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Draft Picks Are Made Not Born

Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders has an incredible article up at Football Outsiders about the relative value of draft picks and the evaluation of said draft picks.

He points out perfectly, that draft picks become stars because of the coaching and instruction that they are given once they are drafted.  A lot of players have the capability, but only a few get the right coaching.  This is the quote that sums it all up for me.

The difference between the third and 13th best player at any position on these lists is infinitesimally small compared to the variables that will shape their growth once they reach the NFL.

I’ll paraphrase the rest because you have to read the whole article.  Basically, A player who is drafted into a team and put in the position in which he receives inconsistent coaching and intruction will turn into a bust because he is not put in a posistion to suceed.  This is the posistion the Rams used to be in with the feuding in their front office and between their GM and coach.

However, the same player could be put onto another team that has the same ideas throughout their front office, scouts and coaching and be a huge sucess.  If the scouts tell the team what the player needs to work on and the coaching staff ahead of time, the player gets the specific and consistent instruction he needs to become a Pro-Bowl player.  This is where the Rams are headed with Spagnuolo, Demoff and Devaney all on the same page with their scouts and working in harmony.

This is synopsis does not do the article justice.  It is a draft week must read.

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