Originally Posted by DEMARC0MURRAY29
Really like the quote with what Jimmy said about Emmitt. Definitely think Taylor is in the same position
I like the quote too. I remember it like it was yesterday. The team had acquired Terrence Flagler from San Francisco to be it's running back that year (1990) and so everyone's attention was on other positions. Flagler was pretty fast too, but hadn't done much in SF behind Roger Craig.
Dallas had Emmitt as the 4th best player in that draft and early in the year, everyone was assuming that's about where he'd go. Then they ran at the combine and pro days and Emmitt was consistently running in the mid 4.6's which made "experts" question his speed and talent. Then they started looking at Emmitt's junior year at Florida when he had a knee injury which really made his numbers look pedestrian when compared to his freshman and sophomore seasons, and his stock slid a little further.
To make it worse, Blair Thomas a RB from Penn State ran a 4.4 40 yard dash at the combine and he became everyone's top back in that draft. By the way, Thomas never amounted to much. He just didn't have the instincts and vision that made Emmitt special.
So, the draft rolled around and sure enough, Blair Thomas is picked 2nd overall and Emmitt started sliding.
Dallas picked 21st that year and was watching Smith fall. They knew Atlanta needed a RB at the 20th pick (they picked RB Steve Broussard from Washington State), so the Cowboys called Pittsburgh at the 17th pick when Emmitt was still there, made a small trade up and drafted the "slow" RB.
Once the questions from the media started coming about how slow Emmitt was, Jimmy said the quote I mentioned earlier. It made me think, "you know, he's right. I always saw highlights of Smith running for 50, 60, 70 yard TD's and all these fast DB's weren't really running him down.
Just like Stepfan Taylor's highlights.
I was very young then, but it taught me a valuable lesson concerning evaluating football players: Pay attention to what they do in pads on the field playing the game that they will get paid to play. How did Smith see holes and cutback lanes? Was he difficult to bring down? Was he tough and smart? How was his balance and feet?
In all cases Emmitt was exceptional and had been since he was the starting RB for Escambia High in the 9th grade. Only a sprained knee his junior season had slowed him down. He was amazing every other season except for that one, and he was good that year. Yet, teams let him go by because he didn't run a good 40 and couldn't jump as high as they thought he should.
My eyes tell me Taylor is a good RB, just like my eyes tell me some of these really fast guys are not. He has great vision, balance, toughness, heart, etc. and will be a steal in the 3rd or 4th round. He might not become the all time leading rusher in the NFL, but I think he will be a good RB for a long time.
The combine is fun for us fans and gives a lot of good info to the teams (mainly interviews and medicals, IMO), but if you put too much weight on these workouts it is a recipe for disaster. Some fans go nuts over some of the numbers put up by (sometimes) marginal players.
Warmack wouldn't be a good fit in Dallas because of his times in drills?
The Colts new GM Ryan Grigson said that going into the Combine he's hoping his targets have sub-par workouts so they can fall down boards a bit and he can get a value. He said that because he knows if a guy can play football or not based on what he's done in his college career, and good players can sometimes get by stupid evaluators who pay too much attention to what they do in shorts when there is no worry about getting hit in the mouth or blindsided by a guy.
Last year Grigson drafted Dwayne Allen (who was very good as a rookie) in the 3rd round because he ran a slower than expected 40 time. Until then he was early 2nd round material. Grigson played it cool and got the Colts a steal in the 3rd.
Football and how they play it is what's important for these guys. The combine provides some guidelines but isn't like watching game film and talking to college coaches.
A lesson I learned in 1990 when the Cowboys stole the all-time leading rusher at the 17th pick.