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For NFL fans, setting realistic rookie expectations is key every year

When it comes to the NFL, there is no larger event than the NFL Draft. I know what you might be thinking, “The draft? How is that bigger than the Super Bowl?”


While the Super Bowl certainly garners more attention, and eye balls on screens, the biggest event is the one which has all 32 fan bases tuned into it. The Super Bowl is a viewing event, the Draft is an event with all fans believing this class is the one which will turn things around.

It’s called hope.

Only two fan bases have hope during the Super Bowl. During the draft? All 32 teams have hope. However, with that hope also comes expectations that the rookies who just had their name called are also the future answer for your favorite team. This can lead to lofty expectations, which are almost unfair to the player.

Which begs the question, are rookie expectations simply too high?

That is the topic which was discussed on the latest “Opinion or Fact” podcast hosted by Jeff Hartman and Wesley Coleman, and there are a lot of facets which can impact the answer to this very basic question on expectations.

Does position matter?

How about draft position?

What about the team who drafted them?

The answer is all of it matters. It is more difficult for some positions to come in and make an early impact than others. An example would be Troy Polamalu. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to draft Polamalu out of USC, yet the safety, who is now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, hardly played on the defensive side of the ball as a rookie.

Instead, he was labeled a bust and the organization was bemoaned for trading up to draft a player who was lousy. It was in 2004 when Polamalu started to grasp the defense and turn his game around and become an eventual Super Bowl champion, defensive player of the year, and hall of famer.

There are many facets in this debate, and we dive into all of them on the latest podcast, which you can hear in the player below. Give it a listen, and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Category: NFL

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