Class of ’17 NFL Draft is filled with franchise worthy talent
April 18, 2017
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This year’s NFL Draft is filled with talented players. From Clemson’s Championship-caliber quarterback, Deshaun Watson, to Michigan’s safety that can practically play any position, Jabrill Peppers, these NFL prospects are stars ready to make their mark on the league.
“NFL teams nowadays are looking for good, long-term investment players who are able to make a smooth transition from college ball to the NFL,” said senior Carden Warner.
This sheds light to players such as Robert Griffin III who performed spectacularly in college but did not seem to find much success in the NFL. After leading the Redskins to a division title, Griffin III experienced his career crumble after a knee injury due to a big hit late in his rookie season. “If a scrambling quarterback gets hit badly, they could potentially get a career changing injury,” said Warner. For this reason, teams today are looking for players who are durable and contribute to their team in the long-run. The players who fit in this category include Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett and LSU’s Jamal Adams. Both of these players are not as known to the public as most superstar quarterbacks. In terms of collegiate athletes and their transition, publicity often does not reflect talent.
“I think there is a difference between being popular and having skill in football,” said senior John Sullivan.
This can be seen with players such as Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow, who were both the center of media attention, declined drastically once they experienced life in the NFL. In addition to hidden talent these lesser known players may possess, NFL prospects are also chosen based off personality and their ability to work well with a team as a whole. This is a major contributing factor when determining a draft prospect’s potential for success on a team.
“Personality is always important when a team thinks about drafting a player,” said Sullivan
The New England Patriots in particular tend to draft lesser-known players, many of whom go on to later shine in the NFL due to their experienced coaching staff and strong sense of teamwork. Chris Hogan, a player who originally played lacrosse at Penn State and then switched to football later in college at Monmouth, ended up on four separate teams before he ended up on New England’s roster this season. He recently set the record for most receiving yards for the Patriots in an NFL game and is the AFC Champion’s star wide receiver.
“Chris Hogan has potential, he hadn’t developed most of his career, went to a no-name football school, was cut by many teams, and is now a great player since the Patriots were able to realize this potential,” said senior Francis Nguyen.
These players, who hold strong potential, are likely to be drafted. As a result, don’t be alarmed if your favorite college football star isn’t drafted until later rounds.
“If you’re good, then you’re going to get drafted,” said senior Nathan Riedinger.