Posted by: nhfalcon | May 5, 2007

Return of the Draftnik

(hmmm, that title just doesn’t quite have that Tolkien vibe, does it? 🙂 )

Anyway, as I promised a week or so ago, here are my thoughts about the first round of last weekend’s draft, as it happened…

It’s a little after 9PM on Friday, April 27, 2007 as I write this. The 2007 NFL Draft is less than fifteen hours away. I’ll get up around 5:30 tomorrow morning to get ready to go to work to attend a two hour morning sales meeting, then head on up to my friend Fourth Unit’s house to spend the day watching the draft. Fortunately, the weather forecast isn’t all that great for tomorrow, so I won’t feel too guilty about wasting a day inside in front of a television.


The food and beverage promise to be impressive. Last year it was a seafood theme. This year will focus around a leg of lamb that is currently marinating in wine and stuffed with garlic cloves. In the morning it will be on the grill. It will be accompanied by fettuccine alfredo, spinach quiche, and who knows how many different snack foods, soft drinks, and beer. Good thing I’m married already, huh? Now I don’t have to worry about letting myself go! J

This is shaping up to be a very interesting draft. In recent years the top pick has been known by the Friday night before the draft actually happens because the top pick has signed a contract with the team holding the pick. Last I checked, the Oakland Raiders had signed no one. The rumor mill is heavy with speculation that the Raiders will either take LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, Georgia Tech wideout Calvin Johnson, or possibly (remotely so) QB Brady Quinn of Notre Dame. Or they may trade the pick to someone who is desperate for Johnson, the player almost unanimously considered to be the best player available this year. Regardless of whom the Raiders pick, nobody is sure who the next team, the Detroit Lions will pick. It could be any of the above individuals, or Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas or Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams. Or the Lions could trade the pick.


Last year, The Houston Texans had North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams signed the night before the draft, which then made it a given that the New Orleans Saints would select USC running back Reggie Bush. No such certainty exists this year, which makes things very intriguing…


6:30AM. Still no big confirmed news. Plenty of rumors, though. The Raiders will take Russell (a pick I’d agree with). The Lions will take Johnson (a pick I’d disagree with). The Raiders are trading Randy Moss to Green Bay, New England, or an unidentified third team. Green Bay makes sense. The idea of Moss to the Patriots is laughable. There’s no way Bill Belichick would put up with a lazy, spoiled, petulant, “it’s all about me” a-hole like Moss. (editor’s note dated 5/5/07: show’s what I know, huh? Moss was traded to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick on Sunday, 4/29. At least the Pats didn’t give up much to get the prick)


Another rumor is that this will be Mel Kiper, Jr.’s last year with ESPN. If so, I’ll be sad to see him go. I know that a lot of people find Mel to be an arrogant ass and think his hair is just a little too perfect, but I always liked him. Is he arrogant? I don’t know, I’ve never met him. If he is, I think he has a reason to be. He knows his stuff cold. He may be opinionated, but his are educated, informed opinions. I subscribed to his publications for years before finances dictated I should do otherwise, and once finances are better, I will subscribe to his services again.


So, How prepped will I be for this draft? I’ve got my laptop, and last year I was able to pick up a wireless signal, so I should be able to get on the internet today. Fourth Unit has both ESPN and NFL Network, so we’re all set for TV coverage. I’ll be listening to WEEI out of Boston (24 hour a day sports talk radio) on the trip up to my Fourth Unit’s house to keep up on any late-breaking news. I have a blank notebook and a pencil to keep track of the picks as they happen. I’ll also have a handful of draft magazines and guides from the likes of Pro Football Weekly, The Sporting News, ESPN, and Athlon Sports (which features scouting reports from Ourlads, a service I respect). I think I’m covered, don’t you?


Noon. So here I am at my Fourth Unit’s house. The quiche was excellent, btw. The gameplan for each pick is to put my prediction from last week, my prediction today as the draft unfolds, and then my initial reactions to each pick.


Oh, btw, my favorite team is the Atlanta Falcons. Please, don’t ask why. It’s a long, boring, geeky story. Anyway, here’s my wish list for the Falcons with their first round pick (the eighth overall):

            Jamaal Anderson DE

            LaRon Landry S

            Leon Hall CB

            Levi Brown OT

            Adam Carriker DE

            Patrick Willis LB


I also wouldn’t mind if they traded up for Calvin Johnson, as long as we didn’t give up to much to do so.


1) Oakland. Last week’s prediction: JaMarcus Russell. Today’s prediction: JaMarcus Russell. So far I’m one for one. The Raiders take Russell. He’s got all the physical tools. The question is does he have the brain and the maturity? Also, can he maintain his confidence while the Raiders lose for a year or two while they build a team around him.


2) Detroit. Last week’s prediction: Joe Thomas. Today’s prediction: Calvin Johnson. Two for two. Johnson is a once in a lifetime talent, so taking him this high absolutely makes sense. You could debate if this pick fills a need or not, but he will make big play after big play. (editor’s note dated 5/5/07: yes, I know I said earlier I’d disagree with this pick. Hey. I don’t have to be a woman to change my mind, do I? 🙂 )


3) Cleveland. Last week’s prediction: Brady Quinn. Today’s prediction: Brady Quinn. Two for three. A surprise to me here. Joe Thomas is good, and the offensive line is a need for the Browns, but I had Quinn rated higher overall and I thought quarterback was a bigger need.


4) Tampa Bay. Last week’s prediction: Calvin Johnson. Today’s prediction: Gaines Adams. Three for four. The Bucs would have much rather been able to trade up for Johnson, but Adams makes a lot of sense here. Tampa’s defense is getting old, and Adams is unquestionably the top pass rusher in the draft.

5) Arizona. Last week’s prediction:  LaRon Landry. Today’s prediction: Adrian Peterson. Three for five. Arizona takes LevI Brown. No question the Cardinals need help on the o-line, but I think the fifth overall pick is a little high for this guy. He’s huge and athletic, but he needs work in his pass protection technique.

6) Washington. Last week’s prediction: Gaines Adams. Today’s prediction: Amobi Okoye. Three for six. Landry does make sense here. He’s unquestionably the best safety in the draft this year, the best defensive back in the draft, and will step right in and create a great tandem with Sean Taylor.


7) Minnesota. Last week’s prediction: Leon Hall. Today’s prediction: Brady Quinn. Three for seven. Maybe I should stop with the predictions, huh? J Peterson does make sense here. As long as he stays healthy, which is an issue with this guy, he’s a once in a lifetime back.


8 ) Atlanta. Last week’s prediction: Jamaal Anderson. Today’s prediction: Jamaal Anderson. Four for eight. YES! Anderson fills a huge need for the Falcons, who lost Patrick Kerney to Seattle in free agency.


9) Miami. Last week’s prediction: Levi Brown. Today’s prediction: Brady Quinn. Four for nine. WOW! What a bad pick by Miami! Quinn made so much more sense here. Ginn is incredibly fast and makes up for the loss of Wes Welker, but he’s small and very straight-linish. Worst pick of the draft so far.


10) Houston. Last week’s prediction: Adrian Peterson. Today’s prediction: Leon Hall. Four for ten. Okoye makes sense here. He should team with last year’s number one, Mario Williams very well, and make up for the miss with Travis Johnson a couple of years ago. This kid is only 19 years old!


11) San Francisco. Last week’s prediction: Adam Carriker. Today’s prediction: Adam Carriker. Four for eleven. Patrick Willis is a good pick here. He’s an unreal athlete for his position and fills a need for the Niners.


12) Buffalo. Last week’s prediction: Patrick Willis. Today’s prediction: Leon Hall. Four for twelve. Marshawn Lynch does make a lot of sense here. He fills a HUGE need for the Bills and is a good value for the selection.


13) St. Louis. Last week’s prediction: Jarvis Moss. Today’s prediction: Adam Carriker. Hey, I got another one! Five for thirteen. A good pick. Fills a good need and is a good value for the selection.


14) Carolina. Last week’s prediction: Greg Olsen. Today’s prediction: Greg Olsen. OOOH! A trade! The Jets are on the clock. I’ll guess Leon Hall here. Whoops. Five for fourteen. Right position, wrong player. Revis is good, and fills a big need for the Jets with all the receivers the Patriots acquired this season and the Dolphins adding Ginn, Jr.


15) Pittsburgh. Last week’s prediction: Darrelle Revis. Today’s prediction: Leon Hall. Five for fifteen. Timmons fills a need, too, though I think this is a bit high for him.


16) Green Bay. Last week’s prediction: Marshawn Lynch. Today’s prediction: Greg Olsen. WHOA! Next bad pick! Five for sixteen. Too high for Harrell. If the Pack was gonna go DT, they should have gone for Alan Branch. If Harrell was the guy they wanted, they should have traded down. Brett Favre cannot be happy that he’s not getting a weapon here.


17) Jacksonville. Last week’s prediction: Reggie Nelson. Today’s prediction: Brady Quinn. Another trade! Denver’s on the clock. I predict Jarvis Moss. Six for seventeen. Makes a LOT of sense here. Good pick.


18) Cincinnati. Last week’s prediction: Marcus McCauley. Today’s prediction: Leon Hall. Hey – two in a row! J Seven for eighteen. Hall’s a great pick. Fills a need, tremendous value, arguably the best corner in the draft this year.


19) Tennessee. Last week’s prediction: Dwayne Jarrett. Today’s prediction: Dwayne Jarrett. So much for my streak. Seven for nineteen. I like
Griffin, but not this high. Bit of a surprise here. Griffin does fill a need, though I think a corner would have made more sense.


20) New York Giants. Last week’s prediction: Amobi Okoye. Today’s prediction: Aaron Ross. Eight for twenty. Good pick – and not just because I predicted it. J Good value and fills a need.

21) Jacksonville. Last week’s prediction: Reggie Nelson (at # 17). Today’s prediction: Brady Quinn. Eight for twenty-one. Nelson is a great pick. Fills a big need and is a great value here. Nobody would have batted an eye if the Jaguars had taken him at 17. So to get the guy they wanted and acquire extra picks in the process makes this possibly the best pick so far in the draft.

22) Dallas. Last week’s prediction: Justin Blalock. Today’s prediction: Alan Branch. OOOOH! Here comes a big one! Cleveland has acquired this pick, and it’s GOTTA be Brady Quinn. Talk about lucking out! The Browns get Quinn and Joe Thomas?! GREAT first round for


Oh, nine for twenty-two, btw.


23) Kansas City. Last week’s prediction: Alan Branch. Today’s prediction: Alan Branch. Nine for twenty-three.  The Chiefs do need help at receiver, but I like other receivers better (like Dwayne Jarrett), and I think the Chiefs had bigger needs (like offensive and defensive line).


24) New England (from Seattle). Last week’s prediction: Paul Posluszny. Today’s prediction: Jon Beason. Nine for twenty-four. Merriweather is a good pick here, I just thought the Pats would take him four picks from now. Good value and fills a need.


25) Carolina (from New York Jets). Last week’s prediction: Greg Olsen (at # 14). Today’s prediction: Greg Olsen. Nine for twenty-five. Beason is just a good a pick as Olsen would’ve been. Fills a need and good value.


26) Philadelphia. Last week’s prediction: Ted Ginn, Jr. Today’s prediction: Dwayne Jarrett. Interesting – Dallas just traded back up to get into the first round. I have no clue who this is. I predicted Branch a while back, so I’ll stick with him here. Nine for twenty-six. Spencer works here, too. He’ll add to the pass rush, and Dallas got Cleveland’s first round pick in 2008 for trading down with Cleveland so the Browns could get Quinn.


27) New Orleans. Last week’s prediction: Tanard Jackson. Today’s prediction: Chris Houston. Nine for twenty-seven. Meachem is a good receiver and the Saints did lose Joe Horn, but I would have gone defense here. Houston or Alan Branch would have made more sense here.


28) New England. Last week’s prediction: Brandon Merriweather. Today’s prediction: Paul Posluszny. Another trade. Frisco’s on the board. Alan Branch? Nine for twenty-eight. When you invested the first overall pick in Alex Smith two years ago, it makes sense to protect him, but I think Branch would have provided a more immediate impact here than Joe Staley.


29) Baltimore. Last week’s prediction: Ben Grubbs. Today’s prediction: Ben Grubbs. Ten for twenty-nine. Grubbs is a good value here. Arguably the best guard in the draft, and fills a need with the Raven cutting Edwin Mulitalo earlier this offseason.


30) San Diego. Last week’s prediction: Arron Sears. Today’s prediction: Dwayne Jarrett. Ten for thirty. Davis plays the right position, but I don’t know if this he’s the right guy. I don’t quite see the value here.


31) Chicago. Last week’s prediction: Lawrence Timmons. Today’s prediction: Greg Olsen. Eleven for thirty-one. Excellent pick for the Bears. Rex Grossman needs all the help he can get, and Olsen is a rare athlete for a tight end.

32) Indianapolis. Last week’s prediction: Jon Beason. Today’s prediction: Alan Branch. So I finish the first round eleven for thirty-two. Gonzalez is a good player and grades out about this point. He replaces Brandon Stokely and will take over for Marvin Harrison when Harrison retires. However, I liked other receivers better (Jarrett and Steve Smith) and there were bigger needs to fill (anywhere on the defense).


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