We noted on Monday that WSU's all-everything punter Reid Forrest was unlikely to slip past the Washington Redskins and their No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, a line of thinking that was only bolstered with today's rumor that the San Diego Chargers are strongly considering a push for the game-changing athlete.
However, some continue to express skepticism at the idea of a punter being selected so highly.
"He's just a punter, for cripes sake," Miami Dolphins consultant Bill Parcells said. "Do you know how many punters I've had over the years? Me either. Because they're freaking punters. I might have listed Tom Tupa as my No. 2 quarterback once upon a time, but c'mon -- you'd do the same thing if Rick Mirer was the alternative."
Savvy general managers, though, have discovered what Cougar fans have known for some time: Forrest isn't just a punter. He's a transcendent talent who rates with the best prospects in this draft by any objective measure.
First off, there's this little-known study on "awesomeness" conducted during Forrest's junior season:
FACT: Reid Forrest outpaces Tim Tebow in awesomeness. FACT: Tim Tebow was a first round pick. When you consider that Forrest is likely even more awesome now than he was in 2009, you can draw your own conclusion about what that ought to mean for Forrest's draft stock.
Of course, the evidence doesn't end there.
In order to justify a punter being taken so highly, a general manager is going to have to be able to sell him as a multiple-threat option. Forrest has that covered, too. From a 2010 CougCenter scouting report by world-renowned talent evaluator Craig Powers:
Reid's rushing attack got off to a pretty slow start. The battle for his starting job as a freshman seemed to really take its toll. By the end of the season, Forrest was left with a meager 2.0 yards per attempt. With the weight of a position battle off his shoulders, his sophomore and junior seasons saw a great rise in effectiveness, as he posted a ridiculous TWENTY-EIGHT yards an attempt in 2008 and a still awesome 15.0 yards per carry in 2009.
Those numbers are literally impossible to argue with. Over his last two years, Reid Forrest is putting up an astonishing 21.5 YPC. No running back, not LaMichael James, Jacquizz Rodgers, Noel Devine, or even Mark Ingram, can compare to Reid's accomplishments (And lets not forget the historically bad offensive line Forrest has had to work with). He is the best player in the nation at not only one position, but TWO.
"Just a punter" indeed, Mr. Parcells!
But if, like Parcells, you remain unconvinced by these indisputable facts -- FACTS -- proving Forrest's multi-dimensional talent and prefer to still pigeonhole him into punting duties, Forrest's otherworldly punting skills should be enough on their own merit. How many punters do you know who can kick a football 300 miles over some mountains and kill it on the one-yard-line?
When you take all of this together with the tremendous need at punter among top 10 teams in the draft, it's easy to see why Forrest's stock is skyrocketing heading into Thursday night. The teams expected to vie for Forrest's services include the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers. Tomorrow, we'll try to project just where Forrest is going to end up.
Stick with CougCenter for all the latest Reid Forrest draft news as we head toward the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, which starts at 5 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, April 28. SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.