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Richard Lagow should be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, according to Mel Kiper’s indiscernible evaluative criteria


NCAA Football: Rutgers at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve paid the least possible amount of attention to ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage (and believe me, I have) you are still definitely aware of how Mel Kiper Jr. feels about Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.

Kiper has bent over backwards the last six months to prop up Josh Allen as a can’t-miss QB prospect, taking any random throw in a random game as evidence of his NFL-caliber arm and ignoring or marginalizing any evidence to the contrary. Kiper has gone as far as to knock other top QB prospects for things he dismisses in Allen’s evaluation. The most famous example: citing Lamar Jackson’s completion percentage as evidence of his inaccuracy while, at the same time, answering questions regarding Allen’s pedestrian completion percentage with the time-and-time-again-disproved-adage that “stats are for losers.”

So now that we’ve established that Mel Kiper will stop at nothing to put Josh Allen atop his draft board, let’s see what fun can be had from such a bizarre willingness to die on that hill.

It’s time for everyone’s favorite game: PLAYER A vs. PLAYER B

  • PLAYER A: 6’5”, 240 pounds
  • PLAYER B: 6’6”, 240 pounds

Ok, good start here. Both players have what evaluators like to call “prototypical NFL size” for their position. Let’s see how their teams performed overall:

  • PLAYER A: 8-5, 53rd S&P+, 119th in passing S&P+, 97th SOS
  • PLAYER B: 5-7, 51st S&P+, 46th in passing S&P+, 34th SOS

So while Player A’s team had a better season result against a much, much easier schedule while Player B had far more to do with the success his team did have against a far tougher slate. Let’s look at those individual stats!

  • PLAYER A: 1,812 yards, 56.3%, 16/6 TD/INT, 5.7 YPA
  • PLAYER B: 1,936 yards, 58.3%, 15/8 TD/INT, 5.8 YPA

Neither player had all that great of a year, but Player B’s pedestrian numbers are a bit more forgivable given the schedule they played. But no matter how you slice it, these are effectively identical seasons.

So if you had to take one of these players, knowing they had pretty much identical statistical seasons and measurables, but one of them did it against far tougher competition than the other, you’re probably leaning toward Player B, right?

Player A is Josh Allen and Player B is Richard Lagow. If you’ve spent the past six months talking up Josh Allen as the best QB in the draft and the most deserving player to be picked #1 overall, then you cannot, in good faith, disagree that Richard Lagow deserves to be taken ahead of him.

FUN FACT: Richard Lagow threw for 410 yards on Ohio State’s defense! That’s almost twice the amount of yards Josh Allen threw for against Iowa and Oregon ... combined!