There are any number of reasons why a college prospect falls in the NFL Draft each year. The most popular are injury concerns, maturity concerns, and athletic concerns. A player may have suffered multiple health setbacks in college. They may have been suspended by the program or gotten in trouble with the law. Or they didn’t display the necessary speed or quickness pro teams often prefer. One could understand if this was the case for Kyler Gordon.
Most felt the Chicago Bears’ top draft choice fell in the 2nd round because of the scouting combine. Despite clear evidence of his athletic gifts at Washington, he only ran a 4.52 in the 40-yard dash. That isn’t slow, but it’s also considered average for a corner. The Bears brass even celebrated when that time came through because they knew it increased the chances he’d be available.
Yet some have heard that wasn’t the only reason Gordon fell.
Draft insider Charlie Campbell of Walter Football delivered one of the wildest explanations for a draft plummet I’ve heard in recent memory. His explanation started innocently enough. Several teams felt his athletic upside was limited, making him a likely slot corner in the NFL rather than somebody who could play outside. That was when things got weird.
“In speaking to team sources, Gordon slid to the second round because some evaluators felt he was only a fit for slot cornerback in the NFL. They did not feel he had the ability to line up outside at the pro level. Another reason why he slid was concerned about his commitment to football. Some scouts were worried that Gordon is so focused on competitive dance that he might end his NFL career early to commit to dancing full time.”
That has to be a football first. I’ve heard plenty of reasons why players may wish to retire early. They want to get their money, maybe get a ring, and then get out before their body gets too beat up. Others wish to go back to school to pursue another of their dream jobs before they get too old. Never in league history have scouts expressed fear that a player may retire early because he wants to jumpstart a competitive dance career.
Kyler Gordon gave up dancing in high school.
Competitive dancing, anyway. He has been focused on football for years. While he loves dancing, there is no reason to think he will bail on his team early in his career. He loves football too. Professional dancers earn an average of $21 an hour. Nothing close to what he can make by carving out a long NFL career. Then there is another factor to remember. Dancers have been known to work well into their 40s. So Gordon can play ten years in the NFL and still have plenty of time to resume a dancing career after he retires.
In short, this is further proof that teams continue to overthink the draft every year. They’re so focused on the little things about a player that they miss the overarching fact he can probably help make them better. Kyler Gordon is a perfect example. He may not be the fastest in the world, but his tape is literate with examples of somebody who will have a solid career in the pros.
Worrying about the dance thing feels ridiculous.
Assuming it’s true, of course. The Bears certainly aren’t complaining. They feel they stole good football play with that pick. Gordon is already making noise in practices, and he figures only to get better as his mastery of the defense improves.
Post Views: 681