Eric Decker: The Importance of the “Eye” Test


Jan 30, 2014; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos receiver

Eric Decker

(87) at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII on the Cornucopia Majesty yacht on the Hudson River. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We talk a lot about the eye test when evaluating players entering the NFL draft. It’s fun, as most of us at one time or another, have wanted to be an NFL GM. Specifically, it’s fun to speculate, and it is fun to be the New York Jets’ general manager. So I found some information that was very interesting, and I wanted to take the time to show it to you guys tonight.

What this goes to show is how important it is to watch the potential players the Jets may select.  Read what the scouts have to say, but watch tape to draw your own conclusions as well.

Take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Eric Decker from the Combine:

Decker possesses great size. Was extremely productive in college. Exhibits good quickness & agility which he uses to overcome lack of elite burst. Gets off the ball quickly and is a savvy route runner. Has excellent natural receiving skills. Goes and gets the football, displays great body control in the air and around the sidelines, and isn’t afraid to go over the middle.

WEAKNESSES Lacks elite top end speed which could severely limit his big-play potential at the next level. Lacks a second gear to pull away from defenders after the catch or in and out of his breaks against a corner capable of mirroring him.

Don’t get me wrong, the analysis contains important points that we all need to be aware of. Rex and Marty need to be careful as the linebackers can take guys like Decker out of the football game when they are tired.

But this report doesn’t address things that can only be seeing with that particular person. You cannot read that passage and understand how good Decker’s hands really are. That report doesn’t tell you that Decker has caught 24 TD passes over the last two seasons, and a successful season under his beltwith Tim Tebow at quarterback.

My point? Watch some film when deciding who the Jets should take, if you haven’t already. Read the reviews the scouts write, by all means.  They spend the most time watching the players, so there is no reason not to.

But, also watch the film, and draw some of your own conclusions as well.  You will learn much more about the player.