turn him into a gimmick like RG3/Newton so he's lashing out lol.

    Some people harp on the negative, it wouldn't surprise me if many team's scouting depts had more disparaging things on them in their evaluations though.
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  • Leadership is not monolithic. Different cultures have different styles of leadership. One man's indifference is another man's moxie. You cannot use one lens to calculate leadership skills. That being said, after watching RGIII's rant following his loss to the Seahawks, Nawrocki's breakdown was spot on. It was very clear, RGIII thought he was the best athlete on the field and injured or not, deserved to be in the spotlight. Cam shows the same traits...this kind of disbelief that he is actually loosing, despite his physical prowess. For these men, the uber athletically gifted, leadership is just being the best guy on the field. But we all know it's much more than that.
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  • Lady Talon wrote:
    kearly wrote:
    Lady Talon wrote:Are there any samplings of what he said about Luck, Dalton, Barkley that could inform us of a racial bias Kearly?


    I don't know. Personally I think the "racist" accusations for Nawrocki are utterly lame. Boy, the things I get to look forward to if I ever get my big break as a writer, eh?


    Perhaps its a read-option bias. Maybe he thinks whoever drafts him will turn him into a gimmick like RG3/Newton so he's lashing out lol.

    Some people harp on the negative, it wouldn't surprise me if many team's scouting depts had more disparaging things on them in their evaluations though.


    First off, awesome thread.

    Second. I actually appreciate that these opinions get pushed pre draft. Puts the reputation on the line a bit more.

    Third, I don't think his fears are unfounded. Certainly Griffin turned out to be a better passer. But we shall see just how his reduced mobility affects his passing. Newton, I'm still not a fan of today. I think his body english and demeanor flat out sucks. The whole hide under a towel and sulk on the bench thing. Really?

    This is the kind of guy who you do NOT want pissing his pants in your foxhole. He is a sunshine dandy and the NFL isn't flowers and happiness every Sunday. The difference between Wilson and Newton couldn't be more striking. They are polar opposites as leaders. I expect they'll have polar opposite success in the NFL too.

    Lots of really interesting bits of knowledge dropping in this thread.
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  • I'd hold off on the race card until he comments on Manziel. If his comments are similar on Manziel than there's nothing to see here.
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  • I think there's a good chance Chip Kelly takes him , if he's there and he probably will be. As for the comments that were made we'll see . There's alot to like about Smith imo.
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  • billio155 wrote:That being said, after watching RGIII's rant following his loss to the Seahawks, Nawrocki's breakdown was spot on. It was very clear, RGIII thought he was the best athlete on the field and injured or not, deserved to be in the spotlight.


    Does anyone have a link to the RG3 rant? I tried googling it and came up snake eyes.
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  • Thanks much!
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  • Nawrocki said pretty things pretty much along the same lines as this (if not worse) about Jimmy Clausen and Ryan Mallet I remember. I don't think this has anything to do with race. If anything, he's magnifying what others are saying or he's trying to take a "unique" approach to get more publicity for himself.
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  • Attyla the Hawk wrote:..........Third, I don't think his fears are unfounded. Certainly Griffin turned out to be a better passer. But we shall see just how his reduced mobility affects his passing. Newton, I'm still not a fan of today. I think his body english and demeanor flat out sucks. The whole hide under a towel and sulk on the bench thing. Really?

    This is the kind of guy who you do NOT want pissing his pants in your foxhole. He is a sunshine dandy and the NFL isn't flowers and happiness every Sunday. The difference between Wilson and Newton couldn't be more striking. They are polar opposites as leaders. I expect they'll have polar opposite success in the NFL too..........


    Agree with your comments about Cam 100%. I think the guy is a completely self-absorbed, been entitled his whole life POS. RGIII will be a quality NFL QB in the long run IMO, but I can see the possibility of him struggling without his mobility as you suggested too.
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  • I largely ignore low-level buzz from guys like Nawrocki. I say low-level because
    his opinion is a filtering of the opinions of others. He himself is not a scout in
    the sense that he attends games, workouts, interviews etc., that someone,
    like Mike Mayock does.

    On the same program that the Nawrocki opinion broke nationally, Mayock
    made a point of noting that he, himself, was not a scout. He noted that
    teams employ whole departments who do nothing else year around.

    The opinions of all the draft gurus don't matter, the teams will decide for
    themselves and then we will know.

    In the meantime, it's the best off season entertainment I know.
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