I am loving watching Brady Quinn sit by himself in the Green Room. OK, I'm a bad person for feeling this way, but after a summer of Quinn staring back at me from every single college football preview and a fall of Quinn getting hyped into the Heisman race despite mediocre performances, a little schadenfreude is in order. The Sugar Bowl was fun and all, but it's nice to see the people who are actually paid to know which players are good reflect that Quinn just isn't that good. And the dumbfounded reactions from ESPN's arsenal of talking heads is hilarious. They're just shocked that golden boy isn't in huge demand, even by teams starting Charlie Frye, Tarvaris Jackson, and the corpse formerly known as Daunte Culpepper under center. I'm especially disappointed in Ron Jaworski, who is normally the one rational voice in a sea of cliches. He conceded that Quinn's accuracy is inconsistent and that his deep ball flutters (not that these are important for an NFL quarterback or anything), but then babbled on about how Quinn has moxie and intangibles and blah blah blah. I expect this from Steve Young, who prattled on about Quinn being able to say nasty things to Dan Marino's statue, but not from Jaws.
Has anyone else noticed that Quinn's highlights all seem to come against Purdue and BYU?
And now, Suzy Kolber breaks in to say that Quinn has been ushered into a private room, like his relatives were on a downed airliner. Let's infantilize him a little more. This is unprecedented. This is why I watch the Draft.
Incidentally, I'm not totally sold on Ted Ginn as a pick for the Dolphins, given his route-running (or lack thereof), but at a minimum, he'll be valuable as a returner. I'd be leery of taking a guy who wasn't even the best receiver on his own college team.
Update - Cleveland works its way back to take Quinn. This is a terrible move on their part. Their #1 pick next year is almost certain to be better than #22 and trhey threw a #2 pick in to boot. They had better be right that Quinn is going to be an above-average starter. He does have a fair amount of talent around him, with Cleveland having upgraded the offensive line and Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards, and Kellen Winslow as skill position players. (Do I have to root for Quinn now that he's throwing to Braylon?) Romeo Crennel is going to have to earn his money by coaching the defense up because the Browns have spent their top picks on offense and they just mortgaged future picks.
And a Moment of Self-Deprecation
Michigan's streak of not placing a defensive lineman in the first round since April 1985 continues. They managed to continue the streak despite having a senior defensive end who was a top 25 recruit who produced for three years in college and a junior defensive tackle who was seen as a top ten pick when he declared early for the Draft. What the hell did Alan Branch do to fall that far? Did he push four bills at Michigan's pro day? Did he attack John Clayton with a machete? Did he announce that he would donate his bonus to the Sadr Brigade? Michigan allowed 1.8 yards per carry last year and no one from their front seven made the first round. Outstanding.
I'm quite happy with Jamaal Anderson. Assuming that LaRon Landry wasn't available, the Falcons needed to grab one of the two top defensive ends or offensive tackles. Landry, Gaines Adams, and the tackles were gone, so Anderson was the obvious pick. He's an athletic freak and was productive on the top level of college football (13.5 sacks last year). I noticed him on a regular basis when I watched Arkansas, which I could not say about Amobi Okoye. Given the unhealthy amounts of college football I watch, I'm always leery of players I never noticed. I watched Louisville several times last year and don't remember Okoye ever standing out. Let's just call this the Dwayne Robertson phenomenon. Also, what does it say that the Falcons have a need at defensive tackle in light of the fact that Grady Jackson is currently suing the team, but Okoye's college coach didn't see fit to draft him.
On other thought on Anderson: he's a good run-stopping defensive end. With John Abraham on the other side of the line and Rod Coleman as an undersized defensive tackle, upgrading the run-stopping quality of the defensive line is nice.
If I was sitting in Rich McKay's shoes, I would have taken Patrick Willis because he's more certain to be excellent at his position than Anderson. He would have made the Falcons better at two positions because they could have moved Keith Brooking to outside linebacker, which is a better spot for him. That said, Anderson is good and answers a major need, so I'm happy.
I love the Justin Blalock pick. There aren't too many four-year starters at major programs who were three-time all conference. And he also plays two positions and fits the need for bigger Petrino linemen. Say hello to a starting guard.
I also love the Chris Houston pick. The Falcons will have the fastest tandem of corners in the league when they pair Houston with DeAngelo Hall, although they also have two corners who could use improvement in their technique. This also indicates that Jimmy Williams is headed to free safety. If these guys pan out, then the Falcons are going to have an ability to match up with opposing three-wide offenses in man-to-man coverage.
Now honestly, Mr. Blank, aren't you happier to have Jamaal Anderson, Justin Blalock, and Chris Houston as opposed to Calvin Johnson? You have three starters for the same cap figure that Johnson would have merited by himself.
There's little that's more amusing than mentally addled Jets fans on national TV trying to process a trade in which their team trades up and swaps picks later in the Draft.
Watching the Draft is much better now that I have the NFL Network. For one thing, their film breakdowns are half positive and half negative, so you don't get the sense that they are hyping every player who gets taken. Mike Mayock provides more substantive analysis than anyone else now that Jaws has been dumbed down ESPN Sportetainment. Rich Eisen is also a major upgrade over Chris Berman, although Joan Rivers would also be an upgrade, so what does that mean? Oh, and have I mentioned that they have Alex Flanagan?
She's not the one with the sunglasses.
Every time I see Roger Goodell, I get mad that Tagliabue wasn't replaced by a Member of the Tribe so we could have a clean sweep of the commissioner positions in the four major sports.
Dammit, I'm going to have to agree with Peter King when he fellates Scott Pioli on Monday. Brandon Meriweather is a helluva safety and will be a significant upgrade over what the Patriots have at safety right now. Of course, the pick is inconsistent with King's BS line about how the Pats only draft guys without character questions. I'd pay good money to watch the clip of Meriweather swinging his helmet at various FIU players with Peter King 12-15 times. There can be no criticism of the Patriots trading for the 49ers #1 next year, which will likely be significantly higher than the #28 pick the Pats gave up. The late first round picks are a good value because the players taken in those spots don't command huge salaries and are often only marginally less promising than the players taken earlier in the Draft, but the Cowboys and Patriots have illustrated that those picks are also valuable because they can be leveraged into even better picks as players fall down the chart and bad teams pay too much to get the falling stars.
If I'm a Saints fan, I'm not happy with the Robert Meachem pick for two reasons. First, the secondary is in desperate need of assistance. Second, I'm a little leery of Meachem because he was a factor in the Tennessee offensive implosion in 2005. Yes, the quarterback situation was terrible and Randy Sanders was having a hard time drawing up plays with fingerpaint, but the receiver corps (Meachem included) dropped everything under the sun. I'd worry about a guy who was terrible in 2005 before looking so much better in 2006. I'm on record as saying that Sidney Rice was the best receiver in the SEC for the past two years, better than Meachem or Dwayne Bowe.