April 26, 2008
The new ten-minute limit for making a selection. What a beautiful thing. In previous years, if you were actually able to endure the entire first-round, when it was over, you felt like you just finished a 12-round wrestling match against a syphilitic polar bear on PCP.
This year, the first round's in the books, and I feel as fresh as Martha Stewart's freshly-laundered unmentionables. I'm ready for more, baby. Bring on the second round.
And the amount of trades made just underscores how completely unnecessary those extra five minutes were. Twelve of the picks made in the first round were made by a team that traded to get to that position. Whoever came up with that original 15-minute time limit should be beaten with a sock full of nickels.
Pittsburgh taking Rashard Mendenhall. There's nothing wrong with Willie Parker, necessarily, but the Steelers have always preferred to have a pounder in the backfield. It's not always so much about how many yards a running back gains; it's about how much he can wear down a defense, how much time he can take off the clock, and how much punishment he can inflict.
On paper, I guess it makes sense for Dallas to take Felix Jones to turn up the speed on the outside and compliment Marion the Barbarian on the inside, but ten years from now, I think Mendenhall's going to have proved himself to be the much better back, and people will wonder how the Cowboys ever passed on Mendenhall to take Jones.
The Titans treating Vince Young like he's Tom Brady. Pre-Randy Moss, Tom Brady proved that you could put him out there with any group of borderline-Arena league wide receivers, and he could still excel. For some reason, the Titans refuse to accept that this isn't the case with Vince Young.
They had their pick of any receiver they wanted in the first round, and instead, they went for a running back who isn't thought to be a game-changer. Sort of like, oh, I don't know ... LenDale White, Chris Brown, or Chris Henry.
I remember reading somewhere a while ago that the Titans weren't making any great effort to get Vince Young any good receivers, because they felt it didn't matter, as Young couldn't deliver the ball to them anyway. I laughed when I read it, but maybe that really is the case. Maybe the Titans feel like giving Vince Young good receivers is the equivalent of putting high-octane gasoline into a '77 Ford Maverick.
The NFL Network's coverage. This might actually be more of a thumbs-down for ESPN's coverage, but you know me, I'm a guy who likes to keep things positive.
It took me a while to switch from ESPN to the NFL Network, but when I finally did, it felt like I'd been released from a Vietnamese POW camp. The NFL Network coverage wasn't in HD (and I can't imagine what could have taken precedence for their HD equipment this weekend), but it was less cluttered, more straightforward, more analysis-based, and 78% less obnoxious.
The ESPN guys, with Chris Berman as the ringleader, treated the draft like it was officially titled, "The NFL Presents Four Hours of ESPN Personality and Charm, With The Occasional Draft Selection Happening in the Background," while the NFL Network guys (most of them, anyway) seemed to get that they weren't the show.
The Jersey-Sellers at the Yahoo! Sports Shop. They certainly didn't waste any time in getting new jerseys available for the top draft picks. Of course, if you're in that big of a hurry, you're going to have to settle for your team's jersey, with their draft pick's name, and the number "1." I don't think it's likely that Jake Long will be wearing the "1" while plying his trade at left tackle for the Dolphins, but what the hell, be bold. Wear a Jake Long #1 jersey. I dare you.
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