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How do JaMarcus Russell and Andre Smith change your opinion on the draft?

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  • How do JaMarcus Russell and Andre Smith change your opinion on the draft?

    And players with character concerns, a poor work ethic, etc. Not so much a criminal record as there are plenty of circumstances where a guy can not only separate that part of his life from football or just get past it altogether.

    Personally, I never really payed a lot of attention to the character bit. I figured it was silly to see a player slide because of it and thought any team that caught him on a fall was getting a steal because the talent is there. But Russell and now Smith (unless he turns it up and can really progress and turn into a starter, but the odds are already against him and I'm sure another injury is around the corner too) are guys who were red-flagged for this kind of stuff and it's really showing up. Back in 07 when people talked about this stuff with Russell I thought it was the least of his worries, but to see it actually all play out the way it has is almost scary. I wonder what Russell's stock really would've been if Oakland passed on him. We saw Quinn's, who looks like an Aaron Rodgers-type first round steal next to Russell.

    How does all of this change your opinion on players in the draft going forward? Every case is a bit different as we're dealing with a different kid every time, which is what makes it interesting..some people may not be effected by it at all and simply claim that the individual will grow out of it or prove it all to be wrong.

    Carlos Dunlap is obviously the player to keep an eye on this year. It'll be real interesting, with what's happened to Russell and Smith so far, to see how teams look at Dunlap. Especially since defensive end is a whole different world than QB or OT, there's probably more of a perceived upside in a freakish pass-rusher with questionable drive than QB with a cannon and no brain or a lineman with the great trio of weight/effort/injury problems.

    The DUI probably didn't help Dunlap's case and will only hurt his stock further, so it's not like if he falls it'll all be because of his ethic. But if he works out like he could and systematically grades out as a first-round pick, he'll really evolve into the player to watch in the draft. Actually, a very interesting story-line will to see who's picked first; Dunlap, or the poster-boy for character, teammate Tim Tebow. We already know Tebow's draft stock debate, but in the end to see him picked before Dunlap could really make a powerful but subtle statement.

    In my opinion, this entire situation has turned character and work ethic concerns into a bigger negative in a player than ability or technique. I think it's important to try and take something away from each draft and be able to say you learned something, it at least makes the hours we put into simply being "prepared" a bit more worth it and can help us see trends develop for future drafts.
    Last edited by GaMeTiMe; 12-03-2009, 10:34 AM.
    Nick Foles are you really my daddy??!..?

  • #2
    Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

    Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AkiliSmith View Post
      Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

      Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.
      Smith was really more of a tack-on to the discussion, I don't want it to focus on him and what he has/hasn't done. But after Russell's rookie year I don't think anyone realized it'd be this bad, either. I'm not predicting it will be, I'm not down on Smith's career as a whole just yet, but overblown or not there were these kinds of questions leading up to the draft. Holding out and getting hurt are the reasons he hasn't produced but it'll only take him that much longer to get into ideal shape and progress into an NFL player. The kind of player/person he is, he needed all the camp time and to at least be healthy for his entire rookie season. Next year will be "his first year as a starter" (maybe if only he's lucky), and I know you really can't call these kinds of things to support your argument but it isn't too unrealistic to say he may be hurt again by the end of his 2nd year, which will then slow him down for his 3rd, and so on..that's how a bust is made.

      But again that all being said he can play, and the potential is there and while the same could've been said about Russell in his first few years (hell, even now) Smith is admittedly nothing compared to the case of JaMarcus and it's unfair to put them in the same category, but in a few seasons it could turn out being that way and I therefore decided to throw Smith's name into the bag. But I do understand that Russell's problems are geared more towards character and Smith's more towards injury/holdout to this point.
      Last edited by GaMeTiMe; 12-03-2009, 10:45 AM.
      Nick Foles are you really my daddy??!..?

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      • #4
        Injuries are not character concerns. Andre Smith went through his entire Alabama career without any major health issues, he should be a starter in 2010 for the Bengals.

        Drafts are all about mitigating risk, anyway. Was there a player who had more character concerns than Lawrence Taylor? This a guy who had a rep for getting into weekend bar fights at Chapel Hill, a heavy binge drinker on campus, threatened Chapel Hill cops, and had run ins with frat-boys on more than one occasion.
        But LT still balled out on Sundays. If the player's talent/on the field play are exceptional enough, teams will take a chance on him, outside of someone involved in potential felony/capital crimes, ( rapist, murderer, thief, drug dealer).

        IMO, Andre Smith was a little immature, but I never understood why there was such an issue made about his 'character'.

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        • #5
          I'm not so sure you could really see Jamarcus' problems coming. Yeah, he was a bit overweight in college. But how you were supposed to make the jump in logic from that, all the way to not even looking at the pictures after an interception, or taking home a DVD full of plays, saying you watched it and it was good only to have them tell you it was blank, I'll never know.


          Originally posted by Scott Wright
          Terrellezzzzzzzz Pryorzzzzzzzz!
          Originally posted by njx9
          do i tell you when to flip the burger?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
            Drafts are all about mitigating risk, anyway. Was there a player who had more character concerns than Lawrence Taylor? This a guy who had a rep for getting into weekend bar fights at Chapel Hill, a heavy binge drinker on campus, threatened Chapel Hill cops, and had run ins with frat-boys on more than one occasion.
            But LT still balled out on Sundays. If the player's talent/on the field play are exceptional enough, teams will take a chance on him, outside of someone involved in potential felony/capital crimes, ( rapist, murderer, thief, drug dealer).
            That's the balance that exists and makes it interesting. Tom Brady gives 6th round QBs everywhere the hope of a lifetime. But how many Tom Brandstaters and Keith Nulls of the world are there?

            Like I said, every player's case is different. Russell wasn't getting into bar fights or threatening police, he just simply doesn't care about being a good player in the NFL.

            [quote]
            Originally posted by slightlyabroncosfan View Post
            I'm not so sure you could really see Jamarcus' problems coming.
            Right. That's the point. The negatives are all there, the "red flags", but of course before the draft actually happens, any player could play like Peyton Manning or well, JaMarcus Russell. That's why he's such a notable figure in the NFL right now, he's basically the new face of the bust label. This is where learning or at least taking note of these kind of things can change the draft in the future. We didn't see it coming, and as Funbuncher said, it's all about calculating risk. Outcomes in this direction certainly raise the risk of taking these kinds of players.

            When we all pretty much knew Oakland was taking Russell leading up to the draft, it was his accuracy and football IQ that really bothered us, with his character taking a backseat. Arguably, if the character was there, the accuracy and IQ would probably be a lot better by now.
            Last edited by GaMeTiMe; 12-03-2009, 10:53 AM.
            Nick Foles are you really my daddy??!..?

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            • #7
              Another semi-example here could be Tony Ugoh. He wasn't picked high in the first round, but he was brought to Indy to be the future LT. Coming out of college there were character concerns, not that he was a bad guy but that he didn't have the heart or desire to play football. The Colts ignored that, gave up a lot to get him, and now he's either a backup or a healthy scratch on Sundays. He has the talent and did well enough his rookie year, but he doesn't have the desire. The reports were there, the Colts took the risk anyway, and it didn't pay off.

              I don't think this is probably any different than any other time. Sometimes you take a risk on a guy with character issues and it works out (Darnell Docket in the 3rd), sometimes you get burned.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by killxswitch View Post
                Another semi-example here could be Tony Ugoh. He wasn't picked high in the first round, but he was brought to Indy to be the future LT. Coming out of college there were character concerns, not that he was a bad guy but that he didn't have the heart or desire to play football. The Colts ignored that, gave up a lot to get him, and now he's either a backup or a healthy scratch on Sundays. He has the talent and did well enough his rookie year, but he doesn't have the desire. The reports were there, the Colts took the risk anyway, and it didn't pay off.

                I don't think this is probably any different than any other time. Sometimes you take a risk on a guy with character issues and it works out (Darnell Docket in the 3rd), sometimes you get burned.
                Quinn Pitcock ring a bell?

                Finding out, hearing about, or even having a doubt about the player's desire to actually carry out his job may be grounds for elimination from a draft board altogether.

                There are reasons that it's so hard to repeat in the NFL or make it to the Super Bowl 2 years in a row. The "Super Bowl hangover" is really just having "been there, done that" and other teams that have that slightly greater hunger and drive to get there fighting their way to the big game the next season under everybody's noses. These are the kinds of players teams want.
                Last edited by GaMeTiMe; 12-03-2009, 10:57 AM.
                Nick Foles are you really my daddy??!..?

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                • #9
                  It's most definitely not a new phenomenon. The most obvious red flag I remember was Lawrence Phillips and that didn't disuade the Rams. In fact it didn't disuade the 49ers from signing him either, which effectively ended Steve Young's career.

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                  • #10
                    Are there any top prospects on the radar now for character issues or potential red flags heading into the draft??

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                    • #11
                      Carlos Dunlap
                      Hi Mom. Send money!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AkiliSmith View Post
                        Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

                        Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.
                        9 out of 10 guys with these character concerns are blown way out of proportion.

                        For example, Greg Hardy this year is constantly talked about on this board as having character concerns and motor problems. In actuality, he's a leader in his locker room and his biggest question should actually be his injury problems.

                        For the most part, these kids are good kids...many are directionless without football sure...but theres really very few bad eggs out there and most of them are correctly labeled and done away with.

                        I do think there is a certain kind of character that teams look for though...
                        Last edited by SenorGato; 12-03-2009, 11:40 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AkiliSmith View Post
                          Why is Smith even in this discussion? He held out, got hurt, and obviously had a lot of catching up to do before he played in a game. He was inactive for most of the season because the two guys they had playing RT, Roland and Collins, were playing well. Smith just got his first action of the season last Sunday and while he only played 9 snaps, he played well.

                          Also, Smith's character concerns were WAY overblown.
                          The bottom line on Smith is that the Bengals still had to throw his rookie season away. They got no production at all out of a top 10 pick. No team would take a player in the top 10 knowing he wouldn't do anything as a rookie.

                          How much did his holdout and likely being out of shape have to do with his injury?

                          Way too early to call him a bust, but he's off to a good start.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GaMeTiMe View Post
                            Quinn Pitcock ring a bell?

                            Finding out, hearing about, or even having a doubt about the player's desire to actually carry out his job may be grounds for elimination from a draft board altogether.

                            There are reasons that it's so hard to repeat in the NFL or make it to the Super Bowl 2 years in a row. The "Super Bowl hangover" is really just having "been there, done that" and other teams that have that slightly greater hunger and drive to get there fighting their way to the big game the next season under everybody's noses. These are the kinds of players teams want.
                            I dont' even like thinking about that bastard. Quitcock was enough to make me never want to draft another OSU defensive player. It's completely irrational but between him and Gholston sucking in NY I just don't want any part of them.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Day One Pick View Post
                              The bottom line on Smith is that the Bengals still had to throw his rookie season away. They got no production at all out of a top 10 pick. No team would take a player in the top 10 knowing he wouldn't do anything as a rookie.

                              How much did his holdout and likely being out of shape have to do with his injury?

                              Way too early to call him a bust, but he's off to a good start.
                              Well to be fair to the Bengals, drafting a guy in the top 10 and not having him do anything his rookie year worked well for them before.



                              Originally posted by Scott Wright
                              Terrellezzzzzzzz Pryorzzzzzzzz!
                              Originally posted by njx9
                              do i tell you when to flip the burger?

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