National Championship Wrap-up, Jevan Snead Decision

Steve O Speak

Thoughts on National Championship:

Congrats to the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning the National Championship game last night, 37-21. It was a great win by Alabama, led by their defense and running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Ingram and Richardson combined for 256 yards of Alabama’s 263 total yards (total yards include the loss yardage of McElroy’s sacks), and all four offensive touchdowns. Texas couldn’t stop the two backs, who did anything they wanted all game (how good is Alabama’s backfield going to be next season). Not to take anything away from Alabama’s win, but this game was really over when Colt McCoy left the game with a shoulder injury on the first drive. His backup Garrett Gilbert came in for the rest of the game. Gilbert, a true freshman, has a bright future. But the kid was in over his head last night, completing just 15 of 40 attempts and throwing four interceptions. It would have been nice to see what the Longhorns could have done with Colt McCoy at the helm, but I think Alabama would have still ended up winning.

Jevan Snead Decision:

While I will update the Underclassman leaving for the NFL Draft post soon, I wanted to take a moment to focus on one decision that has gotten a lot of attention in the last 24 hours. That decision is Junior quarterback Jevan Snead, leaving Mississippi to enter the draft. Snead had one more year of eligibility, but has already used his redshirt (when he transferred from Texas) so he has been in college football for 4 seasons. If you had said 5 months ago that Snead was declaring early, no one would have blinked an eye. At that point he was considered a first round draft pick, and potentially the top quarterback taken in April. Now Snead his taking a lot of criticism in the media for declaring early. At first glance you can understand why, Snead’s numbers fell big time this season and he ended the year with 20 interceptions. Conventional wisdom would have said Snead should come back play one more season and hopefully rebuild his stock back up to the first round level.

Right now Snead’s stock has fallen into the third round range, and much of his draft position will be determined by his workouts (note to Snead run every drill at the Combine and do the individual workout), so going back to school made some sense. In reality though I think Snead made the right choice, going against conventional wisdom and coming out early. Snead will lose his two biggest offensive weapons, WR Shay Hodge, and RB/WR Dexter McCluster to the draft. In addition, he will lose his top offensive lineman John Jerry, as well as a few other offensive role players (another starting offensive lineman is applying for a medical redshirt so he might be gone as well). The Mississippi offensive is going to be rebuilding this season, and not exactly the situation you want to be in when you want to ‘rebuild’ your draft status. And with the losses on the offensive line, Snead would probably take more hits than he did this year (which were quite a bit), increasing his risk for injury. Snead did not have a good situation to come back to, and would be facing some competition from the young quarterbacks on the roster. If he got injured or had a really bad game, there is no guarantee that he’d get his starting job back.

I think Snead made the correct and prudent decision to jump to the NFL and tie his stock to his individual workouts and the Scouting Combine. Snead might not be able to improve his stock back into the first round or even the second round for that matter, but even if he is a 3rd or 4th round pick I think he made the right call. He will still get decent money for being a mid-round pick, so his personal well being is set. As for his long term future, if he needs to rebuild his stock, he might as well do it from an NFL sideline than a NCAA one. He can get a jump start on learning the nuances of being an NFL quarterback and could even accelerate the time table for him becoming a starter. I think Snead could have a bright future, if some team is smart enough and patient enough to draft him in the mid-rounds and let him develop for 2-3 years.

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