I told Kenny yesterday that I wasn't going to write about the draft for today. Why? Because I thought the draft was going to be ho-hum as always. Teams would be sensible about this and go out and improve their team like we knew they could. To quote Bomani Jones: "this is nothing more than an HR personnel meeting," which is true. You're basically watching people choose employees for their organization.
However, this particular first round of the draft seemed like people forgot to do interviews, read resumes, totally disregarded GPAs, and do thorough background checks. I'm literally convinced that either I know nothing about sports, or some folks are just out their mind. It's probably a combination of both. Here's what caught my attention on day one of the draft.
The Big 12 Is King - For all of the talk on who is the best conference in college football, the Big 12 finally has something it can hold over the SEC's head. Five of the first six picks in the first round came from the Big 12. Bradford, Suh, McCoy, Trent Williams, and Russell Okung came off the board in a hurry and should all have a definite impact in the league. (Oklahoma, stand up for having three of the top five picks; thank you.) The funny thing is, the best player in the top six, in my opinion, might be Eric Berry. I can't remember a time when Kansas City has had such a dynamic player in the secondary and they need defensive playmakers in the worst way. Oh yeah, funniest Twitter line of the night, someone said Sam Bradford looks like Bruce Lee's illegitimate love child. Had me in tears.
The Raiders Actually Made A Good/Bad Pick - Who knew? I couldn't have guessed ten times that Oakland would take Rolando McClain at #8. True, the pick doesn't really fulfill the major needs that the team has (O-Line, Quarterback) and there were definitely players that could've fit, but hell, Oakland's run defense is horrible, and for as good as Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison are at the linebacker position, they'd be better served to play the Sam & Will, Rolando at the Mike gives them a supremely strong unit.
Jacksonville & San Diego Love To Reach - You ever have someone just go out of their way to do something just to show you how smart they really are, but really aren't? Jacksonville has done this so many times the last couple of years, that it's beginning to irk me. Last year, Jacksonville traded up from #23 to #8 to pick a defensive end that wasn't even pegged to come off the board to the mid-20's. This year, with Jacksonville sitting at #10, they go and pick the player that would've been probably the fifth defensive tackle off the board. As in, he would've went in the second round, no problem. The dude now has to overachieve to fulfill his draft choice, and I feel bad for Alualu. He's good, but can he be #10 pick in the draft great? I have no ill feelings towards Tyson, because I think he showed why he's a great player, but I'm just skeptical of the decision making of personnel for this team.
Same with San Diego. Why go up all the way to #12 to pick Ryan Mathews when you could've stayed right where you were at and picked the same player? Jahvid Best didn't go until #30, and they traded up to get him. Not a knock on Mathews, but why give up the extra pieces when you were primed to get a great tailback regardless? I don't understand.
Sleepless In Seattle - Because football fans should be downright giddy with their selections. Somehow picking at #6 and #14, the Seahawks ended up with the best offensive lineman in the draft (sorry Trent) in Okung and a player in Earl Thomas who will be a mainstay in their defense for the next ten seasons, no problem. They actually have athletes in Seattle now, something that Pete Carroll thrives on. There were no athletes on this team prior to, and there might be hope in the Pacific Northwest.
Jermaine Lands In Cincy - To my good people of Cincinnati, just understand that you've never had this type of athlete at the tight end position ever in your entire history. A 6'5", 260 pound gazelle of a tight end who runs a legit 4.6 and is a matchup problem for anyone on the field. Carson Palmer's shelf life might've just been extended another 2-3 years, and we can thank the good folks of Ardmore, Oklahoma for the beginning of the Jermaine Gresham era in the Queen City.
The Denver Broncos Had The Best 2nd Round Draft In History. Oh Wait... - Right. If Denver had picked Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow in the 2nd round, they would be lauded for their draft success. However, what do they go do? They pick the 2nd best wide receiver on the board (someone who played in the triple option and caught like 20 balls all season) and the MAYBE 4th best quarterback on the board in Tebow. First of all, to Demaryius and Tim...congrats, this has nothing to do with you whatsoever. Go get your money and be a star in this league. However, for all intents and purposes, Josh McDaniels might have everyone drinking spiked juice and believing the gospel because I can't quite understand what he's trying to do. Is he going to run the Wildcat/Spread Option/Wishbone offense? The man has successfully traded away Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Tony Scheffler to then go draft a certified project QB in Tebow and a WR in Thomas who is definitely good, but Dez Bryant was sitting right there and you passed on him, which takes me to my next point...
The Dallas Cowboys Are The Smartest/Luckiest Bastards On The Planet - There's no way in life the Cowboys were supposed to be able to get Dez Bryant at all. Wasn't supposed to happen. I don't even think they gave him a workout. You don't think the past vision of Randy Moss running buckshot in Texas Stadium was eating at Jerry Jones for the last 10+ years? He couldn't afford to let that happen again, so he took action with getting Dez Bryant. Perfect situation for him in Dallas, and you could argue that as of today, the biggest improvement to any team in the NFC East is the addition of Bryant to the Cowboys. Big statement.
The Jets Defense Is On Steroids - Really Rex Ryan? You just gonna go out here and draft another elite cover corner to your team? Kyle Wilson? Wow...I mean, I'm never going to drop my allegiance to Jacksonville, but I am really liking how the Jets are doing business over here. I am a firm believer in Rex Ryan and the staff of the Jets, no doubt about it. I will be playing with the Jets on Madden in 2011, no doubt about it. With the addition of Jason Taylor to that defense, the Jets defensive 11
Detroit Football Might Be Back - Detroit might be a real problem in 2011, and we'll begin to see them take root in 2010 because if you look at the talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Lions they are young and supremely gifted. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Brandon Pettigrew are already there, now they've signed Tony Scheffler and Nate Burleson to provide veteran leadership and stability to the receiving core, then what do they go do? Draft the best running back in college football (in my opinion, Kenny's going to hate this) in Jahvid Best. I know he got hurt this year, but there was no more explosive and dynamic of a player in 2008 and the beginning of 2009 than Best, hell he got hurt leaping 5 yards from the endzone scoring a TD. Dude is real, and with the work Jim Schwartz is doing on the defensive side of the ball (plus adding some defensive tackle named...Suh I think?) they might be a legitimate problem soon. Better hurry up and get them while you can.
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DRAFT? WHAT WAS THE BEST/WORST PICK OF THE DAY? WHAT WILL HAPPEN TONIGHT? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US!
aside: Thunder Up! OKC 101, LA Lakers 96.
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