T Nation

2008 NFL Draft


#1

So I turned on ESPN this afternoon and saw that the Miami Dolphins signed Michigan OT Jake Long to a 5-year, $57.75 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. Personally, I saw this coming. Bill Parcells knows how to build football teams and Jake Long is far and wide the best overall player in the Draft. Congrats Miami, you've just laid the best possible foundation to building a winning team.

Now, onto the rest of the Draft. My Giants showed me that they can pick players well last year. Ahmad Bradshaw was a total steal in the 7th round (he played my school in the C-USA and was absolutely brilliant). I'm guaranteeing that the Bucs, my hometown team (and my "other" team) are going to baffle Kiper, McShay, and everyone else with their first round pick -- they always do.

Lastly on my quick rundown, Kevin Smith (RB, UCF) is incomprehensibly the most underrated player in the Draft. He's not even on ESPN's, McShay's, or Kiper's list of Top 5 RBs. I've watched him play for 3 years at UCF (1 year in person as a student) and he is the real deal. My jury is still out on McFadden, but regardless, the safest bet at RB is Kevin Smith. He has amazing vision, great agility and power, moderate speed but an uncanny ability to break away from the pack, and he simply KNOWS how to play football. He'll probably go in the late 2nd Round. Any later than that and I officially give up on the scouting process.


#2

There are no safe bets in football. You’d be better off trading all of your picks for a bunch of third or fourth rounders.

Look at the Dolphins, if Jake Long turns out to be anything other than a perennial All-Star, then their cap is fucked. He’s already making more money than Ladanian Tomlinson and he hasn’t even played a down. Historically, I believe something like 20-30% of offensive lineman taken in the top 10 of the draft never even become consistent veteran starters, and that is one of the safest positions to draft high.

I think that any team drafting high that cannot trade down should go with the best offensive and defensive lineman available, particularly quick explosive defensive lineman and the opposing lineman that can block them. That is one concern I have about Jake Long, he was a mauler in college but can he handle the likes of Umenyiora or Jared Allen?

Quarterbacks are risky and taking the wrong guy with a high pick can practically sink your franchise (Vick, Carr, Boller), because you have to commit to the guy so much money and give him the time to learn the ropes. However, I guess if you look at teams like the Giants and the Colts, that has paid off. On the flip side you have guys like Brady, Derek Anderson, Romo and Hasselbeck who have done excellent and were late round or undrafted.

I would avoid McFadden like the plague, running backs have such a short career span and can easily be replaced. Additionally, it seems very easy to pick up a guy in the late first round that can be a productive performer or a final piece to the puzzle, like Addai or Maroney. Teams who try to build around the early-pick franchise back seem to struggle with the exception of a team like the Chargers who happened to hit on a running back and a quarterback on the same year.

Actually, maybe teams could just steal the Chargers draft board for their high picks. Over the past few years they’ve nailed choices such as Brees, Rivers (time will tell but he seems good), Tomlinson, Merriman, Jackson (seems to be developing nicely), Jammer (not quite as good as hyped but a solid starter) and Castillo.


#3

There’s just something about McFadden that makes me uneasy. Can’t put my finger on it, but I just don’t think he’ll be a great NFL back.

I like Kevin Smith, though he looks a little slow on film, but I am interested to see how things go for him. I agree he is underrated.


#4

Everyone thinks McFadden is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Why? Adrian Peterson. No one realizes that Adrian Peterson is a SPECIAL player. He has a fire burning inside of him, he has intangibles that we don’t even know about. On top of that, he has tremendous physical ability.

McFadden has none of that. Sure, he’s fast, but he’s not strong like Peterson. McFadden has scrawny legs, and that won’t cut it in the NFL. Also, I just think he’s being hyped up way too much. Yes, he’s good, but he’s not the Jesus of an inept offense.

And for the most part, lineman are the safest bets in general. I knew Robert Gallery was going to be a bust, simply because his stock rose primarily after the combine, where he ran a 4.7 second 40-yard dash. Since when do OTs need to run 40 yards?! Never! Therefore, stats like that should be completely disregarded in terms of ANY of the offensive line. But look at the Browns last year. Joe Thomas was the man last season, he owned DEs left and right and was arguably one of the top reasons for their newfound success.


#5

I was just about to start a thread on this.

I was really hoping that J. Long would fall to #3 and that the Chiefs would make a move for him, obviously that’s dead.

I am assuming that a deal for Jared Allen will be worked out this week. I don’t like it but it’s bound to happen now. We will end up with another first rounder and either another 2nd or third.

I’ve heard a couple rumors that Chris Long is slipping a bit. If he is there at 5, the Chiefs have to take him. If Vernon Gohlston is available, you consider him too. Otherwise, they need to try to trade down and then get Branden Albert (OG) Jeff Otah(OT) or Derrick Harvey (DE). With the second 1st rounder and the first 2nd rounder they pick the best lineman available. If Aqib Talib falls to the top of the second, which he may due to testing positive for marijuana, he may be a good value here, but I don’t like taking the risk on a pothead.

My most underrated player is K-State WR Jordy Nelson. I’m hoping the Chiefs pick him up with thier 3rd rounder or the other 2nd rounder if they pick one up in the JA deal. This guy is like a bigger Wayne Chrebet or Wes Welker. Great hands, runs great routes, and has deceptive speed for his size. He will probably never be a star, but he would make a great #2 to compliment Dwayne Bowe, or could be a reliable number 1 somewhere. He will likely go late in the third or early fourth.

I’m with everyone else on McFadden. Great athlete, but too many off-the-field problems to warrant a top 10 pick. Throw in the trend of running back’s not lasting long, and the questions about him converting to the NFL well, and he may slip past 15. If a team is looking for a RB, I think Ray Rice will be a great pickup in the second round.


#6

Rumor has it my vikes upped their offer for jared allen to their 1st and 3rd round pick this year and a 2nd rounder next year. Just get the deal done. Jared allen was the best DE in football last year and next to the williams wall he will be unstoppable.

As far as the draft goes, this is going to be one damn undpredictable draft… whens the last time the top 5 picks were so unsettled (aside from long) and up in air? Usually everyone has a pretty good idea where a player is going, not so this year… its going to get interesting, expect some crazy reaches and big falls in this one…


#7

[quote]schanz_05 wrote:
Jared allen was the best DE in football last year[/quote]

Have you heard of any three of the Giants’ DEs?


#8

Spoiler:

Miami will still suck.

He has an offensive line.

This is true, but backs, te’s and linemen are universally the best bets for an offense in a draft. Most high-quality backs can be plugged into most of the offenses in the NFL and perform well. If you’re interested in both a long career and a high potential of success then no one should draft anyone from a position other than D-Line, LB or S/FS.


#9

[quote]schanz_05 wrote:
Rumor has it my vikes upped their offer for jared allen to their 1st and 3rd round pick this year and a 2nd rounder next year. Just get the deal done. Jared allen was the best DE in football last year and next to the williams wall he will be unstoppable.

[/quote]

Last I heard the vikes offered their first and the first of their two thirds. The chiefs are apparently holding out for a first and second this year. I still don’t like trading him, but if the Chiefs are hell bent on it, the deal you reported sounds good to me.


#10

[quote]Dweezil wrote:
This is true, but backs, te’s and linemen are universally the best bets for an offense in a draft. Most high-quality backs can be plugged into most of the offenses in the NFL and perform well. If you’re interested in both a long career and a high potential of success then no one should draft anyone from a position other than D-Line, LB or S/FS.[/quote]

Defensive line, tackles in particular, are one of the hardest positions to hit on.


#11

[quote]tedro wrote:
Defensive line, tackles in particular, are one of the hardest positions to hit on.[/quote]

Which makes the Bucs picking Warren Sapp that much better.

And to whoever said Adrian Peterson has a great offensive line, you’re exactly right. He’s got one of the best guards in the history of football leading the way, and last year, they also had Tony Richardson, one of the best fullbacks in history.

No comparison to McFadden, not a chance.


#12

[quote]tedro wrote:
Defensive line, tackles in particular, are one of the hardest positions to hit on.[/quote]

In the early-mid first round? I’ve always thought the dline picks in the first round had a pretty solid record of success (relative to other positions).


#13

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
schanz_05 wrote:
Jared allen was the best DE in football last year

Have you heard of any three of the Giants’ DEs?[/quote]

Jared Allen had 15.5 sacks last season… the most in the nfl

oh yeah… he did it in 14 games too

Osi is great, but last year jared allen was better


#14

[quote]Dweezil wrote:
tedro wrote:
Defensive line, tackles in particular, are one of the hardest positions to hit on.

In the early-mid first round? I’ve always thought the dline picks in the first round had a pretty solid record of success (relative to other positions).[/quote]

Hes right there are a lot of busts between DLineman mostly because they are one of the hardest positions to fill, and stud lineman have the potential to have a huge impact on games which causes some reaches in the first round… i should know… being a vikings fan… udeze, james… ugh


#15

man the nfl draft is like the lottery you really have no idea how good your player is going to be, a lot of the best players end up being deep in the draft. I think jake long is a beast, yet I think he needs to put on some more size to move the monsters in the NFL like he did in college. He is under 300 lbs I think but very strong, yet so are all of the nfl defensive lineman.


#16

I agree with the consensus that McFadden is not going to materialize in the NFL. He just has that long, lanky body style that I don’t see working out in the NFL. It seems to me that the recent NFL greats tend to be shorter and a hell of a lot thicker. You need that thickness to do well in the NFL, otherwise you end up like Reggie Bush.

On that note, I think Mendenhall will be the best back from this crop. He seems to have the total package: size, strength, speed, and can catch the ball pretty well from what I’ve seen.


#17

[quote]schanz_05 wrote:
Jared Allen had 15.5 sacks last season… the most in the nfl

oh yeah… he did it in 14 games too

Osi is great, but last year jared allen was better[/quote]

True. But I’m hearing that they want to trade Allen to the Vikings. They’d be idiots if they did. The Chiefs need help, but they’re not as far from contending as people think. Sure, they could use the draft picks, but Allen is someone you just don’t give up.


#18

I saw the Long signing coming. Miami’s OL was horrible, and is their biggest concern. Parcells had his way in making a mammoth OL in Dallas, and Long just seems like a Parcells type of player.

I don’t care if it’s Bo Jackson, no RB warrants a top 10 pick in today’s NFL, let alone a #1. The 5 guys in front of him are so much more important to a team’s success than he ever could be. I think the Jets take McFadden anyway.

My guesses for the rest of the top 10 are:

Rams: Dorsey
Falcons: Ryan
Raiders: C. Long
Chiefs: Gholston
Jets: McFadden
Patriots: Will trade down or reach on a defensive back who will become a perennial pro-bowler
Bengals: Harvey
Saints: Rivers


#19

[quote]Dirty_Bulk wrote:
Falcons: Ryan[/quote]

I think this QB class is collectively horrible. Everyone says Matt Ryan is the best, but I’m not sure. Personally, I think Henne has the best chance at being the best in the Draft.

On QBs, I hate how all the “experts” are saying that the Ravens need a QB in the Draft. Did anyone watch Troy Smith play last season? He balled it up, even though I don’t think he’s won a game. He’s the real deal, and they’re fools if they listen to the media.


#20

He may have a good offensive line, particularly on the left side, but Purple Jesus is still a phenom.
Plus the Vikes’ passing game blows chunks.