Rookies entering the NFL are warned constantly how fast the pro game is. Maybe we need to worry a little less about the SEC players entering the NFL.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, the fourth pick of the draft out of LSU, played his first preseason game on Thursday night. If you’ve ever bragged about “SEC Speed” before, just copy this quote and use it as your trump card from here on out:
“It’s a lot slower than I really thought,” Fournette told James Palmer of NFL.com. “That’s how I’ve been since I first got into the NFL. A lot of people were like, ‘It’s going to be fast.’ But by me playing in the SEC, that kind of helped me a lot. I think, to me, it was really easy.”
That’s an amazing quote. It was an honest opinion from a player. Though, Fournette played against very few Patriots starters on Thursday and will probably notice the difference in speed in four weeks. And for someone who thought the NFL was easy, you’d figure he’d have gotten more than 31 yards on nine carries. Either way, his line didn’t seem like a slight on the NFL. But that quote probably won’t be forgotten soon.
The fact is the SEC is as close to an NFL junior varsity as we have. Every year people debate the best conference, but it’s clearly the SEC. Just look at who produces the most NFL draft prospects year after year. No, Alabama couldn’t beat the New York Jets ( … I think) but the level of play and, yes, the speed is top of the line for college football. It’s probably not going to be “really easy” for Fournette his entire rookie year, but who knows? He ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine at 240 pounds. He’s not going to be intimidated by much. When asked by Palmer if he could match Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie season, Founette said, “Yeah. I think so.” You have to love the confidence.
And if you want to argue with an SEC fan today, you might want to avoid it. Unless you have a retort for that Fournette “it was really easy” line.
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