College career most important when drafting

Dakota Ratley

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Hundreds of young men will have their future decided halfway through May. All the conversation will be focused on the other side of the spectrum, however. It’s odd how these young men go from campus legends to just another name on the Raiders’ big board.

Football is the ultimate team sport. It requires teamwork on every single play. When it comes draft time though, that one player can make a real difference. That’s why there is such fierce debate over whom each team should take…and why there is such backlash in case the team gets it wrong.

How often do we think of the other side? These players all have given at least three years of hard work to their universities. So now that the fun of college is over, now what?

Players have to work harder with their workouts. After the last snap, nothing can be changed about their college careers. All that matters now is their combine results and pro days.

These results directly affect the players draft stock. Every year it seems a player that played decent throughout college comes along and amazes everyone with his combine or pro day. Suddenly, that player becomes “can’t miss.”

Honestly, most teams will get it wrong anyway. People make mistakes and draft bad players high and good players low. Tom Brady went in the sixth round, behind six other quarterbacks, and went on to win more rings than all of them combined. Kurt Warner, Warren Moon and Tony Romo all went undrafted and have had successful careers.

It’s all a pseudoscience. The draft is so overthought it has become quite a spectacle. Sports personalities will debate endlessly whether or not that one-tenth of a second in the 40-yard dash makes one prospect better than another.

The point is, these players played three or four years of football for scouts to gruel over. Yes, raw skills are great. Give me the player that dominated the gridiron over the player that dominated the combine.

If a young man’s future is decided by their draft placement, than it should be judged by the entire body of work, not a few months of glorified practice.