The saddest thing about covering the draft

Discuss your thoughts about anything draft related. Mocks, College and Pro. Knock yourselves out!!! RATING: PG-13
  • Is seeing players that have the physical potential to be really good NFL players and make millions of dollars, but blow it off because they are stupid, lazy, or don't realize that they only have but one chance.

    Last year, one of those guys was North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones. He had some issues with consistency and drops, but when he wasn't having an off game he looked like a true #1 WR. Jones didn't give the best effort during that 2012 draft season either, and when he went undrafted and signed by the Texans, it was only a short while later that he told the Texans he didn't want an NFL career. Then he walked away.

    Armonty Bryant has it in him to be a pro-bowl pass rusher in the NFL. Maybe he still will be. But for a guy that has multiple arrests on record including dealing drugs during practice, you'd think that he'd be smart enough to avoid trouble. He got picked up for a DUI less than two weeks after the draft. The Browns ultimately decided to give him one more chance, though Browns GM admitted that they very nearly didn't.

    Then I read today that a while back the Chargers and Courtney Gardner "mutually parted ways," which seems almost deliberately left for open interpretation. I think Gardner has more physical talent than Cordarrelle Patterson. Gardner had some arrests on his record though, was miserable academically (even at community colleges) and was chronically non-committal when it came to pretty much anything. Now instead of maybe making millions of dollars, he'll probably just be some average joe- assuming he's able to stay out of trouble.

    I'm not yet old but I'm old enough to know the meaning of missed opportunity. I didn't appreciate missed opportunities when I was 21 years old. I think it sucks watching young players with real NFL potential that are just too young and too dumb to know how life works.
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  • Agreed. It's one thing to be a highly touted player coming out of college and end up being a bust for because the may not have the football intelligence or they are no longer the big fish in a small pond. I would put Aaron Curry into this category. Curry was not a bust or didn't blow his opportunity because he was a knucklehead off the field or didn't have the passion to be a NFL player.

    The players you mention were blessed with size and speed, but were knuckleheads off the field. A guy I want to add to your list is former Lions 2nd round pick 44th overall (WR) Titus Young. He got in a fight with a teammate, he deliberately lined up in the wrong position a couple of times during a game, and he has had multiple run ins with the police recently. He was given a second chance with the Rams, but the Rams cut him two weeks after signing him.
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  • This is exactly why knowing what kind of person the player is off the field is critical. Sometimes a knucklehead is just a knucklehead, in the end this proves character is a factor that must factor into the selection of every player and their retention regardless of natural skill.

    Otoh these players are just young men and some are playing football b/c they view it as a means to an end instead of b/c it is a passion. At the age of 22 or so, many young men have little clue where their life is headed or are possessed of the needed drive to succeed in a field where focus and determination separates exceptional physical ability from the ability to separate from the others to make a 53 man roster. As you say it is sad when you observe legitimate talent thrown away b/c of a "missing element". However, in life we all are aware of people who never developed into all they could be b/c of the certain missing factor or some deeper character limitation.

    Armonty Bryant may have finally got it after his latest legal scrape and will now stay out of trouble, yet seems challenged in some areas of character. Courtney Gardner may conclude he really wants to play football and use his exceptional natural athletic ability after putting his ego aside. In the end it really does resonate when you see a player like Russell Wilson who understands that hard work is the path to converting natural talent to success while overcoming artificial limitation created by others.

    Sometimes these young men are just their own worst enemy. Some of them are simply wonderful young men and the Hawks are blessed with a very large group of exceptional young men.
    Last edited by jammerhawk on Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Until we develop a pass rush that will cause opposing teams to be forced to scheme to defend it we will never be able to completely take the final step. That was done and the final step was taken.

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  • As someone who had a bit of athletic talent but only enough to play (basketball) at the very small college level, it saddens me to see guys waste God given physical gifts. These guys could set themselves up for life with even a short career in the pros but more importantly, I simply do not understand not loving playing sports. That's all I did, all year long from the time I was like 10 until after high school. OK, I did chase girls too, but you get what I'm saying here. :-) Anyway, I wanted to be a pro so badly but simply did not have the talent to make it and it's very difficult to understand not caring about the game you're good at.
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  • It is very hard to understand why a player who has got as far as being on the cusp of being able to play in the NfL after all their time in college and before from pee wee football onwards loses the desire to play anymore or simply sabotages any chance he has to play any further by youthful stupidity.
    Until we develop a pass rush that will cause opposing teams to be forced to scheme to defend it we will never be able to completely take the final step. That was done and the final step was taken.

    Super Bowl XLVIII Champions at last after 38 seasons.

    What a special magical year!
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  • Self-destructive behavior is not uncommon among young people who have low self esteem. They may have natural gifts but probably never had parents who nurtured them or taught them the necessary life skills to put their talents to best use. RW's father was a major influence on him.
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