I need a moment to discuss an underappreciated baseball story this week.
My Giants, who you may recall, had baseball's best record after the first week, have now lost 4 straight, three of them by one run, and just got swept by the Padres.
Tuesday night, Jonathan Sanchez threw a one hitter, striking out a dozen. And lost.
But thanks for not getting us any bats, Brian. Appreciate it.
Round one of the draft is tonight. Lets do this.
1. St Louis - Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
-I like Bradford fine, but there is no circumstance where I'd pick a QB in the top 4. Yes, that means I don't get Peyton Manning, and if you get Peyton Manning, your life changes. It also means I don't get Alex Smith, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, Tim Couch, Joey Harrington, you see my point.
You miss out on a defensive tackle, as the Rams apparently did with Adam Carriker, and its a missed opportunity, you cut bait and ship him off for a 5th round pick. You miss out on Alex Smith and he loses you game after game after game for years. Maybe, maybe, if a QB was clearly the highest rated player in his class and I didn't have a QB, I'd consider it if I couldn't trade down, but that is not the case this year.
But the Rams are in my division, so, go nuts.
Additional Picks - The Rams have the top pick of the second round, I wouldn't be surprised, with the new format and that pick leading off Friday night, if someone is itching to deal into the slot - St Louis has so many needs (a legit number one WR being the foremost; a couple of pass rushers next) that they might deal out.
2. Detroit - Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
He's the best prospect in the draft; were I turning in the pick for the Rams I'd be writing down his name. His performance against Texas in the Big 12 Title game was as dominant a college defensive game as I can recall and I gave him my Heisman vote in no small part because of it.
It's a need for Detroit, Suh can fill the Albert Haynesworth role in Jim Schwartz's 4-3 next to Corey Williams; it's not their most pressing need - the Lions need a number one CB and that's how I'd expect them to go with pick 34. They also need a 3 down RB; if for some reason my favorite back in the draft, Ryan Matthews, slid out of round one, that's where they go.
3. Tampa Bay - Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
His idol is Warren Sapp and the Bucs biggest need is a disruptive DT; you can put this pick in pen - just write it on your giant white board you keep in your living room right now.
You don't have a white board in your living room? How do you record all the picks? How else do you know when we get to Day 3 who the top remaining inside linebacker on the board is? I don't know you at all anymore.
At #35 the Bucs need more defense, my guy, Taylor Mays, will probably still be on the board and they should take him.
4. Washington - Eric Berry S Tennessee
I'm diverging from all accepted wisdom here; the Skins biggest need is LT, but there isn't that can't miss top end tackle that you find in other draft classes - what there is however is the next Ed Reed; and the Skins also really need a safety. I'm going to say they go with the value on the board and take Berry.
Albert Haynesworth is apparently not long for Mike Shanahan's 4-3 system; his contract is tough to move, but I would see Washington do all it can to get back into the second round to find that left tackle I've taken from them.
5. Kansas City - Dan Williams NT Tennessee
The Chiefs are in a curious spot; they need a playmaking safety and most mocks have Berry right here for them when the Skins take the tackle - but they also need a space eating tackle - and Berry's teammate might be too tempting to pass up; this is an overdraft, I think - but I also don't think the Chiefs can trade down more than a pick or two and still get him. If the Bucs don't take Mays with their second round pick, maybe the Chiefs get him at #36.
6. Seattle - Russell Okung T Oklahoma St
The Seahawks have multiple glaring needs - and if I'm turning in the pick I take Earl Thomas, as he's the best player on the board who fits one of those needs. But there's yet to be a tackle taken if the draft unfolds this way - and if you're Seattle you can't pass up on the top rated lineman. But man...Earl Thomas...if I'm a Seahawk fan, if I'm a Seahawk fan I'm hoping that both Berry and Thomas are still sitting here (as they may well be) - if the Skins take the tackle and the choice isn't Okung or Thomas - but the choice is Williams from Oklahoma or Thomas, then it's closer - if the choice is Williams or Berry, then I think Seattle takes the safety and looks to get the tackle with their second pick.
7. Cleveland - Earl Thomas S Texas
The Browns need a QB - if Holmgren's in love with Claussen, as he might be, he might just take him here and deal with the "next Brady Quinn" fallout in Cleveland. The Browns need a WR, and there's a number one WR sitting right there in Dez Bryant who has taken some character hits in the process - but who I would take in the top ten without hesitation. One of those positions is where the Browns go at #38, my favorite QB in the draft is Colt McCoy, he's absolutely who I would want to run my west coast offense were I in the position of Cleveland or Seattle - I'd trade back into the bottom of the first round to get him - and if the Browns don't take Claussen here (or Bryant - Browns fans, it's okay to take Dez Bryant) McCoy does not get by them in the second.
8. Oakland - Trent Williams T Oklahoma
Most mocks (okay, all mocks) have a run on tackles in the top ten that wouldn't leave Williams available to Oakland here, and so that leaves the guess at the Raiders pick all over the damn place. Admittedly, there are other reasons as to why the Raiders are hard to predict. But if the most athletic tackle prospect in still on the board (he could go as high as 4 to the Skins) he can't get past Oakland. They should cut bait on Russell, incidentally - and were I to be doing a more freewheeling mock draft I'd say they take this pick, and their #39 and send it to Pittsburgh for Roethlisburger. Now that's a fun Thursday night at the NFL Draft - if Goodell comes to the podium and says "we have a trade" - a 28 year old 2 time Super Bowl winning QB headed to Oakland would be extra, extra fun. I don't know who the Steelers would take - Claussen, maybe. If the Steelers could move Ben to the Raiders for those two picks - then take the Raiders picks plus their number one pick - and offer that whole package to the Rams so they could move to the top spot and take Bradford, that would be a good turn of events too. Steelers get Bradford. Raiders get Big Ben. Rams get 2 number ones and a high number two (is that enough? do the Rams need Pittsburgh's second round also? Lets throw that in. Bradford to the Steelers, Ben to the Raiders - and 2 ones and 2 twos to the Rams. That will not happen - but if its the Rams somehow who are picking here, they take Bryant and people think I have a mole in the NFL.)
9. Buffalo - Bryan Bulaga T Iowa
This is the guy I want; I want Bulaga - I want Bulaga to just last 4 more picks and I want my Niners to take him and bookend him with Joe Staley. That's what I want. I don't think he gets past the Bills and I agree with the current McShay mock - Tim Tebow to Buffalo with their 2nd round pick (and maybe they have to trade into the very end of the first) makes sense too. I wouldn't do it; wouldn't ever, ever do it - but it would make sense for the Bills.
10. Jacksonville - Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma St
I just refuse to believe that a team in such desperate need for a number one WR can turn down a number one WR in this spot. I'm not seeing it in the mocks - and the Jags do have other needs - if one of those safeties is still here, that would be hard to pass up - the Jags need an edge pass rusher, but this is not the year for a premium pass rusher - maybe they move out for someone who wants Claussen - but if its me, I absolutely take Bryant in this spot and I throw him the ball for the next 8 years.
11. Denver - Rolando McClain ILB Alabama
-You know who is glad Bryant's not on the board - Josh McDaniels, cause they are in bad, bad, post Brandon Marshall need for a wideout, and then McDaniels has to deal with character questions from local media all offseason. Instead of that - Denver fills its most pressing need, inside linebacker, with a guy given the imprint of off the charts leadership and high character. McShay says they trade down to take Pouncey, which also makes a ton of sense - but if they stay here, and I think they should, they should take McClain.
12. Miami - Jason Pierre Paul DE South Florida
-Not a great year to need a pass rusher - but the Fish have their pick. Morgan's and Graham are both safer - Kindle's a tweener - could be Parcells likes any of them more than JPP, who is a boom or bust (I'd predict the latter). Almost cetainly though, given the needs of the teams above them and the value on the board, Miami will have its pick of the litter here. I'm totally guessing to say it will be JPP.
(all I have time for now; hopefully I'll get back and edit in the rest of round one before the actual draft begins, just enough so literally no one will have time to read it when its still timely. Hey, did you hear one of the women complaining about sexual harrassment from Steven Seagall is Ray Charles's granddaughter?)
13. San Francisco - Anthony Davis T Rutgers
I don't particularly like Davis.
Here's the thing - the Niners absolutely have got, without any question, to come out of this draft with two new linemen and a cornerback. Ideally all of whom could start this season. There's been some Spiller talk in this spot and look, I like CJ Spiller (I'd rather have Matthews or Best) but I like CJ Spiller - however, the problem with this football team isn't Glen Coffee - it's the OL, and we need two new starters. Fortunately, we have two first round picks. Davis is clearly the 4th of the tackles and most projections have him gone by now - I sort of hope he is, because as much as we need linemen, the value in this spot is in the interior. Mike Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey both look to my eyes as superior prospects, less bust potential - and as badly as we need a tackle, I'd be inclined to use one of the first round picks on an interior lineman.
Who I don't want, by the way, is my guy Brown - I don't love any of the Trojans in this years class, I'm good with Mays - I'm okay with Griffen - I sort of like Williams - I do not want Charles Brown, he's Kwame revisited.
If Davis is still there we have to take him.
McShay has us taking Clausen.
Please, please, please don't pick Jimmy Clausen.
I don't like Alex Smith - he's a backup. So's David Carr. I think so is Jimmy Clausen - I think Clausen's a backup in waiting and I do not want him. Two linemen and a corner. Thank you.
14. Seattle - CJ Spiller RB Clemson
I don't think Pete can pass on the playmaker twice, but I don't think this is where they should go - if they get the tackle with the first pick, either a DE (Morgan still on the board) or better, Joe Haden, would make more sense to me. Too hard not to take Spiller though I would guess.
15. NYG - Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
The Giants have to be banking on McClain to take over the middle - but seeing him gone, they look to refurbish that DL rotation with the top rated end in the class.
16. Tennessee - Brandon Graham DE Michigan
Titans might be looking to flip with NY to get Morgan; if you're Seattle, you know neither NY or Tennessee will take Spiller, it gives you a trade down chance; see if that eventuates.
17. San Francisco - Joe Haden CB Florida
Haden immediately becomes a starter - this move allows us to take advantage of the uncapped year to cut Nate Clements.
18. Pittsburgh - Kareem Jackson CB Alabama
I don't know if the Steelers like Jackson or Haden more, Jackson might better fit their scheme - and this is a trade down situation given the numbers of needs they have (yes, Jimmy Claussen - still on the board; so is Golden Tate for that matter) but in this spot I'll say they get the fast CB.
19. Atlanta - Jerry Hughes OLB TCU
The best pass rusher in the draft - this would be a smart, smart pick.
20. Houston - Ryan Matthews RB Fresno St
Texans need a corner - and if either Haden or Jackson is still on the board, they probably take him - even then they might decide to reach just a little bit for Kyle Wilson (or deal down just a handful of picks). But just as I have Hughes as the best pass rusher - I have Matthews as the best running back - I don't have any idea if the Texans are of a similar mind, but I just could not pass him up at this spot.
21. Cincinnati - Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma
Just seems like a perfect fit on every corner. They might consider Claussen.
22. New England - Sergio Kindle OLB Texas
-Pats need an athletic, active outside linebacker - there happens to be one around.
23. Green Bay - Mike Iupati G Idaho
This could be a trade down - I'm debating here among Saffold and Wilson - but I'll say it's Iupati who turns out to be a Pro Bowl fan favorite down the road in green and gold.
24. Philadelphia - Maurkice Pouncey C Florida
Pouncey would be a great pick for the Eagles; this is the problem with a mock draft (the problem? you think there's just the one?) I'm everyone's GM and now I'm in my own interior linemen run - "Jesus, I just took Iupati - I better hop on Pouncey before I miss out!"
25. Baltimore - Kyle Wilson CB Boise St
I'm listening to Rev Bob Levy cut a vicious promo on the Stern show; I don't know if anyone from the Howard crew responded today; the show has really, really misses Artie this year; it feels like they're marking time. Oh - yeah, Wilson's good. Good pick Ozzie. Nice work. Jimmy Claussen still sits in the draft room.
26. Arizona - Brian Price DT UCLA
I really like Price in this scheme. I wonder if they rattle Leinart by taking Claussen.
27. Dallas - Roger Saffold T Indiana
If the Packers haven't already taken him, this is the best tackle left on the board to replace Flozell Adams.
28. San Diego - Terrence Cody DT Alabama
This is earlier than he's projected, and as the Chargers have the Seahawks pick early in the second they might wait - but I think they might, if Matthews is gone as I have him gone in this projection - decide to take Gerhart with that pick - so it's Cody here.
29. NJ Jets - Everson Griffin DE USC
I love everything the Jets have done this offseason, by the way. The bet here is Ryan thinks he can get Griffin to rev his motor more consistently.
30. Minnesota - Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
And then this happens.
31. Indianapolis - Charles Brown T USC
Best lineman still on the board - I don't like him, but this is a reasonable pick.
32. New Orleans - Sean Lee LB Penn St
The Saints won the Super Bowl. Huh.
Enjoy the draft.