Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.

Mark Richt has lost control of jealousy.

I mean, what else can you say when Eric Dounn, a partner at a New York-based player agent outfit gives this kind of advice to college offensive linemen everywhere ($$)?

“But the focus should always be on the field. Don’t get tied up with what your teammates are doing in a sense of what they’re posting about or what dollars they’re making. Don’t get upset and cause possible tension in the locker room because you didn’t get that deal. Don’t be worried about a couple of dollars now. Be worried about six, seven figures later in the draft.”

Pro teams might have issues with players who can’t get along with teammates?  Why, I nevah, Miz Scarlett!

But the dude who was the NCAA’s expert witness during both the Ed O’Bannon and In re: NCAA Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust trials (to the tune of $2300 an hour, which, considering the outcome, is some bang for the buck) tops that by insisting jealousy isn’t about offensive linemen.  Nah, it’s about you and me.

Though he is no longer on the NCAA’s payroll, the 77-year-old Heckman’s support for amateurism has not waned in the intervening years, and he believes that jealousy and anecdotal fallacy have confused the country over the value of a college degree to an athlete.

And how did we do that to ourselves?

In the years since his testimony, Heckman says that he has grown increasingly “dismayed” to see the national conversation about amateurism turn on the idea that college athletes are exploited. He invokes the green-eyed monster in explaining why the country has, in his words, “lost its mind.”

“I don’t mind that some people are jealous that Nick Saban gets so much money,” Heckman said during a recent hourlong telephone interview. “I personally don’t care if he has a private plane and flies to Monte Carlo. But I do think it is misleading to cast [college sports] as a labor market and to somehow think the goal of college is to make money off these athletes. I don’t see that as the goal.”

I don’t think we’re the ones who’ve lost their minds here.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Alabama’s bag man

Who needs the $100 handshake?  Not these guys.

Not saying NIL won’t make a difference in recruiting, but the really big bucks come in the NFL draft and the programs that can sell that opportunity the best to elite talent are still gonna make out fine.

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Filed under Alabama, Recruiting, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Kirby Smart can’t develop players!

It’s a narrative that refuses to die, even in the face of pesky facts, like these from Seth Emerson ($$):

Smart is the first coach in Georgia history to produce at least six draft picks in four consecutive drafts. That’s all-time, even before the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 1994.

Georgia finished with a program-record nine selections in 2021, one more than its eight draftees in 2002 and 2013.

Included in those nine are three-star kids like Stokes and Rice, as well as a grad transfer in McKitty.

There’s also this to note.

Two of those transfers were quarterbacks who couldn’t get around the Jake Fromm road block.  A third was buried on the defensive depth chart and took his talents to Florida.  The point is, if talent alone were enough, every five-star kid would be on a path to glory and the first round of the NFL draft the minute he set foot on campus.  That isn’t how it works, though.

Kirby Smart is one of college football’s best recruiters.  But he’s seeing record numbers of his kids take it to the next level because he’s doing something with the Jimmies and Joes when they get to Athens.  No matter how hard the narrative insists otherwise.

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UPDATE:  What Graham said.  Especially about Florida fans.

8-4. That’s the record the Gators finished with last year despite having a Heisman Finalist under center and two first round draft picks catching his passes. Mullen turned the best offense in Florida history into a four loss season. Georgia fans would be calling for Kirby Smart’s head if he brought home that record under the same set of circumstances. In Gainesville, 8-4 with a season full of embarrassing antics seems to be more than enough to satisfy the “Gator Standard.”

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Why I care about the NFL Draft, part two

Quite simply, because stars matter, damn it ($$).

Of the 32 players selected Thursday night:

• Seven were five-star prospects out of high school
• Ten were four-star prospects out of high school
• 14 were three-star prospects out of high school
• 12 were rated as top-100 prospects

Some context:

• Yes, there were more three-star prospects drafted than five-star prospects. But you have to remember that there is not an even number of three-, four- and five-star prospects in each recruiting class. In a given year, there are roughly 35 five-star prospects and another 300 or so four-star prospects. That means the bulk of the nearly 3,000 college signees each year are three-star prospects or lower. A glance at the first-round results shows that more than half of the selections were four- and five-star prospects even though three-star prospects make up about 90 percent of those who sign in each recruiting cycle.

• That means roughly 10 percent of those who sign annually are four- or five-star prospects — but they made up more than half of the first-round selections Thursday night.

Math is hard, but it ain’t that hard.  There’s a reason Georgia’s recruiting budget is ginormous.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Why I care about the NFL Draft, part one

Okay, the header is kind of a joke, sure, but I always love it when a mindless narrative takes a shot, like “Kirby Smart can’t develop talent”.

That certainly explains why Eric Stokes was drafted in the first round last night.  As well as this:

Yeah, ol’ Kirbs is just stealing money.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

So much for no hard feelings

Dayum.

Then again, maybe he’s thanking Kirby for preparing him for not being a top ten pick last night.  Or maybe not.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

You don’t ask and they don’t tell.

I thought Kirby Smart said one interesting thing at yesterday’s Pro Day presser.  Evidently there are some things Georgia’s staff doesn’t share about players with the NFL.  Or at least prefers not to.

On whether data and metrics such as GPS numbers are useful and whether those numbers are shared with NFL teams…

“They’re useful for us. We don’t typically share that information out, so unless they’re squeezing it out or something is leaking it, we don’t give that information out. We tend to share information that will only help our players. In some cases, it would help. In some cases, they may be consecutive practices in a row, so we don’t share all that out. It certainly helps us, because it tells us when we need to pick it up and when we need to cut back volume wise.”

I’m not really sure why that’s so hush hush, as Smart makes clear there’s context for how the numbers are generated.  (Not to mention it sounds like sometimes they do release information, albeit reluctantly.)  Anyone know why?

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Literally, a money quote

Seth Emerson ($$) asked Eric Stokes about his decision to skip the bowl game in order to prepare for the draft.  His answer, in part:

Just making that decision, I was pretty much listening to my teammates: ‘Hey man, you don’t really need to play this, you’ve already done everything that you did. I don’t want you to risk anything, just go ahead and do you, you’ve already made your money here.’ Hearing that stuff from my teammates assured me that we would be good regardless. It made me feel way better.

Wait, his teammates didn’t think he was a traitorous quitter?  Inconceivable!

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Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Observations from the Senior Bowl

Perhaps one day Jamie Newman will let us know what he was thinking when he bailed on Georgia’s 2020 season, because based on this ($$), if he followed an agent’s advice, that dude must have one smooth sales pitch.

… Newman is a sturdy, mobile passer, but his 2019 film showed shaky pocket presence and undeveloped passing reads. With improvements as a senior in SEC play, some around the league thought he could turn himself into a top-100 draft pick.

Now he’s hoping for a hot week at the Senior Bowl to get the attention of NFL teams.  Good luck with that, Jamie.

Meanwhile, here’s an observation that will blow you away (at least it did me):

Seeing Jones removed from the Alabama offense will be helpful for evaluators. The fact that an NFL prospect all-star game is a slight step down in talent compared to what he had in Tuscaloosa says a lot about that Crimson Tide offense.

I’m not sure when I’ll get over my double take every time I reflect upon the fact that Georgia led Alabama late in the third quarter at Tuscaloosa last season.  With Stetson Bennett at quarterback…

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UPDATE:  Stay classy, my brothers and sisters.

Newman will be wearing a Demon Deacons’ helmet as he looks to take the next step with an impressive week in front of NFL general managers and head coaches this week, Senior Bowl officials confirmed.

“We had to put him in Wake Forest stuff,” Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said. “If we put him in Georgia stuff ….  the vitriol among DawgNation on Twitter has been unbelievable.”

Haven’t y’all got bigger things to fret about?

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Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

TFW you thought you had your staff settled

LOL.

Rodney Garner now gets to play UT and Auburn against each other?  Never one to miss an opportunity, I bet that man be smiling today.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, The NFL Is Your Friend.