Monday, April 25, 2005

Post-Draft Thoughts
By Imtiaz Mussa

So with another NFL Draft in the books, Mel Kiper Jr. can go back into the ESPN Storage Closet and football fans will have to wait till the preseason for any more excitement. Well, maybe cut-down days will be entertaining. Are there any takers for Doug Brien?
Till next year Mel

Now I’m not going to pass out draft grades for two reasons. One, I just don’t have that kind of time. Two, do you really care what grade I have given the Houston Texans? With that being said, the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins automatically fail because I am a Giants fan.

Brand New Coaches
Mike Nolan now has his ‘franchise quarterback’ in Alex Smith. So far, so good for the Niners. Smith has already said that he will not hold out over a contract and he can’t believe that Ryan Leaf wasted all that talent. Drafting a pair of offensive linemen is also a big help.

Nick Saban went with Ronnie Brown with the second overall pick. But the last time I checked the Dolphins had Taylor, Holliday, and Carter on the roster in the defensive end spot. Why add Roth? Channing Crowder is a steal in round three. And you knew Saban couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take an LSU guy in Travis Daniels. But again, the pressure is all on AJ Feely. The Dolphins could not justify taking another quarterback because they dealt a second round draft pick to get him.

Frye passing to Braylon Edwards is the long term plan in Cleveland. I was actually surprised that the Browns did not go with bigger names on defense but then I realized, who ever heard of some of those Patriots defenders before Romeo Crennel got there. As Ed Reed showed us last year, a safety can be a dominant force on the football field. Maybe Brodney Pool is that guy.

Head Scratchers
Maurice Clarett drafted by Denver with the last pick in round three shocked nearly all of us. This guy only had a good half season in college football because he was hurt and could not outright beat Lydell Ross for the starting job. He tried to challenge the NFL’s age limit and was shot down. His character is terrible and he hasn’t played since January 2003. Yet somehow because it’s Denver, you know he will shine because of that system. Maybe it can do the same for Ron Dayne.
Joey has no excuses

Mike Williams will be calling Ford Field his home. The Detroit Lions took him with the tenth overall selection despite having other needs. However, Charles Rogers can never seem to stay healthy so in that sense, it’s a decent selection. But, it’s the third consecutive year they have taken a wide receiver in round one! All I can say is that there are no excuses for Joey Harrington now. He’s got some of the best young pass catchers to throw the ball to.

Matt Jones is a physical specimen. He played quarterback at Arkansas but will be moved to either wide receiver or tight end in the NFL. Yet, he was still taken in the first round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t think this guy will contribute yet and for the Jaguars, they were pretty close to the playoffs and are only a few players away. They could have gotten an immediate impact guy in round one. Save the projects for later.

Nothing made me laugh harder than watching the Jets fan reaction to the selection of kicker Mike Nugent. They waited seven and a half hours for… a kicker? The look on their faces was priceless. But, it was a great selection. Anyone who saw Doug Brien’s performance against Pittsburgh will be consoled in knowing that his guy is a huge upgrade. Beyond that, getting Justin Miller ten picks later was a steal. Also it should be noted, had Gang Green not taken him at 47, he was going to Minnesota at 49.

Now while I understand that Dustin Colquitt is the best punter in the draft, is he really worth a third round draft pick? NO!!! The Kansas City defense was one of the absolute worst in football last year! They took Derrick Johnson is round one which was good but then instead of getting a defensive back like Considine, Perkins, or Daniels, they go with Colquitt? Their fifth round pick Alphonso Hodge who is a corner had no interceptions in college career! I bet you those three guys know what it’s like to have an interception! And don’t tell me they already have Surtain! This defense was just terrible!

Potential Low Risk, High Reward
Note: any player taken after round four falls into this category
Adrian McPherson – We all know the story. He had all the talent to be a quality quarterback yet simply lacked discipline. He was removed from Florida State and ended up playing in the Arena League. If there is a chance that he could put it together, it will be a steal for the New Orleans Saints. Aaron Brooks better watch out.
Adrian's got his shot now

Anttaj Hawthorne – Kids, here is a lesson. Don’t smoke marijuana. It will cost you a lot of money because you will be draft three rounds lower than you really should go. Hawthorne has plenty of skills but testing positive just killed his draft stock. And look who was the there to pick him up but the forgiving Oakland Raiders.

Gerald Sensabaugh – Here is something from Sensabaugh’s scouting report. “Physical and is a playmaker who is always around the ball...Excellent athlete with a 41-inch vertical.” Players like him should not be around at pick 151! Yes I understand he only played one year at UNC but he was dominant at the I-AA level as well.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Mike Martz is going to have some nightmares now. Fitzpatrick, who went to Harvard should be smart enough to realize that Martz is an arrogant idiot. That’s not good. Meanwhile the chances that Fitzpatrick plays are pretty slim for now. He would have to beat out Jamie Martin and Jeff Smoker. Still, he would be perfect for that offense.

Lance Mitchell – It’s terrible what a torn ACL can do to you. Mitchell was the best middle linebacker in the 2004 class after a great 2002 season for the Sooners. Then, he tears his ACL against Fresno State. He comes back for the 2004 season but doesn’t look like the same player he once was. But, he is still a very intelligent linebacker who may continue to regain some of that speed. Just another good choice by Arizona in this year’s draft.


Blogger David Arnott said...

Denver didn't have a pick in either the 4th or 5th rounds, and Dallas was reportedly gonna pick Clarett sometime in that range, so the Broncos decided to take the risk. Realize that no one is ripping the 49ers for picking Frank Gore early in the 3rd round, even though Gore played FOUR more college games than Clarett and has a far more serious injury history. Realize also that, despite Mike Shanahan's utter idiocy in many football matters, he makes a good point when he says that "football shape" is different from "workout shape". Clarett was the best high school player in his class, he was the best true freshman of his class, and it could arguably be an upside that he hasn't been piled on by 300-pound defensive tackles for the past two years, considering that running backs have a preciously short football lifespan.

1:15 AM  

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