Draft Debacle 2006

Draft Debacle 2006

Here ye, here ye, I bow my head in shame. My draft could not have been any more off than it was, and a lot of that had to do with the unbelievable shocker that the Texans selected Mario Williams (more on that later). My draft was exactly what the title says, a debacle, wrong on a lot of the picks and definitely off on the reasoning, but hey, I can guarantee you I’m not the only one, only I’m man enough to admit my mistakes and that I deserve to ride on that small yellow school bus to any NFL game I ever attend. My mock draft was more of a personal analysis of how I felt the teams should draft moreso than what the GMs would actually do, and I figured that I would get a few picks wrong, but man, I couldn’t have been more wrong among the top 10 (although my wishful thinking of the Falcons drafting DJ Shockley actually paid off). Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the surprising, and the incomprehensible.

I’m not going to verbally abuse the Texans for not selecting Reggie Bush (at least not too much). I think they made a mistake, a well documented and criticized mistake. You CANNOT fail to draft arguably the most exciting collegiate athlete from the last decade. If there has ever been a sure pick in the NFL draft, Reggie fit that perfectly. He went to a big school, was a national champion, had the stats, and won the Heisman, and believe me folks, this wasn’t a Jason White or Gino Toretta situation, this man is the real deal. The minute he was questioned about his size and his durability, he bulked up and wowed scouts at the combine, showing them that he had the determination, will, and competitive fortitude to be as prepared as possible for the NFL. Not only is he talented, but he showed up big in every big game, and made big plays even when the other team expected and prepared for him to do exactly that. That is unbelievable, and the thing is, he has been doing this for two years, it isn’t like he just came out of nowhere. I think that Mario Williams will be a good player in the NFL, but great? I highly doubt that. The major difference is that you can double or even triple team a defensive end, but the only thing you can do against a running back is stack the line and hope that he won’t break any tackles. There is no defense against a great offensive player, but there is a way to stop a great defensive player. A defensive player may change the game 5-10 times a game, either by getting a sack or making a tackle, but an offensive player can demoralize another team with simply one touch. If Reggie Bush breaks a long touchdown run of 50 yards (which I guarantee he will at least do a few times in his 1st season), that will absolutely sway momentum in the favor of his team. If Mario Williams registers a sack, the other team still has a few other downs to get out of that yardage hole. Reggie Bush simply has to make a few big plays to win a game, but Mario Williams has to play an outstanding game to directly effect the outcome of a game. There is a difference there, a subtle, but noticeable difference, say, like the difference between a no. 1 and no. 2 pick.

Lets move on to the rest of the draft. I wasn’t surprised at all to see the Saint’s select Reggie Bush. They absolutely had to be praying to the good lord himself that Reggie had fallen to them. It was like a boy who’s about to have sex for the first time, he just wants to make sure that nothing goes wrong, and he’s nervous and hopes that he doesn’t screw it up. The Saints fans had to feel that way. They had to be hoping that their first time wouldn’t be wasted on an offensive tackle or any other player other than Reggie Bush. You could just feel the entire city of New Orleans orgasm as a whole when Reggie Bush’s name was announced. If Drew Brees’s shoulder is fine by the start of the season, they will be loaded on offense, and people forget that they were solid on defense last year. How lucky is Drew Brees? To go from the beautiful beaches of San Diego to Bourbon Street and then to leave Ladainian and get Reggie Bush? Then he has weapons like Stallworth and Horn (one of the most underrated receivers in the NFC) to throw to. And let’s not forget the tough, talented Deuce McCallister. They will be scary on offense and will surprise a lot of people in the league next year, my hometown Falcons better not take their rivals too lightly. The Saints have finally done something right, even if the pick just fell to them from the heavens. They made the right choice and now they will benefit on and off the field. Season tickets and Reggie Bush jerseys are in high demand already, and Reggie Bush’s number hasn’t even been decided on yet! Crazy, crazy, let’s just say that it’s safe to say that Mario Williams jerseys won’t be selling out any time soon.

The Titans shocked no one and selected Vince Young with their 3rd overall pick and that seems like the right move, especially coupled with Lendale White (that boy needs to lay off the carbs, you gotta slow down on those buffet lines Lendale!) makes their draft a good one. Vince will prove to be a great player in the league and will get to sit behind Billy Volek for a while (at least a few games) and absorb as much knowledge about the NFL as he can. The Jets somewhat surprised people by selecting D’Brickashaw over Matt Leinart. I thought for sure the Jets were going to select a quarterback with that pick, especially with Chad Pennington and Patrick Ramsey on their depth chart. I think they made a mistake in not drafting Leinart, he will be a solid pro, a lot better than Chad Pennington. Forget the arm strength issues and immobility issues that Leinart has, he is a winner and will make all the throws he needs, remember he played with and threw to NFL ready players like Dwayne Jarret and Dominique Byrd and played in a conference which was largely an aerial conference. Teams expected them to pass for a lot of yards, and still, Leinart got the job done. I liked what the Packers did in drafting A.J. Hawk. They drafted a playmaker at the LB position and he will provide immediate help.

I have no idea how and why Leinart fell to no. 10, but he did and he will be better off for it. But good lawd, the money he lost from dropping down the top ten and by not declaring for last year’s draft. That’s money that he may never see again. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars, we’re talking about the GDP of an entire country. Whew, that’s a lot of money. Or I guess another way to look at it is that the money he lost is just another weekend in Vegas for John Daly, so I guess you say tomatoe, I say tomato. Aside from the financial aspect of the decision he made to stay in school, he actually will benefit professionally from sliding down the draft board. He has the perfect situation to come into and succeed. He will not be rushed into playing and getting on the field, he plays for a coach known for grooming quarterbacks, and he has offensive weapons galore surrounding him. He could be the steal of the draft at no. 10. I have no idea why Oakland didn’t take him. He is a hometown hero and he would have been able to take over for Aaron Brooks whenever a) his contract runs out b)they cut or release him c)he gets injured or the most obvious scenario d) Aaron Brooks makes a succession of boneheaded and idiotic plays. (I just saw the video on that backward pass that Brooks threw last year….man, it is as bad as everyone had describe it) I do like the pick of Michael Huff, but man, that team was built to be an offensive juggernaut, and it ain’t happening this season, I can promise you that. The Randy Ratio is going to be the most useless mathematical reference in the league next year.

I was completely off in my mock draft, especially with Winston Justice who didn’t even get drafted until the middle of the second round (who saw that coming?). I had D’Brickashaw going a lot lower in the top 10 and didn’t even have Vernon Davis in the top ten (although I knew he was going to get drafted there)…Unless he is the next Gonzalez, Gates, or Crumpler, how can any team justify picking him that high? I don’t know, he blew everyone away at the combine and in his workouts, so physically, he has all the tools to succeed, but I’m not sold on him yet. I’m surprised to see that the Falcons actually ended up getting who they wanted (Jimmy Williams) in the first place before they traded away their 15th pick in the draft in the John Abraham deal. I thought for sure he wouldn’t slip as low as he did (2nd round, 37th overall pick), but I’m dissapointed that the Falcons only drafted one offensive lineman, and that wasn’t even until the fifth round, even though they had a chance to select either Winston Justice or Max Jean-Gilles with their first pick. Unbelievable.

Are they sadistic enough to want to watch Michael Vick running around for his life on every single snap? How will he ever be able to develop into a better passer if he isn’t given the time? Just imagine if Peyton Manning wasn’t given time to throw, would he be anywhere as good as he is now? Highly doubt it, same goes for Brady. The draft was a lot longer than I expected and I actually didn’t even tune in to see it, only some of the later rounds that came on at night. It is just too damn long and too damn overhyped. As much as we all think we can predict the results of how good these players will be, none of us know a damn thing about anything. This is one thing in sports that is unpredictable. You just never know with any of these players, you just never know, but that makes it all the more exciting.

Debates last for hours, like the one me and my friends had about who would be the best quarterback out of the top three chosen in this year’s draft. A friend of mine said that he felt Leinart would be an all time great, and I replied that he wo’nt even be better than Carson Palmer (with that being said, that isn’t a bad thing, it’s like saying someone will become a Donovan McNabb, but not a Peyton Manning). Another friend believes that Jay Cutler will be the best and that there was no justifiable reason for Leinart to get drafted over Vince and that Leinart was head and shoulders above Vince as a college quarterback. He said there was no way you could even compare the two. How can you not? Leinart has the better numbers, but how far behind is Vince’s collegiate career? He has one title to Leinart’s two, was third in the nation in passing efficiency (ahead of Leinart) , and lost only 1 game in two years, and he beat Leinart in the biggest game of his career for the biggest prize in college football….how can they NOT be comparable? Someone explain that to me? Anyways, that is the great thing about the draft, every fan has an opinion and is willing to go to any length to prove that point, but the real truth is, that nobody will know the truth until these players hit the field, and who knows when that will be, a year, two, three? And trust me on this, as little as we know we know, we will be back a year from now making the same predictions on who will go where, when, and how good they will be…and that is the only guarantee about the NFL draft…

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