The Eye Test

It’s draft time; team’s are looking for next big piece to help win games and championships. So much interest is put into the players chosen early; especially in the first round. No, it’s not just a football thing, but there is a draft in every sport. This is where teams mine for talent and hope to turn them into superstars. They look to develop the already big names into bigger household names that fans will hear about constantly on sports television.

However, it does not always work that way. Some players like quarterback Ryan Leaf amount to little success and end up getting labeled as a bust. Much pressure is felt on the young athletes taken early in their respective drafts. The athletes cannot avoid the pressures of media hovering over their every move leading up to draft day.

This year, in the NFL draft, there is no shortage of talent. The Houston Texans get the first pick in the draft, and many consider them a playoff potential team already, but got the bad luck with injuries last season. Many are questioning if they’ll take a QB like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater, or if they’ll look to make their defense better with Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack.

However, there is always talent that gets looked over. In baseball, Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols just hit his 500 career home run this week. He was taken in the thirteenth round of the MLB draft. Since then, he has more homers than draft pick (402), two World Series championships, and 3 MVPS.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

In football, Denver Broncos Tight End Shannon Sharpe was overlooked because teams did not know what he was capable of doing at the elite level. Sharpe went onto helping John Elway and the Broncos win two Super Bowls and get inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame.

The biggest name that comes up with draft steals is New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. The man has much credentials that we will see him in the Hall of Fame when his days are done. 3 Super Bowls, 2 Super Bowl MVP’s, and two AP MVP awards will cement his legacy in Canton Ohio.

What is it these guys need that top end draft picks amount to little and late draft picks amount to hall of fame status?

I am a firm believer every player needs the proper system. A system where the coaching staff and player see eye-to-eye in things, a system where they fit the roles they are needed for, and a system where they are ultimately comfortable playing to their potential.

Pujols came up in the perfect system with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are known for developing players to be everyday baseball players that go far. Even when Pujols left for the Angels, the Cardinals found themselves back in the World Series two seasons later.

Brady fits the Patriots system well and has a genius of a head coach at the helm. They knew what to do with Brady and his ability and they capitalized on it big time for more than a decade.

Those two examples are just a small sample size of what gets overlooked when it comes to drafting. Teams should not worry about the talent altogether, but rather focus on everything. Attitudes, work ethics, leadership, etc. all play a role when they play professionally. Sometimes you won’t see it until they get there, but teams are missing something and others come out big winners.

Therefore, all the mock drafts we see are useless because we need to see the players develop and it seems they change their minds every time they blink.

Leave a Reply