Richard Sherman knows what it's like to out-play your NFL draft position. The 49ers cornerback went from a fifth-round pick to an All-Pro, and he has plenty of thoughts on how analysts evaluate prospects.
The NFL Scouting Combine is underway and it's essentially the same thing every year. Front offices rate prospects on the same drills as players wear skin-tight compression shorts, and then try to dig deep behind the scenes with interviews.
To Sherman, it's time for a change.
"I just think some of the drills are outdated and cannot accurately depict how well a guy can perform in the NFL," Sherman wrote Tuesday. "You can have a guy run a 4.1 or 4.2 but cannot play in the NFL and then you have guys who for their position are "slow" and yet they last 8-10 years."
Sherman ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine in 2011, with a 38-inch vertical leap at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds. His NFL.com evaluation, however, wasn't very promising: "He does not possess the natural coverage instincts, fluidity or burst to be considered a future starter."
So much for that.
Over eight seasons, seven for the Seahawks and one with the 49ers, Sherman has 32 interceptions and 103 passes defensed. He led the league with 24 passes defensed in his second season, and his eight interceptions one year later were a league high.
"The intangibles are what you can't grade and analysts try to use intangibles to judge their picks," Sherman wrote. "Anyone can look good jumping and running and doing what is asked. When there are 21 other players on the field and you're in full pads it changes everything and the judgment is not equivalent."
Predicting the next Richard Sherman is nearly impossible, though some draft expert is bound to do so. But one thing's for certain, there will be plenty of prospects that perform at a higher level than their draft position in 2019 and years to come.