Every year, players flash in training camp and fans go wild (remember Vic So’oto?).
The early leader this year is Jake Kumerow, a practice squad receiver that has been getting positive vibes from QB1.
A lot of fans are saying things like “if he’s outplaying the draft picks, they should keep him.”
No they shouldn’t.
You don’t build your team off who’s playing better than who right now, in August, before preseason games even start. You don’t even make your team based on the guys you think played the best in the preseason. You build your team based off who you think is going to be the best player over the next 4+ years. Anything else is foolishly short-sighted.
When talent evaluators and the GM all agree to draft a guy, it’s because they believe he has potential. If some UDFA or even a guy drafted a few rounds later outplays him, it doesn’t mean they’re gonna cut the guy that they drafted – they drafted him based on potential, not what he’s going to do at Tuesday’s practice.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to grasp this concept.
Is it fair that Justin Harrell gets three years of wasting a roster spot? Maybe not, but they’re trying to get a return on their investment and see if he can reach the potential that they all saw. We never saw it, but that doesn’t automatically make keeping him around a stupid move.
In the case of Jake Krumerow, don’t forget that the guy is entering his fourth season – just because he’s new to us doesn’t mean he’s new. It’s possible he’s already hit his ceiling and, even if he outplays three draft picks from this year, may not be judged to have the best long-term potential over the next four years. Of course a guy who’s been through four training camps with three different pro teams would look more polished than a wide-eyed late round pick going through his first couple weeks if NFL practice.
This isn’t a critique or even a prediction of Jake Krumerow or how good he may or may not be or even if he deserves a roster spot over a few mid to late round draft picks, though. This is just an illustration of how stupid it is to say “if he’s outplaying these guys, he should be on the roster over them.”
The team will be built based on who the talent evaluators believe will be the best player in the long run.