NFL Draft Recap
This was one of most anticipated and talked about NFL draft in years. Even the casual NFL fan couldn’t help but to be glued to their television set. So many story lines coming into the draft made it must see television. There were the Houston Texans with the first overall pick, where would Johnny “Football” Manziel play? The slide of former projected number one pick Teddy Bridgewater and the social and historic draft pick of Michael Sam. Let’s dive into some of the weekends headlines.
We start with the UofL product Teddy Bridgewater who was joined by fellow cardinals Calvin Pryor, Marcus Smith and Preston Brown being selected in the Draft. During the season Teddy was pegged as the coveted number one overall pick. He showed nice foot work in the pocket, poise under heavy pressure, a command of the offense, leadership, and a high football I.Q. (changing plays depending on the defense). Then his Pro Day came. It’s being called by some one of the worst QB Pro Days in history. But as Teddy said “The Game Film doesn’t lie.” I think pro days are overrated, nothing more than throwing the ball in gym shorts and a shirt with no pass rush. Teddy sliding could be a blessing in disuse. He now will be handing the ball off to All Pro running Adrian Peterson and throwing to All- Pro receiver Greg Jennings, Former Pro bowl tight end Kyle Randolph and last year’s 1st round pick receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. This could be one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
In a shock to some the Jaguars selected QB Blake Bortles with the third overall pick. Bortles was a one year wonder out of the University of Central Florida. I can understand the Jaguars thinking in this selection. The Florida kid playing for a Florida team is a good story but let’s see if he can get the job done. I’ve watched Blake against UofL live and did not see a top 5 player. He brought the team back but that was more about UofL’s defense missing tackles and playing soft coverage which allowed for short passes to become big plays. He’s has a strong throwing arm which helps him throw the deep ball and is an outstanding athlete. As I look at him he relies too much on the big play and cannot break down a defense and lead a drive the full length of the field on a consistent basis. He has bust written all over him but I hope I’m wrong. He holds himself with honor and dignity in the interviews and press conferences. Chad Henne is the starter for now and a professional who can show Bortles the way to conduct oneself. Bortles is a project that needs time.
Johnny Manziel, Johnny Football, or Johnny Cash whatever you call him or feel about him the man makes plays. Many thought he would go to the browns in the top ten but had to wait until the 22nd pick to hear his name called. Can Johnny take the Browns to the next level? In my opinion the answer is no. Not because of Johnny Manziel but because of the Browns organization and conference. The Browns have been stuck towards the bottom since the team debut. They have a 77-163 record since 1999. There have been nineteen quarter backs that have started and all of them have failed. It’s an aura about them that screams lack of leadership and disfunction. The turnover in the front office almost every year doesn’t help either. On top of that he has to go through three of the top defenses in the league twice a year (Ravens, Bengals, and Steelers). Johnny now has to play in horrible weather for at least half the year. Will that small body frame and scrambling ability hold up in November and December when the weather changes? I would rather for him to have gone to a dome team like Mike Vick with the Falcons or Drew Bress with Saints. They found playoff success and both have become some of the biggest stars the NFL had.
The most meaningful draft pick came in the seventh round. With the draft coming to a close The St. Louis Rams pulled the trigger and drafted the first openly gay football player in Michael Sams. Social change is running wild in America and this is another example of the world accepting people that others see as “different”. The moment that the world was buzzing about was the kiss seen around America. Let’s really look at it; draftees kiss loved ones all the time. I’ve seen fathers and sons embrace at the draft and not a peep was made. I never understood how others let the way another person lives affect them. We all have the same twenty-four to live to the best of our abilities and do good by others. At the end of day, if someone can get the job done who cares what sex they like. I played football before and the bottom line is winning. If Michael Sams make plays and help the team win there will be no issue. This is a man who played at the top level of college football and produced. The SEC is viewed as a minor pro league in its own right. If you can make it there; you can make it in the NFL.
The draft kicks off offseason actives. Mini camps and training camps will be next month in June. Football is in the air. August is insight and it’s almost time to take the field. Will these players and other rookies make an impact? Let’s find out.
What are your thoughts on the Draft?