Lynch & Co: Why college stars fail in the NFL
Munich - The list is long: Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart and Paxton Lynch, Tim Tebow and Troy Smith, Trent Richardson and Aaron Curry. They are all examples of players who were absolute superstars and performers in college but did not live up to the NFL requirements.
Draft Busts is the expression for players who have been highly selected in the draft and then failed completely. Many have already existed, many will still exist. But why? Is football at college so different from the one in the NFL that the transition is so difficult?
Yes, says the long-time quarterback and later TV expert Trent Dilfer: "From the point of view of a quarterback are almost two different sports." What he means: Most universities have dedicated themselves to a specific game system and hardly move away from it.
College teams win in the simplest way
"I do not blame the colleges at all," Dilfer said. "It's about winning, generating revenue, filling auditorium seats and funding the rest of the programs with the funds, you have to win, and if you have to win, you choose the easiest and most repeatable way to win."
Therefore, college stars often get into the NFL, which lacks versatility. ran expert Nils Müller writes in his book "College Football 1-0-1": "A quarterback, for example, who can throw the ball not more than 40 yards, but is fast as an arrow and brings runningbackese moves, would be in the NFL probably not a big one In college, on the other hand, there are quite a few successful gaming systems that demand exactly this skill set from a quarterback. "
Mitchell Trubisky had to learn snaps in the NFL
An entirely different example from the recent past is Mitchell Trubisky, who was drafted at position 2 by the Chicago Bears in 2017. At the University of North Carolina he had played only from the shotgun formation, so it was about 5 yards behind the center and got thrown the ball. In the NFL, he first had to learn to snap the ball directly behind the center.
While this may be easy to learn with a bit of hard work, the change in other aspects is much more difficult. An NFL quarterback is expected to be able to read the defense and act accordingly - not at the college.
"That's the biggest problem for the pros, because the college quarterback is largely managed from the sidelines," said Dilfer. "They make very few dynamic decisions on the line of scrimmage or after the ball has been hit, and dynamic decisions before or after the ball is snapped are what sets the best pro quarterbacks apart from everyone else."
While some quarterbacks like JaMarcus Russell Johnny Manziel failed due to a lack of work ethic, other playmakers like Tim Tebow or Paxton Lynch had more of a problem switching from college to NFL.
The conversion problems, however, not only affect the quarterbacks. Instead, they pull through pretty much every part of the team.
Run-Blocking and Pass Protection: NFL O-liners need both
Example offensive line: There are college teams such as those of the US Navy, which in some games almost only run the ball. So the O-Liner has to pave the way for the Running Back with a strong forward push, but hardly takes place in the Pass Protection. Such a person would not be useful in the NFL - the same way, of course.
If the one-dimensionality is obvious, the player does not even get a professional contract. But there are also O-Liner, where the problem comes to light later.
A good example is the offensive tackle Jason Smith, who was selected in 2009 by the then still based in St. Louis Rams as a second overall pick. Although he was a giant at college and was showered with honors and honors, he had no background in Baylor University with a typical NFL-style approach.
The result: He found himself in the NFL never cope. After three seasons he was handed over to the New York Jets, after four seasons his professional career was over.
De'Anthony Thomas: Too small for an NFL receiver
Physical demands are much higher in the NFL than at college. Example: De'Anthony Thomas. At college with the Oregon Ducks he was a grenade as a wide receiver and running back and ran the opposing defender with his speed (he was also an athlete) dizzy.
Drawn by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round in 2014, he never played a similarly dominant role in the NFL. The main reason: With its height of 1.75 meters and a weight of around 80 kilograms, it is simply too slender.
In the Chiefs Thomas was mainly used as a Return Specialist. Meanwhile, his rookie contract has expired. As a free agent, he is looking for a new team - so far without success.
Defensive liners have to be versatile
Also in the defense, the requirements in the NFL are much higher than in college. For example, defensive liners are not only intended to put the quarterback under pressure as an arrow-fast pass Rusher, but they also need to be able to stop the running game right at the line of scrimmage.
Highly acclaimed college stars such as the defensive ends Vernon Gholston (6th overall pick from 2008) or Derrick Harvey (8th overall pick from 2008) were no match for the challenge, playing just four years in the NFL. Even Courtney Brown's 2000 first-overall pick never really got into the NFL and ended his career after six seasons.
As I said: The list is the failed college stars is long - and it will certainly be even longer in the coming years.
You want to get the most important NFL news directly to your smartphone? Then sign up for our WhatsApp service http://tiny.cc/ran-whatsapp
This article was written by RAN