The beginning of a dream for most college football players is finally upon them. The fourth weekend in April is when the stars from Saturday find out where they’ll begin their Sunday football careers.
The lucky few will be drafted by their favorite team.
The Draft, hell, the NFL off-season in general, has become reality TV for those who like sports. Nobody has done a better job of capturing compelling emotional stories than the NFL and even driving overreacting to non-stories.
The biggest non-story last week was Derwin James declining an invitation to workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Word like “lazy” and “entitled” were attached to him instead of looking at the situation from a mature business perspective. James has two years of college film and NFL Combine tape and workouts for NFL franchises to look over. Each time he works out for free he runs the risk of injury.
These pre-draft NFL workouts are not walks in the park either. They are legit training sessions where prospects are put through the ringer. At this stage in the process, you either want him or you don’t.
To be blunt, teams are asking entirely too much from draft prospects, not just James. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch had 11 team visits in a 14-day span. Florida DT Taven Bryan had eight workouts and 12 team visits in a 16 days followed by three more requests for workouts.
That’s a grind which only allows for diminishing returns on workouts. If an NFL team has a specific drill or drills it wants to see from a player, they should ask them to do it at their pro days.
All this never-ending workload does is increase the likelihood of injury due to fatigue. We’ve seen this happen before, but even this cycle you’ve had two guys go down with knee injuries. At the pro level, your stock is based on your ability to perform.
You blow your knee out in an “interview” workout and no NFL team isn’t going to draft you because you gave great effort. No, they are going to make the best business decision for them.
Will this move effect James’ draft status? I don’t know. He’s got serious question marks about what kind of safety he is. That’s not going to be answered in shorts at this phase of the process. Trust your evaluations and look at how these players fit into your defensive scheme.
Derwin is a clear First Round talent and many players are electing to similarly decline workout invitations. It’s not necessarily advice I’d give to a guy with an evaluation that has him teetering between rounds, but even then, a bad workout only adversely effects stock.
Article Originally Appeared On Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/derwin-james-business-decision-to-decline-workout-invitation-from-bucs/