Former Ole Miss Quarterback Jevan Snead’s decision to forgo his senior year in Oxford and enter the NFL draft was panned from the get-go by almost every major national analyst.
Turns out, they were right.
While I did not agree with Snead’s decision and obviously felt another year in the SEC could rehabilitate his draft stock, I thought doomsday predictions of his going undrafted were preposterous.
Turns out, I was wrong.
As the seventh and final round of the NFL draft on Saturday edged closer to completion with every pick, the sobering reality of Snead’s decision was laid bare.
For all the measurables and well-reviewed performances at both the combine and the Ole Miss Pro Day, Snead failed to convince those he needed to that—when the time came—he could make the right choice.
On the field, Snead’s play never recovered from the blitzkrieg Ole Miss found waiting in Columbia, South Carolina, on a nationally-televised, Thursday night game on ESPN last September.
Off the field, Snead’s image never recovered either.
After leading Ole Miss to an unexpected thumping of No. 8 Texas Tech in the 2008 Cotton Bowl, Snead’s stock could not have been much higher.
In April of last year, CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco wrote a column making the case that Snead would be the No. 1 overall pick.
Todd McShay—of Scouts, Inc. and ESPN fame—graded Snead in the 90s and pegged him as a first rounder.
The venerable Mel Kiper had Snead in the Top 10 on his preseason big board.
All for the same draft that never heard the name of Jevan Snead called once in 255 opportunities.
Snead’s 2009 campaign—in microcosm—mirrored that of the Ole Miss Football Team: missed opportunities and unexpected struggles.
The Rebels were ranked fourth in the nation the night they played the Gamecocks, and the loss brought a virtual public stoning from the greater college football audience.
In every article written dogging the Rebels as frauds a picture of Jevan Snead was prominently featured.
Snead was the face for the Rebels’ fortunes as they turned south, and though the team bounced back for a 9-4 year and Top 25 ranking—the second in a row with Snead as quarterback—his public perception was never revised.
Truthfully, maybe Snead did not do enough on the field to earn such leniency. Too many forced throws and too many interceptions left too many negative images for anyone to feel anything but disappointment when thinking of Jevan Snead.
After going undrafted this weekend, I cannot help but feel anything but disappointment for Jevan Snead.
Snead is now—once again—a poster boy, and for something else he never saw coming.
He will forever be a cautionary tale; someone others will point to when debating the value of advice received and from whom, of turning down good opportunities in expectation of grander ones, and—most assuredly—of really bad choices.
The road from undrafted free agent to NFL starting quarterback is a long and improbable one, and statistics tell us that we have probably seen the last of Jevan Snead playing football on TV.
Here’s hoping Snead overcomes those odds in a way he just never could the list of objections NFL teams carried into their war rooms this draft weekend.
Jeb Williamson covers Ole Miss Football as a Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report. He welcomes and appreciates all comments. Click here to visit his profile page for other articles.