Of course, I might be extra critical because it's Jammer, whom I compared in this very space a couple of weeks ago to Mets pitcher Victor Zambrano. Zambrano, The Bane of Flushing, left Saturday's game against the Braves and will not return this season. I guess know we will get to test my theory that the Mets are better off without him.
Jammer will most likely be paired with our most recent first-round pick. Hopefully, Cromartie will perform better than the last two guys taken at that position. I mentioned in the last "Justice Files," that even with all the increased focus and speculation, the draft still remains the ultimate shell game.
Only after Mario Williams was confirmed as the top pick, and Reggie Bush subsequently fell to the Saints, did we have any real indication of how things would proceed. Mel Kiper, Jr., who used a couple of non-existent adjectives to describe the draftees, spends more time thinking about the draft than anybody. In fact, that seems to be all he does. Yet, Kiper and the rest of the "experts" had no indication that Winston Justice would fall to the Bolts at #19, let alone twenty more slots. But AJ opted for a player who was reportedly "in another world" during his workouts.
Smith's approach will come under increased scrutiny since Denver, who took the division title from us last year, was far more aggressive in upgrading their team. Jake Plummer reverted back to the skittish punk he always was once the Bunkos got to the postseason, so Pat Bowlen (man-fur and all) traded up to get Jake Cutler. Cutler may turn out to be another Kelly Stouffer, Timm Rosenbach or Jim Druckenmiller, for all we know. But Denver clearly wanted to seize what they believe is their window of opportunity. They also dealt for Javon Walker. Maybe now A.J.'s bolstering of the secondary makes sense.
However, we looked a little complacent Draft Day in the eyes of the football world.
In 1994, Bobby Beathard let Anthony Miller and Gary Plummer go and in their places brought in a bunch of guys that made me feel like the janitor from "Scrubs," when he sees the opening day lineup in Major League: "Who the hell are these guys?" But we all know that season turned out. Tony Martin, Shawn Lee, Ruben Davis and Dwayne Harper were all integral pieces of the AFC title team. Unfortunately, that was Beathard's last great offseason with the Chargers. A.J. is right to acquire depth over marquee players. But do we have enough talent right now to go deep in the playoffs?
I just recovered from Cinco de Mayo, so I won't even attempt to grade our draft. Nobody knows how good this year's crop will be, especially me. But its clear we'll need to be ready this year. 9-7 won't cut it.