Reflections on Day One of the Draft

Apr 29, 2011 3 Comments

Photo By: Zennie Abraham

By Sportsglutton

The majority of the NFL’s 2011 Draft first round last night carried with it some of the best drama in recent memory and more importantly for a short time allowed us to forget that the upcoming season is in a state of limbo. Here are a few of my initial thoughts on last night’s entertainment:

Cam Newton: When the Carolina Panthers made Cam Newton the first overall pick and the one year wonder from Auburn made his way to the stage it finally struck me what is so unsettling about the young quarterback.  Newton is off putting to many people because of his hubris and for allegedly receiving a hefty sum of money to attend the University of Auburn.  The cocky smile is also particularly annoying, principally because this kid hasn’t done a damn thing in the NFL. 

However, what disturbs me about Newton is he doesn’t seem at all to have a humble bone in his body.  A word to the wise Mr. Newton; you might be the number one overall pick, but let me assure you that your road to glory is going to be much more difficult than any other quarterback in the draft and every veteran defensive player is going to be gunning for you.  Let’s see how long that grin lasts after being confronted with adversity in the NFL.

Atlanta moving up for Julio Jones: Watching the pre-draft shows it was clear that Cleveland and Atlanta had a deal in place for the Falcons to move up 21 spots to claim a wide receiver (assuming that either Green or Jones were available).  Thus it was of no surprise when the traded transpired and Atlanta selected Alabama’s Julio Jones.  What was surprising was what the Falcons gave up for the right to select at #6: their 2nd and 4th pick in 2011 and 1st and 4th picks in 2012.  My initial reaction was that Jones had better contribute to delivering at least one Super Bowl for the Falcons and that Cleveland has prudently loaded up on picks.  I understand Atlanta’s thinking of attempting to make their offense more dynamic, but the morning after I’m still unsettled by the Falcons giving up so much to win right now. It had better pay off.

Photo By: Marianne O'Leary

Gruden beating down Kiper: If you weren’t watching ESPN’s coverage of the draft then you missed Jon Gruden’s early beat downs of Mel Kiper.  Especially humorous had to have been after Jack Locker was selected by the Titans and Gruden calling out Kiper as a pure numbers guy who didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.  I don’t care if Gruden is right or wrong, but anytime you can watch Kiper being called a chump is priceless.

The Lions take Fairley at #13: A few months ago it was almost unimaginable that Fairley would be selected this late in the draft.  In hindsight perhaps it was the best thing for him and the league.  The Lions are on the upswing and the combination of Suh and Fairley on the DL should concern every opposing offensive coordinator.  To quote Jim Rome…UH-OH!

Locker, Gabbert, Ponder: The Titans, Jaguars, and Vikings all arguably made a stretch with their first round quarterback selections.  So what’s new? Quarterback is the most important position on the field and if each team believes they selected the right quarterback for their system then kudos.  However, showing the patience to develop a young quarterback is another matter entirely.

Is Heisman winner Mark Ingram the perfect fit in New Orleans?

Mark Ingram: Just when it seemed that destiny was keeping Ingram around for the Packers to select at #32, the Saints swooped in to take the Heisman winning running back at #28.  I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed…I mean couldn’t you just see Ingram on the frozen tundra running over people and becoming an instrumental part of future Packer championship teams? Nonetheless, congratulations to New Orleans and it will be interesting to see if with Ingram’s talents, Sean Payton can make the Saints offense even more potent than in years past.  Note to Reggie Bush…stop crying on Twitter.

Looking forward:

  • John Elway keeps professing his love for Tim Tebow, but it will be interesting to see when or if the Broncos select a quarterback in this draft.  Btw is Kyle Orton a distance memory in Denver? He’s not a glamorous quarterback but hasn’t he proved that he has enough talent/wherewithal to be a starting quarterback in this league?
  • After the Falcons jump to pick Julio Jones, the second buzz in the draft was the Niners passing on a quarterback with their first pick and instead selecting DE Aldon Smith.  This was somewhat surprising, but the recent buzz in Northern California and Nevada has Jim Harbaugh gunning for Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. With Mallett, Dalton and Kaepernick all still on the board it will be interesting to see who San Francisco selects with their second pick or if they could to surprise analysts again by passing on a quarterback.  If the latter happens, could Harbaugh be simply treading water during the 2011 season and waiting for Andrew Luck to graduate?
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3 Responses to “Reflections on Day One of the Draft”

  1. Chris Ross says:

    I’m not too big on the Jones trade at all. They moved up 21 spots in the 1st round to get the guy who is supposedly the 2nd best receiver in the draft. I know they’re looking to win now and they’re in that mode but 4 additional picks on top of their 1st rounder seems like a heavy price to pay just so they could pick a receiver.

    Oh yeah, love Jon Gruden :)

  2. Sportsgrinder says:

    I also agree that the Falcons gave up too much to get Jones. However, I do believe that Jones can be an impact player right away in the Falcons offense. Day 2 should be interesting…

  3. sportsglutton says:

    I guess the real question is what is the price the Falcons place on winning a Super Bowl. If Jones helps deliver it then it is all worth wild I guess. Still a huge risk to take, especially when the team didn’t necessarily lose in the playoffs because of its offensive passing attack. The Falcons had peak to too early and one cause of that was Michael Turner’s legs were dead by the end of the season. How about drafting another stud at running back instead? Ingram anyone? oh..that’s right the Saints, your division rival drafted him.

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