The Draft by Earnest Byner
Earnest Byner wrote his third blog article for Pro Interviews. EB has 27 years experience in the NFL, both as a player and as a coach. He was drafted in the 9th round, and was a Super Bowl Champion with the Washington Redskins. He then started his coaching career with the Baltimore Ravens, then went onto the Washington Redskins, then the Tennessee Titans, and then the Jacksonville Jaguars. He wrote this blog before the 2011 NFL season.
Player B: Hey man, don’t worry about it. Use this as motivation to get better. You already know you can’t get comfortable in this profession. We need to try to get to the next level anyway. New players are our replacements, but not this year.
The draft is the life blood of the NFL. Some would say it’s a young man’s game. Each year, new blood is brought in to add talent to each team. There are players that are already ready to step on the field and some that need development and will have to go through a process before they can make contributions to the team. Some of the draftees never become what the forecast had predicted.
The drafting process seems to be similar to telling the weather at times. Each team has a college department with a number of scouts that scour the country to find talent. They do all types of research and tests to find out more information concerning a possible addition to their respective teams. The coaches get involved in the process as well. Coaches usually watch videos and then possibly conduct interviews. They will report their view of the player. What I have given you is a short synopsis of how a college player can become drafted. I did not include the owner, head coach, GM, coordinators and some pro scouts’ opinions.
Even with all that is involved, there are no certainties that the player will turn out to be what their game film predicts.
Some players will be successful no matter which team drafts them. They have that self-made spirit with them. They are “take-charge” players that have a natural way of making things happen no matter what else happens around them. They may be the ones that are the tone-setters for your team.
Some players make it because they are drafted into the right situation. They have the right coach to help them maximize their talents. The coach has a good feel for him and he has it for the coach. If either of them has to move on for whatever reason, the next place or coach might not have that ability or the feel of the former coach, so the player’s play may drop off. This type of guy may turn out to be your “journeyman” player.
Sometimes, we have a situation where a player is drafted and has shown a lot of promise, but when he is at the next level, no matter what, it’s just not going to happen. Something just seems to be off and no one can explain it. In my view, this is a bit spiritual in nature. It’s just not meant to be.
With all that goes into making sure the right player is taken in the right spot, it just might not be in the air for him to be what his prediction stated. Drafting is like predicting the weather and not an exact science. Most of the time, the teams can get it right. Sometimes, it’s the right place with the right coach. Other times, it doesn’t work out in the environment.
Player A: Man! That guy is good. He’s going to be a good player. I can see why they drafted him.