ESPN's Todd McShay held a conference call with reporters from around the nation on Wednesday. McShay discussed the draft process and how some mid-to-late round picks and undrafted free agents were able to perform better than players that were drafted highly. Last year Tampa Bay got excellent seasons out of fourth-round pick wide receiver Mike Williams and an undrafted free agent running back in LeGarrette Blount.
“Certainly every once in a while some oddities will pop up,” said McShay. “You look at the top 17 or 18 running backs and LeGarrette Blount was the only one of the rookie class that was in that mix. There were 15 running backs selected and I think there were seven in the first two rounds. Then you go back to the 2008 draft and it was loaded with talent and guys played pretty much right away. In the last couple of years we’ve seen so many backs from the 2008 and 2009 drafts be successful, guys that were highly rated. There were mistakes made. I think part of it is where guys come in and they have character issues. LeGarrette Blount was obviously talented, but teams didn’t want to take that risk. He came in with a chip on his shoulder and had a lot to prove and comes in working hard and doing all the right things. He gets an opportunity and it all comes together. It is a percentages game. The percentages are much higher of getting a great player, a star player, a great starter in the first round than they are in the second or all the way down. If you look at the numbers they reflect that.
“There are always players coming and contributing as undrafted free agents. That is part of the fun of the process is finding those guys for the scouts in their areas is finding that diamond in the rough. Ultimately you got to hit on your first and second-round picks. You got to get three quality starters for it to be a successful draft.”
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