Friday, April 29, 2011

04/29 (Draft Hangover) Quickie

You can/should check out Quickish to quickly catch up on everything that happened in last night's NFL Draft, but here is a super-handy page that has all the best commentary from each pick, listed chronologically from No. 1 to 32.

A special shout-out to the sports folks out there who got up early this a.m. and had the wherewithal to tweet about the wedding, with a specifically sports slant. You can mock it all you want, but approximately 250 times the number of people watched that than watched the first round of the draft last night, which a non-fan would probably say: "So you spent your night in front of the TV watching large people in suits wait for their name to get called, then parade on a stage, all while serenaded by TV analysis that ranged from the overly enthusiastic to the staggeringly banal?"

The answer is: OH YES.

I happen to enjoy the draft, both the NFL and NBA varieties. Here are a few things from last night that stood out for me:

*Roger Goodell was booed, deservedly so. And he took it in stride, to his credit. Frankly, the brief public humiliation probably did more to help his cause than if he avoided it, because it was a form of catharsis for fans that increases their tolerance for him and the league. It was a necessary step, and I think he knew it.

*Cam Newton was booed, too. Beyond that, there was a few minutes where he mattered, then it was on to all the rest of the picks. The draft was defined less by Newton at No. 1 than by the flurry of QBs taken in the Top 12...

*Jake Locker to the Titans at No. 8? Yikes, what a reach. He feels like Vince Young 2.0. Blaine Gabbert at No. 10 in a trade-up by the Jaguars? You know how I'm going to feel about this: The Jaguars' original sin was not drafting Tim Tebow a year ago. And the Vikings drafting Christian Ponder was a total reach. (Do you think they feel like chumps for panicking before seeing Andy Dalton -- who doesn't seem all that different from Ponder -- could be had at the top of the 2nd round?)

*Prince Amukamara's family won the night. Von Miller's tears at No. 2 were another highlight. Special merit award to Mark Ingram for his spontaneous tears when Suzy Kolber read the email to him from his dad, who is in prison.

*I never tire of watching the Pats play chess while everyone else plays checkers. And with the top pick of the 2nd round, think they aren't fielding incredible offers from teams trying to move up?

*The biggest winners of the first round? The Saints got a great defensive player (Cam Jordan) and an RB to replace Reggie Bush (Mark Ingram). The Browns got a ton of draft picks from the Falcons for Julio Jones. But my biggest winner was the Lions, who drafted Nick Fairley to team with Ndamukong Suh -- they will be better and they will be so watchable. Lions fans have to be thrilled.

*Early pick for 2011 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AJ Green. (Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Peterson.)

Keep up at Quickish with more draft reactions all morning and into the afternoon, along with all the other big topics.

-- D.S.

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