Alright, gentlemen (and gentlewomen too), I don't have anything that stands out as a lead story today. I was going to do an epic masterpiece of a post on ESPN's look at Memorial Stadium in its Pilgrimage series, but Leon Powe already posted it. Why, Leon, whyyyyyy? So today, the lead is not an article but a question: should Jahvid Best return next season or should he enter the NFL draft? Ted Miller answered the question with a resounding "yes."
Nick from the Bay Area writes: Do you think Jahvid's injury helps or hurts his chances of declaring for the NFL draft?reasons why:- see Sam Bradford reasons why not:- have a monster year and move into top 10.
Ted Miller: The best case for Jahvid Best is he returns for his senior year, plays 13 games, including a bowl game, and piles up huge numbers and never misses a down. If he did that, he's get picked in the first round in 2011.
That's his best-case because NFL folks are most concerned about his durability. Can he be an every-down back? Or is he just another fragile speed guy?
That being his best-case is also a reason for him not to come back.The shelf life of an NFL running back isn't long. Few play more than five years and only a handful are effective past 30. (I still rue a column I wrote a few years back saying that the Seahawks should re-sign Shaun Alexander because he was special. Dumb, dumb, dumb).
Best's speed and big-play ability are so tantalizing, he would be an early-round pick this spring. And Best might want to start getting paid as soon as possible.
After the season, Best should get an NFL evaluation. He should talk to people he trusts. If an agent or a person who works for an agent gives him advice, he should know that person is self-interested and probably disingenuous.
In the end, he should do one thing: Best should do what is best for him.
After the jump, offer up your answers to the pivotal question of the offseason. And don't forget to read about Cal's deal with Nevada, JO's injury updates (no Derrick Hill this weekend), a profile on Marcus Ezeff, Gregory's plan for defending Arizona, a preview for men's basketball, a head-scratching ranking of the Pac-10 coaches, a look into Cal's bowl situation, and more. Also, use this thread as an open thread for tonight's VBall matchup between Cal and Oregon State. Stream available here.
I'd be very surprised if Best returns next season. If he is a first-day pick, he should take the money and leave. After seeing what happened to Bradford, Gresham, and Gronkowski this year, he should be especially aware of the potential downside of returning. I don't think Best has much left to prove before he leaves for the NFL.
- Best is 18th on Mel Kiper's Big Board of top-25 NFL prospects.
- Cal has signed a three-game deal with Nevada, starting with a game next year at Reno.
- Despite some promising performances in strength and agility drills this week, Derrick Hill has not been medically cleared to play this weekend. MSG will play, however, and Tavecchio will handle kickoff and field goal duties.
- JO asks Gregory a couple questions about defending Arizona. Solid TE play, quick passing, and great pass protection spell doom for Gregory's unit unless they have a particularly good day.
- Ezeff talks about the challenges he's faced trying to stay sharp on the field while missing all but fifteen minutes of practice twice per week. He says sacrificing playing time to get his degree "is for the best." To make up for his lack of play time, Ezeff has been trying to make his presence felt by assuming a leadership role.
- SFGate ranks the Pac-10 coaches. I'm not sure what the rubric was, but it clearly seems to favor recent performances over a history of solid performances. Tedford comes in at sixth.
- Wilner goes over Cal's bowl possibilities. It could be anything from the Holiday Bowl to the Poinsettia Bowl, or worse?
- Wilner picks Arizona to win handily. He says only turnovers will stop them from putting up 40.
- SFGate previews Cal's season. Monty remains grounded by the belief that his team is far from perfect. Impressive starts from Zhang and MSF, as well as Kamp's return to the court, should help the Bears build on their weakness in the middle.