Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pasquarelli examines risk in Jarmon selection

In his latest column, ESPN's Len Pasquarelli dissected the NFL supplemental draft and the Redskins' recent selection of University of Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon.

Pasquarelli on the pick:

The Redskins, who finished with the league's fifth-worst sack total in 2008 (24 sacks), chose University of Texas defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo with the 13th overall pick in the April draft. To add another upfield threat, the Redskins took Jarmon in the third round of the supplemental lottery. Washington didn't have a single defender with more than four sacks in 2008.

. . . Washington officials can only hope that Jarmon is as superb a prospect as Orakpo, who caused a considerable amount of buzz during the minicamps and organized team activities in the spring. If Jarmon is even close to being that good, the Redskins will have beaten the very long odds in the supplemental draft. The lottery almost never turns out a productive player.

And though he usually doesn't have many nice things to say about the Redskins and owner Daniel Snyder, Pasquarelli basically stuck to the facts in examining the history of the supplemental draft. Long quote here:

Of the 37 players chosen in the supplemental draft from 1977 to 2008, nine never played a single snap in an NFL regular-season game. Seventeen of them never started even one contest. Just five carved out NFL careers that included 100 or more appearances. The average career span for those previous 37 supplemental prospects is 41.8 games, or barely the equivalent of 2½ full seasons in the league. There have been no eventual Hall of Fame players chosen in the supplemental draft, although wide receiver and ESPN analyst Cris Carter has a good chance of some day being inducted to the Canton shrine. The supplemental drafts have produced only four Pro Bowl participants.

. . . Little wonder so few teams participate in the supplemental draft. Seven franchises have never made a supplemental pick. Fifteen others have made just one.

There have been eight first-round choices used, none since 1992. But even some of the top lottery picks -- like linebacker Brian Bosworth (Seattle Seahawks[,] 1987), and quarterbacks Steve Walsh (Dallas, 1989), Timm Rosenbach (Arizona Cardinals 1989) and Dave Brown (New York Giants, 1992) -- never approximated expectations.

Consider the 10 supplemental players selected in the past 10 years. Four are out of the NFL altogether, and another has zero starts the past two years. Tailback Tony Hollings of Georgia Tech, chosen by the Houston Texans in the second round in 2003, has not registered a rushing attempt since 2004. Offensive lineman Milford Brown (Houston in the sixth round, 2002) has played with four different teams in seven seasons.

Well, Jarmon certainly has his work cut of for him.

I have to be honest: When I first started reading the article, I thought Pasquarelli was going to rip the Redskins for daring to use a (2010) third-round pick on Jarmon. Unfortunately for him, that's pretty hard to do when a few other teams, including the Eagles and Lions, were reportedly ready to pounce if Jarmon fell to the fourth round.

To summarize, based on the odds that Pasquarelli provides, Jarmon probably won't be a star. But the Redskins don't need him to be one; they're just hoping that he can develop into a competent defensive end who can improve the team's pass rushing abilities in the near future. The pick wasn't really made for the upcoming season, so Jarmon has some time to learn. And, more than likely, he'll need it.

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