Friday, May 9, 2014

1st Round NFL Draft Thoughts

I'm a man who likes to seize opportunities. So when I can mention Mike McMahon in a post, its un-American to not jump all over that.

I don't know why I watched ESPN during the 1st round of the NFL Draft. I should've watched NFL Network, I find Mike Mayock far less abrasive and far more entertaining.  But, mocking Mel Kiper is a lifelong hobby of mine and the ESPN coverage is like an Epic Fail YouTube Compilation that I keep finding myself watching.

I don't know when ESPN became this incarnation of ESPN, maybe it was when they changed sets. I hate how they create stories, and then beat them to absolute death. I don't care about if Johnny Manziel likes Cleveland restaurants. I don't care if he goes into "freefall" as Adam Schefter screamed.  I just don't care. He's a talented and entertaining college football player that doesn't project well to the NFL. Yet there he is, getting picked ahead of Teddy Bridgewater for reasons that I simply will never understand.

I don't know what incriminating pictures Mel Kiper has of the higher ups of ESPN, but after all these years of being wrong, I can't figure out how he still claws his way onto the air. My favorite Kiper display of idiocy was the 2007 NFL Draft. From the second round on, Notre Dame running back Darius Walker was ranked in Kiper's top 5 "Best Available". Guess where Walker was drafted? He wasn't. This was also the year Kiper vehemently argued for the merits of Jimmy Clausen. This actually happened.

This year, he calls Greg Robinson a "holding penalty waiting to happen". If Robinson is a holding penalty waiting to happen, does that mean Cyrus Kuandjio is holding someone right now? If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, is Cyrus Kuandjio still holding?

And the tantrum about Taylor Lewan getting picked by the Titans because it didn't match need? Why the fixation on need? You know who drafts BPA consistently over need? The Seahawks. Where are they right now? Why shouldn't the Titans draft a tackle? Oher is no lock at RT and Michael Roos is excellent but all about finesse, they need another mauler to match with Chance Warmack (my favorite o linemen from last years draft).

I hate to rave about Teddy Bridgewater, as that is often the kiss of death for any rookie quarterback. I liked Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, Jamarcus Russell, Troy Smith, the list goes on. Bridgewater isn't perfect, but he was by far the most NFL ready qb in the draft. And yeah, he needs to work on his deep ball, but the overemphasis on arm strength is shortsighted. You need zip, you need to be able to drive the ball into tight places, but vision, anticipation and accuracy are far more important traits.

Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Matt Stafford, Andrew Luck all have massive arms and are good quarterbacks. You know who else had cannons? The aforementioned Jamarcus Russell, Mike McMahon, Ryan Leaf, and the always inconsistent Carson Palmer. The difference between the two groups? Work ethic, fundamentals, anticipation, accuracy. Bridgewater has all of those. So, now that I've damned Vikings fans to more bad quarterback play and yearning for the days of Dante Culpepper, I'll take my leave.

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