Sunday, April 25, 2010

NFL Draft post-draft observations

By Rick Morris

I would like to start by referring you back to our liveblogging from the first night of the draft and our compilation of highlight videos from the top prospects.

^ I appreciate the NFL honoring the military by allowing for the “guest drafter” device to be utilized there. But what was up with the gimmick of allowing all of the other “guest drafters” to come to the podium to make the picks? I’m half-expecting Carrot Top to come out next year with a bag of wacky props before making a pick. Then again, this is the same league who compromised the integrity of the process in order to make it a prime-time, made-for-TV miniseries, so additional lapses in decision-making from that point are almost superfluous.

^ How the heck were there so many TEs being drafted when Jermaine Gresham was the only legitimate franchise player at the position? Teams around the league really forced their desires to shore up at the position into a marketplace that had almost no legitimate answers at the position. That was one of the weirder examples of groupthink we’ve seen recently.

^ Personally, as a Browns fan, may I express my outrage that the stupidity of those picking before the Ravens allowed for the Cody/Kindle supreme values to arrive in Baltimore in the second round. The rich get richer and the idiocy of teams making big reaches allows it to happen. I’m looking at you, Jacksonville and Denver.

^ Speaking of the Browns, their defining pick of the draft was the huge value of QB Colt McCoy in the third round. Many are hailing the team for its brilliance in waiting for him to fall to that spot. I couldn’t disagree more; it was raw luck in terms of everyone else in the draft being asleep (as Jimmy Clausen can tell you, this was another Aaron Rodgers/Brady Quinn situation this year in which top-rated QBs plummeted on the draft boards as teams drafted strictly for need in many instances). Brilliant? Sure, in the same way that the Cavs were “brilliant” for playing the 2002-03 season without a point guard in the hopes of landing a whopping one-in-five chance of being able to draft Lebron the next June.

^ Actually, one more point about the Browns, because it illuminates a larger truism and this has come out of conversations with FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones, who heads up our draft coverage: the team did not get good value on CB Joe Haden at #7 overall, because he is not a shutdown cover corner, merely a borderline one (and one who could still have been there a few picks back had they found a trading partner). We heard a great deal about how Eric Berry better be the real deal to be selected at #5, because only franchise safeties should go that high, but the same relates to cornerbacks, left tackles and wide receivers: if you are a franchise player at any of these positions, you belong in the top ten overall. If not, you don’t.

^ Any Giants fan questioning the great Jerry Reese for pulling Jason Pierre-Paul – the best edge-rusher in the draft – off the board at 15 when he could well have gone higher should be dispatched to a leper colony posthaste. It’s as if these mouth-breathers have forgotten Reese’s awesome draft history and the fact that Rutgers was one of the teams their new player dominated!

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