When I started writing and covering the NFL Draft, I made a number of grave mistakes in my player evaluations and comparisons.
What I did far too often was compare players to their potential maximum and then ignore the bad portions of their game.
It results in seeing Geno Smith have streaks where he looked as good as someone like Aaron Rodgers, but ignored the portions of the game where he looked like J.P. Losman or Charlie Frye.
It is when I made the decision that I would start giving a high end and low end comp for a player.
When you see a Von Miller comp for Haason Reddick, that's an unfair and likely unrealistic expectation for Reddick.
If I had to compare Reddick, he would be on the Justin Durant, Lawrence Timmons spectrum.
I don't think there's a way Reddick busts, he's too athletic, intelligent and hardworking, but what happens if he has a career similar to Durant? Do we call starting a lot, but never fulfilling the athletic promise or making a Pro Bowl, a bust?
Well, if the expectation was a player who would be the best defensive player in the league, I would say yes. Also it would be a bit disappointing if Reddick's career was similar to Durant's, but it wouldn't exactly be a bust.
Reddick's ceiling, like going on the absolute high end, would be someone like Bobby Wagner, a three time Pro Bowler and two time All Pro. But again, do we want to expect that or watch a player evolve into that type of talent?
That takes us to today. Andy wrote a great article on Chad Williams and how he is evoking the name Anquan Boldin and it makes me shudder.
As someone who likes player comparisons and does them regularly, Anquan Boldin is a comparison I never bestow on anyone. He's such a unique talent and player. A 4.7 wide receiver who played with the ball in his hands like a running back.
He's one of those unicorns.
Now the name is being put on a rookie, third round wideout and again, I think it's unfair.
What if Williams is closer to Pierre Garcon as a pro? Are you going to be disappointed? Well, if you are expecting Boldin and only get Garcon, yes you will end up a bit disappointed.
It isn't to say that comparisons to great players are complete no-no's, it is just that you have to be careful with them.
Anyway, that's my rant for today.