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Matt Leinart Compared Joakim Noah

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This weekend on his blog Brian McCormick makes a great comparison to the fate of Matt Leinert and what might happen to Joakim Noah if he doesn’t change his mind and apply for the NBA Draft this summer. For readers of this site that don’t follow football, Leinart would have been the top pick in last spring’s NFL draft but he decided to head back to USC for another year so that he could take dance classes, win another National Championship and another Heisman trophy. Things didn’t go like Leinart had planned and all he has to show for this season are some pictures of him drunk on the internet and some new dance moves. Instead of being one of the top picks in the NFL Draft this weekend Leinart slid to the 10th picks because scouts had another year to tear apart his physical abilities. McCormick sums up the fate of Leinart perfectly when he writes that, “Matt Leinart would have been the unquestioned #1 pick in the NFL Draft last season. But by returning to enjoy college life and win another national championship (oops), scouts had more and more opportunities to nitpick and find things they did not like about his arm strength, past injuries, etc. Now, I think NFL teams make a colossal mistake when they get enamored with a player’s combine performance, not his football performance, but it’s their prerogative.”

Later in the column McCormick links this to the future of Joakim Noah when he writes that, “Noah plans to return to college to enjoy college life and win another national championship. Now, he has zero chance of being the #1 pick in 2007 because teams are already lining up to pick Greg Oden, who may have gone number one last year. So, already Noah starts the season at #2. However, with another season in front of the scouts, and one where Florida, despite its talent, probably does not repeat (it’s so hard to win 6 games in a row two years in a row), NBA scouts will find holes and weaknesses they are too excited to see right now. They’ll see his slight frame as a problem, his funky-looking shot an impediment, etc. Right now, they don’t care. This is one of the worst NBA Drafts in a decade; next year, in what could be one of the best drafts in a decade (after 2003 of course), NBA scouts will look for ways to pick Josh McRoberts or Julian Wright or Thaddeus Young or some other player ahead of him. He will be yesterday’s news, not the next hot thing, as he is right now.”

I’ve long been a fan of kids being kids and enjoying their time in college by playing video games, staying up late to party with the ladies and the chance to be rock stars on campus. The more I’ve read about this the past year (and with the NBA being dolts in regards to the D League and the age minimum) I’ve started to change my mind about kids spending time in college. However, a kid like Noah doesn’t need the fame or fortune that being an NBA star would provide him. He lives with teammates that are like family to him, he’s adored in Gainesville and his family has enough money so that if he were to injure himself he would still be filthy rich the rest of his life.

If I were Noah I’d ignore what McCormick thinks and stick around Gatorland for another season.


Sun 04/30/06, 6:20 pm EST

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