Saturday, April 29, 2006

Liveblogging Der Draft

1:12 – I’ve worked out, I’ve downed a Doc Green’s offering, and now I’m ready to blog! The highlights so far:

Andrea saw Vernon Davis crying and got weepy herself. That’s the advantage of having a female sensibility to analyze the Draft. She also proclaimed that Matt Leinart to be a bad fit in New York because he’s already in US Weekly too much.

Thank G-d for Jaworski to slow down the Vince Young express by pointing out that he’s coming from a one-read system at Texas and is therefore a project. Everyone is acting as if Norm Chow “taking” Young is an indictment of Leinart or a compliment to Young, as opposed to evidence that Bud Adams probably overruled his coaches to sell tickets and because he’s a Horns fan.

Jets fans have really lost their fastball if they didn’t burn down Radio City Music Hall in response to their team passing on Leinart to take a left tackle.

Names that Andrea has found funny so far: Broderick Bunkley and Tom Mularkey.

1:23 – Remember when the SEC used to produce great Draftables? Right now, it’s ACC 3, SEC 0 and the crew are busy extolling Broderick Bunkley. Conversely, all this talent and none of these ACC teams are very good, so who’s squandering talent now?

1:26 – And we have our first piece of evidence that a 126-year old general manager is not a super idea. The Bills could have traded down ten spots and still taken Whitner.

1:32 – Will Ernie Sims demand to wear #20 in Detroit? By the way, his agent said yesterday that his five concussions were very minor and that he never used a mouthpiece at Florida State. There are so many things wrong with those statements, I don’t know where to begin.

-- And now the wife blogs whilst I take a bathroom break --

1:35—Cut to Leinart on the phone, ostensibly chatting with ARI….and he has just been chosen. Michael thinks that Leinart is a perfect fit for Arizona. I think that it’s probably better for Leinart to live away from Los Angeles, where he can’t get into so much trouble. Did you read US Weekly recently? He was rumored to be “canoodling” with Paris Hilton, which cannot be good for his football career. [Matt Leinart:Paris Hilton :: Tom Brady:Tara Reid?] I guess that Leinart going to Arizona means yet another year that Michigan alum John Navarre won’t be starting at QB.

1:40—okay St. Louis is on the clock now. The only thing I can think of when I think of the Rams is memories of Kurt Warner’s wife wearing that awful blue boa during the 1999 Superbowl.

I am LOVING these Under Armour commercials. Being a native Marylander, it’s always nice to see a home state company do well. And now I have this affinity for Vernon Davis, given that he got emotional about living out his dream.

-- All better. I’m back. Incidentally, last night was the first time in dozens of visits to the Ted that I ever had to take the Browns to the Super Bowl there. Never again. --

1:47 – I love how Jay Cutler is surrounded by pictures of himself in Nashville. Mao would be so proud. I’m going on record by the way that Leinart is the best of the three quarterbacks because accuracy and decision-making are the keys to the position and he’s the best in those departments. Then again, Jaws just did a good job of demonstrating Cutler’s ability to shift in the pocket.

1:54 – ESPN’s talking heads break down neatly on racial lines in terms of analyzing the three quarterbacks. Irvin and Jackson like Vince, Mel likes Leinart, and Jaws and Steve Young like Cutler.

1:56 – Andrea: “Jaworski looks like my late Aunt Fay.”

2:02 – As bad as Oregon’s yellow uniforms look, they look doubly ridiculous on a 340-pound Samoan. And has there ever been a defensive tackle who hasn’t been accused of taking plays off? I’m sure that Ray Lewis will motivate him with his special stabby manner. Is Tom Jackson aware, by the way, that he’s describing the Ray Lewis of four years ago? Jaws, please help us out here. Seriously, ESPN should designate one of their 46 analysts to solely show film clips ripping on each of these players, a designated curmudgeon. Where’s Dr. Z when we need him?

2:07 – And sure enough, Mark Schlereth unloads on Haloti Ngata using the USC tape, although the first clip shows Ngata occupying a double-team and leaving a linebacker unoccupied to make a tackle in the hole. Ask and ye shall receive.

2:15 – I’m still cynical of Florida State defensive ends going high in the Draft. Notice how many of Kamerion Wimbley’s highlights are of him lining up ridiculously wide and then outrunning an offensive tackle? No NFL team aligns their defensive ends that way.

2:27 – FSU defensive tackles, on the other hand, are a good bet. I still have nightmares of Corey Simon pooping all over the Falcons’ guards and center on a regular basis. By the way, if I were a Florida State fan, I’d be giving the Jeff Bowden voodoo doll a few extra pokes. Three picks in the top 14 from the defense and yet the Noles managed to lose five games because of that pesky “can’t get a first down” thing.

2:29 – No, I’m not getting an ESPN cell phone, no matter how many commercials you show…although that “500 is an arbitrary number” restraining order joke got a chuckle.

2:32 – Seven of the top 15 picks are from the ACC from five different schools…and none of the players are from Miami or Virginia Tech. How much talent were the coaches in that league squandering last year?

2:37 – How many people watching this Draft actually play football? And thus, how useless are the thousands of ads for Under Armour cleats?

2:39 – Maybe I’ve gone soft while I’m devouring Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, but that RV movie looks funny. Robin Williams

2:40 – Merril Hoge’s pink striped dress shirt…if I ever wore that shirt, I’d kick my own ass. That shirt is to pink as the Bucs’ uniforms in the 70s and 80s were to orange.

2:43 – Dr. Irvin just referenced the ligament in Daunte Culpepper’s head. Put that in the University of Miami’s ads for next football season, in between the overhead shot of Coral Gables and the cellist.

2:45 – I like Jason Allen. Don’t have anything more to say than that.

2:55 – Chad Greeway, dead ringer for Barcelona defender Carles Puyol? Incidentally, I’ll go on record as saying that Demeco Ryans will be a better pro than Greenway. I just don’t trust Big Ten linebackers that run up big tackle totals because they face offenses that run the ball up the middle as homage to Bo and Woody and then test slow at the combine…OK, and the fact that he’s white has something to do with this. This analysis doesn’t apply to A.J. Hawk because he’s so fast and because he proved his worth against Texas and Notre Dame.

3:03 – I better call Andrea’s Grandpa Sid to make sure that Nick Saban didn’t mug him for that turquoise sport coat.

3:09 – In the realm of questions with only one answer, Sean Salisbury asking Shawne Merriman “Are the Chargers a playoff team in 2006?” ranks up there. “No, we’re just hoping to win six or seven games with our golden boy under center. F***ing Rivers.”

3:16 – We’re 18 picks into the Draft and every selection has been from a BCS conference team. What happened to “smaller schools have just as much talent and deserve the chance to play for the national title”?

3:20 – Antonio Cromartie’s highlights are better than anyone else’s in the Draft, other than Reggie Bush, and he looks sharper than anyone else. So naturally, Jaws, Schlereth, and Hoge are ripping on him, although Jaws’ statement that a number of NFL scouts don’t like his technique carries some weight with me. Hoge is a complete idiot, by the way. He whines about Cromartie’s highlights being the result of bad throws, but the throws aren’t that bad. Instead, Cromartie is jumping routes in the highlights. And every one of these players have highlights against crappy defenses. I didn’t hear Hoge pointing out that Vince Young was running circles against a Michigan defense that consistently lost control of their bowels against mobile quarterbacks and then against a mediocre USC defense. And Hoge is acting as if there are no bad quarterbacks or throws in the NFL. Did he not see a Bills game last year?

3:41 – I know I’m not allowed to make fun of Bill Bellichick and Scott Pioli or else Peter King is going to come to my condo and eat my liver, but Laurence Maroney? Adding to that terrific stable of Minnesota runners in the NFL? You can’t go wrong with a Big Ten running back, can you, Scott? Note to self: be sure to e-mail Fatty McButterpants as soon as DeAngelo Williams breaks his first long touchdown run.

3:47 – Josef Goebbels must be beaming with all of Steve Young’s discussion of “collective will.” (I can’t believe that it took me two and a half hours to make the first WWII reference. I’m slipping like Leinart.)

3:58 – Using the Merril Hoge corollary, I’m going to disregard the highlight of Davin Joseph clobbering a UCLA defensive end.

4:31 – All of a sudden, that 2004 Florida State-NC State game that seemingly set offensive football back by 25 years makes sense to me. And I’m no longer mystified by Ohio State, with their four first round picks (with Ashton Yobouty and Nick Mangold still on the board), coming from behind against Michigan; it’s a miracle that Michigan was leading in that game to begin with.

4:33 – Michael Irvin asked the question: all of these NC State players are going in the first round and how many wins did they get last year? Michael, you have Marcus Stone and Jay Davis on line two, do you have time to take a call?

4:35 – Remember what I was saying earlier about DeAngelo Williams being a really good running back? Uh oh.

4:40 – Personally, I would have taken Leonard Pope over Mercedes Lewis. And speaking of Pope, we’ve yet to see a Dawg come off the board. Thank goodness Max Jean Gilles isn’t in the Green Room to pull a Jumaine Jones.

4:45 – I guess I’m a little late to point out that Nick Mangold would be a perfect name for a gay porn star? Or that the ’05 Ohio State Buckeyes might have had the worst collection of hairdos on white guys since Color Me Badd?

4:47 – Joseph Addai, I’d like to be happy for you, but I’m still pissed that you were such a disappointment on my last place fantasy team. Wait a second, Joseph is on the phone right now: “That’s what you get for picking a guy running against SEC defenses, you dolt.” Point taken.

5:00 – Between LenDale White’s very public slide down the board and Jimmy Williams’ descent from being the #1 corner on the board to the second round, NFL teams seem to be taking this whole character thing seriously. The Eagles’ disastrous 2005 season has clearly had an effect on NFL GMs.

5:02 – Is there anything better than watching the fans in the audience (such as, say, emotive Giants fans) when their team has drafted a player they’ve never heard of? And Mathias Kiwanuka wasn’t exactly a below-the-radar player in college football last year.

5:08 – I’d be pretty happy if I were a Texans fan. Their defense will be significantly better with Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans. If they can ever find blockers to protect David Carr’s internal organs from being speared, they might actually be decent.

5:19 – I’m sure Berman was going to ask Tagliabue “any regrets about not screwing Los Angeles and California to pay for a new stadium to subsidize some incredibly wealthy owner?” I’m sure it was the next question on his list.

5:20 – Andriy Shevchenko in an ESPN spot? Outstanding. Too bad the Worldwide Leader couldn’t show, you know, an actual game with Sheva playing in it. You know, like a Champions League semi-final? Speaking of soccer, Barca 1, Cadiz 0 in the 42nd minute.

5:24 – Is there footage of Jimmy Williams in the background of one of Osama bin Laden’s recruiting videos floating around the internet? How else do we explain the fact that he’s still on the board? Dare I start to dream that he’ll fall to the Falcons at 47? He was on the list of players they would have considered with the #15 pick.

5:26 – Apparently, Applebee’s is the only outfit that doesn’t know that the swing craze is over. Then again, they also fail to realize that steak is pretty great by itself without being doused in disgusting bleu cheese puree.

5:28 – Troy Williamson ran a fast 40 at the combine and climbed to #9 in the Draft as “Randy Moss’ replacement.” What’s the difference between him and Chad Jackson, other than the fact that Jackson played in passing offenses and therefore knows how to run routes and find spots in zones? Sometimes, I don’t understand how NFL guys get giddy about certain players and then ignore others with the same credentials.

5:36 – I AM A F***ING GENIUS!!!

5:37 – Stop talking about Brett Favre (again) and acknowledge that the Falcons just got one of the best corners in the Draft in the second round.

5:39 – I do feel a little queasy as a lifelong UVA fan to be rooting for an NFL team that is apparently lobbying for a MARTA stop in Blacksburg, but Jimmy Williams and DeAngelo Hall are going to be a heckuva pairing at corner. With the two of them, an excellent defensive line with Coleman, Abraham, and Kerney, and some pretty good linebackers, this team should be very good on defense…good enough to cover for an average quarterback.

5:47 – Nice demonstration by Jaws of the problems with Vince Young’s mechanics. Why was that never done by Kirk Herbstreit last year?

6:01 – This might be the first year where the Draft day hats don’t look ridiculous. I’m enjoying this post-Tagliabue era already.

6:04 – Anyone notice that the highlights of LenDale and Bush invariably feature the two of them running untouched into the secondary?

6:07 – Mike Fratello is also wearing a pink striped dress shirt. I blame you, Merril Hoge. We have American Pie on FX and American Pie 2 on USA. Good to know that we have the juvenile entertainment bases covered.

6:13 – We’re 45 picks in and the University of Michigan still has not had a defensive lineman taken in the first three rounds since 1985. Go Blue!

6:20 – I dare Mike Martz to unleash a Brandon Manumaleuna/Joe Klopfenstein double tight end set. It reminds me of Bob Costas’ best line ever: “I’ve been waiting to say this all day: Mosi Tatupu run into the arms of Manu Tuiasosopo.”

6:27 – The best highlight all day was D’Qwell Jackson’s interception return against Florida State. I had forgotten that he decided to run through tacklers instead of trying to avoid them.

6:33 – OK, I was just about to write about how it’s a travesty that the American Pie movies are on all the time, but I’ve never seen Euro Trip on network TV (possibly because about half the scenes would be cut by censors), a sure sign that it’s time to wrap up. See you next year!


Ed said...

Okay, the 2005 Florida State football team just became the most hilarious team in the history of College Football.

4 picks in the top 19 off their defense....and they lost 35-14 to Clemson. Oh, and their defense gave up an average of 26.4 ppg over the last nine games in the mighty, offensive-juggernaut laden ACC.

Aaron P. said...

What ed said...

how in the hell did FSU allow points last year?

Nice work and a good read GGB. What's the dealio on Jonathan Joseph? His measureables are nice, and as a Bengals fan, happy because he will nickel up for a year behind Tory James before hopefully taking over next in 2007. I know he only played a year, but did his football instincts show up in that season, or is he more an athlete first?

Anonymous said...

Brian Urlacher canoodled with Paris Hilton and it didn't seem to hurt his career. Although I am unsure how often he has appeared in US Weekly, to that could be Leinart's undoing.

Caelus said...

4:45 – I guess I’m a little late to point out that Nick Mangold would be a perfect name for a gay porn star? Or that the ’05 Ohio State Buckeyes might have had the worst collection of hairdos on white guys since Color Me Badd?

Thank you GGB/Michael

Michael said...

In defense of FSU's defense, they were missing Cromartie for much of the year. They certainly laid down and died once they clinched their divisional title and thus lost stinkers to Clemson, NC State, and Florida, but their defense rebounded and played very well against Virginia Tech and Penn State. Come to think of it, their defense didn't play well against Virginia and that was when they were still unbeaten. Maybe the defense did underachieve.

Aaron, I honestly don't know much about Jonathan Joseph. He never registered that much at South Carolina, certainly in comparison to Ko Simpson, the more lauded of the USC defensive backs. He sounds like every other player from South Carolina: talented, but with no technique. If you can teach him how to play the position, he could turn out well, but that's something of a risk.