Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Jul 2005

Tip Sheet: Winston, McNeill are top Prospects

After touching on it a bit last week, Len Pasquarelli goes into more detail about the best prospects for the 2006 draft. Offensive line will be a strong position, and Matt Leinart isn't a sure thing for No. 1 overall.

Another tidbit is that teams are demanding longer contracts from lower-round picks. I don't know why every team hasn't always done this. The low-round guys don't have much bargaining power, so why not force them to sign on for a long time? If they don't pan out you can always release them, but if they do play well they won't become free agents soon. Also, salary cap fans, remember: signing bonuses can only be amortized over five years. Also worth noting is that the Toronto Argonauts, who already have Michael Bishop on their roster, would like to take a look at Eric Crouch as a quarterback.

One final thing: I haven't bought football cards since I was about eight years old, but Len writes, "The Donruss card people inadvertently switched the teams and logos on the two Alex Smiths from this year's draft." Someone who knows more about collecting, help me out. Was it really "inadvertent," or did Donruss make an intentional error because cards with errors catch the interest of collectors?

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 01 Jul 2005

11 comments, Last at 05 Jul 2005, 4:56pm by Richie


by masoch (not verified) :: Fri, 07/01/2005 - 6:18pm

Re: The Donruss thing:

I'd say it's 95% likely that they did it intentionally, *especially* in this modern era of card making. I also think it's *less* likely that they did it 'because cards with errors collect the interest of collectors'. Assuming the 'error' cards have a high print run, they're easy to obtain, and thus won't draw that much interest from collectors. More likely, they did it for the free publicity the 'mistake' generates.

The remaining 5% chance breaks down thusly:
1% chance they're just a bunch of chuckleheads that DON'T really know anything about football
.005% chance someone inadvertently switched them during the printing process (unlikely, due to the use of computers in modern card printing)
4.995% chance Alex (TE) Smith's agent slipped Donruss some money on behalf of his player... after all, a man can dream, can't he? It's a shame for him that Rick Spielman isn't the GM for the Bucs: "C'mon, seee... Alex was a 1st round pick, remember? Look!"

by masoch (not verified) :: Fri, 07/01/2005 - 6:20pm

Ooops. Sorry for the misquote. Obviously, collect=catch there.

by masoch (not verified) :: Fri, 07/01/2005 - 6:45pm

Oh, and before anybody says it... the numbers add up to 101% due to overlap. Its quite possible that a couple of these factors are in play.

Layout guy 1: "Hey, that's the wrong Alex Smith!"
Layout guy 2: "Call his agent, maybe we can make some extra cash on the side"
Layout guy 1: "Cool, he says he'll give us $1000!"

*15 minutes later*
Proofer: "Hey, that's the wrong Alex Smith!"
Layout guy 1: (protectin his 'bonus') "Ummm... call the PR department, maybe we can get some spin out of this... besides, it's 5 o'clock... do YOU want to stay late to fix it?"

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 07/02/2005 - 2:46pm

Come on Donruss, if you're going to print cards with errors, at least give us an NFL version of Billy Ripken. I can't remember a card being more popular when I was twelve and actually collected a few. Anyway, if they wanted to drum up collector interest, they could just print a limited amount and distribute them, then claim that the mistake was caught and corrected early on, but some managed to get out.

Holy crap - Mike Rumph is still in the league? I take it from the proposed position switch that he hasn't improved that much from his rookie year (where his uniform number was a big target), but since he played for SF I have no way of knowing. Who knows, maybe a switch to a position where coverage skills aren't as important will help him resurrect his career.

by MDS (not verified) :: Sun, 07/03/2005 - 8:15am

If you don't know what Trogdor is talking about with the Billy Ripken card, click my initials.

by bobstar (not verified) :: Mon, 07/04/2005 - 1:45pm

Why are there so few comments for Pasquarelli's columns, especially compared to MMQB? Is King a better writer? I wonder if King gets more of a reaction because his articles are usually wacky and/or fawning pieces which "get the ball rolling" with discussions. Anyone? Anyone?

by MDS (not verified) :: Mon, 07/04/2005 - 2:31pm

Pasquarelli has a just-the-facts reporting style. I like it, but it doesn't lend itself to discussion and debate the way King, Zimmerman, etc. do.

I think the hard-core readers of this site admire Pasquarelli to a much greater extent than the general public does. ESPN hardly ever puts him on TV, I guess because TV executives (and, presumably, viewers) like "personalities" better than actual reporters. It's funny, I watch ESPN's pregame show because it's the only football on two hours before games on Sundays, but I really don't think it's very well done. I'd rather just watch two hours of Pasquarelli and Zimmerman having a conversation.

by Deodand (not verified) :: Mon, 07/04/2005 - 6:59pm

Peter King is a clown, and a shill for a relentless parade of useless products (Starbucks anyone?). Pasquarelli has sources, writes stories, covers the NFL.

by C (not verified) :: Tue, 07/05/2005 - 11:52am

Re: #7

Throw in Jaws and that would be the best pregame show ever.


by Sean D. (not verified) :: Tue, 07/05/2005 - 3:46pm

I used to watch ESPN's Sunday pregame show (its had like 20 names, I don't remember what they call it now) when it was Berman, Jackson, Mortenson, and Sharpe. I would watch that religiously. It was actually a compelling show. Now, the show is much like Fox's with the drivel spilling out of Michael Irvin's mouth. I'd much rather see a football guy out there (you know someone who knows more than how to run a route and catch a ball) who knows what to talk about and may actually make me think. The main problem with all of ESPN is that the "Jocks" have taken over the shows and so all you hear are cliches and the best way to push off a defender. So... when does the FO sunday pregame show start?

by Richie (not verified) :: Tue, 07/05/2005 - 4:56pm

The main problem with all of ESPN is that the “Jocks� have taken over the shows and so all you hear are cliches and the best way to push off a defender.

Wow. Yesterday my girlfriend was in the car with me while ESPN radio was on. Amy Lawrence was hosting a show and interviewing Mark Schlereth about the Ty Law situation. My gf asked if it bothers me to hear a woman talking about sports.

I said that I don't mind a woman if she really knows what she's talking about, and that listening to Amy Lawrence was better than listening to Schlereth, who she was interviewing. Schlereth is annoying. He just automatically takes the side of players. He was saying how Law deserves a huge contract because he is one of the best CB's in the league. At age 30, with a bad knee, it would be stupid for a team to give him a huge contract.

Anyway, so many players suck as commentators. A guy like Charles Barkley is so refreshing, who actually has opinions and is not afraid to bash a player who deserves it.