Sunday, April 17, 2005

More on Adrian McPherson


And con.

And detailed (updated from yesterday, and there's an excellent Miami Herald article in the April 17 edition).

And my takes, which many of you have read before, here, here and here (and click the link in this last post for my first post on McPherson).

Dan Pompeii of The Sporting News has not jumped on the McPherson bandwagon and is quite wary of him. Pompeii's point is a not unreasonable if a) it's true that McPherson is only a developmental prospect and b) that compared to other projects out there, it's always better to go with one with a clean background than one with McPherson's. At best, it's the smart human resources move in an age where past blemishes seem to be less forgiveable than previously. At worst, it's the safe human resources move in a universe where many people passed on both Warren Sapp and Randy Moss on draft day, only to regret it later (especially Sapp, who helped lead his team to a Super Bowl title). Needless to say, the "safe" moves aren't without peril.

I don't accept Pompeii's point, though, because a) McPherson is more than a developmental prospect (he is a potential star) and b) while McPherson's past character mistakes do raise issues (they are impossible to ignore), he made them when he was an immature kid and has more than atoned for them. His journey has involved his hitting bottom and rebuilding his life, and his character hasn't been questioned for almost three years. Is it impossible for anyone who has made a significant character mistake, especially at a very young age, to overcome it?

Here are some other links as to QBs in this year's NFL draft where mention is made of McPherson, here, here, here and here.

What do you think?

Second-round pick?

Mid-round pick?

Undrafted free agent?

Somehow I think that Jon Gruden won't pass up McPherson in the third round unless the Bucs trade up for the first or second pick (they have the fifth) to ensure that they can get either Cal's Aaron Rodgers or Utah's Alex Smith (and there are reports that they are considering doing so; then again, it is hard to fathom Gruden's staking the future of his franchise immediately on McPherson, so it could be that even if he lands Smith or Rodgers, he'll try to take McPherson later for depth). Otherwise, I think that with a league-high 13 picks in the draft and a need for a third-string QB, the Philadelphia Eagles will use one of their three fifth-round picks on McPherson. Yes, I had written that the buzz was so that perhaps McPherson could have sneaked up very high in the draft (perhaps into the second round), but right now I think the buzz has cooled off a bit. Not only are Rodgers and Smith the top two QBs in the draft, but most articles I've read put McPherson around the seventh most likely to be taken, behind Akron's Charlie Frye, Auburn's Jason Campbell, Purdue's Kyle Orton and UConn's Dan Orlovsky.

Is that so bad?

Well, for a one-time Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in Florida, yes, because his past successes predicted much more. But for someone who was kicked off his college team, that's quite all right.

All Adrian McPherson needs from someone in the NFL is an invitation to enter.

The rest is up to him.

I, for one, believe in second chances, especially in McPherson's case, and something tells me that if given the chance, he will not disappoint.


Lee J. Cockrell said...

McPherson wasn't a particularly good QB in college, whereas Moss and Sapp were dominant players. He was young and talented, but couldn't beat out the perennially overrated Chris Rix for the starting job.

He had an outstanding season in the lowest league in the land -- for a team that disbanded afterwards. Doesn't say much to me. Lots of players, especially quarterbacks, can deceive in private workouts, and lots of scouts fall in love with the measurables rather than important things like accuracy, cool under fire, and leadership.

I might use a 6th rounder on him if I could see him in person to compare to other quarterbacks. Given his troubles and lack of experience I don't see why people are gushing all about him.

I don't think Clarett is a very good pick to make either.

SportsProf said...

Thanks, Lee.

He certain has drawn a lot of attention, and Leigh Steinberg's willingness to take him on as a client does say that McPherson might be a better prospect than most think. That said, the Miami Herald article, which I linked to in an update after you posted this post, contains very critical statements from the D.A. who prosecuted McPherson. Right now I think he'll go on the third or fourth round. I think Clarett is a riskier pick because of his times. His alleged transgressions don't seem as serious in the scheme of things, but he just looks like he's too slow to make a difference.

Corey said...

Unfortunately it was difficult for McPherson to break into the Chris Rix/Bowden lovefest.

But even Bowden to this date will say (and has said) that McPherson was the better quarterback. He strictly went with the experienced Rix as a freshman and McPherson caught up with him halfway through their sophomore years. Hard to say what kind of career he had at FSU, I'm willing to say it would've been better than what Rix produced.

I tend to lean towards him being a first day pick. He could go anywhere from third round to free agent really.

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