Jermaine Wiggins says only ex-athletes can evaluate players and compares NFL Draft analysis to brain surgery

Alex Reimer
April 22, 2019 - 1:23 pm

Jermaine Wiggins says he believes the only people who can evaluate athletic talent are those who have played sports at a high level themselves. As someone whose athletic career primarily consisted of playing three innings in right field and riding lots of pine, I am taking it upon myself to defend the mother’s basement crowd. Athletic prowess alone has no impact on one’s understanding of whether an NFL draft prospect can tackle at the professional level or run a good route. It’s all about doing your homework.

On Sunday’s edition of “Reimer, Wiggy and Bradford,” the ex-Patriots tight end, who’s clearly still jilted about not being selected in the NFL Draft, went on a verbal rampage against Mel Kiper Jr. and other supposed draft experts who never played a snap of college football –– never mind the game at the professional level.

“I want to be evaluated by a guy who’s played at the pro level and understands what it takes,” Wiggy said. “How many practices, team meetings do you think Mel Kiper has been in? If you’re not in the game, how can you give an opinion on it?”

While Kiper has probably never attended an NFL team meeting, he almost certainly watches more tape than 99-percent of people on this planet. His opinion is worth far more than ex-player who doesn’t put in the same amount of work and preparation into his draft prognostications. 

To exemplify his point, Wiggy came up with an analogy, saying nobody would proclaim to be a brain surgeon without actually performing an operation. “‘Hey, I want to be a brain surgeon,’” Wiggy said. “I could go on, study my ass off, watch videos, I’m looking at all of this stuff –– putting in 10,000 hours. I’m an expert. But how many brain surgeries have you done? Zero.”

The only difference, of course, is that performing brain surgery and evaluating a player’s lateral movement are not equivalent. One is just a little more difficult than the other.