Mel Kiper Jr., a man renowned for his evaluation of college football players and how they will fare professionally, went on a teleconference Thursday afternoon and said statistics are for losers, Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough is a sixth-round pick and center Bradley Bozeman will go undrafted.
Welcome to the silly season.
Thursday won’t be the first day Kiper, his ESPN colleague Todd McShay or any of the countless NFL draft analysts make headlines with their assessments of the 2018 crop of draft-eligible talent.
And, right now, none of it really matters.
This is not to disparage Kiper, McShay or any of the hard-working draft analysts who help teams, fans and reporters — myself included — better understand the painstaking process teams endure to selecting what they believe is their perfect player. Far from it.
It’s a reminder that today is Jan. 18. The NFL draft is more than three months away. The NFL Scouting Combine is two months away. Alabama and Auburn are two of several schools that haven’t even released a date for its annual pro day, which attracts coaches and scouts from around the league.
McShay, Kiper and others glean much of their insight from conversations they have with various teams and their draft personnel. Those aforementioned dates — the combine and pro days — afford these team officials a chance to see these prospects in person, not on TV, and look beyond the stat sheets they rely upon right now.
Perhaps an underrated player impresses or a prized player falters. Teams will convey that information and NFL draft analysts will relay it to you, perhaps rendering moot what you’re mad about today.