Watching College Highlight Film can be deceiving

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Bobhaze, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Bobhaze

    Bobhaze Well-Known Member

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    This is the time of year we all watch videos of college players who may be future drafted Cowboys. Highlights of a college player can be fun, intriguing and insightful. But we should always be aware of the competition context in which we are viewing a player’s highlights.

    For example- if I’m watching video of Ala QB Tua Tagovailoa, it’s worth noting who the highlights are against. If he’s shredding the defenses of Louisiana-Lafayette or Colorado State, that is a completely different talent level than against Auburn or LSU. I’ve seen many fans gush over a player's highlights against some small school being carved up by 50 points, against players that may not even be Div I college level talent, much less the NFL.

    I remember when the Cowboys drafted Ryan Switzer in 2017 in the 4th round, many gushed about his college highlight reel. Well, I noticed too many of his highlights were against teams like the Citadel, North Carolina A&T and James Madison. He had some ability, but again, context matters.

    Some examples of positive college film highlights from some of our players include guys like Jaylon Smith, Zeke Elliott, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and Michael Gallup. All but Gallup were first or second rounders, but they all looked great against the best competition they faced. For example, Gallup looked very good against Ala in 2017 when he played at Tuscaloosa that year. Zack Martin and Jaylon Smith dominated all levels of competition at Notre Dame, as did Zeke at Ohio State.

    Next time you look at a college player’s highlight reel, check to see who the opponents are to give it some context. If they are “dominant” against Slippery Rock U but not so much against LSU or Oklahoma, then buyer beware.
    Typhus, bcavi and brymatt94 like this.
  2. America's Cowboy

    America's Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    You're absolutely right, BH, but the only ones this truly should matter to is the NFL draft decision makers. Our opinions are simply fun to debate among ourselves. Here is hoping Jerry and Company do a much better job of evaluating talent, especially for those early round picks which have not been so good as of late.
    Bobhaze and Typhus like this.
  3. fivetwos

    fivetwos Well-Known Member

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    Funny you mention this now. Every year I do the same thing with players and this hadn't occurred to me until a few weeks ago.

    I'm looking at the Chiasson highlights, and the guy looks incredible. We would be lucky he is there at 17 let alone pass on him.

    Then I realized.....theres no youtube video of all the times he got pushed around like a ragdoll, and/or made no contribution to the play.

    VERY big difference between youtube highlights and actual game film.
    Typhus likes this.
  4. bcavi

    bcavi Active Member

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    Lol. This is me in a nutshell. I'm ignorant concerning college players, or really any player on another team. It is fun looking at highlights, getting bummed when we don't select said players. Bob, don't try to take the fun out of it though. Most won't admit, but I figure many are like this. Laser focused on the Cowboys without any true comparative analysis vs. what's going on outside of Jerry's world.
    Bobhaze likes this.
  5. morasp

    morasp Well-Known Member

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    Last year the draft profiles seemed to focus more on scheme fit for players. What a breath of fresh air it was when MM said he isn't worried about scheme fit just get the best players. The two trends I'm seeing in draft profiles this year are whether a player has improved each year in college and if the player won't be an immediate starter does he have the "traits" to become a good NFL player
  6. Prime21

    Prime21 Well-Known Member

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    Typically there is a decent amount of youtube videos for highly rated prospects that shows all there snaps in certain games. If you can find a few of those especially against highly rated competition you can get a good feel for a guy.
  7. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Tua can play. I would draft him in a second if I knew I could count on him being healthy 12 to 14 games a year. 6 to 8 games a year not so much.

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