February 12, 2009
As an avowed, unabashedly partisan New Orleans Saints fan, I almost choked with glee on my midday Mike and Ikes when I read Mel Kiper's suggestion to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on spending the 19th pick of the first round in April's draft:
By that time, top quarterback prospects such as Georgia's Matthew Stafford and Southern California's Mark Sanchez likely will be gone, but Kiper believes the Bucs could be in position to land a quality quarterback in the middle of the first round.
"Maybe a Josh Freeman out of Kansas State is a quarterback they think seriously about at that point," Kiper said.
"The biggest thing Tampa Bay has to do is figure out who is going to be their quarterback," Kiper said. "This may be the time to get somebody in the first round and commit to that guy, look forward. And if Josh Freeman turns out to be that guy worthy to be the 19th pick, it would be somebody you'd have to consider." [Emphasis added]
I wrote a colleague somewhat familiar with Freeman's career for his reaction to Kiper's suggestion -- which is, for the record, "Josh Freeman is a quarterback you have to think seriously about in the first round" -- to which he responded (and I quote),
That echoes not only my reaction but that of most of the Big 12, I would think, outside of Iowa State and Texas A&M, the only teams Kansas State managed to defeat in-conference last year. I mean, Freeman is huge, and had a lot of hype coming out of high school, and his numbers improved every year. He even led a pair of upsets over Texas as a freshman and sophomore (albeit with an unusual amount of help from turnovers and special teams in both instances). I'm sure he can throw the ball like a thousand yards.
But then, I'm making the classic mistake of assuming actual results on the field have any bearing on a player's projection to the next level, which clearly has never been the case once the measuring tape comes out. No, you should probably just ignore everything you've seen the last three years: Josh Freeman will go on the first day, Tim Tebow will be a tight end and I will continue to have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to the draft because there is no translation whatsoever.
Just remember who called it when Freeman kills an entire section by dislodging the skull on Raymond James' giant pirate ship with an errant throw.