The 2010 NFL Draft is sure to be many things. It could be a launching point to a proud and long career in St. Louis for Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, (known as Suhnami, Suhpaman, etc. around here). It could be a launching point for Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen (who might also be picked by the Rams). But one thing that should be hammered into people's heads, no matter how praising scouting reports may be, is that almost no player is lock to be a NFL success. I'm not writing this to try and slam down what you think about the top prospect(s) of the draft this year, but to merely throw a grain of salt in the holier-then-thou angelic glow these prospects have recieved.
Over the course of the last ten years, their have been almost as many busts in the top end of the draft as their have been good players. While Suh is surely a highly rated prospect, the same high rating seems all to familiar...
This quote is from warroomreport.com. I had some trouble finding exact quotes, as scouting reports from 2008 aren't exactly big news right now, but suffice to say, this same feeling was felt in many other places back then:
One, if not the top, DT prospects to enter the NFL in the past 10 years, Dorsey showed the ability to dominate in the SEC when healthy... He projects to work in any defense.
Sounds quite familiar doesn't it? Just like Glenn Dorsey, Ndamukong Suh has had his share of the injuries. Again, don't think I'm trying to persuade anyone to not pick him, but pegging him as the savior of the defense is a little much for someone who has never played a snap in the NFL, "elite talent" or not.
Remember Courtney Brown? John Wooten (Baltimore's assistant director of pro personnel at the time) said this about him:
"When I wrote my report on Courtney Brown, I said, 'This is the next Bruce Smith. I'll bet money on it,' "
From experience, that would have a good bet to go against. What about the one and only inconsistent Jimmy Kennedy? Mike Silver hit the nail right on the head when he said he was inconsistent and that all to familiar phrase:
...there were games he dominated
was said about Jimmy Kennedy. People oooh'd and awww'd for Dewayne Robertson that same year. While compiling some of the biggest recent draft busts, Angel Nevado at Bleacher Report summed it up perfectly:
Robertson was advertised with Warren Sapp-like potential
Regardless of their style of play, their speed, their size, all draft picks are ultimately measured on one thing: potential. Why else would Vernon Gholston have gone so high? The teams see that potential and they jump for it. Reiterating what I've said previously: this isn't a bash-fest of Ndamukong Suh. He's unarguably the best prospect in the draft and he is well worth the 1st pick. But he is being measured in potential. Stats and games for the Cornhuskers aren't going to do any good at helping the Rams get back into playoffs. It's way too early to anoint him as the catalyst to the second fearsome foursome. It's too early to say he's going to help propel Chris Long into Patrick Kerney territory. His NFL book hasn't been written yet and some people need to realize this.
As Billy Devaney put it best:
it's scary to use a high pick on a DT.
Ndamukong Suh already has massive shoes to fill. If he does indeed come to the Rams, let's all hope for his sake that he can fill them.