Last week, I got a little cranky when Peter King included Sean Taylor in an argument against taking a safety early in the NFL Draft. The next day, I failed to get un-cranky when King offered an unsatisfactory explanation of his reasoning. Some people seemed to get the impression that I was upset that King was speaking poorly of the deceased, but that was really not what it was about.
Here is my point, much more concisely: the reason that Taylor did not make the contribution you would want from a top 10 pick is because he was murdered three and a half years into his career. Therefore, including him as a datapoint in your analysis of ANYTHING from a football standpoint — not just the 2004 draft or taking a safety in the top 5, as King discusses — is pretty much pointless.
What happened to Taylor didn’t happen because he played safety. Or because he was drafted in 2004. Or because he went to Miami, changed his number, played for the Redskins, or because he didn’t always answer questions from the media, or anything like that. So it probably shouldn’t be factored into conversations about those things.
That was one point that I was trying to make that got a little lost. But another point, and the one that most of the people who emailed me agreed with, is that Taylor was well on his way to being EXACTLY the kind of franchise player that you would want to draft at fifth overall. And it’s not just fans saying that.
Matt Bowen played for the Redskins for three years, overlapping with Taylor for two of them. He saw Taylor’s rookie campaign, saw him change his number, and saw him start to develop into a Pro Bowl player. (That’s him in the background of the picture above, wearing number 41.)
Now Bowen writes for the National Football Post, and today he addresses the same topic that set Peter King off: is Tennessee’s Eric Berry worth the fifth overall pick, where he is widely projected to go. He reaches part of the same conclusion that King did — that safety can be a risky pick in the top 10, although unlike King he believes Berry might be worth the risk — but with one glaring, glaring difference.
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Tags: 2010 nfl draft, Matt Bowen, Media, nfl draft 2010, Peter King, Sean Taylor
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Well, it’s the time of the year when teams start cutting guys in preparation for offseason moves, which means that it’s also the time of year for ex-players to start writing about those experiences. One of those ex-players is ex-Redskin Matt Bowen, now a regular contributor to National Football Post.
His column today is notionally about how it feels to get cut, which means that it’s actually just about how it felt for him to get cut the last time.
And — surprise! — it feels pretty lousy.
After our last game of the 2005 season, a divisional playoff in Seattle against the Seahawks, I pretty much expected I would never wear the burgundy and gold again. So what did I do, you ask? Well, nothing really. I stayed in shape and waited for that phone call. My wife and I had a house in northern Virginia, she worked full time as a high school biology teacher down the road, and we both knew the drill. The house would go on the market, she would finish up the third quarter of the school year, and we would move on. It wasn’t that big a deal because I had already played six years in the league and knew what happened when you fell on the depth chart. I fully expected to get released.
And the fact that it was Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs doing the cutting didn’t do anything to help soften the blow. Read more »
Tags: Matt Bowen, MattBowen, Offseason
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