Let me begin by saying that I am not of the camp that thinks that the Draft is the biggest sporting event in America. Its not even close. I'd take any NFL regular season Sunday, the playoffs, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Tournament, and possibly the World Series before the Draft. I do, however, love to watch as much of the Draft as I possibly can, and while I am certainly no Mel Kiper, can hold my own when it comes to predicting who will land where (in the first round anyway), which brings me to my first point...
What the deuce was Miami thinking? Is locking up a franchise QB in the first round not exciting enough? Would you rather have the drama of selecting an on the fence wide receiver with a gimpy leg who was possibly only good in college because he played for The Ohio State University? Miami will come to regret this decision in years to come, and not for the reasons you'd think. Miami will regret wasting the pick on Ted Ginn, and not taking someone who could've actually provided help. As for Brady Quinn, he would have given Miami every reason to kick itself, if he wasn't drafted by the Brownie Scouts. Sadly, the NFL's answer to the Cubs will probably see Brady fall by the wayside (see Couch, Tim; Brown, Courtney; Warren, Gerard; Green, William; Winslow, Kellen; Edwards, Braylon) and then see what Dallas ends up taking with their first pick in 2008. Phil Savage, the Brown's GM, said that this past Saturday could signal the turning point in the franchise's history, but that's only if the Football Gods finally decide that maybe Cleveland is worthy of a team. For now, the jury is out on Brady Quinn, and as a Raven's fan, I think I speak for everyone when I say "Curse you Phil Savage... for shame!"
In related news, the Cowboys traded their first round pick to Cleveland for the Brownie Scouts' first choice in 2008 (almost assuredly a top ten pick), and then still managed to get back into the first round by somehow convincing Philadelphia that they are no longer in the same division. The Eagles, known for their boisterous and rather mean fans, were most likely greeted by a resounding BOOOO when the trade was announced, and rightfully so. This isn't the same as trading with an inter-Conference team who you might see every four years or so. This is giving the fire power of a first round pick to a team that you will see twice every year until the end of time. The Cowboys chose a defensive end with the pick, and that DE will most likely wreak havoc on Donovan McNabb next year, because that's just how things seem to go for the Iggles. I'd like to think that every time Anthony Spencer drops McNabb next year, three things happen: 1) The Eagles faithful let out a nice BOOOO like only they know how; 2)McNabb looks up at the Owner's Box at owner Jeff Lurie and gives him a "why have you forsaken me?" type look; 3)The announcer calling the game says "Well, Bob, they really brought that sack upon themselves by giving the Cowboys that pick". The other problem with this trade is that the Eagles had plenty to work on within their own team at the draft without helping out the direct competition. The Eagles have no bona-fide wideouts, so they probably could have been very well suited with a Craig Davis or Anthony Gonzalez. Instead, they chose to make their own road to the playoffs that much harder. Oy.
In still other draft weekend news, the Patriots acquired Randy Moss in a trade with Oakland, a day after drafting a PR nightmare in the first round with the selection of Miami (FL) safety Brandon Merriweather. Apparently, the brain trust running the show in New England (coach Bill 'Sweatpants' Belichick and GM Scott Pioli) thought the game of football has become just too goshdarn easy to only worry about the things going on on the field. They want to prove to the world that they can handle any problems that any players can throw at them, even within the team. Moss is basket case. He was TO before being a jackass was cool. He wrote the book on calling out your teammates after a loss, congratulating yourself after a win, and getting your own coach fired (twice). He's the kind of player that's thrilled to death when you're winning, and bored to death when you're losing, and usually yelling at somebody during both. Can Moss still play? I don't think so. He's old, he's not as fast as he used to be, and he takes his baggage everywhere. Defenders aren't scared of him, because they have the speed to keep up with him, and they're pretty sure he's not trying on most plays. Coaches can't stand him because he doesn't listen, and the media loves him because he's a loose cannon.
But things will be different in New England, right? People don't cause problems in the Patriots' locker room. Bill Belichick is the ultimate disciplinarian. People are scared of the wrath of Belichick. This is a franchise that has won three Super Bowls on the strength of team chemistry alone. Never have the Patriots had the best players. Peyton Manning is infinitely better than Tom Brady at QB, but Brady owned Manning up until a little while ago, and why? Chemistry. Not physics, not biology, chemistry. Now the Pats want to test their true mettle with a player that is a regular alchemist, and see if they can still keep up. Many pundits have already penciled the Pats in for the Super Bowl, but I think Moss may be the exact reason they don't make it, not the reason they do. I'd just to say you heard it here first: Randy Moss will be a distraction and a problem in New England just like he was everywhere else; Belichick and the Pats are not above the stupid crap that Randy Moss is capable of.
The steal of the draft was made, of course, by the Ravens and the Wizard that is Ozzie Newsome. At the end of the fifth round, the Ravens grabbed a Heisman Trophy Winner that all 31 other teams had passed on at least twice (the 'Skins finally had their second pick in the fifth round... morons). Troy Smith fell so far because he is only six feet tall. He is only six feet tall. He is only six feet tall. God help us. Troy Smith has already proven that he can play; he was the driving force behind Ohio State's undefeated season and near-National Championship (near, of course, meaning getting shellacked in the Championship Game), and he is a Heisman Trophy winner. He is by no means ready to play right now, but that is where the trade for Steve McNair last year means that much more to the Ravens. Now, the Purple and Black Attack can play McNair, groom Troy Smith, and jettison the debacle that has been Kyle 'Toilet' Boller (gotta love that arm strength, right Oakland?). The team is in the makings of finally having that face-of-the-franchise QB that it has been looking for, and he was acquired in the Wizard's favorite part of the draft. I think Ozzie likes the later rounds better than the first and second, because he can always find a bargain, and if he doesn't who cares, it was a late round pick. There really is no pressure on Smith, because nobody expects anything of him. He can just go to work, learn the offense, and hopefully one day take control and lead the Ravens for years to come. For comparison sake, all of the following QBs are under 6'2": Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Michael Vick, Jake Delhomme, and David Garrard. All of these QBs are winners (maybe not Garrard, but we'd just be splitting hairs then), and they're all scrappy. If Troy Smith is scrappy just like them, he'll fit in well in Baltimore, because after all, we love the scrappy.
Droppin' Los Whammos: Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Browns, Rachel's Office (I apparently take requests now)