The NFL Draft is an inexact science. Scouts value different traits in their own way, some teams put more emphasis on character, some flag every little injury that happened in college and some teams value athleticism higher than others.
Then once the rookie get in camp all bets are off. If an unheralded and undrafted rookie free agent flashes in camp, he may earn a roster spot over a former 3rd draft round pick. If that same UDFA continues to excel in practice, he may push that former 1st rounder for playing time.
A general manager could make a day three pick with the notion he could push the bottom of the roster and possibly play some special teams, but the player could have his eyes set on a starting job.
There's no grade or metric a scout can place on a players heart or hunger to surpass expectations.
If early indications are anything, the Chicago Bears may have plucked a quality football player in the 5th round back in May.
Adrian Amos was the 142nd player picked in the draft and he wasn't expected to start as a rookie. But things change, and once given a chance, Amos hasn't relinquished his starting spot.
Pro Football Focus just revealed their top 10 rookies and they have Amos in 5th behind Buffalo Bills corner Ronald Darby, running back Todd Gurley of the St. Louis Rams, defensive end Leonard Williams of the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers' corner Damarious Randall.
Or to list them by round and pick selected in the draft, 2nd round (50th overall), 1st round (10th overall), 1st round (6th overall) and 1st round (30th overall).
Here's what PFF says about Amos.
He's not flashy, but has been an incredibly solid performer for the Bears, showing up ready to play every week.
"Solid" is exactly how I have described Amos's play this year. So far this season he's 4th on the Bears in tackles with 31, with 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass defense. No interceptions, no forced fumbles, no recoveries, but Amos has been lining up in the right place for Vic Fangio's defense.
It may not seem like sexy stats, but with a rebuilt defense, solid is an upgrade over what we've seen the last few years in Chicago.
PFF has Amos down for only 5 missed tackles this year, which is tied for 34th among safeties. But in tackling efficiency, which is the number of attempted tackles per miss, Amos is 25th at 9.8%. For a little perspective, the top two in the category at safety are Buffalo's Corey Graham and Baltimore's Will Hill at 67% and 39% respectively. Amos does have the best tackling efficiency among all safeties that has played over half of their team's snaps.
Amos hasn't been targeted much in the passing game -- opposing QBs have completed just 5 of 6 agaisnt him -- but there are 23 safeties that have allowed a worse passer-rating-against than the 107.6 Amos has allowed.
It's safe to say Amos is still a work in progress, but keep in mind this is his first year exclusively playing safety. At Penn State he played corner earlier in his career, then the type of safety he played in 2014 was more of a hybrid defensive back/linebacker.
What have you seen from Amos so far this season and do you think he has the potential to man the position for the next several years?