Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More Draft Grades and More Mel Zaniness (2 of 3)

The only report card tougher than Mel's

Mel's Grade: B-
Smittblog Grade: B+
I have a HUGE hard-on for Jarvis Moss. The Broncos were apparently really looking for the top DE talent on the board. It seemed that, much like myself, they recognized that his name was Jarvis Moss. So they traded up and grabbed him. Great pick in my mind. They even got an uber-talented kid in Marcus Thomas who just needs to keep his nose clean. They have a strong history with guys like that. Didn't they grab an RB a couple years ago out of the Big Ten with character issues? I hear he's tearing up the league in D-Block. They needed an LB and probably should have grabbed a WR, but Moss and then Crowder fill a need that they REALLY felt they needed to fill. They traded up again to grab Ryan Harris, which seems like a solid pick. They just kinda did right. They really aren't lacking all that many players, so grabbing two of the top ten DEs seems like a good idea.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel pretty much felt the way I did about this, but he gave them a surprisingly high mark considering they didn't really address any other needs outside of D-line. Mel's been all over the place. I would kinda like to know who Denver thought was going to take Moss ahead of them. The trade kinda seemed unnecessary. Mel says that Moss has the chance to get 10-12 sacks in the Broncos system. Huh? How does a guy capable of 10-12 sacks, in any system, get ranked behind 3 other DEs? If those guys were in the Denver system, would they get 15 sacks? Would Gaines Adams break the single-season sack record if he were in Denver? I'm not feeling you here, Mel.

Mel's Grade: C
Smittblog Grade: A-
The Lions got the best player in the draft, and one of the best prospects ever to be in the draft. They had missed on so many WRs in the past that this became a need for them. Well they didn't screw it up. Beautiful pick. Every fan in the nation is jealous that the Lions have this guy. Then they grab my favorite QB in all of the draft, Drew Stanton. Stanton is a frickin player. He's tough as nails and has a laser-rocket arm. If anyone other than John L. Smith coached that team, Stanton would have been a Heisman contender last year. They will love this guy in Detroit. They then got one of the more underrated players in the draft in Alama-Francis from Hawaii. The guy is such a good athlete scouts didn't know if he projected as a TE, DE, OG or LB. He's a freak of a talent. They didn't grab a corner capable of starting, which is odd and they didn't grab much O-line help. They could have done better but when you take take the best available at your first 3 slots AND those guys fill needs, that is not bad. And did I mention that Calvin Johson is a stud?

Analysis of Mel's Grade: How do you give these guys a C and give the Cowboys a B? Detroit got the best player in the draft. Mel LOVED CJ and he thought Detroit should take him. Mel is very sour on Stanton but is high on Edwards and Beck, YET HE HAS STANTON RATED HIGHER THAN BOTH OF THEM! Analyzing Mel's draft is exasperating. He also says that 4th rounder Manny Ramirez (I'm changing Manuel Ramirez's name for him) is going to be a starting Guard in the NFl. You get a starting guard in the 4th round, the best player in the draft, the third rated QB in the draft, a freakish DE and somehow that is worse than the Cowboys drafting a QB they plan on turning into a WR and not getting any corner help. Let's explain this again... the Lions are not one pick away, they are a bunch.... AND THIS DRAFT HELPED THEM. The Cowboys WERE one pick away, AND THEY FUCKED IT UP.

Mel's Grade: C+
Smittblog Grade: B
This is a tough grade to give out. Especially for people who see the Packers as a team that needs to simply build their offense around Favre and he will lead them to the playoffs. I'm sorry, you could give Favre LT, Chad Johnson, Gates and Wes Welker (who is universally loved for some reason) and the Packers wouldn't finish above .500. They are not that good. They need to rebuild. The Packers need defensive help in the worst way. They gave up the 7th most points in the league last year and while much of that was due to Favre lobbing the ball to the other team, a major reason was that their defense was shitty. Harrell is a great pick. You can NEVER have enough D-line help. They then got a VERY underrated back in the Brandon Jackson (one of those universally loved players who never never broke the "big board" for no good reason) and picked up a solid TE replacement for Bubba Franks in Rutgers product Clark Harris. I don't really understand why they didn't take a single cornerback when their pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL, but maybe they just aren't concerned about it.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel really thought the Pack should help out the O, so his grade seems to fit pretty well. He liked Brandon Jackson, which is probably the only reason they got a C+. Mel would have had them take Meachem, then trade up for Jarrett, then trade all of next year's draft for Sydney Rice. Since Mel and I differ philosophically about this, I can't fault his analysis, just his sanity.

Mel's Grade: C-
Smittblog Grade: A-
I'll freely admit that this probably isn't my most rational grade, but I really think Okoye is one of the top 5 players in this draft and for the Texans to steal him at 10 is a joke. Their D-line right now is young, big and UBER talented. People really underrate Mario Williams because he isn't Reggie Bush or Javon Kearse, but you just wait, the kid is going to be a force. The Texans also grabbed a big and fast WR in Jacoby Jones who has talent coming out of his ass. I really liked their late round lineman picks (especially Kasey Studdard of Texas, a first-team All Big Ten Guard who people rate very low even though all he's ever done is produce) and got good value with Bennett at corner in the 4th. Brandon Harrison is my favorite pick though. He's a free wheeling safety from Stanford who is always around the ball. The only reason he graded low is because of his 40 time, which shouldn't affect his productivity in the least. Maybe the Texans should have tried to trade up and grab good corner value in the second round, but they did very well with their picks.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel HATED Okoye at 10. Even though he was clearly the best player left on the board and EVEN THOUGH Houston DESPERATELY NEEDED D HELP and EVEN THOUGH the corners that Mel wanted them to grab would have been a reach at this slot, Mel didn't like Okoye. Ok Mel, I can live with that. But Mel says that Houston didn't help Shaub out, but on the next pick they had, a third rounder due to the Schaub deal, they took a big, strong, fast WR. What the fuck did you want them to do? They do need a lot of O-line help and a great corner or safety to help out Dunta Robinson, but in the 3rd, Jones was easily the best value for their needs. Mel let the Okoye pick define their whole draft. He didn't like it, and like a petulant child he found reason to hate every other pick. Idiot.

Mel's Grade: B-
Smittblog Grade: A
Wow. Now this is a fucking draft. Their first 4 picks must've left every team other than the Chargers and Pats sending their scouts out for the '08 draft because no one else really has a chance in the AFC (and hence the NFL because the NFC doesn't field a single competitive team). They get Gonzalez, easily the most underrated player in the draft and a PERFECT replacement for Stokley. THEN, after Tony Ugoh inexplicable falls out of the first round and continues falling in the second round they move up to grab him (giving up their 1st rounder next year, which will likely be the 30th pick). THEN, they get Daymeion Hughes from Cal. You may remember Hughes from such awards as Pac Ten Defensive Player of The Year in 2006. That's decent recognition. The kid is a playmaker. So three great picks... AND THEN THEY GET PITCOCK FROM OSU! That kid is a run stuffing specialist who puts out more effort than any D lineman taken before or after him. He fell because of his "measurables," despite his outstanding senior year. I also like Clint Sessions from Pitt but he was more gravy than anything after those first four. Outstanding run of picks for the champs.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel raves about the Colts draft (saying that the Texans should use it as an example. Yes, a great of example of how to get a B- on Mel's draft card), yet he gives them such a weak grade. The only bad thing Mel had to say about their entire draft was that safety Brannon Condren was a reach in the fourth round. The Colts may have needed a safety earlier than the Troy State kid, but I don't think you can possibly say because they didn't get him that they had a bad draft. Their draft was fricking terrific, and this coming from a guy who hates the Colts.

Mel's Grade: C
Smittblog Grade: A-
The Jags wanted Reggie Nelson, they traded back with Denver and still got him. They then got one of my favorite players in the draft in Justin Durant. I think that kid is going to light it up in the NFL. I also really like the WR pick of Mike Walker from Central Florida and DT Derek Landri in the 5th. Those were terrific value picks to offer some serious depth at some need positions. Since Jax didn't really need to do anything other than grow up (and grab a safety), this draft was a huge success. The only reason I didn't give them an A+ was because they drafted a punter in the 4th round. That's absurdly high for a punter. I guess when you don't really need anyone, you can kind of just F around.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: In my mind, Jax could have drafted bags of shit and still gotten a B. They really could have just taken huge risks in this draft and done very well. Instead, they addressed their biggest need with a great playmaker, grabbed a potential stud LB from in Durant and then just kinda addressed some depth needs and special teams help. Mel actually seemed to like this draft. Again, he didn't really suggest that they should have done something different. He just was luke warm about what they did. I don't get it.

Mel's Grade: C
Smittblog Grade: B+
I am so surprised by how good the Chiefs draft was. They whiffed big time by not picking an O-lineman early with Shields and Roaf gone, but maybe they think Kelvin Sampson will be healthy and they don't need one. I can't BELIEVE they grabbed a WR in the first round and his name wasn't Ted Ginn. That really blows me away. What a great pick he was. They then went ahead and grabbed not one but two of the top five DTs in the draft to plug up their horrendous run D. They didn't have enough picks to deal with all of their holes but they upgraded SIGNIFICANTLY on D and O. Even the Kolby Smith RB pick was good. He stepped in for Michael Bush and nary missed a beat last year. He's a hardnosed runner and if he can get enough carries and KC shits the bed next year, they could trade Larry Johnson for a king's ransom in the offseason. The only real problem I have with this draft is if they had known that they could get Tank Tyler in the third they could've taken a top corner like MacCauley in the 2nd. That would have been an A draft. My grade is probably a little low because I know that Bowe will be underused and that KC will implode this year under Herm, who is easily the worst coach in the NFL.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel didn't have much to say about KC's draft. In his final mock he had them taking DT Justin Harrell and he had Bowe as the 23rd best player in the draft. So it would seem that getting two of the top 5 DTs AND Dwayne Bowe would fit with his idea of what he thought they should do. Judging from his comments, it seems that what he most upset about was the selection of kicker Justin Medlock. Says Mel: "Justin Medlock is a good place-kicker, but I would have taken Mason Crosby." There's your "C" apparently.

Mel's Grade: C
Smittblog Grade: D-
Holy shit this was a bad draft. They were a sure fire F until the picked the Center Satele from Hawaii and Kelvin Smith from the 'Cuse. Satele was their only good pick. and I'm saying that even though I LOVE Lorenzo Booker on the right team. People forget that Booker was probably the most highly recruited running back EVER to come out of high school. He played on some horrible FSU teams and shined whenever he could. Booker makes no sense on Miami. He should have gone to the Giants or Seattle or some other team that needed a change of pace guy out of the backfield. I really think he has the potential to shine and Miami is not the place for him. I don't want to get too far into this as the Ginn pick has been addressed ad nauseum but I don't think they did their self any good service by grabbing John Beck. If you watch his highlight tapes, his receivers were so wide open that his completion percentage (almost 70%) is low compared to what a good QB would have done against that competition. It also doesn't help that he's 25 (and a mormon), so they had better hope he gets good quick. What a stupid, stupid draft this was.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel gave them the same grade as the Lions and Jags, and gave them a BETTER grade than the Texans. Well of course. It's not like the passed on the future of their franchise for a guy who will NEVER PLAY A DOWN IN THE NFL BECAUSE HE HAS A LISFRANC INJURY. I can't even explain how bad a pick this was. There was a chance that Ginn would slip out of the first round because of his injury. After this pick, the starting place should have been an F- considering the NEEDED a QB more than any other position. But then to not take a defensive player until the fourth round and not take an O-tackle the entire draft? What the fuck were they thinking? I have no idea how Mel justified giving them a C. Mel said John Beck helped Miami "salvage their quarterback situation." Right. You'll convince me of that right after you convince me that Mormon "prophet" Joseph Smith wasn't a con man and criminal.

Mel's Grade: B+
Smittblog Grade: A-
Vikings fans must be so psyched right now. Their team just got really young and exciting. Top RB in the draft, underrated STUD WR in Sydney Rice, Tarvaris running the show (he defines excitement if nothing else) and they stole McCauley with the 72nd pick when he was a borderline first rounder. It would be really cool to be a fan of this team after this draft. I loved what they did. My only gripe is they got a little WR happy and should have gone for a little more O-line or D-back depth.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel was a little overly excited for the Vikings considering where he had people ranked. I know he's not a fan of Tarvaris Jackson so I'm a little surprised he wasn't more upset about skipping Quinn but he also fell back in love with Peterson after the draft, which is nice. Minnesota didn't exactly "need" an RB, but they got a stud. Mel's grade doesn't really match up with where he had these players graded but it was just nice to see him say something even remotely positive about this draft.

Mel's Grade: B
Smittblog Grade: C-
By trading their first round pick for next year's, the Pats were kinda saying that they don't need to get younger this year, which is a complete lie. They needed to get younger at LB, CB, Safety and could have used some help with O-line depth. Instead they grab the immensely talented but troubled Meriweather (with the gun charges and stomping history in the FIU brawl) and really get only two other players who may make an impact: USC's Lua in the 7th was a very solid pick and my personal favorite (and future favorite Pats jersey) Justin Hairston from D 1AA Central Connecticut College. This guy was out of control on the 1AA level. He had 4 games over 200 yards and a 300 yard game. He reminds people of Brian Westbrook, and that's never a bad thing. My low grade also stems from the fact that I don't like the Moss trade. I know they only gave up a 4th round pick to get him, but it's like befriending the really successful hothead broker from work with the absurd expense account and have him join your already solid group of friends. Sure he has the potential to add to the collective good times of your friends and could get you guys tickets to things and into places you never imagined going to, but he also has the potential to pass along his coke habit and get the otherwise reputable guys arrested for accessory in the murder of half a dozen tranny hookers. He's too combustible to take such a risk.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: This is such a cop out grade. Mel did not like this draft by the Pats at all and didn't love the Moss pick. He just respected the value of the 4th round pick for Moss and the first rounder next year they got from San Fran. Considering he hated every other pick, that's not good enough to justify a B grade.

Mel's Grade: B-
Smittblog Grade: C
I thought all that New Orleans needed was some D-backfield help and some linebacking youth. I kind of missed the need for a WR with Horn gone, but I thought they had some decent WR depth. Maybe I was wrong but considering that there was some decent depth in the second round for WRs and only the top 3 corners were off the board when they picked at 27, I would have gone corner there. That may just be splitting hairs though. What I really didn't like was the Pittman selection and the Young & Alleman picks in the 3rd round. I would never have given up that late second rounder to Detroit with so much need in the d backfield. And then to take Antonia Pittman over a need like LB in the 4th just doesn't make any sense to me.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel liked the Meacham pick because he was the best available player. I won't discuss just how hypocritical this argument by Mel is considering what he's said about other teams, but let's just say that he has not applied this reasoning over the entire draft. He didn't really like the Young pick, was suspect on the Jones and Mitchell picks but thought there was value in Alleman and Bushrod (I will likely own this jersey by the time my fantasy draft rolls around). He also really didn't have a problem with the Pittman pick because it provides depth in the backfield. Because they didn't need depth anywhere else at the top of the fourth round, eh?

Mel's Grade: C-
Smittblog Grade: B
I am kind of blown away that they didn't grab an LB other than Zak Deossie (who for the life of me I thought was the son of former WWF wrestler "The Million Dollar Man" until I realized that that was Ted Debiase. I'm dead serious.). Ross was a very good pick in the first round and Steve Smith was another great pick. Amani Toomer isn't going to be able to point out first downs forever. If I were The Giants, I would have packaged some picks to move up to the front of the third and picked up Buster Davis or McCauley, but this was Reese's first draft and you knew he wasn't going to do anything that risky. The Jay Alford pick is a little weird but not even close to as sketchy as the TE in the 5th. What the hell was that about? In the fifth you can still get great interior line depth or a small school flier on a corner. You take a projected backup TE? Weak.

Analysis of Mel's Grade: Mel's grade here stems SOLELY from his unwavering and uncontrollable hard-on for CENTRAL MICHIGAN'S tackle Joe Staley. His love for Staley blinded him from the fact that pocket protection was not even CLOSE to the top need of the Giants (that would be the secondary). And not only does he love Joe Staley but he acts as though replacing Luke Petitgout is like replacing Anthony Munoz. Hey Mel, Petitgout was not that good. You could tape a ham sandwich on top of a Weeble and he'd do a better job protecting the pocket than Petitgout did. Sure I think the Giants need some OT depth, but did you see their secondary? They were the worst in the NFL. Ross was a great pick and I'm even convinced that Koets (the 6th rounder from Oregon St.) could step in and start for the Giants. The biggest miss by the Giants was at LB and Mel doesn't even mention that in his review of their picks. Mel's grade and review of the Giants was the most clear indication that he can't stand it when people don't listen to him because he feels marginalized. I think he thought he'd have more of an effect over new GM Jerry Reese. Maybe he had more of an impact over Accorsi. This was a grudge grade by Mel. Very professional.

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