I am a HUGE NFL Draft fan. It is an annual holiday at the Dodd household. The following are the leadership quotes and insights I will be getting throughout the evening as the draft progresses.
Pre-Draft Comments from Nick Saban
- Leaders Have Intelligence - “Clinton-Dix is a bright guy, makes all the calls in the secondary, makes all the adjustments.”
- Leaders Are Decisive – “C.J. Mosley reacts more quickly than anyone I’ve ever coached.”
- Leaders Have Good Judgement – “He’s (A.J. McCarron) got very good judgement and he’s accurate throwing the ball.”
- You Never Have To Recover From A Good Start – “This guy (Jadeveon Clowney) has the best first step I’ve seen in football in a long time.”
- Leaders Take Advantage Of Talented People On Their Team – ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft was a HUGE missed opportunity. With Louis Riddick, Trent Dilfer, Todd McShay, Chris Carter, Jeff Saturday, Adam Schefter and Ron Jaworski they have the smartest analyst on television and did not use them.
- Leaders Recognize Opportunity AND Seize It – “You can’t have the first pick in the draft and get the 10th best player. Johnny Manziel is the 10th best player on my board. I have Jadeveon Clowney as #1.” – Mel Kiper
- Leaders Must Have A Great Team Around Them To Be Successful – Put assets around leaders. QB Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams must be setup for success. OT Greg Robinson is a smart pick.
- Leaders Are Continual Learners – “He’s got to tighten up his fundamentals. He’s got to be open to coaching…He’s got to get out of New York City right now and get to work.” – Jon Gruden on Robinson
- Leadership Is An Identity – “They want to sell tickets. They want to have an identity.” – Chris Berman on the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Blake Bortels
- Great Organizations Do What It Takes To Acquire Leaders With Talent – The Buffalo Bills traded two first round picks and a 2015 4th round pick to acquire Sammy Watkins.
- Great Leaders Have A Bias Toward Production – “A playmaker is a playmaker.” – Ray Lewis on Khalil Mack
- Leaders Want Options – The Atlanta Falcons had their choice between two great tackles – Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan choosing Matthews.
- Experienced Leaders Are In Great Demand – 41 of the 46 players selected by GM Thomas Dimitroff of the Atlanta Falcons have been seniors. 24 of the picks were college captains.
- Leaders Always Look For Every Advantage – “A power forward outrebounding a point guard.” Kiper on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ selection of Mike Evans.
- Leaders Are Dealers In Hope – The Cleveland Browns broke the hearts of all their fans again by not selecting Johnny Manziel.
- Leaders Are Made In A Microwave. Not A Crockpot. – Many NFL scouts feel the Minnesota Vikings selection of Anthony Barr needs time to develop.
- Leaders Play To Their Strengths – Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson have added superstar tight end Eric Ebron to their offensive personnel.
- Leaders Provide Solutions – The Tennessee Titans thought Jake Locker was their solution. They have not picked up the option on his contract.
- Leaders Look For Versatility In Team Members – “That’s what makes this guy special. He can play inside the slot. He can play outside the slot.” – Lewis on Odell Beckham, Jr.
- Great Teams Have Great Depth – With the selection of Aaron Donald, the St. Louis Rams have four first round picks on their defensive line.
- Leaders Address Issues – The Chicago Bears allowed 55% of passes of 15 yards or longer to be completed in 2013 – worst in the NFL. By drafting safety Kyle Fuller from Virginia Tech they addressed this issue.
- Leaders Want To Be Part Of A Leadership Culture – There is no finer leadership environment in pro sports than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan Shazier of Ohio State is privileged to be selected by this organization.
- Leaders Give People What They Need….And Want – Why did the Dallas Cowboys not select Johnny Manziel???!!!!! “The quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys is the most prestigious position in pro sports.” – Gruden
- There Is No Success Without Succession – With the recent retirement of Ray Lewis the Baltimore Ravens select linebacker C.J. Mosley from Alabama.
- Leaders Use Feedback For Motivation – “For many years Mel was my greatest motivation because he said I was too small.” – Lewis on Kiper
- Where There Is Great Calamity There Is Great Opportunity – “Cleveland hasn’t worked out very well for quarterbacks.” -Gruden
- Leaders Prepare For The Future – In today’s passing game many teams are now using three safeties. The Jets selection of Louisville safety Calvin Pryor is a great pick. College coach Charlie Strong said, “One of the best football players I ever coached.”
- Leaders Focus On Results Rather Than Activity – The Dolphins won the free agency period in 2013 getting the most high-profile players but they did not reach the play-offs during the regular season.
- Great Leaders Properly Evaluate Talent – The Arizona Cardinals had the highest rated draft in 2013. This year they just picked up another 3rd round pick (#91 in the draft) by dropping back seven spots in a trade with New Orleans. Extra picks are only an advantage if you have a great scouting department and the Cardinals have one of the best.
- Leaders Create Opportunities For Those They Serve – In 2013, the Green Bay Packers safeties had 0 interceptions. The selection of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should solve this problem.
- Leaders Always Give Those On Their Team Second Chances – After not selecting Manziel with their first pick Cleveland moved up four spots and selected the electrifying quarterback. Great pick.
- Leaders Have A Winning Attitude – “I bring a winning heart and a lot of attitude to the organization.” – Manziel
- Leaders Know Their Limitations – “When you get out of the pocket slide in the National Football League…Only use your legs when it is the last resort” -Lewis advice to Manziel
- Losing Leaders Weakens Your Church Or Organization – The Cincinnati Bengals lost both coordinators in the off-season. I look for them to take a step backwards this year.
- Leaders Know They Must Continually Improve – “He has improved every year…He has a short memory.” – Gruden on San Diego selection Jason Verrett
- Leaders Need To Be Distinctive In Some Area – Have something which sets you apart from everyone else. “He’s on the rise because of his athleticism.” – Kiper on Marcus Smith
- Leaders Need To Remove Clutter From Around Them – The Carolina Panthers have two great leaders in Cam Newton on offense and Luke Keuchley on defense. WR Steve Smith needed to move on and allow those two to take ownership of the locker room.
- The Most Important Ability For Leaders Is Availability – Patriots selection Dominique Easley was frequently injured throughout his college career. His availability will determine the quality of this pick.
- Leaders Must Manage Transition – The Denver Broncos lost six starters on defense during the off-season. The addition of CB Bradley Roby addresses this need.
- Great Leaders Have The Margin To Focus On The Future Rather Than The Urgency Of Today – With a stocked roster and multiple picks, the Seattle Seahawks traded out of the first round acquiring second and fourth round picks from the Vikings.
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