A day in the NFL Draft

No, there weren't any Huskers taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, but that doesn't mean the Draft itself isn't fun. It is, and it's always interesting to see what teams do, and it's interesting as you ask yourself what some of them were thinking. Well, here's my brief recap of what I thought were the hot points of the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

And with the number one pick the Detroit Lions select Georgia QB Matthew Stafford.

Stafford should have just said "NO" to the Lions


Stafford doesn't know what he's doing. It's not like anyone would blame him. He should have told Detroit that he wasn't going to play for them, because he wants a future and Detroit has none.

After all, it worked for John Elway, who snubbed the Baltimore Colts in the 1983 Draft. All he did was go on to play in five Super Bowls, winning two. Then there is Eli Manning who told the Chargers to take a hike after they picked him, and all this charismatic-as-glue QB did was ride his stellar defensive line and lead his team to a Super Bowl title himself with the Giants.

Detroit stinks. Sure, they have Calvin Johnson, but that's about it. They didn't win a single game last year. If anyone had any legit reason to just say no, it would be him.

Well, at least he's getting paid.

For the second pick of the draft a player from Baylor gets drafted.

Wait, did I just type that?

Yep, Jason Smith, the all-everything trench-juggernaut gets picked in the second slot of the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Somewhere Ram running back Stephen Jackson and quarterback Marc Bulger are smiling, and somewhere else Baylor sophomore dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin is sobbing quietly to himself as is his Head Coach, Art Briles.

At No. 3 LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson gets taken, and Tiger Head Coach Les Miles, who watched his third ranked defense under former D.C. Bo Pelini plummet to being the 32nd ranked defense sans the now second-year Husker Head Coach, has a box of Kleenex himself.


Will Sanchez long to be back at USC, honing up his
ballroom-dancing skills?

Skipping one spot down to the number-five spot, trading up 12 spots, the New York Jets, post-Brett Favre, made a deal with the Cleveland Browns to go up and get USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. What? Kellen Clemons wasn't the future?

You aren't going to even give Brad Smith a shot? I guess going 4-for-7 for 47 yard with no touchdowns and one interception , the total "production" those two put out last season, just isn't worth anything these days.

This is just bad planning. That's all I have to say. It's not that Sanchez isn't any good. He played for USC, after all. You don't even have to take an actual snap for the Trojans at QB to get drafted. See: Matt Cassell.

The bad planning comes from the fact that they are going to spend an awful lot of money for a guy they are going to bench when Brett Favre un-retires…again.

You remember all the bad publicity Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith got when he seemed to have a mental implosion during the combine? Horrendous interviews, a disappearing act during workouts and then you throw in the fact that he didn't play in the Sugar Bowl, because he was suspended for having direct contact with an agent.

Well, at least he got a head start on his contract negotiations.

Well, who picks the mental trainwreck at No. 6 but the biggest mental trainwreck in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals. This is a match made in heaven, but you have to think that if the team following them in the draft had that pick instead, they would have thought he'd fit in just fine, too.

That, of course, is the Oakland Raiders, and all they did in the first round was skip Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree, the top rated receiver in the draft and take Darrius Heyward-Bey, a wide receiver out of Maryland. This sets a precedence that will go down in Raider history as Al Davis did something in this draft no executive in the history of the franchise has ever done. He drafted a guy with a hyphenated-name. Al, you trend-setter you.

Crabtree will go from catching a
record amount of balls at Tech to
watching a potential record amount
of balls get thrown to nobody
in particular

With the tenth pick of the NFL Draft the San Francisco 49ers select Michael Crabtree. Finally, a ball-catcher from a completely spread offense in college, will actually produce to the point that people may say that the system can and does produce wideouts who can get it done at the professional level. What's that? His potential quarterbacks are Shaun Hill, Alex Smith and Damon Huard?


Your defense stinks and you just picked up Kyle Orton as your replacement at quarterback for Jay Culter. The answer: Draft a running back. That's what the Denver Broncos did with the 12th pick as they picked up Georgia's Knowshown Moreno.

I didn't realize the parting gift for Mike Shanahan after they gave him the pink slip, was that he would be allowed to make the first pick for the Broncos in the following draft.

The 17th pick goes to Tampa Bay via the Cleveland Browns and they take a quarterback. That makes sense. They only have like 20 left on the roster. Following the John Gruden era where he stockpiled quarterbacks like you and I breathe, the tradition continues as the Bucs add the still-raw-but-uber-talented Josh Freeman from Nebraska…err, Kansas State.

Yes, no bitterness there, but Husker fans don't have to lament his going to Kansas State, because during the Josh Freeman era, Nebraska went 3-0 against the Wildcats, scoring 150 points, while giving up 65. But let's not take anything away from Freeman's potential. He could be a good one, and all he has to do is beat out a host of other quarterbacks, which include such legendary names as Luke McCown, Byron leftwich and Brian "don't call me Bob" Griese.

Maybe Tampa Bay can hire Ron Prince so that the brilliant chemistry those two had at the collegiate level can be realized once again in the NFL.

Sarcasm anyone?

With the 29th pick of the Draft the Giants selected wide receiver Hakeem Nicks out of North Carolina. A dynamic receiver, Nicks doesn't supply the size that the now-departed Plaxico Burress had. But what he does have is blazing speed, solid hands, the tenacity to go up and get the football, and best of all, in a brilliant move in trying to stay ahead of the curve while learning from past mistakes, all receivers will now have their thigh pads lined with Kevlar.

Members of NRA rejoice!!!

And with the final pick of the first round of the Draft the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers draft a Hood. No, they aren't trying to horn in on the Bengals and Raiders. They got an actual Hood, Evander Hood that is, a 32-game starter at defensive tackle for the Missouri Tigers.

Pinkel won't be hanging his head this year. Yeah, his team might
regress, but Pinkel will be living large with the new contract extension

Added to Jeremy Maclin, another Tiger who went to the Eagles with the 19th overall pick, tight end Chase Coffman who should be one of the top three at that position taken in the draft, along with quarterback Chase Daniel who is rated as the….well, he's at least rated just ahead of Harvard quarterback Chris Pizzotti, Gary Pinkel is smiling. Why? Because that contract extension he got which pays him $2.3 million per year until 2015. Missouri could flat out suck this season, and he's still going to get PAID!

So, that's it for the first round, another great and almost-climatic round which will mark itself in the annals of NFL Draft lore. OK, maybe not. Point of fact, this first round had about as much excitement as a one-on-one interview with a bathroom towel…or Bill Belichick, you pick.

Maybe the second round will be better


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