May 3, 2010
Certain teams have certain tendencies on draft day. They have tendencies towards building on the defensive and offensive line, gathering position players in the early rounds, or simply drafting talent that played close to home (i.e. 2010 Carolina Panthers).
Overall, though, certain players find themselves being drafted by teams that are absolutely perfect for their playing style and personality.
With that being said, a certain group of players stand out from the NFL’s 2010 draft as being great fits for their respective teams.
Without further ado, the following is the 2010 NFL Draft’s Suitable Scale—rating players and their new teams from a 10 (extremely appropriate, perfect fit) to a one (shockingly inappropriate).
Cincinnati Bengals, Carlos Dunlap; Second Round, Pick No. 22
This pick should have been dedicated by Bengals GM Mike Brown to all of those in this world who consider themselves doubters. For all of those skeptics who scoff at the notions of Nicholas Sparks novels (and subsequent movies) and eHarmony success stories, this selection was for you. For every person who does not believe soul mates exist—Mike Brown and his staff have officially proven you wrong.
Soul mates do exist. How else could one describe the perfect match of Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap and the Cincinnati Bengals?
Dunlap, after coming to Florida out of Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston, S.C., put together an impressive three-year career for the Gators, including a BCS
National Championship in 2009. Dunlap finished his collegiate career No. 10 on Florida’s career sacks list by accumulating 19.5 in 40 games.
The 6'6", 277-pounder always displayed the sheer athleticism that NFL teams look for at any position, even posting an eye-opening 4.71 in the 40-yard dash at this year's combine.
But despite giving head coach Marvin Lewis a new toy, Dunlap could also bring Lewis new headaches as well.
Dunlap enters the professional ranks carrying a little baggage, and the Bengals have become the NFL’s bellhops—especially on draft day.
The result: a match made in Irony Heaven.
After being arrested for drunken driving charges, then pleading no contest to his DUI, Dunlap must have immediately been mentioned as a key target for the Bengals organization entering the 2010 NFL Draft.
Since the 2000 NFL Draft, the Bengals have selected five players in the first round that have been arrested at some point in their athletic careers: WR Peter Warrick (2000), DE Justin Smith (2001), RB Chris Perry (2004), CB Jonathan Joseph (2006), and CB Leon Hall (2007).
As a pick in the second round, Dunlap now joins a list of Bengals second-round choices of similar legal backgrounds: LB Odell Thurman (numerous charges), Rey Maualuga (DUI), and OG Eric Steinbach (boating under the influence).
Time will tell if Dunlap has learned from his college mistakes, but the selection process in itself screams appropriate for such a troubled organization.
Suitable Score: nine out of 10
Oakland Raiders, Jacoby Ford; Fourth Round, Pick No. 10
When the Oakland Raiders went with the safe pick in the first round—Alabama’s stud linebacker Rolando McClain—the sports world froze in shock and amazement.
Did the Raiders really just make that pick?
Do they understand that McClain did not run under a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine?
Is Al Davis still asleep or possibly in a coma at this moment?
But the Speed Raiders could not help themselves later on in the draft process with Ford, a Clemson speedster who doubled as a track star in college. Ford ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the 2010 NFL Combine this season, which is music to the ears of Raiders owner Al Davis.
A year removed from one of the biggest draft reaches in recent memory, the Raiders made sure Ford’s most valuable asset joined their underachieving corps of speed receivers. Their 2009 first-round selection, Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, has already been labeled a bust from a wide variety of sporting outlets after just one season for the Silver and Black.
Though the Raiders organization was able to contain themselves until the fourth round this year, they could not resist trading up to get Ford by giving up linebacker Kurt Morrison and a fifth-round selection.
Perhaps we should call this Raiders’ obsession The Rocket Ismail Quandry. Or maybe just Combine Hubris.
Either way, we’ll see if Oakland can somehow mold a football player out of a track star.
It has worked out so well for them in the past.
Suitable Score: seven out of 10
Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant; First Round, Pick No. 24
Quick, name the first team that enters your mind when you hear the words “diva” and “receiver” in the same sentence.
Images of Jerry Jones, Jimmie Johnson, and a certain star should have just danced through your memory bank like Mark Madsen at an Isley Brothers concert. You want to forget and look away, but the reminders are always there. By drafting Bryant with their first round pick, the reminders will not subside any time soon as long as the Cowboys are under the direction of owner Jerry Jones.
Bryant looks to be the heir apparent in the long line of Cowboys receivers who draw attention both on and off the field.
Sound familiar? Well, get your popcorn ready for Bryant as well.
Bryant, while an imposing, athletic player at 6'2", has made just as many waves off the field as he did on it during his three-year career at Oklahoma State.
The numbers were always there while playing for the Cowboys, even putting up a gaudy sophomore campaign where he hauled in 87 catches for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. One might call that production in some areas of the NFL.
Even in the draft-day video of the Cowboys selecting him with the 24th overall pick, there was an obvious quality of arrogance and self-righteousness (a quality not always uncommon with star receivers).
However, Bryant slipped down in the draft process due to his suspension from an off-the-field issue with former NFL great Deion Sanders, as well as “maturity issues.” In the grand scheme of legal issues in the NFL, Bryant’s transgressions fall somewhere near the bottom of the totem pole.
But do not be surprised if Bryant slips on a Keyshawn-esque impersonation once training camp rolls around, demanding more of Tony Romo
’s passes in the locker room and behind a microphone.
And do not be surprised if the nickname “Perez Bryant” surfaces at some point in his career.
Suitable Score: seven out of 10
Seattle Seahawks, Golden Tate; Second Round, Pick No. 28
There is sufficient evidence that Pete Carroll attended his own games while coaching the University of Southern California, and his selections in the 2010 NFL Draft were a clear indication of that notion.
Golden Tate is the prime example of Carroll’s college attendance record (something we cannot say for all of his former players).
Following the 2009 Biletnikoff winner’s dominant performance in a Notre Dame loss to USC—one in which Tate personally displayed fellow second-round selections Taylor Mays’ glaring weaknesses—there was little doubt that Tate was on Carroll’s radar upon taking the Seahawks job.
Tate put up eight catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns on Carroll’s talented defense in 2009, which could possibly have played a small role in the much publicized passing of Mays for Texas safety Earl Thomas in the first round.
With Mays being drafted by division opponent San Francisco, Tate and Carroll will have two opportunities a year to take on the former USC standout.
Suitable Score: five out 10
San Diego Chargers, Ryan Mathews; First Round, Pick No. 12
A few months removed from releasing one the greatest running backs in NFL history, the Chargers thought it necessary to trade up in the draft to take another Western "mid-major" schools’ running back—and one that put together a dominant college career as well.
In 2001, the Chargers officially turned their franchise over to LaDainian Tomlinson after he led the nation in rushing for two straight years while at Texas Christian University. The decision turned out fairly well for the Chargers, to put it mildly.
Now, with Tomlinson leaving for the New York Yankees (er, sorry, Jets), the Chargers will once again turn to a smaller school for big-time production.
Mathews would lead the nation in rushing as a junior in 2009, amassing 1,808 yards and 19 touchdowns for Fresno State. The stout, 217-pound running back put up good combine numbers along with his on-the-field production—but is being asked to fill some enormous shoes.
Imagine when you were growing up and you tried on your father’s shoes and clumsily flopped around your house.
The shoes: Tomlinson’s starting job. The three-year-old hopeful: Ryan Mathews.
However, some wondered the same thing about Tomlinson stepping in for the Chargers to finally replace Natrone Means’ numbers.
Suitable Score: five out of 10
Oakland Raiders—Rolando McClain
See: Ford, Jacoby. The world is still waiting for ESPN’s breaking news coverage of Al Davis firing his entire organization for this.
Suitable Score: two out of 10
Green Bay Packers—Brian Beluga
Is there a better name in this draft for a lineman who is going to playing in the Arctic-like temperatures of Wisconsin?
With the possible exception of defensive end Erik Lorig—no, no there wasn’t.
Suitable Score: seven out of 10
New England Patriots—Brandon Spikes
The Patriots have a history of players not exactly playing by the rules. (Look up Rodney Harrison or Steroid Usage in the NFL some time; or Spygate.)
Now with the selection of the pupil-unfriendly Spikes (looks not included), expect the entire AFC East division to follow Ricky Williams’ lead and start sporting visors over their face masks.
Suitable Score: four out of 10
New York Jets—John Connor
If Skynet truly does exist in the future, the first city they will choose to attack would be New York City. Therefore, this was a steal in the fifth round for the Jets.
Last note: If the Chargers had drafted John Connor, would that have jeopardized Arnold Schwarzenegger’s support for the team?
Suitable Score: six out of 10