2010 NFL Draft Extravaganza Wrap up and stuff...
Written by Curt Popejoy on 04/29/2010
I realize that some of you came here looking for grades on the various teams and their drafts. If that’s all you are interested in, you might look elsewhere. I’ve tried that, and it made no sense to me. Dallas gets a C, Seattle gets an A. What does that mean? I’m a teacher and students earn grades I don’t give them anything. These draft classes will earn a grade in about 3 years, so we can grade them then. Until then, I am just going to rail on some things I experienced during the huge 3 days of the NFL draft, not just about the draft but you will get a little on my draft day Twitter experience, being a celebrity at Buffalo Wild Wings, and how being wrong is ok.
There were a few teams that caught all the attention by the talking heads and not all of them did so for the right reasons. If I don’t mention your team or the players they drafted, it’s probably because they did ok, but nothing remarkable either positive or negative. That’s probably a good thing. In the long run, it’s the teams that seem to bring the quiet storm during the draft that down the road win big.
First there were a few teams that had to make their fans happy. Some took very aggressive approaches to improve their teams and other more of a “let the draft come to them” approach and still did well.
Seattle Seahawks - If a team can snag 3 starters in a draft, that’s huge, and I think with Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, and Golden Tate they did just that. You figure in a trade for LenDale White and you could conceivably have 4 opening day starters from the draft. Pete Carroll is a smart guy, and he is building a nice team. While I disagree with how much they put into getting Charlie Whitehurst, it won’t impact them this year unless Matt Hasselback gets hurt. I think they would have been good to get an explosive playmaker on offense but regardless they have done well for themselves and if Leon Washington can come back fully from that injury he could be that guy anyway.
Oakland Raiders - Yeah, never thought I’d say this, but the Raiders did some good work. Near as I can tell, they had Al Davis locked in a closet, duct taped to a chair on Thursday and Friday and only let him out on Saturday, but whatever it takes, right? The Raiders first three picks, Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston, and Jared Veldheer are all players that look to contribute early, and should all make their way to the starting lineup at some point. With the next two picks, Bruce Campbell and Jacoby "Cheetah" Ford you have pure Davis. Triangle numbers. I am not sure Campbell can play since he’s only played in 17 college games, but Ford is underrated and if he can become more consistent with his hands, no doubt his speed will get him open. You figure in a trade for Jason Campbell, which should mean the beginning of the end for Jamarcus Russell and the Raiders have gotten much better.
San Francisco 49ers - Niner fans, if you were looking to see Michael Crabtree catch 100 balls this year you may be out of luck. The Niners did everything they could to become a power running teams, drafting 2 huge running blocking linemen, the best run blocking TE, and a massive power back to pair up with Frank Gore. 3 yards and a cloud of dust is my kind of football so I am ok with it. My only concerns with the Niners is, did they address their pass rushers and are they really sold on their QBs? The first may be taken care of with some June 1st cuts, but they are going to run with the QBs they have and hope that run game can keep him clean.
Carolina Panthers - The Panthers had the best draft for me. The fact they didn’t have a first round pick and were able to get Jimmy Clausen was tremendous. Listen up haters, Clausen is the real deal. And he’s been drafted into the absolute best position of any rookie QB. He’s got a great oline, exceptional running game, and weapons in the passing game. Clausen has to be doing cartwheels at the idea of being here instead of a place like Cleveland or Buffalo. The rest of their draft was less exciting but still very good. Brandon LaFell will pair up nicely with Steve Smith and Armanti Edwards, while a reach, can give them a wildcat option, and possibly an Antwan Randel-El type wide out. And don’t discount getting Eric Norwood and Greg Hardy on day 3. Both guys were very productive players in college.
Now, the teams I think enjoyed Katz Deli more than the draft.
San Diego Chargers - This has nothing to do with the talent of Ryan Mathews. He’s the most complete back in the draft, and I think he will make Chargers fans happy for a long long time. I do think however the Chargers did two things really wrong. First they go duped by misinformation and basically mortgaged the farm to go up and get him, and in doing so they lost picks they could have used to address other pressing needs. The Chargers front office obviously believes that the Chargers are one player away from the Super Bowl, but I am not sure they are right. That defense has taken a huge hit this offseason and although I like Darrell Stuckey and Cam Thomas, no pass rush help and no CB worries me a lot.
Jacksonville Jaguars - I am not going to rail on about Alualu. He’s a nice player. This pick reminds me a lot of when Buffalo selected Donte’ Whitner a couple of years back. If Alualu ends up being the next Warren Sapp then they will look like geniuses. Plenty of people are hammering the Jags for this pick so I will refrain. I will rail on the fact that with everything wrong with this team, the Jags drafted defensive linemen with their first 4 picks. If this team allows a single 100 yard rusher they better wonder what happened. Trading for Kirk Morrison was a nice more, but letting Clint Ingram go wasn’t. You figure in two throw away players at the end, and I just don’t see where this team is any better now than they were last Wednesday.
Denver Broncos - I am not basing this on the Tim Tebow pick exclusively. I will comment more on Tebow in a moment. I have serious issue with a team giving up an elite player like Denver did with Brandon Marshall for a 2nd round pick, and then using a first round pick to try and replace him. First, Demaryius Thomas will never be Brandon Marshall, but second, you basically are telling the world, “yeah we took it in the shorts on that trade” but using a 1st round pick on the guy you want to take his place. I’ve heard Thomas compared to Rod Smith. You better hope so. The rest of the draft, sans Tebow was solid, especially J.D. Walton who will start for them for a decade, and CBs Perrish Cox and Syd’quan Thompson who provide nice depth. But no 3-4 downlinemen? Really? This defense got run on late last season and I don’t see that being any different this year. It's putting a lot of faith in some 30 something free agents As far as Tebow goes, I will only say this. Bill Parcells can make this pick. Bill Cowher could have made this pick and it would not be part of their legacy. For Josh McDaniels, he is now forever tied to Tebow. McDaniels has to have a set of brass ones, but it’s not a risk I take. The ceiling for Tebow even best case isn't enough. If Tebow isn’t good in 3 years, and I mean really really good, he will be gone and he’ll likely be playing for whichever team McDaniels is working for.
Who doesn’t love mock drafts? They are a fun guess at how the league thinks and a way for fans, draftniks, and whoever else to try and be a GM for a moment. But let’s be clear what they are. They are a guess. A poorly educated guess at that. And as someone who’s done mock drafts for over a decade and done this site nearly as long, I don’t hang my hat on how accurate my mock drafts are and I never will. And anyone who does, it a fool. So please, and you know how you are, if your mock draft happens to do ok, there’s no reason to be a dbag about it, especially on Twitter. It’s the second worst thing you can do.
What’s worse? Bring a hypocrite. I found it pretty funny, when I would get a tweet from a fellow draftnik, that went something like this, “I told you all Everson Griffen was going to fall.”. I then go to their site and see they have him as their no.5 De and a 2nd round pick. That just makes you look stupid. Stand by your rankings or they don’t mean anything. Credibility has to account for something right? I hand this info out as a public service, so don’t hate.
Being a Celebrity at Buffalo Wild Wings
So Saturday my oldest daughter and I decide to go grab some wings at BWW for lunch. Obviously the draft is going strong and on all the screens. I am sitting there with Lexi, powering down some blazin’ wings sweating it up, and just enjoying myself. My daughter is only 11 but she has picked up a ton about football and knows the draft so we are talking about the players and picks as they come up. I am working Twitter on my HD2, and I mention to her something that I had on my site. Some guys at the next table hear and lean over and ask me what my draft site is. I am proud to tell them, and low and behold they were regular visitors. It was pretty hilarious and so random. We talked prospects for a little while. The funniest part? Their favorite thing on the site? This one having nothing to do with the draft. The All NFL Team of Guys Who Don't Actually Play in the NFL Team Thingy I’m ok with that.
NFL teams are wrong, and that’s ok
There were some players who went undrafted that if you scan the internet you can see were rated much higher not only by the draftnik community of which I am a part, but the bigtime sports media like ESPN and the NFL Network. Since this has happened, what the rest of the world has concluded from this is that guys like Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper, and myself are just stupid and have no idea what we are talking about because we thought Donovan Warren and Jeremy Williams would be drafted. Let me drop a little knowledge for ya. The NFL gets it wrong. In fact they probably get it wrong more than I do. So the fact that Warren wasn’t drafted might be that he’s not a great player, but don’t rule out that he is, and the NFL just boned it up. Most rosters have between 7 and 10 players on their active roster who went undrafted, so those are screw ups by the entire league right.
Let me finish my little tirade with two names. Lock these names away for the next 3 years and if they blow up, remember your pal Curt hooked you up and give me some props. Because I know if they don’t, you won’t hesitate to tell me I was wrong. Aaron Hernandez and O'Brien Schofield. Just jot 'em down. These guys are gamers. Should have gone much sooner.
This wraps up the 2010 NFL draft, and the draft season. As you can see on the site, I already have preliminary 2011 player rankings and will have my first 2011 mock draft mid-summer. Expect big things this Summer, as the end of the draft is just the beginning for us. We are going to have lots of college content and should help you with your football fix all Summer long!
Last Edited: 04/26/2010