Ryan Pace is reportedly reconsidering his draft philosophy, career, and even his goals in life after internet criticism of his draft strategy in 2019. The GM, who helmed the team to an NFC North championship, is supposedly “deeply shook” by the fact that some local fans are frustrated with his approach to the draft.
“I don’t get it,” Pace is claimed to have said to unnamed sources, “I’m supposed to take the best player available, and so in 2015 that’s what I did. I went after Kevin White, a big-bodied receiver with great measurables. Instead of praise, I got blasted for ‘value’ and this site called Football Outsiders’ claiming White would be a bust. So then I went after their guy in Leonard Floyd, and I supposedly reached. I don’t get it. It’s like the fans just want to criticize no matter what.”
People who might or might not be close to Ryan Pace suggest that he was particularly stung by MIT Analytics claiming that Jon Gruden and the Raiders got the best of the Khalil Mack trade. “I mean, I thought getting the Chicago Bears an All-Pro linebacker who is the stuff of nightmares for opposing quarterbacks would be good. The dude sacked Aaron Rodgers with his back! But no…I mean, some computers say I was actually worse at my job than Jon Gruden. That’s rough. I mean...it’s Gruden! Nobody loses to Gruden.”
By some accounts, Matt Nagy then tried to point out that four teams had recently lost to Gruden, but his voice trailed off as he realized that two of the teams in question were the Browns and the Broncos.
Regardless, fictional parties agree that the backlash over the 2019 NFL draft might have been the tipping point for Pace’s self-confidence. The GM entered the draft with a historically low amount of draft capital, as he had given up picks both to secure the services of Mack and Anthony Miller. Determined to add starters to the roster, Pace traded up to get the services of the highly regarded David Montgomery at running back, and he then proceeded to continue to build on the offense with a particular focus.
He faced criticism, here, too, especially on Twitter.
Pace is reputed to have muttered: “Why do I need to draft more defenders for the #1 defense in the NFL? Doesn’t it make more sense to improve the offense?”
Critics are unconvinced, however, feeling that a team that was tied for third in sacks in the NFL and lead the league in interceptions needed more options both at pass-rushing and at defensive back. Pace, of course, did draft a pair of defensive backs, as well. However, bloggers and others with an internet connection criticized which defensive backs were taken, and where, and so Pace was again distressed.
As with the outside linebacker situation, Pace supposedly thought that an offensive line that gave up the second-fewest quarterback hits in the NFL (64) would be good enough, and so he was stunned when people complained about his approach there, as well.
Matt Nagy is alleged to have reassured the current NFL Executive of the Year with a pat on the shoulder, saying simply: “Be you.”