Friday, June 8, 2007

So Why Is Mel Kiper Not a GM? I Give You Robert Meachem

Meachem relaxes on a bench on the campus of the University of Tennessee.

By now it must seem that I have some sort of vendetta against Mel Kiper as this is at least the 5th post featuring a knock of Mel. The truth is that I don't have a problem with him or his job (in fact, I'm very envious of his position), I just feel that he is never held accountable for the asinine things he says year in and year out. Mel Kiper, above all, is an information gatherer. He watches tape, attends games in weird places, talks to a ton of people in "the biz" and waxes his ass hairs (I'm not positive about the last one, but I think it's fair to guess that he does.). He IS NOT A TALENT SCOUT! He gives you information about the players that no one else knows about. He knows their strengths and weaknesses but HE HAS NO IDEA HOW THOSE WILL TRANSLATE TO THE NFL. If he did, he would be working for an NFL team. The only people he is qualified to "rate" are the top 10 guys, and by the time the draft rolls around YOU AND I COULD F'N DO THAT! So I find it humorous that he is given the job of trying to project who will be good and who will stink considering that's not really his job (though he takes it on with gusto). So with this in mind, I've found the kickoff to the Robert Meachem experience (A Mel Kiper favorite) particularly enjoyable.

You may recall that Kiper had Meachem rated very high amongst the wide receiver crop. Kiper also felt that he NEEDED to go to Tennessee. When Tennessee skipped Meachem in favor of safety Michael Griffin of Texas, well, let's just say that Mel disapproved:
Vince Young needed help at wide receiver, and the Titans had Robert Meachem staring right at them. Michael Griffin is a nice safety, but he was a luxury pick and the Titans couldn't afford to take a safety when they needed help at other positions...

The Tennessee Titans desperately needed help at wide receiver and could have used a defensive end. Instead, with the 19th pick in the first round, they took Texas safety Michael Griffin. He's not that versatile and can't play cornerback despite being 5-11½, 205 pounds. They took Griffin when wide receivers Robert Meachem and Dwayne Bowe were still available.
But Mel doesn't stop there, "He's not that versatile and can't play cornerback despite being 5-11½, 205 pounds." Well Mel, not exactly. Upon entering Titans camp, Griffin was immediately moved to cornerback (I can't emphasize this enough, Mel doesn't get the talent translation thing). I also like that Mel praised New Orleans for the pick when they had one of the tend worst rusn defenses in the league and didn't take Durant or David Harris. And while Mel couldn't have foreseen what has gone on since the draft, if he's the super scout he claims to be, maybe he could have followed Meachem to the buffet line:
"He struggled some. He had some blisters on his feet, and he's overweight. Today, he tweaked his ankle a little bit during the morning practice. It hasn't been all roses for him. He's been on that first-round tour that these guys go on where they visit all these teams and eat all these fun dinners. And it looks like it right now. So he's got a ways to go."

Meachem agreed his pre-draft schedule hurt his conditioning, "I think I had like nine visits or so. And every visit they give you a big old meal. So for me, I tried to work out when I could, but I don't think I got enough workouts in."
Fortunately for Mel (and Meachem), many players have come in out of shape and worked out fine because the offseason workouts are so demanding. Marques Colston for instance:
"Meachem said, 'He (Marques) talked to me and he told me he probably got in his best shape during offseason workouts between rookie camp and training camp. It gave me a little confidence.'"
Well, that's good. Meachem will be ship shape by the time training camp rolls around. What? He's not going to be able to participate in the offseason workout because he just had surgery to repair a recurring knee injury you say? And the doctors are as optimistic about this surgery as they were the last time a doctor performed the same surgery (which flared up less than 4 years later). Well, at least with the power of positive thinking Meachem can get through this:
"I kind of feel discouraged a little bit because I want to show the coaches what I can do and you can't show them what you can do when you're hurt," Meachem said Wednesday. "For me, it's going to be a time I've got to keep praying and just stay focused - don't let the knee injury get to me."
Robby, you might want to add "....and stay away from the Gumbo" to your list of things you need to do over the next 6 months. Good call on this one Mel. The Titans must be really upset they passed on a chronically injured fat kid with motivation problems and an overeating disorder.

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