Prognosticate long enough and you're likely to make colossal errors along the way. Write for a reasonably popular sports blog and those errors will become legendary.
I got this idea from our good friends over at Buffalo Rumblings, but those of you who know me know I've already copped to the biggest mistakes I've made multiple times. Nothing wrong with rehashing them in the name of getting all of you to do the same, however, and I'm going to limit myself to three of each.
Just remember, friends, to keep it light. We've all had our good and bad predictions.
What I Got Wrong
Glenn Dorsey over Matt Ryan
By now, you all know this was my Waterloo. I was a big believer in Dorsey's talent and generally wary of the 2008 quarterback class, doubly so because I had seen many of Ryan's games at Boston College and came away less than totally impressed. I thought at the NFL level he'd struggle with the deep ball, interceptions and decision-making.
While the deep ball certainly hasn't been a strength, Ryan has generally avoided turnovers and made good decisions with the football, he's been remarkably durable and even his strongest critics generally agree he's a top ten quarterback in today's NFL. Dorsey, meanwhile, has six sacks in six seasons and currently serves as a rotational defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers.
You can't be much further off on a prediction. The only consolation is that I had some company.
Ray Edwards Was A Smart Signing
At the time, I believed the Falcons had just gotten a relative steal with Edwards. There was more than one reader sounding the alarm immediately, believing Edwards benefited from playing on a talented Vikings defense and that he would struggle mightily to replicate his Minnesota production in Atlanta, but I thought otherwise.
I believed Edwards, who you'll recall was still quite young and athletic, would be able to settle in to the 6-10 sack range, provide decent run defense and be a useful pass rusher for the Falcons. Instead, Edwards was a surprisingly terrific run defender in bursts, but an awful pass rusher. He managed 3.5 sacks in 2011 and zero in nine games in 2012 before the Falcons cut ties with him, and he hasn't played a snap in the NFL since.
Paul Worrilow May Not Make The 2014 Roster
I suppose something could happen to change this in the next month, but let's just call this what it is: The prediction that was proven wrong and stupid in just a week. Usually I can hold out a little longer, but 'Spoon got hurt and erased any doubt, if there was any to begin with. I did think Worrilow would need to show up bigger and more impressive to take a major step forward this season, and all available evidence suggests he's done just that.
May he destroy the league and make me look even more foolish.
There are plenty of others, of course, but those are arguably the three biggest.
What I Got Right
The Falcons Will Draft Sean Weatherspoon
Had a feeling about this one from very early on in the draft process, given the Falcons' needs and Weatherspoon's reputation coming into the draft, but I was concerned he'd go before the Falcons had a crack at him. Ultimately, I wasn't disappointed.
Unfortunately for both 'Spoon and the Falcons, his career hasn't quite worked out as well as either party had hoped, primarily due to injuries beyond his control. Considering the extremely high hopes I had for Weatherspoon, it is disappointing.
Jon Asamoah To The Falcons
I believe I mentioned Jon Asamoah as a possibility even sooner than this, but because I can't find evidence of that, I go with this.
@joegreen23atl I'm hoping Asamoah from KC at RG. Maybe Byrd.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) January 9, 2014
Asamoah was one of the best free agent guards available and someone I've always liked, so there was more than a little wishful thinking here. But I thought he'd be a strong fit for a Falcons team in desperate need of a right guard, and that conviction was only strengthened when Scott Pioli was hired.
Matt Ryan Will Be Terrific
Paradoxically, I slagged Matt Ryan and refused to believe the Falcons would pick him, but I also wrote an article a year later for ESPN the Magazine saying he'd be the next great athlete over guys like Ricky Rubio. It wasn't the most competitive year, I'll grant you, but Ryan's gone on to become one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. I got to admit I was wrong in much the same fashion I have here.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the article I wrote online from 2009, but rest assured I atoned in some small way for my earlier mistake.
If you're willing to poke a little fun at yourself while simultaneously bragging, share your worst and best predictions with us.