Question of the Day: Who will blow draft?

Yahoo! Sports
Yahoo! SportsApril 22, 2008

• More Questions Of the Day: Monday

The NFL draft is an opportunity for franchises to do things the right way. But in some precincts, wrong moves tend to be made time and time again. Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole, Charles Robinson and Michael Silver give their takes on which teams they believe are most likely shoot a bunch of blanks during draft weekend.


Jason Cole

Cole: The Miami Dolphins would be up there, but after putting Bill Parcells in charge, don't expect them to be that bad. The Detroit Lions are a solid candidate with such awful high picks as QB Joey Harrington (2002), WR Charles Rogers (2003) and WR Mike Williams (2005) lately, but at least they have gotten top players like Ernie Sims, Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. Now, if you're looking for a team that's consistently awful, check the Oakland Raiders this decade. For every great player, like CB Nnamdi Asomugha, there are three bad ones (Robert Gallery, Tyler Brayton and Fabian Washington). Consider this: Since 2001, the Raiders have spent five first-round picks on defensive backs, but the team still had to sign Gibril Wilson to a reported ridiculous six-year, $39 million contract this offseason and then trade for DeAngelo Hall, giving him a seven-year, $66.28 million contract. Brutal.

Charles Robinson

Robinson: Is there any question? The Lions. Period. Let's start with the fact that four of team president Matt Millen's first-round picks – selected from 2001-2005 – are no longer with the team. When the Lions needed a running back in 2002, Millen tabbed Kalimba Edwards over Clinton Portis with the 35th overall pick. When Detroit needed a franchise quarterback in 2006, Millen passed on both Jay Cutler and Matt Leinart for linebacker Ernie Sims (a very good, but not a game-changing talent). When the Lions had a multitude of other needs, Millen drafted mega-lazy Mike Williams. The next three picks after Williams? Three Pro Bowlers: DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman and Jammal Brown. And not only does Millen miss where it counts, he misses in bulk, too. Consider that his drafts from 2001 to 2005 should comprise at least a respectable portion of the team's veteran core today. Instead, only nine of the 39 picks from that draft remain, and of those nine remaining players, only four are regular starters.

Michael Silver

Silver: The team most likely to do something inane on draft day is the same franchise prone to operating in an incomprehensible manner on any given day: The Team of the Decades, a.k.a. the Raiders (19-61 over the past five seasons). In recent years, owner Al Davis' war room has been filled with two kinds of people – "yes" men and soon-to-be former Raiders employees. With second-year coach Lane Kiffin having been emasculated (purely in a figurative sense – we hope) following a 4-12 season, there's no one on the payroll who'd even dream of challenging Davis. The aging owner is still capable of making shrewd decisions but remains a sucker for speed and athleticism at the expense of football instincts. And even if Davis picks the right guys, the dysfunctional environment he created is liable to keep those players from fulfilling their promise.