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…