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2010 DRAFT: Kindle's 'edge' attractive to NFL scouts
Kindle's 'edge' attractive to NFL scouts
Posted Aug. 03, 2009 @ 1:28 p.m.
By Nolan Nawrocki, PFW
In a violent collision sport where bodies are continually slammed and put to the test, NFL executives often seek players with an edge, becoming turned off by any sign of softness that does not reveal the rugged, competitive temperament and mental toughness needed to play a man's game.
Stories about Hall of Famers such as Lawrence Taylor and Dan Hampton wreaking havoc off the field are as legendary as their play on it. And for as scared as any NFL executive might be to walk his daughter down the aisle into the arms of Ray Lewis, who was tried for murder although never convicted, there are few who would not want him to play middle linebacker for their team.
An incident involving arguably the nation's pre-eminent hybrid pass rusher, Texas OLB-DE Sergio Kindle, is sure to spark much debate in the 2010 NFL draft regarding the difference between personal character, how a player carries himself outside the white lines, and football character, which is one's commitment to and passion for the game.
Kindle drove his car into an apartment building in Austin, Texas, around 2 a.m. on June 24, 2009, reportedly while sending a text message. After pushing the car down the road and abandoning it, he returned home to rest after suffering a reported concussion; Kindle reported the incident to police later that morning. Inside the apartment building, where no one was home at the time of the crash, furniture and computer equipment were shattered into pieces, and the cost of repairing the building was estimated at $8,700.
The incident came almost two years after Kindle was arrested for driving while intoxicated in July 2007 as a sophomore, which forced him to miss the first three games that season due to a suspension.
Multiple incidents tend to scare NFL decision makers, who will be sure to grill Kindle as the 2010 draft draws nearer. However, it has not yet deterred evaluators, who understand the reason many football players are so successful is because the reckless abandon that permeates their lives and often is undesirably present off the field is what makes them so treasured on the field.
"I hope (Kindle) falls," one NFL evaluator who is already very familiar with Kindle's elite pass-rushing talents said. "He's an explosive hitter — he snaps necks when he hits. He's going to require some maintenance like Shawne Merriman, but he's really got some talent. I'd love to have him."
In the 2005 NFL draft, Merriman was highly coveted by then-Cowboys bossman Bill Parcells. Merriman was explosive. He played very big in a big man's game and exceeded what Parcells sought in the rush LB position.
However, after learning about off-field incidents never reported, Parcells passed on the bigger, more desirable Merriman, publicly saying he was "too old to coach hoodlums and thugs" and selected a pass rusher with a more sound character, DeMarcus Ware, leaving Merriman to be drafted by the Chargers.
As much as character may be emphasized in the acquisition of talent and the building of rosters, Kindle's off-field troubles do not figure to outweigh his explosive pass-rushing talent come draft time.
"He's an inner-city kid, and he likes to have a good time, but he's not a thug," the evaluator added.
Trouble will always follow some of the game's best, especially with many coming from rough upbringings, but NFL brass will continually seek "edge" talent in a non-angelic game.
Re: 2010 DRAFT: Kindle's 'edge' attractive to NFL scouts
Nice article. Any idea of where he's projected to go right now? I know it's early, but I also know there are probably mocks out already.
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