Monday, May 5, 2008

The Draft: The importance of intangibles

Sports Illustrated had a couple of insightful articles recently about the NFL draft process.  Peter King's story had a quote from former Packers' GM Ron Wolf about evaluating college kids that really stood out:

"The fascinating thing about pro football is, no matter how long you're in it, you can't predict how guys are going to handle the pressure, the limelight, the money."

Like so much of life, it's the intangibles that matter most.  

Another SI article reveals that some teams go back to a player's middle school days -- seventh and eighth grade -- to look for patterns of behavior.  

The article quotes sociologist Harry Edwards:

"When you draft a kid, you don't just draft that kid. You draft his whole family. When a young player arrives in the pros, he doesn't leave the culture that he grew up with at the locker room door."