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NFL Draft, Day One

Well, the first day of the NFL draft is finally over. It was the longest first round in history, the longest first day in history. I'm exhausted just from watching it.

It's impossible to evaluate a draft until three years after it's finished, but that doesn't stop anyone from trying. Including me.

My two teams took completely different approaches this year.

The Jets were very aggressive. They traded up in the first round to get the top corner in the draft, giving up one of their two second round picks to move up eleven slots or so. Then they traded up again in the second round, this time surrendering their third rounder to snag a highly-rated linebacker who'd slid down significantly. That left them without a third rounder. Today's swaps and some previous moves also left them without a fourth or a fifth, so the Jets won't be drafting again until round six, and maybe not until round seven. They are going to end up with a very small draft class, probably no more than four players. On the other hand, the two guys they got today are prime, and both of them should make an immediate impact on the team.

The Giants, on the other hand, were totally passive. With trades flying around like bullets and teams moving up and down and sideways and hopping over one another, the G-Men just sat there and picked when their turns came. One, two, three. Tomorrow, I expect, they will go four, five, six, and seven. The first two of the three players they got today were solid, I think. The first round cornerback will be of help to our aging secondary, and the second round wide receiver (Steve Smith -- I was actually hoping the Carolina Panthers would draft him a couple pick earlier, so they could start Steve Smith and Steve Smith as their wideouts) looks be pretty decent as well (however, if Amani Toomer comes back and Sinorice Moss finally plays some, the Giants won't really need another wide receiver). The third round pick seemed like a real reach -- all the draft magazines had him rated as a sixth or seventh rounder. The biggest problem is, the Giants did nothing to address their most pressing need -- a left tackle to replace Luke Pettigout and fortify the offensive line. Last season, when Eli faded down the stretch, I was screaming for the Hefty Lefty. Well, I have a feeling that I may get to see him this year. Unless the Giants do something to fix that line, Eli is going to bloody well get killed back there.

All in all, I thought the Jets had a much better day than the Giants did.

Of course, when watching the draft, a true fan not only wants his own teams to do well, he wants their archrivals to do poorly. That worked out better for me, I think. The Eagles traded away their first round pick, and then took a quarterback with their first pick of the day, in the early second round. That won't please Donovan McNabb at all, and certainly did nothing to strengthen the team. He wasn't even an especially great prospect, according to most of the commentators. I think Andy Reid shot himself in the foot.

Even at that, he did better than the Miami Dolphins, who shot themselves in the head. When Detroit, Cleveland, and then Minnesota passed on Brady Quinn, I was screaming and cursing, because that meant he would fall into the lap of the Dolphins, and finally solve their long-standing quarterback problem. I visualized myself cursing his name for the next fifteen years, as he led the Dolphins to victories over the Jets just like Danny Marino just to do. But then the Dolphins punted their brains, and passed on Quinn to pick a speedy wideout / kick returner coming off an injured foot. No one in Radio City Music Hall could believe it, and neither could I. I think the Miami fans will remember this day with as much fondness as Jets fans remember the day we passed on Marino to select Ken O'Brien... the day we passed on Emmitt Smith to take Blair Thomas... the day we passed on Warren Sapp to pick Kyle Brady...

And it's great that it someone else's turn to be really, really stupid.

As for the other great rival of the Jets, the Pats of New England... well, there I am less sanguine. The Patriots wheeled and dealed and traded down and down again, and wound up with only one pick today... but they have stockppiled something like forty-seven for tomorrow, and Scott Pioli and The Vile Belichick have a satanic skill at the finding gems in the later rounds. The Patriots draft doesn't look like much right now, but I have the feeling that by the end of training camp, they'll have the usual hatful of talented young players.

And Dallas, well... to tell the truth, they moved around so much I don't have any sense of what the hell they were doing. They traded up, they traded down, they did this and that, and who the hell knows? The big thing is actually next year. The Cleveland Browns gave up their first round pick in next year's draft so they could go up and pick Brady Quinn... which means I have to root for the Browns to do well next year, since I don't want the despised Cowboys to get a primo choice. Go, Brownies, go!

Brady Quinn's fall was the big story of the day. From where I sit, it wasn't warranted. I think Al Davis made a mistake. In the long run, Brady Quinn will have a better pro career than Jamarcus Russell. Yes, yes, Russell has a "cannon for an arm," as I heard fifty times today. I've seen a lot of cannon-armed quarterbacks come and go in the years that I've been watching football. Bert Jones had a cannon for an arm. Richard Todd. Roman Gabriel. Jeff George. Kerry Collins. I'd rather have a Joe Montana or a Phil Simms. The fact that Russell can fling the ball eighty years off his back foot is only likely to be relevant if the Raiders sign Quicksilver and The Flash as wideouts.

We'll know for sure in ten years or so, I guess. And have a clue in three.

That's why they play the games.

Meanwhile, there's another day of draft tomorrow.



( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 29th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
Russell also had 69% completions his senior year -- a stat that improved each year he played -- and was 25-4 as a starter. In the time he compiled that record, the Raiders are a combined 11-37.

I'm not saying he'll be the next Aikman (though I certainly hope!!), but his decision-making clearly is better than it's made out to be. No one tosses 70% complete by accident.
Apr. 29th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
for the other great rival of the Jets, the Pats of New England...

And now they have arguably the best veteran receiver (best receiver period unless the GT guy develops really fast) in the league . . .

::not a New England fan, tho not for any particular reason::
Apr. 30th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Re: Ouch!
That may have been true 3 years ago. Not true anymore. Moss is a shell of what he once was. Though, if there's any coach in the NFL currently who could get him back to the way he was, it's Belicheck
Apr. 29th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
-I had the same feelings about Miami. I was upset. I was envisioning the 'other' Brady beating us at least once a year, and turning a trip to Miami into a certain loss, like it used to be. Then they pick Alvin Harper. Joy.

-The Jets have the best draft so far. I don't care what they gave up. Vilma + Harris = no run. I am beginning to fear Mangini. I wish he would pull a Saban.

-I like the Pats pick, but I am scared about his stomping incident. The gun thing, not so much at all.

-The Pats trade, a 28 for the 49ers first next year and a 4th rounder. (That we used to trade for Randy Moss, btw.) Heh. The Pats traded a first rounder this year for a higher first rounder next year and Randy Moss. Is that even fair? Shouldn't there be rules against that?

I can't stop smiling.

There is a chance that these 'character issues' may hurt the team. But I think the risk is low.

-At the same time, I like the Niners picks. It's nice to see their fortunes rising again.

-The Giants...

Hey, those Jets are looking great!

I actually love the DeOssie pick. He becomes one of the smartest guys in the NFL immediately. He has the size of Mike Vrabel and very good speed. He is a top notch long snapper. He may turn into a pro bowl caliber outside linebacker, but he starts out as a 'just' a Larry Izzo type elite special teamer.

Other than that steal, the Giants are looking average.

Apr. 29th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
Randy Moss
Sigh. Yes, the Randy Moss trade was a real kick in the balls.

The Jets strengthened themselves, I'm sure, but the Patriots strengthened themselves even more, and probably put more distance between themselves and the rest of the AFC East. Hell, they've got to be the odds-on favorites to win the next Super Bowl.

This new CB the Jets traded up to get is supposed to be pretty good. Alas, there is only one of him, and when the Pats go into their new eight-receiver spread, well....

Pioli is a great personnel man, and the Vile Belichick is an evil genius.
Re: Randy Moss - lno - Apr. 30th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Randy Moss - zengoalie - Apr. 30th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
I might actually watch the draft if the teams had 10 minutes to pick, instead of 15. Right now, it is WAY too boring...
Apr. 29th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
the draft
They only have 15 minutes in the first round. The second round drops down to 10 minutes, and thereafter it's only 5. The later rounds really move along, so quickly that the talking heads don't even try to discuss every pick.
Apr. 29th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
There is a big caveat on this, remember Aaron Rogers a few years ago took a big slide in the first round? What has he done for the Packers as of late? While some say it is because of Favre, there are many reports that Rogers never really quite panned out.

The Miami Dolphins also did draft a QB in the second round, remember often the Quarterback who wins the Superbowl isn't a first round pick (though in the last two years it has been). Tedd Ginn Jr. is definetly a very odd pick as high as he went, but it is possible that the Dolphins saw something. It is really hard to chose a wide receiver in the first round because of the nature of the position. A wide receiver really only gets a maximum of maybe 15 touches per game, as opposed to a rb who will probably see about 30 etc.

Your point about the 80 yard throw is pretty good, also if you watch the footage of the throw you'll see the throw is pretty easy to intercept. However you miss the point about Russel. His only good point isn't his arm, he also makes very good throws, and by good I mean NFL level throws. Also his size makes him very tough to deal with because it is hard to deal with him in the pocket.

The Cowboys have done a good job drafting and filling their needs, I was kinda hoping that the Ravens would have moved up and taken Brady Quinn.

On a side note I am also suprised that Michael Bush was drafted in the 4rth round, i had him pegged in the late 3rd.
Apr. 29th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
I was hoping we might get Brady as well, but we needed a o-lineman more than a quarterback, because otherwise we'd have a dead quarterback.

Apr. 29th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Well, you were correct, the Patriots certainly had something up their sleeve. Who knows how else the draft will pan out, but if they can keep Randy Moss motivated....

How about Miami's press conference where they tried to spin the Ginn pick by pointing out what a great punt returner he'll be. You don't spend a pick that high on a punt returner. They at least should have claimed he'd be a good receiver (whether you believe it or not).

Not sure what to make of the Steelers picks this year. The first few seem pretty good, but there are some definite odd ones in the late rounds. Have to see how the season pans out.

Apr. 29th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm cursing Miami. I'm afraid the Browns did really well. They got a QB and Joe Thomas to protect him, and Jamal is still capable of being a good running back. As a Ravens fan, Brady Quinn worries me a bit.

I'm pretty pleased with the Ravens draft. we did a lot of exciting tading, I think there was a moment when we had only fourth round picks, but we got the O lineman we needed, a punt/kick returner for when ours gets exiled to NFL jail, a small arsenal of outside linebackers, and a new fullback. It wasn't a very sexy draft, as ESPN is so fond of saying, or at least it wasn't until we grabbed Troy Smith in the fifth round.

Fifth round pick for a heisman winner is pretty good. I don't know how good he'll be, but i do know how bad he won't be. [Elvis Grbac comes to mind]. And even if he isn't a phenomenal quaterback, he's a good athlete with experience in big games, and he isn't like to do the kyle Boller "oh no, there are people running at me, why don't I run in circles then trip over my own feet and drop the ball".
Apr. 30th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
I'm ecstatic about the Steve Smith pick. Look at Eli's numbers before Toomer's injury last year, and after; the drop-off is sudden and dramatic. Giving him a solid possession receiver will go a loooong way in salvaging his career.

I'd have liked a tackle chosen before the 6th round though. =\
Apr. 30th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
I'm a huge Dolphins fan. I was mad when they passed up on a good QB. I haven't been a fan of a Dolphins QB really since Marino left.

I still wear my Marino jersey around all the time.
Apr. 30th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC)
give it time, personally i dont think quinn will be as good as the hype surrounding him.
Apr. 30th, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
Packers and yeah those guys...
At least you are not a Packers fan...their draft was horrible. The new coach and GM were the worse choices ever. They dont draft well and it seems like they are TRYING to make Favre retire. Passing on Quinn was dumb, only if you look at who they picked instead. I was rooting for a Brandon Meriweather at that spot, but noooo. Obviously the Patriots saw value in him, why not the Pack? If it was of character issues then they are stupid. Being in a on field fight is being part of a team. And shooting a gun at someone breaking into your house is perfectly fine in my book. Other than that he had no problems. But if we think about it, how hard would it have been to trade up for Peterson? Seriously....every team in the NFC North got better...besides the Packers. Now we have to defend against Peterson and the best player in the Draft Calvin Johnson, not to mention the "next Jeremy Shocky."

Oh on the note that Quinn will make a better pro than Russell. I totally agree. If it had been Quinn on the LSU team in the suger bowl and Russell on ND squid the game still would of been LSU killing. The reason ND was so good was because of Quinn, that whole team was a .500 squad at best without Quinn.
Apr. 30th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Packers and yeah those guys...
I imagine the problem the Packers had with picking up Moss is that Moss said the only team he would agree to restucture his deal with was the Patriots. That meant that if the Packers wanted him they would have to pay $9.5 mil this season (and $11.5 mil the next). So Moss had in effect a "no-trade" clause because who would pay a potential malcontent $9.5 mil at this stage.

As it is, he tore up his contract for the Patriots and agreed to a base salary of $3 mil with about another $2 mil in incentives...and nothing up front. If he doesn't toe the line then the Patriots cut him and are out only a 4th rounder (which they got from San Fran in the swap of 1st rounders).

I just think that too much was stacked against the Packers for them to get Moss.
Apr. 30th, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC)
One thing about Cleveland, that I was surprised that no one mentioned at all-

I remember last year they had a center, I believe it was, that was supposed to be one of the best, but he got injured on the first day of training camp and never played. I don't remember his name offhand, but I remember them talking about how good of an upgrade he was going to be to their O-line. So now, this year, they are not only going to have Joe Thomas, but that center is going to be back also. Two really good upgrades to the O-line should help the running game and help protect Brady Quinn tremendously. They might up and surprise some people. Now I'm not a true Cleveland fan, but I have been pulling for them here lately, because I have both Winslow and Edwards on my dynasty fantasy team. heh.

Denver and Carolina are my main two teams, both of which seemed to do ok. Here in NC we were all hoping for two Steve Smiths also! I agree with you on the fact that Miami really screwed up. So did Detroit. You'd think after the thousandth time that you take a WR in the first round you'd learn that you first need a QB to get the ball to these wideouts. And I hate that the Vile Belicheck (heh, love that) got Moss, I just hope that Moss does something to totally embarass the Pats this year.

Apr. 30th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
The centers name was LeCharles Bentley a pro bowler. The reason you haven't heard anything about him is that he contracted "staph" in his knee and will be missing another year after a recent surgery. LeCharles is a GREAT center but he has had some bad rolls of the dice lately...
(no subject) - polekatt - May. 1st, 2007 11:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chuck1973 - May. 8th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - polekatt - May. 9th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 30th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Well things just got MUCH tougher for the Jets. Moss goes to the Pats for a 4th rounder.... that's going to mean the Pats will take the division again, but now without a shadow of a doubt.
Apr. 30th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
And the Saints take running back Antonio Pittman with their fourth round selection. Apparently Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister can't handle the rushing duties alone. :|
Apr. 30th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Draft, off season Acquisitions
This draft helps to solidify the Southeastern Conference as the best conference. 15 of the first 45 picks were from the SEC, 4 of which were from LSU. While some of the players in the SEC are from other states, the majority of the players come from the state in which the school is located. The South IS football country.

On another note, Sean Payton and the Saints did really well, IMHO. They replaced an aging Joe Horn with Meachem. They got a great cover CB from the Colts. They got a third HB to give Bush and McCallister a breather, and a decent looking QB to back up Brees. Not to mention a TE that can consistently catch a pass.

Who Dat Say Day Gonna Beat Dem Saints? Who Dat?
Apr. 30th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
I agree the Saints did well. I think Pittman is capable of playing either Duece or Bush's role in the offense. I think that the Bushrod and Alleman pick ups are both motivated to make the Saints line more mobile and give them the ability to both trap/pull and screen more effectively. The cornerbacks are gonna take a year or two of seasoning before they are ready.

I think the Jets did well. In fact I have liked the Jets drafts the last few years. I think they are very similiar to the Saints in needs and are a team on the "come up". I do however think Drew Brees got ripped off of the Comeback Player of the Year award. Pennigton is good but Brees should have won the award.
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George R.R. Martin
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