Noles Dominate the 1st Round of the NFL Draft

On Saturday four Florida State Seminoles were drafted in the 1st round led by Ernie Sims who was selected 9th overall by the Detroit Loins. Others to be selected in the 1st round were defensive end Kamerion Wimbley, defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

After selecting Ernie Sims at No. 9 overall, Lions' vice president Matt Millen and head coach Rod Marinelli addressed the media, answering several questions (at length) regarding the selection of Sims. A complete 11 minutes of commentary from both Millen and Marinelli.

The two discuss how he fits into Detroit's system and questions concerning Sims' concussion-clouded past (which Millen called a "non-issue"), his size, comparisons to Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks and more. Matt Millen Outtake: "He's got great speed, he's a great hitter and he's got great range." Marinelli Outtake: "He tackles with authority, which I like."

How he helps Detroit:
It was a foregone conclusion in many minds that the Lions, with an emphasis on defense, would draft either a linebacker or safety with their No. 9 overall pick. Many just didn't expect Ernie Sims. Still, Sims was the best linebacker available, and contrary to public perception, he was not a reach at that slot. Detroit fell in love with both Michael Huff and Ernie Sims with the notion that A.J. Hawk wouldn't be available. They were right, and split the difference, thus the pick of Sims.

What makes the selection of Sims so intriguing is that he fits the Cover 2 scheme that Detroit runs like a glove. According to's Scott Eklund, "Sims is an excellent Cover-2 linebacker. He plays well in zones and since the Lions defense spends most of their time in the Cover-2 scheme, he would be a perfect fit for Detroit. His abilities would mesh nicely with Teddy Lehman on one side and Boss Bailey in the middle. His speed also lends him to being an excellent headhunter on special teams. He's an ideal strongside linebacker, but he could play weakside and fit in nicely with Detroit's stable oflinebackers.

A stunning first round got even stranger today as the Cleveland Browns deal their draft pick to the division-rival Ravens, and then selected Florida State Kamerion Wimbley.

After a surprising trade to the Baltimore Ravens for their pick #13 and an undisclosed draft choice, believed to be a sixth round choice, the Browns selected another player on the top of their board, Kamerion Wimbley.

The decision to trade Ngata to the Ravens for a mere sixth rounder indicates that the Browns had Ngata and Wimbley together at the top of their draft boards, as was reported earlier today.

Bunkley, who had a great senior year for the Seminoles, has seen his stock on the rise. The 6-foot-2 and 305 pounder was projected to be a possible top ten pick after his outstanding Senior Bowl performance. Instead, he fell a few spots in the draft but the Philadelphia Eagles wasted no time in selecting him 14th overall. Analysis:
This is the guy that the Eagles wanted out of the first round. They thought they may have to trade up to get him, but as he fell through the 8 and 9 picks, the Eagles started to realize that he could fall all the way to them and took their chances. It worked out perfectly, since they got the man they wanted to get without having to give up an extra pick or a player.

With the 19th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers selected 6-foot-2, 208-pound cornerback Antonio Cromartie from Florida State University.

With Sammy Davis jettisoned to San Francisco for Rashaun Woods and Quentin Jammer entering the final year of his contract, the Bolts select a player that has upside and plays a physical game, one that head coach Marty Schottenheimer adores.

He picked off four passes in 2004, returning one for a touchdown. Despite missing all of 2005 with a torn ACL, Antonio Cromartie wowed scouts with a 4.37 forty-yard dash, a 43-inch vertical jump and an 11-0 broad jump at the NFL Combines.

They contemplated going offensive tackle here to protect their investment in Philip Rivers but the line play was decent under Hudson Houck and terrible under Carl Mauck. A new offensive line coach in Jack Henry could have them playing at a higher level and the pass defense has suffered for years.

Chad Jackson was also a consideration given his speed but the team felt that Cromartie would make an immediate impact and cover them moving forward.

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