Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Does Gerhart's stock go down because he's white?

With the NFL Draft approaching,there will be some players whose stock rises and some that slip.We've all seen it.One reason or another a player will be downgraded (lack of speed or low 40 times,character and drug issues,type of competition he faced in college,etc.).Randy Moss slipped because of character issues.Warren Sapp slipped because of alledged marijuana use.Jerry Rice was supposedly too slow despite the monster numbers he put up at Mississippi Valley State.There are too many too name.
  This year the player most likely to suffer:Stanford running back Toby Gerhart.Gerhart,who finished second in the Heisman voting behind Mark Ingram,will likely be taken in the second or third round.More likely the third.He had a good college career,but I think his stock suffers for a different reason.He's white.Yes it seems cold that I say this and I've heard it elsewhere.Some aren't sold on the prospect of a white running back.True,his 40 times aren't anything legends are made of(4.53) and the NFL is a much faster game than college.But the guy can play.Sometimes football speed is much different than track speed.If it weren't,Usain Bolt would be playing in the NFL.If you don't believe in Gerhart,look at the USC game tape and see what he did against that defense full of future NFLers.He didin't finish second in the Heisman voting for lifetime achievements.He got there because he can play the game.I know there aren't many white skill position players,but he should get a chance to prove he belongs,rather than going with the prevailing thought that he's too slow to play the position.I think someone will try to make him a tight end instead of giving him a fair shot to prove he can be an adequate running back.
  In the world of sports scouting,too much is made of how fast a guy can run,how high he can jump,or how many reps they can do on the bench press.No one measures a man's heart or whether he can flat out play the game.In this case it seems that the color of his skin may have something to do with how they look at his playing ability.Maybe Gerhart won't be as good as his Stanford days,maybe he'll be better.Just give him a chance to excel.He might prove some of these scouts wrong.

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