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Name: Adam Bernard
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About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Draft Bum ‘06
Friday, April 28, 2006

This Saturday is the NFL Draft. For me the draft involves the time honored tradition of sitting in front of the television for Lord only knows how many hours watching the “experts” analyze picks of players that in reality, when it comes to their NFL futures, they are fairly clueless about. There’s Chris Berman attempting to make up nicknames on the spot. There’s Chris Mortenson feverishly trying to find out who’s trading up and who’s trading down. And then there’s Mel Kiper, self-anointed draft guru, and his hair. There’s a book of poetry in that hair of his, and I mean that quite literally, I think he keeps it there and pulls it out to recite lines to women at bars. One day Mel Kiper and Don King will have a hair versus hair showdown, and it will be follacly fantastic. But enough about Mel and his majestic frock, the players are what matter. In all honesty, no matter what the “experts” tell us there is only one guarantee that can be made about draft day, the Jets will find a way to mess it up.

The Jets follies in drafting have become the stuff of legend. Passing on Emmitt Smith to draft Blair Thomas, drafting three players, including Chad Pennington, over reigning NFL MVP Shaun Alexander, the list of lunacy is a long one. This year the Jets are in the four hole in this year’s draft. A quarterback will be waiting for them there. Odds are they will either take that quarterback, and the next three will end up better, or they will pass on the QB and he’ll end up winning a Super Bowl. That’s just Jets draft luck for you. If I were running the Jets I would trade all my early round picks every year.

The first overall pick belongs to the Houston Texans, a team that has stunk its entire young life. The Texans have a potentially fantastic QB in David Carr, his main issue, however, is that he spends most Sundays on his back. Carr holds the NFL record for being sacked the most times in any one season. So what are the Texans going to do? They’re going to draft Reggie Bush, a running back and potential superstar. This isn’t a bad move, but it’s not the best potential move for the team. Running backs are plentiful in the draft. Bush is a potentially special player, but a lot of potentially special running backs turn out to be busts. Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter, Ricky Williams and Ron Dayne were all highly touted coming out of college, but now they’re nothing more than obscure trivia answers. What the Texans should do is draft D’Brickashaw Ferguson, the 6’5’’ Offensive Lineman out of Virginia. Ferguson would provide Carr with ample protection and allow their current running back, Domanick Davis, to rack up some yardage. Davis is a good running back, Carr is a good quarterback, with a good lineman everyone involved could be fantastic.

There’s an added upside to drafting an offensive lineman early in round one, most highly touted O-Lineman end up being just as good as advertised once they hit the pros. While running backs suddenly learn that EVERYONE is fast in the NFL, lineman don’t rely on foot speed, so their learning curve is significantly smaller. Tony Boselli, Jonathon Ogden and Orlando Pace are all prime examples of great lineman selected at, or near, the top of the draft. None of them ended up like Blair Thomas.

As a Giants fan I shouldn’t be interested in day one of the draft until about four hours in, but I’ll be watching as soon as it starts. It’s tradition. This year I also have the added incentive of potentially seeing a Hofstra player or two selected on the second day of the draft. Our standout wide receiver Marques Colston will be a great late round pick for some team, here’s hoping the Giants. We all know someone has to be this years Terrell Davis, or Tom Brady, so why not Colston? Hofstra’s speedy wide out, and first down god, Devale Ellis will also be a late round pick that pays big dividends for some lucky team. Overall ESPN has listed five Hofstra players in their Draft Tracker section (actually six, but Marques Colston is listed twice, once under an incorrectly spelled name). If three get drafted I’ll be ecstatic. If the Giants draft a Hofstra player I’ll be euphoric.

Regardless of who gets drafted where, however, you know that, at least for a handful of hours, I’ll be sitting in front of my TV on draft day, wondering what’s hiding in Mel Kiper’s hair. NFL Draft here I come!

posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:28 AM  
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