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What Was Marty Hurney Thinking?

Apr 28 2012 11:16 AM NanceUSMC Carolina Panthers
What on earth was Hurney thinking?

Well, let's think about that question for a moment... His job is to put the best available players possible on the field, and surround them with solid role players and a capable bench, thus giving the team the best possible chance to compete on a week in, week out basis...

So what goes into a draft selection?

First and foremost (and what many draftniks, both amature and professional (yes, I'm pointing at you Melvin Kiper)) it's absolutely imperative that you remember one rule: Need is a terrible evaluator. Take a moment and read that again... Need is a terrible evaluator. What does that mean exactly? It's simply that if you draft, based on your team's specific needs, you end up ignoring better players, and typically reaching just to fill that specific position with someone who either may have been available later, or may be a marginal player... Again, draft the best football players available for your team, and let you coaching staff figure out how to best get them on the field... Then fill the holes with role players via free agency... Not every position needs an all pro... Analysts inconsistently grade drafts based on whether or not specific needs were met or addressed... This is only part of a team's offseason storyline, and just because a team doesn't get that 'needed' position, it's often ignored that they added solid or above prospects that can upgrade underproducing veterans, or push them into better production... Drafts should be graded on an evaluation of the talent selected...

Second, you have to trust your scouts and advisors... This is their job... It's what they do 8 or 10 or 12 hours a day, 5 or 6 or 7 days a week... While you and I are sitting at work, answering phones, resolving issues, attending mindless meetings, these are individuals who are out watching football, evaluating players and taking notes... The draft process for an NFL franchise is a never ending cycle, and one that each GM (including Hurney) live daily... It's imperative that you trust your team's big board, and take the players that you feel offer you the best talent available... It's also imperative that you not cave to pressure from analysts, media or fans... Just because someone is selected that you've never heard of (as a fan) doesn't mean it isn't a solid talent... There are thousands of players participating at the collegiate level, most of which we have never heard of... The knee jerk reaction when someone is selected that we are unfamiliar with is to reject the selection... Instead, take more time to specifically research that player, and make a more educated fan judgement...

Third, keep in mind that the draft is an exercise in failure... If you 'hit' on 50% of your selections, you've have a fantastic draft... Hitting on a third of your picks (2 players that come in and start, or heavily contribute), you have had an average and respectable draft... Nothing stellar, nothing horrible... Anything more is gravy, anything less is potential disaster...

Finally, trust your instincts... We as fans are allowed to let our emotion dictate what we believe the team should do... But emotion is a dangerous thing... Emotion led the Saints to trade an entire draft for Ricky Williams... Emotion will get you fired... Trust your instincts, and not your heart...

So that is what's going through the minds of Hurney, and the other GM's participating in this draft...

We've got a couple good football players so far in this draft, and as a fan I'm happy about that... Certainly, I don't know what kind of careers they will have, but I'm excited to see how they can make our team better, and how they will be used...

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