The draft is this weekend! I’m going to go home and turn on ESPN, put on my Curtis Martin jersey (selected 74th in 1995 by the New England Patriots), insert my normal size hand into a larger foam version and shout obscenities at the idiotic picks made by the draft selectors.
Actually that is a lie. I’m just gonna read about it later on the internet. But the draft is a big deal. We should have a similar thing for rugby here. It gets everyone interested in the players and the teams and at the “lower levels” of the sport. There is such a huge sense of investment in a player when a draft pick is used on him that, if he doesn’t perform later on, his draft selection number hangs on him like the “Boulder of Shame”. Read this list of #1 picks and see how many names you remember.
Note: in 1999 QB Tim Couch (currently unemployed) was selected 1st, QB Donovan McNabb was selected 2nd.
This year San Francisco has the first pick. They haven’t had the first pick since 1964. As such many are unsure as to what they will do. Most are saying it will be Alex Smith (QB Utah) or Aaron Rogers (QB Cal). Aaron Rogers wants to be 49er so bad; he used to wear a Joe Montana jersey under his pads every game at college. Will he get sad if he has to play for the Cardinals (the team that will most likely pick-up whichever QB isn’t picked) like a certain Manning last year?
Speaking of the Cardinals, they have just unveiled new uniforms to match their new, more aggressive, logo.
The 49ers may yet surprise everyone and go with WR Braylon Edwards or CB Antrel Rolle (can anyone tell me if he’s related to Samari).
Last year the offensive rookie of the year was QB Ben Roethlisberger (picked 11th by Pittsburgh) and the defensive rookie was LB Jonathon Vilma (picked 12th by the Jets). So being the first pick (or even in the top ten) doesn’t mean you’ll be the greatest player from that year. In fact have a look at last year's top ten:
- Eli Manning QB
- Robert Gallery T
- Larry Fitzgerald WR
- Philip Rivers QB
- Sean Taylor FS
- Kellen Winslow TE
- Roy Williams WR
- DeAngelo Hall CB
- Reggie Williams WR
- Dunta Robinson CB
How many would you say were standouts in 2004? One, maybe two?
The Jets, meanwhile, have traded away their first round pick to the Raiders. In return they received TE Doug Jolley.
“New York also gets a second-round (47th overall) and two sixth-round picks (182, 185) from Oakland, while the Raiders get a seventh-round selection” [NFL.com]
Using the Cowboys draft chart (scroll down to see it) where each draft pick is worth a certain amount of points: the Jets traded 714.2 for 466 and a player. But here’s the thing; the player (Jolley) is considered, by the Jets, to be better than those available in the draft, hence he is worth the same amount of points as the first round pick they traded away (because they were going to use the pick on a TE anyway).
And the Redskins have traded big time with the Broncos to get another first round pick (they now have picks 9 and 25). They apparently need a CB and a WR and want to get both in the first round. What did the ‘Skins trade for this pick? They traded a third-round selection (No. 76 overall) in this year's draft and the Redskins’ picks in the first and fourth rounds in 2006.
So going back to the chart: the ‘Skins traded (roughly) 1,439 for 720. [I the average of all picks in the first and fourth rounds]. The 'Skins better hope this works out.
But we’ll have to wait until the draft starts on the 23rd (24th here in NZ). Make sure some of you kiwis catch it on the telly. Hahahahaha that’s a joke, there will be no televised coverage of the draft in NZ. Watch it on the net instead.