After all of the waiting, breaking down of game footage, deciphering the ins and outs of every possible angle, the constant slurping of Tim Tebow, the NFL Draft is finally here. A three day event where you’re more likely to find a quality starter in the fourth round than the fifth round.
For every Peyton Manning there’s a Tim Couch, Randy Moss’s are lost in between the Freddie Mitchell’s, it’s such a crap shoot that honestly, none of the preceding events mean anything to the draft, or to any one player’s future.
Remember how Todd McShay was lauding out how great JaMarcus Russell’s pro day was, and how scouts marveled at how Kyle Boller could throw a football 60 yards from his knees? Remember how Mike Mamula was a combine darling and it pushed him from the third round to the first found? Do you remember anything about them? No.
That’s what I mean. This whole thing is really a sham because you really don’t know what you’re getting until week 1 of the NFL season. Tim Tebow’s new fantastic throwing motion looks amazing, let’s see how it holds up with Justin Tuck breathing down his neck. Let’s see Jimmy Clausen throw tight spirals facing the Steelers complicated defensive schemes. Any bum off of the street can run a sub 4.7/40 or jump up real high and test their vertical. What do I care that my quarterback can’t lift 225 pounds more than 10 times? As long as he’s not Jay Cutler throwing picks everywhere I don’t care.
It’s stuff like this that makes the NFL draft and the process of the draft so silly. Owners and GM’s actually factor in how C.J. Spiller can catch passes out of a machine and cut with no linebackers chasing him down. It punishes guys like Myron Rolle for taking a year off to become a Rhodes Scholar because it shows disloyalty to a team (when in reality I would take Myron Rolle in the first 30 picks of the NFL draft over half of the players projected to go in the first). It’s this process that has Darrius Heyward-Bey going in the top 7 while Steve Smith of the Giants goes in the middle of the second round.
It also makes for a great time on TV. Watching GM’s scramble to send in picks or trade up for a guy that they feel will put them over the hump is just silly, ridiculous, and good fun. I’m still trying to figure out how the Minnesota Vikings can screw up getting in a pick on time in two consecutive years… WHEN YOU HAVE FIFTEEN MINUTES TO DECIDE ON A PLAYER!!!!
Oh and by the way, that also makes this draft more ridiculous than any other. How can you take ten to fifteen minutes deciding on a player that you’ve scouted watched and made lists for and other options? If I were a GM my draft picks would come in, in no more than 2 minutes, Eli Manning gone? Screw it, take Philip Rivers. It’s simple.
Of course it’s never made to be simple, this year your favorite team’s GM will either a. be smart and pick for his team’s needs, b. pass on a player that will be stellar because of stupid issues, c. take a gamble on a player that has no business being picked so high, or d. do something completely and utterly stupid. It happens every year, the Jags draft Darrell Harvey at no. 9 when he was a late first rounder (how’s that working out?) everyone passes on Randy Moss, take Heyward-Bey in front of Michael Crabtree or maybe stay put and get Patrick Willis when he somehow falls out of the top ten.
It’ll happen again this year, watch. In a perfect world the teams would draft for their needs and not do something stupid because they feel it’s a more proper pick (like taking Bradford over Ndamukong Suh). If the draft really went the it should it would look something like this:
Note this was started before the draft so it’s been modified to include a little analysis with the actual picks as well:
1. St. Louis Rams: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska (actual pick Sam Bradford)
The problem with picking Suh in this day in age that everyone craves a franchise quarterback. Even though it’s been proven that having that quarterback doesn’t necessarily mean being successful. Steve Spagnolo is a defensive coach; he specializes in making quarterbacks run for their lives. Why not take the best PLAYER in the draft who just so happens to be a defensive juggernaut? Did you see the Texas game? He murdered the offensive line and Colt McCoy. It makes more sense, bet it won’t happen.
2. Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma (Suh)
No big difference here. Apples to oranges. Either one works in either system.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee (McCoy)
It was too early for the Bucs to get a pass rusher, or wide receiver that Josh Freeman desperately needs, so Berry would make sense as a ball hawk of a DB. McCoy works in helping to stop the run however, no beef there.
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State (Trent Williams)
This is different from the Suh, McCoy comparison. There are concerns that Williams have a problem with his work ethic and that he may not be able to tap into his endless potential, not so for Okung. Okung has been high on everyone’s board since the end of the season and seems to be better suited to jump in and start right away. The main thing is that the Redskins needed to get someone to protect McNabb. Ask Jason Campbell what that line is like.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma (Berry)
Matt Cassel is a bum. Period. They need a defensive back, but if there is anyone that needs a franchise QB it’s this team.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma (Okung)
Take the best offensive lineman available. With Walter Jones retiring you need a lineman to protect whoever is under center.
7. Cleveland Browns: Earl Thomas, S, Texas (Joe Haden)
Two things about the Haden pick from Thursday night: 1. A reporter said that the Browns were considering taking Kyle Wilson but opted for Haden because he went to Florida whereas Wilson went to Boise State. If you draft a player over another based on school instead of talent, then you’re asking for trouble. Two, my buddy Will’s reaction to the pick. He hates Joe Haden because the Browns just traded picks for Sheldon Brown, and I think he also hates his big ears. That kid has some satellites doesn’t he? (also who the hell was his T-pain looking friend with him? These are your Cleveland Browns, take a overrated defensive back, get a rapper along with it.)
8. Oakland Raiders: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech (Rolando McClain)
OH MY GOD THE RAIDERS ACTUALLY MADE A SMART PICK!!!! I can’t believe that this actually happened.
9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony David, OL, Rutgers (C.J. Spiller)
I think the Bills need a quarterback, but you need a lineman to block for them. The Spiller pick to me was a bit of a reach because you have Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson, the lineman made more sense.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee (Tyson Alualu)
They needed a defensive tackle; they took a guy projected in the second round, tenth… um….
11. Denver Broncos: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State (traded to San Francisco- picked Anthony Davis)
No Brandon Marshall, receiver makes sense, more on this later.
12. Miami Dolphins: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama (traded to San Diego- took Ryan Matthews)
Even with Karlos Dansby they need another linebacker, or pass rusher. Also San Diego didn’t need to jump this high to get Ryan Matthews, he would’ve been there late.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho (traded to Philadelphia- took Brandon Grahmn)
The 49ers need help everywhere on the offensive line. Badly. They couldn’t run the ball at all last year and Joe Staley is the only decent lineman they got. Taking Davis early and adding Iupati works well for them.
14. Denver Broncos: Jerry Hughes, LB/DE, TCU (traded to Seattle-took Earl Thomas)
More defensive help is necessary. Another pass rusher to help Elvis Dumervil and D.J. Williams is on an island in the middle of that defense.
15. New York Giants: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas (Jason Pierre-Paul)
WE NEED LINEBACKERS!!! It’s not even funny. Danny Clark and Gerris Wilkerson are not getting it done and losing Antonio Pierce hurts. Plus the offensive line is getting old and there’s a hole in the middle with Fred Robbins leaving. The team that was a gunshot away from repeating now looks to be the weakest team in the division and getting help in the front lines would be a great help.
(by the way, this Pierre-Paul kid frightens me. First of all he is a juco transfer, started playing football in his junior year of high school and reportedly had a horrible combine. Yet you know how Jerry Reese loves these defensive ends that look like Justin Tuck. I have a bad feeling that we should’ve taken Derrick Morgan.)
16. Tennessee Titans: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, USF (Derrick Morgan)
You’re welcome Jeff Fisher. You’re f****** welcome.
17. Carolina Panther: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame (traded to San Fran- Mike Iupati)
John Fox is another underachieving season from being tossed out of Carolina. So why go with a quarterback that everyone is 50/50 on? Because I think he’s being undervalued. People are putting Clausen in the same class with Brady Quinn but there’s a huge difference. Clausen can handle a huddle and can put the ball in tight spots where you could look at Quinn and no that he wasn’t an NFL quarterback yet due to his lack of recognizing defenses and poor accuracy. Carolina could use help on the defensive line and at wide out, but do you really trust Matt Moore? Really?
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida (Pouncey)
No brainer her. They need line help, and they get it. (they also need some sanity and need to stop following up the Cincinnati Jail Bengals)
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Grahmn, LB/DE, Michigan (Sean Witherspoon)
Grahmn would’ve fit better because he’s more of a pass rusher than Witherspoon but Witherspoon works well.
20. Houston Texans: Joe Haden (and T-pain), CB, Florida (Kareem Jackson)
Anything would help that pass defense. Yuck!
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas (Jermaine Gresham)
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: 1. This is way too high to take McCoy and 2. Are you over Carson Palmer? Yes and yes. Let’s face it, Carson Palmer looks like Jesse Palmer right now. He’s never really gotten over his injuries and its more than affected his game. Towards the end of last season Palmer looked like he was going to fall off of the face of the earth. You can’t blame Chad Ochocinco for not being able to get anything against Darrelle Revis, Palmer couldn’t get him the ball because he couldn’t get anything on it. This is Palmer last year to get himself right or Cincinnati is going to have to consider a QB next year. I think they should go with McCoy, not this early but maybe next round to get him ready just in case. (in reality the Gresham pick makes sense because every QB needs a pass catching tight end, if his QB can get the ball to him)
22. New England Patriots: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State (traded to Denver- took Demaryius Thomas)
In order for the Pats to keep up with the Jets they need to run the football. Lawrence Maroney is a bust and they can’t just throw the ball all over the field and expect to win games. They need a running back to grind it out and get yards on the ground.
23. Green Bay Packers: Bryan Buluga, OL, Iowa (Buluga)
Aaron Rodgers just kissed Ted Thompson. He also asked him to keep drafting offensive linemen.
24.Philadelphia Eagles: Sean Witherspoon, LB, Missouri (traded to Dallas- took Dez Bryant)
Roy Williams pack your bags.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Wilson, DB, Boise State (traded to Denver- took Tim Tebow… more on this in another article)
Kyle Wilson is a underrated DB, and you know why. Being a Mid-major football player turns people off from you. Yet when you watch the guy play, he can ball. The Ravens need defensive backs like the Orioles need a new owner. Besides Ed Reed that secondary is as weak as you can get.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State (Dan Williams)
The fact that Dan Williams fell this far is amazing.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Rodger Saffold, OL, Indiana (traded to New England- took Devin McCourtey)
You need someone once Flozell Adams gets suspended for trying to injure defensive linemen, not that I’m mad at him or anything.
28. San Diego Chargers: Taylor Mays, S, USC (traded to Miami- took Jared Odrick)
Defensive back help is key with Antonio Cromartie gone now.
29. New York Jets: Kareem Jackson, DB, Alabama (Wilson)
For depth only.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, DB, Florida State (traded to Detroit- took Jahvid Best)
After the NFC title game, help in the secondary would be nice.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Everson Griffin, DE, USC (Hughes)
I’m pretty sure that Dwight Freeney would love another pass rusher to take the heat off of him.
32. New Orleans Saints: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida (Robinson)
I’m pretty sure the people of New Orleans are happy with whatever they get. Their grateful regardless.
However, it won’t happen like this. Teams will screw up, they’ll draft too high or trade down to make themselves feel smarter than they already are. Someone’s going to get overlooked; someone’s going to make teams pay eventually. I just can’t wait for the games to start again because all of this lead-up to the actual games gets pretty annoying.