Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Weekend For The BIG EAST in NFL Draft

Here's the trivia question....in the 2009 NFL Draft the USC Trojans had five picks taken in the first two rounds. What school was second with four picks?

Give up?

Basketball powerhouse the University of Connecticut had four players picked on Day One, during rounds one and two. Not Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan, or any of the big boys from any of the mega powers and the Old Guard Conferences....it was UCONN, from the conference all people in the rest of the country love to hate, the Big East.

Running back Donald Brown led the way when the Indianapolis Colts took him in the first round, the 27th overall pick. The second round saw Darius Butler (DB), (OL) William Beatty, and (DE)Cody Brown picked by New England, the Giants, and Arizona respectively.

And the conference also saw Rutgers WR Kenny Britt (30th, Tennessee) and Louisville center Eric Wood (Buffalo) selected in the first round. An eight team conference with three first rounders isn't too shabby.

All in all, 27 Big East Players were drafted. Cincinnati had six players taken, Rutgers five, UCONN four, Pitt four, West Virginia three, Syracuse 2, Louisville 2, and South Florida one.

The most intriguing choices were that of second round pick QB Pat White from West Virginia to the Miami Dolphins where he will play as a quarterback behind veteran Chad Pennington. Some had seen White as a wide receiver because of his explosive talents with his legs. I always thought Pat was a good, very under appreciated passer, who could play QB at the next level. The favorite offense of the year in the NFL, the WILDCAT offense, should show what a talent White is to some fans who had never seen him play in college.

Another pick I like is the Eagles choice of RB LeSean McCoy from Pitt. The Eagles have had all kinds of problems in short yardage situations last season. As much as Brian Westbrook brings to the game at tailback for the Birds, he still is a diminutive guy running into a bunch of trees on the goal line. McCoy is a power back who should had a different dimension to the Eagles running game.

And there is the sixth round pick of Rutgers QB Mike Teel by Seattle. Many saw him as not being drafted at all. I say you have to look at any guy who had thrown six TD passes in a game against Pitt (on the road), and later seven TD's on Senior Night at Rutgers Stadium last December....it was greatest performance by any player that I had ever seen in person at any level. Mike can be hot and cold....but he learns from mistakes, is resilient, and bounces back from adversity. With Seahawks QB Matt Hasslebeck aging (and now with a bad back) perhaps this sixth round pick could end up paying dividends early. And after all, Hasslebeck is a starting quarterback who was not even drafted...so it is possible for Teel to make that leap, in time. Other non drafted quarterbacks include Mark Bulger and Hall of Famer to be Kurt Warner.

The kid has a shot.

More info on the Big East and the draft can be found here.

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