April 30, 2007

Good times at the NFL Draft

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

With the Raiders taking JaMarcus Russell first overall on Saturday, there wasn’t much surprise at the top the off the draft, except, of course, for the freefall of Brady Quinn. Russell, who will get –if the past trends keep up- something in the $50-60 million range, is worth it on tape at least. This guy can launch a football 83-yards! Even if it’s nothing more than parlour-trick feat, he can also throw a football 63-yards from his knees. If that doesn’t score him a 99 throwing power in Madden 08, I don’t know what will.

The Detroit Lions took the highly touted Calvin Johnson in the two-slot to fill their pressing need at WR. That was obviously sarcasm but sometimes it doesn’t shine through in type. Johnson, who is 6’5” with blazing speed and is one of, if not, the highest rated WRs in the past 10 years of the draft. Too bad Jon Kitna’s throwing to him.

After Cleveland drafted their O-line’s anchor of the future, Joe Thomas, and Miami seriously screwed up their number nine pick by going off the board and selecting Ted Ginn Jr., pretty boy Brady Quinn of the hate-them-or-love-them Notre Dame Fighting Irish began freefalling down the draft board. Quinn, who had been invited to the draft by Commissioner Roger Goodell, was actually escorted into a private room to wait it out while teams without a need at QB passed him over. Finally, the Browns decided to trade away their number one pick next year as well as their second round pick this year to Dallas to take Quinn at number 22. The only upside for Quinn in this whole ordeal is that he now gets to play with lesser expectations of him and a sizable chip on his shoulder.

Former-Heisman trophy winner and BCS choker Troy Smith waited until the very end of the fifth round before he was taken by the Baltimore Ravens. This actually puts him into possibly the best situation of any of the QBs taken this year. Learning for Steve McNair and offensive guru Brian Billick while being on a winning team will help him develop quicker than playing on a Raiders team with absolutely no offensive talent at all, especially after giving away Randy Moss for next to nothing. They did bring in former first-round bust Mike Williams from Detroit, but that’s not going to help.

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