Monday, April 27, 2009

Does NFL Draft Talent Matter?

First off, without a doubt, CONGRATS TO BRANDON GIBSON! Heading to Philly in the 6th round of yesterday's NFL draft, it could be a nice landing spot. He was actually "mocked" to head to Philly by one service, which is cool. And maybe his WSU experiences in our passing game will help him in a west-coast offense? Anyway, whatever happens, whether he makes the team or likely lands on the practice squad, CONGRATS!

That's now 15 straight years WSU has had a player drafted in the NFL, beginning in 1995 (no players drafted in 1994). And, for good measure, the second year in a row that WSU has had the only player drafted from the state BCS schools (UW was shut out for the second year in a row).

Here's a question for you. Looking at the breakdown of NFL draftees by school, does it actually matter whether or not your school sends players to the NFL? In the PAC-10, it sure looks that way.

USC = 11 players drafted
Oregon State = 7 players drafted
Oregon = 6 players drafted
CAL = 3
Arizona, ASU = 2 players drafted
WSU = 1 player drafted
UW, UCLA, Stanford = 0 players drafted

Sounds about right. USC has been an NFL factory forever, and this year is no exception.

And the Oregon schools have been sending a lot of talent to play on Sundays in the Y2K decade. But looking at that list, then looking at the PAC-10 standings last year?

1) USC
2)Oregon (tie w/ Oregon St)
3)Oregon State (tie w/ Oregon)

Amazing. The top five slots in players drafted basically mirrored the top five in the standings. And from 6th place Stanford to 10th place UW, only THREE total players picked. That's half the conference producing only three NFL draft choices. Seems like a real have-have not scenario?

Here's the weird thing, at least for this year. One would think, looking at the way it all broke down, that the best teams sent the most players to the NFL, while the worst teams do not. That's SORT of true, but this year? In a weird twist, the BCS Championship game only had a combined EIGHT players drafted over the weekend. Oklahoma had five players picked. And your national champs, Florida? JUST THREE players picked! That's only one more than the Arizona schools, and just two more than WSU. For a national champ to send only three players? Very, very odd. In fact, the combined number of draft picks from a BCS title game is the lowest ever.

I guess some of it could be attributed to the youth, of both Oklahoma and Florida. Both QB's came back to school, and many believe Sam Bradford will be near the top of next year's draft. And Tim Tebow, no matter his position, will be an NFL football player.

Or, maybe it's the offensive systems that makes it difficult to project at the NFL level? Both Okie and Florida run spread-type schemes, with Florida much more of a running scheme while Okie loves to spread it and throw it forever. And remember Graham Harrell, Texas Tech record-setting QB, and Chase Daniel, who ripped up Big 12 defenses at Missouri? BOTH QB's weren't even picked by a single NFL team, both undrafted free agents. Again, the schemes themselves make it difficult to project on the next level. Anyway, the BCS title teams, just a weird anomaly to this year's draft.

Speaking of draft, I thought this list was interesting. It breaks down the entire number of draftees, ever, for each NCAA school. Notre Dame at the top with 462, USC right behind them at 461. And for what it's worth? WSU is currently #42, which again, seems about right. Not UPPER class, but maybe more like upper-middle class?

Moving elsewhere, we were JACKED about Aaron Curry and the Seahawks!....until we also heard that the franchise tag has been lifted on Leroy Hill in the process? WHAT!?? So you ditch Julian Peterson, tag Leroy Hill, draft Aaron Curry...and then cut loose Leroy Hill? I know the quotes are that the team is hoping to now sign him to a long-term deal, but wow, what a weird situation. Does Hill feel slapped in the face, enough so that he'll bolt to another team? Or does he want to stay badly enough, and that this move is just a procedural thing before signing him long-term? I don't get it.

Grippi has some good stuff on the spring finale, including some quotes by Wulff who claims "Every person got better. Because every person had a good attitude". At least the healthy ones got better? They were awfully thin by the end of spring. Anyway, check it all out here.

Finally, the UW/Key Arena bill appears to have morphed into just Key Arena. And while the regular session of the legislature wrapped last night, it does appear likely that they are headed for overtime. Does that mean anything for the sports fan? Who knows. Anything can happen in a special session, so there is no guarantee they will get to the amended bill, which now specifically states the use of funds as a "multipurpose sports arena" instead of "stadiums in King County". But the late amendment to get specific in terms of the purpose of the tax money might be a signal that they will address this in a special session. We'll see.

Enjoy your Monday, and GO COUGS!


kaddy said...

Anything happen with the amendment by Murray to target WSU?

Stiffmiester said...

In the most recent ammendment they have taken out any reference to funding for college stadiums, so after his hissy fit Murray let it go.

sedihawk said...

Good question Kaddy. I don't know enough about this stuff, but the amendment alone makes it very specific to Key Arena, not just "stadiums". But I don't know if his other amendment aimed at WSU is still there. Hopefully Stiffy is right and it is gone??

It may not matter though. Even in a special session, they may not even get to this at all. The thing is, these guys never seem to introduce bills for vote unless they really believe things will pass. If it hasn't seen the floor, then they don't think they have the votes. Will that change with a special session and this new amendment to try and tell the WSU alums complaining to STFU?!?! We will soon find out. Seems pretty odd to introduce a new amendment so late in the session, literally hour or so before it was ending? Unless they thought they would get to it before midnight last night, or, that they WILL address it in a special session.

Anonymous said...

The draft information is eyeopening Sedi. I am impressed with the Cougs at 42 and even happily suprised. I thought it would be lower than that. The Hawks though, holy schnikies what a great weekend. They got Curry and Max Unger and both guys who will start next year. And that small speedy WR from penn st is a player and can return kicks/punts to take the pressure off Burleson as he comes back from injury. But to go steal a first round pick from Denver is unbelievable!!!!!! Don't expect much from Denver next season the team that dumped Jay Cutler and a new coach! Next years draft is talked about as being one of the best ever and to have two firsts is amazing. A++++++!

Sedihawk said...

Anony, I will agree to your "A+++" IF they can sign Leroy Hill to a long-term deal! If it blows up in their faces, then it's a huge loss. They could go out and sign Derrick Brooks as a stop-gap but Hill is in the prime of his career, right now. You want to get those guys on the way up the hill, if not right at the top, not as they are on the way down. So this is a huge gamble with Hill. But sign him, and then with everything that happened in the draft, including getting that first round pick from the Broncos next year? It is hard to imagine the whole thing going any better than it did.