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Why Is It So Hard to Judge WRs?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by aluminum seats, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Thought about this with the Bethel Johnson mention. Why is it so hard to figure out how wide receivers will fare in the NFL? It seems like of all positions, the WR position is the one that's the most difficult to draft for. These names just off the top of my head--Hart Lee Dykes, Tony Simmons, Donald Hayes, Bethel Johnson, Chad Jackson (still hoping for him), and on and on, where all brought to the Pats, and none panned out. (I realize Hayes was a FA).

    Makes you think that, like LBs, the Pats should just look to FA for receivers, or at least second day picks only.

    What's the deal? I bet the Lions would like the answer to this, too.
  2. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    I'm no expert, but I think the biggest reason is route running. College schemes are much simpler, and so WR's are only required to master a few routes and repeat them over and over. The schemes are more complex in the NFL. That's not a transition that every WR can make, and that aptitude is not a measureable skill for scouts to evaluate.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  3. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    Keep in mind, rarely are their great rookie wrs. WR don't typically hit their stride until year 3. If you compare that with RB who can often have their best year their rookie year and by year 3 be too banged up to continue playing.
    Predicting if a guy will be able to play with at his current skill set in 6 months from now is a lot easier than guessing if a guy will succeed at the 2 year wr training program.
  4. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    The big problem is gauging a college receiver's ability to consistently get off the LOS vs. pro caliber corner press coverage. No matter how big, fast, how well he runs routes, if he can't get off the LOS and into his route in time with the rest of the O he is useless. This has ruined many supposedly elite prospects. This was the original knock on Randy Moss when he was coming out of college.
  5. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Very good question. I think it's because many talented players choose that position, guys that could have played BBall or track or baseball for instance.

    Also, many egotistical jerks develop, because they get a lot of praise without the responsibility of a QB, without taking the punishment of a RB.

    The QB needs the bigshot receiver, so if he doesn't block or practice well etc., it's sloughed off because he can run and the QB will get it to him.

    There's a recipe for an undisciplined, uncoachable, me-first player who never bothered to learn the playbook or block because he had far greater speed/talent than the competition.

    In the pros, he sits in favor of Troy Brown who had to learn all the best technique and practice habits.
  6. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    Bethel Johnson needed a lot of work. He Was not at all polished out of college and the team saw him as a project with speed.

    I think they thought with as little success as he had in college, he would be the type to really apply himself to their intricate system.

    He thought he knew more than the coaches, which is astounding, but when everybody tells you how fast you are and how all you need is a chance, I guess it's possible.
  7. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    Aside from obvious things like defenses, especially CBs, being far superior in the NFL than in college, the route-running in the NFL is far more cerebral than in college. Especially the adjustments. Take Moss, for instance. Aside from his obvious physical gifts, BB has routinely mentioned Moss' intelligence; I believe he's gone as far as saying Moss is the smartest WR he's ever coached.

    Then there's Bethel. I remember the 2004 regular season game at Pittsburgh where Bethel ran a lazy buttonhook that didn't fool DeShea Townsend one bit, Brady threw the ball anyway and Townsend took it back for 6. Most WRs will get the CB's hips turned before making the break back to the QB. Bethel didn't even come close getting Townsend to do that.

    There was a reason Brady was disappointed when Branch departed in 2006 with no real replacement, for he was outstanding at route adjustments. His SB39 performance was a clinic on finding holes in the zone. His performances in SB38 and even in the Broncos playoff loss were also impressive showings on how to find the soft spots in the D.

    Regards,
    Chris
  8. Xzibit23

    Xzibit23 Rookie

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    I think the talent gap in positions between the college game and NFL is most evident in DBs, and thats why the two positions rookies almost never do well in are WR and QB. Thing is a lot of DBs in college are really just two way players, or do multiple things..they arent as specialized and as skilled in that one positon. Not to mention the speed and physical play you see from corners is on a completely different level.

    WRs that were great in the college that couldnt even cut an NFL team are a dime a dozen. And almost every good WR took a couple of years to adjust to the higher plateau they needed to go to. The only WR i can think of who was great since day one is Moss, at least that I can think of.
  9. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Good answers........Let me just say that these kind of responses are the reason I started checking this site out--there can be so much nonsense here (like, "look who said this about us!!") that you can forget how much solid football feedback you can get here.
  10. patsfan55

    patsfan55 Rookie

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    problem is too many scouts look at the measurables
    but as wes welker, for one, proves it's not all about how big and fast you are

    the most important attributes every great wr shares are: determination and concentration
    can anyone sit here and tell me ben watson shouldn't be one of the best tight ends in football
    what's his problem?
    lack of concentration
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