The NFL Draft Round One came and went with a lot of excitement at the top. This was mentioned in the broadcasts, but it appeared the limits set on rookie pay scale in last summer’s collective bargaining agreement freed teams from fear of rookie contracts. Instead making trades based on need/strategy, teams were a lot more willing to trade into the top of the draft.
It was a good evening of pseudo-football. This was the closest we get to NFL excitement in a six-month stretch, so I enjoyed it. I hated to see the Cowboys trade their 2nd rounder, but Jerry usually screws those up, anyway. It was nice finally getting to see the NFL Network Draft Coverage, instead of staid old ESPN. Speaking of old school versus new school, Trent Richardson and Dontari Poe had some of those newfangled haircuts. I thought to myself, “Those are styles that are going to look really dated when they show draft clips 20 years from now”. It’s sort of like watching old clips of NFL and NBA drafts from 1990, when guys were being drafted had that Cameo hair.
Morris Claiborne in Silver-n-Blue
The Redskins blockbuster trade for Robert Griffin III was already famous, but Jerry Jones and the Cowboys vaulted from the 14th to the 6th pick in the draft in order to select the LSU cornerback, Morris Claiborne. That surprised this Cowboys fan, but it was a pleasant surprise. The Cowboys have needed defensive back help for years. First they nabbed the best cornerback in free agency (Brandon Carr) and now the Boys have added the best corner in the draft. Suddenly, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Skandrick look like real nice 3rd and 4th corners. I like it, but I’m going to cover the Dallas draft in greater detail later. On to the other news.
Trent Richardson to the Browns
Just as I dreaded, the Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson near the top of the 1st. Turns out this one was preordained. The only surprise is the Browns gave up 3 low round picks (plus their 1st rounder) to move up one spot. This assured Cleveland the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wouldn’t leapfrog them in a trade with the Vikings to select Richardson. As my buddy who’s a Browns fan pointed out, the Browns came into the draft with 13 picks, so they weren’t going to be able to fit all those picks onto the team.
What was less thrilling to my friend from Cleveland was the fact the Browns doubled up to get Brandon Wheedon with the 22nd pick overall. That’s not to say he wasn’t anticipating Cleveland selecting Wheedon–just 15 picks later with their 2nd rounder. He would have preferred the Illini receiver A.J. Jenkins, though he was cussing when the Titans selected Kendall Wrights two spots before the Wheedon selection.
Kalil, Tannehill and the Expected
As expected, Matt Kalil went to the Vikings, though Kalil slid one spot to the 4th. Ryan Tannehill to the Dolphins was expected by many, though I have to admit the Miami Dolphins seem more and more like a loser franchise these days. Brandon Marshall is an idiot, but to trade him away and not seem to have any real plan of how they’re going to replace him seems like a bad idea. Their new head coach, Joe Philbin, may have a little of that Josh McDaniels mojo working, where he thinks he was what was special in Green Bay–not Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and company. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he doesn’t have the power to make decisions like dumping Brandon Marshall, but the Fins have a serious talent deficiency at the WR position now–and a quarterback who’s only been a QB 2 years (and 19 games).
Mark Barron and Doug Martin to Tampa Bay
Mark Barron went a lot higher than I thought he would, as Barron went 7th overall to the Tampa Bay Bucs. I was talking the other day about mock drafts which said Mark Barron might be drafted by the Cowboys. Not to say I think Barron was a reach. The Buccaneers need people with heart on defense, if a few of last year’s collapses were any indication. I liked that they turned around and added Boise State’s Doug Martin at running back with the 31st pick (traded back into the 1st). The guys on NFL Network said they thought Doug Martin reminded them of a young Matt Forte. More on this later.
Fletcher Cox vs Roger Goodell
When the massive Fletcher Cox lingered in a hug with Roger Goddell, the NFL Commissioner began patting Cox repeatedly as if to tell the kid, “Okay, I get it. Let’s end this affair.” I said at the time it looked like Goodell was tapping out in a UFC match. Speaking of which, new Patriots defensive end/OLB Chandler Jones is the brother of UFC Champion Jon Jones.
Dontari Poe: “Take Me To Your Leader”
This is going to be the geekiest thing I’ve said in a long time (and that’s saying a lot), but it seemed to me that Dontari Poe‘s haircut was reminiscent of some kind of sci-fi aliens. In fact, after thinking for a few minutes, it came to me that his topper reminded me of Neelix–which is about as bad as it gets in the Syfy world. Not that I’d say that to Dontari’s face.
David Wilson to the NY Giants
The last pick of the night was one of the most intriguing. The New York Giants drafted Virginia Tech running back David Wilson. The job seems wide open for Wilson. Brandon Jacobs left in free agency. Ahmad Bradshaw is good when he’s healthy, but Bradshaw’s shown he might be injury prone. I wouldn’t bet on Bradshaw making it through a whole season, so David Wilson should get his chance. (I’m discounting Danny Ware and Da’rel Scott.) Since the Giants drafted Wilson in the 1st, I suppose that’s their estimation of Bradshaw, too.
The late drafting of Doug Martin and David Wilson combined with the quick selection of Trent Richardson means the NFL Draft had three RBs go in the first, which is a rarity these days. This leaves me in a quandary about who I might be drafting with that 1st pick I have in my dynasty league (via trade).
Trent Richardson is thought by all to be the class of the draft and he’s certain to get close to the full load in Cleveland, but it’s Cleveland. The Browns have destroyed many-a-career. Doug Martin is intriguing with the Bucs. But getting the Giants running game is what I’m thinking could be the real stumper come late August. If it were a redraft, no problem: it would be Richardson. But in a dynasty league…well, I’ve got plenty of time to figure it out. One of these guys probably goes out in training camp, the ways it’s gone the last couple of seasons with rookie runners in preseason.