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Does one game make a career?

Apparently so.

There is an interesting article in today's LA Times about why Dwayne Jarrett's stock dropped in the draft. I am a little surprised that the observation of Jarrett's performance in Arkansas game seems to the basis of drop to the second round on Saturday.

Experts say Jarrett's fall was the result of several factors: He couldn't distance himself from his uninspired performance in last season's opener against Arkansas; he couldn't break free from comparisons to Mike Williams; and, in the eyes of many talent evaluators, Trojans teammate Steve Smith matched him stride for stride in terms of value.

At least two of the knocks on Jarrett were specific. The first came in September in the Arkansas game, when the 6-foot-4, 219-pound split end was manhandled at the line of scrimmage by 5-11, 185-pound cornerback Chris Houston. While it's worth noting that Jarrett was nursing a leg injury that had limited his participation in training camp, his duel with an elite college corner -- Houston was drafted four spots ahead of Jarrett by Atlanta -- prompted scouts to scrutinize the matchup. Jarrett caught five passes for 35 yards, none longer than 12.

"That's the one question when you watch the Arkansas tape," said Mike Mayock, draft expert for the NFL Network. "It wasn't a couple times. It wasn't three or four times. It was every snap of the football game. At some point, he's got to just get physical with this kid who's smaller than him ... and create separation with physicality, rather than quickness."

I guess the season for Jarrett ended after that game as he had some other games that he played pretty well in like the Rose Bowl and the Notre Dame game. We know that Jarrett was coming off a quad injury at the start of the season and he could have sat but he got on the field. I remember that Arkansas DB Chris Houston played Jarrett tough but I would hardly take that one example as basis of his whole body of work. I guess Jarrett's absolute torching of Leon Hall in the Rose Bowl was not worth watching either.

We have all heard about Jarrett's poor 40 time, but does it really matter. I mean with all that gear on no one is going to run as fast on the field as they do at the combine or pro day, its antiquated just like the Wonderlick. No receiver is going to break out that sort of speed in a game especially after the have been jammed at the line and have run a route through traffic. Sure if there is a break away down the sideline it may come into play but that will not happen every time.

Then of course there is the Williams comparison. I have no idea what was in Mike Williams' head but it is clear that he was not ready to go to the NFL when he did. It certainly is not all his fault that lost that year of eligibility as well as not being eligible for the draft but to that has nothing to do with Jarrett and total BS that the scouts and coaches hold that against him. I thought Jarrett should have gone to pros but I also would agree with Pete Carroll that unless you are the top player at your position as an underclassman you should stay that extra year and improve your stock. My only contention was that maybe he did not take the process as seriously as he should have and that is where the Williams comparison could be made.

It's easy to see how players can be swayed in making the wrong decision especially at USC. This program is the toast of the town regardless of the loss to ucla. With the national spotlight on this program, both good and bad at times it is easy for these players, who are inexperienced in this arena, to fall prey to the snake charmers who hang around Heritage Hall. Here is a list of those who left school early, also from the article.

USC players who declared for the NFL draft before completing their eligibility under Pete Carroll:

  •  DE Kenechi Udeze (2004). Taken by Minnesota in the first round with the 20th overall pick. Did not have a sack last season.
  •  WR Mike Williams (2004). Drafted 10th overall in 2005 by the Detroit Lions after he was denied entry in 2004 draft following sophomore season.
  •  LB Lofa Tatupu (2005). Drafted in the second round by Seattle. He immediately emerged as a key player for a team that advanced to Super Bowl XL.
  •  DT Manuel Wright (2005). Taken by Miami in fifth round of supplemental draft. Chafed under former coach Nick Saban, was on non-football injured reserve in 2006.
  •  RB Reggie Bush (2006). New Orleans selected Heisman Trophy winner with second pick and he helped Saints reach the NFC championship game.
  •  OL Winston Justice (2006). Impressive pro day workout was thought to catapult him into first round, but was taken in second round by Philadelphia.
  •  RB LenDale White (2006). Projected as a first-round pick, he slipped to second and was taken by Tennessee. After serving as backup, he is slated to possibly start in '07.
  •  S Darnell Bing (2006). Drafted by Oakland in the fourth round, was moved to linebacker but spent season on injured reserve.
  •  OL Fred Matua (2006). Seventh-round pick by Detroit. Did not make team and spent time on Tennessee practice squad before he was signed by Cleveland in November.
  •  WR Dwayne Jarrett (2007). Drafted by Carolina in the second round with 45th pick.

Only Bush and Tatupu were impact players out of the gate the rest have had unremarkable pro careers to date. As I look back on it, Jarrett probably should have stayed but we are past that now. In the end it really does not matter, as Jarrett will make millions, maybe not as much as he could have but certainly more than any of us who read these sites will ever make and in the end that is all that probably matters to these guys.