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There is no better way for people to understand the natural biases of people than the title statistic. Call it bias, rose-colored glasses. We’re not calling anyone a liar. Opinions are like a**holes, everyone’s got one. We’ve got ours, and every single post is on the record.
Enter the NFL Draft. And the media is filled with the kind of hyperbole that we take pleasure in unmasking.
Had an AFC executive call Aaron Donald the “best D-lineman coming out in the last 10 years.” Buzz is real. Comparative player?John Randle.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2014
So a reporter gets some juice from an “AFC Executive” who dangles Aaron Donald in the same sentence as John Randle and current dominant DT Geno Atkins. Here is the draft game he is playing: hype someone you DON’T want so his stock rises and gets picked ahead of where YOU pick. And for heaven’s sake, comparing a college player in diapers to Hall of Famer John Randle is the crescendo in hyperbole. The AFC exec is trying to make the case that smaller DTs like Donald can still be dominant, because … the logic continues… if John Randle and Geno Atkins can do it … so can Donald! For the other 99%, the size will matter, but not here!!
Don’t swallow the hype.
Notice the subtle propaganda of mentioning John Randle. The Hall of Famer. Now all of a sudden Donald’s stock is rising because he will be a future Hall of Famer. Puhleez.
And calling Donald the best DT to come out of the Draft in the last 10 years? Better than all of the Pro Bowlers like Atkins, Suh, McCoy, Ngata, Williams.. c’mon.. now you are saying he WILL BE a Hall of Famer.
For starters, we researched Defensive Tackles that are taken in Round 1, and the returns from drafting these players is not pretty. DT is the “man” position where you get beaten to a pulp for 2-3 years before you really have a chance to excel. Then you thrive for a few years and hope to stay healthy. Then your career declines. It is one of the most thankless jobs in all of football. So drafting this position very high in the draft does not make a lot of sense to us from a marginal perspective.
Second, physical limitations are what they are. Most of the time, they limit potential. There are exceptions. Guys like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are breaking the mold for shorter QBs, but don’t think that because of this it means that others have a solid chance. Very small chance, yes. But the consideration is limited.
Third, our Draft begs to differ on the player. “He’s a poor man’s Sheldon Richardson, but smaller and not as strong,” explains Wonder. Wonder LIKES Donald. As we stated in the previous post, he will be a very good player. But when the hyperbole starts putting this guy in the Top 10, and that the Giants would be crazy to not take him at 12, that is where we respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree. Wonder says that Aaron Donald will be a very good pro, not great. And there is a huge difference. At 12, you draft for great. OR TRADE DOWN. Since GMs overpay to choose, let someone overpay to choose at 12 and get another R2 pick to trade down, IF GREAT IS NOT THERE.
Fourth and last, and the reason why this post was written in the first place, stop with the mainstream media Hall of Fame hype comparison. Let’s do some math here. Donald is being projected as a Top 10 or Top 15 pick, and mentioned side by side with HOF’er John Randle. Why don’t we start comparing the Top 15 players to other HOFers and make this draft the Draft-Of-All-Drafts?! Are we going to see 15 HOFers from this Draft Class? Of course not. Considering that the HOF inducts ~6 per year, and one is an executive (lol, maybe ours being quoted? I think not!), that leaves 5 per class. Assume 2 from R1, 1 from R2, and 2 more from R3+. We actually counted the # of First Round picks that made it to the Hall of Fame. And the # was 104 players in 62 years running. That is ~1.7/year. More players will get voted in, so the estimate of 2 players from each Round 1 on average is a pretty good yardstick. So let’s be responsible and recognize they all can’t be Hall of Famers.