I don’t spend more than a minute or two reading about the Combine. I don’t even spend that long writing about it. I watch three or four college football games every Saturday during the fall and rarely miss the college ball played during the week. Since I went to New York University and our football program consisted three dope dealers and a Nerf ball in Washington Square Park I have no horse in any of the races. I watch college football primarily to scout potential pro talent. (Hence my hatred for the read-option offense and any coaches who use it.) I base my knowledge on football players by watching football games.
Am I wrong? Of course. I thought David Carr would be an elite quarterback in the NFL. I thought Mike Nugent was going to be one of the best kickers the NFL ever saw. But I also knew Matt Leinart wasn’t very good and Maurice Jones-Drew was. Drafting is a crap shoot. Talent doesn’t always translate. But using 40 times and leaping ability to evaluate a player is no more effective than watching ball games. So I’ll stick to the games. I like them more.
And I watch a lot of Notre Dame football. I don’t know why. I don’t particularly care if they win or lose but I’m a sucker for teams with history. And nobody has more history in the land of college football than Notre Dame. Having watched so much ND over the last few years made one thing very apparent: Michael Floyd has an it factor and the Bears would do wonders to draft him with the 19th pick in the draft.
Why? Because every time he ran a route, he seemed open. And every time the Irish needed a big play, he made it. Without a good quarterback under center at any point in his tenure, Floyd thrived in whatever system was implemented. As a football player, as a wide receiver there is nothing this kid can’t do.
But there is something else about Floyd that I think the Bears require. Flash. Pizzazz. Razzle dazzle. Other phrases that mean the same thing. A presence on the outside the Bears have not possessed since Willie Gault left football for a life of securities fraud. Even the productive wide receivers of the last twenty years, Marty Booker and Marcus Robinson being perhaps the finest, were workmanlike talents. They were productive and reliable but they were workmanlike.
Floyd is not workmanlike. He’s electric. He’s the kind of playmaker Phil Emery seemed obsessed with in his introductory press conference. I just hope he’s obsessed with him on a certain Thursday night in April.