An interesting screenshot has been floating around the Internet the last 24 hours, courtesy of a random New York Jets Twitter account. Mapletreemarty brought it up in the Golden Nuggets, with Yahoo's Shutdown Corner giving it some legs I thought I would share it here as well. The picture points to Facebook comments the day the Houston Texans selected defensive lineman J.J. Watt. Here is that screenshot:
I think first and foremost, we need to make it clear that Facebook comments are not the best representation of a fan base. There are smart people posting comments on Facebook pages, but there are a lot of idiots as well. If you check out the Niners Nation Facebook page (give us a LIKE!), you'll see a mix of smart people and morons. It is just the way social media operates.
I bring this up in light of some of the reactions to the San Francisco 49ers 2015 draft class. We have not even hit rookie minicamp yet, and I have seen people comparisons to the 2012 NFL Draft. Some have even said it is worse. Considering the 49ers 2012 draft class was a disaster, that's saying something.
The reactions to the Watt pick are not exactly exclusive to 2011 Texans fans. The reactions to the 49ers pick of Aldon Smith were entertaining as well. You can check them out at the bottom of this thread, and throughout this thread. There were some positive reactions, but a lot of WTF negative reactions.
People are allowed to be confused by a pick, and be critical of a pick. It is a fairly open forum for discussion here, so reactions are going to be mixed. That being said, it seems a little foolish to throw down too many black and white conclusions about a pick before he has even arrived in Santa Clara. It is possible this draft class ends up in the ash heap of history. It could end up being the worst draft ever. But it also could be a building block draft that is part of a turnaround from the ugliness of 2014.
Anything can happen with a given draft class, and this notion of absolute certainty about a pick drives me crazy at times. If a person is concerned about a draft class, that is fine. If a person questions a player's potential in the system based on what they know from watching that person play, so be it. But to say, this player will or will not be a star is something that is not particularly useful most of the time.
I get that this is part of the 24/7 media narrative cycle, but sometimes it helps to stop and think for a moment. There is room to debate BOTH the strengths and weaknesses about a player, but it is also helpful to keep an open mind on both sides of the debate. Otherwise you end up looking foolish when that player breaks out in a big way, or crashes and burns quickly in his career.