NFL draft more than meets eye, tale of Sony Michel, Nick Chubb
ATHENS — NFL draft day decisions aren’t always what they seem, and sometimes it’s not until years later that players and fans find out what happened.
The respective teams’ psychological and medical evaluations play key roles.
Former NFL scout and current Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy provided an example of such, recalling the 2018 draft when he was still on the Seattle staff.
It was Sony Michel — not Nick Chubb — that was actually flagged by the Seahawks medical staff.
“We knocked him (Michel) way down on our board, and we were fine with Chubb,” Nagy said. “Everyone was worried about Chubb’s knee, because of the gruesome injury that he had against Tennessee, that his would have been worse.
“But Sony did his (knee) in high school, so he didn’t get the same rehab that Nick got at Georgia, so his knee was actually worse.”
Indeed, Michel later underwent knee surgery in August before his rookie campaign and missed the season-opening game before his recovery and late-season surge.
Seattle chose Rashaad Penny with the 27th overall pick, while Michel went 31st and Chubb slipped to the second round at No. 35.
The topic of how medicals can affect stock came up when discussing why Clyde Edwards-Helaire was picked ahead of D’Andre Swift in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Swift had groin, foot and shoulder injuries at Georgia that forced him to miss playing time or limited his effectiveness at times.
“What we don’t have is any of the medical stuff, we don’t know how these guys interviewed, or the mental side of it,” Nagy said. “We don’t know everything that goes into these decisions.”
The medical and psychological exams can boost players’ stock, too. Nagy suggested that may have been the case with Isaiah Wilson.
“I think he went a little bit before where most teams were comfortable with him, but all it takes is one team to really buy into a player,” said Nagy, who during his 19-year career was familiar with some of the current Titans’ staff.
“I’ve been around those guys, they value toughness,” Nagy said. “They must have had something coming out of those interviews since spending time with Isaiah that they really liked.”
Nagy shared several other observations with DawgNation on Tuesday during the Ingles On The Beat segment.