Oh, Oh! Pick me! Pick me!
Drafts are great. Fantasy drafts. Real life draftsâ€¦Draft beers. This weekend the NFL Draft makes its annual barrage on hope, expectations and exhaustion.
Our teams draft and we hope. We hope and pray and believe that these players will be just what the doctor ordered for our teams. Our franchise quarterback, our dominating lineman, our bookend tackle, our shutdown corner and even sometimes that surefire kicker. As a Jets fan, I vividly remember when we used our first draft pick on a kicker. Letâ€™s just say that as talented of a kicker as Mike Nugent is, the missing link he was not.
Some people watch the draft casually, stopping by to check out whoâ€™s been taken in the last hour when they come in from mowing the yard. Otherâ€™s make sure theyâ€™re around the TV when their team drafts every other hour or so (hour? More like every other 3 hours). And then you have the people that get together with a bunch of other fans, stock the fridge and whip up all the junk food imaginable and sit there and watch each and every pick. Thatâ€™s me.
My friend makes this huge plate of nachos and usually gets some fine Canadian ale and we just make a day of it. This year, heâ€™s involved in some charity benefit and heâ€™s going to miss the draft. Charity benefit? Seriously, Eric?
In lieu of Nacho Draft Fest 09, Iâ€™ll run through my projected top 10 now and try to get outside for once on this most of splendid of April weekends.
With the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions Selectâ€¦Georgia QB Matthew Stafford. I mean itâ€™s got to be Stafford right? The Lions went aâ€¦letâ€™s say disappointing 0-16 last seasonâ€¦becoming the first team in NFL history to finish a season totally defeated. The best way to turn that frown upside down is to put a shiny new QB out there to breathe some fresh air into the stadium.
The Rams select Baylor OT Jason Smith. I canâ€™t say I caught any one of the Bears games this year, but apparently Jason Smith has the ferocious tenacity of an Alaskan Grizzly. I just made that up, but Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s at least mildly aggressive. Taking a tackle hear will go long way to re-establishing Steven Jackson as a dominant force in the league.
The Chiefs Select Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry. Iâ€™m just following the experts here so far. Curry really is a talented player, and as bad as the Chiefs were on offense last year, they were even worse on defense. Curry can be the versatile athlete that the new look 3-4 defense relies upon.
The Seahawks Select Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree. Matt Hasselbeck isnâ€™t getting any younger. They brought in T.J. Houshmandzadeh to give Hasselbeck a #1 target. T.J. is the ultimate professional and can teach Crabtree the right way to do things. Just look at how much he rubbed off on Chad Ocho Cinco.
The Browns Select Virginia OT Eugene Monroe. The Browns have some issues. They havenâ€™t decided on a QB and very well may decide to take one with this pick, but new head Coach Eric Mangini and I are old friends, and if I know Eric, heâ€™s not interested in skill positions. Period. Mangini likes to build the lines up and go from there, much to the elated excitement of his desperate fanbases.
The Bengals Select Retired Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin. Why not? Itâ€™s the Bengals. I kid, I kid. The Bengals have been drafting much better lately, and would really benefit from a player like Texas hybrid defenseman Brian Orakpo. The Bengals are still playing the 4-3 and Orakpo is the best available for their scheme. Plus, Carson Palmer, the rejuvenated Cedric Benson and good old Ocho Cinco are enough to keep them competitive on offense, so defense should really be the pick here.
The Raiders Select Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin. Jeremy Maclin is fast, and thatâ€™s all Al Davis needs to hear. He could have hands made of cinder blocks, but if he can run a smooth 4.3 forty, well then thatâ€™s something Al would be interested in.
The Jaguars Selectâ€¦to trade the number 8 pick to the New York Jets who promptly select USC QB Mark Sanchez. Maybe this is a pipe dream, but thatâ€™s sort of what the draft is about anyways. Jacksonville will be better, but none of the players on the board make them a serious contender. The Jets on the other hand, have spent 928 million dollars in the last two years and the one serious hole is at QB. Sanchez has a big arm and Iâ€™m told a nice smile as well, both of which buy you a lot of patience and understanding from the fans in the Meadowlands.
The Packers Select Oklahoma OT Andre Smith. Andre Smith was once the highest rated player in the draft, but that was long ago and well before that entertaining video of him running his 40 yard dash at the combine. Heâ€™s rebounded since then, and heâ€™ll be a great fit in Green Bayâ€™s zone blocking system.
The 49ers Select Boston College DT B.J.Raji. Coach Mike Singletary is an intense defensive coach. Sometimes things get so serious, he feels the need to remove clothing to make his point. You know what Iâ€™m talking about. What does this have to do with B.J. Raji? Absolutely nothing, but come onâ€¦ the guy took his pants off at halftime!
And that wraps up the top 10 from this yearâ€™s draft. I have been assured that it will go down just as Iâ€™ve described it here, so feel free to just skip the whole 10 hour day. Just kidding, you really need to watch every second. Itâ€™s riveting stuff, folks.
If youâ€™re super excited about your teamâ€™s chances, get off on the right foot with this NFL Draft Hat that youâ€™ll see your new players try on when they shake the commissionerâ€™s hand. And if you get the star youâ€™ve been dreaming about, weâ€™ll have their jersey shortly after the draft completes as well.
Enjoy the big weekend. Even without my buddieâ€™s nacho fest, I know I will.