Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko’s piece on the different paths that Khalil Mack and Jedeveon Clowney took to the NFL is one of my favorite articles that I’ve read lately. The questions Klemko poses (Did Clowney’s talent allow him to skate by and hinder his development? How did Mack rise from obscurity to being one of the best players in the NFL?) are the vexing ones that prevent the evaluation process from being an exact science. Great stuff in here for coaches to take away that center on the aspects that factor into a player’s level of achievement. What role does talent play? What about intangibles? What about environment?
Many evaluators with a top pick ask themselves one question: Given the right circumstances, if paired with the right coaches and the appropriate scheme, what might this player become? Physical tools play heavily into that analysis. A top five pick, in theory, ought to possess rare physical traits that would justify resources spent in acquisition and cultivation.
For more on the draft process:
-Drafting Smart was years in the making for the Celtics (LINK)
-Chip Kelly’s thoughts on evaluation (LINK)
-KAT’s improvement makes him #1 (LINK)
-What Chicago saw in Jimmy Butler at #30 (LINK)