As we finish this years NFL Combine and head into free agency and the draft I feel the need to warn of the danger of comparing different players to one another.
It happens every year. We compare this running back or that linebacker to a player from the past. Whether it is a current player or some great from the past it often is a disservice to both athletes.
It came to me while involved in a discussion about Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson. Both players were former Raider greats. Both players were outstanding running backs. The comparison ends there. the two players could not be more different.
And that is the problem with comparing players. Too often they compare apples to oranges rather than apples to apples.
Bo Jackson should be compared to Hershel Walker, Marcus Allen’s comparison should be Tony Dorsett or Marshall Faulk. That is because Allen and Jackson are two different kinds of running backs.
Bo, like Hershel Walker, was a power back with an incredible combination of size and speed. Both were rare athletes. Marcus Allen was an all around back. Equally adept at running, receiving and even blocking if the game plan called for it. The important part is that the players were often asked to do different things because of their particular skill sets. That matters.
It happens every year now. Edge rusher Joey Bosa is compared to JJ Watt. Defensive back Jalen Ramsey is compared to Patrick Peterson. Some comparisons are better than others.
For the Miami Dolphins it seems every year some quarterback is compared to Dan Marino and some undersized linebacker is called the next Zach Thomas. It is unfair to compare a young college player to a legend.
Just let the players be themselves. And go from there.