Richard Sherman sounds off on NFL draft experts

By Vincent Frank

Being selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft will give a player a relatively large chip on his shoulder. When said player has earned three First-Team All-Pro honors, that’s magnified even further.

When the player is one Richard Sherman, that chip is probably the size of the entire west coast.

The Seattle Seahawks corner isn’t necessarily afraid to tell us how it is. Everything ranging from the league office in New York City to the political situation in the United States is not off limits.

So when posed with questions regarding his opinions of arm-chair NFL draft experts in the media, it wasn’t a big surprise that Sherman sounded off.

In a recent interview with GQ, Sherman was asked if he ever gets frustrated about how the media reports breaking news and stuff happening within an individual team’s locker room.

The response is perfectly Sherman:

“It’s more funny than it is frustrating. I don’t really care. I think of it as them talking to a bunch of sheep who will believe anything anyway. So I just laugh,” Sherman said. “Because they have no idea. Every year they sit here and make all these predictions about who’s going to get drafted and where and how they have all this inside information, and then when the guys don’t get drafted there, and what they predicted doesn’t happen, there’s no ridicule.”

Yes, Sherman went a bit off topic here. Breaking news reporters and NFL insiders such as Adam Schefter are not those who are analyzing prospects.

That’s reserved for the Mel Kiper’s and Todd McShay’s of the world, most of whom don’t report breaking news.

This doesn’t mean that the three-time Pro Bowler fails to hit on an important topic.

Super agent Leigh Steinberg just recently sounded off on McShay’s analysis of his client, former Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch:

Unknown to most average NFL fans out there, this has been a subject of contention around the football world for a while now.

Can these so-called draft experts actually provide the necessary analysis to inform those whose are relying on them for quality information? If not, what exactly are their roles in the media business?

Sherman takes this topic up as well:

“It’s the funniest thing in the world. In any other aspect of life, in any other walk of life, if somebody gets something wrong enough and they’re called a professional… I’ll put it like this, if a weatherman kept predicting the weather wrong, people would stop listening to him. But they keep listening to these guys!”

The people are buying what these guys have to sell. If they weren’t, the likes of Kiper and McShay wouldn’t have the platforms they currently have.

Does this do more harm than good? That’s a larger question for another time. But as NFL fans become more knowledgeable of the draft process themselves, the importance of these gurus isn’t what it used to be.

Maybe it’s the media’s infatuation with the NFL Scouting Combine or the tape that’s readily available on the Internet.¬†Either way, fans know more about prospects now than at any previous point in draft history.

Sherman continued:

“They’re speaking to a bunch of sheep. They’re like sheep herders. And their opinion means nothing. A lot of times, those same commentators have never even played a sport. And their job is as a columnist or an analyst, and it’s kind of funny that you can have those jobs without having any background in the sport.”

Leave it to the outspoken Sherman to bring up a topic most don’t want to discuss. Certain aspects of the draft process are more fun than anything else. No one can take mock drafts seriously. Instead, they are meant for entertainment.

But once an expert goes out there and calls into question a prospect’s ability or off-field track record and uses it as a way to discount the player, it does bring into question the legitimacy of the business:

Agents going to bat for their clients and NFL players such as Sherman feeling the need to criticize these “experts” aren’t bad things. They bring to light one of the least talked about topics surrounding the NFL draft. It also opens up what should be a lively discussion.

Sherman knew this full well when he made these comments.