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And Another Thing

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Yeah, but can he jump?

I love this time of year in the NFL. I am, after all, a huge fan of silliness, and very few things in this world are sillier than the way the NFL and its attendant gurus analyze players for the upcoming draft.

Here's a gem I heard today from ESPN's Emergency Backup Mel Kiper, aka, Todd McShay: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow "won the combine" in Indianapolis even though he didn't throw.

Apparently, he was really, really good at running and long jumping and stuff.

All together now: What?!

I mean, Tebow's a quarterback, right? So, you know, how he throws the football is kind of important. But somehow he came away a combine winner even though he never threw the football?

Look, I don't care if the guy ran the 40 in three seconds flat, had the vertical leap of a flying squirrel and was Bob Beamon in the long jump. None of that matters. What does matter is how well he throws the football. So why should I care that he even showed up at the combine if he didn't throw? How does that help me evaluate him?

I've ranted in this space and elsewhere about how much NFL scouts over-think this whole evaluation process, at times to the height of absurdity. Take, for example, the word that's out there about Jimmy Clausen right now: Apparently he's getting a rep as an immature punk (which he may or may not be) because of his "body language" during games. Really? So now we're adding slouching and frowning to the mix in evaluating these guys?

Scout No. 1: You know, this Clausen can throw the football. I like his arm motion. I like the way he throws the deep out. I like the fact he made it through three years at Notre Dame without getting killed, seeing as how he played behind the Seven Blocks of Linguine.

Scout No. 2: Yeah, but look at those slumped shoulders ...

That sort of thing.

On the other hand ... under-evaluating seemed to be what was taking place with Tebow. Bottom line is, he didn't throw. Nothing else matters.

Ben Smith's blog.

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