How do you incorporate injury information into a Drafting decision? NY Giants Underground blogger Glenn Warciski pored over video clips to get GM Dave Gettleman’s additional disclosures on what (tf) happened with the Sam Beal supplemental selection. Gettleman knew about the shoulder injury before the draft. That was all he would say. There was nothing more.
If we know about the shoulder injury to Beal and the significant risk (that he’d potentially be out 2018), the value in the pick is gone and I simply wouldn’t do that. If my MDs said that and that he would be 100% in 2019, I’d maybe use a R5 pick. Not a R3. It’s just not the same selection anymore. Remember, everyone (including us) praised the selection because it also addressed need… and we targeted contributions in the second half of the 2018 season.
Glenn brings up the analogy to Owa Odighizuwa. His reference is to the hip injuries (plural) he had in college before being taken in (coincidentally or not) Round 3 back in 2015. If you take a guy with an injury past, his pick has to drop. Think Armstead. Round 8. He was hurt in college. His value dropped. Another part of the dynamic is that those who are injured get reinjured elsewhere in their body. Like it or not, in football the strong survive and the weak get hurt. Some of that is in the Owa example. This is a Football GM’s life. The best place to start is at the draft. You need to get paid for the risk. Todd Gurley needed to fall. Josh Rosen needed to fall. When the Armsteads hit and they have long Pro Bowl careers, he was a steal. No he wasn’t. There are too many others out there who can’t stay healthy. They all need to fall. If Gurley tears another ACL and his career is shot, everyone who got out of the way will have been smart. If he is injury-free, the Rams are smart. The Rams took the risk and live with that.
What kind of shoulder injury does Beal have? Even now we “assume” it is the kind where a complete recovery is a given. If it is a more troublesome type of injury, Beal’s value drops further. Wonder explains that the shoulder for a CB is very important in tackling. Remember also that Beal is undersized. “If it’s an ACV joint or a labrum, that is a much bigger issue,” said Wonder. Once again, the Giants haven’t disclosed whether the injury was exacerbated by any activity that was reported in rookie pre-camp a week ago.
In the 2010 draft, Wonder had a difficult eval. Where do you draft JPP? He saw the immense upside but openly said I’m not drafting anybody in Round 1 who has 11 college starts. One of the reasons why is because you don’t know about how his body will hold up to the rigors of the game. So Wonder ranked him 33rd overall, at the beginning of R2, and we did not see the “value” in the pick (at 15) in R1. There was a risk/uncertainty that we needed to get paid for, argued Wonder. JPP had a back problem almost immediately (hide and seek?) and contended with many physical issues during his career. His contributions to the 2011 season (XLVI) were enormous, as there is no way the Giants win the title without him (think about the blocked FG vs Dallas alone!). Still, a Round 1 investment needs a pristine track record and the Giants realized both the upside AND the downside in that same selection.
The bottomline: injury issues are a major part of draft evaluation. Risks must be accounted for. The track record performance of a player on the field is scrutinized. The health of a player must be scrutinized just as well. Draft slots are currency. You need to get paid for injury risk when you know it is there. We don’t know all the facts behind the decision to take Beal, but given everything we do know, there was more risk than what was allotted in Round 3.