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College Production And NFL Prospects: Will That Production Translate To The Next Level?


I for one will admit that I have no idea. Many professional scouts and NFL talent evaluators, are often at odds over whether certain top prospects will produce in the NFL like they did in college. College production is but one of many measuring sticks. Height, weight, speed, vertical jumps, number of bp reps, and so forth; give certain indicators that a prospect may be able to meet and exceed NFL expectations. The problem with some evaluators is a little too much hubris. I have seen many of these draft professionals use phrases like , "can't miss", "no brainer", " will be a staple on the team for the next decade". How can anyone offer these comments with such absolute assurity, is amazing.

There are a few analyst that I think give a more balanced approached. Mike Mayock for instance. I think he does a great job of studying the film and giving an earnest and objective opinion. Charles Davis is another who bypasses the entertainment aspect's of analyzing prospects and focuses in on the meat and potatoes of the subject. Mayock and Davis are also unique because they are quick to admit if they missed something in the evaluation process. They do this without being prodded to do so. No person is perfect in talent evaluation; they cannot be. There are simply too many variables to get it right all the time.

College production can lead evaluators to hasty conclusions. DE Vernon Gholston , Ohio St for example;

2006: Gholston recorded: 49 tkls, 18 TFL, and 7 sacks

2007: He recorded: 37 tkl's, 15 TFL, and 14 sacks.

When I look at these numbers it is easy to determine solid college production. CBSSPORTS.com did a draft profile of Gholston in 2008 after his combine; they gave Gholston glowing reviews. Were they wrong to do so? I don't think so. They were responding on the data that they had at the time and went with it. They still missed on how productive Gholston would be. They did; and a lot of others as well. Prospect evaluation is not an exact science. College production gives only one part of the story. It is easy to get swayed by any number of variables: Interviews, Wonderlic Scores, and/or College Production. If an evaluator only concentrates on one illuminating variable, he could easily miss other crucial factors.

After the jump I will post a mock draft that Idid earlier. It involves trading back with Kansas City who moved up to six to take QB Ryan Tannehill. I think this is one scenario that could take place on draft day; with The Chiefs in need of a QB for the future.

Trade: The Kansas City Chiefs swap number one picks with The St.Louis Rams. In addition; The Rams receive a third and fifth round selection for 2012, and a second rounder for 2013.

1.(11) WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech

2. RB Doug Martin, Boise St

2. OLB Zach Brown, N.C.

3. WR Marvin Jones, Cal

3. OG Brandon Brooks, Miami(OH)

4. DT Akiem Hicks, Regina

5. FS Janzen Jackson, McNeese St

6. CB Chris Greenwood, Albion

7. WR Jordan White, Western Michigan

7. OLB Jerrell Harris, Alabama

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