by Ken Murphy
SAP HANA and Eric Reid will forever be linked. As noted by SAP Experts Managing Editor Scott Priest in his “Today in SAP” blog, all eyes were on the San Francisco 49ers during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Having used the SAP Scouting mobile app powered by SAP HANA heavily in its draft preparation, the defending NFC Champion Niners were champing at the bit to take a player off the draft board, trading up 13 spots to take Reid, a safety out of LSU, with the 18th pick in the first round. San Francisco swapped first-round picks with the Dallas Cowboys, giving Dallas its 31st pick and its third-round pick (No. 74 overall) for the rights to Reid.
If Reid pans out as an elite NFL safety, the fact that San Francisco moved up in the draft to take him is a dream come true for SAP, especially because some so-called draft “experts” had Reid pegged to go anywhere from the middle of the first round to perhaps even the third round.
“He’s kind of a wild card,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said of Reid prior to the draft.
San Francisco – and SAP HANA – clearly thought otherwise. So, what then did SAP HANA have on Reid? Surely every team knew prior to the draft that he’s 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, was a first-team All-American and ran a 4.59 40 at the NFL Combine. Did a juicy nugget of real-ti
me information appear on Niners GM Trent Baalke’s iPad last night that sold him on Reid? Perhaps SAP HANA keyed an alert, causing the app to flash “Pick Reid!” in 30-point font.
I picture Reid having a three-interception game this fall and an opposing GM up in the booth ripping off his headphones in disgust, “Get me that HANA!”
Of course, the flipside for SAP HANA is that Reid doesn’t pan out, a la Kentwan Balmer whom San Francisco drafted with the 29th pick in pre-SAP HANA 2007. Balmer, a tackle out of North Carolina, never started a game in parts of two seasons. Perhaps Balmer is the reason San Francisco teamed with SAP in the first place: Make us an app to make sure that never happens again.
The other player involved in SAP HANA’s draft debut, albeit tangentially, is Wisconsin center Travis Frederick, the player Dallas selected with the 31st pick. This is another potential feather in SAP HANA’s cap. While there’s no guarantee that San Francisco would have chosen Frederick had they not traded the pick, it’s hard to argue against the NFL prospects of a 6-foot-4, 338-pound first-team All-Big Ten center.
SAP HANA, though, preferred Reid. And now SAP has a stake in the game, so to speak, on the field as well as in pre-draft war rooms.