Not sure what it was this year. The Draft was, well, awesome as usual. Loved watching it, especially after I turned off Twitter (for a few hours) in the first round due to a rash of tipping picks. Then it was good.
But it was also kinda odd. Trades like crazy in the first round, lots of unheralded players in the second round, and the usual slew of curious picks. Maybe my draft prep was just poor. Or maybe teams are spreading their scouts out so far that everyone is finding a gem in a strange place.
Before we turn the page, let’s take a swing through what happened from Radio City the past three days, offering 5 draft things I’ll take away from this.
Here we go:
1. Who knew how the first round who shake out? In the first year with a defined rookie wage scale, there were two options. One was the draft would be more boring than ever before, because teams would be so happy to be in the Top 10 without having to pay guys like it. The other option was that it was be insane because people were scrambling to get up there and pick. Yeah, it was the latter. Man, what a crazy round. A whopping 19 trades happened on Thursday night. It was officially out of control early, when six of the first seven picks were taken by teams that didn’t have them originally. It’s cool, though. Next year I’ll be wearing a seat belt for the first round.
2. As if we really needed a reminder, evaluations differ so greatly from team to team. I mean, they really do. Couldn’t get over the fact that it was such an obvious thing that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III would be 1-2 in the draft, and then the Cowboys stepped up to the microphone. After trading up for LSU CB Morris Claiborne, coach Jason Garrett said Claiborne was actually No. 2 on their board. Rated higher than any CB since Deion Sanders. How can everyone know for a fact that it was Luck then RG3, only to have the Cowboys insinuate they’d have taken Claiborne at 2? I’m not sure. But it goes to show you that opinions really do vary. And it’s why highly touted players bust all the time. No one really knows. But if Claiborne hits, everyone will remember them climbing up and getting him.
3. The Steelers and Ravens really got it going. I don’t know how good their picks will be this year — who does? But I wholeheartedly support what they are doing. Both teams essentially play street fights on the field. Legally and without weapons and all, but you know what I mean. I basically cringe most of the time watching them play because of how hardcore it is, especially when they’re playing one another. And they draft into it. They know that’s their identity and go over it. With their first pick, the Steelers pick Stanford G David DeCastro, a hard-nosed mauler who is old-school. Yeah, that’s their guy. As for the Ravens? Their first pick came in the second round, and they grabbed Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw. Again, that’s their kind of guy. Tough, nasty, he hits, he’s scrappy. I don’t know what position Upshaw will play, I guess linebacker, but he’ll do it as hard as he can. Just more ammo for another street fight when those teams play.
4. There were some fantastic lines uttered by newly drafted players. Filled with all sorts of emotions, flying high, they said some hilarious things. Like…
— a. Alabama NT Josh Chapman was asked if he’s the answer to the Colts new 3-4 scheme at nose: “Yes,” he said. Then, silence. Boom. Love that one.
— b. Cowboys third-rounder DE Tyrone Crawford was having trouble hearing reporters on the conference call. And he dropped this beauty: “I’m sorry, I’m in Canada. It’s hard to hear you.”
— c. New Giants CB Jayron Hosley doesn’t lack for confidence. He was asked why he came out early and said this: “Truthfully, I felt like the college game was getting a little too easy for me.” Well then.
— d. And this was almost too good. Rams CB Janoris Jenkins, the draft’s free-faller, rejected comparisons to Pac Man Jones in an interview with SIRIUS. He said, “I never shot up a strip club or nothing like that.”
5. The Rams did the draft like I’d do if I had endless picks. I mean, they did have endless picks, and they used ‘em like it. Drafting LSU DE Michael Brockers was safe and sound at 14th and then came some chances. Someone named Brian Quick from Appalachian St., at 33, a size-and-speed WR who may be a project. Who knows? Then CB Janoris Jenkins, the troubled and trouble-riddled ex-Florida Gator, at 39. Could be a future star and 10-year starter, could be a washout whose career spirals out of control. The Rams are all in for this, but it’s a gamble. And for the third-round, they selected Montana CB Trumaine Johnson, who has been arrested. Looks like a bunch of good athletes with who-the-heck-knows futures. Anyway, I like the gambles. The Rams need help, and it’s worth a shot.
All in all, lots of fun.