During the primaveral period of the calendar that is typically witnessed between the NCAA basketball tournament and the early rounds of the Stanley Cup and NBA Playoffs, we are besieged with an inordinate amount of pre and post-National Football League Draft observations. Nevertheless, many effete attempts of cogent analysis from the selection of collegiate athletes has no more merit than trying to debate the legitimacy of Peter Cottontail or Bigfoot.
The problem with professional football’s clerisy and the average fan is that it is essentially futile attempting to previse how a young man will be able to perform on the field and adaptation to organizational structures (coaches, ownership, et cetera) infused with a vastly different financial portfolio is problematic. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in this process because the human element is difficult to predict because the individual is as unique as the stars in the cosmos.
It has been several years since one prominent expert made elucidating arguments that Rick Mirer would be the reincarnation of Joe Montana. Most sports fans were surprised (along with the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, and Detroit Lions) that Mirer was more akin to Rusty Hilger than any quarterback donning a bespoke gold jacket.
In fairness, it is certainly understandable why some in Cleveland are a bit uncomfortable with the Browns drafting of Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma due to the fact that they have no idea if the ebullient quarterback can achieve like the thaumaturgic Doug Flutie or fail similarly to the repulsion of Johnny Manziel.
The probability of Hall of Fame induction by any signal caller in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is long, but the consternation by some against the selection of any young man regardless of position may be unfair. For example, I thought a franchise would have drafted Lamar Jackson of Louisville well before the Baltimore Ravens did; a few individuals were so enraged by the perceived disrespect that there were rumblings of another boycott were afoot.
In reality, the selection of Jackson by the Ravens may ultimately prove that he was placed in the right place at the right time in positioning him for a Warren Moon type career save the five-year stint in the Canadian Football League. The most important factor is that Jackson has earned the opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong despite what the “experts” have to say about his arm strength, style, and other observations.
The transition from college to professional is a challenging proposition for anyone. We must exhibit patience with these athletes as teams adjust rosters and strategy to coincide with the talent that they procured via the draft and trades. Also, most of us can in no way pretend that we are Nostradamus in player evaluations of athletes that we only have a cursory knowledge of from highlights seen months ago.