Saturday, April 28, 2007

Christmas In April

It's been almost four months since the last meaningful college football game ( the Senior Bowl doesn't count - although I like the cameras on the sidelines, and microphones in the huddles ). But in a few hours, it's Christmas in April for me, as the NFL draft begins.

It works two-fold for me. I love NFL football, and really love college football. So not only do I get to watch NFL teams make additions to their futures, I've spent the last few years watching these players. Will can tell you what Josh Howard's free throw percentage was for the month of February for the games that the Mavericks were on the road.... Nort can tell you how many yards the leading receiver for the '86 Packers had..... and I can tell you where he went to college. That's my talent in this life.

And while I randomly picked '86.... without looking it up... I'll guess the receiver was Lofton ( unless he left by then, but I'm not sure..... Nort will reply with who it was )... but I do know that he went to Stanford.

So knowing full well that I will be completely wrong about the rest of what I'm about to type.... here's my thoughts/predictions on what will be the first two and a half hours of the draft. For those of you not familiar with the draft, that means I'm really only going to talk about the first few picks or so. They get fifteen minutes per pick, so it tends to drag on for the first round.

Pick 1 - Oakland -
Oakland is in a world of hurt, and they're not putting the band-aid on yet, even hours before the draft. Most of the time, by now, we know who the first pick is. Teams that own the first pick are allowed to negotiate with players prior to the draft, and can ink them ahead of time. Oakland hasn't done that yet. Consensus is they'll take strong armed JaMarcus Russell of LSU to play QB for the next decade. The O-line is a mess, and Russell's work ethic has been called into question - which is never good if you're a QB that might be taken number one. WR Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech is BY FAR the best pure football player in the draft, and Al Davis loves wideouts.
What they will do: Draft JaMarcus Russell, QB LSU
What they should do: Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech
The learning curve is too steep at this level, and Russell will get pounded. I accept the argument that drafting Johnson is no good if you don't have anyone to throw to him... but I just think passing on Johnson is silly. See if a marginal QB becomes available in June when the cuts come down, and ride out a year, and draft a QB high next year. Russell wasn't much on the radar at the start of the year, and now he's toted as the #1 pick. He's got the athleticism, sure, but he was on a loaded LSU team. Other notable QB's that came out of college with rocket arms and decent mobility include; Kyle Boller, Patrick Ramsey, Mike Vick, Jay Cutler, JP Losman, Joey Harrington, and Ryan Leaf. Not a list Russell would like to end up on.

Pick 2 - Lions -
Where to the jokes begin? The Lions have taken over as the laughing stock of the NFL. It seems like they've been picking in the top five for the last decade. They infamously took WRs with top five picks for three consecutive seasons............ and they might take another one this year. With Russell most likely going number one, Johnson will fall to number two. I swear to goodness, I made a joke to Nort in October about the Lions taking Johnson, and I had to explain to Nort who he was.
What they will do: Draft Johnson ( but not hang on to him for long. They'll either trade the pick, or Johnson before the day is over ).
What they should do: Draft Johnson, and keep him.
You've got Kitna, McCown and Orlovsky ( from Connecuitt ) at QB, and while they're not barn burners, Kitna isn't a pile of shit either. Two of the three aforementioned WR have been busts, but Roy Williams is turning out to be pretty solid. Johnson would be a great addition to him, and help take pressure off the deep backfield that has Duckett, Jones, Calhoun and Caseon. The last caveat is that drafting Joe Thomas, left tackle from Wisconsin would be a very good pick for them here, if Johnson goes number one.

Pick 3 - Browns -
Consensus is that they'll take Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma. I can't much disagree with this pick. They're under alot of fire in Cleveland, and they've got a whole bunch question marks at RB. They did sign the fantasy league killer in Jamal Lewis, but he's not a long term answer. Peterson comes in with ALOT of hype, and he won't be the next LT or LJ.... but he'll be good.
What they will do: Draft Peterson
What they should do: Draft Peterson
Yeah, this one seems too logical for me - so here's five bucks saying it won't go down this way.

From here, I'll spare you the details, but here's my thoughts on the rest of the first half.

Pick 4 - Tampa Bay - Trade down
Pick 4 - Falcons/From Tampa Bay - LaRon Landry, S, LSU
Pick 5 - Cardinals - Joe Thomas, T, Wisconsin
Pick 6 - Redskins - Trade down
Pick 6 - Dolphins/From Redskins - Brady Quinn, QB, ND
Pick 7 - Vikings - Nobody. They don't get the card up in time.
Pick 7 - Tampa Bay/From Falcons - Levi Brown, T, PSU
Pick 8 - Redskins/From Dolphins - Jamall Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Pick 9 - Vikings finally get the card in. - Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
Pick 10 - Texans - Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson

I mock the Vikings, but if they Quinn doesn't fall to them, they'll take Okoye wherever they pick. Yes, I realize that two trades in the top ten picks is NOT likely, but they're my damn predictions. No, I don't plan on getting many of them right. That's why I like watching the draft.

As for the Packers, since they won't trade up to get Quinn, I think they'll take Lynch, the RB out of Cal. Once Favre retires, both our QB and RB will have gone to college together. And we all know what kind of powerhouse Cal is. Woo hoo.

Well, now I'm just getting ornery. Bed time peeps. If you're not doing anything tomorrow, you can come watch the draft in HiDef on the 56 inch screen. It'll be fun, I promise!


At 7:20 AM, Blogger Nort said...

Of course it was Lofton, with 840 yards and 4 TD's in his last year as a Packer.

Gotta love the Randy Wright era.

I'd love to come over, if you had wireless internet access...


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