Posted 04/22/2010 at 05:38 PM
We're bloggin' tonight! Checking in here late Thursday afternoon before the Power Hours just to let you know I'll be offering pick-by-pick analysis when the draft gets started in a couple of hours.
Check back shortly and until then, tune into the Power Hours on VI Radio starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Back in a bit...
7:35 p.m. Eastern: Ok, as expected, St. Louis took Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 pick. It won't be easy for Bradford if he starts as a rookie because the Rams have an abysmal offensive line that they need to address in the coming rounds. One positive, however, is the presence of a Pro-Bowl type running back in the bruising Steven Jackson. With Marc Bulger getting cut, Bradford is likely to start as a rookie, perhaps as early as Week 1. I think the OU product will be a solid NFL QB, but I'm not at all sold on him being a perennial Pro-Bowler.
On the other hand, I am COMPLETELY sold on Ndamukong Suh being a total stud. He just went to the Lions as the No. 2 pick. Don't be fooled by his soft-spoken and classy demeanor. The Nebraska product is an absolute beast between the lines who tools out double-teams for a living. Great pick by a Detroit team that needs all the help it can get.
Sportsbook.com had a prop bet for Suh to be taken ahead of Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy. Suh backers are getting paid, but they had to risk a 'chalky' minus-550 price.
McCoy expected to go No. 3 to the Bucs here in a minute......and now he has. Great moment with McCoy giving NFL Commish Roger Goodell a bear hug.
Two Quickie Thoughts:
1-LOVE the NFL Draft going to a prime-time slot on Thursday! (Next, the Week 1 MNF doubleheader becomes an every-week thing.)
2-Everybody -- even Detroit -- is going to regret not taking Tennessee safety Eric Berry. This is the first time I've EVER compared a player to Ronnie Lott, but I just did. Kansas City is going to get him as a gift at No. 5.
At No. 4, Washington just took Oklahoma OT Trent Williams. The 'Skins are going 'need' with that selection because they have LaRon Landry out of LSU at the safety position (thus ignorantly passing on Berry).
What's the 'over/under' on the 'upside' count on ESPN's telecast tonight? I'll go 'over' if the total is less than 300.
Excuse me, I just had a brief 'Broadway' Joe Namath moment during Suzy Kolber's interview with Williams. Ok, moving on...if the Chiefs pass on Eric Berry, they're cursed for a decade and will regret it for a century. ESPN goes to commercial, so I'm going to check on the Bulls and Cavs. Back in 2-3 minutes (no 'over/under' wagers accepted).
8:06 p.m. ET.: The Chiefs save the franchise by going with Berry, who is going to have his bust cut in Canton in 2035. Great pick by KC.
Seattle is on the clock at No. 6. The Seahawks need help everywhere, so here's where the draft starts to get interesting and less predictable.
Did I just hear the Seminole Chop song? The Chiefs do that? Lame! KC just went down five notches in my book. Speaking of semmies, did Steve Young just name-drop Leroy Butler and Chris Mortensen name-drop Terrell Buckley within three minutes? That's lame, too, but that's ok because Joe Haden is in the mix moving forward and the convo will quickly stray to Gators.
For the first pick of the new Pete Carroll Regime, Seattle goes offensive tackle with Russell Okung. We'll refer to Mel Kiper's instant analysis on the Oklahoma St. product, while we just touch on the 'Hawks. I think Carroll is going to be a much better coach in his third tour of duty in the NFL. And he wasn't as bad as most suggest his first two times around. I'm not sure how much Matt Hasselbeck has left, but I do think it's a wise decision to keep him as the starter with Charlie Whitehurst as the back-up. In other words, good move not going QB early. If I'm the 'Hawks, I'd look for a Dan LeFevour type on Saturday with a fourth or fifth-round selection.
Cleveland is on the clock and the Browns need help (Jake Delhomme is not a quality starter anymore) at the signal-caller position. With that said, I don't think Jimmy Clausen is worth a high pick. I think the Browns should go CB Joe Haden (GATOR!) here. Where does Haden rank among all-time Gators cover corners? Great question!
That list looks like this:
Haden goes to the Browns. Good pick. Need a Bulls-Cavs update...
8:30ish: Raiders on the clock. Translation: ANYTHING can happen. And wow, Bulls up 11 on the Cavs at halftime.
The Raiders take Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain and in doing so, get it right with a first-round pick for the first time since....well, I can't remember the last time they did such a thing. McClain is going to be a helluva player. Great pick by the Raiders. (Did I really just type that?)
With the No. 9 pick, Buffalo takes Clemson speedster C.J. Spiller. Great pick by the Bills! Spiller is a more explosive version of Reggie Bush. And hell yeah, I just said Spiller is better and faster than Reggie Bush and that goes for right now, last week, last year, next year and the year after.
Let's grade the first nine picks in order of value:
*As always, 'grades' won't be graded until 5-10 years from now, just my thoughts this minute.
Jacksonville goes with Tyson Alualu, a defensive tackle from Cal. Kiper says he's not a shock in first round, but complete shock at 10. So the Jags reach and somewhere in Jax my friends Brian Turner, Curtiz Hazel, and Bennett Brown are throwing things in their respective living rooms. At my cousin Brent's house, he's breaking things.
Terrible pick, worse than Matt Jones and Quentin Groves, who the Jags just traded for a bag of peanuts a few days ago. No clue what the thought process was for the Jags with that selection.
On the clock at No. 11: Denver trades this pick to San Francisco, which takes Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis. He's talented and has great size, but there are questions about his work ethic. Might end up being worth the risk; only time will tell.
Young says: "Big statement, means Alex Smith is their QB." I don't know about that, Steve. For one, not sold on Smith and know Mike Singletary isn't either. Also, Young seems to be consistently implying that Jimmy Clausen should be going to these teams with questions at QB. I completely disagree! Clausen is not worth going high, maybe not even in the first round at all. To me, Clausen is a late-first rounder at best and I personally think he's more like a mid-second talent.
If a team takes Clausen at No. 25 or later, I'm ok with it, but not here in these next half-dozen or so picks.
On the clock: Miami at No. 12. Another trade? Yep, San Diego moves up from No. 28. Mort says it's Fresno St. RB Ryan Mathews. The card to Goodell and it is Mathews. Depending on what Chargers gave up in trade, I'm thinking this is a reach. I like Mathews, just not at No. 12 and not to trade up for. (still no trade details, we'll cover it later)
On the clock at No. 13: Denver trades it to Philly. The Eagles are going to take CB (or safety) Earl Thomas from out of Texas, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Oh my, they're killing me with trade details right now. Crowd going nuts, love it!
Woops, Adam was wrong (on live TV and twitter). Shame on you, 'Scheft.' The Eagles go with DE Brandon Graham from out of Michigan. Solid reaction at Graham's family home, but the crowd at Rolo's Pad is a clear No. 1 in terms of draft-party explosion (so far, that is).
On the clock at No. 14: Seattle. I'm guessing the 'Hawks go with WR Dez Bryant. The pick is....Thomas (CB, Texas)
9:08 p.m. ET.: Giants on the clock...Bulls still up eight at 9:22 mark of 4th quarter. The Commish has the card and the G-Men go with.....Jason Pierre-Paul. I like this pick. Pierre-Paul quickly made people forget about George Selvie. I'm not calling him Lawrence Taylor or Michael Strahan, but I say this is going to be an excellent pick.
Titans take Ga. Tech DE Derrick Morgan and that's another pick I like (as usual when it comes to the Titans). San Francisco on the clock for 17th pick. My suggestion: Don't reach for Clausen.
Pittsburgh and Atlanta, who are Week 1 foes, are looming at No.'s 18 and 19, respectively. In honor of my Falcons, I pop my first Budweiser in several days. What I do I want my squad to do? I'm thinking trade down if you can.
The 49ers go with an offensive guard, Mike Iupati out of Idaho. Well, Frank Gore has to be a happy camper. We'll see. He better be good if you go OG at No. 17.
Steelers on the clock: AGAIN, Young harps on Alex Smith being the starter for the 49ers. Again, I think Young is way off. For starters, they can still go with a better QB than Smith and Clausen with their next pick. In other words, Clausen and Smith are both garbage.
Pittsburgh makes the safe play, going with OG Maurkice Pouncey, who can play center and guard. Another GATOR! Total stud, but not impressed with his lady. Decent overall draft-explosion, though.
MY FALCONS are on the clock. Hmmmmm, I'm still thinking trade down if possible. Bottom line: I trust GM Thomas Dimitroff, who did a remarkable job in his first two drafts. Atlanta takes Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and I like it.
Houston and Cincy on deck at 19 and 20...gotta go check out Bulls-Cavs crunch time. Back in a few picks...
Texans take Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson, while Bulls lead by two with 6.2 seconds left and Brad Miller going to the line for a pair. Good pick by Houston.
Miller puts game on ice. Joakim Noah was right: 'Nobody goes on vacation in Cleveland.' Cavs up just 2-1 on Bulls. Lakers-Thunder on deck. Bengals go TE Jermaine Gresham, who tore his ACL in last year's Oklahoma loss to BYU in Week 1. Bunguls must not be thinking much of last season's fourth-round pick Chase Coffman, who I thought was a late-round steal from out of Missouri.
Big night in Oklahoma, huh? Talking Thunder and Sooners. Bulls win, but I spoke a tad too soon. Vinny Del Negro just had same situation as Coach K against Butler. With Deng appearing not to miss on purpose (but miss nonetheless), Del Negro used different strategy, but we saw same result.
Denver goes with WR Demaryius Thomas out of Ga. Tech. These days the Yellow Jackets means a run-first offense. Bad pick by the Broncos, who just got the guy whose last memory of Bobby Dodd Stadium is dropping a perfect pass from Josh Nesbitt on 4th-and-10 against GT's arch rival on the game-tying drive at crunch time. (Yeah, I am still bitter because I was on the Jackets that night in a teaser that still had a chance.)
We are 144 minutes into the first round and this guy needs a dinner break. Back in a little bit with more analysis...
To hell with my dinner, I'm back and Tim Tebow is a Denver Bronco. Love the pick, Broncos! Congrats, Denver. The crowd at Radio City Music Hall chants, "Tebow sucks!" and I'm reminded of what a wise man (Steve Spurrier) once said, "If they like ya, you ain't beating 'em enough."
And for the third millionth time, it doesn't matter if he ends up a quarterback. He's a football player! And he's one of -- maybe THE -- best football players to ever play college football. He's going to be a helluva NFL player whether it's fullback, tight end, holder, punter, linebacker and/or special-teams dynamo. Excellent choice by the Broncos.
Tom Jackson and Mel 'More Gel' Kiper continue to rip Tebow to shreds. We shall see.....ok, back to dinner.
After Midnight: Please look for a complete draft recap that's be on VI's NFL arena later this weekend.