Spurrier Disappointed Rice Declared For NFL Draft

You can't really blame either party; On one hand Wide Receiver Sidney Rice felt he had an opportunity to play in the NFL and to get paid nicely, and on the other hand his former coach Steve Spurrier wanted Rice to stay one more season at the University of South Carolina.

So it comes as no surprise that Spurrier made these comments:

"I was a little disappointed in Sidney. I thought he should have stayed — not only for our team, but for him personally. I think he would have improved his draft status by staying here one more year. I told him he'd have a chance to be the top receiver coming out. Sidney decided to follow the path of so many guys that, as soon as they get a chance to take the money, they take it rather than having the ability to see, 'I may even make more money if I wait.' We tried to advise him. But he chose to go now."

Rice's decision comes with consequences. With another impressive season at USC, he would have likey been on of the top Receivers available in the 2008 Draft. Instead, Rice is looking up at about 5 or 6 other prospects that are ranked ahead of him on many draft boards.

The consensus is that Sidney Rice will not fall much further past pick 40. If he were coming out in 2008, he would be a top 15 pick.

But Rice has put those scenarios in his past. He is looking towards his future in the NFL. And if you asked his former teammate Cornerback Fred Bennett, Rice's future looks bright:

"Sidney will be a great NFL receiver. He's got all the intangibles. His 40 speed and his field speed are two different things. I think he plays a lot faster. That's what people don't realize. Watch his film. Film don't lie."

So for a guy who is projected to go somewhere in the top of the second round, is it really a reach to take Rice at 30? I don't think so. And Sidney isn't bothered much about slipping to the second round. But hopefully he won't have to slip. He has visited the Chargers already and he is an option for the team at the bottom of the first:

"Wherever I go, it's going to be fine. It's going to be exciting," he said. "If I do go in the second round, it's still going to be exciting. Just get to my team, get ready to play and show everybody else what they missed out on."

April 26, 2007

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