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Why do Div 1 stars fail to make it in the pro ranks ?


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The title says it all. How can ex Heisman / top 10 team programs / major bowl winners/ etc.Fail to make it in the pro ranks?Some never even get past the practice squads of a NFL team. How can players from Div 2 and down make it ahead of these guys .These college superstars are being prepped for greatness right when they first step foot on their campus.You can't tell me a lower Div has better overall talent and coaching than a top 10 div 1 program .

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Absolutely they do - the best of the best start in the NFL - sometimes the next best aren't rostered for economic reasons. For example owners aren't keeping a controversial and costly back up QB around - just saying.

 

Guys develop at different times - at 18 coming out of high school the guy is a stud but perhaps his mind doesn't process quickly enough to handle the complexities of the game at the next level or he just doesn't develop so others pass him by.

 

There's a huge gap between the NFL, NBA or MLB and college also -

 

 

 

 

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Want to know the exception?

Olympic Gold Medalists almost ALWAYS become major pro boxing stars.

And the adjustment to pro competition is much bigger than in many other sports.

 

Weight, for example.

 

Amateurs box at a weight much closer to their walking around weight because they box in tournaments and must perform at a weight that they can maintain.

 

Professionals weigh in at a weight much lower than their walking around weights unless they're unlimited heavyweights. They dehydrate for the weigh-in.

 

Amateur scoring is completely different.

All clean "touches" are scored equally.

It's almost like fencing.

 

In pro boxing, the effect of landed blows figures in.

 

Yet, despite these huge changes, Gold Medalists get world rankings almost immediately upon turning pro.

 

Amateur success is a great indicator in boxing.

 

 

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Flip your question around and look at it from the opposite pole.  Tell me how a 3rd and 6th round draft pick become two of the greatest QBs in NFL history in Joe Montana and Tom Brady, respectively?

 

Take a look at the top two picks in the 1998 NFL draft.  Peyton Manning goes #1 to Indianapolis and rewrites the record books.  Ryan Leaf goes to the Chargers and is out of the league after a couple of years after an abysmal pro career.

 

I mean, you could spend the rest of your life analyzing the success and failure of NFL draft picks, both successful and unsuccessful.

 

To me it'd kind of similar to golf in a way.  Golf is 90% mental, because the 10% required to hit the club is robotic to pretty much anyone who snifs the PGA Tour.  But it's that 90% between the ears that separates the likes of Tiger Woods from a guy like Briny Baird.  One guy is an icon of the sport, and the other guy is most famously known for never having won a single thing.

 

It's the same thing for you and me on the golf course.  I have a buddy who insists he is going to be a scratch golfer within 5 years.  He's set his mind to it and there is nothing that's going to stop him from achieving it.  Then there are guys who never seemingly improve past a 8 handicap, even though they can hit the ball great.  It's mostly between your ears.  

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There are a bunch of different pressures that come with playing professionally compared to playing as an Amateur. You also can't forget that Golf is a Global sport and there is great talent from around the world that didn't attend a D1 in the US. When these D1 guys turn pro there are being exposed to not just the best from the US in there age range but those who are older and others from around the world

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Maybe more than any other sport, individual success in football is tied to the system a team plays. This is the great "is Brady or Belichick more responsible for New England" question.

 

Ultimately, I don't think that these are separable. Without Brady, Belichick wasn't the most successful coach in Cleveland. And in terms of the gifts you want a quarterback to have, I'd have to say that guys like Elway or Rodgers rank higher than Brady. But put them together: magic.

 

GSwag mentioned the Manning/Leaf example, citing mental toughness, etc. I'm not fully convinced, though Leaf's record after football doesn't evidence the best decision-making. (But then, who's to say that his bad decisions weren't greatly influenced by bearing the burden of being considered one of the worst, if not the worst, draft busts ever?)

 

What if Manning and Leaf switched draft positions? Would their careers have been exactly the same? Would they have swapped? Something in between? I don't know how to even begin assessing that.

 

To a lesser extent, team culture also is going to matter. Suppose Johnny Manziel had been drafted by New England rather than Cleveland; would he have made as many knuckleheaded decisions? Obviously, it's impossible to say with certainty, but we might suppose the odds would have swung in his favor.

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I've been to my fair share of div 2 and 3 sporting events.And it fails in comparison with major div 1 matchups.I just guess they just don't have what the pro scouts are looking for.

I don't want us to mix our metaphors here - you're talking football - not golf - correct?

 

Yes there's a gap in divisions but there's a way bigger gap between the NFL and college than there is between each Division in college football.

 

It takes a trained eye to figure out who will succeed in the NFL and even then it's hard to know what's between the ears and in the heart. That's often the decider by factor

 

 

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Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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Pro sports scouts know what they are looking for. The size and scope of the program has no bearing on natural talent. Take Khalil Mack as an example. He came from a MAC school. He's the best defensive player in the NFL.

 

Another thing to consider: College isn't the NFL... not even close... no matter what anyone thinks. The worst player in the NFL that you can think of is far above the college superstar. Every player in the NFL is an NFL caliber athlete.... or they wouldn't be there. That doesn't mean college superstars can't or won't make it in the NFL, but sometimes the pro ranks are just too much of a leap for many of them.

 

The speed of the NFL requires another couple of levels on the college athlete's part just to keep a roster spot. Like the saying goes in professional golf........... these guys are good!

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The title says it all. How can ex Heisman / top 10 team programs / major bowl winners/ etc.Fail to make it in the pro ranks?Some never even get past the practice squads of a NFL team. How can players from Div 2 and down make it ahead of these guys .These college superstars are being prepped for greatness right when they first step foot on their campus.You can't tell me a lower Div has better overall talent and coaching than a top 10 div 1 program .

Sometimes it comes down to a kid has peaked at 18, or still grows/gets better. Recruiting services don't see EVERY kid play football, so the fact they rank kids nationally is a farce. Some kids do develop, some kids have coached in college that don't make them better, and at 22 they're no better than they were at 18. Some kids start the sport later in life....

Lots of factors! Just because you go to Alabama doesn't mean you're better than everyone else.........

 

 

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Pro sports scouts know what they are looking for. The size and scope of the program has no bearing on natural talent. Take Khalil Mack as an example. He came from a MAC school. He's the best defensive player in the NFL.

 

Another thing to consider: College isn't the NFL... not even close... no matter what anyone thinks. The worst player in the NFL that you can think of is far above the college superstar. Every player in the NFL is an NFL caliber athlete.... or they wouldn't be there. That doesn't mean college superstars can't or won't make it in the NFL, but sometimes the pro ranks are just too much of a leap for many of them.

 

The speed of the NFL requires another couple of levels on the college athlete's part just to keep a roster spot. Like the saying goes in professional golf........... these guys are good!

Look at Jamarcus Russel (opening old wounds) he was a college star but didn't have the work ethic or mental capacity to play pro ball. He was a college star.
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To touch on the mental aspect, the wonderlic (think I spelled that right) test is part of the NFL combine that is looked at more by certain coaches for different positions. I believe Bellichick said he looks at the test results for most of his linemen before any other combine numbers.

 

In high school I played with maybe half a dozen guys who were playing senior ball their first year of eligibility and they were massive for 15/16 year olds, but didn't grow much and by the time senior year came around, they were slightly above average size and only two received any scholarship offers.

 

On the subject of drafting, I have always said with all major sports leagues here it is basically an educated guess (pronounced gamble) aside from a select few at the top of the board.

 

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The difference between being good and just “serviceable” in the NFL is so razor thin that many times success comes down to the intangibles. The immeasurables like desire and work ethic come out in players like Tom Brady. When you're paying players what teams do, the tolerance for letting a player develop is pretty low. When they take a flier in the sixth round he has weeks, not years, to prove himself.

 

 

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Every thing starts with overall talent but that is not the only factor when you are talking team sports. Timing, fit and system play huge roles. That's why a guy can be all pro or all star on one team then move to another and not be very effective at all.

 

Golf is the great equalizer. Whether you play at Stanford or Thomas Edison State it's your talents and ability against the course. The golf ball will not repeal from the water simply because you play for an SEC school over a HBC school. Q school is full of guys slow walking with their Big 10 bags on their back heading to the house.

 

 

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I'd suggest reading the first chapter of “The Undoing Project,” a great read that discusses behavioral economics. The book is written by Michael Lewis most famously known for “Moneyball.”

 

The first chapter discusses how the Houston Rockets blew up their acquisition and scouting process and started over fresh. They had thought they had an edge over the typical powerhouses at the time by using a different set of analytics and metrics for analyzing players. Daryl Morey did just that; a statistical approach to acquiring talent.

 

Unfortunately for them, the science was flawed. It was a great idea in theory.

 

I could go on about it but the read is worth it.

 

 

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Timing matters. If Drew Bledsoe doesn't get hurt, do we ever hear of Brady? Maybe. Maybe not.

 

If Tim Couch was able to sit his first season with the Browns, would he have become a star? Maybe.

 

Also, success in the NFL is a lonely road. The mental toughness to be able to deal with that is something that cannot be measured. So just because someone has been a star their entire amateur life, doesn't automatically mean they'll be a successful pro. And in the NFL, sometimes it's just down to the ability to suffer.

 

 

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To a lesser extent, team culture also is going to matter. Suppose Johnny Manziel had been drafted by New England rather than Cleveland; would he have made as many knuckleheaded decisions? Obviously, it's impossible to say with certainty, but we might suppose the odds would have swung in his favor.

Aaron Hernandez says that team culture doesn't mean a thing.  If you want to be a bum, you'll be bum in Cleveland, New England, or New York.

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Aaron Hernandez says that team culture doesn't mean a thing.  If you want to be a bum, you'll be bum in Cleveland, New England, or New York.

 

There's an awful lot of room between "team culture completely determines behavior" and "team culture doesn't mean a thing." You tell me: suppose you're trying to help a friend make better life choices. Are you going to say that who he hangs around with "doesn't mean a thing"?

 

Team culture obviously isn't the all-encompassing explanation for anything. But if we're considering factors why one guy makes it and another doesn't, it's one thing to consider.

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lesser extent, team culture also is going to matter. Suppose Johnny Manziel had been drafted by New England rather than Cleveland; would he have made as many knuckleheaded decisions? Obviously, it's impossible to say with certainty, but we might suppose the odds would have swung in his favor.

 

 

I'm one who believe life is full of mistakes. And we all learn from them.Their isn't such a thing as a knucklehead decision.This is why I should've been a pastor.One if my main objectives is looking for the good in everyone.And realize we aren't all born perfect.Heck, if it wasn't for mistakes, our world would still be back in the biblical age.Life mistakes are what make us who we are.Some can get out the rut on their own.While others need support moving on with positives not negatives.Ive gotten in many an argument with a preacher or priest over this.Some agreed with my outlook, others not

 

But football, more than many sports, has so many off field negative temptations and bad decisions.The top colleges and even the pro level only think about a players on field abilities.Would be great if they kept this same high on field standard as they do off the field.Some of these young men need life mentors more than coaches.Maybe that would've prepared some of these young athletes for the next level.

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Keep it in the short stuff

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Boise State produced the most prolific quarterback in NCAA history. A one Mr. Kellen Moore. He holds the highest winning percentage of anyone who's ever played that position coming in at 50-3 (.943). Even with that, he didn't really have a chance in the NFL and even homers like myself saw that as a reality from miles away. The NFL is way too big and way too fast for the game Kellen has/had and he just simply could not keep up. He's now the QB coach for Dallas (dammit!) and he'll make one heck of a coach going forward.

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