Sunday, April 10, 2005

More on Adrian McPherson -- The Roethlisberger of 2005?

So says CNN/SI, which has been trumpeting the talents of the former Florida State and Arena Football League QB, going so far as to say that it is McPherson, and not Cal's Aaron Rodgers or Utah's Alex Smith, who has this type of immediate breakout potential.

Rodgers and Smith are household names, especially among NFL fans, and both are likely to be picked in the first five or ten picks of the entire draft. They are "safer" picks than McPherson, who has wowed scouts with his talent and looks to have picked up the pieces of his once-shattered athletic fashion that would have made Rudyard Kipling (the author of "If", for those who didn't get the reference, and, if you still don't, read the poem, it's excellent, and if you did in the first place and feel a bit patronized, I apologize) proud.

He has repeatedly answered questions about mistakes he had made, and he hasn't shied away from them. He knows that character is an issue, and he's tried to impress upon those who are evaluating him that his efforts since his days at Florida State demonstrate a new level of maturity and responsibility. The kid who thought he could do no wrong in college now understands that he has but one shot to show everyone that he's grown into a man.

So the burning question now is "how high will he go?" His hometown paper evokes the names of safer picks in the past, players such as Akili Smith, Heath Shuler, Rick Mirer and of course, Ryan Leaf (not to mention Joey Harrington, who did not get mentioned in the article). Right now, McPherson is predicted to be the fourth QB taken in the draft, behind Rodgers, Smith and Auburn's Jason Campbell -- and in the second round. But that's right now, and the draft is 13 days away.

And those of you who have followed NFL drafts know that a lot can happen in the two weeks leading up to a draft. Players' stocks rise and fall for many reasons, and it would appear that McPherson's only can rise at this point. The character issues that had raised important questions apparently have been answered, and the compelling question is whether any GM will buck tradition and leapfrog McPherson into the first round.

We'll know in two weeks.


Corey said...

I expect AD to go in the third round...At first I thought he was a 3-4 round possibility, now I think he's definitely in the third round.

He's come a long way from his issues at FSU, he was basically out of football, out of sports and now he's fought his way back to the point of getting drafted and most likely getting drafted in the first day.

I'll put you on my blogroll. I've meant to for a while

SportsProf said...

Thanks, Corey.

The projected draft boards right now don't have him in the first two rounds, but a lot of games get played within two weeks of draft time. Something tells me Jon Gruden will take McPherson in the second round. McPherson's clearly a first-round talent that teams will try to get as a "steal" in the third or fourth, but I have a hunch that the fear of losing him will prompt someone to take him higher.

Nikki said...

I know this is an old posting but I was doing some research on Adrian McPherson trying to see why in the world the Saints won't play him!! He sounds like he has real potential. Do you know if his past has anything to do with this?

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