Alshon’s Great Disappearing Act

No matter the knocks on Alshon Jeffery over the course of the past year – too fat, too slow, can’t separate – Gamecock fans, including myself, have always considered #1 a lock for the first round fo the NFL Draft.  Heck, I would’ve even bet a significant amount of cash the he would be a top 15 pick, even after a sub-sub-par junior season.
But after basically no-showing at the NFL Combine, you have to wonder what he and his advisors were thinking.
The weekend started off well enough, when Jeffery came in for measurements and weighed in at a svelte 216 lbs., well below the 230 lbs. or so at which he was rumored to be packing.  The fact he was measured at 6’3″ tall instead of his listed height all three years at USC – 6’4″ – seemed to be a non-issue.
Then there was the announcement that he would not be running the 40 at the combine.  OK, fine.  Justin Blackmon, considered to be the only receiver better than Jeffery in this year’s crop, wasn’t running either due to a bum hamstring. 
But then came the shocking news that Jeffery wouldn’t be doing ANYTHING at the combine.  No bench press, no vertical, no route-running, no over-the-shoulder catches, nada, nothing.
What did the NFL folks think of this?  Not much.  Not much at all.  Gil Brandt, a long-time NFL talent evaluator, said this about the situation:

I am disappointed.  Jeffery will be able to do the same drills at South Carolina’s pro day on March 28, but it won’t be nearly as well attended by NFL personnel as the combine.  The guy had a chance to show what he can do. Right now, there is a lot of apprehension about the guy. I can’t tell you why the guy wouldn’t run or work out.      

Then today, Peter King of Sports Illustrated, maybe the most in-the-know media guy there is when it comes to the NFL, wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column:

The receiver order: Looks like Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame will be the only wideouts in round one, unless (Stephen) Hill sneaks in there. Reuben Randle of LSU and Rutgers’ Mohamed Sanu (the Bucs and new coach Greg Schiano want him) could go 4-5 unless Baylor’s Kendall Wright overcomes a lousy combine.

Notice anyone missing?  Is it possible that by not working out at the combine Alshon has dropped from the second receiver taken to the sixth?  And if he’s the sixth receiver taken, is it out of the question he drops all the way to the third round? 
One of the big knocks on Alshon was taken care of when he stepped on the scale on Friday.  
But by not working out with the other receivers over the weekend, he came off as if he’s hiding something.  NFL folks don’t like that, and unfortunately Alshon is probably going to pay by sliding down the draft board.   
Unless he has one helluva Pro Day.    


One thought on “Alshon’s Great Disappearing Act

  1. Here’s the reality: Alshon did not prepare himself for the season as he should have, and nobody inside the athletics department or in the locker room was in a position to talk about that fact in public. People arouind the team basically knew that Alshon had phoned it in over the summer, had had a terribly mediocre season for a guy of his abilities because he just couldn’t get separation, and had not exactly had the most sunny attitude during the season. They also knew that he had magically exploded during his final game because he actually thought there was something in it for him, that is, he saw it as an NFL job interview.

    But like a lot of guys, he failed to realize that the NFL wasn’t going to just fall at his feet with a million dollar signing bonus based on his performance in one game. He set himself back practically an entire season in terms of physical preparation and on-field performance. Like so many Gamecocks before him, he was mentally checked out by game three, convinced he had basically done everything he needed to do to make it to the big time, and was just going through the motions in his final season.

    Everyone knows this. The problem for a coach or a teammate is that Alshon pretty much had the whole program by the short hairs. The season was way too important to actually say or do anything that would upset the biggest star on the team (besides Latti), and the program can’t afford negative publicity surrounding its best players. With all the hoopla surrounding Garcia, the last thing anybody wanted was yet another epic Carolina flame-out in the press, or yet another horrible relationship with one of its future NFL-ers.

    Alshon has no one but himself to blame, and while I’ll always be glad he was a Gamecock, he’ll always be much more of an Emmanuel Cook than an Eric Norwood.

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