The Silence You Hear Is The Passing Of The NFL Draft

The NFL Draft weekend had come and gone one more time. Even though it is hugely over-hyped, it is an important element in the building and maintenance of a franchise so I need to make a couple of comments about the draft. I will NOT, however, succumb to the temptation to give draft grades to teams. Any grading of a team’s 2009 draft roster is only an interim evaluation until about 2012.

Having said all that:

    The University of Miami has had players taken in the first round for 14 consecutive years until this year. No players from “The U” went on the first day of the draft this year.

    I said in my pre-draft analysis – in my new alter ego as The Couch Scout – that I did not think the Lions should select Matthew Stafford with the #1 pick. They did and they signed him to a contract that will guarantee him more than $41M. Actually, they really did have to make this pick once they released Jon Kitna; that left them with this depth chart at QB:

      Duante Culpepper – – huge question mark.

      Drew Stanton – – first career pass was a 1-yard TD; since then no more.

      Drew Henson – – 29 years old and zero meaningful experience at the NFL level

    Is Matt Millen looking smarter today than he did yesterday? I don’t know; but if the Lions had swerved everyone and drafted Michael Crabtree with the overall #1 pick, Lions’ fans might have started a petition drive to get Millen back and send this new front office team off on an ice floe.

    Looking at Vikings’ coach Brad Childress on the sidelines during a game, he often looks as if he has a terminal gas bubble in his gut. Somehow, I don’t think drafting Percy Harvin – a player who tested positive for MJ at the Combine knowing that he would be tested for it there and whose reputation for practicing rivals that of Allen Iverson – is going to give him a look of serenity.

    The Jaguars took two offensive tackles that the draftniks all said were top-shelf talent. Now, if the draftniks are correct …

If you want to read a really good column on the NFL Draft, go to Bernie Lincicome’s blog and read the entry from 4/24/09. Bernie explains there that one needs to have to learn to decipher “Draft-speak” and he gives lessons throughout the column. Here is one example to whet your appetite:

“Carl Jackson, DE, 6-3, 270, Oklahoma Abnormal-”Considered for the Lombardi Trophy, the Outland Trophy and the Heisman Trophy.” He won the Lipton Trophy for flow-through linemen.”

Last week, Frank Fitzpatrick had this item in his Morning Bytes column in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Say what? Another incomprehensible release that came across my desk:

” ‘RotoHog, the leading fantasy sports platform provider, today announced an exclusive partnership with RazorGator for the 2009 Baseball season. The partnership will give RotoHog’s Fantasy baseball participants access to RazorGator’s exclusive ticket inventory for live events, as well as other merchandising and promotional opportunities.’

    “1. Fantasy players don’t attend live events unless they’re taking place over their parents’ garages.

    “2. The only sports platform provider I’m familiar with manufactures diving boards.

    “3. Are RazorGators utilized in the slaughter of RotoHogs?

You will be glad to know that the NCAA has maintained its slavish devotion to avoid saying anything that might be offensive to anyone. Not satisfied with their campaign to try to get rid of potentially offensive team mascots and nicknames, the NCAA announced last week that it will recognize/sanction a new varsity intercollegiate sport. I shall leave the commentary to Greg Cote of the Miami Herald to fill you in fully:

“The Most Ridiculous Thing I Heard This Week, one in a series: The NCAA has sanctioned beach volleyball as a new sport but will call it ‘sand volleyball’ in fairness to land-locked schools.”

Finally, Scott Ostler was in a problem-solving mode last weekend in the SF Chronicle. Here is his free advice to the NY Yankees about how the team might solve that vexing problem of having those really expensive empty seats right behind home plate where they show up so clearly on TV:

“Dugouts, schmugouts: Let the players sit in the stands. Or, instead of sending slumping players to the minor leagues, option them to the Legends Suite.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • JJC  On April 27, 2009 at 11:12 am

    My top two comments from the talking heads about the draft are “This is why Al Davis drafts in the top 10 year after year” in the first round and “we don’t have any tape on this guy” in the second. What is worse is that I see people defending these picks as the best the Raiders could do. It’s Beaten Fan Syndrome to say the least.

    Nobody was looking at Bey that early. The Raiders could have traded down and added more talent that they sorely needed. Nobody was looking at their second pick that early too. They could have also traded down and got more talent. It’s not about if the players are going to be hall of famers from day one but how well you work the system.

  • Ed  On April 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I understand the Yankees are talking to a Silicon Valley firm to develop HoloFans, holographic projections of fans to put in those empty seats so they look full. Heck, half the current “celebrities” have no more substance than a holo…

  • Rich  On April 27, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Speaking of the Yankees…..the owners and general manager are probably regretting dumping their sure-fire Hall of Fame manager, Joe Torre, and saving a few bucks on Joe Girardi about now.
    But they can never admit it.
    All Torre did was deliver that team to the playoffs year in and year out, with less spent on payroll than the current crop of underachievers.
    I’ll guess that Girardi will be thrown under the team bus in a month or three.
    That bus, by the way, will be behind the bus driven by Terry Francona.
    And don’t be surprised if that Red Sox bus pulls up next to the one in Dodger Blue in October, or November as the case may be.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 28, 2009 at 9:03 am


    Heyward-Bey played at Maryland so I saw him more than once. His speed made him a focus of attention for opposing defenses and when he got to the open field, you saw he could fly. Problems he needs to overcome:

    1. His hands are not that good. More than a few times, he did what I call a “double catch” on a pass. In the NFL, those can easily result in incompletions.

    2. He ran away from defenders in college so his “route-running” need not have been precise. In the NFL, it will need to be very precise.


    The Knicks wanted to use a hologram of Stephon Marbury sitting on their bench all season long but they had the opposite problem from the Yankees. Marbury insisted on showing up in person.


    I said last year that the reason that the Yankees braintrust ditched Torre for Girardi is that the decision was a “no-brainer”.

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