The thought that sitting out for a season in fear of injury with the intention of protecting your stock in the NFL draft is absurd.
First of all the need for drastic measures like such could do more negative than positive. There would be a lot of free time for an athlete. The lack of structure in a daily schedule that once made it nearly impossible for a social life beyond the books, practice and the weight room would be tough for someone to adjust to.
It doesn’t matter how disciplined a person is, dedication is a lot harder to continue when you don’t have consequences for not being where you should be when it’s no longer a matter of where you’re supposed to be.
“But, Corey, the money and the opportunity ahead to play in the NFL is the motivation!”
Sure, but, what about the effect of no full contact practice or drills for almost 10 months? You’re telling me that a 19-21 year old will get the same results from running with a weighted sled 30 times a day or catching balls running routes? Yes, it will help him but it isn’t the same and it’s not enough to keep a division-1 football player in the rhythm and the pace of the game.
And if the NFL really is so-o-o much faster than the college game how does a guy do going from medium to low and then thrown to the wolves at the highest speed?
Is this player going to dedicate himself to watching film? If so, how is he going to get better if he can’t see what he needs to correct? You can’t re-duplicate a scenario in a pass skeleton etc. and truly break down what still needs worked on. Oh, so you’re going to look at past film of the player for that? Yeah, I still watch home videos of myself in bantam football, hell, maybe I’ll start preparing for next year’s draft.
You see what I’m trying to say here? There are so many things that go into making a player pro-caliber.
I don’t think it would hurt the draft stock too severely and I don’t want to sound like I think a football player would lose all instincts and skill sets but it just isn’t the same for someone trying to prepare for the NFL on the field and someone trying to do so off the field.
It’s not that deep. Football is football. The risk is there at every level. In the case of Jadeveon Clowney playing this season is the right decision. To me the same risk is there whether a guy tears his ACL or sits out. Whichever scenario, you’ll have a player with a dark cloud of questions hanging over his head: how will he come back from that ACL tear? Or, how will he look after not playing all last season? Doesn’t it just seem silly? It’s kind of the same scenario, both are uncertain.
And besides, why do we all worry so much about this? The money isn’t even guaranteed. We all act like these guys are set for life the second they are drafted.