There are few motivating tools more effective than an athlete getting snubbed in a draft. Sports history is littered with stories of the sort. Tom Brady says he’s been motivated by being passed over for five rounds in the NFL draft. Gilbert Arenas chose jersey number 0 in Golden State because that’s how many minutes people said he’s play in college, and to remind himself of what he had to overcome (he also was selected in the second round). Peyton Manning told the Colts if they passed on him in the draft he’d spend the rest of his career making sure they’d pay for the poor choice. And even though Marcell Dareus was taken at a highly-respected position — third overall in the draft — he plans to make the Panthers and Broncos pay for passing on him.
In an interview with Michael Irvin on WQAM, Dareus said he felt he should have been the top overall pick in the draft. Then he added “If I ever get a chance to play Carolina I’m going to make them pay for passing up on me. Denver I’ll get a chance to play them in the regular season (this year) and I’m going to make it hell for them every time I play against them.”
This is obviously the type of mentality you want your draft pick to have. While some guys get drafted and are in a hurry to get to the jewelry store, you have Dareus talking about giving the Broncos hell. Dareus was disruptive all season long for Alabama and the man responsible for knocking Colt McCoy out of the title game two years ago. I thought he was deserving of the top overall pick and I was surprised the Broncos passed on him.
When it comes to a defense, if you can pressure a quarterback with a rush up the middle, it gives him less time to throw, making things easier on your secondary. To me that would have been a wiser choice for Denver, but we’ll see how things play out. And if you take Dareus’ word, we already know they made the wrong pick.