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Draft King Analysis

April 29, 2011
Lou Pickney,

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Day one of the 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone, and it was a banner day for Draft King as far as draft projections went. I went 7-for-32, which would have been 9-for-32 had I made switched Miller to #2 and Dareus to #3 like many other draft prognosticators did. Overall I'm pleased with how my projections matched up, and I'm especially glad that I stood pat with my Cowboys projection of USC OT Tyron Smith going to Dallas at #9 overall.

The big news of the day heading into round two is the botched trade attempt between Baltimore and Chicago where the Ravens would have moved down from #26 to #29 and received Chicago's fourth-round pick as compensation. Incredibly, the Bears failed to let the league know about the trade, and the clock ran out on Baltimore, allowing Kansas City to leapfrog them to draft Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin. How can this happen? In this information age with smart phones, texting, Twitter, etc., the Bears weren't able to inform the NFL of the trade?!?

Humorously (at least to me), the Ravens are reportedly still trying to get Chicago's fourth-round pick as compensation, though I don't believe there's any precedent for that. It's not like the Bears gained any sort of advantage through botching the trade, and certainly any potential future trading partners would have to be leery of dealing with the Bears while on the clock. If it's any consolation for Ravens fans it's that they still landed the player they wanted (Colorado CB Jimmy Smith) at #27 after being jumped by Kansas City for the #26 spot.

Now that Smith has been drafted, it's probably worth looking at the dreaded "character issue" tag that prevented Smith from going in the top ten of the draft. The fact that Smith failed three drug tests at Colorado is noteworthy since the NFL, at least in the last CBA, had the negotiated right to randomly drug test players for both performance-enhancing and recreational drug use. But what really bothered me was that people talked about Smith being with two women who he allegedly got pregnant and who both subsequently had abortions.

Regardless of your opinion on abortion, penalizing Smith for that on a draft board is unfair. I'm hardly an expert on Colorado abortion law, but there was no indication of anything criminal related to the abortions in the various reports and whispers about Smith. If you want to knock him for being arrested multiple times then so be it, but using the hot button abortion issue as a negative against him strikes me as being in very poor taste.

What if Smith instead wanted to make a run at Travis Henry's 11 kids with 10 different women NFL record? Would he have been more desirable as a prospect if he did that versus the women in question having abortions? And isn't that a woman's choice, anyway? At what point will common sense enter into the process? These are hardly rhetorical questions. Last year, Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland had to apologize after asking Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant if his mother is a prostitute. How does that happen?

As per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Titans first-round pick Jake Locker arrived this morning at Baptist Sports Park, the home of the Titans training facility. With the possibility of a stay being granted for the NFL on the lockout, I hope that Locker (and the rest of the first-round picks) are able to acquire playbooks before a ruling comes down preventing them from being able to do so. I slammed Locker on here pretty hard last night, and I'm still not happy about the Titans drafting him, but for Tennessee's sake I hope he's a success in the NFL.

The draft picks back up later this afternoon, and it will be interesting to see what kind of trading up happens for teams wanting to land either one of the next wave of QBs or any number of guys who were perhaps anticipated as first round picks who, as it turned out, slipped out of Thursday without being drafted. Naturally, the draft-savvy Patriots hold the #33 pick, giving them all kinds of options for trading out of the spot and potentially acquiring yet another 2012 first round pick.


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