The First Overall Pick: The Great NFL Gamble


There is a fine Freep article on Schwartz speaking of the gamble that is the no. 1 pick. 

You’ve got to love the NFL. 

It’s all or nothing, all the chips are on the table. The biggest problem is the money issue. There needs to be some serious reform, NFL rookies get these bloated long term contracts and so few of the top five pan out. The NFL needs to switch to the NBA’s capped system, it would lay everything out on the table and eliminate the training camp hold out drama. Look at how Jamarcus Russel threatened his career holding out and not attending camp! Then everyone is put in a bad position. He looks like a greedy jerk and the team is saddled with this top pick who has put himself out of the running to be competitive. The possibility of him starting was done by day 7 of the hold out. So blah blah blah MAKE A CAP. 

On to the article: 


Freep article by NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA:

Lions coach Jim Schwartz compares drafting prospects to playing blackjack. When you hold the No. 1 pick, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“You can go play blackjack in Vegas and play at the $5 tables and play for a couple hours and make bad decisions and lose $100 and have some fun,” Schwartz said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“You go play at the $5,000 and $10,000 tables, you’re making bad decisions, and you’re walking home. You’re not flying home. So I think you’ve got to add that into the equation. Not only is it an opportunity to get a great player, but you also need to make sure.”

So, considering the risk, will the Lions play it relatively safe and take a left tackle instead of a quarterback?

“I don’t know that’s the case,” Schwartz said. “Quite honestly, we haven’t really got to that point where we’ve assessed the risk-reward for each guy. … So it’s probably too early to be able to say that.”

The Lions have a lot of assessing to do.

Analysts think three offensive tackles could go in the top 10 this year: Virginia’s Eugene Monroe, Alabama’s Andre Smith and Baylor’s Jason Smith. Another, Mississippi’s Michael Oher, thinks he’s the best of the bunch. He could be available for the Lions at No. 20.

Taking an offensive tackle isn’t necessarily as safe as it seems.

“One of the whole boom-bust things is, not many fans or people in the media know if a left tackle has been a bust or not if he’s starting,” Schwartz said. “It’s hard to assign blame for a sack or something like that.”

Andre Smith comes with question marks. He was suspended for his final college game for breaking team rules and reportedly has had weight issues. He said Thursday he weighed 332 pounds. Asked whether that was good, he said: “It’s better than being 345.” He said 345 is the most he has ever weighed, denying he has weighed as much as 380.

He also said he hadn’t decided whether he would work out at the Combine. Why not?

“Just want to get my numbers lower than what they actually are,” Smith said. “Pretty consistent in certain areas and not as consistent in certain areas. I want to get my numbers down. I want to give the greatest performance that I possibly can, or the best performance.”

That could be a problem for the Lions. Asked Tuesday about players who choose not to work out, Schwartz said: “It probably depends on the reason whether it’s a red flag or not. If you’re not working out because you’re not in shape, it’s definitely a red flag.”

As for Smith’s thoughts about possibly joining the Lions, he said: “I would look forward to going there and compete, have a great atmosphere in the locker room, not be a cancer to the team, just go in and work hard, learn the system, get to know the players and things like that.”

Smith called the Lions a “great organization.” “They had a tough year this past season,” he said. “But there’s always time for redemption.”

Monroe, Jason Smith and Oher each claimed to weigh 309 pounds and said they would go through a complete workout at the Combine.

“I have nothing to hide,” Monroe said. “I’m healthy, so I’ll do every drill. I’ll lift tomorrow. I’ll do it all. … You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to show you have the ability to do as well or better.”

Jason Smith seemed particularly impressive in a media session, from promising to report to camp on time to describing his love of contact.

“When I’m on the field, I take a lot of pride in physically assaulting somebody,” he said. “Finishing them off, that’s just part of the block. You don’t really think too much of it because that’s what you go on the field to do.”

Could the Lions double down on him and make him the first pick in the draft?

“I have not talked to the Lions,” he said. “But I do believe it’s realistic that they will take a tackle, and I do believe it’s realistic I could be the No. 1 overall pick.”

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