FanDuel - WFBC

January 21, 2014

Ex-Agent: Ryan Leaf Blew Chance to Go No. 1: Ryan Leaf intentionally skipped a meeting with Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora so he wouldn't be drafted by the team as the No. 1 overall selection in 1998, his former agent Leigh Steinberg claims in a new book. Steinberg didn't think Colts owner Jim Irsay would be dissuaded by the snub, so he gave this advice to his client: "''If you go to the combine,' I told Ryan, 'but fail to show up for a meeting with Mora, that should do it. Jim is a real prideful person who has a tendency to explode. I am not recommending you do this, but if you are desperate to go to San Diego, this is the way.'" The Colts picked Peyton Manning.

posted by rcade to football at 03:20 PM - 13 comments

Of course, this assumes that Leaf was ever rated higher by the Colts than Manning, which I am sure nobody with a perceived future in talent identification would ever cop to.

posted by dfleming at 04:52 PM on January 21

I was looking for people who mocked that draft and found this gem from Dr. Z of Sports Illustrated: "I'm really sure -- that [Randy] Moss will be a bust -- but I'm too polite to say it. I have yet to see him do one tough thing on the field." Z also wrote on a list of the top 5 wide receiver picks of the year: "If you're looking for Marshall's all-world Randy Moss, you won't find him in this list, even if it went 20 deep. Will get downfield in a hurry if they give him room, but he'll get buried by NFL-style bump and run."

posted by rcade at 05:08 PM on January 21

Another gem from Dr. Z on that draft:

23. BUCCANEERSKevin Dyson, WR, Utah Seems we just heard that name someplace. Trent Dilfer is on the verge of becoming a serious NFL quarterback. He's one receiver away.

And one team.

posted by Etrigan at 05:21 PM on January 21

Doesn't sound like Beathard really wanted to draft Leaf at #2 but did make that decision and accepted the consequences.

The undercard to this gripping QB choice was the Bledsoe or Mirer decision that Parcells was faced with.

And then there's Mike Brown who now says that he wanted to draft Kaepernick but was talked out of it. Where were those persistent voices when the Bengals were falling under the draft day spells being cast by Klingler and Akili?

posted by beaverboard at 08:31 PM on January 21

And then there's Mike Brown who now says that he wanted to draft Kaepernick but was talked out of it. Where were those persistent voices when the Bengals were falling under the draft day spells being cast by Klingler and Akili?

I've often wondered where Kaepernick's career would be had he been drafted by a team other than the 49ers. If he was drafted by a team with an entrenched starter, I wonder whether he would have gotten the opportunity to start by now (he obviously had the chance to play Gehrig to Alex Smith's Wally Pipp in SF). If he was drafted to be a starter, as may have happened had the Bengals taken him instead of Dalton (who went the pick immediately prior to Kaepernick), would the offensive coaches there been able to use him/unlock his talents the way SF's have? I think he ended up in just about the perfect place to succeed, both by virtue of the team he ended up on (and its offensive philosophy) and then the fortune/misfortune of Smith's injury.

posted by holden at 11:14 AM on January 22

This was from a 2003 mock draft article about Charles Rogers:

"Rogers is expected to be the first receiver taken in the draft. He is big, fast, and has great hands. Rogers has been compared to Randy Moss of Minnesota without the off-field problems. Look for Charles Rogers, the Spartans' career receiving TD leader, to be a dominating force in the NFL. At the age of 21 at draft time, Rogers may sneak into the #1 pick if any team can swing a deal. "

Instead, Rogers lasted three seasons and has had many legal problems.

Oh, did we mention he was a Matt Millen draftee?

posted by jjzucal at 12:40 PM on January 22

I think Kaepernick ended up in an optimal situation except for one thing. I think the Niners got too good too soon for his sake developmentally. I don't know that anyone realized that Harbaugh would have the team playing in conference championships and a Super Bowl so quickly.

Kaepernick has played in a number of high stakes games against top opponents already, and he's still learning the position at the pro level. And the staff is still working on ways to tailor the position to his talents. He might have been better served in his individual development by having an extra year of steady ascendancy rather than having the team take the express elevator to the penthouse.

(There have also been times when the SF special teams were also not ready for prime time but found themselves playing for major marbles.)

On the other hand, maybe Kaep is just going to get to his period of peak prowess quicker than if he had experienced a more gradual start to his pro development. But it's tough to have the growing pains (like the Chancellor pick) happening on the biggest stages at the most critical moments.

Kaepernick is a victim of his own talent. He's way too dynamic and has far too much potential to be instructed to serve as a game manager while he gains experience. They have to let him run the offense as a playmaker. But he still has much to learn.

posted by beaverboard at 01:31 PM on January 22

And then there's Mike Brown who now says that he wanted to draft Kaepernick but was talked out of it.

Brown is a tease. I can only imagine the potency of an offense with weapons like Green, Gresham, and Bernard (along with Jones, Eifert, and BJGE) with a quarterback who is always a threat to take it all the way on foot AND has the ability to throw a ball more than 30 yards in the air. I like Dalton and think he is serviceable, but Kaep's upside is waaaayyy higher.

Plus, I would have had the bonus of cheering for our hometown college hero (Reno) playing in my actual hometown (Cincy).

posted by tahoemoj at 01:57 PM on January 22

Pete Fiutak of CFN did a fun series awhile ago about how teams should have redrafted (providing they have perfect knowledge of what's going to happen to the player involved). Here's 1989, for example.

It's fascinating to see sometimes how thin a draft really was in terms of production.

posted by Bonkers at 10:42 PM on January 22

It's fascinating to see sometimes how thin a draft really was in terms of production.

Also fun to look back at Heisman voting to see how many players in a given year did anything notable in the NFL.

Some years, there's maybe one guy out of the top 10 votegetters that lights the lamp, and then other years, the pro quality may go as many as 8 or 9 deep, with number 10 being a standout like Thurman or Derrick Thomas.

posted by beaverboard at 08:11 AM on January 23

Pete Fiutak of CFN did a fun series awhile ago about how teams should have redrafted

Wow, there goes the free time I don't even have this morning. Thanks for the links.

posted by yerfatma at 10:39 AM on January 23

@ beaverboard : Kap will be just fine. If 2013 was his Sophomore Slump, he'll be great!

posted by Ninja_Van at 07:43 AM on January 24

Yeah, Kaepernick already has more playoff wins than Dan Fouts, Joe Namath, Warren Moon and six other QBs who are in the Hall of Fame. He has more than the entire state of Florida since 2000 combined. I don't think he's a victim of anything yet.

posted by Etrigan at 09:16 AM on January 24

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.