Every year I watch the NFL Draft, from the perspective of a college football fan. I don’t so much care where the players end up I just find it interesting to watch how the NFL evaluates the players I have been keeping an eye on for the last few years. I realize that NFL scouts are looking for many things that don’t necessarily translate to great college football players. Obviously players like option Quarterbacks don’t necessarily fit into the NFL game. I also realize that "measurables" come into play heavily for NFL scouts. With that there are always several draft picks that make me wonder whether or not these hordes of owners, coaches and scouts at the next level really ever watched any of these kids play on Saturdays. Over the next few days I’ll take a closer look at the draft from a conference and program perspective. In the mean time here are a few quick hits and random observations.
Six receivers were taken in the first round on Saturday. Al Davis and the Raiders took the first one with the sixth overall pick passing on Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree and instead selecting Maryland’s Darrius Heyward-Bay. I know Crabtree didn’t run a 40, just got a cast off of his foot etc. but Crabtree has that "it" factor that no stopwatch can capture. In the end Crabtree is probably better off avoiding the Al Davis Raiders run soap opera anyway.
The Jets bet the farm on USC QB Mark Sanchez. In my estimation there were a handful of kids playing quarterback in college last year that were better than "The Dirty One." I’ll be interested to see if one full season under center at USC surrounded by the best supporting cast in college football set Sanchez up for success here. I think I’m going to have to agree with Sneaky Pete on this one and guess that it didn’t.
A grand total of 35 receivers were drafted over the weekend. None of them were Texas receiver/ return man Quan Cosby. Meanwhile Ohio State Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was the first Corner selected in the draft when the Saints took him with the 14th pick overall. I was at the Fiesta Bowl a few months ago and watched Cosby work Jenkins over to the tune of 14 receptions for 171 yards and two TD’s. Jenkins struggled to cover Cosby all night. Am I missing something?
In the April 20th NFL Draft Preview edition of the rag they call ESPN the Magazine they had a feature called "Kings For a Day II". It was an "article" on five "mid-round prospects" that really looked a lot more like a few pages out of the J Crew Catalog than anything resembling a sports article. The piece featured Texas Tech Quarterback Graham Harrell, Iowa Defensive End Mitch King, Boise State Running Back Ian Johnson, Ohio State Linebacker Marcus Freeman and Rice Receiver Jarrett Dillard. In the end Freeman & Dillard went in the 5th round while Harrell, King and Johnson went undrafted. Note to all college football players that will enter the draft next spring. If thew world wide leader asks you to be in "Kings for a Day III" run the other way as fast as you can. Not only will they make you look like a tool, it is also a jinx!
Speaking of Harrell he is the latest Texas Tech Quarterback with Playstation numbers not to be drafted. I realize that the Tech offense doesn’t fit the "NFL Mold" but at the end of the day the kid can run an offense, make reads and get the ball to his receivers. But that Keith Null from West Texas A&M; he’s good. The Rams took him in the sixth round. WTF?
Notre Dame Free Safety David Bruton was the only member of the Willingham/ Weis handoff class that signed letters of intent with the Irish in February of 2005 to be drafted this weekend. Willingham’s previous class signed in February of 2004 had zero players drafted into the NFL. This is one more shining example of the talent bubble that plagued the Irish on the field in 2007 and 2008. For a much more detailed take on ND specifically check out OC Domer's write up.
Speaking of proud programs that were once NFL pipelines "The U" only had one player drafted this weekend as well. Inside Linebacker Spencer Adkins went to the Falcons in the 4th round. I wonder if Coker & Willingham hang