Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The 5 Best Second Day Picks. Plus, Random Draft Thoughts

With the 2008 NFL Draft in the books, I would be remiss if I didn't offer up some thoughts from one of my favorite sporting events of the year.

1. People saying that the Kansas City Chiefs are the big winners is like saying the 1927 Yankees were OK at baseball. But of course they were going to be, they had the 5th pick and they got 17 from the Vikings, plus a pair of 3rd rounders. In order for them to mess up this draft they would have had to be absolutely dumb.

2. Kudos to the Baltimore Ravens. As soon as Matt Ryan came off the board the Ravens identified that they wanted Joe Flacco, and then correctly determined they could trade down and still get their guy. Give huge credit to Ozzie Newsome for getting two extra mid rounders and still grabbing who I think will end up being the best QB out of this draft.

3. On the flip side the Carolina Panthers gave up everything but the farm in order to move up to draft Jeff Otah. Otah had better be a perennial pro bowler, because not only did Carolina give up a lot this year, they gave up next year's first rounder. The future is now in Charlotte, or it had better be.

Alright, on to the top 5 second day picks / undrafted free agents: (In no particular order)

1. Owen Schmitt, FB, 163 overall to Seattle
Maybe the fiercest competitor in all of college football this past season, Schmitt could perhaps be best known for this. But in addition to that Schmitt is a tremendous blocker who will clear the path for whomever Seattle has getting the majority of the carries this season, presumably Julius Jones. Schmitt also will be able to catch the ball out of the backfield.

2. John David Booty, QB, 137 overall to Minnesota
Vikings fans everywhere cheered when the Booty pick was announced. It's been said that Booty will be watching the 2008 season, but in my opinion if Tarvaris Jackson is struggling, Booty needs to be in there by week 5 at the latest. The Vikings have the best running back in football, the number one run defense, and a should-be improved pass defense. All they are missing is competent quarterback play. Booty is perhaps the most accurate passer of this draft class, and since the Vikings run a west coast offense, his lack of arm strength isn't a huge concern.

3. Marcus Henry, WR, 171 overall to NY Jets
Henry amassed over 1,000 receiving yards in his senior season at Kansas. Some of that is due to the pass happy offense the Jayhawks employ, but a lot of it has to do with Henry's talent. At just a shade under 6'4", Henry should be a force on jump balls, and though he is listed as a 4.5 40 yard dash, Henry repeatedly ran away from corners and safeties this year. I see Henry eventually becoming a very good third receiver, and possibly a starter in the NFL.

4. Mike Dragosavich, P, Undrafted to New England
Yes, a punter. Field position is important, and this allows the Patriots to get good punting for the league minimum. The Pats are the best team in football at saving money wherever they can, and this is no different. Had he qualified, Dragosavich would have led D-1AA the past three seasons in punting. He has a booming leg.

5. Caleb Campbell,S, 218 overall to Detroit
A great story who was profiled on Sunday, Campbell only runs a 4.57, a little slow for a safety. However, he is tough and hard nosed, and should be able to contribute on special teams right away, and in time could be an outside linebacker who is adept at stopping the run. The former Army Black Knight now can focus on playing football, rather than risking his life overseas. A huge standing ovation goes out from me both to Campbell and to the Detroit Lions.

Coming this weekend will be a post on a perhaps controversial topic (although not on the whole Bob Costas HBO thingy, you can check every other website in existence for that), but first, what are your NFL Draft thoughts?