Pete Carroll earned right to lead 2023 draft...and could pay the ultimate price for it
1/17/2022: Seahawks have an unprecedented opportunity and the pressure is on to not blow it: Seaside Joe 1415
Easy as it is for me and people like me to judge NFL general managers, scouts, and coaches on their selections in the draft every year, I do not envy the pressure that they are under every single time they are on the clock. For a GM, the NFL Draft is basically doing the same job you do the other 362 days out of the year—but on cocaine. Piles of it.
After months of focus on the draft cycle, hundreds of interviews, thousands of hours of film study, and in many cases years of following certain prospects, a general manager has to go from Joe Montana to Tony Montana. The higher your draft choice, the greater the risk that you will not have a job for much longer.
And those are just the guys who get headlines. Just like how L.A. Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has the “privilege” of firing offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi to escape the heat from his latest collapse, or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers moving on from OC Byron Leftwich on Tuesday, so too do general managers get to keep pushing shit downhill after making poor draft decisions, bad trades, and setting back organizations by years for believing in the wrong prospects.
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Some owners do have more patience and understanding for the fact that the NFL Draft is extremely hard to execute with a consistently high success rate (it is hard to do better than Baltimore’s Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta, but even the Ravens have some awful first round picks in recent history), some owners refuse to ever fully cede control and won’t ever fire themselves.
But for all we talk about the pressure of a fourth quarter comeback by Tom Brady or a game-winning field goal attempt by Jason Myers, could it be any worse than the moment when a GM has two minutes left on the draft clock and he’s deciding between a potential franchise quarterback who needs to be developed, a high-floor edge rusher with a history of misdemeanors, a dynamic number one receiver who tore his ACL in the big game, or a trade back 10 spots that nets a future first but also guarantees the team won’t draft any of the blue chip prospects this year that he’s been debating over for his first pick in the last three months?
If you feel like you have an easy answer to that dilemma then no, you do not fully appreciate the pressure of being a general manager.
Running simulated mock drafts on a website probably only does more to confuse the actual job of running an NFL team. Even if you spend several hours a day consuming NFL draft content—scouting reports, tape, rumors, team needs, other teams team needs, mock drafts, etc.—that’s a luxury you have without having to also be responsible for running an actual pro football team.
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