Some NFL Scouts Suggested That Alvin Kamara "Clean Up" His Look Ahead Of The Draft, And Completely Ignoring Them Couldn't Have Possibly Worked Out Better
BleacherReport- The next day was technically Kamara’s off day, but he spent the majority of his day at Athletix to work out, hit the field for speed training and receive treatment. We return to the same metal chairs outside Smoothie King after he finishes.
As he sips on his strawberry Hulk, Kamara wonders if he would've gone higher in the draft had he changed his appearance. Selected as the fifth running back off the board—behind Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon, who was captured on video punching a woman in the head in 2014—Kamara says there were NFL scouts and executives during the draft process who told him to cut his hair and take his nose ring out, including one NFL executive explaining how a team’s head coach wouldn’t approve of his look.
"I might have [gone higher]," Kamara says. "But if I wasn't myself, I wouldn't have been as successful this year."
If we are being honest, there's probably a more impactful point to be made about (mostly white) NFL executives trying to play God in turning (mostly black) kids who are often only as gifted as they are otherwise underprivileged into prim and proper foot soldiers that fit their preconceived notion of professionalism in a sport that's basically just organized barbarianism. I mean, it's not a point that I personally want to spend too much time exploring, as I'm really looking forward to the fun that comes as a result of football season. Not that I'm subjectively blind enough to think I'm witnessing the most wholesome of product, but doing a deep dive into how unqualified those who make a living during it are in dissecting every fiber of 20-22 year old beings when they can't even see past the stupidity of stereotypes doesn't exactly stand to supplement the solace of my Sundays. Still, that point is definitely out there to be fully examined, it's just better left to someone both smarter and less of an accurate generalization than myself.
Therefore, I won't get all philosophical in trying to figure out how some teams noticed a nose ring but all teams (including the one he's currently on) repeatedly missed the elusiveness, versatility, and humility of the transcendent talent whose septum it pierced. Instead I'll just appreciate how well staying true to his eccentric self worked out for both Alvin Kamara and the perfect fit of a franchise that sprung into action to break a fall down the draft board that seems laughable in retrospect. I couldn't tell you whether or not his golden grill truly charred his chances of getting taken prior to the 67th pick, but I can tell you that the team that came to own that 67th pick resides in the one city that not only embraces those that venture from the beaten path, but also encourages them to do so.
I don't know if everything happens really does happen for a reason, but there was a reason that the eventual Rookie Of The Year didn't go full-Steve Urkel to satisfy a couple regressively repressed scouting departments. I'd imagine it's the same exact reason why New Orleans almost immediately took such a shine to every damn dreaded lock poking out from beneath his helmet. Alvin Kamara is unapologetically himself, and while it's impossible to know if that made his wait even two minutes longer last April, it's the authenticity of his unique style and personality in conjunction with a skill set that Sean Payton (wet) dreams of that has unquestionably made it all the more worth it.