Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NFL Draft musings

Enough with Free Agency. Let's talk about the draft.
  • The hottest topic is obviously the Andre Smith situation. I understand why teams might pass up on him because of character red flags. But to me its laughable that some analysts actually think he's not the most talented offensive line prospect. Did anybody watch him play? Other than Tennessee this year, no one was ever able to stop Alabama's running game or get pressure on John Parker Wilson. Andre Smith has dominated the SEC at left tackle for the past three years, and no one that covered college football during 2008 would've put Eugene Monroe or Jason Smith ahead of him (Andre didn't win the outland trophy by accident). And on the subject of his character issues, I think they have been way overblown. Most of the guys who flamed out at the combine like Andre did, players such as Ryan Leaf and Lendale White, had work ethic issues in college. That's not the case here, as Smith was able to survive two years under the Nictator (Nick Saban). As a final thought, remember when a lot of teams downgraded Warren Sapp when they found some red flags at the combine? 95 sacks and one super bowl win later, how did that work out for all the teams that passed him up?
  • Most overrated wideout: Jeremy Maclin. The only route he ever had to run at Missouri was an 8 yard hitch. He can't just catch dump offs and outrun all NFL defensive backs. Meanwhile, Darius Hayward-Bey is by far the most underrated receiver. Good size, amazing speed, good routes, terrific work ethic. I don't understand how anyone can rate him below Maclin.
  • In Andre Smith's entire career at Alabama, only one player ever dominated him: That was Tennessee's Robert Ayers in 2008. This guy is an absolute beast, and its a joke that he might fall out of the top 15. No one ever could block this guy at Tennessee.
  • Why isn't Keenan Lewis of Oregon State ranked higher? He has good measurables, and he was an absolute stud during his senior year. He always held his own against USC's receivers and played extremelywell against Darius Heyward-Bey when Oreson St. played Maryland in the Emerald Bowl.
  • I don't understand how Patrick Chung is anything more than a 4th round pick. He's just another Roy Williams (which is definitely not a good thing).
  • If San Jose State's Jarron Gilbert isn't drafted in the mid second round that will be a major steal. Has anybody seen what an athlete he is? He jumped out of 3 feet of water!!!!!!! He just jumped straight out!!!!!!! Never bet against a man that can jump out of that much water without pushing off any walls.
  • Finally, if teams really want a hidden gem, look no further than Patrick White and Ian Johnson. Most scouts have labeled White as a wildcat quarterback that can't run a pro style offense, but at WVU he was always able to make NFL caliber throws when he had to. Johnson is just amazing. He owned college football when he did play. The only reason his production slipped is because he was willing to take a lesser role in order to help the team.

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