Recapping the NFL Draft Using My iPod Playlist as a Guide
I was thinking about this last night, long after the last pick of the seventh-round had been made. Mr. Irrelevant for this year is a kicker named Ryan Succup, in case you didn't know.
However, I came up with a way to describe my thoughts on each pick in the first-round through the playlist of my Ipod. Lyrically, they may not always match, but the titles sure did stick out.
Probably not my most original idea but it sure was fun and, at times, very funny. So, without wasting any more time.
1. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions, QB, "Under Pressure" by David Bowie
If ever there were a guy who needed prayer, it's Matthew Stafford. Despite what anyone thinks about his contract, which guarantees him a whopping $41.7 million, the guy is facing a big challenge heading into the Lions franchise.
If they choose to play him early, he will likely not have good results as the Lions are not yet ready to become a contender. That will undoubtedly lead to heaps more criticism. I hope his skin is as tough as his arm is strong.
He will definitely take his lumps, but as the insanely average P.Diddy used to say "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems." Good luck, Matthew.
2. Jason Smith, St. Louis Rams, OT "Taking Care of Business" by BTO
The Rams released long-time left tackle Orlando Pace and needed to get a new anchor to their o-line. Jason Smith ain't sexy as a pick...and by sexy I mean he won't jump off a stat page, but he is as important as any offensive player on the team. Good pick here.
3. Tyson Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs, DE "Who Are You" by The Who
Okay, I have to tell you I was a little surprised by this pick. I mean, it's not an awful one, but with Aaron Curry sitting in the green room, I did wonder why the Chiefs chose to go with Jackson.
He will fit with what Scott Pioli wants to do in Kansas City, but still, it seems like they would have chosen to focus on something other than their defensive line with their first pick.
4. Aaron Curry, Seattle Seahawks, LB, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
I am sure that Curry started to worry after the Lions chose Stafford in spite of his bargain basement price offering. However, the Seahawks swooped in and assuaged all his fears by making him their first pick.
Together with Lofa Totupu and Leroy Hill, Curry will make the Seattle linebacking corps a solid force for years to come.
Then again, that will depend on what Leroy Hill decides to do.
It was definitely a big surprise in my mind because of what they had to give up in order to make this trade happen.
If it works, then the J-E-T-S fans will put Ryan on a pedestal and hail him as the second coming of Bill Parcells. If it doesn't, well then he will be on the "Highway to Hell."
6. Andre Smith, Cincinatti Bengals, OT, "Lucky" by Jason Mraz
Smith should be counting his blessings that he didn't fall out of the top ten in light of his numerous missteps. Of course, the Bengals have never had much trouble drafting head cases either.
Hopefully the stupidity of Mr. Smith is over and he can use his talent for good and not evil. It's a good pick for the Bengals if he works out a s they addressed a major need on the offensive line.
7. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders, WR, "Crazy Train" by Ozzie Osborne
I must say that I am still scratching my head over this one. Crabtree was, surprisingly, still sitting in the green room at the time of this pick and Heyward-Bey was hardly top ten worthy.
I understand he is the type of guy that Al Davis likes, but come on, it's time to change the station on how that team does things. They clearly have lost their way.
All I know is, with Crabtree now running routes across the Bay, Bey better be the best thing since Tim Brown.
8. Eugene Monroe, Jacksonville Jaguars, OT, "All Eyez On Me" by Tupac
If Monroe ends up being what most expect him to be, this pick will be one that carries the Jags for a long time as he is very good in pass protection. Along with Eben Britton, the other Jacksonville pick, the Jags should be set on the offensive line for a while. That should be music to David Garrard's ears.
9. B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers, DT, "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
Raji is a great pick for the Packers. He will be able to make an instant impact in their 3-4 by using his size and quickness to stuff blockers and shut down running lanes. At ninth overall, the Packers got good value and an immediate starter.
10. Michael Crabtree, SF 49ers, WR, "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds
Crabtree fell further than even he probably expected he would, but as evidenced by his reaction after the Niners picked him up at ten, he will be playing with a big chip on his shoulder next season.
If the Niners find someone to throw the ball to him, I expect him to form quite the tandem with Josh Morgan. A definite steal.
11. Aaron Maybin, Buffalo Bills, DE, "Hate On Me" by Jill Scott
Aaron Maybin could become the best DE on that Buffalo line in a long time, but part of me still wonders why they would choose to take him over Orakpo. I mean, Maybin had one very solid year at Penn State, but that's all he had.
To take a guy this high based on a limited number of starts is a huge risk. However, if his work ethic proves to be what it seems, he will be a solid addition to the Bills roster.
12. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos, RB, "American Superstar" by Flo Rida
Okay, let me put this out there, I love Knowshon being picked at 12. He should have been the first running back taken. No doubt about that.
However, I don't think Denver should have been the team to take him. They needed to draft defense first.
Further, they signed three backs in free agency; why bother drafting another? Plus, does that mean they have given up on Selvin Young?
I realize that it would have been hard to pass on Moreno, but I feel that the Broncos should have used their first pick on defense, not offense. That said,I still believe that Moreno will be the starter come next season. He's too talented to keep on the sidelines.
13. Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins, DE, "The Movement" by The Tones
Don't look now, but the Redskins have something going on that defensive line. With the addition of Orakpo, they are quickly establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the NFC East.
Orakpo may not be the most gifted defensive end but he's got the character, work ethic, and motivation to be the best he can be. It certainly won't hurt that he will share the load with Albert Haynesworth.
14. Malcom Jenkins, New Orleans Saints, DB, "I'm Bad" by LL Cool J
The Saints needed a defensive back and they got one. A darn good one at that. Malcolm Jenkins will definitely be able to make quarterbacks think twice about chucking the ball downfield anywhere near where he will be playing.
He may be more useful as a free safety so he can use that speed and aggressiveness to the best of his ability, but he should start immediately for the Saints next season and is a massive upgrade.
15. Brian Cushing, Houston Texans, OLB, "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor
DeMeco Ryans should be happy to see he will have some help next season. Cushing is a talented player and will supply some nastiness to that Texan's linebacking corps.
He may not be the guy to look to if you want to increase your sack totals, but he is always trying to make the play and often is at the line to deflect the pass or disrupt the run game.
If he does what is expected of him, he will be a solid contribution to a developing Texans defense.
16. Larry English, San Diego Chargers, DE, "Just Might Be O.K." by Lupe Fiasco
The pick isn't awful, but if you read between the lines, it could be revealing-is Shawn Merriman really coming back next season? If the Chargers are certain that he will be back, then this pick seems a little useless. Especially when you think about the glaring need the Chargers have on their offensive line. We'll all just have to see how this pans out.
17. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB, "Blame It" by Jamie Foxx
Freeman says the Leftwich signing was just a smokescreen for teams who thought the Bucs were not interested in obtaining a quarterback this year. Well, it was a good one.
However, the Bucs still did sign Byron Leftwich to a 2-year deal so it seems to me they would have been more interested in getting him a target than signing a project player in Freeman.
It should be fun to see how Leftwich and company react to the comments of Freeman, who swaggered into the green room on Saturday as if he were the heir apparent to the Buccaneer throne. If he ends up being the talent that I actually believe he can be, then new coach, Raheem Morris will look really good.
However, if he busts, then Tampa will be looking for a new coach before Leftwich can say "hut! hut!"
18. Robert Ayers, Denver Broncos, DE, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
I was neither impressed, nor unimpressed with Denver's draft. The Ayers selection makes sense to me and with all their needs on defense, it would be difficult to argue with their decision to choose him.
However, he will need to prove that he can play on a consistent level. He only has one year of starting experience.
19. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles, WR, "I Ain't Mad At Cha" by Tupac
The Eagles got a true steal at nineteen by picking up the wide receiver who many thought was second only to Michael Crabtree. He will be a nice fit alongside DeSean Jackson. Love this pick. The Eagles had a nice draft overall.
20. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions, TE, "Best of You" by the Foo Fighters
It seems that the only thing the Lions wanted to do in the draft was get the best players at each position. That's all good, but hello, you just drafted a franchise quarterback.
You need to protect your investment so it would have been a good idea to draft a tackle-Michael Oher was still on the board at that point. Pettigrew will be a great target, but it may be hard to get him the ball if your QB is on his backside.
21. Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns, C, "Patience" by Guns and Roses
By the time the Cleveland Browns made their pick, they were a running joke. After they made their pick, people were laughing less, but still chuckling. Why on earth would you take a center this high?
No knock on Mack, but defensive talent was still available and Mack could have been chosen a little later. That said, Mangini did address some of the offensive line issues with this pick as Mack should provide some solid stability to a group that didn't play with much aggressiveness last season.
22. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings, WR, "Mary Jane" by Rick James
The Vikings got a playmaker in Harvin. Off the field issues aside, Harvin is loaded with talent and will make opposing defenses nervous when lined up alongside Adrian Peterson. Now all the Vikes need is a capable quarterback to manage all that speed and talent.
23. Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens, OT, "Cool" by Anthony Hamilton
Oher fell a lot further than I thought he would, but he landed with the right team. Young slinger, Joe Flacco, will be resting easier knowing that this guy is protecting his backside. Oher was a steal at 23, many felt he was a top ten guy, and will be a nice anchor for that offensive line for years to come. A worthy replacement for the now retired Jonathan Ogden.
24. Peria Jerry, Atlanta Falcons, DT, "Welcome to Atlanta" by Jermaine Dupri
The Falcons needed a defensive tackle and that's precisely what they got. Jerry will prove to be a nice add if he can fend off the injuries that plagued him in recent years and should improve the overall quality of the defensive line. He's going to have to fill the void left by big Grady Jackson, but with the Falcons looking to add speed to their line, that shouldn't be too hard for him.
25. Vontae Davis, Miami Dolphins, DB, "Only God Can Judge Me" by Tupac
Davis dropped significantly due to concerns about his character and work ethic but his on-field production cannot be overlooked. If he manages to keep his attitude in check and proves that he can work as hard as the next guy, then the Dolphins just made fools out of a lot of people by getting this kind of talent so late in the first-round.
26. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers, LB, "I Feel Fine" by The Beatles
Matthews was projected to go in the first half of the first round. The fact that the Packers got him here is either a testament to the other teams lack of need at the position or their lack of talent in scouting.
I tend to think it has more to do with the former. Curry was by far the most talented linebacker, but it was a toss-up between Cushing and Matthews.
Matthews may prove to be the bigger talent and will be placed in a situation where he will be able to utilize his blue-collar work ethic-much to the appreciation of Packer fanatics.
27. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts, RB, "Keeps You Running" by the Doobie Brothers
Joseph Addai has caught a case of the "can't stay healthy's" and Rhodes exited stage left. No brainer here, the Colts needed a running back. Brown gives them a nice back-up plan just in case Addai decides he can't go again; Brown will make a reliable three-down back and will provide another great set of capable hands for Peyton Manning.
28. Eric Wood, Buffalo Bills, C, "The Song Remains The Same" by Led Zeppelin
Again, the Bills neglected to draft a left tackle. Wood was hardly worthy of a first round pick and the Bills really need to address the loss of Jason Peters. Their initial pass over Michael Oher was worthy of a head-scratch but with Eben Britton still on the board at this point, how could they choose to go with Wood? Hopefully this doesn't come back to haunt them.
29. Hakeem Nicks, NY Giants, WR, "Dreams to Remember" by Otis Redding
Plaxico is ancient history. Eli will need a reliable target to throw it to if he is expected to mount an offensive against the revamped Eagles and Skins.
Nicks is no Burress, but at 6'2", 215 pounds, he does make for a stout set of hands to catch the ball. He needs to develop better techniques if he expects to elude the quicker, faster, and more established corners he will match-up against in the NFL because he does not have great speed. However, he fills a big need and that's a big deal.
30. Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans, WR, "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke
A year late and a round early, but, the Titans finally let off of their philosophy and took a wide receiver. As with the Giants before them, the pick likely ends any discussion of getting Anquan Boldin. Britt has all the skills and talent to become an elite number one receiver for the Titans-he should start immediately.
31. Chris Wells, Arizona Cardinals, RB, "The Unforgiven" by Metallica
He will either be a big boom or a big bust. Wells was the purest talent in this years draft and he landed with the perfect team in the Arizona Cardinals. Teams will no longer be able to simply key in on that potent Arizona passing game, they will now need to account for a big, bruising back in Chris Wells.
His selection likely spells the end for the aging Edgerrin James and the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Wells and the Cardinals. Perhaps, this time, his stop in Glendale will be a pleasant one.
32. Evander Hood, Pittsburgh Steelers, DT, "If U Don't Know Me" by Simply Red
Falling behind Peria Jerry and B.J. Raji, "Ziggy" was one of the top defensive tackles in the draft this year and will be able to learn from Aaron Smith, whom he is likely to replace at some point.
The Steelers do need to protect Roethlisberger better this year than they did last year, but it's hard to argue too much with this pick.
Now we all just have to wait and see how things shake out. I don't know about you, but I am ready for some football.
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