“Draft Day–Reality TV–Bad TV”
The NFL Draft, the Virtual Edition, is in the books.
It was successful, it was strange, but it was substandard too.
The NFL got thru the first round without any catastrophic incidents as they plugged in Commissioner Roger Goodell, GMs, Coaches, and live look in shots to the 32-picks in the first round.
Here-there-everywhere…opinions about the NFL Draft.
CHARGERS….A very positive week for a franchise cursed by leadership, devastated by injuries, mocked in its new hometown, hated in the town they left. Drafting the QB of the future in Justin Herbert secures the franchise for the next decade, if this Oregon Duck is better than the last Oregon Duck taken high in the draft, Joey Harrington-Detroit Lions failure. Then the Bolts came out of character, giving up 2-draft picks to trade for another first round pick, and getting a gamer, blazing fast inside linebacker Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma. He can play anywhere, and now I look at all this team speed, from Joey Bosa to Melvin Ingram, to Derwin James, to Murray and say wow. All this after the Chargers unveiled a very popular new design of Powder Blue uniforms earlier the in the week. They won’t draft again till the 4th round, but who cares, they got two big time players to fill two big time needs. Nice job by GM-Tom Telesco.
MIAMI…Can you save ‘risk-vs-reward’? Everyone is raving about QB-Tua Tagovailoa and his rehab from the hip surgery. Maybe he has a solid career, but you wonder about his hip degenerating as he goes along. And you wonder about the 5-injuries-4 surgeries-in 3-years with the Tide. Maybe he will be good, maybe he is a gamble.
DALLAS…Just what they need, another quality WR-in Cee Dee Lamb of Oklahoma to play opposite Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Their secondary is shaky though.
CLEVELAND…Welcome OT-Jed Wells from Alabama, who joins big money free agent Jack Conklin upfront to protect QB-Baker Mayfield. The Browns seem poised to win now, though we have said that in the past.
WASHINGTON…They may be dysfunctional, may have a disliked owner, but they have DE-Chase Young with the high draft pick, as they continue to build a really good defense. Now if only QB-Dwayne Haskins can grow as a player.
GIANTS…They had the QB-Daniel Jones last year, the RB-Saquon Barkley the year before, now they add a very good OT-Andrew Thomas, a rock solid pick. They still need pass catchers.
RAIDERS…We knew there would be a run on receivers mid-round, and the Raiders started it, but took a surprise guy in speedster WR-Henry Rugg-Alabama, bypassing two other highly rated pass catchers. But you cannot teach (4.27-speed). The other pick CB-Damon Arnette helps in the teams very weak secondary.
BENGALS…Joe Burrow will mean so much on so many different levels in Cincinnati, as a player and a person from Southeast Ohio. But there is bad history in Cincy with let round draft pick QBs. Think David Klingler and Greg Cook. They still need lots of help other positions. Forever asking the question, should they have traded the #1 pick for all 3-of Miami’s 1st round picks?
49ers…A bit of a surprise, bypassing the top rated WRs with their opening pick to take USC-OT-Austin Jackson, but they came back and drafted a receiver with the other opening round pick in Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk.
JETS…They have Sam Darnold, but they don’t have anyone to throw the ball too right now, and they let all the top WRs stay on the board to take massive OT-Mechi Becton of Louisville. That was a surprise.
VIKINGS..WR-Justin Jefferson tumbled down the board but fell into Minnesota’s lap and instantly becomes the replacement for Stefon Diggs. They got lucky. They then landed TCU-CB-Jeff Gladney with the other pick.
PACKERS…Green Bay did it with Brett Favre, got him early and developed him. Did the same with Aaron Rodgers, let him come in and grow. Now Jordan Love, coming off a shaky season at Utah State. Tumbled from a possible top ten pick to #26. The QB of the future for sure.
JAGUARS…Got defense and more defense with CB-CJ Henderson and DE-Klavon Chaisson. Of course they had to considering how many quality players they got rid of the last two years. Massive rebuilding underway there, but they got good players.
ARIZONA…Last year, Kyler Murray, this year LB-Isaiah Simmons, adding lots of other speed players. They are getting better as a team for Coach Kliff Kingsbury.
CHIEFS…Last pick of the opening round was the do-everything LSU-RB-Clyde Edwards-Hellaire. He can play and will fit in nicely with all the things Andy Reid does on offense.
DENVER…They added Alabama WR-Jerry Judy to last year’s top pick TE-Noah Fans, plus ex Chargers RB-Melvin Gordon. Real upgrade on offense for the young QB-Drew Lock.
SEATTLE-BALTIMORE…They always draft late, they take different type players on defense, and they develop and win with them. That is the explanation for the Seahawks choice of little known Jordyn Brooks of Texas Tech and the Ravens selection of Patrick Queen of LSU.
TRADES…Trent Williams is still in Washington, DE-Yannick Ngouwe and RB-Leonard Fournette are still stuck in Jacksonville, and TE-OJ Howard is still in Tampa Bay. For all the rumors of deals, none happened, at least in round one. Maybe there will be more come Tuesday.
ESPN…They let a lot of people down. I understand the complexities of remote broadcasts, but they had so much potential with cameras and hot mics everywhere, and the only interview they did was with Joe Burrow, the first pick. How could that be when you had so many people you could have used to link in with players. How come no interviews with any of the head coaches, especially the Bengals coach, of the Miami GM, or Jerry Jones or the Redskins top pick?
Roger Goodell sure looked uncomfortable trying to ad lib his way thru some of the draft choices, and looked like a fool trying to egg on the fans who were part of the visual broadcast. Oh by the way, as the 2020 draft was underway, he announced he was awarding the 2020 draft to Las Vegas. Meant to say 2021. Guess if it is not scripted, not good.
Where were the NFL insiders Adam Shefter and Chris Mortensen, to explain all the trade rumors they were writing about all week, the Bengals, the Dolphins, the Chargers, the failed attempts of teams to trade up.
Sure do miss the shots of the War Room this year. Instead Bruce Arians was lounging in shorts wearing his hat doing work on his patio. John Lynch had his girls with him. There was a dog in the Tampa Bay GM’s office. And Jerry Jones sitting by himself felt-looked odd.
PLAYERS AT HOME…It looked strange. No parties, limited people with the players. Not a lot of excitement. Maybe it had something to do with a delay in the linkup system. They’d go to the players home and the camera would show them sitting, sitting, sitting, and playing on their smart phones. Then someone would react.
NFL CHARITY…The concept of the Covid 19-support seemed out of place. What the NFL should have done was create a “Go Fund Me Campaign” for players and fans to contribute to during the three hour broadcast. Think of the money they could raise for US Food Pantry’s everywhere. How could you ignore all the pictures of hundreds of cars lined up with families waiting for bags of food in every major city during this pandemic. Missed an opportunity to do something really good.
Not much electricity on Thursday night. Maybe it was too overwhelming to do much more from the production standpoint, but the draft night had no electricity, not enough tension, surely not enough information.
But then again our everyday life is missing a lot of things too.
NFL Draft-could have been super-thought the production was substandard. Teams got good players. Fans got disappointments.