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Bradford, Suh, Bryant, Still Tops In Draft Class Despite Downgrades

Mack BonnerCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

This may be the first and only year that we will ever see a quarterback that threw for 50 touchdowns to only eight picks, a wide receiver that caught 87 passes for over 1,400 yards with 19 touchdowns, and a DT that had 87 tackles and 12 sacks be talked about as overrated or falling in the draft.

It's not that the top guys in the draft don't get picked on every year going into the draft, but that the stats these guys bring into the draft, sets them apart from other years.

Give this a quick thought.

Matthew Stafford threw for one more touchdown in his entire career at Georgia than Bradford threw for in 2008 alone. The great Calvin Johnson, that ran an impressive, 4.35 40 at his combine, was about 280 yards and four TD's short of matching Dez Bryant's most productive year, and I can't even remember the last time a DT was as highly touted as Ndamukong Suh.

Now, I'm not saying that these stats alone guarantee these college greats to be successful at the next level, but when you put on the tape, the stats begin to make sense.

All three players were dominant when playing at their highest level of play. For some reason though, people want to throw all that away and go on the combine and pro-day results alone. What is it that makes a 40 time more important than dominance on the field?

Why someone would care more about bench press results over tackles, sacks, or field play makes no sense either.

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That however, is what we're seeing year after year going into the draft. What it was that possessed Al Davis to draft Darius Heyward-Bey over Crabtree can only be described as pure ignorance.

Will people ever realize that running in a straight line for 40 yards, while concentrating on that alone, has no importance in judging an NFL prospect? I guess not.

Not only do they think that this somehow holds the key to judging NFL talent, but some go so far as to downgrade someone for being a tenth of a second slow in such a drill. Whats even worse is they even do it for players in which the drill holds no significance at all.

How often are we concerned about a defensive lineman being able to run down a running back or receiver after the first ten yards? It's not going to happen.

We also need to remember that some of the best players of all-time were not the fastest players on the field. Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and many other greats posted pedestrian 40 times.

Larry Fitzgerald clocked a 40 in the 4.5's. The last time I checked, Fitz has proved to be a pretty good player. That's just my opinion though I guess.

Let's also remember that, if we're going to move someone down in the draft, then we have to move someone up. So, who are the guys that are moving up to take Bradford, Bryant, and Suh's spot?

I'm not sure anyone can answer that.

Every player in the draft is going to have marks against them, (some more than others), but we must slow down with the quick judgements after one workout or one average 40 time. There are much more important things to look at when judging one's talent.

Some sports network channels are just as guilty of this, (if not more) than your average fan.

After-all, they are the ones that set the trends and give the most recent information on athletes. I think everyone needs to slow down, take a deep breathe, pop some popcorn, and watch some more film. We all have to keep in mind that everyone is entitled to a bad day and realize that NFL teams will whip these guys into shape.

If you have anything to add to this, or strongly dissagree, feel free to add your comments below.

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