Tuesday, April 30, 2019

After Perfection

TigerBlog has two pairs of black Princeton-issue sneakers that are not exactly identical, though they're very similar.

When he left for Cornell for lacrosse Friday, he put on one pair of them - or at least he thought he did. It wasn't until he got to the hotel in Ithaca that he realized that he'd actually taken the left sneaker of one pair and the right sneaker of the other pair.

TB isn't sure if the most amazing thing is that he did that in the first place or that nobody all weekend noticed. On the other hand, maybe people did notice but were just too polite to say anything.

It's not like he had one black sneaker and one orange or something ridiculous. But they did not match. He's not even sure how he did that. 

That was one fascinating thing about TB's weekend.

Another was the NFL draft.

TigerBlog was following the draft on an app that would denote the player selected and then immediately assign a letter grade from A to F for the pick. C'mon now. How in the world can anyone know who will succeed and who won't.

For all of the coverage of the draft and for everything that goes into the picks, the reality is that what, half of the first round picks will never become stars? And half of the third rounders will?

The Giants selection of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick sums the whole thing up perfectly. Jones might be great. Jones might be a bust.

Nobody will know this for a few years though.

You can't judge a draft on the night of the draft. You have to wait to see how it plays out.

Yes, it's fun to mock players when they're picked. And fans get into it.

Still, none of it matters. Will Jones be better than the other quarterbacks who were picked later, especially Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins? Maybe. Maybe not. TB has no idea.

TB does know that Jones was originally going to come to Princeton before he changed his mind and went to Duke.

Now, imagine how this might have played out for the Tigers. Jones is the sixth pick in the NFL draft. But what if he had come to Princeton?

Well, the Tigers couldn't have been any better with him than they were without him. They were perfect without him this past year, going 10-0 and putting together the best offense in the history of the Ivy League - 47.0 points per game and eight games with at least 40.

And each of the last three years, a Princeton quarterback has won the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, John Lovett in 2016 and 2018 and Chad Kanoff in between.

It's weird to think that way, but the No. 6 pick in the draft might not have helped Princeton.

As for Lovett, he signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. His teammate Stephen Carlson signed with the Cleveland Browns as a tight end; the Browns already have Princeton alum Seth DeValve on the team.

Carlson was a wide receiver at Princeton, but he has an NFL tight end's body and is at his best near the goal line. In fact, he is third all-time at Princeton with 16 TD receptions.

 He caught 51 passes for 683 yards and five touchdowns last year on the 10-0 team, and he is also eighth all-time in receiving yards with 1,632 and 10th in receptions with 125.

As for Lovett, he could be a real NFL gem if given the chance. TigerBlog was really impressed with how New Orleans used Taysom Hill a year ago, as a quarterback, runner, receiver and special teams player. Lovett can do all of those things.

TB doesn't think Lovett was ever on special teams, but he did everything else on that list. He's an incredible short yardage guy who can throw or catch a pass. To have that varied of a skillset is rare. TB knows that Kansas City has a lot of quarterbacks, but they didn't sign Lovett to be a classic QB. They don't exactly need one of them.

TB loves his chances.

If you've seen Lovett lately, you might have noticed that he certainly looks like an NFL player. As in he's gigantic.

Princeton was perfect a year ago. The reward for these two is what's coming after perfection.

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