Posts Tagged ‘NFL Combine’

SAT Scores and the NFL Combine: Why Both are So Often Unreliable

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

by Gus Griffin






NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: A general view of the draft stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)


NFL Draft day is here.  And what we think we know from our instant information on steroids era is leaving us no more informed about who will be a good player than in past years prior to the NFL Combine.  Call it a case of too much information in the wrong hands.


A great case study for this was the 2003 NFL Combine when a very well run franchise wanted a particular player very badly.  However, it was feared that the player would not be there when the teams’ turn came.  Though this team had two first-round picks, it did not want to trade up or give up one, if not necessary.  So their best hope was for the player to run a disappointing 40-yard dash.   This organization was smart enough to realize that the teams picking ahead of them were doing so for a reason: they were not very smart and overvalued NFL Combine information.


The player they wanted obliged them and ran a poor 40-yard dash, and as a result, the Detroit Lions bypassed him and took WR Charles Rogers at number 2.  The NY Jets did the same and took DL Dwayne Robertson at 4, as did the NO Saints taking DL Johnathan Sullivan at 6.   None of those three played more than 6 years in the NFL, a combined 14 years overall and 0 Pro Bowl selections.  This team with its 10thpick took an edge rusher out of Arizona State who would go on to record 6 double digit sack seasons and become a 6-time Pro-Bowl player.  Even after missing most of 2015 with an injury, he had 8 sacks last year, at age 33.  This year will be his 15th in the NFL.


The team was the Baltimore Ravens and the player was Terrell Suggs.  In addition to being the ugliest man in the NFL, he has been terrorizing my Steelers and the whole damn league ever since.


It’s not just the NFL.  Remember all the fuss about how much weight Kevin Durant could or couldn’t lift?


It might surprise some of you how this process of reading way too much into combine data is not much different than the impact of the SAT/ACT scores on the college admission process.   In my time as an educational professional, I wish I had a dollar for every student I have come across with great SAT/ACT scores who fell flat on his or her face, not just at a 4-year college, but also at the community college level.  I would be even richer if I had a dollar for all those I have encountered speaking little to no English and/or coming from impoverished situations, often with no household knowledge of the college process, and yet thrived, even to the point of earning transfer scholarships.


What the two processes have in common is how much of an indictment they both are of how we assess human potential.  Even more disturbing is the underlying reason we fall prey to this; simply put we are analytically lazy.


It’s a lot easier to look at numbers and be overly reliant upon them when making an assessment than it is too take the time to make a holistic and comprehensive assessment.  What NFL combine numbers and SAT scores do not measure is resilience, work ethic, and emotional intelligence, in spite of the fact that there are tools to measure both resilience and emotional intelligence.  Instead the NFL uses the Wonderlic.


I am not suggesting that none of the information collected is valuable.  I am, however, adamant that the vertical leap of an offensive linemen in football is not a piece of information that serves any useful purpose.  Furthermore, I argue the information collected should never replace direct interaction and other developmental factors, such as those already mentioned.  After all, at age 18-22, none of us are fully developed neurologically and thus even the best assessments are grasping as indicators of future success.


There is good news on the college front.  There are now over 800 accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions that have changed their approach to standardized test scores, by not requiring the SAT or ACT for admission.  So when high school counselors advise students with poor SAT or ACT scores about their college options, they can still offer them hope to include both those 800 colleges, in addition to the far too often undersold community college.


Unfortunately, I see no trend in the NFL against the current conventional thinking, which is to remain a slave to combine data for fear of looking stupid if one takes a chance on an outlier way of thinking.    It’s as if teams would rather continue to fail doing what most of the league does as opposed to taking a chance doing things differently.


Tonight, the cycle continues.  I’ll kick back with friends and watch but not far from my mind will be something a highly successful college and NFL coach once said about the draft, to paraphrase; you only have to worry about maybe a 3rd of the league.  The other two-thirds are so dysfunctional that they will self-destruct under the weight of their own idiotic decision making.


I wish the Ravens were among that two-thirds dysfunctional group back in 2003.


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports


McCaffrey and Fournette Are Right!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

by Gus Griffin






(Image courtesy of The Sporting News)

(Image courtesy of The Sporting News)


Both Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette have chosen to skip their bowl games in preparation for the NFL combine and draft.


Their basic reasoning is risk/reward analysis: the risk being another Jalen Smith or Marcus Lattimore cautionary tale by getting hurt and losing millions by dropping out of the first round of the draft, where virtually all of the guaranteed money is.  The reward: a pat on the back from your pimp…ah I mean coach and athletic director for leading your team to a victory in a game that is all but meaningless to everyone except those who collect the TV revenue, and that ain’t the players.


From some corners we hear the same old tired responses such as, “they signed a contract” or “they are quitting on their teams.”   


Let’s address both.


On the contract, it would seem to me that a natural evolution of the student athlete organizing movement would be to challenge just how legally binding are these contracts?  After all some are with 17-year old minors.  My Judge Mathis law degree says such are not binding.  Even if they are, who really thinks that a 17-18-year old fully understands all the parameters of such a commitment?   The most compelling response to the contract piece is the fact that highly sought after coaches routinely break their contracts for the cash and greener pastures after having “promised” their recruits in their parents’ living rooms that they will be there for the duration.  If the college experience is truly an educational environment and coaches are themselves educators, then both McCaffrey and Fournette have learned well.


As for quitting on their teams, yep, that is exactly what they are doing.  No way around that except to say that many of those same teammates that they are quitting on would do the exact same thing if they were in that position.   And what position is that?  The position of coming to the reality that all college athletes are not created equal.  If the 3-year starting left tackle at Ohio State or Alabama can’t see that his value is higher than his teammate who is the 3rd string tight end and occasional special-teams player in his fourth year, he is an idiot. 


Finally, what they won’t do is feed you or your family if you suffer a career-ending injury or worst in a meaningless game.  Any bowl game short of the playoff means about as much as a professional pre-season game.


The stakes are even higher for a running back, which is the ultimate pro-sport disposable.  They last on average of about 3 seasons.  They cannot begin to draw their pension until 55 and the annuity at 35.  According to a Sports Illustrated report in 2014, nearly 80% of NFL players are broke 3 years into retirement. 


Against this backdrop, if Fournette or McCaffrey were your sons, can you honestly say you would advise them otherwise?


They are both making a sound business decision and showing that they have learned the valuable lesson of placing the proper value on their labor.


NCAA big-time college sports is as transparent an example of the American Capitalistic “pimp and ho” system as there is.  If these two young men have learned to pimp themselves in their best interest rather than passively allow others to do so in their best interest, I say more power to them and hope and suspect more will follow suit.

Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#468)

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog





After Further Review


AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #468 SHOUTOUT to you WILL SHIELDS….((NBA)) winners include RAPTORS 99 (DEROZAN 33) CAVALIERS 93 (IRVING 25)…PACERS 118 (GEORGE 20) LAKERS 98 (BAZEMORE 23)…WIZARDS 115 (WALL 27) MAGIC 106 (VUCEVIC 19/14)…BULLS 107 (NOAH 20/12) HAWKS 103 (TEAGUE 26)…BLAZERS 100 (LILLARD 31) NUGGETS 95 (HICKSON 16/25)…WOLVES 110 (LOVE 33/13)…ROCKETS 129 (HARDEN 43) KINGS 103 (GAY 25)…if ADAM SILVER (commissioner)…wants to make a splash 4 pt shots and bigger courts is NOT it !!!!!….((NCAAHOOPERY)) 1-FLORIDA 57 (FINNEY-SMITH 19) VANDERBILT 54 (PARKER 11)….2-WICHITA STATE 69 (BAKER 15) BRADLEY 49 (PICKETT 13/15)….6-DUKE 66 (HOOD 21) VIRGINIA TECH 48 (THOMPSON 15)…..WICHITA STATE SHOCKERS (MVC) 30-0… REGULAR SEASON…..niceness…..AFR top four seeds ((WICHITA STATE…FLORIDA…ARIZONA…SYRACUSE)) right now…..REAL nice discussion on THE BIGGER SHOW last night…SHOUTOUT to CALLERS ((SLATE…ERIC KING…BARRY…MR HOLLYWOOD…KIA…CHE…ANGIE))….we discussed alot of SPORTS last night…..and SHOUT to LISTENERS we see you too…..((NHL)) the ice is back…..SABRES 3 HURRICANES 2….the PLAYOFF push begins and it looks like BOSTON has the easiest schedule coming back from OLYMPICS…..((MLB)) EXTRA STRENGTH SALUTE to BUCK SHOWALTER (ORIOLES-mgr) he made JOSH HART do a homework assignment on FRANK ROBINSON…….gotta like that….and that should be a lesson to all you “so called know it alls”…..acknowledge your history…….the HOME PLATE collisions rule is garbage…..and they know it……is TROY TULOWITZKI (ROCKIES) the answer for YANKEES post -JETER ?????……MASAHIRO TANAKA will make first appearance on saturday v PHILLIES…..NBA GAME of the day ROCKETS (39-18) v CLIPPERS (39-20)…..NHL GAME of the day RED WINGS (26-20-12) v CANADIENS (32-21-6)….TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “DOWN CHILD” – SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON……its HUMP DAY…..give a CAMEL some dap !!!!…..the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!….AFR.


Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of GeeQue Palace Sports, for War Room Sports

Initial NFL Draft Top 100 Big Board

Monday, March 4th, 2013

by Brandon Pemberton













The NFL Combine is now over and now prospects are training and preparing for their Pro Day workouts at their schools.  Here is my list of the top 100 prospects at this point, according to the scouting I’ve done myself.  There’s plenty of time left before actual draft day, so this list will change a few times until then.  Be on the lookout for the release of my top prospects by position as well.  Be sure to listen to Sports Trap Radio, Saturdays 10am-12pm on or as Daniel Trawick and myself discuss the NFL Draft and all things in the sports world!


1. Chance Warmack  G  Alabama – 6’2  317lbs

2. Dee Milliner CB  Alabama – 5’11 7/8 201lbs

3. Luke Joeckel  OT  TexasA&M  6’6  306lbs

4. Eric Fisher OTCentral Michigan 6’7  306lbs

5. Bjoern Werner DE  FloridaState  6’3  266lbs

6. SheldonRichardsonDTMissouri 6’2 1/2  294lbs

7. Sharrif Floyd DT  Florida 6’2 5/8  297lbs

8. Kenny Vaccaro  SS Texas  6’0  214lbs

9. Star Lotulelei DT Utah 6’2 311lbs

10. Jarvis Jones OLBGeorgia6’2 245lbs

11. Keenan Allen  WR  California  6’2 206lbs

12. Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma  6’6 303lbs

13. Barkevious Mingo  OLB/DE  LSU  6’4 240lbs

14. Alexander Ogletree  ILB  Georgia 6’2 1/2  242lbs

15. D.J. Fluker OT Alabama 6’4 5/8 339lbs

16. Jonathan Cooper G  North Carolina  6’2 1/8  311lbs

17. Ezekiel Ansah  DE  BYU   6’5  271lbs

18. Xavier Rhodes  CB  FloridaState  6’1 1/2   210lbs

19. Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee  6’1 7/8  216lbs

20. DamontreMoore DE TexasA&M  6’4 1/2  250lbs

21. Johnathan Hankins  DT OhioState 6’2 7/8  320lbs

22. TavonAustin  WR West Virginia  5’8 1/2  174lbs

23. Tyler Eifert TE  Notre Dame  6’5 1/2 250lbs

24. Matt Elam SS Florida 5’9 7/8 208lbs

25. Sam Montgomery DE  LSU 6’3 1/4 262lbs

26. Desmond Trufant CB Washington 5’11 5/8 190lbs

27.Johnthan Banks CB  Miss St.6’2 185lbs

28. Kevin Minter ILB  LSU  5’11 3/4 246lbs

29. Dion Jordan DE/OLB Oregon6’6 1/4 248lbs

30. DeAndreHopkinsWR Clemson 6’1 214lbs

31. Zach Ertz TE Stanford 6’5 249lbs

32. Giovanni Bernard RB UNC 5’8 3/8 202lbs

33. Eddie Lacy RBAlabama5’11 231lbs

34. Terrance Williams WR Baylor 6’2 208lbs

35. Jonathan Jenkins DT Georgia 6’4 346lbs

36. Eric Reid FS/SS LSU 6’1 1/4 213lbs

37. Robert Woods WR USC 6’0 3/8 201lbs

38. Kawann Short DT Purdue 6’3 299lbs

39. Sylvester Williams DT UNC 6’2 5/8 313lbs

40. Barrett Jones G/CAlabama6’4 1/4 306lbs

41. Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas 6’2 1/8 215lbs

42. Geno Smith QB WestVa.6’2 3/8 218lbs

43. Matt Barkley QB USC 6’2 1/2 227lbs

44. DatoneJonesDE/DT UCLA 6’4 275lbs

45. Jesse Williams DT Alabama 6’3 323lbs

46. Alex OkaforDETexas6’4 264lbs

47. Khaseem Greene OLBRutgers6’0 3/4 241lbs

48. Kevin Reddick ILB UNC 6’1 3/8 243lbs

49. Quinton Patton WR Louisiana Tech 6’0 204lbs

50. Corey Lemonier DE/OLBAuburn6’3 3/8 255lbs

51. Larry Warford G Kentucky 6’3 332lbs

52.Arthur Brown ILB/OLB Kansas St.6’0 241lbs

53. Justin Hunter WR Tennessee 6’3 5/8 196lbs

54. Tank Carradine DE  Florida St.6’4 276lbs

55.Dave Amerson S/CB North Carolina St.  6’1 205lbs

56. Oday Aboushi T Virginia 6’5 3/8 308lbs

57. Jonathan Cyprien SS Florida International 6’0 217lbs

60. Kyle Long T/GOregon6’6 1/8 313lbs

61. Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame 6’1 1/4 241lbs

62.DallasThomas T/GTennessee6’5 302lbs

63.Jamar Taylor CB Boise St.5’10 192lbs

64. BennieLoganDT LSU 6’2 309lbs

65. Justin Pugh T Syracuse 6’4 1/2 307lbs

66. Da’RickRogersWR Tennessee Tech 6’2 1/2 217lbs

67.PhillipThomasSFresnoState6’0 1/2 213lbs

68.Jordan Poyer CB Oregon St.5’11 7/8 191lbs

69. B.W. Webb CB William & Mary 5’10 1/4 184lbs

70.Menelik Watson T Florida St.6’5 1/8 310lbs

71. Darius SlayCB Mississippi St.5’11 7/8 192lbs

72. Brandon Williams DT/NTMissouriSouthern St 6’1 1/4 335lbs

73. Aaron Dobson WRMarshall6’2 5/8 210lbs

74. Nico Johnson ILBAlabama6’2 248lbs

75.LoganRyan CB Rutgers 5’11 1/8 191lbs

76. Jon Bostic ILBFlorida6’0 7/8 245lbs

77. Mike BuchananDEIllinois6’5 3/8 255lbs

78. Jordan Reed TE/H-BackFlorida6’2 1/2 236lbs

79. Cornelius Washington DE/OLBGeorgia6’4 265lbs

80. Mychal Rivera TETennessee6’3 1/4 242lbs

81. Andre Ellington RB Clemson 5’9 1/4 199lbs

82. Ryan Nassib QB Syracuse 6’2 1/8 227lbs

83. Tyrann Mathieu CB LSU 5’8 3/4 186lbs

84. Travis Frederick C Wisconsin 6’3 5/8 312lbs

85. D.J. Swearinger S South Carolina 5’10 1/2 208lbs

86.E.J. Manuel QB Florida St.6’4 5/8 237lbs

87. Vance McDonald TE Rice 6’4 1/8 267lbs

88. Bacarri Rambo FS Georgia 6’0 211lbs

89.Gavin Escobar TE San Diego St6’5 7/8 254lbs

90.Markus Wheaton WR Oregon St.5’11 189lbs

91.Leon McFadden CB San Diego St.  5’9 5/8 193lbs

92. Le’Veon Bell RB Michigan St6’1 3/8 230lbs

93. Robert Alford CBSoutheastern Louisiana5’10 1/8 188lbs

94.William Gholston DE Michigan St.6’6 1/4 281lbs

95. Sean Porter OLBTexasA&M 6’1 1/4 229lbs

96. Jelani Jenkins OLBFlorida6’0 243lbs

97. Montee Ball RBWisconsin5’10 1/2 214lbs

98. Jamie Collins Southern Miss 6’3 1/2 250lbs

99. Terron Armstead G/TArkansasPine Bluff6’4 3/8 306lbs

100. KnileDavisRBArkansas5’11 3/8 227lbs


Brandon Pemberton of Sports Trap Radio, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles: Will Nnamdi Asomugha Stay or Will He Go?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell






Nnamdi Asomugha – will he be here in 2013?


It’s about time.

The news from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday morning was music to the ears of Philadelphia Eagles fans:

“@AdamSchefter: When two sides meet this am, Eagles will ask CB Nnamdi Asomugha to restructure contract or they will release him. Asomugha guaranteed $4mil.”

Fairly or unfairly, Asomugha has become the poster child for the many failures on both sides of the ball  that plagued the Birds during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.  His 5-year, $60 million contract, which seemed like a good move when forged in the summer of 2011 for the hottest free agent on the market, now leaves us scratching our heads.

I was willing to give him the benefit in the 2011 season.  New team, a defensive coordinator new to the team and no offseason.  Asomugha would find his groove in 2012.

Until he didn’t.  His star had fallen so far that quarterbacks were deliberately targeting him, and for good reason.  Very often he missed his coverage, looking at teammates in confusion as if someone else should have had that guy.

By the middle of the 2012 season, it was painfully clear that there were no more excuses.  We were duped by Nnamdi.

So now, while looking at the next faces of the NFL in Indianapolis at the Combine, the Eagles have decided that the time is right to figure out what to do about the Asomugha situation.  Nnamdi’s agent, Ben Dogra, met with the Eagles Friday morning but there has been no word from either side since.

On Thursday, head coach Chip Kelly was asked what he thought about Asomugha.  His response was stunningly underwhelming.

“I think that Nnamdi has a skill set.  That can play football.”

Erm…wow.  Kelly was effusive with his praise, no?

Unfortunately, whether Asomugha stays with the team or goes elsewhere, Philadelphia will owe him $4 million  (his base salary for 2013 under his current deal is $15 million).  And then there is the other money already down the drain due to the deal that seemed to be a slam dunk but turned out to be the most embarrassing of air balls.

Asomugha has said that Philadelphia is where he wants his be, but is it time to admit that his stay here has been an utter and complete failure and allow him to move on?  It may not be that simple, and the Pro Bowl corner’s market value will take a substantial hit from the fact that he was part of a defense that allowed a franchise-worst 33 passing touchdowns in 2012.  Everyone in the league saw the same mistakes time and time again that we witnessed.

Will the Eagles let Nnamdi walk and try their luck at some of the young talent they are witnessing up close at the Combine this weekend?  We’ll all be watching closely to see if Philadelphia is ready to turn the chapter on the man who was a shutdown corner in Oakland but came to Philly and…wasn’t.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports