Friday, April 23, 2010

NFL Draft 2010; Just Call Me A Football Geek


I'll fess up- I'm one of those (slightly) overweight middle aged guys who lives for the NFL Draft. Part of this passion comes from following the local NFL teams (Jets and Giants), and also seeing how my brother's teams (Browns and Eagles- he's a Jersey transplant now living in Ohio) make out in this big bucks crap shoot.

The 2010 NFL Draft has really become a creature of television- the first round was broadcast last night, live from Radio City Music Hall (minus The Rockettes) with a slew of potential first round picks on hand to hear their names called- hopefully. In addition, a who's who of NFL greats were on hand, including many Hall of Famers. The place was packed with loud and rowdy fans, and being held in New York there was a heavy presence of Giant and Jets fans...and nobody does loud and rowdy better than Jet fans, with the possible exception of "Agle" fans from "The City of Brotherly Love".

Was it over the top? To borrow a line from a certain former governor, you betcha.

But its a big event and a celebration of America's game. The season never really ends in the NFL. It goes from pre-season to regular season to playoffs to Super Bowl to NFL Draft mock drafts to the REAL NFL Draft to hanging out at the shore in the summer, drinking beer and eating shrimp, and counting the days until NFL training camps open.

And a second reason for watching the draft is to see where my beloved Rutgers Scarlet Knights will end up....and a couple of guys made history yesterday. But I'll talk about that later.

Rounds two and three start at 6 PM today (Friday) and the final four rounds will take place on Saturday. What was once a one day closed door affair in the 1970's is now a three day extravaganza; kind of a Woodstock for football fans.....we must be in heaven man.

Without further ado, here's a few comments about the 2010 NFL Draft.

Sam Bradford- I felt good for the former Oklahoma quarterback and former Heisman trophy winner for his #1 overall pick to the St. Louis Rams. Most people were saying "good for you" when he decided to come back for his senior year, and then many of the same people said "What did I tellya?...he should have come out early" when Sam was injured in 2009, shortening his season and seeing the Sooners fall short of expectations. He'll be tested in St Louis, which should be improved but are a long way from being a contender.

Tim Tebow- There are two trains of thought in the NFL draft. One is you draft your needs, the other is you draft the best player available. Many consider Tim Tebow to be the greatest college football player of all time. There are questions about his footwork and delivery; when he was drafted by the Denver Broncos at #25 overall as the second quarterback taken, many asked why. The Broncos have Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn as their two quarterbacks. Most observers say this....the reason Tebow was drafted is because head coach Josh McDaniels LOVES Tim Tebow. Maybe a guy of Tebow's character and with his leadership skills is just what is needed to finally escape from the large shadow of John Elway's legend. Tebow's a hard kid not to like; call him the "anti Rothlisberger".

Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy The question here is why these two quarterbacks were not first round picks, particularly the former Notre Dame signal caller Clausen. Some have said there are personal issues with Clausen; he has been called "a brat" by some, while his former Irish teammates think he's a great leader and love the guy. As for former Texas quarterback McCoy, some question his size....the last time I checked Drew Brees of the world champion New Orleans Saints is about McCoy's size. He seemed to work out, didn't he? Both Clausen and McCoy will be drafted early tonight in the second round.

A Whole Lot of Oklahoma Sooners - DT Gerald McCoy (Bucs), OT Trent Williams (Redskins), and Bradford- that's three of the first five picks from Oklahoma. Add to that TE Jermaine Gresham (Bengals) as #21 overall and that's four Sooners in the top 21. How did those guys ever lose a game?

The Big 12 In the Draft In addition to the four former Oklahoma Sooners, five other Big 12 players taken in the first round, the most notable being Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh going to the Detroit Lions as the second overall pick. For all the deserved hoopla about the SEC being the greatest conference in college football, the SEC landed seven, only second best in the first round. Still, to have half of the first round dominated by these two conferences was pretty impressive. And there will be many more to come over the next two days.

RU Rah-Rah! Two Rutgers players taken in the first round. I've been a season ticket holder since 1990. It wasn't that long ago that Rutgers only had five guys in the NFL. OT Anthony Davis (#11) went to the 49'ers and DB Devin McCourty (#27) was drafted by the Patriots (much to the anger of the Jet fans in attendance). Rutgers had a first round pick for the first time in its history last year with Kenny Britt....and they've doubled it in a year. Watch out Oklahoma....we're making our move.

Jets and Giants The Giants picked DE Jason Pierre-Paul (15) from South Florida, who played only one year of Division 1 football- his first two years were at two junior colleges. He is athletic, and has a huge upside...but could be a gamble. The Jets took Jersey guy DB Kyle Wilson (29) who played at Boise State. Wilson is from Piscataway...and the question was, how did he get away from Rutgers. Today on WFAN Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said that during a recruiting visit Wilson indicated that he preferred to go to college out of state. He seems like a solid pick for the defensively minded Jets and head coach Rex Ryan.

Piscataway High School, New Jersey Yesterday two alums were first round picks, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wilson. And last year fellow alum Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State) was the first round pick of the Saints. Forget these Heartland and Florida and Sunbelt high schools....the "Home Office" of America's High School Football is in Central New Jersey, USA.

Well that's about it....I'm going to take a break, then watch some more draft. And when I'm not doing that, I'll be in my usual spot tomorrow watching Rutgers Spring Game.

Just a football junkie I suppose.

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