Did the players that sat-out a year really fall behind in their development?

I keep seeing, “well this guy played well despite sitting-out a year”…and I’ve seen it so many times now that I’m starting to think that maybe the guys that sat-out a year actually benefited from that time off the field.
Chase, Sewell, Parsons, etc.
What do you guys think?


One full year without smashing your body up in college. And they all stayed healthy their rookie years. Might be something to that.


Does anyone have a list of all the players that sat-out their college season and how they did last year as a rookie?

I think it really depends on the player, their skill set and their work ethic.

Obviously there are some positives to sitting. Less wear and tear probably being the biggest.

However most players need that development and there’s no substitute for playing time and getting reps.

Some players who sat out were smart and sought out the help of pros to work on fundamentals and conditioning. While others were lazy and out of shape.

Honestly I think it really depends on the player and how they approached the situation.

Levi Onwuzurike is one player who clearly shouldn’t have sat out his senior year. He needed the development. That’s why he didn’t declare a year earlier. His conditioning was poor. He sat out the senior bowl due to a supposed injury. Then got hurt in the Lions camp. His strength and conditioning are a real concern with him. He chose to not do most drills at his pro day. Including the bench press. (Which we’re a clear red flag) He wasn’t in NFL shape and personally it makes me question his drive. Not to mention what the Lions were thinking taking him. Both Dan and Brad have pointed to his biggest problem being that he is not taking proper care of his body.

Penei Sewell also sat out a year but he used that time to prepare for the draft. His pro day performance made it obvious he had prepared and was NFL ready.


No doubt, it’s a brutal game. Just having one less year’s worth of potential injuries to worry about reaggravating has to make a difference.


The top guys who sat out went to pro trainers and in many ways were being trained better than their teammates who were playing each week.

You can add Nick Bosa to the list of players who opted out and turned out just fine. Sure he played a little bit before the injury. But once the injury happened he was like “I’m outta here” and spent the rest of the time training to be a pro rather than coming back to play for the Buckeyes. For the guys who opt out, its the first time they have been able to concentrate completely on football and not worry about classes, etc.

1 Like

I think the college hustle is a scam on the players

And those guys could’ve helped themselves with private coaches who helped them on things for the pro game and not the college stuff.

I just can’t help but wonder how many 5 star recruits could’ve made nfl had they been able to turn pro at 19.

This is old school though imo and protects the status quo.

If there were a trade school , iMO I bet you could replicate what the players need without having to play college ball.

The argument your making suggests the NFL should make QBs stay for 6-10 years in college because so many of the top college guys bust as pros. But perhaps it’s the colleges not really training them for what they’ll need in nfl ?

Levi could be hurt. He could become a star and then again maybe he’ll do what plenty other nfl DTs from college who played 4 years do in the nfl … they’re non all stars but still in the league.

I’m super down on ncaa and nfl for the arrangement so buying the narrative this is needed

Adrian Peterson probably could’ve played in nfl at 18.

The money is so great now
Not sure how the system sustains itself.

Even being graded as a vet min contract or a 6th round pick

Is pretty great money when weighed against risk of injury playing for free in college or for a degree you could pay for yourself with a minimum contract.

Any player with a first round grade potential
Just seems so risky to take those hits to try and improve that

Unless you’ve bought into the narrative and control that it is the only way to the league

It’s interesting question. Not trying to say your wrong and I’m right or even that totally disagree because a guy who doesn’t play the game to get to the nfl , likely won’t make nfl

But for a junior with a first round grade
That’s a lot at stake for your senior season.

Nfl better take care of that Michigan lineman or agents may help break system too.

Though the agents are in on it too so …

I guess I don’t know answer but I feel like there should be a better way given the money in play.

1 Like

Talk to any player. HS, College or Pro and they will all tell you there’s no substitute for training, practice, reps and playing time. Do you really believe players will develop the same without it? Some players really need that time.

You can’t replicate that sitting on the couch playing madden.

I never made any such claim and your really reaching here.

The NFL is not like baseball or basket ball. Conditioning is important. Learning the complexity of the game is crucial. HS kids just aren’t ready for this. The speed and size of the game from HS to college is a significant jump and it’s even bigger jumping from college to the pros.

18 year olds would get hurt jumping straight to the pros. Their not ready for it mentality or physically. The NFL realizes this and that’s why they won’t take kids until 3 years out of HS.

I agree - but not every player is ready as a junior. Some are and some are clearly not. That’s why I said in my original post that it depends on the player. Then I gave two examples of Lions players. One who needed that extra time and one who did not.

@Air2theThrown this is a hot button issue for him and he launches into a diatribe whenever the subject comes up.

1 Like

I mostly agree with this. Although in some cases I think they’d be ready to go pro after 2 years of college. Some RB’s for example get so many carries in the 1st 2 seasons, they are overworked before ever going pro. You can only take so many hits before they start adding up.

I thought you said they need time in school to get better so those high end QBs who bust maybe just needed more reps in college yet the college coaches are trying to win first so may not teach Trevor how to take snaps under center or even face nfl defenses while he trained in college then struggled in pros.

My point wasn’t saying they could go from the couch to nfl or that they eoukdbt train

But a five star recruit who skipped college and trained with the guys the best pros use
Doing strength , conditioning , stretching , studying nfl playbooks and nfl techniques

In two years
Would the five star recruit be a bum ?
Ziggy had just started playing football in college.

I know it won’t happen but the salary is big enough thst if they could get $400,009 to pay fir training for two years post high school

If they ever got a Kenny Golladsy pay day , they could easily pay off training and pay for school.
In fact
They could find that a good return in investment even in a much more modest contract.

Travon Walker is mocked as second pick but also seen as a big risk because he didn’t put up big numbers in college.

If he’s not the number two pick and he drops
Yet plays like a numberv2 puck in nfl

Georgia arguably cost him money by asking him ti sacrifice for the team.

Imo Adrian Peterson could’ve played in nfl a season or two or three earlier than he did.
I use him as example of a top 5 star recruit who dominated as a frosh and on.
Nfl coaches couldn’t have coached him up as an 18 year old ?

I think strength and size , maturity are real questions but there’s 21 year olds holding their own against 24-26 so I’m not sure cut off age but really depends on the prospect.

Mostly money is so big now. Too much at risk to play for free imo when a contract can send your kids to college if you budget right

I think it depends on the position you play. A guy like parsons can get by at linebacker using his incredible athleticism. Same thing with receivers. Chase being an example of that. I think it hurts offensive and defensive lineman the most. Not only do you lose a year of strength training, but you’re playing a position that demands learning techniques to excel. Even the best offensive and defensive lineman can’t rely on athletic ability only.

I’m not saying parsons and chase don’t know technique and haven’t learned how to play their positions. My point is that it usually takes less time at certain spots because speed and overall athleticism contribute more than technique.

1 Like

It’s a complicated question. I don’t think a 5 star recruit can just train for 3 years and jump into the nfl. Some probably can but most wouldn’t make it. A great many 5 star recruits never even end up starting on college teams. The scouting is too much of an in-exact science. Kids are still growing at 18. A player that looks fast in high school suddenly doesn’t have the same speed when he adds 20-40lbs. Some kids are 5 stars because they’ve already maxed out their potential and can dominate. You see it all the time. The lineman with a mean streak dominated kids in high school can’t even crack the 3 deep at a power 5 because everyone is now as big and strong as him.

It doesn’t seem like that much of a difference but the growth and body development of an 18 year old to a 21 year old is a huge deal in sports where strength and size play such a critical role.

I’d say even 21 to 24 for lineman gaining strength

I agree with what you’ve written too but I also think they’re should be other ways to the league without going to college and the nfl system hurts the fans

Perhaps lions fans more than any other team the way we’ve been sold the draft is the answer
Re upping as the next first round draft pick sells tickets.

There are other ways. It’s just that those guys who go the other ways rarely get drafted or invited to the combine because they do not get the exposure.

Except Parsons played multiple positions, not just LB.
Which is even harder for a rookie to do.

Right which makes going to college and good you get good coaching etc
As really the only way to the league.

Historically college football was the big dog and nfl wasn’t as popular so

The nfl started as a feeder where they could get paid

Now both are wildly popular and there’s a scratch my back economy of football gate keepers who won’t often cut each other out

But there’s a chance we see one of these pro leagues find a place
And maybe it’ll be funded by a guy like the rock

Or a Brady who wasn’t really helped in college
Almost left him over looked

Who could find a lane and push for a league that took on young players as an option out of college in schemes the pros use

Probably not but
It bugs the heck outta me lol

It is no doubt. But I’d argue the positions he was asked to play required more mental ability than It did learning the physical technique of the positions. What I mean by that is by moving around the defense your opponent doesn’t get to study you ever down and learn your tendencies. So parsons doesn’t have to learn the whole arsenal of pass rush and counter moves a full time end needs to learn. He could get by last season on his immense physical ability. Now that the league has a year of tape on him I’m sure this off-season he’ll develop more of his technique. Still very impressive what he accomplished last season.

This topic was automatically closed 240 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.