Before I dive too much into this I first have to state I really don’t like instant analysis on the draft. Really we should wait a year or two to analysis who had a good draft. Too often I hear, “You know who had a good draft? The Patriots! They got good players, and filled some needs.” Well yeah, when a team has 6 picks in the top 90 I hope they have a good draft. So I don’t want to hear any of that crap. I am just going to go through some quick thoughts.
Cam Newton being the #1 pick: I think he could be good, but I don’t trust him. He was a 1 year wonder, and he has a very checkered past. He got in trouble while at Florida or he never would have left, then he “shopped” around for a new team to play for, but didn’t know about it. Great. I just heard Mike Lombardi from the NFL network say, “With one year guys, you don’t look forward, you look backwards. You look at what reasons made the guy a 1 year wonder.” I think that’s the case here, let’s see why he wasn’t better longer.
Also, TMQ brought up an interesting point. Look at BCS winning quarterbacks in the pros? Here’s a list of the 12 BCS winning QBs who have played in the NFL.
1. Tee Martin – Tennessee: Never did anything in the pros
2. Chris Wienke – Florida State: Never did anything in the pros
3. Josh Huepel – Oklahoma: Never did anything in the pros
4. Ken Doresy – Miami: Never did anything in the pros
5. Craig Krenzel – Ohio State: Started a few games for the Bears
6. Matt Mauk – LSU: Never did anything in the pros
7. Carson Palmer – USC: Good NFL Career with multiple pro bowls.
8. Vince Young – Texas: Started off promising, but didn’t sustain his level of play
9. Matt Lienart – USC: Never did anything in the pros
10. Chris Leak – Florida: Never did anything in the pros
11. Matt Flynn - LSU: Never did anything in the pros
12. Tim Tebow – Florida: Won two games as a rookie in limited action.
We’ll let Tebow be TBD and not count him. So 1.5 out of 11. Not a high success rate. These guys had great players around them which helped them thrive. Brees carried Purdue around for 3 years. Tennessee was good, not great when Peyton was there. Brady had great players around him at Michigan, but had to constantly fight with Drew Hensen for a starting job. These players learned how to play in tough situations which made them better. So needless to say, I’m penciling in Newton as a mediocre, but never great player.
While we are in Auburn, let’s talk about Nick Fairly to Detroit. Instantly everyone is excited to see Fairly play with Suh. I don’t think Fairly is anywhere near as good as Suh, and I am not convinced he’s going to be a good player in the NFL. He’s a one year player, and let’s take Lombardi’s advice and look back. He had to go to Jr College for 2 years before he could get into to Auburn cause he didn’t have the grades (think about that). He plays very high and tries to avoid contact, neither of which you want to see out of an interior lineman. If he plays high, the O-line will beat him up which could lead to injuries. He has to engage a player (or two) and then beat them to help the linebackers stay clean and flow to the football. He has a questionable work ethic, and we know how that turns out right after you pay that type of player a lot of money. I am predicting a very short NFL career for Mr. Fairly.
The Cardinals were smart, there was an obvious need for this team at QB in a very winnable division. However, they saw this draft had quarterback depth and didn’t value any of the top guys as high, so they took the best player in the draft in Patrick Petersen. I think Petersen is going to be a star, and playing inside can only help him utilize his speed. I see them grabbing Dalton or Mallet with their 2nd round pick.
The more amusing parts of the night came when the Falcons traded a whole bunch to get Julio Jones. Way to hold the Jersey the right way buddy. I can’t understand trading that much to get a WR. WR are a benefit, not a need. A smart d coordinator can eliminate a WR’s impact on the game easier then any other position. Unless they feel this guy is going to be a Randy Moss like talent (he’s not) or a Jerry Rice like work ethic (he won’t’) then I can’t see him making a big enough impact to warrant trading as much as they did. As ACSS draft expert Ryan Parrent pointed out, the Bears traded less for Jay Cutler, a proven NFL player. I don’t get it.
The dumbest part of the night came when the Vikings selected Chris Ponder with the 12th pick. I thought I had blacked out for 24 hours and it was the 12th pick of the 2nd round. I was just dumbfounded by this pick. I saw him play live against a very sub-par Boston College team, and I was not impressed. He doesn’t have the arm strength necessary to throw the 15-20 yards out which are necessary for playing in the NFL. He also has not proven to be durable, missing time in his final two years at FSU. While I am glad the Vikings took him, so they can waste 3-4 year figuring out he’s not that good, I don’t understand the pick.
Finally to the Bears. I think the trade they were trying to get through with Baltimore was to get Smith from Colorado, I don’t see any other reason why they’d try to move to that spot. Taking Camri at 29 is a good choice. He’s a solid offensive lineman who can play either tackle or either guard. I think they are going to try to get him to start at LT, but if he can’t beat out Williams or Omieyle then they can play him somewhere else until he gets the confidence and the ability to make that spots his a year or two down the line.
Looking at the Bears line I see positives and negatives now. The positives are we have 3 guys who can play both guards and both tackle spots (Omieyle, Williams and Camari) along with Garza who can play either guard, Webb who proved he can at least hold his own for a full 16 game season, and one last run for Kruetz (still think the Bears should get an interior lineman 4th or 5th round to be his eventual replacement). So the Bears will have depth and flexibility on the line that will give Mike Tice the ability to find the best fit for the team. The problem with all this flexibility is there are no players who own the position. Knowing from day 1 where they are going to play and building together from there. I think if Tice gets these guys in defined roles early in Camp (if there is one) it will be better for the team as a whole.