Football is one of the things Americans love. We love the hits, the passes, and the drama. The NFL Draft is one of those things that get many very differently. For some it is really exciting. People even hold draft parties to see who their teams pick to build for future seasons. Other people don’t really pay that much attention to the draft and just read who picked who in the paper the next day. Some teams will pick busts and others will pick people who could make it to the Pro-Bowl or at least greatly help their team.
I thought I would take a look at six picks from the draft and give some opinions on them. These are only my opinion and the reader is entitled to theirs. I chose the first two picks because of the hype that will surround them, two quarterbacks that were highly touted and figured as first round players and two players from the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football since.
Many people figured the Rams would take Oklahoma QB and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner (not a good award for that position the last few years) would be the number one pick. He has all the physical attributes to be a great quarterback. He has been very accurate in college and does not make many bonehead mistakes with the ball. I will say that I really don’t the pick though. The Rams put the number one pick of the draft on a kid who missed all but two games of his senior season. On top of that he is coming into the NFL with an injured shoulder that will take more of a beating at the next level. The rationale behind this is that possibility of him turning into a very good quarterback, He also will not be in a great conference. This may help him develop. The Rams also had the number one pick and needed a quarterback. Personally I probably would have traded the number 1 pick and taken one of the other quarterbacks later.
Suh Ndamukong is heralded as the best player in the draft and one of the best defensive linemen to come out in years. He can dominate games with his quickness and size. I must say that I don’t believe him to be that much better than some of the other great DT like Warren Sapp. The real thing against him is that he will face great competition in the division he is in. The Detroit Lions are also pretty horrible and probably will not really help him get to far ahead. While they do have talented players I can see him being double teamed every single game he plays. He can fight them off pretty good.
Tim Tebow was a surprise to many when the Broncos drafted him after trading with the Ravens. Tebow won the 2007 Heisman Trophy as a sophomore and is well known for being both a great passing and running quarterback. Obviously I was ticked he chose Florida over Alabama, but we have a Heisman winner of our own and the 2009 National Title. He managed to always keep his completion percentage above 64% with very no more than 6 interceptions. This is in the SEC, which is the toughest conference in the nation. They produce several top defensive players whom Tebow had to play against in college.
Rolando McClain has is the best linebacker in this draft. He has been a starter for the Crimson Tide since his freshman year competing in the highly talented SEC Conference. He decided to forgo he senior year for the draft. McClain has great size at 6’3″ and 254 lbs. He has good speed and can chase plays down. He also has good instincts for the ball and usually gets a couple picks and batted passes. He reads offenses much better than average and will only get better as time goes bye. His biggest down side is that he really is not highly effective in man to man coverage unless it’s short routes. He was selected by the Oakland Raiders and while he will help them greatly I don’t believe they will help him get any recognition. There really is not much talent in Oakland and he will be on the field a lot with all the three and outs that Oakland will still have. There really is also not that much talent on the Oakland defense and he will not shine as much as he would with some help on defense.
I think that Colt McCoy got really ripped off in the draft. This is not college anymore, but he had a really good career at the University of Texas. The fact that he was a four year starter in the second toughest conference in the nation is a testament to his athletic abilities in itself despite limited size at 6’1″ and 216lbs. He did get hurt in the National Championship game against the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. With the exception of a bad day against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big 12 Championship game he played a great year. He completed over 70% of his passes the last two seasons. He did throw more interceptions than some of the other quarterbacks that were available, but he really did not make many bonehead plays. He also is not much of a deep ball thrower. The Cleveland Browns selected him in the third round and still don’t really have a set quarterback. He most likely will play his rookie season and will probably get knocked around and picked a lot. As with the NFL he takes the blame instead of the fact that the Browns are a sorry team. Unfortunately with the Browns picking him I think unless he gets traded his career might be over before it begins. I think if he went to the Vikings him might have had a really good shot at being a Pro-Bowl player one day.
I don’t know if I would call Terrance Cody from the University of Alabama Crimson Tide a sleeper pick as he will not make the impact that a skill player would have, but he is a play maker. This greatly can make a difference at the next level. He has incredible size at 6’4″ and 354lbs. He is the type of guy that can make the big play when he needs to. Against the University of Tennessee Volunteers he was able to block two key field goals when the team needed them. That proved to be the margin of victory and allowed Alabama to win the 2009 National Championship. This is the kind of key play that makes him valuable. He also is one of the better run stuffers out there. He is not really much of a threat against the pass only registering a half a sack in two years at Alabama, but his stats don’t tell the whole story. His weight has also concerned people and some thought him to not have the best work ethic and being kind of lazy. He had many academic problems and does not seem overtly bright, but then again this is the NFL not the Ivy League. The Baltimore Ravens selected him in the second round and he probably could crack the starting line up as a rookie. With the talent around him on defense he defiantly will take some heat off the aging Ray Lewis.