Howdy all. I figured I’d weigh in a bit preceding tomorrow night’s NFL Draft. You should know that if you read this blog you will read largely NFL rants as I am definitely a more rabid NFL fan than any other sport (although I love everything and am blogging while watching Game 7 of the Capitals/Bruins on my computer). Also—you should know, in the interest of full self disclosure, that I am a huge NY Jets fan. I also am a big Carolina Panthers fan as of recently, so I figured instead of being like ESPN and obsessing on the first few picks (although I do have a thing or two to say about them and will) I’d talk about those two teams and what I think they should/will do in the draft.
Carolina picks number 9 and in the first round I’d like them to take the linebacker out of Boston College, Luke Kuechly. He’s big, and a position of need the Panthers have. He’s a smart kid too, chose to go to BC for academic reasons, and I think with such a young team that is really going to go places, putting strong leadership and character guys on that defense will really be a good force. I don’t think that Morris Clayborne will fall to 9, but if he did, the Panthers need a corner real bad and that’s a move they have to make. They absolutely should pass on both Ryan Tannenhill and Matt Kalil. Carolina already employs Ryan Kalil, who was far more polished coming out of school than Matt.Later in the draft, I’d like to see them draft a wide receiver that can be developed and otherwise stick on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback is a high need position.
The Jets are in an interesting in that they are good in a lot of places but great in only one (cornerback—-Darrelle Revis continues to be the most dominant lockdown corner in the league). So there are a lot of ways the Jets could go at 16, if they stay at 16. Recently, there has been a good bit of chatter that the Jets would consider trading up with the intention of taking Trent Richardson out of Alabama. Richardson had a great year, is an awesome back, and has been said to be better than Mark Ingram who also came out of Alabama, won the Heisman, and immediately contributed to the New Orleans Bounty Cheaters( the fact that they tape opposing coaches—they should be effing contracted and done away with. At the very least, Mickey Loomis better be Pete Rose’d from the NFL, immediately). Anyway, Richardson is great, but as most things it depends on what they have to give up. I’ve heard Shonn Greene and a later pick in the draft. I’d say if its a 3rd or lower pick—-then hell yes they have to take that. Richardson has some scouts saying he looks like Adrian Peterson and the best thing that could happen to Mark Sanchez is a competent running game behind him. Assuming the Jets don’t do something crazy and Jets like and trade (the jets are known for drafting all crazy like) then I think the best pick at 16 will be Courtney Upshaw, the defensive end out of Alabama. I’m a big defense guy, so I always am going to prioritize that side of the ball, but with Rex Ryan, the most important thing a defense can do is rush the QB and the Jets were flat (and that’s a kind way to put it) in that area last year. I’d really like a strong linebacker to play with David Harris, but I don’t think Luke Kuechly falls past Carolina and Upshaw is a beast. I could also see them going offense with Michael Floyd, the wide receiver out of Notre Dame. I think this is a FANTASTIC pick if they want offense, i just don’t think it’s the way they go. I like the offensive systems that are built around 2 WR, one small, chirpy and fast, one big, tall and will catch anything (see Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks super bowl). We tried that last year with Plaxico, but you also have to not be broken down and still hurting from prison rape. Floyd has a ton of potential, I like him at 16, but I really think the Jets go defense and if so, Upshaw is our guy.
As far as the overall draft picture, I like Luck and RG3. They are both really talented quarterbacks and I’d be very happy with either of them on my team. Outside the top 2, I’m not crazy about the other top guys. I think Kalil is OK, offensive lineman are tough to come by so he’s a good pick for a team in need. I think Justin Blackmon is a punk, he at best ends up as Santonio Holmes (take it from a Jets fan, that’s not a good thing). I think that Morris Clayborne is good but not a game changer for a team and at the 1-6 positions that’s pretty much what you are hoping for. I think Ryan Tannenhill gets drafted at 8 by the Dolphins and if he doesn’t, he shouldn’t because if anyone is going to draft him, it is his old college coach (Mike Sherman) who is now the OC for the Dolphins.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the draft tomorrow night, go Jets, go Panthers, and GO RANGERS IN GAME 7 TOMORROW NIGHT!