Monday, April 30, 2007

The Dwarf's Return

Hey all!

Well, it's been since February 28 since I've written anything on this blog, but with the NFL Draft going down this weekend, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to resurrect the Blog. As a matter a fact, so much has happened since my last post, including the Canadiens not making the playoffs, Chelsea inching closer to a Champions League title, Tiger losing a very tight Masters and some absolutely wonderful music being released, but today I will focus on the NFL Draft, which was very interesting, to say the least.

The big story of the first day was, without a doubt, Brady Quinn, QB from Notre Dame, being passed up by Cleveland and then Miami, and sliding down the board before being swept up by the Browns with the 22nd pick, which they got from Dallas. There are two interesting side stories that were born from this: Cleveland went on to have a great first day, at least on paper, and Miami passing up on the possible heir to Marino.

When the Browns went on the clock with the 3rd pick in the draft, experts everywhere were divided. Joe Thomas, the best tackle on the board, was a possibility, as were the hometown boy Quinn and mercurial running back Adrian Peterson. All three made sense, as the Browns have a terrible O-Line, no really good running back to speak of (they signed Jamal Lewis in the off-season, but he is on his last legs), and nothing too exciting at QB either. In the end, they made what I believe is the right pick, getting Thomas, the guy who will protect their QB's blind side and open up holes for whoever is their running back for the next 15 years. But when Quinn started to slide down the board, Phil Savage, the Browns GM, started to work the phones and eventually cut a deal with Dallas to get their pick at #22 and scoop up Quinn. So, in a matter of a couple of hours, the Browns got their QB of the future and his "bodyguard". Not bad. In the second round, they also managed to pick up CB Eric Wright from Nevada, who has character issues, but great speed and pure cover skills. That's a pretty good first day.

Meanwhile, Dolphin nation is enraged at the moment, still in disbelief at their team passing up on the opportunity to pick Quinn. Instead, the Dolphins used the 9th pick in the draft on WR Ted Ginn Jr. from Ohio State. Then, in the second round, they tabbed John Beck from BYU to be their QB of the future. Now, I must say, when I heard the pick of Ginn Jr., I was mad too. But I've read a lot since, and my opinion has evolved. Essentially, the Dolphins were going to pick a WR and a QB with their first 2 picks, and the question that remained was which would come first. Obviously, they felt that the second-tier quarterbacks were better than the second-tier receivers. Ted Ginn Jr. has speed to burn, and while his route running needs a lot of work, he spent the last season running past the best CB's in the division with relative ease. He will definitely help stretch the field for an offense that desperately needs a deep threat. He can also contribute as a punt and kick returner for the Dolphins. As for Beck, the book on him is that he might not be NFL-ready yet, but he has all the tools. He is very accurate and his mechanics are natural and sound. He needs more coaching than Quinn, but his upside might be higher at this point.

As for Brady Quinn, the big question is how could he possibly slide all the way to #22. Well, Aaron Rodgers went through the same thing 2 years ago, before being picked up by Green Bay. And when you look at it, the question marks with both are similar: both have quirky mechanics., neither has a great arm or is particularly accurate, and both had their troubles when the pressure was on. In my opinion, Quinn will be as good as his surroundings. Some QB's, like John Elway, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Tom Brady or Joe Montana, just to name a few, can make everyone around them better just by being there. Experts are convinced that JaMarcus Russell, the first overall pick, is that kind of Quarterback. But, personally, I don't think that Quinn is. In the end, Quinn will be just as good as Joe Thomas, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow become. If his receivers can stay healthy, if the Browns can fix the offensive line and find a running game, then Quinn will have a nice career. Otherwise, he'll be just another Tim Couch.

Random Thoughts From Around The Draft:

  • I liked the Bills draft. Experts can't seem to see it, but I think Marv Levy is doing a wonderful job, slowly putting the pieces together to make another great run in a couple of years. J.P. Losman is slowly settling into the QB's job. Lee Evans has developed into a very nice #1 receiver. Now, Levy added the third piece of the offensive puzzle with RB Marshawn Lynch from Cal, who has size, speed and hands. If you really think about it, Losman has a little bit of Jim Kelly in him, Evans a little bit of Andre Reed and Lynch could turn out to be as versatile as Thurman Thomas. Then, Levy picked up Trent Edwards, another tough-as-nails QB in the third round (a great value pick), just in case Losman doesn't pan out. Meanwhile, he also found the guy who will lead his defense for the next decade in LB Paul Posluszny from Penn State. This kid was born to play in Rich Stadium. There's hope Bills fans... and not only that, there is something to really like about this team.
  • Another controversial pick was the Eagles' second round choice (their first pick in the draft), QB Kevin Kolb of Houston. Now, I won't pretend I know anything about this kid, but even though some experts thought it was too early to pick him, I'll take Andy Reid's judgement over Mel Kiper's any day. Now, the big controversy came from Philly picking a QB so early. Steve Young couldn't believe it, saying this meant the Eagles didn't think McNabb could come back healthy from his injury. Sean Salisbury echoed those comments, as did Kiper. But words of wisdom finally came from Michael Smith's (check him out, the best writer at in my opinion) mouth: "Kolb could be Matt Schaub", he said. Yes. The Eagles aren't worried about McNabb this year, otherwise they would be in the Trent Green lottery, or at least trying to get a starting caliber quarterback on the roster. No, Kolb is a project. The Eagles are looking 3-4 years down the road: what if McNabb keeps getting injured? What if his knees are shot by 2009? Then they'll have a quality guy in the system, someone capable of picking up the slack when #5 goes down for good. And if, by chance, McNabb manages to stay healthy and plays at a high level for the next 6-7 years, then the Eagles will have the option of trading Kolb for a couple of second round picks, like the Falcons did with Schaub this year.
  • I like Randy Moss to New England. I would've preferred Moss to Green Bay, but him going to the Patriots should be exciting. I don't know if it will work out though: Moss is one lazy dude. But if it does, watch out!
  • Speaking of the Packers, how boring have they become? No trade for Moss. No big-time receiver of runner picked in the first round. I mean, Justin Harrell? A defensive tackle? What??? This is sad. Brett Favre must be cringing right now.
  • My favorite pick of the draft? Aside from Paul Posluszny to Buffalo, I really like Michael Bush to the Raiders in the 4th round. This kid was Heisman potential before he broke his leg. He will come back healthy, and by mid-season, he will he at the forefront of the Raiders' three-headed running back monster of Bush, Dominic Rhodes and Lamont Jordan. The Raiders are still a year away, but still, they won't be fun to play against this year.
  • The worst draft? Houston. David Carr never had a shot with the Texans because they've had the worst offensive line ever since they entered the league. Now, they go out and get Matt Schaub, but don't draft anyone to protect him. Yeah, I'm sure he'll be great at running the offense while being sacked 57 times like Carr was. Oh, and Ahman Green will relish running into non-existing holes. Great job Texans... that's a D-minus for you.
Well, that's enough for now, but it's good to be back. I'll see you next time!

Dwarf out.