I don't really have a problem with Shockley himself, just that unless a really good player dropped (like say a 1st day player was available in Round 5), then I wouldn't draft a QB, whether it's Shockley, Vince Young, or Charlie Whitehurst.
For both Edwards and Pollard, and I admit I haven't seen them play, but they opted to forgo their senior years at Purdue relatively early in the timeline. Most sophs/juniors are definitely considering going pro in October and November, but haven't made the final decision, because a lot of factors will steer them towards staying or going.
Both Ray Edwards and Bernard Pollard announced they were going pro within a week of the season ending, which tells me that they had made their decision weeks before.
Purdue had a disappointing year in 2005, no doubts there. Many expected them to challenge for the Big Ten title, but they wound up finishing below .500. But the team did have a few positives late in the year, finishing with wins in their final 3 games.
IMO, a player should have said we built something late in they ear, and now I want to carry that into next year, and not have my college career end on such a sour note.
Let's look at the guy that supplanted Edwards as the starter: Rob Ninkovich. Smaller, quick speed rusher. He was a senior this past year, and in one's mind, it would mean that Edwards wouldn't have to compete for his starting job in 2006, because the guy that took it from him is gone.
It's one thing when you're Ronnie Brown or Reggie Bush, and the person starting ahead of you is also considered an elite prospect. It's one thing if you are graded as like a 3rd round pick or something and you are on the bench behind someone that is also a 2nd/3rd/4th round prospect. But Ninkovich as it stands now is probably a 5th round pick or later. I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear over the next few months that teams are looking at him to be a LB on the next level, much like ex-Boilermakers Shaun Phillips, Rosey Colvin, and Akin Ayodele have become. But here we have a 1st/2nd round prospect being the backup to a 4th/5th round prospect.
Shouldn't that raise a few red flags? Shouldn't the fact that he "quit" on his college team raise some flags? A guy that is a great athlete, but really doesn't have outstanding on-field production. Comments from Joe Tiller about Edwards turning pro:
Tom Kubat of the BoilerStation.com wrote:
Tiller was not surprised by Edwards' post-game announcement.
"I was somewhat surprised in the way it occurred," Tiller said. "Usually when a player is thinking about that, they walk into my office and we talk about it. We've had no discussions. Am I surprised by his decision? No. Will I encourage him to stay? No.
"I just think if that's what he wants to do, that Ray is a very strong guy, and if that's what's in his heart, then that's what he should do."
Instead, I'd much rather see the Falcons draft Ninkovich in the middle portion of the draft than see them eye Edwards. Ninkovich needs to add strength and bulk, but for the near future he could work as a situational pass rusher on 3rd downs. Then maybe a few years down the road, he'll be able to compete for a starting job. I'm not saying Ninkovich will solve our DE problems, as we still should try to address the position on Day 1, but I think he'll wind up helping this team more than Edwards.
Granted, I haven't seen either of them play. But just on paper, Edwards gives off a very high bust vibe.