Critics abound at every level of football, and most of all, at football’s highest level – the NFL. The draftable players will get broken down and criticized to the nth degree.
The NFL Combine starts Saturday, and player interviews are one of the most important aspects, not just the physical evaluation. Teams get a feel for the person they will be drafting, not just the player who puts on the pads.
NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki doesn’t just stop at the game tape; he also evaluates character and looks at the total package of what teams are getting. And he lists six SEC players – his list included a total of 10 – who are the most controversial in this year’s draft. Interestingly enough, two other players on his list of 10 include former SEC players who transferred to other schools: Isaiah Crowell (Georgia) and Jonathan Dowling (Florida).
Here are the six and here’s what he said about them:
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Suspect intangibles
Not a leader by example or known to inspire by his words. Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood. Is known to party too much and is drawn to all the trappings of the game. … Has defied the odds and proven to be a great college-system quarterback, but still must prove he is willing to work to be great.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Lack of discipline
Lacks discipline on and off the field and has had to be managed closely since he arrived on campus. Needs to learn what it means to be a pro. Plays in spurts and is too much of a flash player — does not consistently dominate like he could.
Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU: Troubled past
Character, maturity and stability must be investigated thoroughly — has two criminal incidents on his record and is on probation until July, 2015
Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida: Entitlement, Personality
Had his tires pumped since high school — entitlement was an issue as a young player and his personality could rub some people the wrong way. … Has developmental value as a stand-up rush linebacker, but must dedicate himself to the craft and realize he’s no longer the big man on campus.
Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina: Troubled past
Character will require careful evaluation — has been troubled by a number of off-field issues dating back to high school, when he attended four different schools. Has had issues with anger management, emotional outbursts and team suspensions. Will be targeted for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties given tendency to talk and taunt.
Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama: Entitlement
Has a quirky personality, inflated opinion of his ability and carries a sense of entitlement that could be difficult to manage and require a patient positional coach. … Has starter traits, but has yet to reach the impact level he thinks he makes.
- I’ll buy Jeremy Hill as a controversial player, because of his troubled past. To his credit, he stayed out of trouble this past season. Hill very well could be the first running back taken off the board.
- Johnny Manziel recently said he is trying to shake the whole Johnny Football aura that kept the media buzzing his entire college career. Perhaps the analyst didn’t even watch the bowl game, or any other game for that matter. I saw nothing but a leader, and he inspired his teammates throughout the season – just ask them.
- I think we all agree Jadeveon Clowney may have taken some plays off this past season, but is that controversial? Maybe teams will evaluate his game tape different, and clearly, when Clowney wants to play, he plays at an elite level. Steve Spurrier even recently said Clowney’s work ethic was ‘okay’.
- Seems by the analyst’s ‘critical’ words of Victor Hampton that Hampton will fit right in the league – ‘tendency to talk and taunt’. That includes at least 75 percent of every corner in the NFL, including the best corner in the league.
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