Round 1 was unbearably long...so let's make it last a little bit longer:
1 Oakland QB Russell, JaMarcus
I get it, but who on Planet Earth is he going to throw to? The biggest team cancer not named TO? A point guard? The face of failure in Detroit? And who is going to block for him? If I am JaMarcus, I am very excited to be here, very rich and very open to clip board duty for a while.
2 Detroit WR Johnson, Calvin
I know it is the right pick - hey, they got the best player in the draft - but I love that they had to take a WR. Mike Furrey feels totally disrespected, though. He may turn into a locker room cancer. Damn prima donna wide receivers.
3 Cleveland OT Thomas, Joe
I love how the Browns drafted the one guy who wanted absolutely nothing to do with all the hype and overexposure of the NFL Draft and then followed that up by drafting the day's - year's? - biggest media whore. Bet they get along swimmingly.
4 Tampa Bay DE Adams, Gaines
Um, good pick. Yea. But you do remember your quarterback situation last year, right? If your DE position was a bigger disaster than that, well...I will see you in this same spot next year.
5 Arizona OT Brown, Levi
I don't care if it was a reach, they HAD to draft a lineman. That o-line was atrocious, horrendous, god awful. They were forced into a corner. Drafting at any other position was negligent and irresponsible. Peterson might be a better player, but he would have reboken that collar bone every other game running behind that line.
6 Washington FS Landry, LaRon
What the hell? The future wasn't sacrificed for an aging super star? Didn't they see Bruce Smith announce that one pick? He's available!
7 Minnesota RB Peterson, Adrian
Have fun with Tavarus Jackson or whatever the hell his name is. We might see the first ever "11 men in the box" defense next year...and it'll work.
8 Atlanta (from Houston) DE Anderson, Jamaal
This is weird...is he going to do the Dirty Bird, too?
9 Miami WR Ginn Jr., Ted
Alright, we get it. They blew it. I just like how Cam Cameron defended the pick: "Hey, I have known the Ginn family for a long time, he's a great kid and will be a great punt returner." I love how the Dolphins only draft friends of the Cameron family now.
And this notion that John Beck comes in with less pressure now. Are you kidding me? He will forever be compared to Brady Quinn. Any success Quinn has will only serve to heighten Beck's screw ups. Miami just better pray Quinn blows.
10 Houston (from Atlanta) DT Okoye, Amobi
Something special is brewing on that Houston defensive line. I can feel it. I think the Colts are quite frightened as well.
11 San Francisco ILB Willis, Patrick
Yes. Just yes. The best LB on the board? Yes. I could watch the highlight of him planting that dude from LSU over and over and over...
12 Buffalo RB Lynch, Marshawn
Good thing Buffalo traded that running back with character issues away. Wouldn't want a high-priced possible head case in the backfield, now would we?
13 St. Louis DE Carriker, Adam
I dunno. I have nothing.
14 N.Y. Jets (from Carolina) CB Revis, Darrelle
Darrelle, Randy. Randy, Darrelle. You two have fun now.
15 Pittsburgh OLB Timmons, Lawrence
Filled a need. Terrific. Pittsburgh has the most boring drafts ever. They're good at it, but they are boring as shit. They are the Spurs of drafting. On a side note: have you seen Mike Tomlin's haircut? That thing is SHARP. His sideburns up to the side of his hair is just razor sharp; I have no idea how to get one's hair like that. I need to see it in HDTV. If he pays as much attention to detail as a head coach as he does to his haircut, the Steelers will be the most prepared team in the NFL, hands down.
16 Green Bay DT Harrell, Justin
"What about Brett! He needs some weapons! What kind of message does this send to the face of your franchise?!?!" Whoa, sorry, channeled Steve Young there for a second.
17 Denver (from Jacksonville) DE Moss, Jarvis
The Pats had a terrific off-season, but Denver isn't screwing around either. I see these two in the AFC Championship Game, and Denver can actually match up with the Pats' wide outs. They traded up to get Moss, so they must think he can help them now.
18 Cincinnati CB Hall, Leon
Would you be intimidated if the Bengals drafted you? I would imagine walking into the locker room that first day would be like the first day new inmates stroll into Shawshank. I got five cigarettes that Leon cries his first night. "You don't understand! I'm not supposed to be here!" "Fresh FISH! Fresh FISH! Fresh FISH!"
19 Tennessee FS Griffin, Michael
You know who is going to suck this year? The Titans. Madden Curse aside, there is just no way they repeat what they did next year. Just now way. Pacman made all kinds of plays for them - on defense and especially on special teams - and he is gone. Their offense sucks. Name one wide receiver on their roster. Go ahead, I got all kinds of time. And that Chris Brown/LenDale White backfield isn't scaring anyone. They'll be drafting in the top 5 next year.
20 N.Y. Giants CB Ross, Aaron
The Giants...just...I just can't make myself care. I don't care about them. Moving on.
21 Jacksonville (from Denver) FS Nelson, Reggie
You gotta feel good when you can trade back and still get the guy you want. Who's in charge of that in Jacksonville? Why not to screw that up.
22 Cleveland (from Dallas) QB Quinn, Brady
Did they give up too much? I don't think so. They basically just drafted their first round pick a year early. They get to get him in their system a year sooner, they get to pay him a lot freakin' less and their fan base absolutely adores them right now. Let's just hope he doesn't blow.
And all this nonsense about Brady disappearing into Goodell's Green Room somehow foreshadowing his career is ludicrous. You really think Brady had any choice in the matter? What Goodell says is law. The NFL didn't want all the attention focused on the guy NOT getting drafted when there was so much else to celebrate. It was a great move by the League. Brady handled himself flawlessly during the actual draft, even though he shamelessley promoted himself before it.
23 Kansas City WR Bowe, Dwayne
Bravo, KC. See a need, fill it. Who knows if he was the best WR prospect, but KC did the right thing. I am way too excited about that.
24 New England (from Seattle) FS Meriweather, Brandon
Hey, the gun fight was legal. Back off! And we all know that you don't come into the OB like that! Belichik does revel in a little bit of a degree of difficulty, though, doesn't he?
25 Carolina (from N.Y. Jets) OLB Beason, Jon
Keyshawn was phenomenal during the draft. I cannot wait until he retires so he can do this. He is infinitely better than Tiki Barber. There is no awkward pauses or ever saying to yourself, "yea..well...I know what he was trying to say." I can't say it enough. I am very, very excited for the Keyshawn Johnson era.
26 Dallas (from Philadelphia) DE Spencer, Anthony
Wonder how high that No. 1 will be next year. Does Mel have his 2008 mock draft up yet?
27 New Orleans WR Meachem, Robert
Screw offense. No seriously, we don't care. We are going to try to score every time we touch it. Think you can keep up? We shall see, we shall see...
28 San Francisco (from New England) OT Staley, Joe
Gave up next year's No. 1 to get him, but got one back...probably later in the draft, but still. Trading that No. 1 though means the Niners think they are winning this division. And you know what? That is exciting as all hell. Much like the Browns, the Niners had a plan and did what they had to do to execute it. You can't ask for more than that.
29 Baltimore G Grubbs, Ben
Um, some bullshit about opening up holes for the newly acquired Willis McGahee. They still can't pass for shit. Next.
30 San Diego WR Davis, Craig
Go read KC's pick.
31 Chicago TE Olsen, Greg
I had no idea he was in The Seventh Floor Crew! That is flooring. Him and Sexy are going to terrorize Chicago.
32 Indianapolis WR Gonzalez, Anthony
Ohio St. got two WRs in Round 1; USC got 0. Check back in three years to see how that works out. And while we are here: who has a better receiving corps: Harrison, Wayne, Gonzalez or Moss, Stallworth, Welker and Co.? It is debatable, isn't it?
Monday, April 30, 2007
Round 1 was unbearably long...so let's make it last a little bit longer:
For whatever reason, Kobe Bryant killing himself against the Suns is the most fascinating thing in basketball right now, as far as I'm concerned. Everyone knows how it is going to end - even Kobe - but I just can't peel me eyes away.
I was trying to think of a way to intelligently articulate why I feel this way, and then I came across this clip, which I also found oddly enthralling, and realized that they are the exact same thing:
Kobe puts up a tremendous effort there, doesn't he? Sadly, we all know how that was going to end. Put you couldn't look away, could you?
Well, I don't really know. OK, I guess. Depends what your standards are; personally, I think if you devote your year - or, um, your life - to something, you should get at least a 50% return. But that's just me.
If you are using, say, batting average as your standard, the fellas did pretty well (minus one glaring exception). I think guessing who a team is going to pick - in just the first round - is slightly harder than hitting a professional curve ball, but I could be wrong. Doubt it, but I could be.
To see whom Mel, Todd, Pete and Rick thought were the correct first round picks in nice, neat little side by side columns (plus some yahoo blogger's), click here.
So who did the best?
As far as matching the pick with the correct player at the correct spot in the draft (like, say, Russel, at No. 1, to the Raiders; sounds like Clue) Mel did the best. He perfectly nailed the trifecta on 10 picks, not quite a third of the picks correct. (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Calculator informs me that Mel got 31.25% correct.)
Todd and Rick were right on his heels, correctly identifying 9. Somehow, I guessed 7. Peter King, however, got just 3 right. Three. Out of 32. I am not entirely sure how that is possible. He does cover football for a living, after all. Keep in the back of your mind: this is the beginning of a pattern.
If we are being a little more generous, and just matching player to team, the scores go up a little bit: Todd jumps into the lead with 11 overall (Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson) and Rick ties Mel at 10 (Jarvis Moss). Unbelievably, I also jumped up to 10 correct picks (Quinn, Moss, Nelson) to tie Mel (who didn't get any bonus points).
Peter gets credit for Brady Quinn to the Browns at 22, bringing his first round total up to four. He talks to people that know about this stuff on the phone, right? He is always saying he is. Again, the fact that the most read football writer on the planet could only guess four right astounds me. I still am not sure what to make of this...maybe that during all those intimate, 45-minute phone conversations he says he is having, he is being like to for 45-straight minutes. By everyone. That's all I can come up with.
Or he is chewing so damn loud he can't hear whatever they're saying. Kellogg's should get him to fill in for that guy who is eating the crunchy cereal and can't hear shit but somehow keeps getting a raise.
Everyone did a pretty good job of identifying those going in the first round. Mel missed 4, Todd 3, Peter 4 (of course) and Rick missed 3. David Harris, Alan Branch, and Chris Houston screwed everyone over, pretty much, and Paul Posluszny was confusing for some people as well.
Who missed most egregiously? Mel had David Harris going 12th to the Bills and he lasted all the way to the 57 picks. He was only off by (hang on...start, all programs, accessories, calculator....) 45 spots. What is that saying about horse shoes and hand grenades? Everyone had him going pretty high, though; Mel just happened to have him going the highest. Still, he screwed up the worst. Such is mocking, I suppose.
To be fair, Mel did nail the first seven picks, in order. No one else did that, so props to The Hair. No wonder he had that shitty grin plastered on his mug for the first hour and a half of the draft. Couldn't have lasted too long, though. He got only 3 of the next 25.
The worst pick of the draft goes to Rick Gosselin, who proclaimed that Amobi Okoye was destined to fall to the Chiefs at 23. Points for word association, though. ("Rick, say the first word that comes to mind: Kansas City Chiefs?" "Okoye!")
The worst picks of the draft? Peter King, in a landslide.
I will admit freely that there are terrific football writers out there that I am not aware of. Hey, I wish I knew them (and if you have any suggestions, I am all ears). I was only made aware of Gosselin recently, and I gather that is one of the most respected writers in the biz. So I am not the most informed kid on the block. But Peter King is the NFL writer, right? He is more widely read and his opinion (on football, not The Sopranos or colonoscopies or double-mocha lattes) is given more credence that anyone else, right? On the national scene, at least?
If any of that is even close to being true, how can he only get the first two right (which were basically written in stone) get the fourth right (carved in wood) and then just take the rest of the draft off? Why even do a mock draft if you have no idea what the hell you are talking about? Why tarnish your credibility like that? Why not just write a column about all the GMs you talked to and their tone of voice during said conversation, make a list of people you want to cheer for, and compare every team to a different piece of food on a buffet?
Hell, just write what you think teams should do. That might even be interesting.
He seems like one of those Wilbon-type guys who think the draft gets waaay too much play and that the coverage is excessive, etc. If he abstained from doing a mock, I don't think he'd catch too much flak. And if he did, a simple "Hey, I write about people currently getting paid" would quell most complaints, I think.
But he posted his mock draft, even had it as the lead story on SI.com. And he got three (or four) right. And if you look closely, he screwed it up even worse than you'd think.
Besides the obvious 1st, 2nd and 4th picks, there were five picks that Kiper, McShay and Gosselin all agreed on: Thomas to the Browns, Landry to the Skins, Willis to the Niners, Timmons to Pittsburgh and Grubb to Baltimore. These were essentially locks; Anytime those three picked the same guy, that's who was actually picked. Money in the bank.
King went the other way on all five of them. Of course he did.
And not even a mention of this catastrophe in his MMQB column. I just don't get it, Peter.
Enough of Peter: are the rest of these guys worth having around? I mean, I never would have come close to getting 10 right if they weren't there listing the highest rated players. So they are good for that, which is something.
But they got 10 right. Just 10. That ain't good. They are good for something to base your own mock draft on, and give you an idea of who is going to go where, but when it comes to bottom lines results, it isn't worth your time reading them. It just isn't. No one got more than a third correct.
My question is this: shouldn't someone ask them about this? Why do they get to perform miserably and then "give their grades" for the next week? Why doesn't someone give them grades? Like, say, some random blogger?
Mel Kiper: F+
Todd McShay: F
Rick Gosselin: F-
Point 23: G-
Peter King: Z------------------------------------
(Aside from making his predictions, which were as good as anyones, I loved Todd McShay. He may not have always been right - I think he was most of the time, for whatever that is worth - but he always gives two or three rational reasons for why he felt the way he did. I don't think you can ask for much more than that from any analyst. Plus, he never just screams at me, which is awesome. He's the best. Is there anyway we can get him to replace Stink on NFL Live? Or Mark May?)
I am incredulous - incredulous! - that anyone at all is even questioning the Pats decision to acquire Randy Moss. Here is all that any talking head should be saying:
"The best team in football just acquired possibly the most dangerous weapon in the entire sport for no risk at all. NONE. They have a very real shot at helping push Nick Buoniconti into an early grave by not losing a single game all year. Anything less than a blowout Super Bowl win will be seen as a colossal failure. This is one of the great acquirements of all time, let alone in the cap era. Bravo, New England. Bravo."
(What do you think JaMarcus Russell is thinking right now? Probably something close to "Oh shit. No, really: Oh shit." And do the Raiders have the worst receivers in the league? They are stuck with a man who actively tried to submarine his franchise's entire season, the worst North Carolina point guard I have been alive for and then traded for the definitive face of the biggest WR-corps bust of all-time in Mike Williams. All behind one of the most porous o-lines in the National Football League. JaMarcus is jealous of Brady Quinn. No joke. Good thing he can sling it 60 yards from his ass; it'll come in handy.)
There are two issues, I guess, people have taken exception with: 1) He is a team cancer who causes teams to lose and destroys locker rooms and/or 2) He has lost a step and is not nearly the weapon he used to be.
Let's deal with the second part first. Has he lost a step? I mean, maybe, this will be his 10th year in the NFL. But Keyshawn Johnson told me he ran a 4.29 forty the other day, and Keyshawn has never lied to me before. 4.29? Are you kidding me? I don't know what he was running a decade ago, but it can't have been much faster, tenths of seconds at the most. The dude can still run like a gazelle on 'roids. And it's not like he will go down as the greatest route runner of all time; he relied on his speed. And the man still has it.
Plus, he hasn't done shit the last two years. Nada. You know what Randy has been dong for the last two years, besides working at his juice stand? I'll tell you:
Let's just say the man is well rested. He'll be good to go.
Onto the more serious concern: The team cancer thing, which, at least to me, is ridiculous.
From all accounts, Moss has become increasingly concerned about his legacy, and to him, the only way to ensure a proper legacy in the NFL is to win a title. (Hey, smart guy.) He could have gone to different teams, but he took less money and would only go to the Patriots. This seems to me like he is taking this thing rather serious, yes?
He is going into this thing dying to make it work. And whatever problems he has been attached to in the past are directly tied to his team not winning. (Well, except for nearly running over that traffic cop. But she had it coming!*)
He just seems to react poorly to losing. Not much chance of that happening in New England.
Plus, he knows that if he does something dumb, he's gone. The Patriots don't screw around with that shit. They have already upgraded their WR unit; they don't really need him. He knows this, too.
I remember reading Education of a Coach, the late David Halberstam's great book on Bill Belichik, and reading about The Genius when he was an assistant under Parcells. He decided then and there that no player was worth the trouble the Lawrence Taylor was to those Giants, even at the cost of winning a Super Bowl. If Moss acts up, he's toast, and Moss s very, very aware of this.
He'll behave. Please believe.
Look, the upside is through the roof, which no downside what to speak of. They paired the best quarterback in football with the best receiver. Yes, the best. How many times has the ever happened in the history of football? Like, once? Montana and Rice seemed to do OK.
Brady made Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney look like freakin' Pro Bowlers. What do you think he'll do with Moss? Put it this way: if the over/under on Randy's season stats was 1300 yards and 15 TDs, would you feel more comfortable with the over or under?
The real questions here are: 1) Do the Patriots have a chance to go undefeated considering their ridiculous off-season? and 2) Who has a better WR corps: the Patriots or the Colts?
The Patriots are the prohibitive favorites to win the Super Bowl, Nick Buoniconti has put his order of champagne from Sam's Club on hold and no fantasy draft will last one round without Brady and Moss being snatched off the board.
Bravo, New England, Bravo.
*I'm kidding. I have no idea what happened there. Indefensible, really. Point 23 in no way condones or promotes the vehicular abuse of officers of the law. Really.