Friday, April 22, 2005

The NFL Draft and some other sporty notes 

Big weekend coming up. Along with the start of the NBA playoffs, the NFL draft (the coolest, geekiest draft of them all) is tomorrow (and also Sunday). I used to really really get charged up for the draft. It's pure hype and I dig it. As someone who has played his fare share of fantasy football, it goes without saying that there are few things that provide sport-geeks such enjoyment as the words "war room" and "big board." Like any other draft, its a crap shoot, but unlike other drafts, teams can improve immediately and, unlike any other sport, everyone in football (with the exception of one or two teams a season) has a chance at actually winning the Superbowl. Also, I think this is the first time I'll have the option of tuning into NFL Network in addition to the 300 jillion hours of ESPN coverage. This could lead to seizures. I'm sure I'll be okay, though. Looking at past drafts, the notion of "hit and miss" is even more apparent. So a lot of teams tend to make trades leading up to the event. Although its the trades on actual draft day that make me freak out a little. Nothing quite like Paul Tagliabue stepping up to the podium early in the 1st round and dramatically announcing, "We have a trade!" Followed by Chris Berman and Mel Kiper falling all over themselves and drooling with speculation. Its fun, if not a little silly.

A lot of teams are trying to position themselves to be able to address specific team needs. Denver (those bastards) just duped Washington into a dubious trade so as to stockpile draft picks. Kansas City just made a stellar move acquiring Patrick Surtain from Miami. Then there are my boys, the Raiders, who have been active as all get-out in free agency. Bolstering the offense by signing LaMont Jordan and Rob Konrad, the obvious blockbuster trade to get the best wide receiver in the game and just a couple days ago dumping busts Doug Jolley and Phil Buchanon to get back into the draft's 1st round (they dealt their original 1st round pick in the Moss deal). Still a lot of problems on the defensive side of the ball for the Raiders to address. I'm hoping they're able to nab cornerback Carlos Rogers of Auburn, but I don't know if he'll fall to the #26 pick.

The buzz around the '05 draft is that there may not be one super-duper-star in the lot, but there is a lot of quality depth at skill positions. That means a lot of quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers going in the early rounds. Personally, I think there is but one player in this crop who is a
must have, sure-fire stud (even if he has been out of football for a year): Mike Williams.

Predicted top ten picks for tomorrow:
1. San Francisco: Alex Smith - QB - Utah
2. Miami: Ronnie Brown - RB - Auburn
3. Cleveland: Aaron Rodgers - QB - Cal
4. Chicago: Braylon Edwards - WR - Michigan
5. Tampa Bay: Carnell "Cadillac" Williams - RB - Auburn
6. Tennessee: Cedric Benson - RB - Texas
7. Minnesota: Mike Williams - WR - USC
8. Arizona: Derrick Johnson - LB - Texas
9. Washington: Antrel Rolle - CB - Miami
10. Detroit: Adam Jones - CB - West Virginia

University of North Carolina hoops just got completely F'd in the A today. Um, pretty much that entire national championship team is gone. They've all bounced campus either to go pro early or they're graduating. UNC loses their TOP SEVEN scorers. Ouch! They're in trouble come next season.

Oakland A's v. Anaheim Angels: round 2. Feel pretty good about Oakland taking 2/3 against the Angels last weekend. We'll see how they fare in SoCal. The AL West is already a total dogfight.

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