Posted by: nhfalcon | April 22, 2008

Release The Draftnik!

I know, I know – not exactly as stirring as “Release the hounds!” but it was the best I could do. Cut me a break, ok?

The NFL Draft is merely four days away, and I can’t wait. As the last two years, I’ll be at my friend Fourth Unit’s house to watch it on Saturday. He’s cooking up a batch of fish fry, deep-fried scallops, hot wings, cold cuts, and homemade macaroni salad. Given the abundance of seafood and poultry, I thought a couple of bottles of white wine would be appropriate. What do you think?

This year’s draft is shaping up to be pretty interesting. The NFL has made changes to the rules, cutting the time teams have to make a pick in the first round from fifteen minutes to ten, and also from ten minutes to seven in the second round. Teams will still have five minutes to make a pick in rounds three through seven. Only the first and second round will be held on Saturday (as opposed to rounds one through three in past years), with the remaining rounds to be held on Sunday. The draft will begin at 3PM on Saturday (as opposed to noon in past years) and 10AM on Sunday (as opposed to 11AM in past years).

In addition to changes in the scheduling, there is real debate as to who the Miami Dolphins are going to take with the first overall selection. In most past years there has been one or two consensus top player or players to choose from. This year you could make a valid argument for as many as six players (Michigan OT Jake Long, Virginia DE Chris Long, Ohio St. DE/OLB Vernon Gholston, Boston College QB Matt Ryan, LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, and Arkanasas RB Darren McFadden) being worthy of that pick. Bill Parcells, the new head cheese in Miami, has been negotiating with Jake Long to try to get a contract in place before the draft even begins, but if those negotiations fall through he could easily turn his attention to somebody else.

I also find this year’s draft intriguing because of my favorite teams’ possibilities. The local favorite, the New England Patriots, have the seventh overall pick of the draft, thanks to a trade made last year with the San Francisco 49’ers. My hunch is the Pats will try to deal down from that pick to add more picks and to save money against the salary cap – unless either Chris Long or Vernon Gholston are still available. My sentimental favorite, the Atlanta Falcons, have the third overall pick, thanks to being a really bad team last year. They also have three picks in the second round, two in the third round, and two in the seventh round, thanks to trades with the Houston Texans, the Oakland Raiders, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and from the NFL awarding them with a compensatory selection due to the loss of DE Patrick Kerney and FB Justin Griffith to free agency. The Falcons will have eleven total selections, including the aforementioned third overall pick, four of the first forty-eight picks, six of the first ninety-eight, and seven of the first one hundred and three. Obviously, if these picks pan out, Atlanta could rapidly reverse it fortunes.

(A quick aside here  for Mrs. Chili. Could you do a Grammar Wednesday about how to properly write numbers? You know, like when I should write ninety-eight vs. 98? Thanx!)

The basic gameplan for the weekend is first to go to a birthday party for a friend of Little Man’s. From there we’ll go to visit Cokiemaker’s parents. I’ll leave there about an hour or so before the draft to go to Fourth Unit’s place. The area AM sports talk station will be on the radio during all driving time to pick up any last-minute developments. I’ll have my laptop with me, as I plan to blog while the draft happens, and a small pile of books and magazines pewviewing this year’s prospects. We’ll spend the night at Cookiemaker’s parent’s place, then head over to see my parents on Sunday, where I plan to watch at least most of the rest of the draft, if not all of it.

I know, I know, I’m a geek, but this weekend I’ll be a happy geek! 🙂

Oh, btw, like every other draftnik on the planet, I’ve my own prediction as to what will hapeen during the first round, what most people call a “mock 1st round.” You can check it out here.

UPDATE!!!: The Miami Dolphins have come to terms with Michigan OT Jake Long, officially making him the first pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. The St. Louis Rams are now on the clock.

ANOTHER UPDATE!!!: The Kansas City Chiefs have traded DE Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the Vikings’ 1st round pick (the 17th overall), and the two picks the Vikings had in the third round (the 73rd (acquireed from the Denver Broncos) and the 82nd overall). The two teams will also swpa 6th round picks, with the Vikings getting the 170th overall pick and the Chiefs getting the 182nd overall pick).

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Responses

  1. Miami hasn’t had a quarterback since Dan Marino, and, in fact, did not have one for the years he played after his horrible leg injury. They still don’t.

    As of this comment, Miami has made an unproven guy from Michigan the highest-paid offensive lineman in football. Miami will doubtless be a bust again this year. What good is pass protection if your quarterback cannot pass?

    P.S. Miami doesn’t have a running back, either, so what good is run blocking?

    On the other hand, some bad teams must exist for others to shine, and that’s the role management has chosen for the Dolphins for years. I respect that choice, because those guys who cannot win s**t know much more than I do about football.

  2. Most NFL coaches and front office types and GM’s will say the exact opposite, twoblue – what good is a great passer if he doesn’t have the time to throw the ball (think of Tom Brady in the most recent Super Bowl)? What good is a great running back if he doesn’t have any holes to run through?

    My personal opinion is that Jake Long was a good choice and that the Dolphins will get their QB with their 2nd-round pick.

  3. Those tend to be the coaches and front office types with teams mired in mediocracy, like, just pulling an example out of the hat, the Dolphins for many years now. Their glory years are a distant, fading, memory. It gets more pathetic every year to see these old ‘Fins keeping champagne cool waiting for the last team to lose. But enough of that, I’ll concede I’m not a football-team-building guru.

    Here’s a thought I have sometimes: there are not enough humans with the skill set necessary to be competent quarterbacks in the NFL. So, a few teams have QBs who are competent-plus, a few have the merely competent, and the rest are fated to scramble through what’s left. I’d opine that the same is true for humans with the skill set to be competent MLB starting pitchers.


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