NFL Draft--Round 1
Anticipating a thoroughly geeky analysis of the Draft from Stephen, I'll just post a short list of thoughts on the first round...
5 picks I like…
Actually, I like more than 5 picks, but these are 5 picks that are either steals or outside-the-box thinking.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers--Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Miami of Ohio).
Roethlisberger was the top QB on the charts of a lot of teams. Some projections had him in the top5. But since The Giants and Chargers were playing musical chairs with Manning and Rivers, and since the teams ahead of the Steelers were busy taking wide receivers, Ben slipped to #11. The Steelers do need a QB, but they can afford to let Roethlisberger spend most of the season learning behind Tommy Maddox before giving him the starting job. Great fit!
15. Tampa Bay Bucs—Michael Clayton (WR, LSU). As we’ve said before, he was underrated in this bumper crop of wide receivers. Clayton can contribute right away on special teams, and as a third WR before winning a starting role.
20. Minnesota Vikings—Kenechi Udeze (DE, USC). Udeze slipped because he reportedly had a shoulder injury. I don’t know if the guys in the NFL are aware of this or not, but he’s got time to heal. Besides, it’s a rumor, and no one knows how bad it is. If it were serious, maybe it would have been noticed at the combine. And the Vikings need help on defense.
21. New England Patriots—Vince Wilfork,(DT, Miami). Wilfork was projected as the best defensive lineman in the draft, but he slipped all the way to #21. What a steal. The pats have big shoes to fill after the departure of Ted Washington, and you can’t expect a rookie to be as effective, but Wilfork’s a great pick and a super value at #21.
24. St. Louis Rams—Stephen Jackson (RB, Oregon St.). Jackson was projected a bit higher, and as the only big name RB in the draft, he was a highly sought after commodity. You might be wondering why the Rams would pick him. Look, Marshall Faulk is getting older and he’s been injured so much in the last few seasons that they need another reliable back. And when they’re both healthy…two back set with the option of passing to Faulk. Deadly.
Honorable mention—hey, I said I liked more than 5.
31. San Francisco 49ers—Rashaun Woods (WR, Oklahoma St.). Woods might be the one WR more underrated than Michael Clayton. The 49ers traded down to acquire more picks, and still got a really talented receiver. Great job!
5 picks that make me wonder…
3. Arizona Cardinals—Larry Fitzgerald (WR, Pitt). Yeah, Fitzgerald is special. But Arizona needs help almost everywhere. They took Anquan Boldin with their first pick a year ago. They could have gone for the offensive line, the defensive line, a QB, or they could have traded down to get more picks. Fitzgerald is great, but I think the Cardinals could have done better.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars—Reggie Williams (WR, Washington). Another team with many needs. The defensive talent on the board had barely been touched, so I would have looked that way. OK, even if you really, really want a receiver, Woods, Clayton, and Evans were all still on the board. I don’t get it.
18. New Orleans Saints—Will Smith (DE, Ohio St.). Smith is a steal at #18, but the Saints have drafted Charles Grant and Darren Howard at the same position in recent years. Yeah, the Saints needed defense, but they need linbackers and defensive backs more than linemen. A few of the best at those positions were taken just before the Saints picked. Did they try to trade up? Yeah, he’s a quality player, but I’m perplexed at the Saints’ habit of drafting the same position again and again. Well, you can never have enough good linemen—not a bad pick.
22. Buffalo Bills—J.P. Losman (QB, Tulane). The Bills traded up to get a player that we didn’t even expect to see in the first round. Easily the biggest dumbass move of the day.
29. Atlanta Falcons—Mike Jenkins (WR, Ohio St.). First of all, I wouldn’t want anyone on my team who had anything to do with Ohio St.’s passing game. To be fair, Jenkins is better than that statement suggests. But Atlanta gave up their second and fourth round picks, plus swapped third round picks with Indy, moving down 20 places. They gutted their draft for Jenkins. Good player, not worth the price.
posted by uberschuck 4/24/2004 10:49:00 PM
The Mock Draft!
I’m not trying to project the draft, as that is impossible, there will just be too many trades and such to make it worth my while. I’m only going to pick who I would take given their position and situation. I also list ESPN’s Mock Draft pick as sort of the standard consensus pick. And I’ll say something about both players.
1 SAN DIEGO – OT ROBERT GALLERY/ QB ELI MANNING
You want the sure thing of this draft? It ain’t the Manning kid, it’s Robert Gallery. First off, the Chargers o-line sucks, so he fills a glaring need. Two, when was the last time a top ten offensive tackle didn’t pan out? Dominating linemen are the safest picks in the draft, unlike quarterbacks, easily the riskiest. And one last thing, everyone’s reminding the Chargers they didn’t draft Vick. Yeah, and they got Ladanian Tomlinson. Last time I checked, Tomlinson’s been better so far. Honestly, they should trade down and take Rivers or Roethlisberger.
2 OAKLAND – QB MANNING/ OT GALLERY
We just reversed ourselves. Oakland needs the QB, and while Roethlisberger might be marginally better, you simply cannot pass on Eli.
3 ARIZONA – WR LARRY FITZGERALD/ WR FITGERALD
A complete no-brainer. He’s the best receiver in the draft, a star in waiting, and already in contract negotiations with the Cardinals. Not even they could screw this up. Manning and Gallery’s presence virtually insures Fitzgerlad will be on the board.
4 NY GIANTS- QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER/ QB ROETHLISBERGER
I think he’s better than Manning, but I don’t have the guts to take him at #2. The Giants desperately need a quarterback, so with Big Ben sitting on the board, in both scenarios, we snap him up.
5 WASHINGTON – S SEAN TAYLOR/ TE KELLEN WINSLOW
They will take Winslow, but that’s a mistake. If I’m taking a tight end in the top five, he better be able to at least block a little bit. Winslow’s a good player, but is he really that much better than Troupe or Watson? And how often are tight ends dominating players? Taylor is a prime time stud, and the Skins need help in the secondary.
6 DETROIT- CB DEANGELO HALL/ S SEAN TAYLOR
It’s no secret the Lions want a running back, and it’s no secret there aren’t any real good ones in this draft, including Stephen Jackson. Take the best cover corner out there and be happy about it.
7 CLEVELAND- CB DUNTA ROBINSON/ CB HALL
I’m stuck here. There’s no big-time tackle or corner left for the Browns to take, and I’m not sold on Winslow. They could screw up someone else’s draft and take Rivers or Jackson, but I’m not playing the trade game, and instead I’ll take a solid cornerback.
8 ATLANTA- DE KENECHI UDEZE/ WR ROY WILLIAMS
ESPN falls for the promise but no production of Williams, who I have rated as a lower 1st round pick. Take the best player, and the Falcons need help everywhere on defense, so I go for the difference making rush end.
9 JACKSONVILLE- WR LEE EVANS/ DE UDEZE
The Jags need a receiver and Evans is the best one out there. He removed all doubts about his knee with his senior year, and he was easily the most productive guy not named Fitzgerald. Udeze’s a good pick if he lasts, but I’m taking the big play receiver.
10 HOUSTON- TE WINSLOW/ CB ROBINSON
Two names we’ve seen before. I really want lineman for the Texans, but there’s only one Gallery on the board. At 10, Winslow’s got value. At five, he’s a rip-off.
11 PITTSBURGH- QB PHILIP RIVERS/ RIVERS
See all those comments about trading their pick? This is the team who trades up. The Steelers desperately want Rivers, but he will not last this long. They need to take him.
12 NY JETS- LB DJ WILLIAMS/ JON VILMA
Did anybody watch Miami play football? Williams was the better linebacker of these two, yet Vilma’s getting all the big hype. And Vilma’s undersized to boot. It’s not even a classic measurables upgrade. It’s just that people want Vilma to be Ray Lewis, and he’s not.
13 BUFFALO- DE WILL SMITH/ DE SMITH
The Bills are one of my favorite draft day teams. They just take the best player left, and in both scenarios, that’s the rush end.
14 CHICAGO- DT VINCE WILFORK/ DT TOMMIE HARRIS
Someone explain the Tommie Harris thing to me. Lavalais was more productive. Lavalais is bigger. Harris has more speed. Lavalais is stronger. Yet Lavalais’ a second rounder while Harris is the first DT taken? Seriously? Do people watch college football at all?
15 TAMPA BAY- RB STEVEN JACKSON/ RB JACKSON
We agree. Why? Well, he’s the only running back really worthy of a first round pick in the draft, and he’s not a can’t-miss type of guy. It’s an absolutely awful year to be looking for a running back.
16 SAN FRANSISCO- WR RASHAUN WOODS/ DT WILFORK
Yeah, with both Williams’ on the board. Let’s get this straight, no college receiver in the draft was more productive than Rashaun Woods. Scouts hate his speed, but I love his proven track record, toughness, hands, route running ability, and well, every other skill a receiver can have. Who’s the best receiver ever? Jerry Rice. Not exactly a speed demon.
17 CINCINNATI- DT DARNELL DOCKETT/ RB KEVIN JONES
If the Bengals don’t take a lineman, they should be taken outside and beaten with reeds. It doesn’t matter which line, but they need some line help. Once again, I pass on the extremely overrated Tommie Harris and take Dockett. Did anyone watch the Senior Bowl? Or his entire senior season? Yeah, he’s 285 pounds, but he’s also fast, agile, and completely dominant. Will he be a classic stand up tackle? No, but he BIGGER THAN HARRIS. Sorry. Jesus, does Harris have naked pictures of every front office executive?
18 NEW ORLEANS - LB JON VILMA/ LB WILLIAMS
So we flip-flopped. Vilma won’t be there, but Williams might, and I’m doing this to show where I think the value picks are. You really can’t go wrong with either guy, but this is my mock draft, so screw you.
19 MINNESOTA – WR MICHAEL CLAYTON/ WR REGGIE WILLIAMS
I dare you to tell me which is the line of Roy Williams and which is the line of Receiver X:
70 catches, 1079 yds, 9 TD
78 catches, 1078 yds, 10 TD
Not much different, huh? Oh, Receiver X is also great at special teams coverage and run blocking. Receiver X is Michael Clayton, who put up eerily similar numbers to Roy Williams while also showing a broader, albeit unappreciated skill set.
20 MIAMI- OT SHAWN ANDREWS/ OT ANDREWS
Throw a party if he’s on the board. He was actually a tight end in college, but he was really just a sixth lineman. Take him, put him in your lineup, and shut up.
21 NEW ENGLAND- DT RANDY STARKS/ DT MARCUS TUBBS
We’re both reaching a little. Tubbs is a second round guy, but very low risk, and when you’re the defending champs, why take risks? I’m going with a guy with upside who never quite lived up to his talent because when you’ve got ridiculous depth, you can do that.
22 DALLAS- WR ROY WILLIAMS/ RB CHRIS PERRY
Perry does nothing for me. He’s not bad, but he’s not a difference maker. Here, Roy Williams would have the chance to reach his destiny, being the second best Roy Williams on his own team.
23 SEATTLE- DT TOMMIE HARRIS/ WR MICHAEL CLAYTON
Seattle would take anybody who could pretend to play defensive tackle, so they will take the best DT on the board. That’ll probably be Dockett or Starks, but in this scenario, Harris gets to fire his agent.
24 CINCINNATI- RB KEVIN JONES/ CB CHRIS GAMBLE
We just flipped the picks for the Bengals, showing different priorities. If I’m the Bengals, I want to ensure I get my tackle before Seattle does, and since I don’t think that much of the running backs, I gamble that somebody I like is on the board. If not, I take Greg Jones in the 2nd round.
25 GREEN BAY- LB KARLOS DANSBY/ DT DARNELL DOCKETT
Resist the JP Losman folly. None of Green Bay’s needs will really be on the board (defensive line, safety, quarterback), so they should just take the best player here. I’m not sold on Dansby, but he’s a good linebacker.
26 ST LOUIS- TE BEN TROUPE/ WR WOODS
I think Troupe is the best tight end out there. I don’t have the guts to draft him that high because I’m not a big fan of drafting tight ends that highly, but he’s a steal at 26.
27 TENNESSEE- DT CHAD LAVALAIS/ TE BEN TROUPE
Did we forget how dominant Lavalais was last season? I downgrade him a bit due to his age, but he’s the same friggin’ size as Harris, and he was only the most dominant defensive player in college football last season. And the Titans desperately need a tackle.
28 PHILADELPHIA- CB CHRIS GAMBLE/ LB DANSBY
Gamble will not be on the board here, and he slid too far for my likings, but I’m not rewriting this, so I just screwed up. The Eagles reap the rewards.
29 INDIANAPOLIS- CB DERRICK STRAIT/ CB AHMAD CARROL
Are you kidding me? Taking a pretty good corner from Arkansas with Derrick Strait still on the board? Just to show I don’t hate Oklahoma, this is criminal to be downgrading a solid cover guy who can play great run defense. He lacks big-time speed, but that’s looking at what he can’t do instead of what he can, which is play football really, really well. Hell, move him to safety if you have to.
30 KANSAS CITY- WR REGGIE WILLIAMS/ DE ANTWAN ODOM
Odom is a total reach, and they know it. It says more about the lack of ends than the quality of Odom. Williams falls in my draft because, frankly, he’s the least impressive of a hugely talented group. He’s be a much higher pick in previous years, but it sucks to be a receiver in this draft.
31 CAROLINA- OG VERNON CAREY/ OG JUSTIN SMILEY
Know what an NFL guard is called in college? A tackle. I think Carey is one of the few guys who can buck the trend.
32 NEW ENGLAND- OT NAT DORSEY/ OG VERNON CAREY
Not a glamorous pick, but I’ll agree with the ESPN guys, you can never have too many linemen.
posted by Poseur 4/23/2004 07:25:00 AM
John Thompson III to coach Georgetown
Your dad's got some pretty big shoes to fill (figuratively and literally). Of all the jobs in the country, you really wanted this one? Can you imagine a more pressure-packed job for this guy? Trying to rebuild the program your dad made into a monster? In an area where he is still a local legend?
posted by Poseur 4/20/2004 01:47:00 PM
Danton the killer
The FBI brought the sports agent to the Brentwood police station, which is nearby, to talk with him along with the accused accomplice, 19-year-old Katie Koester Wolfmeyer, and the informer. Another law enforcement source who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that Frost was that sports agent.
Frost has denied that he was a target of a murder plot. He told The Associated Press Tuesday that the the confusion will "all be cleared up as soon as Mike is able to talk."
"I wasn't the target"
Your guess is as good as mine. The speculation is that Danton hired a contract killer to prevent being outed as gay. I don't know if that's true, but let's assume for a second it is, as it sounds like the most plausible scenario so far. What does it say about our sports culture that player would rather kill somebody than have to live his life as an open homosexual? That is a sadcommentary on both Danton and on sports in general.
Because, in general, I don't think anyone really gives a crap. OK, there are your share of racist homophobes, but unless your the president of the United States, you can't really get away with being an anti-gay bigot. Because most people simply don't give two hoots where you put your dick during your own time. Homophobia exists, to be sure (ask your gay friends), but acceptance has been coming rather rapidly, particularly among young people. We just know too many gay people. And Ellen coming out didn't cause the world to explode, so neither will a gay hockey player.
A hockey player hiring a contract killer, though. That's news.
posted by Poseur 4/20/2004 01:45:00 PM
OK, you've heard the news. Frankly, I could care less about Clarrett. He brought the suit, he knew the risk, whatever happens, happens. I think the rule concerning high schoolers is absolutely ridiculous, if teams don't want high schoolers, don't draft them. Clarrett made a concious choice to put his fate in the hands of the courts, so he's subject to their whims, whichever they are.
Mike Williams, on the other hand, is getting absolutely screwed. The NFL told him he could come out, so he did. Now they say he can't, and the NCAA doesn't have to take him back. Williams' legal team is probably working on a lawsuit right now. If these guys can't play in the NFL, then teams shouldn't draft them. It's as simple as that. Williams will probably end up in the NFL next year, even if its as a supplemental pick, but the NFL's treatment of Williams is atrocious.
posted by Poseur 4/20/2004 01:37:00 PM
They just don't matter yet. While I steadfastly ignored the NHL until the real season began (the playoffs), I will do the same for the NBA.But the NBA playoffs don't really begin until round two. This just in, the lower seeded teams won't win in the first round. Any chance they once had was wiped out when they expanded the first round to seven games. Maybe a five will beat a four, who cares?
Wake me up when the games get good.
Speaking of good games, it's a shame hockey has fallenoff the map, because there were two top notch games on the tube last night. The tension in Montreal's 2-0 win over Boston was palpable, as pretty much everyone watching the game knew the first goal would win it. The Bruins outplayed the Habs, only to go home losers. Such is life in Game 7's.
And though everygame started at 10 o'clock or so, the Flames-Canucks series was worth staying up for. Two straight miracle games, as a team rallied from a seemingly impossible deficit to force overtime, only to lose in the extra frames. The games can't be described, but they were both absolutely amazing. and they are the reason I can hardly stay awake at work right now.
posted by Poseur 4/20/2004 01:31:00 PM