Drafting The Best Players For The NFL Is About More Than Stats

When the Dallas Cowboys drafted quarterback Dak Prescott, they cared about how well he could run and throw, but also how he would fit with the rest of the team.

By Laura RiceApril 24, 2017 2:57 pm

The NFL draft doesn’t start until Thursday, but mock draft predictions and analysis already abound on the internet.

Daron Roberts, founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin, knows more than most about this stuff – he’s a former NFL coach. Roberts says draft fever is contagious because the annual event represents an opportunity for teams to completely turn themselves around.

One way to do this is by not paying as much attention to new players’ stats as to their potential compatibility with a team, Roberts says. He says this philosophy played out in the Dallas Cowboys’ drafting of Dak Prescott.

“This is a guy who was taken the fourth round 131st pick, and then was one of the best quarterbacks in the league last year,” Roberts says. “Listen to what the Jones family says. ‘During the interviews all of our contact with him, we really felt like this was a guy who had leadership qualities that could be a two decade sort of quarterback.’”

Roberts says the Jones family’s (owners of the Cowboys) focus on finding a a player who could offer a lot to their specific team is something that more teams should copy in the future.

“Watch for those guys in the middle and the bottom of the draft,” Roberts says. “Some of those guys will end up being big contributors for their teams.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– The reason people get so excited about draft picks.

– Why people shouldn’t get too caught up in first-round picks.

– Daron Roberts’ advice for drafting new players.