On the whole I like the draft on Thursday night. In the end it worked for me. I had some doubts about how it was going to go, but it went really well. There was good energy in the room both in the crowd and on the set.
First off, I think the highlight of the draft was John Gruden. He did a tremendous job all night and after Mel had his say though the first 10 picks or so, Gruden took over. He was first to talk most of the time after a pick and his analysis was very good. He left Kiper waiting to talk and I can’t remember when the last time that happened.
Kiper was his usual self-serving self early on. It is the kind of stuff I think makes everyone roll their eyes when he talks. Gruden was the one who realized it, and took over the show. Had he not, it would have been disaster for ESPN. Chris Berman was off all night. Did Steve Young add anything to the show? And then there was Tom Jackson.
What an embarrassment for ESPN. He made a total jackass of himself, even before the Tim Tebow pick. When Denver took Demaryius Thomas at No. 22, he clearly didn’t like the pick. He was agitated when Ed Werder said the Bronco brass thought he reminded them of Brandon Marshall. His posture was slumping and he clearly needed to step away for a bit.
Unfortunately for ESPN, Denver traded back up and took Tim Tebow. Jackson show his true colors at that point. He was pissed and it showed. He didn’t speak more than two words for the next hour. I have to think ESPN is going to take a hard look at his behavior tonight and think about his future with the network.
As for Tebow, I am glad he was taken in the first round. He may or may not ever be a regular quarterback in the NFL, but I think he is a hell of a football player. The guy broke Emmitt Smith’s career TD rushing record at Florida and Hershel Walker’s rushing touchdown record in the SEC. Think about that for a little bit and let it soak in. He did so much at Florida, I think those two accomplishments have gotten lost in the shuffle.
I got agitated at times when all you heard about from ESPN was Tim Tebow, but I don’t think he deserved all the criticism he has been getting leading up to the draft. I think it has been proven time and time again that nobody knows what makes a good NFL quarterback, so why have so many people been so quick to write Tebow off? There have been a lot of can’t miss guys who have failed miserably. I think he is the type of guy who will be able to step on the field right now in some capacity and help his team win.
As for the Cowboys pick, I love it. Dez Bryant is a guy I talked about in September hoping the Cowboys would have a chance to get. But at the time Bryant looked like a top 10 pick and I certainly hoped Dallas wouldn’t be drafting anywhere near that. I am not at all concerned about “off-field” issues around him. I never agreed with the suspension from the NCAA to begin with.
Bryant has the potential to be a great receiver for a long time in Dallas. Hopefully this spells the beginning of the end for Roy Williams. It just got so hard watching him drop balls left and right. Bryant can step in right now and be a great compliment to Miles Austin (not the other way around Steve Young.)
I had hoped the Cowboys would go safety, but when the opportunity was there to get Bryant, I am glad they did. The best thing is, Taylor Mays is still on the board going to round 2. Dallas picks 27th on Friday, so Mays probably won’t falls to them, but with two fourths, they might be able to make another move to go up and get him. If Dallas could pull Bryant and Mays in this draft, it wouldn’t matter what else happen, it would be a hell of a three days for Dallas.
Edit - 11:38 p.m.
One last thing on the first round. Are the Rams now kicking themselves seeing they could have Clausen to start the second round? I don't think there is a huge difference between Bradford and Clausen. They chose Bradford who I don;t think was a No. 1 pick. Looking at it now, they could have had a guy like Suh and Clausen. You have to think there is some second guessing going on tonight as they prepare for day 2.