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Draft Prospects on Good or Bad Teams

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Discussion on another thread concerning LB's Bobby Carpenter and AJ Hawk being on the same team brings up some interesting thought- Is the outlook for a prospect enhanced by being on a good team or even a good unit (LB, ...

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Old 03-27-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
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Draft Prospects on Good or Bad Teams

Discussion on another thread concerning LB's Bobby Carpenter and AJ Hawk being on the same team brings up some interesting thought-

Is the outlook for a prospect enhanced by being on a good team or even a good unit (LB, OL etc) or might his value not show up as much being surrounded by more talent? I have heard the case made both ways. Like OSU, two hot LBs Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge played together at Iowa. Conversely. highly rated D'Qwell Jackson played on a poor Maryland team. Some say his tackle numbers are inflated cuz no one else there could tackle near the level of him. One more, the illustrious Matt Leinart playing on the immensely talented USC pro design-like teams VS. Jay Cutler of dreadful Vandy. Some say Cutler will be the best pro using the reasoning that look how well he did on such a poor team with little support. Leinart will struggle cuz he has never had to cope with much rush on him and has had such overwhelming tools versus his opponents at his disposal.

WHADDYA THINK? Bad program, small school guys overlooked or overhyped since maybe they didn't play the same level of competition? Other player examples from the past? More to consider for this draft?
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Old 03-27-2006, 01:18 PM   #2
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RE: Draft Prospects on Good or Bad Teams

Please don't start the Cutler on a bad team, Leinart on a good team thing... PLEASE!!!!!!!!

However, about guys like the OSU LBs and the Iowa LBs, I think that who they're playing with isn't going to be that significant. AJ Hawk played with actually 2 other very good LBs in Carpenter and Schlegel, and he was still able to make plays every game. But I think you could argue it different ways:

1. A good player is on a good team (ie AJ Hawk). Hawk was still able to get his tackles, his FFs, his interceptions, and sacks even despite all of these other guys that are very good at the LB position. But you could also look at it like this; because AJ Hawk isn't the only good LB for OSU, the opposing offenses couldn't just key on Hawk and try to neutralize him by sending him another blocker because it would have left Carpenter or Schlegel open.
2. A good player on a bad team (ie D'Qwell Jackson). Jackson played on a talented, but disappointing Maryland squad this last year. So what should we make out of his numbers? Obviously a player has to be very talented if he's going to rack up those kinds of stats, regardless of whether or not there were any good players on his team. You can also look at it like this; opposing teams knew that Jackson was the best defensive player on the team so they could have schemed around him in order to neutralize his presence. However, even despite these efforts he still could have racked up some ridiculous stats. Or you can see it from the other way, like you said, that he was the only guy capable of making all of those tackles on that team, and he just took advantage of it.

Basically, I think this whole argument is frustrating and stupid because of its circular nature. There are too many variables and too many things that us, as observers, can't keep constant. It's just too hard to tell, and I don't think anybody can say conclusively how much of an impact a player's team has on his performance.
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