One of the greatest debates surrounding the NFL draft is potential versus production. Should a general manager place a higher premium on talent than intangibles? And to what extent? It's not an easy question. The speed and power at the NFL level are far greater, so players need a certain level of natural ability to succeed. On the flip side, schemes and game plans are more complicated, so even a great athlete will struggle if he can't make the necessary mental adjustments.
Two of the players we've tracked this season -- Florida QB Chris Leakand Cal CB Daymeion Hughes -- are prime subjects for that debate. Both have had strong collegiate careers but could have a hard time making a similar impact at the NFL level.
Scouts should have been pleased with the way Leak took care of the ball and connected with six different receivers in Florida's win over Ohio State in the Tostitos BCS Championship Game. It was the perfect finale to an impressive career. However, Leak made certain throws in that game that he won't get away with in the NFL. His lack of velocity on his throws is a concern. While Leak has a strong arm, it's not strong enough to zip passes downfield when his feet aren't set, and his footwork can be inconsistent. One thing all scouts should agree on is that as good as Leak played in that game, it wasn't a Vince Young-type performance. Leak lacks Young's natural ability, so his stock isn't going to soar as Young's did following last year's Rose Bowl presented by Citi.