Nobody knows anything.
That’s the title of chapter five in Brian Billick’s book “More Than A Game”, in which Coach Billick describes how teams are about 50/50 when it comes to drafting a quarterback with the first overall pick. The underlying theme suggests that no matter how much film study a team does and no matter how good a player is in college or at the combine, none of it, or all it, transfers to the pros.
Case in point is Ryan Leaf. In the same draft class as Peyton Manning, Leaf was a big, tough QB that dominated in college and was said to have “more upside” than Manning. Regardless, the Indianapolis Colts, namely Bill Polian, drafted Manning with the first overall pick. San Diego subsequently drafted Leaf with the second pick, as every team in the NFL should have.
The rest is history. Leaf went on to be named one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history and Manning went on to tear through record books as one the best to ever play the position. So it’s easy to forget ...