Probably one of the wisest of many clever things former NFL coaching legend Bill Parcells said was this:
“You are what you’re record says you are.”
The interior push with
Ifeanyi and Dan to sack
opposing quarterbacks this
year could be the best we’ve
seen since Joe Klecko was
playing in the middle
all by himself
When it comes to projecting success at either the NFL level or the college level, clues are almost always left behind.
That’s why I got extremely excited when the Owls brought in Adam DiMichele from his junior college baseball hiatus in 2005. His Sto-Rox high school football record: 35 touchdown passes his senior year and an offer from Penn State. Not excited when one of his successors, Vaughn Charlton, brought with him nine touchdown passes his senior year at Avon Grove and a smattering of MAC offers in addition to his Temple one.
Just as I expected, DiMichele was an outstanding quarterback at Temple and Charlton, to be kind, was mediocre.
I remember at the time Charlton apologists were saying those stats were due to Avon Grove playing a “flex-bone” in the now-defunct Southern Chester County League.
Flex-bone, doggy bone, I said. If Charlton is competing in the SCCL and DiMichele in the WPIAL, Charlton would have to have 50 touchdown passes to be even compared to DiMichele.
I was right and so was Parcells. You are what you put on tape and in the stat sheet. There are exceptions but they are so rare they are not worth mentioning.
That’s why the Philadelphia Eagles’ first-round pick of Jalen Reagor was illuminating to Temple’s chances of making a splash in the NFL draft again last year. If Reagor’s “record” is a guide, the Owls could be poised to have their first offensive player chosen in the first round since Paul Palmer in 1987.
Jadan Blue’s 40-yard dash speed is 4.38 while Reagor was clocked at a 4.47. Reagor’s junior year stats vs. Blue’s junior year stats:
Reagor: 13 games, 72 catches, 1,061 yards, 9 touchdowns
Blue: 13 games, 95 catches, 1,067 yards, 4 touchdowns
Since Reagor’s “better” of his two years were his junior one, it’s a fair comparison. The bar is pretty low for Blue now since he had more than 20 catches and six yards than Reagor did and he’s faster and the same size (6-foot-1).
However, if Blue gets nine touchdowns or more and repeats or even gets close to his 2019 Owl stats, you can book it.
He will be a first-round pick.
My guess that there will be a season no later than spring of 2021 (still holding out hope for the fall, though) and my money is on Blue putting up close to those numbers again.
I can see three other possible Owl picks in the 2021 draft, quarterback Anthony Russo and defensive tackles Ifeanyi Maijeh and Dan Archibong.
Compare Russo’s 2019 stats to Green Bay Packers’ first-round pick Jordan Love:
Russo: (6-4, 235 pounds) 21 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 246 completions in 419 attempts;
Love (6-4, 225): 20 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, 293 completions in 473 attempts
To put that even in a better perspective, Russo is playing in a far-tougher league. Almost every team in the AAC is tougher than any team in the Mountain West. You can say all you want about Love’s “footwork” being better than Anthony’s, but the proof is in the stat pudding.
To me, Anthony can go 21-12 again and pick up two more wins and he’s between a 2-4 pick. Winning will cure all that. If he goes 30 and 5 with those wins, he’s a first-round pick. He can make all the throws and his maturity should cut down on his INTs.
I also think Maijeh’s defensive tackle teammate, Dan Archibong, has an excellent chance of being picked in the first seven rounds. The interior push with Ifeanyi and Dan to sack opposing quarterbacks this year could be the best we’ve seen since Joe Klecko was playing in the middle all by himself.
Beyond that, there will be a surprise. To me, Chapelle Russell was this year’s one. There are plenty of Owls with that same kind of potential. We won’t mention any names because I think it could be as many as a half-dozen. Not all six will rise above UDFAs but those with fire in their bellies and sacks and interceptions will.
Winning games will put those guys on the NFL radar faster than anything else.
Like Bill said, you are what your record is.
Monday (5/4): 5 Best Next-Tier Wins
Friday (5/8): Smoking Out the Winner
Monday (5/11): Virtual Press Conference
Friday (5/15): Recruiting Patterns
Monday (5/18): Suspending Campaigns