Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More Draft Grades and More Mel Zaniness (1 of 3)

Mel does not get a gold star for his effort. He was the Miami Dolphins of Draft Graders.

I'm starting to feel bad about picking on Mel, but since my lightly read posts aren't really going to affect his legacy and he makes money doing a job I would do for a per diem of yogurt and a firm handshake, I don't feel too badly about it. For the purpose of completeness, I am offering my draft grades. My grades will be based on what each team did WITH THE PICKS THEY HAD! Just because Seattle didn't have a first round pick doesn't mean they automatically get a C or below. This evaluation will take into account what teams acquired in terms of picks and what they gave up to get picks as well as the actual picks made. I will then compare my grade to Mel Kiper's grade. AND I will contrast Mel's grade with his published opinions about players and teams prior to the draft to see if he sticks to his pre-draft guns, so to speak. You'll see what I'm getting at when I do it. Lastly, I'm sorry I'm putting this out in 3 parts. It is way too time consuming to get through all in one shot. I hope to have it all out tonight.

Mel's Grade: B-
Smittblog Grade: A
My grade stems from the FACT that AZ had Levi Brown rated higher than Joe Thomas (much to Sean Salisbury's dismay) and got him. They then got the second best DT in the draft in Alan Branch who INEXPLICABLY fell to the second round. I love Buster Davis (I'm partial to FSU players for some reason), Steve Breaston was an ANIMAL in college and should help out significantly with the punt return game and Ben Patrick was rated by some as the 3rd best TE in the draft! They didn't make a bad pick. Sure I think they should've grabbed Eric Wright in the second over Davis because they need the help, but Davis is such a good pick and has so much upside you can't fault

Analysis of Mel's Grade: His grade makes no sense to me. In January, Alan Branch was rated 8th (and projected to go 6th). The only knock on him--at the time--was that he was lacking technique. Now Mel says that Branch is an "underachieving defensive tackle." How did he underachieve after not playing another game? Mel had AZ taking a D-lineman in the 3rd AND had linebacker Jon Beason in the 2nd. Instead, they got Branch in the second and with Beason gone got the best remaining Linebacker with Davis. They filled needs AND got a player who slipped for no good reason. I would have like to see them grab a corner but safeties and corners were at a premium in this draft (it really was the "draft of the safeties" this year), so they would have had to reach for a guy. Patrick was a STEAL in the 7th round.

Mel's Grade: B
Smittblog Grade: B+
I'm not as high on the Falcons draft as everyone else but I do think they did a VERY good job at addressing needs. I would have liked to have seen them grab a WR and safety (their two most glaring needs) but they got some great players. I'm not as high on Anderson, but he created a big buzz and some people had him higher than Gaines Adams. I really didn't like Houston but getting him at 41 is fine. Blalock was a very solid pick as was David Irons who should have gone in the first 2 rounds, but the best pick, in my mind, was Stephen Nicholas. He played for South Florida (an up and coming program in the Big East, seriously) and he dominated. He was a first team Big East performer and the only better linebacker I witnessed play college ball all year was HB Blades (we'll get to him). He's one of those guys that people are going to say "he didn't score well, but man can he play." No safety and no WR (Laurent Robinson isn't good enough) grades them down.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: B was Mel's top grade (he's like the professors at Swarthmore), so you may as well give them an A. Mel thought they needed an O-tackle, so they got Blalock. They needed a corner, he had them taking Wright but they took Houston (who was already picked in Mel's mock so must've been better) and stole Irons and Nicholas. The only questionable pick is Anderson and he's kind of a "remains to be seen" type of guy. They needed to get a DE in the draft, so I'm not sure what Mel's complaining about. They did exactly as he asked.

Mel's Grade: B
Smittblog Grade: C+
This was kind of an "eh" draft for me. They needed some O-line help and needed a "tweener" type of OG/OT to play guard for a year and move over to tackle when Ogden retires. Grubbs may be that guy though he seems more like a potentially great guard. I would have like to see them go linebacker, QB or WR at some point, and they really never did. They lost Adalius Thomas and while Ray Lewis is still playing at a high level, he is not going to get younger. And are they really satisfied with having Boller as their starter for the future? With McNair, they are always a stiff breeze away from a broken hip. Troy Smith is likely not the answer. With all the noise about moving up to grab Brady Quinn, it surprises me that they didn't take a run at Trent Edwards. He was there in the third and they passed on him TWICE for a return man and backup guard. That just seems odd.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: A little high all things considered. I don't think the Ravens draft compares at all with Atlanta's or Arizona's. I think he just liked it because he had Grubbs going to Balto. What else about this draft is good? And here is one of my big pet peeves about Kiper: He says that Prescott Burgess, OLB - Michigan, selected in the 6th round and rated as the 17th best OLB in the draft, should have a solid career at linebacker. Really? If so, why was he the last OLB taken and why were 16 others rated ahead of him? Does this mean that the players taken ahead of him are Pro Bowlers? What a bullshit throw away line. I hate you Mel Kiper.

Mel's Grade: B
Smittblog Grade: D-
Not a grade I like to give out, though it is likely that you'll see it again. They took TWO of my top 7 most overrated players in P squared and Lynch (a Smittblog record), and didn't take the risk they should have to get A-Pete after he fell past Cleveland and AZ. How could they not go for A-Pete at 6 with the Skins ITCHING to move out of that slot and Minnesota picking behind them? And THEN, how do they go the entire draft without picking a corner after you lose Clements? The only saving grace was the Trent Edwards pick. Edwards can already beat Losman in a spelling bee and should offer competition at the QB slot that will hopefully drive one of them to make the next step.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel's take was spot on considering what he believed. After Willis was taken, the drop off for RBs was much greater than LBs. Grabbing Lynch was the best play. Mel also likes Posluszny, so the fact that the Bills were able to grab him must've looked great in his eyes even though they had to trade up to do it.

Mel's Grade: B
Smittblog Grade: A+
Carolina's first 4 picks were out of this world. They wanted Beason, traded down, and still got him. Then, with the pick they got from the Jets, they take Dwayne Jarrett who's biggest flaw was that he came in on the heels of Mike Williams. They then take the best interior lineman in the entire draft in Ryan Kalil and follow that up by stealing DE Charles Johnson. Johnson has been rumored to go in the first round (a quality shared by EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR FIRST 4 PICKS!). The rest was gravy. They could've used some DB help, but you really can't fault them for what they did.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: This was a doozy. Mel starts by saying, "I'm not enamored with Jon Beason." Yeah, he only had him going in the first round of almost every mock draft he did and had him graded as high as Timmons (whom he described as a great pick 10 picks earlier). If you don't like Beason, SAY IT BEFORE THE FUCKING DRAFT! Beason is great, idiot. Then grabbing Kalil and Jarrett in the second? Holy crap! They got the guy they wanted, and snuck Jarrett out of the whole deal and then Johnson landed in their lap. How is this a B? What else did you want them to do?

Mel's Grade: B (sensing a theme?)
Smittblog Grade: C-
Greg Olsen seems to make sense, though I would have traded half my team and my first born to move up and take Quinn, just because it would be HILARIOUS to see Quinn and the Sex Cannon (Kudos to KSK for the nickname) battle it out. A total smug off. Bazuin sucks but I really like Garrett Wolfe because he will be a fan favorite and those fans will pressure him to get touches over Benson, which will piss Benson off and likely lead to some funny comments. Benson seems like a hothead. Basically, the only thing that saved this draft from being a D from me is the potential comedy that could ensue when Garrett Wolfe outworks Cedric Benson.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel says Dan Bazuin is a "perfect fit" for the the Bears. I find that interesting because when Bazuin was selected, there were still better DE prospects on the board (a lot of them in fact). So I guess the Bears system requires crappy players. They got no other starters in the draft other than Olsen and they're stuck with the Rexticle. How is this draft as good as Carolina's? It really doesn't make sense. The saving grace of Mel's grade was his note about Trumaine McBride: "Cornerback Trumaine McBride is a marginal prospect." Well ok then.

Mel's Grade: C+
Smittblog Grade: B-
Cincy got lucky that Hall fell to them. He's not only one of the top 5 corners in the draft but he's a very high character kid. CB was probably their biggest need. Taking Kenny Irons was interesting. Rudi Johnson is a steady guy and getting some depth behind him was a pretty solid idea. They needed some D-line help and didn't really get it. They drafted Toeina but he's horrendous and could have done better if they hadn't grabbed a safety in the 4th. Hall was such a good pick that it kind of overshadows everything else that they did.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel was pretty much right with this one. I think he began to fall off the Hall bandwagon and because of that didn't give enough credit to the fact that Cincy was in NO WAY getting Hall without moving up yet stole him anyway. Other than that, no real complaints about what he had to say.

Mel's Grade: B+
Smittblog Grade: A
Sure they got Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn (another two from my all overrated team, a Smittblog record (tie)), and that's great. But to grab Eric Wright, the best corner in the entire draft? Outfuckingstanding. They may have even stolen a pick with McDonald in the 5th for cripes sake. I would liked to have seen them take a DT to help Washington, but they did grab a couple DEs and Pittman in particular has potential to actually make the team and play.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: What would it take for someone to get an A from Mel? I mean really. Mel originally had Brady Quinn atop his "Big Board" before the underclassmen came out and it was revealed that Russell can throw a ball while sitting down. Joe Thomas was second on that same big board and was the second overall rated player on Mel's board. Mel has also been quoted as saying that Eric Wright may be better than Hall or Revis. So if all of that is true and all of those were need areas, what didn't they do? I know they gave up a No. 1 for Brady, but they got a guy they thought was a top 3 pick anyway. Throw em a bone, Melvin.

Mel's Grade: B
Smittblog Grade: D
Ummmm.... what exactly did the Cowboys do well. Spencer is apparently a decent pick, but he can't be that good. He went to Purdue for Christ's sake. They didn't take anyone else of note except for a backup tackle from BC and a quarterback named Isaiah who is going to be a WR. I'm so confused. This draft was bad. I don't care about the pick next year. We need to get to Mel here.

Analysis of Mel's Grade; I know they got a good pick next year and still got the first round pick they wanted, but they gave up a ton to get back into the first round. They didn't get a corner. They didn't get a WR. And they didn't get a QB. I have no idea how the Cowboys draft (Spencer and a first rounder next year) compares favorably to the Browns (Quinn, Wright and Thomas). Mel gave them the same grade. How are they in any way equal?

No comments: