Grier’s Draft Strategy - Big School Emphasis

Austin Tatious

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If you review Miami’s recent drafts, there is a decided big school emphasis. Since 2016, the only guys who weren’t from big schools have been Brandon Doughty, Quentin Poling, and Cornell Armstrong, and these were more late round fliers than anything else.

Beyond that, there has been a fairly large emphasis on brand name football schools like Ohio State (Prince, Baker, McMillan), Clemson (Tank, Wilkins), Alabama (Drake, Fitzpatrick), LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State (Lucas, Gesicki), Wisconsin, other SEC guys (Tunsil, Harris), some big 12 guys (Taylor, Howard).

There was a draft not so long ago, maybe when Dennis Hickey was here, where we had quite a few smaller school types, Fede, Aikens, Tripp, et al.

I’m sure that Grier is not going to exclude somebody based on school, but if you look at the bigger picture, overall you see an emphasis on not just big school guys, but really schools where football is king, the draftees have been immersed in that type of culture, and often have won. Over a three year sample size, it’s pretty striking.
 

illscriptures

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The results are what I am interested in. I think putting an emphasis on this is an error.

See Raekwon McMillan for example. He came from a great program but he as a player is hot garbage, and I think that the reason his stock was so high during the draft was because he came out of Ohio State University.

I think that players from these big time schools are overrated... like Tua currently is... the reason being that these players get the benefit of seeming better than they actually are due to the success of their football program because that school is loaded with talent.

For example, Tua Tagavaiola at Alabama, gets the benefit of playing behind one of the best olines in the country, throwing it to some of the best receivers and runningbacks in the country, and then has the best defense in college football to help the team not fall behind early and give him 2nd chance opportunities after turnovers.

Meaning that he has played with advantages that others dont have for his entire college career, so when he goes to the Miami Dolphins on draft day in 2020, he will then get exposed as being the average player that he is behind a horrible oline which he has never played under before.

It is like Rosen, he plays behind a horrible oline and sucks, and people make excuses that it is not his fault. The same thing will happen with any player that comes from a great college team onto a horrible pro team.

The same way a mediocre seeming QB could become elite in the pros under inverse circumstances.
 

Awsi Dooger

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I have argued for this for decades. It is the correct emphasis and should be applied more, not less. Steal that extra few percent margin for error in your favor. These are essentially specialty schools. If you were recruiting microbiology students then the first place you look is the schools with the best microbiology programs. The 20th student there is likely superior to some straggler at a lesser school.

Demote subjectivity and have confidence a foundational truth like that will lead you in the correct direction. I don't think the Dolphins are applying this in ideal fashion. A school like Wisconsin may be up there every year in football results but it does not stand out in terms of recruiting rankings. The Badgers are a dedicated overachieving bunch. That is fine for a position like offensive line where athletic ability is lesser to begin with, and the strong intelligent technician types often emerge in late blooming fashion. But I would not be looking at Wisconsin for other positions like linebacker. Sure you might find an occasional gem but overall you'll grind to negative expectancy.

I would continue to study the schools in the prime recruiting areas and the ones that have topped the recruiting rankings in the prior 3-6 year period. They simply have more talented players on the roster. If I were running a scouting department I would all but ignore the smaller schools. Simply not worth it on a case by case basis. If someone stands out you'll hear about them anyway. But it ridiculous to send your personnel to those campuses and those pro days, along with watching their game tape, as if they hold even a fraction of the value of the major schools. Too many scouts want to get cute and find a hidden gem. I would fire or demote anyone who demonstrated that mindset. Instead I would have guys assigned to each of the recruiting powerhouses and tasked to get the know the roster head to toe every year. I wouldn't care if the Dolphins drafted from a list of 10-15 schools every year and ignored the rest of the nation.
 

hoops

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I’d like to see more risk taken. Buffalos’ gm swings for the fences with his top picks.

That’s more my speed. Betting on development and upside but possessing elite physical tools

I don’t mind what do I have in 2 years
 
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BigNastyFish

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I think a HUGE factor is simply the QUALITY of game day competition
multiplied by the quality of practice competition -- which certainly favors
the powerhouse programs over the twinks. In fact that's one of the
reasons I have some hope for OT Prince since he faced Bosa
over and over in practice. That HAS TO make a difference.

Go back to the glory days at the U and the PROs absolutely loved
their players because of (a) talent and (b) proven performance against
the "big boys." In fact a lot of the Us success was always attributed to
the competition intensity of the practices (sometimes more ferocious
than the game).

Doesn't preclude the "small school miracle" but as others have noted
the draft is one big play on percentages -- so use the odds in your favor...
 

Austin Tatious

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I haven't paid enough attention to Prince to comment but, in the sixth round, that type of profile makes sense. Big school ability at a flier price.
 

Geordie

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I am a big believer in picking players from big program. There's a reason why they are at these programs to begin with. They've grown up in an environment that expects results, that'll prepare them for the NFL. They've seen big crowds, dealt with the pressure of expectation, play with and against lite level players and been exposed to generally a higher caliber of coaching.

Having said that, if a FO is not open to small school talents such as Nasir Adderley and Easton Stick, in this year's draft. Then they are not doing their jobs correctly at all. You can we so biased to the degree where these guys are immediately dismissed.
 

DPhinz_DPhinz

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See Raekwon McMillan for example. He came from a great program but he as a player is hot garbage, and I think that the reason his stock was so high during the draft was because he came out of Ohio State University.
Can you define "hot garbage", or at least put it into a context where I can see how far our definitions are apart...?
 
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