Tiki & Tierney Spar Over NFL Draft

Some general managers want the NFL Draft postponed; Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney disagree on whether they should get their wish

Tiki and Tierney
March 25, 2020 - 6:26 pm
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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL GM subcommittee would like the NFL Draft postponed. Yes, in addition to logistical issues – all team facilities are shut down until April 8 – many general managers feel behind on the information-gathering process. They typically spend this time of year getting to know prospects at the NFL Combine, as well as Pro Days.

The virus has made that difficult.

So, should the Draft, which is slated to unfold April 23-25, be pushed back to a later date? 

Brandon Tierney says no.

“I understand the GMs’ fears,” Tierney said on Tiki & Tierney. “There’s just simply not enough time to, in their minds, properly evaluate – and I even say that that’s fair. However, I am still not of the belief that you have to postpone the NFL Draft. I’m not. I’m not there yet.”

Tiki Barber, however, believes postponing the draft might be best for the league.

“Here’s my problem, BT,” he said. “They do have to worry about how these kids are being evaluated and drafted that are coming out of college into the NFL. So much depends on this. It’s really easy to mess this up because you get enamored.”

Maybe you had a good conversation with a prospect at the Combine. Maybe he had a firm handshake. Maybe he had a quick wit.

But those aren’t data-driven takeaways. It’s all gut feel – and some teams don’t even have that.

“Some teams didn’t even send assistant coaches [to the Combine],” Barber said. “[They said], ‘We’ll wait until the Pro Day.’ Now, scouts were still there and GMs were still there, but the coaches weren’t there. The ones that are actually going to have to do the duties with these players and have to give their opinion on X-Y-Z player – they didn’t even see them. I feel GMs. I understand why they’re saying we need to push this back because we’re working with a scouting book that’s half full. We don’t have the right tools to evaluate who we should or shouldn’t take, and if we mess this up, [it’s a problem].”

Remember: this isn’t fantasy football. This isn’t a home league with your buddies. These are multi-million-dollar decisions that will impact jobs and livelihoods around the league.

“I get why GMs want this postponed,” Barber said. “The NFL actually should postpone it because some of these teams are dependent upon good drafts this year.”

Tierney, though, has a different perspective. He understands that meeting a prospect and getting to know him as a person is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. A handshake and a conversation shouldn’t make or break any prospect – or be the deciding factor for any scout.

“If a scout’s book of data is only half full at this point, then that scout should be shown the door,” Tierney said. “Come on. This is not college basketball. If you’re going out for the NFL Draft, that is three years of film. Think about that. Three years! Make a decision!”

“Yes,” Barber said, “but you haven’t had up-close, personal contact with [them].”

“Then you should have went to the Combine like I told you.”

“I agree,” Barber said. “I agree.”