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The NFL Draft: Trust Nobody

I think Justin Blackmon is going to be a great receiver in the NFL for
years to come. The talented WR from Oklahoma State has been all
over draft boards lately, rising and falling with aplomb. Although he
runs sloppy routes now and does have some problems in tight
coverage, his skill set reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald.

Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder and what one person
sees, another may not. This is why people get paid hundreds of
thousands of dollars – even millions – to evaluate beauty, skill,
acumen, talent and more. Most of these evaluators work in
extremely competitive fields and fight over the same DNA.

The National Football League might be the paragon of competitive
perspective. General Managers (GM), Pro Personnel Directors,
Directors of College Scouting and scouts make their living and
make their money based on which piece of flesh and bone they
hitch their wagon to. Even though these positions will always
include successes and failures, careers are made and broken if a
pattern begins to form. Be right on a player more times than not
and be wealthy. Be wrong on a player more times than not and
hope you’re family is wealthy.

With this axiom in mind, when NFL teams get inside of two weeks
from the draft, believe nobody. Subterfuge is the word – not grease
– this time of the year. There is information, misinformation and
disinformation circling around college prospects. Unfortunately,
disinformation – the wanton, willful act of purposely misleading
others – will only increase with each passing day.

Listen to what one NFL GM said about Justin Blackmon.

“I just don’t see it,” the GM said. “I heard everyone raving about his
pro day. Am I the only one who thought it was an average workout?
He ran a 4.51 and 4.52 on my watch. The workout itself, I thought,
was average at best. I didn’t see any twitch or explosion. He has
been raised by Dez Bryant. They are both knuckleheads – I’ve heard
the Vegas stories. There are some (red) flags there.”

Maybe Blackmon’s “flags” are flying in the face of this NFL GM,
obscuring his perspective.

“I don’t know how (Blackmon) gets past Cleveland or Jacksonville.
He’s a playmaker. He’s got that bulls**t to him, but almost all of
them at that position have it. Look at Michael Irvin and Steve Smith
and DeSean Jackson. When (Blackmon) is on the field, he competes.
Guys can beat him up off the field, but he has been productive in
every big-game competition. He ran a 4.47 and a 4.49 at his pro
day.”

Are these men blind or are they watching two different people on
tape and at workouts? How can they have such dichotomous views
of the same talented kid?

Somebody might not be telling the truth here: or somebody might
want to make his counterpart stop and rethink his position on
Blackmon; or somebody might be trying to make his adversary
covet what isn’t there; or somebody is telling the truth and nobody
will believe him because everybody knows you cannot trust
anything an NFL team says about a player in April.

If information is knowledge and knowledge is power,
disinformation is ignorance and ignorance is bliss…

Unless you happen to be the GM of an NFL team, trying to influence
your peers: Information is ignorance and knowledge is power,
disinformation is knowledge and ignorance is bliss.

Yeah…I’m sure you see the problem.