INDIANAPOLIS -- Mississippi's Jevan Snead will throw at this weekend's NFL scouting combine, but he shouldn't. In fact, he shouldn't do anything because Snead should not be here.
He should be back in Oxford trying to make himself a better quarterback for his senior season.
|Jevan Snead's draft stock plummeted after a dismal junior season at Ole Miss. (US Presswire)|
And I'll join the chorus. When you go from a promising sophomore to a disappointing junior, your next move is not to the pros -- unless, of course, you're Snead.
"Somebody," said one NFC head coach, "is giving him bad advice."
Don't tell Snead. He stands by his decision now more than ever, saying he earned his degree, consulted his family and is following through on a "life-long dream" to make it to the NFL. What I don't understand is why Snead -- no, make that anyone -- would turn pro when he had another year to redeem a poor season.
So I asked Snead.
"[I consulted] with my family and my high school coach, Chad Morris," he said. "We talked and prayed about it, and we just felt it was the right move for me."
Then I asked an NFC general manager.
"We were told that the coach told him that if he came back [to Mississippi] he was not guaranteed to start," he said. "That he had to come back and play for his job. So he said, 'OK, I'll go play in the NFL.' I'm shocked."
I don't care which version you believe. There is no reason Snead should leave Ole Miss -- not after last season there's not.
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It was only a year ago that he was projected as a first-round possibility for 2010, with my colleague, Pete Prisco, making him his No. 1 pick. Now, Snead is someone who has taken the down escalator on draft boards and not because of character or legal troubles or anything outside the lines but because of what happened last season.
Which was not a whole lot.
Snead threw as many interceptions (20) as touchdown passes (20), completed 54 percent of his attempts and generally played nothing like the quarterback of the season before. In fact, when I saw him against Alabama, Snead wasn't just bad, he flat-out stunk, throwing four interceptions, completing 32 percent of his passes and producing zero touchdowns.
OK, so Ole Miss last season lost some decent players, like Michael Oher and Mike Wallace. And so all-purpose threat Dexter McCluster produced over twice as many yards as a running back than he did as a wide receiver.
That's no excuse for what happened. I'm not sure what is, but I know this: Snead needs another year to prove he can play at the next level, and that's not based so much on what I saw as it is on what I heard at the combine.
"He's an impostor," said one NFC coach known for developing quarterbacks. "One of our coaches had a tape of his on one day, and I stopped after watching one throw. There wasn't anything about him I liked. You can make a living playing against this kid."
Ouch. That hurt. Then again, so did Snead's junior season. You're making a big mistake, Jevan, and don't say you weren't warned.
"I don't believe I took a step back," he insisted. "I believe I'm still the same quarterback I was when everybody was singing my praises. I can still make all the throws out there. I'm still extremely confident.
"Basically, you have to look at the big picture overall. It wasn't just me that didn't play well. Our whole offense struggled a little bit. I wish we would've played better, but, looking back, I don't have any regrets."
Give him time. He will.