Friday, April 29, 2011

Steve's First Round Live Blog Spectacular

I have been planning for a few weeks now to give you a glimpse into my living room and my brain as I watch and react to the NFL Draft. I plan to do the same thing during Saints games this fall. As things get going, I will update the post with comments, concerns, and questions. I hope to make sure 90% of the content will be just as interesting to read tomorrow as it is today. I know there is an open thread going at CSC and this is just another option. A way to double your pleasure and a way to have another guest at your draft party. I promise not to double dip a chip, sit in your favorite seat, or harm your children.

7:35 PM EST: The Commissioner comes out to a round of boos, a "WE WANT FOOTBALL," and "LET THEM PLAY." chants. He repeats to the crowd three or four times that he hears them. Eventually, he uses the tragedy at Tuscaloosa to quiet the crowd as to allow for a moment of silence. Mr. Goodell now knows what its like to be Gary Bettman who is booed wherever he goes.

7:50: We are about ten minutes away and I am thinking about all of the Bills fans out there. I think this would be the best case scenario for them:

1. Cam Newton (Carolina)

2. Tron Smith (Denver)

If this were to happen, the Bills would have there choice of the best defensive players on the board. More likely, I would project it out like this:

1. Cam Newton (Carolina)

2. Von Miller (Denver)

In this case I would assume that the Bills would either (from least likely to most) trade back a few spots and select Blaine Gabbert, or stay put and select Patrick Peterson, or stay put and select Marcell Dareus.

This is how I would bet the first five picks will shake out:

1. Cam Newton (Carolina)

2. Von Miller (Denver)

3. Marcell Dareus (Bills)

4. AJ Green (Bengals)

5. Patrick Peterson (Cardinals)

If the draft plays out that way, I would expect the Cardinals to do back-flips and somersaults on their way to turn the PP pick in. 

7:55: Another one of my favorite things to do during the draft is to root against the other three NFC South teams. Tonight, I am rooting hard for the Panthers to pick Cam Newton. I think he has train wreck written all over him. I am terrified of Dareus and would rather not have to worry about him knocking down Drew Brees the way he did to Texas QB Colt McCoy in the 2010 National Championship Game.
What do you guys hope the Panthers do with this pick as a Saints fan?
What channel are you watching on? NFL or ESPN?

Who do you think will face the embarrassment of sitting in the green room all night and not getting picked in the first round? I will throw out three names that I think could face this cruel fate:

1. Randall Cobb (Kentucky)

2. Akeem Ayers (UCLA)
3. Mark ingram (Alabama)

8:00: The Commissioner is again booed and again he seems to hate it. He opens the draft and the Panthers are officially on the clock.

8:06: Cam Newton is officially made the first pick of the 2011 draft. As a Saints fan, I can't wait until he makes his first trip to the SuperDome and Greg Williams confuses him with so many different blitz packages that not even his stolen laptop can compute any understanding for the kid. My first red flag, and the reason that I don't think he will be worthy of the pick, is that I just don't see him as passionate enough. That might not be fair on my part because I don't know the kid personally, but something about the way he represents himself reminds me of Aaron Brooks.

8:09: Bills fans are officially sweating as the Broncos will select a player that a large portion of their fan base has their hearts set on. The Bills have drafted three running backs since the last time they made the playoffs and only C.J. Spiller is still on the team.

8:12: The Broncos make an outstanding pick by selecting Von Miller from Texas A&M. They wasted a first round pick last year when they selected Tim Tebow, but they made no mistake today. Did anyone else feel a chill when ESPN showed him practically sobbing on the phone in the green room? BTW, why do they kill the drama like that by spoiling the pick with the green-room phone call? Does anyone like that? Can't they show it as a highlight?

8:17: ESPN goes to commercial for the first time as the Bills are on the clock. I can feel all of Buffalo take a deep breath and cross their fingers that the old men that run the team don't screw this up. UNCONFIRMED STAT: The Bills draft room is the oldest in the NFL with a combined age of 22,023. Congratulations.

8:20: All of Buffalo exhales as the card is turned in and the Commissioner announces Marcell Dareus is the third pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. This was a great pick and if they sign this kid on time defensive line could be one of the strengths of the team this year. Kyle Williams is a stud at NT and Dareus is going to be a great fit.

8:24: The number one player on Wes Buntings big board is selected at #4 by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals picked Jermaine Gresham last year in the first round and he made a huge impact on the field. On ESPN, Chris Berman mentions that the last four wide receivers picked in the top five have had success in the league (Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Braylon Edwards). If you look at that list it has to make you love the pick even more. The Bengals have some weapons on offense now. Does Carson Palmer have enough left in the tank to take advantage?

8:27: I would think a huge cheer just erupted in the Cardinals draft room. Patrick Peterson is the best player in the draft and would make a great DB tandem with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

8:32: Sure enough, Patrick Peterson is the pick. I went 5-0 with my mini-mock at the beginning of the blog. I don't think that makes me a genesis, but I think it shows that the first five picks of the draft made sense. Cleveland is a team that doesn't make sense. Let's see if this is the first shock. I would think the Browns would take Julio Jones.

8:35: NIGHTMARE. The Falcons have traded into the #6 spot to pick Julio Jones (I presume). Roddey White and Julio Jones could be the best 1-2 punch in the league in a few years. The draft is only 35 minutes old and two of the teams in the Saints division have made large impact selections.

8:37: The Commissioner makes it official that the Falcons have selected WR Julio Jones. The Falcons paid a huge sum for this privilege. ESPN announces that the Falcons get only Julio Jones, and the Browns get the 27th pick in the draft, the Falcons 2nd and 4th in this year's draft and Atlanta's 1st and 4th next year. Do you think he is worth it?

8:41: The 49ers are on the clock. Just to take a guess, if I was a 49er fan, I would want to take Prince Amukamara. I think he is a safer pick than any of the quarterbacks available. Gabbert wouldn't shock me, but I think they will give Alex Smith another chance to play without having to look over his shoulder.

8:44: The 49ers throw the first curve ball by selecting Aldon Smith DE from Missouri. It seems like a bit of a reach to pick a Sophomore with the 7th pick. Aaron Maybin was also a guy selected high by the Bills a few years ago that had limited experience. My question now is how long until we see a QB selected?

8:48: HOW ABOUT RIGHT NOW! WOW! The Titans select Jake Locker with the 8th pick of the 2011 draft. I am happy about this pick for a few reasons. Jake Locker went back to school to graduate and help his team reach a bowl game. After the Nebraska game last fall, Locker's stock started to drop faster than the stock marker in 1929. I tend to have a soft spot in my heart for guys who stay in school. I think it is great for college football and great for the NFL. I am glad he is still going to get paid and I hope he succeeds in the next level.

8:50: I love the pace and intrigue of the draft at this point. The picks are coming in quicker than I can type. This is another chance to see Prince Amukamara come off the board, but I would work on keeping Tony Romo safe and take the OT Tyron Smith from USC.

8:54: The Cowboys make Wes Bunting a happy man as Tyron Smith is the pick by the Cowboys. When I talked to Wes earlier in the week he loved Tyron Smith and he called him a "blue chip left tackle in the NFL." I think that pick makes a lot of sense. Cowboy's fans watched their season swirl down the drain when Tony Romo got jacked up last season against the Giants. Protecting Romo had to be a priority this off-season and the Cowboys jumped at the opportunity to do so the first chance they got.

8:59: The Redskins have made it clear that they hate Donovan McNabb. If they wanted to crystalize the point further they could pick Blaine Gabbert right now.

9:01: Instead, we have another trade. The Jaguars move up to 10 to select Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. I have never been a fan of David Gerrard (who went 8-6 and completed 65% of his passes last season), and I think the Jaguars needed to secure the QB of the future (much like division rival Tennessee did a few minutes ago).

9:05: Just got off the phone with the biggest Jaguars fan I know and he is giddy. He is pumped about the size of Gabbert He is down on Gerrard and ready for the team to move on. What are the terms of the trade?

9:10: JJ Watt is picked by the Texans and he is the first player picked that I don't think I ever watched play in college. 290 pounds and fast, the highlights make him look like a beast.

9:11: Coach Payton said before the draft that he thought five QBs would be selected before the Saints picked and with three off the board by pick eleven that prediction could come true.

9:17: The Vikings pass on whatever trade the ESPN talking head said they were going to make and instead select Christian Ponder. With Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Matt Stafford in place in the NFC North, and Brett Farve in his 36th retirement the Vikings might have felt the pressure of Tavaris Jackson. Wes Bunting had Ponder rated 40 on his big board and this pick seems to be a bit of a reach. I think they could have traded back a bit and still had a chance to draft him

9:21: The Lions need play-makers on defense and they jump on Nick Fairley to play next to Suh. I still have no idea what the terms of the Jacksonville trade are. Help? The Lions were in desperate need of a corner and I am a little surprised they passed on the Prince and Jimmy Smith.

9:27: I am sure that the Rams are disappointed that Julio Jones didn't fall to him, but that was probably wasn't realistic. Instead of getting help for Sam Bradford, the Rams pick Robert Quinn from North Carolina. Last year the Rams picked Bradford who has missed most of his previous season with injury, and Quinn literally missed the entire previous season on suspension. I guess the Rams really value the combine over college games played.

9:36: The Dolphins pass on Mark Ingram and select Mike Pouncey a center from Florida. I might be dreaming but I would love to walk away from this first round with Mark Ingram as a Saint. The Dolphins were one of the rumored teams thinking about Ingram so that is a bullet dodged. Mike Pouncey's brother Maurkice was the big injury we all followed before the Super Bowl. Maurkice's injured ankle was the the talk of media day and the bloodline might have made Mike attractive to some teams.

9:41: The Redskins are on the clock after trading with Jacksonville earlier. ESPN has spoiled the pick as Ryan Kerrigan is hugging his people in the green room. I am a big fan of Kerrigan. He is the kind of guy who just hustles and always seems to be going a million miles an hour. Coach Haslett is going to love this guy.

9:44: With that pick, we are now half way done with the first round. The pick that surprised me the most was Jay Locker to Tennessee. The pick that I liked the most was Marcell Dareus to Buffalo. The player that I am most suprised to still see available is Prince Amukamara. The pick that aggravated me the most as a Saints fan was Julio Jones to Atlanta. Sure, the Falcons gave away a ton to get him, but picks are a crap shoot. If you see a player you think is going to be great, pick him at all costs. Julio Jones is a good player. I hope Tracy Porter is ready.

9:49: The Patriots take their first of 71 picks in this year's draft and pick a guy that Wes Bunting told me had a high amount of bust potential, Nate Solder OT from Colorado. I am not a fan of the Patriots, but they needed a lineman so to me the pick makes sense. They have plenty of picks left to make and I am sure they will improve their team in the next few days.

9:53: The Chargers select Corey Luget and I know well before the Commissioner announces the pick thanks to ESPN's spoiler filled coverage. I would hate to go to a movie with the producers of this telecast. The words "spoiler alert" are not in their vocabulary.

9:56: Three minutes after ESPN lets the cat out of the bag, Roger Goodell confirms that the Chargers picked Luget. That makes the Giants on the clock, and one of the young ladies in the crowd made that her cue to scream over and over again. The screaming is so loud and persistent that I had to mute the television. The Giants could end the slide of Prince but they should go offensive line and I am scared about Ingram here.

10:00: @CSCtweet just said that with all of the defensive talnet available the Saints should move out of this round. I disagree, I think it means the Saints should take Ingram and worry about defense in round two.

10:03: The day before the Royal Wedding the Giants select Prince Henry. No, that's just silly, the GIants select Prince Amukamara.This pick is great value for the Giants. Prince was in the top 10 of just about every single mock draft I have looked at. Giants fans should be very pleased.

10:06: The Bucs are on the clock so it is time to switch gears and concentrate on helping the Bucs pick the biggest bust left on the board. I would love to see them pick a QB here because that would make absolutely no sense. That isn't going to happen so DeQuan Bowers is a guys I think I could deal with. Bowers has knee injuries. So I will cross my fingers for that.

10:10: ESPN has spoiled the pick and the Bucs will select Adrian Clayborn a DE from Iowa. This is the first player selected that I seen as a possible pick that the Saints would make on many draft boards. He also has some injury concerns but the highlights make him look pretty darn nasty. Last season the Bucs picked Gerald McCoy and with him on the inside and Clayborn on the outside the Bucs will have a scary defensive line in the future.

10:17: Interesting, the Browns have traded up form 27 (where they would have picked after trading with Atlanta) to 21 in the first round. I wonder if they want to take DeQuan Bowers? It is possible that they had him rated in the top ten on their draft board. I know he has knee concerns, but I would love to see Bowers in black and gold.

10:18: Well, ESPN made sure to spoil that pick as well and the massive DT Phil Taylor from Baylor is the guy the Browns had to move up and get. It seems a little curious to me, but with all of the flexibility they have after basically taking away all of Atlanta's future draft picks, I guess they wanted to make sure they got the guy they wanted.

10:21: Peyton Hillis the new cover boy of the Madden video game franchise is on hand to announce the Browns pick. He had dinner plans two hours ago but the trade spoiled them. He immediately thanks his lord and savior Jesus Christ who must be exhausted after completing yet another miracle; getting Peyton Hillis on the cover of Madden.

My top 3 Jesus Miracles

1. Bread to Wine
2. Walking on Water
3. Hillis on the Cover of Madden

10:25: ESPN returns from commercial to spoil any drama that might have resulted from not giving away the Colts pick before the Commishoner announced it and show a very excited Anthony Castonzo an OT from Boston College. This pick makes a ton of sense. Anytime you have a player like Peyton Manning on the field you have to make sure he is protected. Castonzo is very excited to have been selected and his energy is contagious. My brother and I just stated waving our t-shirts over our heads and doing the tomahawk chop.

10:28 The Eagles are up next and there is no chance that they will take Mark Ingram. That means he will be there if the Saints want him. At this point, DeQuan Bowers and Mark Ingram are both on the board with one pick before our beloved Saints. @j_bushrod7475 wants Ingram or Cameron Jordan DE from California. I would be happy with any of those players. Jordan is #11 on Wes Bunting's big board and has great value at this point.

10:31: A little break from the draft to salute the troops.

10:34: The Eagles select Danny Watkins an OG from Baylor and the draft is wide open for the Saints.

My ranking of players I want the Saints to draft:

1. Mark Ingram
2. DeQuan Bowers
3. Cameron Jordan
4. Jimmy Smith
5. Cameron Heyward

10:37: To quote Eddie Vedder, "The waiting drove me mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

10:38: Danny Watkins is a really cool guy. He brought a bunch of fireman to the draft with him, and he was also a former hockey player from Canada.

10:39: Jon Guden has loved every single player that has been picked so far. If he doesn't love our pick, I am going to be pissed. The draft has went perfect for Loomis and Peyton. I want Ingram so bad.

10:41: Just to break the tension a tad bit, someone just threw a crumpled up piece of paper at Mel Kiper.

10:42: Cameron Jordan is the pick. I am a little bummed that we didn't get Ingram but this pick probably makes more sense. We need to rush the QB better and this guy seems to carry top ten value to pick 24. I am excited to have him.

10:44: Just for fun, lets trade back into the first round and grab another guy.

11:00: I took a short break to help my brother set up his Yale email on his iPhone. Yea, no big deal just going to Yale. In the meantime Seattle took James Carpenter from Alabama and the Ravens passed. Huh? Passed? ESPN explains that the Ravens passed, the Chiefs rushed in a pick, and then the Ravens picked and now the Patriots are on the clock. All of that has happened but the room is quiet and nothing is being mentioned. Seattle went way off the board and suddenly the draft has just slammed on the breaks.

11:04: Mr. Goodell comes out to say that with the 26th pick the Chiefs select WR from Pitt Jon Baldwin. That should have been the Ravens pick and a few guys in Todd Heap jersey's are looking all around like they just got their wallets plucked on the subway.

11:07: I am not sure where ESPN heard that the Patriots were on the clock, but Goodell trots out to say that Jimmy Smith has been picked by the Ravens a CB from Colorado with some issues off the field.



11:11: At 10:44, I posted this: just for fun, lets trade back into the first round and grab another guy.

11:12: We know have proof that Mr. Loomis and Mr. Payton are reading this blog and didn't want me to have to go to sleep without the RB that I wanted.

11:13: Mark Ingram was not cheap. Berman says we gave up a 1 next year (pick 32 I would guess) and our 2nd round pick tomorrow.  Ingram and Jordan both have fathers that played in the NFL. Only Ingram's, is currently incarcerated. 

11:16: This is an epic first round for the Saints. We improved the pass rush and we improved the running game. What else could you want?

11:17: I don't understand why the Patriots didn't pick Mark Ingram? Who is their running back?

11:18: Imagine a backfield with Reggie Bush catching passes on the outside and Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas running on the inside.

11:19: Great moment: Suzy Kolber reads an email to Mark Ingram from his father written in prison. Ingram broke down and showed unbelievable character. I am so pumped about this pick. I am on the moon.

11:26: I have been so excited about the Saints business that I missed a pick. Or maybe a few. Lets get back on track. After the joy of Ingram, the Bears selected Gabe Carimi an OL from Wisconsin at pick 29. The Jets picked Muhammad Wilkerson a DT from Temple at 30, and the Steelers picked Cam Hayward a DT from Ohio St at 31.

11:30: There is only one more pick left and there are a bunch of unhappy football players still in the green room. I give ESPN credit, they have yet to mention that Ryan Williams from VTech, Akeem Ayers from UCLA, Randall Cobb from Kentucky, Mark Herzlich from Boston College, and Rahim Moore from UCLA are all still stewing in the green room.

11:38: The Super Bowl winning Packers end the first round by selecting Derek Sherrod an OT from Mississippi State. He was not in the greenroom.

11:40: There is still a lot of talent left for the second round. Here are my top five players for the top of round two:

1. DeQuan Bowers, DE (Clemson) - His knee must be really jacked for a guy who was talked about as a potential #1 overall pick to not get selected at all in round #1.

2. Ryan Williams, RB (VTECH) - Watching highlights I loved to watch this guy run. I thought he might be a solid running back but when we were able to get Ingram at 28 it meant only one back was going to go in round one.
3. Andy Dalton, QB (TCU) - Wes Bunting said that QB value was in the RD 2-3 range and with Dalton and Mallet and Stanzi still available some of the teams at the top of round two that passed on QB in round one should be very excited with the players still available.
4. Titus Young, WR (TCU) - With only 3 WR's taken in the first round, like QB, there will be some great value in the position tomorrow. Young, Kobb (green room causality), and Leonard Hankerson from Miami will be hot.
5. Kyle Rudolph, TE (Notre Dame) - Kyle is the highest rated (12) player left on Wes Bunting's big board.

12:00: A few interesting notes, stats, and comments from the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft

  • This is the latest in the modern era that the first running back in the draft was selected. The Saints made it happen when they delighted me by selecting Mark Ingram at 28.
  • Carolina is the fourth team to pick a QB in the first 50 picks in consecutive years in the modern era.
  • No homer: I thought the Saints had the best first round. They are the only team to walk away with two impact players. Cameron Jordan was #11 on Bunting's big board and Ingram was #8. I also thought the Lions did well to pick Nick Fairley to pair up with Suh. I also thought the Colts pick made a lot of sense.
  • Not Crazy: I thought the C. Ponder pick by the Vikings was a reach. I know what they have is brutal, but we mentioned the value of some of the players still left. 
  • 12 defensive lineman in the first round is a new record.
  • Reggie Bush is being a big baby on twitter. "it's been real New Orleans." Stop and look at the big picture Reggie. You have been a huge disapointment. You weren't worth 8 million dollars last year (that was a Super Bowl gift) and there is no chance in hell you will get 11 million this year. Restructure your deal, and pretend Ingram is Deuce McAllisrter. Let him bang and get the tough yards. It is only going to help you and make you a better running back. Don't cry.
  • Wes Bunting is smarter than me and he says that James Carpenter was the reach of the draft. Take that Seahawks. 
  • Both of the Saints first round picks are on twitter. @camjordan97 and Mark_Ingram22
Say goodnight Brees and Brady,

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