Most GMs have a calling card; something about them that distinguishes them from for the others. For Tim Ruskell it was small, unathletic players who were supposed to be better “football players” than their measurables would suggest. For Mike Holmgren it was genuinely awful defensive players. For Al Davis it was thugs and anyone with a long police record. For Jerry Jones it is players who have more personality than talent (aka diva drama queens). I think you get the picture.
It’s still really early to try and get a feel for What John Schneider’s legacy might be, but he does have a tremendous reputation for one thing already, and that is finding great players near the end of the draft.
Just for fun, I asked a bunch of other others, who covered various other teams from all over the league, what they thought of John Schneider, and the answers were pretty consistent. Things like “bigger, stronger, and faster,” “toughness,” and “power” were common themes within the responses, but the one thing that was almost universally included was Schneider’s knack for finding late round gems.
Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, both 5th round picks, are two of the best at their positions in the league, and are the crux of Schneider’s reputation. Chancellor was a pro-bowler last season, and Sherman would have been had he started more than 10 games.
Also helping Schneider’s cause was KJ Wright, the 4th round pick in 2011 that was the team’s best LB last season. Schneider was also given props in this regard for his undrafted free agent signings of Doug Baldwin and Jeron Johnson.
If his reputation is going to continue, something tells me that Winston Guy and Korey Toomer will be the players that everyone is talking about after 2012. Neither player is likely to start, but both could very well earn a tremendous amount of playing time this season.
Clearly, it’s still way to early to know what Schneider is going to be known for. A year from now it might be something completely different that people think of when you mention his name. I just thought it was pretty cool that the league is starting to notice that Schneider has been really goot at finding later round talent.