Ramses Barden was arguably the most intriguing prospect in this years NFL Draft. Being a wide receiver standing 6'6'' and weighing 229 pounds, he caught everyone's attention. Barden may look out of place lining up out wide but make no mistake, this is a wide receiver.
Barden was named after the Egyptian pharaoh—as his dad said he wanted "to give him something that would make him feel different and stand out." Like a sore thumb, Barden sure does stand out. A "big" corner back is considered to be about 6'0'' or a little bigger.
Every average fan that watches football can realize the mismatch Barden creates on the gridiron.
Out of high school, Barden didn't garner much attention from the big college powerhouses, and decided to attend Cal-Poly. While at Cal-Poly, Barden was a two time All-American.
Barden reeled in 50 touchdowns, 206 receptions, and 4,203 total receiving yards, with a 20.4 average yard per catch. Barden is one of only three players in Division 1-AA/Football Championship Subdivision history, the great Jerry Rice being another, to catch more than 50 career touchdowns.
There are three types of people, those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Barden certainly falls under the category of a person that makes things happen.
Jerry Reese, the Giants General Manager, said "Small-school guys, we like them to dominate and he stuck out like a sore thumb like Kevin Boss at his level of competition."
Being an avid fan of the NFL Draft, I wanted to call Jerry Reese myself and ask for him to select Barden. I see all the potential in the world, and Barden has a great head on his shoulders.
One major knock on Barden is that his time speed isn't up to par with the other wide receivers in the NFL. Last time I checked, games are played in helmets and pads, not in compression shorts and skimpy t-shirts.
Another bad rap for Barden is that he played against lesser competition. Last time I checked, if you are playing down to competition, you better dominate, which he did.
Please note, up until this point I did not point out the "similarities" between Barden and Plaxico Burress. That is because Barden is Ramses Barden and not Plaxico Burress, and Barden will make a name for himself.
Burress was a seasoned veteran when the Giants acquired him in Free Agency. Barden is a young kid that has room for improvement and the Giants can groom him to be the receiver they crave.
In 2009, Barden may not be on the field every down, but you can sure bet that he will be on the field when the Giants offense gets in the "green-zone." Coach Coughlin refers to the "red-zone" as the "green-zone" because he figures there is no reason to stop and you should go in for the touchdown.
The fade route has become a go-to-play for teams when they get inside the 20 yard line, and now the Giants possess one of the biggest receivers in the league. With his massive wingspan and leaping ability, he will be able to go up and get the ball at it's highest point and shield the smaller corner from the ball.
As Barden gets older and more experienced, the more he works with Wide Receivers Coach Mike Sullivan, he will refine his route running ability and become a threat on every down. 84 players were drafted before Ramses Barden, and Barden could end up being one of the best players in this draft class.
When this crop of rookies is evaluated three years from now, people will wonder why did he fall so far in the draft?
Al Barden, Ramses' father, couldn't have picked a better fitting name for his son as Ramses is a king sized receiver that is a "Giant" among men.