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Spending a Few Hours with the NFL 1st Round Draft

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As a gift to all you loyal One Foot Down readers, I've decided to write a retro blog for Thursday's 1st round coverage of the NFL draft.

Please accept this gift.

The two major storylines for Notre Dame football will revolve around what Carolina decides to do with their first overall selection (and possibly ending the Clausen era before it could really get started) and whether TE Kyle Rudolph ultimately has his named announced tonight.

Before the teams start making their picks, I just wanted to make some comments on Tom Brady and the picture above.

Soak it in as much as possible.

Is there any doubt why Brady fell to the 6th round?

I know it's kind of sacrilege, but I like Tom Brady, yet what the heck was he doing from the ages of 17 to 22? Not only is he much too skinny, but he flat looks out of shape with zero muscle definition.

I saw this picture while I was running on the treadmill at the gym while watching the ESPN special titled, "The Brady 6" and I nearly split my chin open from falling I chuckled so hard.

I was relieved to find some humor in this because I was very interested in the program although I couldn't really follow the story because the subtitle person couldn't spell a word correctly to save their life, and I was running angry.

They also showed the footage of Brady running the 40 at the combine in what appeared to be khaki shorts...and yes watching him run was like watching someone sprint through tar.

I just don't understand how someone could be a quarterback at Michigan and come out looking like that after four years. It's mind boggling.

Anyway, the draft is about to start so let's turn our attention to Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York.

We start off with Suzy Kolber interviewing Cam and Cecil Newton.

Pretty interesting talk right there, Cam just does not come off as a good guy...ever. Seems extremely cocky, shifty, and always unable to communicate in a simple and effective manner. Luckily, his father came in and cleaned up the interview a little bit.

I'm really curious to see how Newton handles the pressure inside an NFL locker room, let alone on the field.

The draft is officially open and the Panthers are on the clock.

Mel Kiper's hair seems to be smaller this year. It's not as huge as in previous installments of the draft.

Wasting no time, Roger Goodell is striding toward the podium.

1.Carolina selects...

QB Cam Newton from Auburn

Good Lord you have to feel bad for Jimmy Clausen. Is he going to stay around in Carolina for much longer? I sure hope not.

You have to admit Newton is ridiculously talented, but as always with him, something just doesn't feel right about him going first overall.

I'm curious to see how much his athleticism and running ability tranfer to the NFL, but he has a good enough arm to make team's pay through the air anyway.

Loads of potential, but an awful lot of questions surrounding a top pick in the draft. Good luck with that Carolina.

We're moving quickly and the Broncos are ready to pick.

2.Denver selects...

OLB Von Miller from Texas A&M

...and he's taking his time to get to the stage, crying with his friends and family (acceptable) but sweating like Shaq at the foul line (less acceptable).

Miller is crazy fast, but he just looks so small to me. They have him listed at 6'2" and 5/8 and I swear he never looks an inch over six feet tall either on or off the field.

I have big concerns with his size and going up against tackles that are a lot better than what he faced in the Big 12, but his first step and playmaking ability are about as elite as you're going to find in any draft.

First commercial of the night and there was just a trailer for another Transformers movie? Ugh, our culture is dying!

Besides Bad Boys II, Michael Bay hasn't made even a decent movie in 15 years. Yeah, I'd say that makes him vastly overrated.

My hometown team is up now.

3.Buffalo selects...

DT Marcell Dareus from Alabama

Whoa! The Bills didn't mess up their first pick in the draft!

This is a huge pick up for Buffalo as it addresses their biggest need and I had Dareus (along with Peterson) as the absolute can't miss prospects in this 2011 draft.

There are just so many things you can do with this big tackle and he'll give the Bills a great rookie season and a nice productive career.

Next pick is already up, we're moving quickly and I like it!

4.Cincinnati selects...

WR A.J. Green from Georgia

Meh, wouldn't be crazy about this pick if I was a Bengals fan, but Green is the best receiver in the draft and it's probably not even close.

Green looks like a twig on the field but is sneaky tough, has great hands, plays physical, and goes up and gets the ball like the best of the best.

Chris Berman is wondering if this was a pick to entice Carson Palmer to come back for another year or two. You kind of have to laugh at such a notion, but you never know. You just never know.

We have a local season ticket commercial for the Bills here, and Chan Gailey is still annoying to listen to when he speaks. It's really hard to get used to him and GM Buddy Nix' Southern twangs here in Western New York.

And our first knowledge of a pick before the actual pick has just happened.

5.Arizona selects...

CB Patrick Peterson from LSU

It was talked about before the draft that Arizona didn't have huge concerns in the secondary, but you can't pass up a player like this right here.

Kiper is saying Peterson is going to be a returner right out of the gate as a rookie, and the Cardinals will wait to see if he is really a shut down corner to end those extracurricular activities.

Peterson is my early pick for rookie of the year. Take that one to Vegas if you want.

Some talk here of Atlanta moving up to try and take Julio Jones. My goodness the Falcons might never punt whenever we start playing football again!

Cue John Gruden talking about Jones' lack of good or great hands.

I have to agree, overall most of us college football nuts have watched a lot of Alabama over the past couple years and Jones never really ever was a star in games. Athletic freak? Yes, but some question marks on the durability and suave skills as a receiver.

Cleveland has traded their pick to Atlanta and takes the Falcons 27th pick in the first, as well as 2nd and 4th round picks this year, and first and 4th round picks next year.

Wow, Atlanta just gave up a crap ton right there.

6. Atlanta selects...

WR Julio Jones from Alabama

You figure the Falcons want to keep pace with the best offensive teams in the league, but you would have thought they could have addressed some other issues and not mortgaged so much of their future today.

At least Matt Ryan can smile.

The 49ers are now on the clock.

7.San Francisco selects...

DE Aldon Smith from Missouri

Probably not the Tigers player the 49er fans thought would be coming to the Bay, right?

Smith is really talented and has a lot of potential but I think this a little bit of a reach for San Fran. Haven't really watched a lot of Missouri in the past, but I keep hearing a lot of good things about this kid.

And quickly the Titans are ready to make their pick.

8.Tennessee selects...

QB Jake Locker from Washington

Now this is a funny pick right here.

Tennessee had Vince Young. Now they bring in a smaller, slower, and less accurate quarterback than VY?

Maybe Locker's toughness, competitiveness, and leadership will take him to new heights in the NFL, but this pick is going to be heavily criticized for a long, long time.

Gruden is trying to downplay Locker's lack of accuracy, but umm John...it's kind of important.

Commercial break with the Cowboys on the clock.

We're back and Chris Mortensen just explained that Locker is the anti-Vince Young. Barking Carnival is going to have a field day with this stuff.

Now the official Blaine Gabbert Slide is being discussed.

This is my least favorite part of the draft, not because of what happened to Brady Quinn and Clausen, but it's such a fickle thing to talk about. Sure, these guys are losing some money, but it's just not that big of a deal when a player falls a dozen picks or more.

9.Dallas selects...

OT Tyron Smith from Southern California

I should know more about Smith but I must confess that I do not. I'm just glad guys like Prince Shembo, Kapron-Lewis Moore and Aaron Lynch won't have to deal with him next season.

Gruden and Kiper are questioning why Smith wasn't a left tackle in college, and are picking apart his game a little bit. Feel free to continue men!

The Cowboys nemesis are up next. Potential bad pick coming up.

Check that, the Redskins are trading out of this spot and Jacksonville is moving up to pick a quarterback.

10. Jacksonville selects...

QB Blaine Gabbert from Missouri

As the ESPN guys are already talking about...why trade up to get Gabbert when you have a good quarterback in Gerrard?

Nevertheless, I think Gabbert was probably the safest pick in the draft as a quarterback in the sense that he's likely to be a good pro and someone that won't be a huge bust. Now that it looks like he'll be able to grow behind Gerrard he has to like his situation.

He has awesome size, decent mobility, and a great arm. Nice. Safe. Pick.

Texans are up.

11. Houston selects...

DE J.J. Watt from Wisconsin

Wisconsin picks are and always will be boring. Watt is a tough athlete, but is he a top 12 pick?

Berman just said this is the highest Badger drafted since 1992, dang!

Anyone surprised that Fairely is still available? He has to be going in the next three or four picks for sure. There has been a lot of talk about the Vikings injecting some youth into their defensive line.

They're up next. But now trade talk is in the air. Or not.

12.Minnesota selects...

QB Christian Ponder from Florida State

Probably the biggest shock of the draft.

Listen, I like Ponder and think he was a little bit underrated, and I know the uncertainty of the free agent market is forcing teams to pick QB's earlier than they woud like, but man is this a enormous reach.

In most years, isn't Ponder a 2nd or even a 3rd round pick?

After the long wait for the Vikings the Lions move quickly.

13.Detroit selects...

DT Nick Fairely from Auburn

Are the Lions ready to dominate up front or what?

I can't believe Fairley lasted this long, and Detroit probably could have filled some other needs, but they have to be happy to get a talent that could have been the No. 1 pick in the whole draft this late in the game.

The Lions might be a force to be reckoned with soon!

Rams ready to pick next.

14. St. Louis selects...

DE Robert Quinn from North Carolina

Solid pick, and a player that has fallen off the radar because he didn't play a snap last year due to all those wonderful problems in Chapel Hill in 2010.

A lot of attention being paid to Mark Ingram right now, who is rocking one mean ass beard.

Are the Dolphins ready to take a running back in the first round?

15.Miami selects...

C Mike Pouncey from Florida

Also known as not his brother.

Not a flashy pick of course, but he is a solid center. What else am I supposed to say here?

Redskins, who traded back earlier, are now up.

16. Washington selects...

DE Ryan Kerrigan from Purdue

Just another average recruit who comes into Purdue and turns into a monster and high draft pick for an NFL team.

We know him well, he's a great player with a high motor, pretty good skill set, and just makes plays.

I'm not about to proclaim Pro Bowls and the like, but Kerrigan is going to be a good pro, I guarantee that much.

The draft pick hoarders known as the Patriots are up next, ready to make their first of 76 picks.

Side note: I kind of like those Bud Light bottles with the labels you can write on. Kind of stupid of course, but plenty of funny things you can do with that right there.

17. New England selects...

OT Nate Solder from Colorado

A big reach here for Belichick and Co. and I know nothing about this guy.

But he is massive at over 6'8" and 315. Kind of sounds like Tate Nichols...he was even a tight end in high school just like Nichols.

Chargers' pick is in.

18. San Diego selects...

DT Corey Liuget from Illinois

Quality player here, but I'm starting to slip here with how much I know on some of these guys. Not a lot of "star" power in the second half of this draft.

Radio City is getting loud, which means the Giants are ready to pick.

Does the Thor movie look good to you? It would be a shame to mess up some Norse mythology.

19.New York selects...

CB Prince Amukamara from Nebraska

This is a really good selection for New York as Prince was a top 10 pick to some people and a boderline elite secondary player in this draft. I don't think he'll be a great player in the NFL and he's a big step below Peterson, but in this era of passing you need quality corners out there on the field.

Don't you just hate it when you've seen a commercial a million times and you still couldn't tell anyone who made it? That's called bad advertising folks.

Gruden's old team is on the board, let's see what he has to say about their pick.

20.Tampa Bay selects...

DE Adrian Clayborn from Iowa

Didn't Clayborn have a massively weak year in 2010? How did he get 1st team All-Big Ten and 3rd team All-American honors?

This was the one player I thought has bust written all over him. He's a good kid and a great story but I just don't see a 1st round talent here or much of a difference maker in the NFL.

Can you believe the Chiefs are picking this late? Remember...they had a good year in 2010!

But, the Browns have now moved up and are on the clock, likely using the picks they raped away from Atlanta earlier in the draft.

21.Cleveland selects...

DT Phil Taylor from Baylor

Brought to you by new Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis...

The Browns have always been my team, lucky for me I don't invest a lot of effort being a fan of theirs. I am pretty unimpressed with this pick. Anytime you show a guy's highlight reel film and you're wondering when the playmaking is supposed to occur...you might have problems in the NFL.

And how ridiculous is it that Hillis made the Madden cover?

Colts are up.

22.Indianapolis selects...

OT Anthony Castonzo from Boston College

Just what the doctor ordered for Peyton Manning, who in all liklihood runs the Colts war room.

Castonzo is really living this pick up right now on the camera. Good for him, he should be a really good tackle.

Short break as we salute some military members...Eagles on the clock.

23.Philadelphia selects...

OG Danny Watkins from Baylor

Who they are telling me is 26 years old???

Well I guess he should be a physically ready lineman, eh?

That probably makes Michael Vick happy.

Nawlings up next.

24.New Orleans selects...

DE Cameron Jordan from California

I like this guy a lot, he could use a little more explosiveness but I like the look in his eyes.

Yes, that's my scouting report.

The Seahawks are up next, even though they finished two games under .500 but still made it to the playoffs. Still can't forget that run by Marshawn Lynch though!

Rumors that Seattle is trying to move back here, but no...they will make the pick.

25. Seattle selects...

OG James Carpenter from Alabama

Offensive linemen...zzzzzzzz.

Still no running back off the board yet with Heisman winner Mark Ingram getting more and more angry. Did these teams not see his beard, let alone his production at 'Bama?!?!??

Ravens now on the board, and they are taking for f-ing forever.

And they...pass.

Okay, now Kansas City is up.

26.Kansas City selects...

WR Jonathan Baldwin from Pittsburgh

And ESPN quickly shows Baldwin go up and snare a ball against Darrin Walls.

Probably can't go wrong with Baldwin if Kansas City needed receiver help. He's got great size and tremendous speed, and would have been a bigger star across the country if he was at a school like Oklahoma or USC where he was playing with great quarterbacks in a better system.

Apparently the Ravens have picked now.

27. Baltimore selects...

CB Jimmy Smith from Colorado

Big steal for Baltimore who just add to their great defense.

Smith has awesome size and shoud have been off the board much earlier, and now Ray Lewis is the one laughing.

Patriots trade their pick to New Orleans.

28. New Orelans selects...

RB Mark Ingram from Alabama

And that doesn't bode well for one Mr. Reggie Bush. Make way for the guy who kept his Heisman, fool!

I'm seriously high on Ingram, and it's kind of ridiculous that he dropped this far. With Brees under center and Ingram's penchant to run down hill, I see big things next year for the Saints.

What's there not to like about Ingram?

Chicago is ready to pick now as we wind down the first round.

29.Da Bears select...

OT Gabe Carimi from Wisconsin

Wisconsin just continues to churn out linemen, and Carimi is a special one.

I've reached the quota of words that can be used on O-linemen.

J-E-T-S ready to pick.

30. New York selects...

DT Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple

This guy was supposed to go way before this so this is a steal for New York.

I'd be a little skeptical because he wasn't playing against great competition, but Wilkerson has the look of a quality defensive linemen in the NFL.

Pittsburgh quickly sends in their pick.

31.Pittsburgh selects...

DE Cameron Heyward from Ohio State

Can you go wrong with picking the Buckeyes best defensive player this late in the first round?

Another steal, and the good teams continue to get better.

Green Bay is the last pick of the night, and it's not looking good for Kyle Rudolph to go in the first round.

32. The Champs select...

OT Derek Sherrord from Mississippi State

Ugh, another linemen.

This first round was just jam packed with linemen on both sides of the ball. Maybe Notre Dame's defensive line haul this past year will be part of this kind of draft sometime in the future.

Yet again, the Irish top draftee doesn't go higher than people thought. Hopefully Rudy goes early in the second round tomorrow.

Alabama leads the way with four players taken tonight. Auburn, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Baylor each send two players in the first round.

Of course the SEC led the way with 10 picks, with the Big Ten coming in at second with 7 selections and the Pac-12 with 5 picks.

With that, this retro blog is officially over.