The NFL Draft can produce some quality theater. The fact that it's an entertainment production centered on sports can numb us to the reality that what happens over those three days has a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of young men. In our area the most compelling drama centered on Gabe Marks - the most prolific wide receiver in Pac-12 history. Marks went undrafted, to the surprise of some including Mike Leach.
"I'm always surprised who's drafted and who's not because I've found the draft especially over the years to be very random," Leach said on a conference call Monday. "I think a lot of times guys are selected based on measurables rather than how good of a player they are. Gabe doesn't measure up particularly well on some of their measurables, but he's a better player than some guys that do."
We haven't heard from Gabe since the draft ended, but he did fire off a tweet that simply read, 'Production doesn't matter'. To an extent he's right. NFL personnel weigh pro potential - however they gauge that - greater than college productivity. Look no further than UNC's Mitch Trubisky going second overall, 10 spots ahead of Clemson's national championship winning QB Deshaun Watson.
In the eyes of NFL decision makers Gabe lacks the adequate combo of size and speed. As a result he settled for an undrafted free agent contract with the New York Jets, which may end up being a very good thing for him. In some cases you're better off going the free agent route than getting picked. Either way it can be a struggle to make a team's roster. When you're a free agent you at least get to decide where you go. In Gabe's case he ends up with a team in need of receivers. That's a better place to be than a seventh round pick of a squad that is well stocked at his position.
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