April 23, 2005

Thoughts On the 2005 NFL Draft

Fifteen minutes (actually fifteen minutes plus another minute or two while Paul Tagliabue strolls up and reads his piece of flash paper that could be burned in a flash if the Feds ever showed up and questioned the antitrust violations inherent in the draft, but I digress) is way, way too much time to give these teams to make fairly obvious choices that they've been preparing for since at least February.

And why is it necessary to give the team making the first pick in the draft 15 more minutes? Jeez, what surprise is suddenly going to be discovered that might introduce more faux drama into an event that is sleep inducing for all but the most diehard NFL fans. Chris Berman was babbling incoherently before even this first "on the clock" period was over.

Ron Turner finally got the great back he never could recruit to Illinois in the person of Cedric Benson.

I enjoyed Carnell Williams comment when asked about being drafted after teammate (and backup) Ronnie Brown, "Well, he won the war, but the battle goes on." Man, this kids got a future on SportsCenter. But why did the Bears give all that money to Thomas Jones?

Given the Vikings problems in past drafts, is it possible, than Mike Tice said something like, "get that USC WR Williams on our next pick," and somebody wrote down, "USC WR Williamson"? Trojans and Gamecocks, there's gotta be another joke there somewhere.

Either Mike Williams is the most overhyped player in the draft or the Detroit Lions will have the best WR corps in the league in 2 or 3 years.

The local papers ahve been predicting the St. Louis Rams would take Jamaal Brown all week. Yeah. Too bad that Smith kid was already taken too.

Chris, we love you. Really, we do. So please don't try any more strained shake, rattle and Rolle verbal shenanigans.

Two words: Matt Jones. What a unbelievable physical freak, 6'6", 242 lbs., 4.3 40. Wouldn't you like to see how he could do in the Olympic Decathalon? Why isn't this kid considered a QB candidate at the pro level? He's as fast as Michael Vick, but bigger, and stronger; and I'd bet he probably throws as accurately. On the other hand, if he's going to be a WR/TE/H-Back, what's not to love. With apologies to Kordell STewart, Matt Jones is the true Slash this league has been waiting for. People are hyping smaller, slower WRs in this draft as future stars who will be dominant. I realize there are WR skills and technique to learn and master, but damn. Matt Jones is at least 3 inches taller, 20 lbs heavier, and faster than every other WR in this draft. Maybe Jack Del Rio will have him take snaps inside the 10 to cause defenses to change radically. If anybody could actually pull off an option attack in the NFL, this kid might be the one. If the Jaguars run the option 4 or 5 times a game, it would force every opponent to spend time and energy worrying about it. Then again, I might try to make him into a free safety if it were up to me. He'd be damn scary back there.

I would have loved to see Matt Jones go to Baltimore. Imagine having to face a 2 TE set with Todd Heap on one side and Matt Jones on the other, Derrick Mason split out and Jamal Lewis in the backfield. But the Ravens will be ok with Mark Clayton. It's taken six years, but Brian Billick may finally be able to reveal himself to be the "offensive genius" he's already professed to be. I wonder if the Rams might have taken Matt Jones, except for the fact that Eric Crouch didn't work out for them and their desperate need for a OT.

Green Bay lucked out with Aaron Rodgers falling so far, if he turns out to be any good. Less han a week ago, Rodgers was considered to be the #1 pick.

Joe Gibbs is starting to realize how bare the cupboard is in Washington. Picking yet another Qb in the first round will give the fans something to call in to the sportstalk radio shows during their 2-1/2 hour commute home after the games at Ral-Jon-FedEx-Snydermegalomania field are over.

Anyone else notice how often the WRs are pushing off in the highlights ESPN is showing of them as they are drafted?

And the second longest first round in history (according to Chris Berman) is thankfully over. Otherwise, very few surprises in the first round and only one minor trade if I remember correctly. Hey, no Illinois players were taken. Hmm..., maybe that's why Ron Turner is once again the Offensive Coordinator for the Chicago Bears after an eight-year hiatus in Champaign, where he went from 0-11 in his first year to a Big 10 championship and the Sugar Bowl and than back down to 1-10.

Posted by Charles Austin at April 23, 2005 06:18 PM

"Two words: Matt Jones. What a unbelievable physical freak, 6'6", 242 lbs., 4.3 40. Wouldn't you like to see how he could do in the Olympic Decathalon?"

I can remember back to the late '50s, when Wilt Chamberlin (sp?) was attending Kansas, and reading in Sports Illustrated that (among other things) he could run a 50-second 440, put the shot around 55 feet (when the world record was just over 60 feet), and high-jump around 6'9" (when the world record was just over 7'). I recall the Kansas track coach saying that if Chamberlin could have pole-vaulted at all, he would have been a world-class decathlon man.

Posted by: Bruce Lagasse at 07:07 PM

Did you really liveblog the draft? I don't know whether to be awestruck or begin an intervention.

Posted by: Tanya at 05:32 PM

No, I just jotted down some thoughts at the end of the first round. Notice that I dropped my interest after that or an intervention probably would have been warranted.

Posted by: charles austin at 05:48 PM