NFL Draft Goes On and On

Is it over yet? In just nine short hours the NFL has made it through almost half of his year's annual selection process. I know television has a lot to do with why the draft takes so freakin' long, but it's not the only reason. It's not my imagination either. It was officially the longest first round in NFL history.

Three times teams traded up for a pick only to spend seven more minutes before making the selection. Are you kidding me?! If you trade up in the draft it ought to be to get a particular guy. So why on earth are teams fielding calls for that selection just seconds after giving up some meaningful assets to get it? Unreal.

Still the process is a fascinating one and this year's pathetic putz award goes to Notre Dame Quarterback Brady Quinn. The two-time Heisman Trophy winner (he did win it twice, right?) was projected no later than # 9 to the Miami Dolphins, but he lasted to pick # 22 when Cleveland eased his pain by trading up to get him. Meanwhile ‘Fins fans were jumping off buildings on Brickell Avenue after the team rejected Brady for injured receiver Ted Ginn Junior.

Not a Great Day for the Gators

After three drafts without a Gator going in round one it's hard to be disappointed in a draft that includes two first-round selections. Still the Florida Gators had to expect more than Jarvis Moss and Reggie Nelson to be tabbed in the first three rounds. Ray McDonald was chosen by San Francisco with a compensatory selection (#97) after round three, but many pre-draft projections had Ray Mac going in round two.

Brandon Siler and Earl Everett harbored hopes of going in round three as did Dallas Baker. Now that trio along with Chris Leak, Ryan Smith, Joe Cohen and others will spend a restless night waiting to see if they get the call from the NFL on Sunday afternoon. There are four more rounds for that to happen during and we certainly wish them the best.

Let's take a look at the three situations Saturday's drafted Gators are heading into:

Jarvis Moss ----- Florida's pass rushing demon landed in an absolutely perfect spot with Denver. The Broncos traded up to fill the biggest need on it's squad – outside pass rush speed – and look like a good bet for the playoffs in 2007. Moss has to be on the short list of early favorites for defensive rookie of the year.

Reggie Nelson ----- The Jacksonville Jaguars were considering both Moss and Nelson with pick # 17. Instead they shrewdly picked up a third rounder from Denver and still got the # 2 safety on the board. Nelson is a very good fit for a Jags defense that needs playmakers, especially in the deep middle. Like Moss, Nelson steps right into the starting lineup.

Ray MacDonald ----- The San Francisco 49ers are a team headed in the right direction and was much improved over the second half of last season. They had a good draft, picking up the best linebacker in Ole Miss Stud Patrick Willis, the third-rated tackle in Joe Staley plus a capable receiver in Jason Hill from Washington State. The defense is solid and Ray can slide in without having to produce from day one. And with four fourth-round selections the Niners will be adding quality depth early on Sunday.

Day two will be much busier for the members of the 2006 Gators.

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