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Florio examines the McShay/Clausen relationship

Mar 31, 2010, 3:42 PM EDT

I feel like every word I type talking about draft prognosticators is a wasted one, but friend of the blog Mike Florio over at PFT, had a great column on ESPN’s scouting analyst Todd McShay.

From Florio:

Once upon a time, Mel Kiper was the primary target of NFL scouts; Kiper
has been supplanted by his on-air protege/rival at ESPN, Todd McShay. 
As McShay’s profile increases, and as he takes
on the likes of quarterback Jimmy Clausen
for reasons that many
league insiders believe have no merit, McShay becomes a magnet for

“Most people at my level feel he is a joke,” a
veteran NFL scout told us via e-mail.  “People in the league respect
Kiper.  He is not a true scout but he does work at it.  A lot of his
info he gets from connections in the league, and over the years he has
made quite a few.  When he was younger he used to burn some bridges.  He
doesn’t do that any more.”

It’s no secret to Irish fans that McShay has been all over Jimmy Clausen. He’s been down on Jimmy as a football player and even harder on him as a leader and teammate. Making it worse, he’s been doing it on a weekly basis on SportsCenter, ingraining opinion into the subconscious of millions of casual sports fans with a point of view that’s hardly objective truth.  I appreciate McShay’s conviction when he takes a firm stand on a player’s on field ability — his questioning of Tim Tebow’s ability to play NFL football, for instance — but I’m always skeptical when any media member comments with conviction on a player’s intangibles. Things like leadership or locker room behavior are hard to get a firm grasp on as a reporter — especially one with a platform as large as McShay’s — because it’s just so rare that someone gets a true look behind the curtain.

Florio’s source also takes time to point out McShay misses like Andre Woodson, a quarterback McShay touted as one of the top QB of the 2007 draft and Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, who McShay expected to go in the top five picks at one time. Florio’s source also points to Clausen as another reason McShay will end up with egg on his face.

“On draft day McShay will look like a fool because whether or not you
like Clausen as a person he is very talented,” the source said.  “He has
more training and game time in a pro system than any quarterback in the
draft.  His improvement from ’08 to ’09 was tremendous.  If Notre Dame
had a defense, Charlie Weis would still be there coaching.  Offense was
not the problem. 
I will agree that Clausen may have some A-hole in him but he is
extremely talented.  He has a strong arm and is very accurate.  Plus he
has played a lot in a pro system.”

The point of this post isn’t to call McShay an idiot, but to just remind everyone that the entire build-up leading to the NFL Draft is idiotic. As we watch McShay and Kiper debate players and move people up-and-down a virtual big board that has barely moved for NFL teams over the past few months but just so happens to shift weekly in Bristol, remember that what they’re doing is for entertainment purposes.


  1. ugetwutuask4 - Mar 31, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Great point K.A. and I feel that Jimmy is going to make whatever team that happens to draft Bradford before him look like buffoons for listening to McShay. Just like whoever choses to pick McCoy over Suh is going to be making a huge mistake also. These two guys carried their respective college programs on their back for the past two seasons and left a year early. I’m a huge Cowboys fan and love all the talk I hear day in and day out about Jimmy droppin’ down out of the top ten, I sit and laugh. I know their isn’t enough dumb owners in any league across this great country of our’s to let that happen and if their are I know Jerry won’t hesitate or blink. Only question I have about Clausen is how will he handle the pressure when he has to bounce back from a tough loss or performance in a game. And as for Suh well not much look how big and strong he is, even I’m not that stupid!!!

  2. Jake - Mar 31, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    I’ve never thought McShay was anything but a pretty boy for ESPN. He exhibits little knowledge beyond on what he reads on the prompt board. He’s trying to make a name for himself by bashing Clausen and it’s really not working. As was stated, no pro scouts pay any attention to him nor does any knowledgeable fan. ESPN needs to re-evaluate their analysts. Between McShay and Craig (I’m just a Dad) James their credibility is suspect.

  3. ugetwutuask4 - Mar 31, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    JAKE how could you forget Mark May, he belongs on that boat too!

  4. Jake - Mar 31, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Your right… I was trying to forget him and his retoric. I almost suceeded but would have been reminded come football season. You can always count on May’s rambling bashing.

  5. Sgt. Moon - Apr 5, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Jake, ESPN needs to dump most of their analysts. From “Cool to the other side of the pillow” to Mark (I hate Notre Dame) May. What was once a very good sports station, has gone down the tubes since.
    I can’t even watch Sportscenter anymore. Some of their analysts just scream out the story, especially that goof Trey Wingo. Beano Cook and Tim Hasselbeck are no picnic either.
    Keith, The point of your post was not to call Todd McShay an idiot… but he is!

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