National Football League
April 22, 2010
Draft King Analysis
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
Reader feedback is always welcomed here. Send your thoughts to Draft King at LouPickney@gmail.com.
Running Commentary on the 2010 NFL Draft
Lou (5:47 p.m. CT): The draft starts in less than an hour. I spent today avoiding last-minute misinformation being put out by teams, agents, and other interested parties. Sadly, while working with my father in busting through a concrete slab, I dropped my Motorola Droid phone and the screen cracked. 30 days with the greatest phone I've ever seen, and I managed to break the thing. Thank goodness for insurance, but wow was I pissed off.
The talk has been Oakland drafting an offensive tackle, particularly Bruce Campbell from Maryland, but I don't see it. I feel pretty good with my projection of them taking USF DE Jason Pierre-Paul. Perhaps I'm way off, but I accurately projected Darrius Heyward-Bey going to the Raiders last year, so I feel okay with Pierre-Paul. Some people think Al Davis is hard to read, but he actually makes Oakland one of the easiest teams to project. He loves guys with strong measurables, which is in part why many are projecting Campbell going to Oakland at #8 even though he might not go until round two.
Time to hit the shower and wash concrete dust off of myself.
Lou (6:14 p.m. CT): I'm enjoying the NFL Network's pre-draft show. Gotta love seeing all of those stars from the past walking up on stage. Much better than an "all-time bust" group would be.
Wow, brilliant move to introduce the legends and then the future stars. I like it tremendously. The NFL did a great job with this.
Lou (6:23 p.m. CT): Mike Mayock on NFLN has projected Alabama ILB Rolando McClain going to the Giants at #15. That possibility was brought up to me yesterday in my appearance on WCWP radio in New York state. I don't think McClain in a 4-3 defense is nearly as appealing as he would be in a 3-4, but we'll see.
Lou (6:32 p.m. CT): Roger Goodell has a great stage presence. He had a nearly impossible task in following two legends in Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue, but he has succeeded (in my estimation) to this point in his role.
I look forward to the casual fans who will open their newspaper or their favorite sports website tomorrow and discover that the draft doesn't begin on Saturday anymore.
Lou (6:37 p.m. CT): Sam Bradford goes to the Rams! ESPN's Adam Schefter broke this story in late February, and mock drafts across the board shifted to reflect this scoop. He deserves a tremendous amount of credit for not only breaking the story, but doing so with 100% authority. Not writing "unless things change" or "barring something unexpected", but outright saying on WXOS radio that Bradford would be drafted #1. Schefter was right, so hats off to him for the scoop of the year related to the draft.
Lou (6:45 p.m. CT): Ndamukong Suh goes to Detroit, not a surprise at all. I laughed at the few mocks that had Detroit drafting an offensive tackle with Suh still on the board. Suh is one of the highest-touted defensive tackles to come out in many, many years. No way Detroit was going to pass on the great fortune of Suh falling to #2.
Lou (6:48 p.m. CT): Deion Sanders just got Suh to smile in an interview on NFLN. Well done, Prime Time. All talk on Twitter and elsewhere (and here for the past 2+ months) is that Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy will go to Tampa Bay at #3. This is like making it to the $1,000 mark on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire without using any lifelines. Easy so far, but it's about to get very tough.
I deliberated a last-minute shift to project Oklahoma OT Trent Williams to Washington, but I ultimately decided to keep Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung in that slot. I suspect that the Williams-to-Washington rumors were a ruse put out by the Redskins to keep teams from trading up to get Okung (or perhaps Williams' agent put that rumor out).
Lou (6:52 p.m. CT): Gerald McCoy looks good in that Tampa Bay ballcap. He's also fighting back tears, a touching moment early on in the draft. Genuine emotion like that is great to see in this setting.
Lou (6:59 p.m. CT): Shows what I know: the Redskins just drafted Williams. He should fit well in their zone blocking system, which is (in part) why Williams ended up going to Washington over Okung. Big question now for Kansas City: Okung or Tennessee safety Eric Berry?
Lou (7:05 p.m. CT): I'd be remiss to not mention that it's nice to have Michael Irvin (and his colorful ties) back in the NFL Draft mix, now with the NFL Network.
Lou (7:06 p.m. CT): Congrats Kansas City, your team has just drafted an amazing player in Eric Berry. Sorry Big 12 fans, someone from another conference has now been drafted. Seattle has to pick Okung here at #6, right?
Lou (7:10 p.m. CT): Eric Berry can cut a great promo -- he managed to outshine Deion. Spoiler talk seems to be Okung going to Seattle at #6.
Lou (7:12 p.m. CT): I like that ESPN and NFLN have dueling live coverage. Competition usually raises product quality, particularly when it comes to sports entertainment (WWF/WWE being the best example of that). Unfortunately, this also creates an arms race type situation with reporters trying like crazy to get scoops and break the news on his/her respective network. It takes a little out of the drama of a selection for the audience to know ahead of time who will probably be drafted.
Lou (7:23 p.m. CT): Nice to see Cleveland draft Florida CB Joe Haden. It surprised me to hear some say that Boise State CB Kyle Wilson might be in the running for that spot. No way. Had to be Haden all the way. No disrespect to Wilson, but Haden has rare talent.
Lou (7:27 p.m. CT): Adam Schefter just tweeted that the Raiders will draft Alabama ILB Rolando McClain. I guess I only have myself to blame on the whole "ruining the drama" thing with the networks tipping some earlier picks. Gotta love the crazy Raiders going with a guy who wasn't in a whole lot of top ten lists. McClain is a great player, even if he was a reach at this spot.
Lou (7:39 p.m. CT): Wow, Cal DT Tyson Alualu made it into the top ten of the draft. Not what I expected from Jacksonville. And now it appears that San Francisco is slated to take Jimmy Clausen by trading up to the #11 spot.
Lou (7:44 p.m. CT): So much for Clausen -- it's Rutgers OT Anthony Davis going to the 49ers! I like Davis and think he will be a good player in San Francisco. Davis didn't get the attention at Rutgers that he might have elsewhere, but he is a strong force.
Lou (7:46 p.m. CT): Chris Berman just referred to Fresno State RB Ryan Matthews as "Peyton Matthews" on ESPN. Oops. Good thing Berman just signed that new contract extension.
You're with me, leather!
I wrote that last paragraph just to distract from the fact that I didn't have Matthews in my first round. I figured that Matthews would slide, but I was way off on that. His combine time (4.37) apparently impressed more than I thought it would, but in the Chris Johnson 2,000+ yard rushing era, speed is valued even more than before at the RB spot.
Lou (7:52 p.m. CT): Is Denver trading down because it plans to draft Tim Tebow and think they can get him in the late first round? There was plenty of talk earlier about Tebow going to Denver.
Lou (7:57 p.m. CT): Brandon Graham looked great at the Senior Bowl, and he went higher than I expected but he is a player who I think highly of as a pro prospect. Graham was under the radar at Michigan last year but he has all kinds of talent and potential.
Lou (8:06 p.m. CT): More talk of Tebow-to-Denver here. Just speculation at this point, but some of the rumors this year have had a bit more validity than I expected.
Lou (8:20 p.m. CT): First it was USF DE Jason Pierre-Paul to the Giants, and now it's Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan going to Tennessee. Defensive end was a huge need for the Titans with Kyle Vanden Bosch gone.
Lou (8:24 p.m. CT): The hype was real about Mike Iupati, with him going to the 49ers at #17. Funny to hear Jon Gruden butcher his last name, something I did a time or two in radio interviews. Some names I have to memorize phonetically, like Nnamdi Asomugha.
Lou (8:29 p.m. CT): It was great seeing the Pouncey twins live together on TV after finding out that Maurkice Pouncey had been drafted by Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, his brother Mike will be back at Florida in 2010, which will make for an interesting contrast.
Lou (8:31 p.m. CT): Nice job filling a need by Atlanta with Missouri OLB Sean Witherspoon. He looked fantastic at the Senior Bowl.
Lou (8:33 p.m. CT): Another Schefter spoiler: Texans take Alabama CB Kareem Jackson at #20 overall. I like it with Dunta Robinson now in Atlanta. Dez Bryant to Cincinnati (which I projected) was just brought up as a possibility by Mike Mayock on NFLN. That would be interesting to see.
Lou (8:41 p.m. CT): My girlfriend Stacy called me into the main room to watch the end of the Cavs/Bulls game. Interesting to see Cincinnati draft Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham, which will help them against 3-4 defenses but which was a role that I thought they hoped Matt Jones would fill.
Lou (8:44 p.m. CT): Wow, Denver traded up to #22 and picked Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas over Dez Bryant! Didn't expect that to happen. I like Thomas and expect him to be good in the pros, but Bryant had eye-popping numbers at Oklahoma State.
Lou (8:49 p.m. CT): Lots of talk that Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga will go to Green Bay at #23. Logical and would fill a need.
Lou (8:54 p.m. CT): Dez Bryant has to go with one of these next picks, right? Baltimore at #25 would be a great steal. Meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen continues sliding down the board.
Lou (8:57 p.m. CT): Gotta be a move to draft Bryant by the Cowboys in leapfrogging the Ravens to take Dez Bryant with the #24 pick.
Lou (8:58 p.m. CT): Bryant was shown fighting back tears on NFLN. Him with the Cowboys should be very interesting. That guy has an unreal level of talent.
Lou (9:04 p.m. CT): Wow, Denver traded back into the first round to draft Tim Tebow at #25. Tebow is off the board while Jimmy Clausen continues to slide.
Lou (9:11 p.m. CT): My friend Dustin, who is a big-time Broncos fan, texted me just now celebrating Denver landing Tebow. He said that he was pissed about Denver passing on Bryant for Thomas but that he's now pumped because they got Tebow. I imagine we'll hear a wide range of views about what Denver did. Mel Kiper is incredulous with Clausen still on the board, a QB he had ranked ahead of everyone at the position, including Bradford.
Lou (9:16 p.m. CT): Between two networks covering the draft and Twitter, I'm getting sensory overload right about now. Tennessee DT Dan Williams goes to Arizona at #26 overall, who will be called upon to play nose tackle for the Cardinals. I saw the pick on Twitter and heard it two minutes later on ESPN. It's making my head spin.
Lou (9:23 p.m. CT): Typical well-crafted draft approach by New England, trading down until they get the guy they want, in this case Rutgers CB Devin McCourty. Nice boost to the Patriots special teams unit right away. I'm not a Patriots fan, but I respect the way that franchise approaches and executes in the draft.
Lou (9:29 p.m. CT): Not a bad move by the Dolphins to trade down to #28 and still pick up a quality 3-4 DE in Jared Odrick. With the Jets on the board, I can't help but link to this classic video of past Jets drafts.
Lou (9:34 p.m. CT): My buddy Gary Graham, a big-time Raiders fan, texted me saying, "I am thrilled with the Raiders draft pick. I honestly feel McClain could be the next Ray Lewis." That's a bold statement.
Lou (9:36 p.m. CT): Kyle Wilson fell to #29 but was snapped up by the Jets. Considering that there was talk about it being him or Haden at #6, this is a great value pick for the Jets.
Lou (9:38 p.m. CT): Even if Minnesota was just moderately interested in Jimmy Clausen, him being on the board here at #30 has to be tempting. If he slides to #31, would the Colts dare to take Clausen and potentially start the countdown to the post-Peyton Manning era?
Lou (9:45 p.m. CT): Savvy move by Detroit to trade up to get Cal RB Jahvid Best. Interesting to see the Vikings do business with their division rival but apparently they liked what the Lions had to offer.
Lou (10:02 p.m. CT): They sure took their time getting to Drew Brees announcing the Saints first-round pick. I'm not a fan of gimmicks like this in the draft.
Lou (10:03 p.m. CT): And, abruptly, night one of the draft is over. I anticipate that the Rams will receive all kinds of calls about that #33 pick.