Draft questions

April 27, 2009

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Staff sports columnist Johnny Goodman talks about questionable picks in the NFL draft in today’s edition of The Soap Boxers.  We are pleased to announce that Johnny will be a weekly contributor to TCO in the future.

Now that the annual marathon that we call the NFL Draft is over, lets look at some of the biggest question marks in this draft.

Matthew Stafford  – over forty million guaranteed money.  Wow…Hope he turns out to be John Elway and not Ryan Leaf.  But I am not convinced.  Still the Lions had to try and sign this guy as they have nothing in the tank.   Duante Culpepper can keep the quarterback seat warm for a year or two if needed, but the Lions need this one to work out well.  Staffords proud parents appeared to be the happiest people on stage when the pick was announced.  Of course if I knew my son was going to be rolling in 40 Mil plus, I would be smiling too.

Is there a bigger question mark in this draft than the Raiders taking Receiver Darrius Heyward- Bey as the 7th overall pick?  I guess, not…after all, this is a pick made by the Raiders we are talking about.  I mean Michael Crabtree is still available at this point in time, I guess Al Davis figures if he can succeed under the Mad Bomber Mike Leach, who is possibly the strangest of all major D-1 College coaches, then he absolutely has no chance to succeed in the normal environment of the Silver and Black.  Basically Heyward-Bay has what Al Davis always seems to love, straight line, world class speed.  I see no reason to take the guy that high  and neither does anyone else.

The Jets traded up to get the glamour boy of the 2009 draft, Quarterback Mark Sanchez.  I actually like what the Browns did here by trading the pick away.  They did not get maximum value to move the #5 overall to the Jets, but they got the best deal they could find.  The Browns win here as they save the multi million dollar gamble on a quarterback.  The guaranteed money for the #5 overall pick would have been hefty for the browns, who have already seemed to position themselves for the future with the QB position.  The Jets gamble here in my opinion, putting all of their eggs in one basket.  I think this is a gamble, but remember I also think this is overall a weak draft.

Tampa Bay has a new coach and apparently a new quarterback.  The Bucs traded up to get Josh Freeman.  He is still very raw, but he is freakishly athletic.  Raheem Morris apparently fell in love with Freeman while a defense coach at Kansas State.  Byron Leftwich can provide a stop gap measure.  Not sure if I like this pick or not.  Freeman is the guy who beat much more talented Texas Longhorn teams on a regular basis, but also is the same guy that made Nebraksa’s defense look like the Blackshirts of the mid 90’s while they struggled against everyone else.  As a side note, I am a Husker Grad and …..did you know that Both Sanchez and Freeman had originally committed to come to Nebraska…but I digress.

The Dolphins chose Pat White in the 2nd round with pick #44 overall.  What???!?! Pat White? Do the fish plan on running the wildcat formation full time this year?  This was a HORRIBLE pick this high.  They could have easily nabbed White 2 rounds later in my opinion and picked up a number or players here with this pick that could have proven to be a lot more useful to the organization.

The Eagles are another interesting bunch.  I think they hit a home run with Macho Harris in the later rounds, but I still question the toughness of WR Jeremy Maclin.  Can he run?  Yes!  Is he explosive?  Yes!  Is he a great returner?  Yes!  Do I think he is another Reggie Brown for the Eagles?? Yes.  I have seen too much of this guy’s play in TV and in person and I am not convinced he has the toughness to play a lot of downs in the NFL.  Sort of a la Reggie Bush.  Great Athlete, explosive as heck, but soft in my opinion.

Last but not least we look at Percy Harvin going to the Vikings.  First Randy Moss, then the Love Boat, now Harvin.  Do they like problem in Minnesota.  I guess he forgot to leave the weed back home before the combine, and the Vikings overlooked that in the draft, although there were 70+  OTHER players they pulled off their draft board due to what their front office deemed as “character issues”  I guess potential talent outweighs character issues here.  Another player in the mold of Maclin.  Flashes of greatness but still a lot of questions.

As always it will take some time to see who turns out to be great players and who is a complete bust.  Overall this is one of the weaker drafts in recent years, and there was seemingly less “sure things” then I can remember in a long time.


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