NFL 2010 Draft Recap

After several days of gorging on football, it is time to digest the 2010 NFL Draft.

This actually reminds me of a guy from Mississippi who told me, “I once passed a football. The toughest part was digesting it.”

On that lovely note, it is time to get down to the business of football.

The National Football League is king. Nothing else comes close. The NBA and NHL are in the middle of their playoffs. More sports fans would rather watch the Jim Mora pres conference where he keeps saying the word “Playoffs!”

Only the NFL could make an entire production out of the release of the schedule. The schedule! A program about who will play who in several months, and we are addicted.

Only the NFL could make a three-day extravaganza out of the Draft. The Draft! It was not exciting as a kid to see the kids choose up sides. As long as I was not the last kid picked, life was good. Yet in the NFL, Mr. Irrelevant gets a bonanza celebration in his honor for being picked last.

I love football. I loved what I saw from the 2010 NFL Draft. Now it is time for analysis, which will soon be proven wrong, in keeping with my tradition of speaking loudly and getting it wrong.

The Rams picked Sam Bradford. Whether or not their quarterback situation was beyond repair is debatable. Kyle Boller was traded to the Raiders, and Marc Bulger has been injury wracked. Bradford will put fans in the seats, and a raucous home crowd only helps.

Picking a quarterback as the first overall pick is a 50/50 proposition. For every Peyton Manning, there is a Ryan Leaf. As for Bradford, we shall see.

The Lions totally got it right with the second pick. It is hard to praise a team that followed the first 0-16 season with a 2-14 campaign. Yet picking defensive standout Ndamokong Suh was a no-brainer.

They picked quarterback Matthew Stafford, and the kid is a winner. Forget the 2-14 season. He was a warrior, and his win over Cleveland with hurt ribs and a broken arm was courageous as can be.

Teams that want to turn around need an offensive leader and a defensive leader. Think back to the Packers of the 1990s. In 1992 they got quarterback Brett Favre. Yet they also picked up Reggie White a year later. They had their two emotional leaders on both sides of the ball.

Check back on the Lions in 5 years. They have Stafford and Suh. They are no longer losers

As a guy who bleeds silver and black, the Raiders got it right enough with the # 8 pick. I was hoping they would get an offensive tackle, preferably Russell Okung. Actually, I really wanted them to trade down and get more picks, to use on at least one left tackle. Yet Okung was taken # 6 by Seattle. The Raiders have players at the skill positions. They need guys in the trenches on both sides of the ball. So picking up defensive lineman Rolando McClain was a solid pick.

Losing Kirk Morrison to Jacksonville was a shame, since Morrison led the team in tackles the last four years. McClain needs to play well to make losing Morrison worth it. Trading for Jason Campbell was not a move I would have made. I still believe Bruce Gradkowski should quarterback the team until JaMarcus Russell gets his act together. The Raiders only gave up a 4th round pick…in 2012…but doing business with Mike Shanahan is not something Al Davis should have considered. Shanahan hates Al Davis more than Al Qaeda, and unloading Campbell is another way of him seeking vengeance against his former team.

The quarterbacks were the story of this draft. After Sam Bradford, the other quarterbacks disappeared.

Jimmy Clausen was supposed to be a top 10 pick. He was supposed to be a superstar, but then again, any Notre Dame player touted by Beano Cook is suspect. Remember, ol’ Beano insisted Ron Pawlus would be the second coming of all Four Horsemen. Yet Clausen was downgraded because of his perceived “attitude.” That made people think of Ryan Leaf.

Clausen was eventually picked at #48 by the Carolina Panthers. They are an interesting team. First, the releasing of Jake Delhomme may come to haunt them. Some say he is washed up. I totally disagree. Yet after picking Clausen, the Panthers also picked up Pike later on. This was head scratching. Matt Moore has some competition, but the competition has competition.

Falling even further was Colt McCoy, who was finally picked by the Cleveland Browns with the #85 pick. When the Walrus, aka Mike Holmgren, came to Cleveland, he had to choose between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. In a stunning move, he got rid of both of them. Then Jake Delhomme was brought in. This has been a circus. Holmgren has always been a winner, so he gets some latitude.

Pete Carroll got the Seahawks some instant respectability with a solid pick at # 6 in Russell Okung. With all world left tackle Walter Jones expected to retire, Okung will have big shoes to fill. Carroll resisted the temptation to make a sexy pick and instead made the smart pick. Yes there was controversy when he picked a safety that was not his former USC safety, but this is a business.

For shock value, the Denver Broncos chose Tim Tebow. The Broncos gave the Ravens 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks. This was not the Herschel Walker or Ricky Williams trade, but there was a lot given up for Tebow. The Broncos gave up multiple picks and players for John Elway, and that worked out. Josh McDaniels is either a genius or a year from being fired.

The Dallas Cowboys are always interesting. Jerry Jones is forever haunted by passing up Randy Moss. So while the rest of the league has decided that character matters, Jones has decided that the purpose of owning a football team is to win football games. Dez Bryant is just another weapon for Tony Romo. Jones was almost prepared to fire Wade Phillips and the entire team, and they went 11-5 last year. This year it might be title or bust.

The New York Jets have put character aside. They have loaded up on talent, some of it troubled, to get over the hump. They believe they can win the Super Bowl this year, and Rex Ryan is tough enough to handle the egos. Santonio Holmes was bounced out of Pittsburgh only two years after winning a Super Bowl. Ryan wants him to help win another one. Mark Sanchez is only going to get better.

The Vikings made a smart move getting a running back to fill the void left by the departure of Chester Taylor. With this team, the only thing that matters is if Brett Favre returns.

Timmy Toone was Mr. Irrelevant, and his party in Newport Beach in June should be fun.

Only the NFL could have pick # 255 be as exciting as the top pick.

4 ½ months until kickoff…bring it on!


One Response to “NFL 2010 Draft Recap”

  1. Great analysis!

    I too was taken aback with the Jason Campbell thing. Here’s this great, solid, rational draft, and then bango – the crazy Campbell deal. If they were going to do something big for a QB, why do it for Campbell? I don;t even think they needed to do anything. The only reason to make a move at QB would have been if the deal brought in a top talent, like McNabb or Pennington. But Campbell? Alright, he’s not all that bad, but where’s the great need for a QB who’s “not all that bad?”

    The Tebow thing shocked me too. Why did Denver do that? Denver has some real needs, but QB – again – isn’t one of them. What was the point? Why not work on better defense? I think this is good news for your Raida’s. I suspect McDaniels is a little nuts.


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