With the announcement yesterday that Jay will decide before the Fiesta Bowl I decided to publish now instead of holding this until after the game.
First let’s be clear no one knows what Jay’s goals and aspirations are, nor what standard he’s set for his decision. Clearly if he is rated as a first round pick I would think it’s safe to assume he should move on if being the operative word. No doubt we in Bronco Nation believe Jay is that guy only time will tell if now the NFL sees him as that guy, until then I would as an old dog closer would like to use a tool of the trade the old Ben Franklin Pro’s and Con’s and take measurement of where we are.
Both sides of the ledger have powerful points and again we don’t know what Jay’s Life Goals are and what’s most important to him, but let’s break these down, first the myth around early entry.
No doubt Tyrone Wheatley gave up huge dollars when after winning the Rose Bowl and having an incredible junior year he elected to say for his Sr. year. He was a top 5 pick no question about it, but his senior campaign was lacking yet he still went in the first round back in the days of freewheeling rookie signings. He dropped from top 5 to 17th cost him Millions of dollars. In today’s NFL the money difference between top 5 and top 25 is not nearly as large as signings are pretty much capped at each slot. However between the first round and second things change and as you go even further back your signing bonus and security on a team becomes substantially weaker as the cost of cutting a 2nd & 3rd round pick is not that great as NFL contracts are NOT guaranteed. Clearly the earlier you are picked the better.
Take Doug Martin as an example. Tampa has made a significant investment in him and as he struggles through injuries they are toughing it out with him because they are after all a business and they want a return on their investment.
So leaving now as many scout’s put Jay in the top 8 RB’s, leaning to the back side of this group of 8 chances are he would be either a late first round or second round pick leaning much more second round. The difference between first and second however is significant as well they lock these young men down to 5 year deals so whatever he’s signed to is more than likely in todays pass happy NFL what he will have to live with. With all that in mind if a pay day is what Jay is looking for a follow up campaign at Boise State might make a big difference in his income over the next 5 years. See link to NFL 2014 Singing scale http://overthecap.com/nfl-rookie-salary-cap-2014.php the difference between being taken 20th overall to being taken 50th is nearly double over the contracts life that’s millions of dollars. In 2014 not a single RB was taken in the first round. I believe this to be an abdominally as there really wasn’t a lot of talent at the position last year. This year however two RB’s are seen as first rounder’s, Jay just isn’t one of them. http://walterfootball.com/ one of the best scout sites there is, has him currently at 8th and 67th overall. CBS Sports has him at 70th overall 8th at position. Now that’s not to say with these last two games he can’t move up.
On the flip side of this is if he stays Grant will be gone and without a sure QB at the helm he may see even more carries then his record breaking 300+ to date which could either be good or bad as teams may loaded up even more to stop the run. As well he has to question whether he can even do as well next year as he did this year, and on that I would think he could for one main reason. The offensive line will be a veteran O-line not the young inexperienced line he’s had this year. One of the reasons Jay seems to get stronger as the game goes on is because that big O-line is winning those battles late and as this season has progressed. In fact the whole team has progressed and as one of the youngest teams in all of college football if they finish out strong specially with a Fiesta bowl win, expectation will be high on this team next year.
Now lets discuss longevity, Jay is a special RB after the year of recovery from injury he built his upper and lower body which turned him from this fast back built like a soccer player (see high school Recruit photos) to this huge power back. After his So. Season he resolved to get his leg speed back and dropped nearly 20lb in his lower body and mid-section over the last two years. The reason most of us didn’t notice the weight loss is because he kept the upper body mass. So after two years of running as a power back with his added speed back Jay has been able to do more and save his legs.
I believe because of his experience since coming to Boise State he’s built a body and running ability that most closely resembles Jim Brown and we all know Jim Brown played only 8 years as a pro and what years those were; but most don’t know that Jim ran track as well played on Syracuse’s Basketball team and he did that for four complete seasons along with football. Jim had a style and the body build as well as a training regimen that allowed for him to compete at a high level for a very long time. Jim like Jay also was not a massive over sized build for his body he was no freak of nature he was talented yes he had determination as well, but he trained hard 365. For Jay to be where he is today he too had to do continuous training and a 365 regiment. Calvin Johnson is a freak but for the things he does he has a weak point that being his ankles and this is why Calvin has never been able to compete an entire season since coming into the NFL. Reggie Bush has the heart but he doesn’t have the body nor the head. When you look at the greats you find this package that seems to be there, the proper build, the proper regiment, the proper position. Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Erik Dickerson and on and on none of these guys were injury prone all had long careers.
If Jay Ajayi is to be great, longevity will not be an issue.
There are also pro’s for Boise State if Jay is to leave one being future recruitment. The higher and earlier a player goes the more likely future recruits will give Boise State serious consideration. As well there is the young talent waiting to get their chance at carrying the rock. So if Jay chooses to go it’s not doom and gloom in fact we should rejoice. Jay owes us nothing he’s paid his way 100%. He’s stuck and stayed when weaker minded folks would have fled, he fought back against injury when many would have given up, he’s dazzled us with his skill and commitment and so much more, more than any of us will ever know. No if Jay leaves we should through a party in his honor. Give him all of our support and thank him for all he has done.
I’m fond of saying it’s not that people are stupid it’s that they just don’t suspect and a while back I sent Jay a message telling him how grateful I was to him and that if he could go in the first three rounds this year he should. So when I started doing the research for this and I broke it all down I had discovered I was wrong you see the up side is huge in every category, money glory legacy. You see when you put the con’s up and answer those you get a shot a repeat Mountain West Championship, a shot at a repeat Big 6 Bowl a shot a CFP a shot at the Heisman (more than likely the preseason leader) a shot at a much higher draft pick a shot at Pete, but even more importantly one more year of being a young man of being a Student and that is just something you will never be able to buy. Most of that comes with rick but the parts of living it don’t and they will be priceless.