Tuesday, May 1. 2007
Posted by Sideshow in TVftC
Ahh April. Such a good time of year. Spring is here. Flowers start blooming. NBA and NHL playoffs kick off. The NFL schedule gets announced. And most importantly, for two wonderful days, dreams come true for future NFL players. Sure many of these players won't amount to a hill of beans in the NFL, but during the NFL draft everyone is a future start, and every team got the exact player it wanted. It's just really great that with 255 selections no teams wanted the same player as another team.
There were many interesting things that happened this weekend. Cleveland passing on Brady Quinn with the 3rd overall pick to take the LT Joe Thomas, which was the right decision, by the way, just to pick Brady Quinn 4 hours later with the 22nd pick.
The Patriots trading a 4th round pick for WR Randy Moss, and the media immediately going crazy over what is essentially a non story.
Or how about the Seattle Seahawks, trading away their best WR Darrell Jackson to divisional rival San Francisco. That is a reall puzzler of a trade.
And now it's time to break it down. But don't worry it won't take near as long as the 6 plus hour first round did, of which I watched all 32 picks, and then stuck around for the next 223 picks as well.
Worst pick of the draft
A strong case can be made for Philadelphia using their first pick of the day, to draft a QB in the 2nd round. Nevermind they have 3 capable qb's on their roster including a guy named Donovan McNabb. Drafting a QB with a teams first pick of a draft is only asking for problems. Then again the Reid era Iggles haven't always been the best drafting team.
But that's not my choice. However, my choice does involve a QB with a teams first pick of the draft.
That draft picks is...... JaMarcus Russel, QB out of LSU selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 1st pick of the draft. First let me say I think drafting QB's in the first round is a mistake. History will back me up on this. Not only that but taking a QB with the #1 overall pick is an even larger gamble and more often than not larger mistake. #1 overall QB's don't win Superbowls. Sure there are the occasional Peyton Manning, and John Elways, but more often than not it's a Kurt Warner (Undrafted), Tom Brady (6th Round #199), Joe Montana (3rd Round).
And to compound the mistake even more the Raiders selected a QB who has only started for two years. Was decent, not good, not bad his first year starting. Was mainly just good last year, but had one amazing bowl game. Oh and he can also throw the ball 75 yards while kneeling on the ground. Which is a good thing because with that Raider OL he'll be on the ground a lot.
Best pick of the draft
He went a lot sooner than I thought he would, and the Chargers gave up a small fortune for him but with the 5th pick in the 2nd round San Diego got Safety from the University of Utah, Eric Weddle. This isn't me just being a Utah homer, but Weddle is a stud. How many players can play 6 positions. How many players eliminate 1/2 the field because the other team won't throw at him, and yet he still made plays.
I would argue that Weddle was the best player on the Fiesta Bowl team in '04, but wether you agree or not, if you check tapes from the last 4 years of Utah football there is always one consistent whenever a play is made. Weddle was in the mix.
Team by Team Analysis
Now it's time for a Team by team breakdown of the NFL draft. Only I'm going to do something different. For a breakdown of the 2007 NFL draft one only has to go look at any sports site and Bobbleheads will happily give you their analysis of how good a team will be or won't be with their new players.
Sideshow doesn't work like that. See I firmly believe you need 4 years to judge a value of a draft. So I present my breakdown of the 2003 NFL Draft.
So here we go, Team by team breakdown based on the order they drafted in the First Round.
Cincinatti - With the first overall pick Cincinatti started it's rebuilding process by drafting QB Carson Palmer. Even after blowing out his knee in the playoffs at the end of the '05 season, Palmer had a successful '06 season, and is poised to be a top tier QB in the NFL for many years. The Bengals also added lineman Eric Steinbach who was one of the better tackles over the past couple season. And though Steinbach, signed a huge free agent contract with the Browns, who hopes he can help protect Brady Quinn the way he did Palmer. The rest of the Bengals that year: Kelley Washington, Dennis Weathersby, Jeromi Johnson, Khalid Abdullah, Langston Moore, Scott Kooistra, and Elton Patterson Overall a solid draft for the Bengals who get an B.
Detroit - In 2007 with the 2nd overall pick the Lions drafted their 4th 1st round WR in 5 years by selecting Calvin Johnson. A trend that started with the 2nd pick of this draft on Charles Rogers. Rogers started strong in his first couple games than broke his collarbone in either week 2 or 3. The following season Rogers broke his collarbone in the first game and is now out of football. The rest of the draft saw Detroit get some solid contributors such as Boss Bailey, Cory Redding and Terrence Holt, but no real breakout players in the group of Artose Pinner, James Davis, David Kircus, Ben Johnson, Blue Adams, Brandon Drumm, and Travis Anglin. Earning the Lions a C-.
Houston - WR Andre Johnson, has been to the pro bowl, and is still that caliber of a WR. However he suffers from the same thing that plagued David Carr in Houston. No protection for the QB means no catches for the WR. So the fact that Johnson is still able to perform says quite a bit. They also picked up RB Domanick Davis in the 4th round with the 101st pick, who showed flashes at times, but was oft injured. Still a couple 1000 yard season by a 4th round pick isn't too shabby. Though Domanick Davis is now Domanick Williams, he spent last year on Injured Reserver and the Texans released him. This was also the draft where the Texans drafted QB Phenom Drew Henson, the former Michigan QB who went to play baseball for the Yankees before he failed at baseball. Fortunately they later traded him to the Cowboys where Henson then failed at Football. However the Texans failed to address a crappy OL by drafting Bennie Joppru, Antwan Peek, Seth Wand, Dave Ragone, Keith Wright, Curry Burns, and Chance Pearce, which is why they are only getting a B-.
N.Y. Jets - The Jets traded up to 4 to select DT Dewayne Robertson, who has struggled thus far in his NFL Career. The rest of the draft also not looking so good as the Only two notable players are FB BJ Askew in the 3rd round and Brooks Bollinger in the 6th round. Overall a miserable draft for the N.Y. Jets. Especially considering the trade up for Robertson. That year the Jets also drafted Victor Hobson, Derek Pagel, Matt Walters, and Dave Yovanovits. D-.
Dallas - 1st rounder Terence Newman has shown flashes, but was probably hurt a bit by Bill Parcells change of scheme. There's hope though that he can still be a star CB under new coach Wade Phillips. Cowboys also got TE Jason Witten in the 3rd round, who has been an integral part of their offense for the past couple years, and is one of the many TE's just below Gates, Gonzales, and Heap in the NFL. 4th round pick Bradie James started slowly but has really began to flourish with 93 tackles in '05 and 103 in '06. Overall 3 contributors, all of whom are a threat to make the leap to stardom means a really solid draft for Dallas, which also included Al Johnson, Bradie James, BJ Tucker and Zuriel Smith, earns them an A.
New Orleans - With the 5th pick the Saints selected Nose Tackle Johnathan Sullivan who has done very little so far in the NFL. They did improve with Jon Stinchcomb in the 2nd round who has turned into a fine OT. However the rest of their draft makes you ask one question: Who? Cie Grant, Montrae Holland, Melvin Williams, Kareem Kelly, and Talman Gardner. D-
Jacksonville - Fresh off of having to be carried down the field by his teammates at Marshall in a Bowl game winning drive, QB Byron Leftwich was drafted here. And while Leftwich has been hampered by injuries during his career, he's been a solid QB that many, including myself, still think can make the leap to star. In the 2nd round they selected Rashean Mathis who has been a very dependable force as the Safety, with 8 interceptions last year. Though not much else came from the drafting of Vince Manuwai, George Wrightster, LaBrandon Toefield, Brandon Green, David Young, Marcus Ogden and Malaefou Mackenzie B-
Carolina - Utah OT Jordan Gross has been a solid anchor on their OL for the last 4 years, while 3rd round pick Ricky Manning Jr was a rookie phenom who helped them go to superbowl, and then quickly flamed out of Carolina and is now on Chicago. Not much has been heard from the other draft picks like Bruce Nelson, Colin Branch, Kindal Moorehead, Walter Young, or Casey Moore. While some are still on the Roster, not many are actually real contributors. D.
Minnesota - Kevin Williams is a star DT in the middle for the Vikings having already been to two pro bowls. This draft also saw them get two other real contributors on the first day with LB EJ Henderson and WR Nate Burleson. Burleson was an adequate if not spectacular fill in after Moss' departure before being signed away by Seattle last year. Vikings also picked up Onterrio Smith in the 4th round draft pick who will always be known as the Whizzinator after being caught in the Airport with the device designed to beat drug tests. The rest of the draft was Eddie Johnson, Mike Nattiel and Keenan Howry. Overall though this Draft gets an B for using all 3 first day picks on players who made an impact for them, and for making Whizzinator a part of NFL Vernacular, however I do have knock the Vikings down for not understanding the way the draft works, as this was the year when Vikings actually had the 7th pick but took too long to make a decision allowing two teams to slide in front of them.
Baltimore - Tell me if you've heard this before. Baltimore drafts a defensive player in the first round who later fits into their scheme and becomes a Stud player. With the 10th pick Ravens drafted DE Terrell Suggs who has gone on to average 10 sacks a year in the formidable Ravens D. However as good as a pick that Suggs was, there was an equally bad first round pick for the Ravens this year, who later trade up, including giving away their '04 first round draft pick to select Kyle Boller at 19. While Suggs is a star, Kyle Boller is Kyle Boller. The Rest of the draft (Musa Smith, Jarret Johnson, Ovie Mughelli, Aubrayo Franklin, Tony Pashos, Gerome Sapp, Trent Smith, Mike Mabry, Antwoine Sanders) all haven't really amounted to much, with the exception of Mabry, and Pashos who have been decent lineman. Suggs would have made this draft a B. Boller would have made this draft an F for what they gave up. So We'll give this draft a C-.
Seattle First off this draft is getting a high grade if only because their 7th round draft pick was named Taco Wallace. This is the team that already had Pork Chop Womack on their team. However without that great name this draft would still got an A solely because this is the draft where the Seahawks got two of their 4 starting DB's including CB Marcus Trufant and Safety Ken Hamlin. Both of whom give Seattle a formidable defensive backfield in a Division with some great WR's. The Seahawks also got Seneca Wallace who filled in decently for Hasselbeck this past year, and can be used quite often in a slash formation. While I think using a pick, even in the 7th round is a waste, I can't argue with their selection of Josh Brown who had 4 game winners in '07, including two against my beloved Rams. Rest of the draft was Wayne Hunter, Chris Davis, and Rashad Moore, but this was a solid draft for the 'Hawks. A.
St. Louis Stop me if you've heard this one before. Rams draft a DT, who quickly becomes a waste of space in the middle of their line and does nothing. Yep just two short years after using 2 first round picks on Defensive Tackles, the Rams go to the DT well once again for Jimmy Kennedy. Kennedy is one of the players speculated to be the target of Bulger's "some players just don't care" comments last year. Kennedy also was speculated to be in the crosshairs of Marshall Faulk after a post game rant 2 years ago as well. And while the Rams wasted their first round Pick the Next 4 picks make up for it. LB Pisa Tinoisamoa has been a Warrior and a Team MVP at LB for the Rams. Including playing through 8 separate dislocations in '05. The Rams went WR for the next two picks with Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald. Though neither could ever break in to become one of the top two WR's for the Rams, (Not many could though considering those positions are now held by Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce), Curtis will now be a starter for the Iggles. CB DeJuan Groce saw plenty of playing time as a Nickel back, as did fellow DB's Shane Walton and Kevin Garrett, though the last two probably never should have. Though the rest of the Draft didn't ever amount to much with the likes of Dan Curley, Scott Tercero, Scott Shanle, and Richard Angulo. Pisa, Curtis and McDonald, save a first round Blunder and make this draft a B-
New England - Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are in charge of this draft. And in typical New England fashion it's not really because of the first rounder. Ty Warren has only been a rotational guy for the Patriots. But the kings of value really found some in this draft. This draft had CB Eugene Wilson in the 2nd round. WR Bethel Johnson in the 2nd round, DT Dan Klecko in the 4rd round, CB Asante Samuel in the 4th round, C Dan Koppen in the 5th Round, and DE Tully Banta-Cain in the 7th round. All of whome were integral parts of Patriots Superbowl Runs over the past couple years. Kilff Kingsbury, Spencer Nead, and Ethan Kelley round out the rest of the draft, but the value the Patriots found is deserving of an A
Chicago - Bears drafted Michael Haynes who was an absolute flop for them at DE. However also in the first round at pick 22, the Bears drafted QB Rex Grossman. While Grossman may have lead the Bears to the Superbowl this past season, his performance, not only in that game, but overall, mixed with his being a bit injury prone make him not worthy of a first rounder so far. However 2nd and 3rd round saw the Bears grab Safety Charles Tillman, and LB Lance Briggs. Though Lance Briggs is currently upset with the Bears because they promised him 7 plus million dollars by making him their Franchise player this year. Todd Johnson and Ian scott have seen some playing time in a formidable Bears defense but the rest of the draft: Bobby Wade, Justin Gage, Tron LaFavor, Joe Odom, Brock Forsey, and Bryan Anderson haven't been much. Despite the flop of Haynes, Grossman, Tillman, and Briggs were a big part of why the Bears made it to the Superbowl this past year. B+.
Philadelphia - Remember when I said that the Reid era Iggles weren't good at drafting. I present to you Jerome McDougle. Yet another wasted first round pick where the only notable thing he did in his career was survive a gunshot wound. 2nd Rounder L.J. Smith has been a very good TE for the Eagles, sometimes being the best WR they have. 3rd rounder Jamaal Green played a total of 8 games, making 2 tackles so far in the NFL. Billy McMullen, Jeremy Bridges, and Norman LeJeune, all make me think Philly Fans should beg Reid to stay out of the War Room and stay on the field. A Miserable Miserable Draft. F.
Pittsburgh - Despite an injury keeping him down last year, Polamalu has quickly become a top Strong Safety in the NFL. 5th Round draft Brian St. Pierre is known for getting caugh impersonating QB Ben Roethlisberger, but at least he's done more than the rest of the draft of Alonzo Jackson, Ivan Taylor, and J.T. Wall. Even with Polamalu not a particularly good draft. D-
Arizona - Cardinals had the Next two picks in the draft Selecting Bryant Johnson, who has been a good #3 Wr. But 1st round WR's shouldn't be 3rd WR's. The 2nd of the two Picks Calvin Pace has barely been serviceably. However the Cardinals did get a franchise WR in this draft in the 2nd round with Anquan Boldin, who is one have of the Fitzgerald/Boldin duo in Az. While 3rd rounder Gerald Hayes has outperformed Pace his numbers are that of a 2nd stringer anyways. Kenny King, Reggie Wells, and Tony Gilber round out a pretty poor C-.
Denver - Tackle George Foster was very dissapointing and has since been shipped to Detroit. 2nd Rounder Terry Pierce, 4th rounder Nick Eason, 6th rounder Aaron Hunt, and 7th rounder Clint Mitchell made such an impact on the DL that 2 years ago Denver traded for the entire Cleveland Browns DL. 4th Rounder Quentin Griffin is a RB who couldn't make it in the Denver system. In fact the rest of the draft of Bryant McNeal, Ben Claxton, Adrian Madise, and Ahmaad Galloway means Denver had a clean sweep this year and didn't get a single player of note. F.
Cleveland - C Jeff Faine has been a solid Center in the NFL. While 3rd round pick Lee Suggs showed flashes his 2nd year, before quickly doing nothing else. Chaun Thompson, Chris Crocker, Ryan Pontrbriand, Mike Lehan, and Antonio Garay round out a pretty well deserved F as Faine is no longer with the Browns.
Buffalo - The 23rd pick of this year's draft was the day Drew Rosenhaus became famous. After Willis McGahee shredded his knee in his final bowl game, Rosenhaus helped orchestrate a publicity campaign that got McGahee not only drafted, but Drafted in the first round. After missing his rookie season McGahee showed he was worthy of a first round pick since, even if he still hasn't proven he's worthy of his diva like atittude. While the rest of the picks of Chris Kelsay, Angelo Crowell, Terrence McGee, Sam Aiken, Ben Sobieski, Luavale Sape, and Mario Haggan aren't anything to write home about, with McGee being the best of the bunch. The Bills deserve some credit for the Gamble on McGahee. However they also deserve some bad marks for Drew Rosenhaus. The gamble though would have makes this draft a C-.
Indianapolis - TE Dallas Clark is the forgotten weapon of the Indianapolis Colts high powered offense. 2nd round Safety Michael Doss, and 6th round S turned LB Cato June were integral parts of Coach Dungy's Cover 2 defense the last couple years, while 5th rounder Robert Mathis has averaged 10 sacks a year opposite Dwight Freeney the last three years. Donald Strickland, Keyon Whiteside, and Makoa Freitas never really did much, but the Selection of Clark, Doss, June, and Mathis make this a B+.
N.Y. Giants - DT William Joseph, is one of many Giants who go back to "Da U" every offseason to train. He's also further proof of why it doesn't help, as Joseph has been a bust during his career. 2nd round though found Osi Umenyiora who when both he and Strahan are healthy is part of a fiercesome DE Combo. TE Vishante Shianoce, and WR Willie Ponder both have seen action but haven't really done much with while, the rest of the draft of Rod Babers, David Diehl, Frank Walker, David Tyree, Charles Drake, Wayne Lucier, Kevin Walter add up to a whole lot of nothing. D
San Francisco - Kwame Harris is a good but not great Offensivle Tackle, and 4th rounder Brandon Lloyd showed enough Flashes as a WR to make Washington sign him to a huge contract. 6th Rounder Arnaz Battle has been a decent 2nd WR for the niners. 7th Rounder Ken Dorsey has now been passed around to a couple different teams. Anthony Adams, Andrew Williams, and Aaron Walker round out a draft that isn't memorable either good or bad. C.
Kansas City - RB Larry Johnson didn't initially get along with Coach Dick Vermeil, but in '05 when Priest Holmes went down LJ Stepped up rushing for nearly 1800 yards over basically a 9 week period. He followed that up with a 416 carry 1789 yard performance in '06. But how badly will those carries wear on him? Chiefs were shopping him over this most recent draft weekend. 2nd rounder Kawika Mitchell was a solid force for the Chiefs racking up over 100 tackles each of the past two years. The Giants signed him to a FA Contract and hope he'll keep it up for them. Jordan Black is expected to help take over an OL that's lost two HOF'ers over the last two years. Julian Battle, Brett Williams, Jimmy Wilkerson, Montique Sharpe, and Willie Pile haven't really made a name for themselves yet, but LJ, Mitchell and Black are part of a pretty good draft class. A-.
Tennessee - CB Andre Woolfolk has yet to play a full season and isn't even a starter for the Titans. 3rd Rounder Chris Brown looked briefly like the replacement for Eddie George with 1067 yards in his sophomore season, but Injuries and atittude caused the Titans to trade for Travis Henry instead. Tyrone Calico, Rien Long, Donnie Nickey, and Todd Williams all round out a miserable weekend of drafting. F.
Green Bay - LB Nick Barnett has been one of those players on the cusp of making the leap for the last 3 years. And He's about all that came from this draft for the packers. Kenny Peterson, James Lee, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Brennan Curtin, Chris Johnson, DeAndrew Rubin, Carl Ford, and Steve Josue equal D-, only cause Barnett is a starter and is still on the cusp.
San Diego - Sammy Davis, no, not Jr., really didn't amount to much before being shipped to SF last year. He's now in TB. 2nd rounder Drayton Florence meanwhile has been a serviceable Starter for the Chargers. 2nd Rounder Terrance Kiel made headlines for a felony drug arrest a couple years ago. 5th round punter Mike Scifres is still with the team, while the chargers hope 4th rounder Matt Wilhelm is ready to replace Donnie Edwards. Courtney Van Buren, Hanik Milligan, and Andrew Pinnock round out a D+
Oakland - The Raiders finished the first round with both picks 30 and 31. At 30 they took "who dat?" Nnamdi Asomugha who has actually started to play really well the last couple years. DE Tyler Brayton hasn't made a name for himself but was part of a rotation for a defense that was pretty good last year. Teyo Johnson, Sam Williams, Justin Fargas, Shurron Pierson, Dustin Rykert, Siddeeq Shabazz, Ryan Hoag, and Gustavus Adolphus, round out a draft class who's only other notable player was Doug Gabriel who was pursued by the Patriots prior to last year, and then cut by the same WR starved Patriots in the middle of the season just to be resigned by the Raiders C-.
Teams without First Round Picks!
Washington - Not really a surprise that Washington didn't have a first round pick as it is pretty typical in the Dan Snyder era. As is not having many picks. With 3 draft picks total, the Redskins proved once again that they don't understand the draft. Taylor Jabobs, Derrick Dockery, and Gibran Hamdan. F
Miami - The Dolphins didn't pick until the 49th overall pick, and judging by the roster of Eddie Moore, Wade Smith, Taylor Whitley, Donald Lee, J.R. Tolver, Corey Jenkins, Tim Provost, Yeremiah Bell, and Davern Williams, they still didn't pick even then. F.
Atlanta - Much like the Dolphins the Falcons hurt themselves by not having a pick till late in the 2nd round. 4th Round FB Justin Griffith is the only name of not in a class that includes Bryan Scott, Jon Olinger, LaTarence Dunbar, Waine Bacon, and Demtrin Veal. F.
Tampa Bay - As if being defending Super Bowl Champions didn't make you wait long enough to pick, Bucs traded their first rounder, and didn't pick until the last pick of the 2nd round. Dewayne White, Lance Nimmo, Austin King, Sean Mahan, and Torrie Cox all joined the then defending Champions. The only reason this isn't an F, is because I still think 3rd Rounder Chris Simms can be a good QB. D-
Oh in case you were wondering
2003's Mr. Irrelevant that year was Gustavus Adolphus to the Oakland Raiders. He lived up to his title.
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