Wow, a lot CAN happen in the week leading up to draft.
For starters, Shaun Alexander is released as the Seahawks all-time leading rusher, just a mere 26 months after his then record breaking MVP season. Personally, I think Alexander got a raw deal; he was the catalyst for that team, I don't care what anyone says. Since he was drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft (19th pick out of Alabama) he was seen to be a change for a franchise not known for running backs. His blend of power and agility made him a coveted player his first few years. Then in 2005, Alexander became the NFL MVP, with an astonishing 27 TD's and 1,880 yards rushing. The Seahawks loved Alexander, and Alexander loved the Seahawks..for the time being. Only playing in 10 games the following year, his numbers dropped dramatically with only 896 (984 yards less than previous year) and 7 TD's (20 less than previous year). February 6th, 2006. Superbowl XL. The time that great players shine..on the big stage. I believe this was the beginning of the fallout that was Alexander. 95 yards in that game, he was overshadowed by Pittsburgh's first AND second string backs. Last year he had played in 13 games, but he had a low 207 in carries, lowest since his rookie season.
Let me just input my opinion before I go any further, Alexander got a bad injury, I am not trying to cover that up, BUT give him time, please. Bones do heal, and he is still that great player he was previously. Call it the magical age of 30, call it Hutchinson-itis. I call it bad timing and even worse decisions. You can at least bring the guy back with Morris and try the 2 back set, but you just cant cut the guy and expect everything to be fine. People are going to sporting the #37 for as long as they have been wearing Steve Largent's #80.
BREAKING NEWS: Jared Allen being traded days leading up to the draft!
Wow...totally did not see that one coming...Seriously. Allen is a Idaho State grad, he always caught my eye whenever I would watch Chiefs games. He did attend Los Gatos HS (not far from where I live) and a 6'6" 270 LBs Defensive End, I mean the guy is huge. At the (still young) age of 26, (4th round, 126th pick) he has already compiled 43 career sacks, he hasn't had less than 7 sacks in the 4 years he has been in the league, all with a chip on his shoulder. I mean lets face it, since Derrick Thomas was drafted by the Chiefs in 1989, they have not had a defensive standout.
He was even a funny guy, always joking on camera, here is a clip of his "antics": http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80699a49. After posting a 15.5 sack season, he was thought of to be one of the premier pass rushers in the game today. Don't think I wont bring up the DUI's. 3 DUI's in the past 4 years. In today's NFL where even if you forget to tip the waiter at the Applebee's, there will be some sort of investigation. and NO I AM NOT DOWNPLAYING THE SEVERITY OF THE CHARGE. After I heard of the DUI's I lost so much respect for him.
The reason he was franchised was because of the DUI's. GM Carl Peterson and the Chiefs Organization wanted to monitor his production for the following year, in the end becoming a controversy because Allen wanted a long term contract. But Allen has also done good things with the millions he makes (hopefully setting an example for more NFL players). Allen serves as an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and raises funds through his sack diabetes program.
Late Tuesday Night (4/22/2008) Jared Allen was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for draft picks. The offer the Vikings had on the table, which was their 1st (17th) and 3rd (73rd and 82nd) round picks. And it was reported by Adam Schefter on NFL.com that the Vikings were looking to re-structure Allen's contract, possibly finalizing it by Wednesday night. For the past few years, the Vikings have been known as a great defensive line team (1st in NFL against the rush with 164.6 yards a game) and the addition of Allen can definitely improve Minnesota, maybe even improve on their pass rush, which was 28th in the league. All I know is, right now this deal makes sense. 8-8 in the NFC North is an improvement under Childress. and the Chiefs are the big winner in this. They MIGHT have enough to possibly trade up from their 5th selection to select golden armed Matt Ryan if they desire him. I personally think they should stay at 5th and 17th and address their needs at WR, OL, and possibly CB. As stated in my previous article entitled NFL Draft 2008: Projecting Top 10 Picks(http://bleacherreport.com/articles/16088-NFL-Draft-2008-Projecting-Top-10-Picks-030408)
I said the Chiefs can look at Sedrick Ellis, the standout DT out of the University of Southern California, and that pick makes a lot more sense now. They can also keep an eye on a CB, possibly a Mike Jenkins from South Florida, Reggie Smith from Oklahoma, or Aqib Talib from the University of Kansas.
And finally... THE MIAMI DOLPHINS SELECT WITH THE #1 OVERALL PICK...JAKE LONG
This is not a surprise to me (again, my previous article), I mean Miami has Parcells at the helm, and c'mon people, he is known for not his post-game..pre-game...hell, just any interview, he is known for turning BAD teams into GOOD teams. Through draft, free agency, trade, or just knowing who to play at the right moment, Bill knows what he is doing, and I do not doubt him one bit with this pick. Being a former football player, coaches always told me "Reg, the backbone of a team starts and ends with the offensive line...You can have the most X's and O's but it wont mean jack shit if you don't have those big uglies protecting you". Coach Cameron was right; Good Offensive Lineman are about as scarce as "shutdown corners", You can plug some OL into a system and expect results, it just does not happen. Aside from McFadden, I thought Long was the most complete player in this draft. He has great footwork, strong upper body, and he NEVER gives up on a play; it could be a 6 or 60 yard run, as long as Jake knows he manhandled a lineman, that's what mattered. He is also a good person, no off the field incidents, no major arguments with position coaches, no dog fighting...or sorry, that slipped. But anyway, he is a great player, and yes, NFL ready.
Now that the first pick is in the books, all eyes are on St.Louis, my favorite team. Teams like the Lions, Bears, and others have been showing interest in possibly trading up to score a uh..Matt Ryan. Atlanta is the biggest spotlight at the moment. They want to trade the pick, and everyone knows St.Louis wont take Ryan, and many teams covet Ryan and his intangibles.
Thank You for reading, this was the longest article I have written (so far) and if you get to this part, I applaud you.