Among draftniks, one of the biggest steals in the first round was unequivocally was the Giants drafting Prince Amukamara with the 19th overall pick. Why did he fall?
Well I’ve seen two different explanations around the web.
The first comes from Pro Football Weekly’s in their draft grades.
Amukamara slid in large part because of concerns teams had during the interview process with a quirky personality and questions arising about how well he would fit into an NFL locker room. Many teams shy away from cornerbacks without interceptions, but the Giants, a value-driven team, recognized his value and added depth to a battered secondary. He lacks ideal downfield ball skills and did not have an interception as a senior but he excels in short areas and could be a solid press corner for the Giants’ aggressive defense
I find this difficult to comprehend if true. Amukamara is well recognized for his work in the community, as a team leader, as a guy that is always going to stay out of trouble and has a person who is deeply embedded in his own faith. So a quirky (which I read as goofy, maybe slightly awkward) pushes him down the draft board? I don’t understand how this relates to not being able to play football at a high level? I could understand if people say Amukamara has low interception numbers (also brought up) and that his numbers dropped down without Suh’s influence, or that he needs refrinment on his technique. But QUIRKY! QUIRKY! Is the reasonhe fell. Shame on NFL Talent evaluators. That’s one of the most ridiculous things I”ve ever heard.
The second excuse is even worse.
“The word on Nigerians: they are soft, not tough enough and too educated,” one executive told the National Football Post.
Wow. Did that just happen?
That’s much too sterotypical and too much of a generlization for my personal tastes. Even if every other Nigerian who ever played in the N.F.L. was “soft” that means absolutely nothing. Has whoever said that, or whoever believes that watched Amukamara play on the field? The last thing he is soft. Amukamara is a Man’s man in press coverage. He’s the opposite of soft. He’s Antoine Winfield-like in support of the run game. He plays with a nasty demanor on the field. It appears teams are just looking for reasons not to draft Amukamara or trying to come up with reasons why they would pass on him.
I hope Amukamara catches drift of this and puts a little more chip on his shoulder after dropping to 19th in the draft. There are doubters out there about Amukamara. And I hope he sees it because he has done a good job of counter acting doubters in his career. After months of questions about his speed Amukamara went to the combine and ran an official 4.42 (unofficial 4.37). And I have feeling that with the dangerous New York Giants pass rush that Amukamara may find himself the beneficiary of his fair share of passes he can get his hands on.
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