Draft time is quickly approaching and nothing can help build or hurt a team more than the draft. That is just a hard, cold fact! Miss on a top pick and it could become an albatross for years. Just ask teams like the Raiders in their selection of of Jamarcus Russell.
The Raiders are hardly alone. The Dolphins have had more than their share of high pick misses. Not to dwell, but the 2nd round pick of QB Pat White and the overall #9 choice of Ted Ginn Jr. cannot be ignored. What was the Fins thinking? Was it college stats? Was it combine or pro day workout results? Was it a combination of both? That would be a big yes.
I make the argument that rather than draft a player based on size or past accomplishments, that more attention should be g given to the ‘IF” factor. While you won’t find it defined in any dictionary, the IF factor stands for “Internal Fortitude and is defined as this:
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines fortitude as: Strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. Internal is defined as situated near or inside the body or relating to or belonging to or existing within the mind. Put together and applied to athletics, Internal Fortitude becomes a measurement of the heart and conviction of the minds competitiveness and will.
If it were a recognized word and in the dictionary, we would probably see a picture of Dan Marino or Zach Thomas along side the definition. There are many other examples. In fact, almost every team in the NFL has a player that has great Internal Fortitude. They are the overachievers. They are the guys who go undrafted or get drafted late and turn into pro bowlers. They are the guys who have GM’s banging their heads against the wall, asking themselves, “how in the world did I miss that guy?”
My theory is you missed that guy because you rated him on pure statistics or discarded him because he came from a small college, or was a tad too slow in the 40 yard dash. Maybe he never made your draft board because his Wonderlic score was below average. You failed to measure the heart and will of the mind.
The horse Secretariat, arguably the greatest race horse of all time, may be the best example of Internal Fortitude of all man and beast. Many horse racing fans will tell you there has not been such a competitor in the sport before or after the 1973 Triple Crown winner, Secretariat. Click here for video.
Let’s hope that Jeff Ireland and his scouting staff have the ability to look into a mans heart and head as much as they do looking at film and statistics. The Dolphins could certainly use a couple of guys with the “IF” factor to lead the team going into the 2012 season.