“Well, the Draft is a number
and the Draft is a game,
but the way it screws some players
is a goddam shame…”
Forgive the bastardization of the old “Dozens” rhyme, but it really is a shame how potential high draft choices over-train and incur injuries BEFORE THEY EVEN GET PAID!
It’s short-sighted vision by the players, too, when you know you’re a bonafide 1st Round candidate and you feel you just have to tweak that extra bench rep or extra tenth of a second off your 40-time at your Pro Day.
You shouldn’t be so greedy—if you’re a Top 10 prospect, the NFL scouts already know that from your previous body of work.
Take Sidney Jones as the most recent example. ~BROZ and at least twenty other draft analysts already had him mocked to the Eagles at overall pick #14.
But no-o-o-o-o….not good enough for Sidney and his agent. They had to keep pushing the envelope for a Pro Day performance that was purely aimed at cracking the Top 10 (mo’ money!) and in the end a completely unnecessary risk.
Sidney Jones, a potential first-round draft pick, blew out his left Achilles tendon during defensive back drills in pro-day workouts at the University of Washington on Saturday.
Oh, he will still get drafted—-but probably as a 3rd or 4th Round rehab project now.
The kid was already a lock for the 1st Round—ESPN’s Mel Kiper had projected Jones as the No. 16 pick in his most recent mock draft, which was released before the Combine. Jones also is listed as the No. 13 overall prospect in Todd McShay’s latest Top 32 this week, which was released before Jones’ Pro Day.
Jones was performing one of his final drills of the session when he quickly pulled up and went down to the turf at the Dempsey Indoor Center. As he was starting to make a break out of his backpedal, Jones immediately began favoring his left leg and tumbled to the ground. Jones began to grab at the underside of his leg after coming to a stop. He was carted off the field.
Jones was the top cornerback for a Washington defense that led the Pac-12 with just 17.7 points per game allowed. He finished his Washington career with 145 tackles, eight interceptions and six forced fumbles in 40 games. In reality, what more did he have to prove? Why not WAIT ‘TIL YOU GET PAID before you bust your hump for the pro’s?
“It’s really tough, just because Sidney is one of our best friends,” his teammate Budda Baker said. “He’s a great prospect coming out. Felt like he could have been the first corner, and still can be the first corner, off the draft board. The last drill, last thing you’ve got to go, and that happens. So, definitely sad, but we know Sidney’s strong, and he’s going to still be there.”
Yeah, Sidney will be there all right—at about a tenth of the rookie contract he could have signed if he had just stayed home this weekend and gone to see “Kong—Skull Island”.
There’s an old baseball pitcher named Ross Grimsley who now preaches on the CBS radio network about how crazy it is for today’s young one-sport specialist athletes to be over-training in their offseasons. They’d be better off focusing on things like diet and long-distance running and deep stretching exercises, says Grimsley. He says it’s particularly a problem in football and thinks it’s why despite all the training advances in the world you keep seeing so many tendon and torn labrum injuries.
Most of all, Grimsley says it’s foolish to over-train before you get paid. Save the hardest workouts for that concentrated period of time just before your professional season begins—in other words, after you’re drafted and signed. At the very least, you know you’ll have the professional supervision of a big-league medical and training staff—and full medical insurance benefits to cover you if something does go wrong.
But that’s not good enough for some agents and athletes who foolishly keep pushing harder for that higher draft spot and bigger rookie contract.