There is a definite trend starting up among NFL scouts and talent evaluators, and that is obsession with two kinds of athletes:
1. Former basketball players
2. Former quarterbacks converted into “slash”s.
The first is not surprising given that Antonio Gates was a unanimous all-pro choice, and has been dominating the league, but I still think that he’s more of a unique athlete who learned some tricks as a basketball player. The idea that any big guy who used to be good at basketball is guaranteed to succeed in the NFL is very flawed.
The second is obvious because of two players- Antwaan Randel El, former Steelers wideout who earned himself a couple million dollars in the Super Bowl with the perfectly thrown bomb to Hines Ward on an end-around. The other player is Matt Jones, picked in the first round of the draft last year by the Jaguars, a former quarterback converted to reciever. He didn’t really dominate last season, but he made some nice plays, and he’s supposedly been lighting it up in the off-season camps.
My thought is basically this- Yes, there have been some players that fit the two roles I described that have been astounding (Gates, Randel El, etc.), but that doesn’t make someone who fits the description automatically worthy of consideration as an elite prospect, but I’m afraid that’s what’s happening.