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Draft King Analysis

December 14, 2008
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com

Reader feedback is always welcomed here. Send your thoughts to Draft King at LouPickney@gmail.com.


Congratulations to Sam Bradford for winning the Heisman Trophy. He becomes just the second sophomore to win the award, albeit the second in two years. But unlike Tim Tebow last year, Bradford has the option to enter the NFL Draft after this season because he is a redshirt sophomore (Tebow was a true sophomore when he won the Heisman last year).

Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart had a great college career. (Icon SMI)
Bradford, with only two years of experience as a college starting QB, probably won't come out. But if he does (and Draft King always presumes a player will come out for projection purposes until the deadline passes, no matter what he says in public) he seems like a safe bet to be a first round selection. If he waits until the 2010 NFL Draft, or even the 2011 NFL Draft, he could be a #1 overall pick.

Then again, as Matt Leinart found out, being a sure #1 overall pick isn't a guaranteed thing, even when staying healthy and having a solid season. Leinart would have (in all likelihood) gone with the first pick in the 2005 Draft to San Francisco had he left USC following his redshirt junior season. But Leinart came back to USC for the 2005 season, and while he had a good year, he ended up going #10 in the 2006 Draft and wasn't even the first QB taken. With football as with life: get it while you can. There are no guarantees.

The Detroit Lions have locked up the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft with their loss today and the Cincinnati Bengals knocking off the Washington Redskins. The rest of the top five, going into tonight's Cowboys/Giants game, looks like this:

2. St. Louis Rams (2-12) [.5226]
3. Kansas City Chiefs (2-12) [.5246]
4. Cincinnati Bengals (2-11-1) [.5776]
5. Seattle Seahawks (3-11) [.5000]

The Raiders are also 3-11, but the Seahawks would draft ahead of Oakland based on an easier opponent win percentage (Oakland's opponent win percentage as of this writing is .5223).

During today's Titans/Texans game I heard play-by-play man Gus Johnson use the phrase "ground and pound" in the exciting voice he used to use for EliteXC mixed martial arts fighting. It's too bad that EliteXC collapsed; Gus Johnson + MMA = a great matchup. Then again, Gus Johnson plus most any sport is a good combo.

Also seen during NFL football: promos for the return of Million Dollar Password on CBS. The show airs this Thursday and one week from tonight. I have a vested interest in it doing well, as I'm in the contestant pool for the show (I passed my tryout test for the show in Atlanta this past August, which was great fun and included getting to do a mock game of Million Dollar Password on video in front of the show's casting director). So, please, tune in to Million Dollar Password and enjoy.

Two great games are waiting for NFL fans next week: Pittsburgh at Tennessee in the 1 p.m. ET timeslot on Sunday afternoon and then the Sunday night prime-time showdown of Carolina at New York Giants. Both games could end up determining who lands the #1 seed in the AFC and NFC respectively. It should be exciting, though for the Titans it will be a challenge to stop the Steelers running game with Albert Haynesworth hurt with what appears to be a strained MCL.


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