April 20, 2010

NFL Draft: Toby Gerhart update

Since we've been following Stanford's running back Toby Gerhart here since early October 2009 through his just missing out on the Heisman Trophy, it's time to check in on his prospects in this week's NFL draft
 
Judging by his various combine statistics, he looks like a legitimate NFL prospect, although not an overwhelming one: Among college running backs measured, he was tied for third in bench press repetitions, fifth in vertical leap, sixth in shuttle, seventh in cones. His time in the 40 yard dash of 4.50 seconds was quite good for a 231 pound back, but there were about 10 guys faster. The fastest in the CBS Sports database was C.J. Spiller of Clemson at 4.27 and second were Ben Tate of Auburn and Jahvid Best of Cal at 4.34.
 
Gerhart's Wonderlic score of 30 (about a 118 IQ) was the best of the running backs. He was valedictorian of a working class / exurban high school, so he's a solid all-arounder.
 
He's being talked up as a second round or third round pick, with lots of NFL executives saying that they'd play him as the featured back rather than as the fullback (blocker, where white runners are usually stockpiled).
If I were him, I'd still be tempted by baseball. The Dodgers have a 230 pound centerfielder in Matt Kemp, and Gerhart is about as big and fast. As a hitter and fielder, Kemp was a Project for a long time, but now he's dating Rhianna because he's 230 pounds and fast enough to play centerfield. Gerhart hasn't shown in college baseball that he could hit major league pitching, but if he ever got the hang of it, it's a sweet life compared to getting mauled by NFL defenses.

38 comments:

kritisk_borger said...

Who cares about football? Hockey is my game :-)

dearieme said...

Utterly OT, but I thought that this might interest you personally, Steve.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7607690/Sir-Paul-Nurse-Geneticist-inherits-a-mystery.html

Shouting Thomas said...

You haven't shown much interest in the saga of John Scheyer, point guard of the Duke basketball team that just won the national championship.

Scheyer's stats are better than most of the black point guards who are projected to be drafted ahead of him into the NBA. Why so little interest from the NBA? Because Scheyer is white. As usual, he's been labeled "slow" and "unathletic."

I thought that the "athletic" guy was the one who wins.

I watched Scheyer play about a dozen times this year. (Plenty of time due to underemployment.) He consistently drove past and posted up the black guards who were supposedly faster and more athletic than him. I saw this with my own lying eyes.

Point guard is a position that demands intelligence. Scheyer is Jewish, of all things! His high school team won the Illinois state championship... with an all-Jewish roster!

I've got a theory about black athletic dominance, too. Black athletes aren't expected to do much in school. This is true from elementary school forward. This is quite a competitive advantage versus white kids, who actually do take school seriously.

Another aspect of black dominance that you do not address is the culture of machismo. Black men are encouraged by their own community and by the black community to be threatening and macho. White men have been beaten down for decades by their own community. Any display of machismo is ruthlessly suppressed, lest white men decide to go out and form a chapter of the Klan.

If Scheyer has a weakness, it's that he's a nice guy. If he was playing with the raw, angry machismo that Jordan played with, Scheyer would be an absolute terror.

I don't think I buy your "blacks have better genes" explanation for their athletic dominance. The answer is that they benefit from an affirmative action system (they aren't expected to really be students), and they play with the murderous machismo that white guys are not allowed.

European white guys in the NBA don't seem to have the problems competing that American born white guys have. I don't think you are onto the right explanation here, Steve.

In fact, I think that the NBA and NFL have distorted their games to favor blacks. In the NBA, fundamental basketball has gone to hell as kids have gone directly from high school to the pros. In the NFL, tactics that favored white players have virtually disappeared, although those tactics still work. For instance, the Fred Belitnikoff type of possession receiver no longer exists. Yet, when the Patriots resurrected the tactic with Wesley Welker, they experienced great success.

The NBA and NFL have restructured their games to favor black athletes. They have done so because the black approach has more entertainment value. The individualistic, me-first black approach is more entertaining.

If you watched Duke all year, you would have seen a smart, 80% white team consistently beating all black, supposedly more athletic teams. The NBA game is rigged for black players. The 24 second clock discourages team play. There isn't enough time to develop the passing game. This places a premium on one-on-one moves, effectively penalizing white players like Scheyer who are masters of passing and setting up other players.

The real difference between the college and pro game is the shot clock. In college ball, the 35 second shot clock gives a player like Scheyer a platform for executing his game.

josh said...

Why doesn't he just play golf, Steve? Being a good athelete doesn't exactly mean he'll be a good baseball player.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thorpji01.shtml

He should try playing Rugby in Europe. His skill would be a lot more likely to transfer and they even let white people carry the ball.

MQ said...

His career stats are hitting .264 and 9 HR in 235 AB against college pitching, with an aluminum bat, and you want him rolling the dice on baseball. Ooookay.

josh said...

Baseball,thats the way to go. "Plastics!" But theres more glory in playing football and being a RB.Having just come across(yes) your buddy Malcolm Gladwell's article about football head injuries,I'd advise him to steer clear of the gsme-tho linemen are obv the guys who suffer the most from brain trauma. As for Matt Kemp dating Rhianna--that lucky son of a bitch!!!! --its interesting how race factors into things. Apparently Justin Timberlake hit on her and was rebuffed,or maybe not. But lets say he was. Rh doesnt like him sexually,partly because he be,OK sorry,because he IS white. Now JT can score any number of white women who are far better looking and sexier than Rhianna.You'd think sex is a straight-up marketplace where you get whoever is equal or lesser than yourself. But if JT liked black women, might he have to settle for a much lesser specimen of woman comp. to the awesome white,latina,and Asians he would otherwise have throwing themselves at him? And why DO women seem to like him so much? I dont see it.

Shawn said...

I am surprised that one only needs to have an IQ of 118 to be valedictorian, even of a working class school.

Anonymous said...

Have you been following "Sports Science" ["Sport Science"?], with John Brenkus?

Pierre-Paul To Star in Sports Science NFL Draft Analysis
wctv.tv

The Sport Science of Ndamukong Suh
espn.go.com

Justin Martyr said...

Actually, by speed score he is the 4th best running back in the draft. Speed score combines size with 40 yard dash time, and according to the sabermetric types, is one of the best predictors of NFL success.

Toadal said...

The Wonderlic Personnel Test is a twelve-minute, fifty-question test used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees for learning and problem-solving in a wide range of occupations.[1] The test was developed by industrial psychologist Eldon F. Wonderlic.[2] The score is calculated as the number of correct answers given in the allotted time. A score of 20 is intended to indicate average intelligence (corresponding to an intelligence quotient of 100; a rough conversion is accomplished via the following formula: IQ = (2WPT + 60) .

(From Yahoo Sports) 'Gerhart posts top RB Wonderlic score'
Notable running back's Wonderlic scores and their NFP rankings.

Jahvid Best (California): 24 (108 IQ) Ranked #1
C.J. Spiller (Clemson): 10 (70 IQ) Ranked #2
Jon Dwyer (Georgia Tech): 17 (94 IQ) Ranked #3
Toby Gerhart (Stanford): 30 (118 IQ) Ranked #6
Ryan Matthews (Fresno State): 16 (92 IQ) Ranked #7
LeGarrette Blount (Oregon): 16 (92 IQ) Ranked #9

For such a celebrated Caucasian running back to be ranked only at #6, shows an inequality of talent distributed among races.

Discover magazine's Spring 2010 'The Brain' and 'The Science of Smart' issue also discusses the distribution and of talent in our world, mental talent. Along with articles on smart octopuses, brilliant children, and brain dissection is an interview with evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker on language. In it he argues against the MSM depiction of the mind as an empty vessel, or blank slate. He says people fear the possibility each person has genetically determined predisposition for three reasons:
1) People fear inequality. If people are genetically endowed, then some people have more abilities than others, or have different attributes.
2) Men cannot be perfected through education. If traits such as violence and selfishness are innate, then that might make them unchangeable, and attempts at social reform may become a waste of time.
3) People fear that personal responsibility will disappear if free will is shown to be an illusion, i.e. Biological Determinism

Svigor said...

Hell, even moving to TE would be an improvement over RB. RB doesn't sound like a life for a guy with a 118 IQ unless it's the only thing open.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Off-topic, but the Mexifornization of America continues apace.

Of course Espada is technically Puerto Rican...

Anonymous said...

He'll make a great fullback.

Gene Berman said...

I think I remember qn IQ of 122 mentioned for Brian Westbrook

Anonymous said...

"I don't think I buy your "blacks have better genes" explanation for their athletic dominance."

I think blacks do have "better genes" for the most physically demanding sports, but I agree with some of your other points. It doesn't just have to be one or the other.

Justin Martyr said...

Shouting Thomas, you should check out Taboo by John Entine. Black children can run faster and jump higher than whites as young as age 6 and the gap grows with age. Blacks of West African descent are more muscular than whites and have broader shoulders and less bodyfat.

SGOTI said...


Jahvid Best (California): 24 (108 IQ) Ranked #1
C.J. Spiller (Clemson): 10 (70 IQ) Ranked #2
Jon Dwyer (Georgia Tech): 17 (94 IQ) Ranked #3
Toby Gerhart (Stanford): 30 (118 IQ) Ranked #6
Ryan Matthews (Fresno State): 16 (92 IQ) Ranked #7
LeGarrette Blount (Oregon): 16 (92 IQ) Ranked #9


Interesting about Spiller. I knew he was no rocket surgeon (due to being being infested with Clemson fnas- even they admit it).

But as I ate lunch in a local joint, ESPN had a "touching" (predictable?) segment on Spiller studying hard, gamely watching film and trying to memorize defenses.

Despite the softball questions and slick editing, the prevailing thought was Running Back, Talented, Complete Rock with Lips, 1 each.

Anonymous said...

I should say African-Americans rather than just blacks, because it seems clear (and logical) that the descendants of slaves are more athletic than regular Africans.

Dave said...

"Hell, even moving to TE would be an improvement over RB."

Tell that to Kevin Boss, who repeatedly gets annihilated by safeties when he catches the ball over the middle. Better to be a slick RB like Barry Sanders and retire at your peak.

Anonymous said...

So according to some of the posters, no white athlete in the United States can play running back successfully in the NFL? How was he able to play in the Pac 10 which is considered the next thing to the NFL?

Whiskey said...

Gerhart was at Stanford, which has problems recruiting enough Black players.

The NFL is about 70% Black, the NBA about 90%. Sooner or later, that is going to hurt both as White fans look elsewhere. Particularly as America gets more racially polarized, not less in the Obama Era.

White goodwill, guilt, and shame are not limitless qualities. Certainly not in a lasting recession with brutal spoils politics for jobs and promotions and wage gains such as it is, or social spending. Along with mass immigration.

Even McCain, of all people, has had to backtrack (he'll dump it as soon as he wins his primary, if he does) because J.D. Hayworth is within five points by pushing a border fence. [No one trusts McCain on this, or much of anything else.]

NASCAR, Golf, Hockey, all have the advantage of being "White" and more friendly to White viewers than ghetto idiocy seen in a nearly all Black league. Nor after constant lectures to Whites by Obama and pals, is there much cultural restraint any more.

ironrailsironweights said...

During last Saturday's boxing match featuring Kelly Pavlik, the top white American boxer, I think I heard one of the HBO announcers refer to his low level of athleticism. Background noise in the room made it hard to tell for sure. Still, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

Pavlik lost the fight to Sergio Martinez, an Argentine who looks to be of full Caucasian descent.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Regarding Rihanna. She was pretty notorious early in her career for dating only white guys and took some flak for it. Then she actually gave an interview where she said she found white guys more physically attractive and it really hit the fan. Black radio really lambasted her. Since that blew up in her face, she has only dated black guys

Truth said...

"The NFL is about 70% Black, the NBA about 90%. Sooner or later, that is going to hurt both as White fans look elsewhere."

It's 66% and 80%, but heck, we've been waiting for that upheaval for oh, 35 years now.

Anonymous said...

"I think I remember qn IQ of 122 mentioned for Brian Westbrook"

That's right Gene, he got a 31 on the Wonderlic. Generally, 20 is considered average (IQ 100), but Steve generally takes 21 to equal 100 because of the Flynn effect.

I actually suspect that a lot of NFL Wonderlic results are somewhat inflated because some agents probably have their clients practice, whereas I assume that the standardization sample on which the test was normed didn't practice, which would produce some hollow (no g) gains in the trained group.

While the amount of gain attainable on psychometric tests is often exaggerated (especially by test prep companies like Kaplan or Princeton Review), improvements are possible through training, but they don't reflect an improvement in actual abstract reasoning ability. Generally, if all or no test takers receive training, while the raw scores will be higher in the former scenario, the rank order of test takers remains virtually the same (i.e., correlation near 1.0), but if some test takers receive training and some don't, the predictive validity of the results will be diminished as some of the sample has inflated scores.)

Anonymous said...

Surprised that a 118 IQ guy is not swayed by his agent's advice which is obviously to avoid playing RB position. He must have a huge ego and obsessive need for the spotlight.

RB position is dominated by low IQ players. That's why it skews heavily black. This is a cohort of individuals who do not make good decisions when planning for the future.

Agents and coaches warn young prospects for years before they reach NFL eligibility that RB position is shortest avg career in the league.

For every Walter Payton or Barry Sanders there are hundreds of two year RB careers. And most are very talented two year guys who get bounced out of the league because of injury.

The Bronco RB who did the military salute after each touchdown and won a Super Bowl ring with Elway had a short career. Also around the same time period was the Atlanta Falcon star RB who got the team very close to the Super Bowl - but then instead of leading them to a dynasty period he wrecked his knee the next season and dropped into obscurity.

Anonymous said...

There was a Black/mulatto Vikings RB (Robert Smith) who played till he was 29 or so and retired early. Pretty intelligent guy who was clearly talented (lead his conference in rushing at least once). You don't have to play until you drop for a sports career to pay off. You can play a couple of years and get a better ESPN or sales job that you would have without the NFL career.

OhioStater said...

The next big thing is Jason Heyward, the 20 yr old rookie rightfielder for the Atlanta Braves.

He has the look of a kid from the streets but he's the product of a two parent family and his father is an Ivy League (Dartmouth) alum.

He's tall enough to play basketball, and big enough to play football, but he's a baseball player instead. That's a big deal.

Baseball revenue growth is strong thanks to its extremely profitable internet operations (mlb.com, March Madness on Demand, Espn360, ESPN3), and I think you'll see more black players as the money grows.

If baseball salaries grow across the board, the Royals will still struggle to compete with the Yankees, but baseball will take more athletes from other sports.

Toadal said...

Correction: C.J. Spiller's score of 10 should give him an IQ of 80 and not 70.

IQ = (2WPT + 60) ((2 * 10) + 60) = 80
My apologies to Mr Spiller for my mistake.

Jahvid Best (California): 24 (108 IQ) Ranked #1
C.J. Spiller (Clemson): 10 (80 IQ) Ranked #2
Jon Dwyer (Georgia Tech): 17 (94 IQ) Ranked #3
Toby Gerhart (Stanford): 30 (118 IQ) Ranked #6
Ryan Matthews (Fresno State): 16 (92 IQ) Ranked #7
LeGarrette Blount (Oregon): 16 (92 IQ) Ranked #9

Shouting Thomas said
I don't think I buy your "blacks have better genes" explanation for their athletic dominance. The answer is that they benefit from an affirmative action system (they aren't expected to really be students), and they play with the murderous machismo that white guys are not allowed.

Ever compete athletically against black guys, Thomas?

My brother and I were high school sprinters who competed against blacks kids in regional relays and I can vouch for their sprinting dominance. A sprinter is a fairly lazy athlete since his time consists of 2/5 stretching, 2/5 moderate distance running, and 1/5 sprinting and start, hand off, and block techniques.

Black Sea said...

The next Mike Alstott?

Realistic said...

Shouting Thomas made a good point about the game being distorted to favor blacks. If palming and carrying the ball were called on all the black guards every time they did it the games would be unwatchable. They would have 30 turnovers per side. it goes with the street ball style (dribble drive motion) that is so popular.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Matt Drudge is fronting this story right now, with two links to the following article:

Race factors into evaluation of Gerhart
By Michael Silver
Apr 20, 8:00 am EDT
sports.yahoo.com

Shouting Thomas said...

Ever compete athletically against black guys, Thomas?

Yes, and a lot more recently than high school.

I played corporate league basketball for years.

Several teams brought in ringers... 6'6" black guys who'd played college ball.

Every year, the winner of the corporate league tournament was a Japanese squad that had played together for years.

They ran and passed and employed set plays. They made the black ringers look like fools with their disciplined, intelligent tactics.

The black ringers would style and show us their Michael Jordan moves... then, more often than not, blow the shot.

It was hilarious watching those little Japanese guys running rings around the ringers.

Anonymous said...

“One team I interviewed with asked me about being a white running back,” Gerhart says. “They asked if it made me feel entitled, or like I felt I was a poster child for white running backs. I said, ‘No, I’m just out there playing ball. I don’t think about that.’ I didn’t really know what to say.”

Imagine the outcry if an NFL team asked a black quarterback the equivalent of that question.

Loved this as well: “There’s no reason I shouldn’t really like him, but I just don’t,” added another AFC personnel executive. “He’s not really shifty, but he gets yards. He’s fast, but it’s a long speed, and not really a quick speed.

Anonymous said...

This article about Toby and his family

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/21/toby-gerharts-success-a-family-affair/

in case having a strong family means anything.

ExtraMedium said...

"In fact, I think that the NBA and NFL have distorted their games to favor blacks. In the NBA, fundamental basketball has gone to hell as kids have gone directly from high school to the pro."

Hi, my name is Shouting Thomas and I don't watch the NBA. 1st, the NBA banned high-school to the pros several years ago. 2nd look up stats from when the NBA was a white (heavily jewish) league. Teams shot lower percentages against crappier defense (in today's league players intentionally take charges because they're turnovers, and players are aware of shooting zones and try to deny corner threes etc.)...And no, I'm not doing the research for you.

Whiskey, I love you but ESPN's Outside the Lines crunched the numbers and came up with a 70-75% "Black" NBA (It was a show about the decline of White-American players). I put Black in quotes because they practiced the one-drop rule so mixed race guys like Jason Kidd, Tony Parker and Joakim Noah were counted as Black. So the league is probably no more than 60-65% Black. With the rise of the foreign player the League may be less than 60% African-American!

Marc B said...

"But if JT liked black women, might he have to settle for a much lesser specimen of woman" "And why DO women seem to like him so much? I dont see it."

The women are fine with JT, even the black ones. A former girlfriend couldn't figure out why the men in her West Hollywood office that work in an entertainment industry related field, even the metroseuxals, disliked Justin Timberlake so vehemently. I told her it was because he's a prisspot and wannabe negro, but none of the good liber-al males would admit it.

Black Sea said...

Gerhart to the Vikings in the second round. Now Minnesota can claim that they have the best black running back and the best white running back in the league.