Determining "Upside" or "Potential"



Hello all! This is my first time posting anything that isn't a comment. Just want to start up a conversation and get a few opinions about, as the title indicates, "upside" and "potential" with regards to college prospects. Plus, it's something to do while waiting for the draft.

First of all, I'd like to address the definition of the word.

According to,

Definition of POTENTIAL

1: existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality <potential benefits>

2: expressing possibility; specifically : of, relating to, or constituting a verb phrase expressing possibility, liberty, or power by the use of an auxiliary with the infinitive of the verb (as in "it may rain")

So what does this mean exactly? Well, I don't know. I'm not sure anybody does. To me, determining the upside and potential of these kids coming out (though I should call them my peers because they are about as old as me) is very ambiguous. When I hear the words potential and upside it irks me. Some of the highly touted, blue chip players are easy to spot. However, with a lot of these prospects, it can be difficult to tell what their potential is based upon. Is it their stature? Is potential based on how big, physical, strong and/or fast they are? Or is it based on their so called "intangibles"? How well they can take in and process information and make the best decision?

If this is the case, why do talent scouts miss? Why are there guys that seemingly fall through the cracks and become late round-undrafted gems?

How do you miss guys like John Randle, Jeff Saturday, James Harrison, Tony Romo, Warren Moon (who had major success in the CFL)? More recently we have Victor Cruz, Arian Foster, Lance Moore, Jason Peters. Not all of those guys are elite talent, but came from the bottom and ended up being major contributors to their respective teams. Did these guys not pass the eye test? Were their measurables not up to par?

For many of these guys, scouts must have felt that their potential was non-existent or very limited, but obviously they went on to have some success.

So, why then do we try to put a value or grade on potential?

Sure, there may be some no-brainer prospects. Guys that you can just tell are going to make their mark in the NFL. Maybe even redefine the way their position is played. But those guys are usually few and far between. As far as the other players go, why don't we give them a chance? Lets let them try to play before we determine their "floor" or "ceiling". Because nothing is certain. There are many busts as well as other guys that just need a shot.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. What do you guys think?

Feel free to leave criticism as well if you deem it necessary. My posting is probably not going to be a regular occurrence, but should it happen again, I will take it into consideration.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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