Thursday night I thought was the single most interesting 1st round of the NFL draft I’ve ever watched in my life! People were moving up and down, but as you may know, I like assigning grades and I’ve said this for years – when I grade the draft, I like doing it completely different than everybody else. I like to take your free agent acquisitions and your first 2 picks – those are all starters and that’s how I like to grade a draft. So far, Buffalo (that’s right Mike) has the best draft…seriously! Mario Williams, Mark Anderson Thursday’s draft…those are 3 starters right there! That to me is the team that has done the best. Now, nobody else does that and I’ll talk more about that in my next rant on Monday.
Though my big overview about the 1st round is that generally in life, people are what they are and are attracted to themselves. If you go to a party, the first way to attract somebody is by saying “hey, tell me about yourself! Tell me about what you do…” people love to hear themselves talk and to hear their name. People love to talk about themselves and we’re attracted to ourselves. Biker guy likes biker chick, tat guy likes tat chick, grumpy cranky guy eventually ends up with cranky chick. In the end, people often marry who they “think” they should merry, but they get divorced because ultimately they find out they are really attracted to somebody else – a type, and that type is themselves and people never get away too far from what they are, their DNA.
That’s why I just simply had to laugh at the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night – for the record, the last couple of years I’ve really liked what they’ve been doing – hence why I just recently became a season seat holder for this upcoming season. They found their quarterback, they’re getting offensive linemen, they’re getting receivers…I really really like what they have done in the past 2-3 years in the draft, I really do. But ahh they had to go back and be Cincinnati this year, they took a sip of that cocktail Thursday night – we’re going to draft Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama. Cocky, jumps routs, goes for the interception too often, celebrates on every play, massively immature, lot of teams took him off their draft board – but that’s who Cincinnati is! For the record though, I think Cincinnati is a buy – if they were a stock, I’d buy them, but good old Cincinnati just couldn’t get away from their core, their DNA. They’ve done such a good job with most of their picks in the last 2-3 years, offensive linemen, big studs, Andy Dalton is rock sold, get him some receivers…they had a chance yesterday to stop being who we know they are, but they just simply couldn’t stay away! Dre Kirkpatrick has got all sorts of issues.
Many sources that I had been reading, leading up to this NFL draft said that he’s truly a piece of work and will have his issues follow him wherever he landed! Same issue with my Jets where Rex loves the sexy, “Plaxico is out of the can…let’s get him!” Sanchez – good looking, GQ mag guy, Holmes, Tebow…and now you’ve got Quiton Coples – for every solid pick that Rex has made, his DNA is a sexy Rexy pick!Chris Jenkins, former Jet, on the Jets drafting Quiton Coples – who most believe is the one guy in the 1st round who could be a bust, Chris Jenkins said “ I question his heart, running to the ball, pad level, throwing guys around, your coached about those things over and over until you get to the NFL – it’s not rocket science” says Jenkins who went onto further say that “he only moves fast for the sack and that’s it” and Rex wants to put his hand in the dirt and at a 3.4 – Quinton looks like a better outside linebacker, that was the same issue with Vernon…hello?? But that’s sexy Rexy for you.
Rexy, when you think about it, really drafts himself – a project! He was a guy that was passed on for several coaching jobs, so he drafts the guy who was passed up by other teams. We are attracted to ourselves and we draft ourselves. But what do the Patriots do? The Steelers? What’s their DNA? Rock solid, big, strong, and not flashy and the Steelers go out and draft a great offensive guard to go along with their great center – that’s the Pittsburgh Steelers! What do the Patriots do? They draft a high functioning, very smart, two year captain Dont’a Hightower – who was the captain of his defense and called out plays. Why? Because Belicheck sees himself as a smart coach and that’s what he is attracted to – smart players. Most college degree’s out of any NFL current roster. By the way, the late Al Davis saw himself as a rebel…what did he draft? A kicker in the first round and always the fastest guy available!
So we all have a certain type that we’re attracted to and we just never are able to get too far from it…Cincinnati! I really like 8/9 out of the last 10 picks, so I’m totally a buyer on Cincinnati but God they had to go back to what Cincinnati is! I will say this though, I believe – and I’ve been thinking about this for 3 weeks now, that Jeff Fischer and the St. Louis Rams are the best $8 dollar stock in this league right now. All they do is nail it! Mel Kiper came out and he did not like them getting a defensive tackle. He was interviewed this morning on the Mike & Mike show on ESPN and said “there’s still a lot of picks, a lot of movement, but they missed out on Justin Blackmon by one pick, missed on Michael Floyd by one pick and they took Michael Brockers – a run stuffing defensive tackle…” totally disagree with Mel!
First of all, what did Jeff Fischer – Rams head coach say on the Scott Van Pelt Show earlier this week? That you have to worry about your own division! “First and foremost, you start with your own division and what are the strengths of your division. Well, we’ve got some very talented running games that we have to defend against in our division” so they get the run stopper in the draft, a monster from LSU whose a baby! He’s barely grown into his own body, yet to go along with him is free agent signing Kendall Langford who also goes along the two talented young pass rushers Chris Long and Robert Quinn…they are loaded!! They are the younger version of the New York Giants in the box now! But you might say “ohh they didn’t get a receiver and they didn’t do this…” folks, they have 3 of the first 13 picks in the 2nd round (was written before the start of the 2nd round) and there are receivers and linemen everywhere in the draft. In fact the big story of the first round is that the linemen didn’t get drafted.
So they got 4 tackles, one from Georgia, one from Stanford, one from the SEC and one from Ohio State…all available. They’ve may have a shot at, in my opinion, the only receiver in this draft many believe could become a superstar, but that you don’t know anything about – Stephen Hill, who I thought they would take as their 1st pick in the 2nd round (later did I find out after typing this up that my Jets actually landed him) but he’s a receiver from Georgia Tech, played in a weird triple option offense, but this guy is unbelievable! 6’4, 220lbs and can run a 4.38. So you have the Rams that because of all of this trading down and Mel didn’t like it, they now have nothing but 1st and 2nd picks next year and 1st and second picks the following year. Thursday they go out and get a star on the defensive front – they are now the New York Giants from about 5 years ago on the defensive front, the Rams are the “pop” franchise of the NFL if you ask me, absolute love what they did on Thursday.
So the Cowboys went out and got Morris Claiborne who apparently had a score of 4 on his Wonderlic – the lowest reported score in a dozen in years, the average score is around 21. As I’ve usually said, the further you get away from the ball the less it really matters. My biggest knock on Claiborne is that he doesn’t seem to support the run that much though he’s unbelievable in pass coverage – it doesn’t bother me much. Claiborne said “I looked on the test, there was nothing on the test that came with football so I pretty much blew the test off” that’s a Cowboy for you right there!