Six outstanding players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There is a stark division within the class.
Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, and Les Richter were all forecast accurately for pro stardom as college players. Sanders was the 8th player chosen in the draft, Faulk and Richter were both 2nd in their years.
The other three inductees were grossly undervalued. Shannon Sharpe was the 192nd player chosen, Richard Dent was the 203rd and Chris Hanburger was the 245th (in 1965 no less!). Clearly, a talent scout who could identify these guys as destined for greatness has more value than the countless ones who recognized the first three players as future stars. But how does a scout do that?
At least part of the explanation may be where one looks for talent. Sharpe played at Savannah State, Dent at Tennessee State and Hanburger at North Carolina (great in basketball, but a winner of only one bowl game in the 1950s and 1960s). It is probably easier to be overlooked when you play at a small school or one with a weak football program or both. Yet that can’t be all of the explanation because Faulk played for San Diego State, whose win in the vaunted Poinsetta Bowl last year was its first in almost 40 years.
A challenge to those RBCers who are pigskin aficionados: What strategic advice would you offer on how to pick “undervalued stocks” in the pro football draft?