Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Final Thoughts on the 2011 Draft

(Would the Redskins draft gone differently if Locker was available at 10?)
The draft has been over for almost three weeks. Since there's nothing really going on with the NFL, here's some final thoughts about the draft both pertaining to the Redskins and the NFL in general.

- I really would have loved to see Mike Shanahan's big board. Of course, if I ever did see it I would probably not be allowed to leave Redskins Park until I'm old, senile and gray. The big question has to be what the Redskins would have done if Jake Locker was still available when the Skins picked at #10. Of all the quarterback prospects that were supposedly linked to the Redskins, only Locker was the one I thought the Skins had a true interest. It wouldn't have surprised me in the least if they had selected him. Of course if they did that then Locker wouldn't have Hankerson to throw to or Helu to run the ball. I think either way the Skins were looking for a trading partner to get additional picks and build the roster.

- I do love how obsessed sports media is with the quarterback position. It really is the driving force of the draft. It was funny to see how the Redskins were the daily story as they were linked to Gabbert, Locker, Mallett, Ponder and Dalton mostly. Then the Skins trade out so the Jaguars can draft Gabbert and *poof* not much to say about the Redskins draft by the talking heads at ESPN or NFLN since they passed on a QB.

- More overused  sports catch phrases to go along with "It is what it is": High Motor and Blue Collar Player. I'm guilty of using the phrases as well. Funny thing is that some people use the phrases and have no clue what they mean. I'm talking the "experts" who should understand what the phrases means and yet some of them don't.

- Can ESPN and NFLN delay the player/team phone call shots until after the pick is announced? My biggest pet peeve to draft coverage is when the networks tip the viewer on who the pick will be before the player is announced. They've done a slightly better job not having the announcers blow the pick, but now are showing the "phone call". I personally would like the surprise and then pan to the phone call....maybe that's just me.

-I'm just saying but..... Jim Harbaugh is renowned for being a master QB coach. Heck, he was a former QB. Mike Shanahan has coached many a legendary QB in his days as well. So why did both teams, desperate for a franchise QB, pass up Blaine Gabbert? Do they know something or saw something on tape that the experts missed?

- Did the Browns make the trade of the century and then get the better WR? No doubt Julio Jones is a talented  player and should be a great WR in the NFL. That said, I've had concerns about him staying healthy for a full 16 games based on his injury history and style of physical play. A WR at #6 overall in general is a risk but to move down and give up a boatload of 2011 and 2012 picks to get said player is an extreme risk. The Falcons must be convinced that they needed just one more elite WR to get to the Super Bowl, Me, I'm not that convinced. What could be worse for the Falcons is that the Browns used their 2nd round pick (#59 overall) to draft Greg Little. Little has some serious talent and may have been a possible 1st rounder if he hadn't been suspended in 2010. This will be an interesting storyline to follow in 2011, if there is a 2011 season.....

- 1999 Redux? The Vikings have admitted that they reached on Ponder. Andy Dalton was probably a reach. While I like Kaepernick's potential, I still think the 49ers reached a bit for him as well. Is this another quarterback class that will mirror the 1999 class? What's even more interesting is that 2012's class may be a good one if you're looking for a franchise QB. Maybe, I'm just defending the Skins decision to not go QB, but this year just seemed to be a bad year to find your starting QB for the next 10 years.

- The Eagles draft a kicker in the 4th round. Really? It makes the Skins drafting a punter in 2008 (Durant Brooks) not looking like a bad risk after all.

- Cam Newton has the "Vick Factor" and it got him drafted #1 overall. Remember Mike Vick before he went to jail? Remember the Mike Vick Experience and how crowds oooohed and ahhhhed as Vick juked and ran by possible tacklers. It sold jerseys and made Atlanta Falcons football watchable and possibly respectable. While Michael Vick wasn't the Falcon's QB when the Falcons finally went from average NFL team to legitimate Super Bowl contender, some of the credit has to be given to him that started the chain reaction for Atlanta's rise from mediocrity to greatness. Carolina hopes for the same thing with Newton minus the jail time and hopefully he'll be at the helm when the Panthers return to greatness......

- The 2011 draft probably won't be remembered well. It was a quiet draft filled with many D-line talents and solid depth in later rounds. Sadly, it may be remembered for only the quarterbacks because it was the quarterbacks that were the main topic of this draft. If only one QB pans out of this group, the entire draft will be remembered as the draft where way too many QBs were drafted way too high.

- Overall, the Redskins did a good job. Day three picks are questionable in a few spots. You can argue some redundancy in a few selections and lack of OL picks, but when you get into the 5th round and beyond you start to look at depth and guys who can be an impact on special teams. I find it funny that the Skins are getting marked down because they didn't reach for a QB. Yes, the Skins didn't address a need but if you're giving initial grades, wouldn't the values of the players selected play a more significant role?

OK that's it on the 2011 draft. Now time to start looking at the Redskins QB "controversy" brewing in least until football will finally start up again.

* Photo via Seattlesportsbro

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