Now I’m not one of these fans who goes to the local bar sporting his favorite players jersey from over a decade ago. Showing up with other similar fans who think their team is going to draft the next big thing. As from my last post on the NFL Draft entitled “The Lions Guide to the NFL Draft” you can see that you’re not guaranteed anything, but a bust in the draft. This time around I’m going about this in a different way. I’ve noticed that there are some great players and there are some potential headaches in this years class. Some with a lot to lose and some with a lot to gain. Three to be exact. We’ll finish this on a positive note so I will start with the ones to lose.
1. DT Ndamukong Suh Nebraska
He is a great player. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting him here because of his talent, do you know where he will end up? The Detroit Lions are projected by everyone to pick Suh. I get why. He is a one of a kind player who has tremendous strength on the line and can hold his own against anyone. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans before he became the head coach in Detroit. He’s seen what a premier defensive tackle can do for a team (Albert Haynesworth). Suh I think will be a better pro than Haynesworth although he is still one of the better defensive lineman around. The problem here is the history of busts in Detroit. Things could be changing though. Five of the Lions ten picks last year played significant time for them. Four of them were their first four picks. They are picking smart and will make another smart decision taking Suh, but how will it pan out in D-Town?
2. CB Joe Haden Florida
Again it has nothing to do with his potential or talent as a player in the NFL. He is stuck in a situation that has him going from a sure top 10 pick to a middle to late first round pick. Why? It’s simple. There are too many potential shut down corners in this years draft. That means other teams in need of one can go after another position and then draft their shutdown corner in the second or third rounds. Plus history tells us that Haden’s position hardly ever gets selected in the top ten. In the past decade, only six cornerbacks were taken in the top 10. The last being in 2005. If Jets CB Darrelle Revis can’t be selected in the top 10, you know their is a problem. But with all that said, I’m sure Haden will great in the NFL. He’s too good not to be.
3. RB C.J. Spiller Clemson
Like with Haden, Spiller is in the same class. Great player, but his position doesn’t warrant spending a top pick on. Time and time again teams can find a great running back in the second, third even seventh rounds nowadays. C.J. is kind of in the mold of Darren McFadden when he was drafted out of Arkansas. A big, fast back who can be a great returner and can catch the ball out of the backfield. Look where McFadden is now since being the fourth pick overall in the ’08 draft. That’s not his fault, but the Raiders didn’t have to draft him. Unfortunately for McFadden he was the best player available and his speed did him in with Al Davis. That won’t be the case with Spiller because he isn’t that every down back that some teams want. Actually does anyone have a every down back? He’s the best running back in this years crop, but he won’t go any higher than 13.
Finish on a positive note
1. QB Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame
He is gonna luck out no matter what. He played in a pro-style system with Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. He showed great efficiency in his last year there (28 TD to 4 INT). There are at least five teams in the top 15 that would take him. One with two picks. He is in a win-win situation. I wouldn’t suggest that whoever take him throw him right away, but the learning curve should be pretty short. There are still bumps in the road as far as his health (toe), but his mechanics are right up there with Sam Bradford who will most likely end up being the number one pick. Clausen unlike other quarterbacks the last few drafts i.e Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn won’t have to wait around too long before his name is called in New York. Being a hot commodity is always a good thing.
2. WR Dez Bryant Oklahoma State
I was one of the first people to defend Bryant when he was suspended the rest of the ’09 season for lying to NCAA investigators about his visit to Deion Sanders house. However, if there was nothing to hide, why did you lie? That’s the only flaw I saw in that incident. But when the interview and workout process began there was talk of him possibly becoming a prima donna and a cancer in the locker room. Umm, isn’t that the case with almost every wide receiver now? Bryant is taking the high and will use this as motivation. Kind of like what Randy Moss did to the rest of the league when he burst on to the scene in 1998 when he dropped to the 21st pick. Bryant won’t have those kind of numbers, but he will make an impact where ever he ends up. If he drops to the 25th pick where Baltimore sits, look out. Dez being paired with Anquan Boldin is a scary thought. How can drafting this guy be a bad thing if you need a playmaker now?
3. QB Tim Tebow Florida
I know I’m gonna hear it for this one, but hear me out first. Never has there been so much talk about a guy who might go in the first round, but end up being a fourth round pick. Try to tell me of someone else getting this kind of publicity. I look at it this way. Any kind of publicity is good publicity. Especially in Tebow’s case. He is getting his name and face out there and gradually more teams began to look at him closer as draft day approached. He was a system quarterback at Florida. No doubt. However, if he ends up in the right situation and is given time to develop, I think he can be a decent player. It’s too much of a risk to take him in the first or second round, but a team who has an established quarterback and has two-three years to help Tebow along, it will be perfect for both sides. New England, Indianapolis, Minnesota, just to name a few teams. Why not? What do they have to lose? Tebow can thank his luck star if he ends up in that kind of a gig, because he does not want the pressure so many other high drafted quarterbacks have had. You know who they are by now. Tebow I don’t think will be one of them as long as he keeps thinking positive and lands in the right place.