We like to think these NFL personnel guys have it all figured out, poring over game tape and statistics and numbers, and finding gems in the annual NFL draft.
Then we’re reminded of JaMarcus Russell. Or Vernon Gholston. Or Charles Rogers. Or, yes, Ryan Leaf.
Three years ago, when everyone was gaga over Russell and his freakish physical nature, I tried to point out that one factor superseded all others: Russell was 7-4 as a starter in games against ranked teams, with 13 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in those games.
You and I aren’t breaking down tape, but we can certainly watch players and see that Gholston has one move and doesn’t go hard every play. Or that Russell has a tendency to make bad decisions. Or that a guy with the off-field problems Rogers had at Michigan State eventually would have off-field problems as an NFL player.