Monday, May 25, 2009

InClement Weather: NBA-related banter

1) Mark Jackson, ESPN "analyst", is by far for the worst sports commentator on television today. He makes Kornheiser sound like Howard Cosell, Magic as sarcastic as Steve "Snapper" Jones, and Emmitt Smith...well, nothing helps that cause. Sorry Emmitt.

...Quote from Saturday night's game from Mark Jackson...
"When Pau Gasol is on his A-game, there isn't a defender in the NBA that can stop him."
Ummm, yes there is Mark. His name is Kevin Garnett. See NBA Finals 2008.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

2) LeBron's game-winner against Orlando will remain a definning moment in his career, regardless of how the Cavaliers fare the remainder of the playoffs. How do I know? Chicago didn't win the 1989 NBA Championship after Jordan hit his shot over Ehlo (Bulls WIN!).

3) Carmelo Anthony is very very very lucky to have Chauncey Billups talking him through the majority of this season, especially the playoffs. He hasn't been so fortunate since Jim Boeheim rode him, as a freshman, to an NCAA Championship in 2003.

4) JR Smith clearly has the ability to become a major star in this league. The problem is: does he have the maturity and shot selection necessary of a #1 or #2, not just a #3 off the bench? I'm not so sure...

5) I'd take Rashard Lewis or Hedo Turkoglu over Mo Williams if I was LeBron. I'm just sayin'.

6) This WWE/Denver debacle is irrelevant. In the end, the "evil" Mr. McMahon is right. Why? You don't schedule an event when there is the smallest possibility of your team playing for a championship still, even if it was planned over a year in advance and your team hasn't reached a Conference Finals in 24-year. You just don't.

7) David Stern is sweating HEAVILY over no Kobe/LeBron Finals. I refuse to call Kobe the "Black Mamba" either. His name is lethal enough. As for Mr. Stern and the "accusations" that may soon arise, I won''t put anything past anyone either. THIS still hasn't been explained properly enough, for me.

8) How fortunate would Cleveland feel to be tied 2-2, assuming they pull off a "mini-upset" in Orlando on Tuesday night? Probably win-the-series-in-6 fortunate.

9) Watching Kenyon Martin bully Pau Gasol only proves facts we all should know.
A) Kenyon Martin is a petty thug. Very very very very very very petty.
B) Pau Gasol is uber-talented and uber-soft.

10) Predicting these NBA Playoffs is like predicting Mike Tyson's next career move.
Cue the video...

Happy Memorial Day. I forgot to mention that.

Friday, May 22, 2009

NBA Draft Rumors - 5/22/09

To check out the best in the daily NBA rumor mill, check out HoopsHype. That said, here are some synthesized rumors from across the net.

* Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy has a man-crush on Ricky Rubio. As we all know, the Clippers already have a point guard in Baron Davis, who's inked for the next four seasons. While there will be suitors, expect them to attempt to undercut the Clippers, who owe the Baron more than $50M over the next four seasons. This all may be a smokestream, but why? If they take Rubio, the Grizzlies are the proverbial Mikey Award winners (i.e. they're the big winner).

* Meanwhile, if Blake Griffin is off the board, the Grizzlies' front office wants Ricky Rubio, while the owner wants an athletic big (e.g. Hasheem Thabeet). Thabeet may be a better fit, but Rubio is the more seasoned player and will be a more useful player over time. All throughout the college basketball season, Clement and I were outspoken about Thabeet's durability or lack thereof. Not to mention, he does not have much of an offensive game (yet). I don't see great output from Thabeet during an 82-game campaign, unless and until he plays for a veteran team.

* If Ricky Rubio is still available at pick 3, the Wizards may offer JaVale McGee and the 5th pick to move up. Thankfully for the Wizards, the Thunder only saw the ferocious dunks and amazing wingspan of McGee, who averaged about 4-5 missed assignments per contest (leading to bunnies for the opposition) in the half-dozen Wizards games I attended this year. A Rubio/Arenas backcourt would be thrilling to watch, but that does not help the Wizards poor defensive record.

* The Bulls are actively shopping Tyrus Thomas. The Bulls owe Thomas approximately $4.7M this year and a qualifying offer of $6.2M next year. If they clear his contract from the books, then the Bulls may have a real shot at inking Ben Gordon to a long-term deal. Another option, which is more likely, is the Bulls trading Thomas and combo guard Kurt Hinrich (owed $26.5M over 3 years) for an impact big man, such as Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudamire.

* With the 8th pick, the New York Knicks select Stephen Curry. Shhhhh.

* Not a rumor ... here are the folks whose Kool Aid I'm not drinking ...
- Jrue Holiday
- Brandon Jennings
- Hasheem Thabeet
- Jordan Hill

* And here are the guys who I wish were getting more love from the real draft gurus ...
- Tyreke Evans
- Sam Young
- Marcus Thornton
- DeJuan Blair

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Few Thoughts on the NBA Draft Lottery

* Last night, I read a headline that said, "Clips earn right to #1 pick". Let's get one thing straight. The only thing the Clippers deserve is criticism.

* With a glut of talented big men, the Clippers will still select Blake Griffin. If I were GM, I would trade a lottery-protected first-round pick just to get Zach Randolph OFF of my roster. Randolph is extremely talented and has a rare scoring gift, but I do not want Griffin to be negatively influenced. Knowing the Clippers, they'll trade Marcus Camby.

* Seeing Sacramento and Washington fall from picks 1 and 2 to picks 4 and 5 is eerily reminiscent yet more statistically believable than what happened two years ago with Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee.

* The 3rd pick overall will now be referred to as "No Man's Land". After the top two players, there is a major drop-off. In fact, in a stronger draft, I'd rate only one other player (James Harden) with a top 5 grade.

* Whoever gets stuck with Jordan Hill will kick themselves. He's improved every year, but he still has a lot of holes in his game.

* Who else is not drinking the Jrue Holiday Kool Aid? Another case of a guy who measures well. JaVale McGee measures well ... on the Wizards bench. I guess NBA GMs don't measure the intangibles from the game tape.

* Will teams in need of both point guards and bigs draft for value and select point guards? Or will they reach for bigs?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

InClement Weather: Saturday Night Live (Thoughts)

1) Horseracing won't matter until a Triple Crown winner can be found.

2) Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are as solid a bet in Game 7 of their Western Conference Semi-Final matchup against the Houston Rockets as the North Carolina Tar Heels were over Michigan State.

3) David Ortiz has dodged steroid speculation solely on the basis of being on the Red Sox roster.

4) John Lackey was ejected after 2 pitches. Mike Scioscia will explain to us why he's smarter than all of us as a result.

5) Wayman Tisdale was Blake Griffin before Blake Griffin. I know I'm not the first, nor the last, to say it.

6) If LeBron James wins a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, he's going to re-ink with his homestate team this offseason.

7) Manchester United won their third straight Premeir Title. It doesn't take a genius to realize that this team does exactly what the Yankees don't do: pay big and win bigger.

8) Manny Ramirez apologized to his team. How cute. No, check that. How sweet.

9) The Brett Favre saga continues. Honestly, he might have 2 or 3 more offseasons like this to go. Sit tight...

10) People are barking at Carson Palmer for being overconfident on the 2009 season outlook for his Bengals. Exactly how do you want your franchise, $100+-million quarterback sounding? "Realistically, we're a 5-win team. But maybe we can get lucky and push it to .500." Some people are far too stupid to be potentially procreating.

11) Pau Gasol is also the most hollow "star" player in the NBA. Zero defense, zero heart, and zero ability to step up and show any muscle in a tight game. Hollow stats and trivial chest pumps after and-1s against shooting guards. That is why this guy couldn't win a game in the playoffs, A GAME, before Kobe Bryant. You rule Pau!

12) Bye bye Syracuse's hopes in 2009! Addition by subtraction perhaps with Harris and Devendorf NBA (I mean, Europe) bound and the additional of Iowa State-transfer Wesley Johnson...or so I thought. As for Mr. Flynn signing with an agent, well DAMN!!!

I suppose post-Final Four pre-season rankings leave you with that "just fell short" feeling. Don't they???

Sunday, May 10, 2009

InClement Weather: Perfect Endings

While this often seems to be "down time" on the blog, especially post-March Madness and post-NFL Draft, that doesn't mean you all have to suffer. On the contrary!!!!

In fact, this only allows me to become a little too creative.

With that in mind, this week's finale of a personal fav of Pay's and mine - Scrubs - hit quite a sentimental note in its closing minutes. Of course, if you are a fan of the know what I'm talking about.

If you've faded out in recent years from new episodes, I understand. (Especially considering last season's failures and the recent switch to ABC, as a sharp lead-in to a very underrated Better off Ted.) If you never got on board, you missed out...big time.

Sentiment? Wait, isn't this a sport's blog? Don't worry, I'm getting to it!

The closing minutes of the show were exactly what myself, and countless other fans of the show, wanted. A cheesy series of moments that culminated the show's ups and downs throughout its (mostly) stellar run.

Kind of make me thinks about sentimental moments in (wait for it...) sports. I'm not here to talk about first loves, proposing to my fiancee, or my feelings about one day potentially becoming a father. This is a sport's blog after all...

Because of that fact, tonight's reflections draw back to that moment in sports. The one that gave you goosebumps then and still gets your heartstrings even a little right now. It could've happened 10 years ago or 10 sticks with you.

Here's 4 of mine.
I'll never forget...

1) Magic Johnson's Return


I was 8-years old in 1991. I was as avid a Knick fan as you could imagine a New York city 8-year old to be. However, there was a special place in my heart for Earvin "Magic" Johnson. The day he retired abruptly, announcing he had the HIV virus...I cried. I'm not afraid to admit that I wept like a baby. I barely knew what HIV was that day, but I thought Magic Johnson would never play basketball again. Even worse, I wondered if his days were numbered. It's the first time in my young life I contemplated dying. I don't remember sleeping much that night. Ditto for the night following the 1992 All-Star Game. It belonged to Magic from beginning to end. Secondly, I felt it belonged to fans like me. I have the VHS from the recording of the game to this day. I'll always have it.

2) The Good Doctor's Return


7th grade and my last Yankees game at the stadium before moving to Leesburg. I was there. I witnessed history. I also was told, throughout each inning from my uncle (an avid Met fan), just how great Doc Gooden was. How beyond great he would have become, if not for the demons that he let keep him down. But for one night, Doc had it again. Redemption doesn't last forever, but for one night, he recaptured immortality. I could barely stand to watch those last few innings for my seat, but I'm thankful I never looked away.

3) Good Defeats Evil


With perspective, it seems wrong to consider Plaxico Burress to be "good". However, when you're talking about the New England Patriots - at least around me - you know where the "evil" comes from. The ultimate hate stems when you're happy a team was 18-0, only to finish 18-1. In perhaps the greatest Super Bowl ever (not that 2009 was too shabby), Eli Manning and the Giants may have pulled off the greatest Super Bowl upset since Super Bowl III. The moment lives on for me, despite being a Jet fan instead of a Giant one. My best friend is a lifelong Giants fan; however, I'm not sure if anyone - even him - was cheering louder than myself when Burress caught the eventual game-winning TD than myself.

4) MY National Championship


Was I on the team? No. Was I there? No. Do I consider myself a "we" when I talk about the Orange(men) of Syracuse. Yes. If you can't understand why some fans say "we", even if they know they are nothing but fans...then get back on your high horse and go bring someone else down with a Dr. Cox-esque-rant-covering-up-some-major-insecurity-you-don't-hide-very-well.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

If you read this blog or know me, you're begging me not to say anything more. So I won't. Except this: best sport's moment EVER in my lifetime. E-V-E-R. Even "One Shinning Moment" loses its cheesiness for those 3 minutes when it's your team's time to shine.

Now while these moments may mean nothing to you, I'm sure - if you at all consider yourself a true sport's fan - you have more than a few of your own. Memories of Miracles on Ice, Olympic triumphs and tragedies, historic upsets, mind numbing meltdowns, and everything else in between. The majesty of sports sometimes brings out the best and other times the worst. In the end, it's a menagerie of moments you remember. You take away what you want from them. For better or worse.

So let's hear 'em.
Your turn.

Hooch is crazy. This montage isn't.

Friday, May 01, 2009

2009 NFL Draft: Post Draft Analysis

Now that the 2009 NFL Draft has come and gone, all that's left to do now is speculate between now and mini-camps. This draft left me with one message: The New York Giants dominated. Could I be wrong three years down the road? Sure. For now, here is my Post Draft Analysis, listing the Best and Worst drafts by team, and the biggest Steals and Reaches.

Top 5 Drafts

1) New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks could easily be better than advertised. Butch Davis’s comments about him being the best pass catcher he’s ever coached should not be taken lightly. Some of the best receivers to grace the NFL have gone through Davis. Clint Sintim could end up with a starting spot. He fits the Giants to a “T”. As a pass rushing LB, he gives the team another option to send after the opposing QB. William Beatty was a steal near the bottom of the 2nd round. He will eventually start at LT. Ramses Barden was one of the top small school prospects in the draft. He’s HUGE (6-6, 230) and has a thing for getting open in the end zone. If Travis Beckum didn’t get hurt last year, there would have been more hype. Don’t be surprised if he pushes Kevin Boss into a blocking role and takes over the receiving TE role before too long. Andre Brown could be the next Derrick Ward on this team. He’s a big back with some decent speed. Though he was an underachiever in college, he could be in the right situation to flourish. Rhett Bomar, in my opinion, has the potential to be as good as any QB in this draft. He was the top QB coming out of high school, started as a redshirt freshman at Oklahoma (Holiday Bowl MVP), but he broke rules and landed at Sam Houston State. He has an NFL arm, and could look good enough to get his QB coach a head coaching gig. In the 1-5 rounds, every player they drafted ranked high on many boards.

2) Philadelphia Eagles:
Donovan McNabb should probably consider putting up, and/or shutting up. The team brought in a lot of talent through free agency, trade and the draft. It doesn’t look like they’re done either. Maclin was a steal at 19. Yes, he is similar to DeSean Jackson, but I think he’ll be much better. LeSean McCoy could prove many wrong. He doesn’t have measurables, but knows how to read the holes. Cornelius Ingram in the fifth round could be the best pick of their draft. Once fully healthy he rivals Pettigrew as the best TE in this draft. Macho Harris saw his stock fall, but lands on the right team, where he can sit and watch for a bit. Fenuki Tupou can play either tackle. Moise Fokou (Mo-Fo) will make fans happy on special teams. He could eventually be one of those late round picks that carves a niche on this team.

3) Cincinnati Bengals: First I will start with a disclaimer: It’s the Bengals. Now that I got that caveat out of the way, the Bengals impressed me. Yes, the team has a “gift” for drafting troubled players. Look right at the top with Andre Smith and Rey Maualuga. Both have off-field concerns, but the on-field talent speaks for itself. Both players were the best at their position in college last year, against top competition. Michael Johnson has that boom-or-bust value fits a need position for this team as an edge rusher. In my opinion, Chase Coffman could be their starting TE today. Luigs was a nice pick up at center, and could eventually be a starter. Huber was the best punter this draft had to offer. Morgan Trent is a tall, physical CB who joins former Wolverine, Leon Hall. Bernard Scott is your typical Bengal, as he has major off-field concerns, but he could be another Darren Sproles if he can stay out of trouble. Clinton McDonald has upside as a pass-rushing DT.

4) Detroit Lions: How could you not have one of the top drafts when you have the #1 pick? Believe me, the Lions have been capable of doing that in the past. However, with the franchise trying to turn the page, they had a great draft. Don’t get me wrong. Stafford holds this entire Lions draft class in the balance. If he doesn’t work out, the whole thing is practically a bust. But, let’s say Stafford works out. Taking Brandon Pettigrew was a smarter pick than first glance. I have always been a big fan of having a reliable safety-valve receiver for a young QB. The Lions lacked one on the roster, so they went out and drafted the best one available. A complimentary pick like this raises the value slightly. Louis Delmas grows on me the more I read about him. Taking him at the top of the 2nd round may have been a reach to some, but I think Delmas has star potential. DeAndre Levy’s presence could be a sign that Aaron Curry ends up in the middle (drafting Zach Follett adds more to that theory). Levy was a playmaker at Wisconsin for much of his four years there, and brings a lot of speed to the table at the OLB spot. Derrick Williams shouldn’t take long before he’s the #2 behind Calvin Johnson. The Lions needed bulk on the defensive line and got it with Stillman’s Sammie Lee Hill. He’s a poor man’s Shaun Rogers. A giant of a man, and he’ll be difficult to move. Aaron Brown was probably drafted to be more of a kick returner than a runner out of the backfield. Lydon Murtha, Zach Follett and Dan Gronkowski add depth to a team that didn’t have much last year.

5) Buffalo Bills: While I wasn’t a fan of the Bills taking Maybin over Orakpo, and taking Eric Wood so early, they still made several value picks. Maybin is younger than Orakpo and might offer more upside. Apparently, he reminded their front office of a young Jason Taylor. Whether Wood was a reach or not, he was a great college player. He won’t be on the bench for long. Jairus Byrd got a lot of hype late, and should fill in as the Nickel-Back early on. Andrew Levitre could also land a starting spot after Dockery’s departure. Shawn Nelson was arguably the 3rd best TE in this draft. With the wide open spot at TE on the Bills, he should have no problem starting. He’s like a WR playing TE and should make Trent Edwards’s job easier. Nic Harris is a bit of a tweener. As an OLB, he brings a lot of speed to the position and could get significant time on the weak side. Cary Harris and Ellis Lankaster should both contribute on special teams. Lankaster was a Juco All-American return-man, also blocking a handful of field goals, before transferring to WVU.

Worst 5 Drafts

1) Oakland Raiders: DHB over Crabtree and Maclin??? That has Troy Williamson written all over it. Al Davis has to realize, this isn’t John Madden Football. Every pick, outside of Louis Murphy, was a reach. Michael Mitchell was a bit of a reach in my opinion, but not as bad as everyone acted like it was. Mel Kiper shouldn’t have had him as the 73rd ranked safety in the draft. Matt Shaughnessy isn’t really a pass rusher, and he’s not really a run-stopping DE. Slade Norris, Stryker Sulak and Brandon Myers might have been rookie free agent targets for many teams.

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tampa gets the low grade for picking Freeman. I pegged this as their pick, but that doesn’t mean I thought he was worth the pick. He has that strong arm that the Bucs have lacked, but he still has a lot of work to do. DT Roy Miller was a good college player, but he has very little upside. He could contribute, but most-likely won’t be a starter in the league. Kyle Moore is similar to Miller, as he doesn’t have much upside. He has great size, but lacks pass rushing skills or the physical strength/speed. Xavier Fulton is a project who has the physical tools, but not the experience. Edjuan Biggers and Sammie Stroughter probably could have been had as rookie free agents. Stroughter has been seen by some, but he lacks size.

3) Washington Redskins: Yes…I have to be overly-critical of my team. Then again, they deserve all of it. The Orakpo pick was great. No arguments there. He was not expected to fall to 13. However, the rest of the draft failed to address the biggest need on the team – the offensive line. Add in the fact that the team was without a 2nd rounder they traded for Jason Taylor. Kevin Barnes was a decent pick in the third, and could end up contributing. The rub is in the next two picks. Cody Glenn is a converted RB. He only played seven games as a LB at Nebraska. Robert Henson, on the other hand, has the experience, but he weighed in around 225. He won’t be able to handle the pounding in the middle. FB/TE Eddie Williams is supposed to be a Mike Sellers clone, but not as good of a blocker. Thanks for nothing. I’m sure Cooley and Fred Davis don’t have to worry about the challenge. Not even going to address the WR pick in the 7th. Jamon Meredith was taken four picks after Glenn. Duke Robinson – five picks. There were RBs available that would send Ladell Betts to the 3rd team. You heard it here, Rashad Jennings (taken at 250 by Jacksonville) will add more value to his team then all Redskins picks outside of Orakpo, maybe even combined. By the way...Vinny Cerrato's reasoning for not going after an O-Lineman: The Skins signed Mike Williams (yes...the former #4 overall bust pick for the Bills). And nobody was knocking down his door. The downsized (450 to a now 400 lbs) offensive lineman was Derrick Dockery's roommate. Dockery asked for the Skins to give Williams a chance. Guess the Raiders have some competition.

4) Denver Broncos: Hard to hate on their draft after their first three picks. All will help the team. However, one wonders what happened afterwards. I will detail Darcel McBath and Richard Quinn in my “Reaches” section. Both picks were horrible, in my opinion. I can’t hate on the David Bruton pick. He might be starting before McBath. Seth Olsen will be a versatile backup, but will probably not be a serviceable starter for the Broncos. Kenny McKinley is a Spurrier WR. No need to make that argument. Tom Brandstater is a weak-armed QB from Fresno State. Could he have more working against him? Blake Schlueter is a Broncos-style lineman…under Shanahan. He’s an undersized zone-blocking center, but has some potential.

5) San Diego Chargers: It was difficult to place this team on this list, but there are some decent reasons. Many teams also did a decent job of drafting too. My biggest gripe about this draft is that the Chargers drafted like they are a team rebuilding. Unless the Chargers had a tip about Larry English going earlier, they probably could have taken Cleveland’s place and traded down with Tampa, then with Philly, and maybe more, and still landed English in the latter part of the first round. Is Merriman hurt that bad? Is this insurance? Is Shaun Phillips in danger? Maybe they envision English in the middle, because they need the help there. Guards Louis Vasquez and Tyronne Green and DT Vaughn Martin have great upside, but won’t help a playoff team anytime soon. Brandon Hughes could be a sleeper. Gartrell Johnson, Kevin Ellison and Demetrius Byrd probably would have been available as free agents. While Johnson flashes power running, he’ll lose a footrace to some DTs. Ellison reminds me a lot of former USC safety Darnell Bing, and we know how that turned out in the NFL. After Byrd had his accident, he was sure to be out of the draft. Kudos if the Chargers were trying to be the “nice guys.”

Top 5 Steals

1) Jarron Gilbert (68) Bears: Gilbert dropped completely out of the first day. The Bears got a steal. While Gilbert can play DE, he fits in as a Tommie Harris clone. He has great explosion, as evidenced in his YouTube video, jumping out of a swimming pool. How Gilbert fell to the 3rd round after Jason Jones’s success on the Titans last year is a mystery.

2) Lawrence Sidbury (125) Falcons: There was some word that the Falcons were thinking of moving Jamaal Anderson over to DT, and drafting a DE in the first round. Instead, they took DT Peria Jerry in the first. Anderson might still get some competition from Richmond’s Sidbury. Though he played against a lower level of competition, Sidbury’s talent shone over the offseason. Don’t be surprised if Sidbury relieves Anderson on passing downs. While we can’t expect a Mark Anderson-like rookie year, Sidbury should show some flashes.

3) Duke Robinson (163) Panthers: What caused Duke Robinson to fall to the 5th round? It was obvious that he wouldn’t fit with every team, as he is a massive, run-blocking guard. The only speculation I can muster is that maybe he had some red-flags. Did he bomb on the Wonderlic? Regardless, the Panthers got great value at this pick.

4) Coye Francies (191) Browns: Francies was a top 10 ranked CB on many draft gurus’ boards. The only knock on him is the level that he played, and the fact that he is a little raw. Francies’s upside is vast. He has prototypical size, strength and speed at the CB position. He can also work as a returner.

5) Rashad Jennings (250) Jaguars:
One of my personal favorites in this draft, and maybe the reason I had him overrated. However, the 7th to the last pick in the entire draft is a major steal. I have no doubt that by mid-season he will be MJD’s primary backup, and will receive a good amount of carries. He could make his mark as a slightly smaller version of Brandon Jacobs (slightly smaller, but still making him bigger than most backs in the league). He could also work as Greg Jones’s understudy, as he can make the transition to fullback.

Top 5 Reaches

1) Darrius Heyward-Bey (7) Raiders: There were whispers that the Raiders were thinking of taking DHB at #7. Why pass on a nearly can’t-miss prospect like Crabtree? If it’s speed you want, why not Maclin? Picks like this are the reason the Raiders will always be right there with one of the top ten picks in the draft and be one of the biggest jokes on the field.

2) Richard Quinn (64) Broncos: Richard Quinn was a first day pick?!?!?!? Quinn is a pure blocking TE, not a receiver. He had 12 career receptions at UNC. What made the Broncos think they couldn’t get Quinn later? What’s keeping them from drafting an undersized offensive tackle and using him in that role?

3) Darcel McBath (48) Broncos: The team nabbed Darcel McBath while William Moore was still on the board. McBath is a poor-man’s William Moore. Maybe the Broncos have something up their sleeve.

4) Sebastian Vollmer (58) Patriots: Over William Beatty?! Vollmer might be strong and agile, but he’s got a ways to go to even get to Beatty’s level (especially when it comes to pass blocking). Vollmer might replace Kaczur at some point, but the second round was a too high, in my opinion.

5) Eric Wood (28) Bills: Don’t get me wrong. Wood is a good player. I can’t really knock him. But a first round pick??? I think the Bills could have used that pick as an opportunity to trade down if they wanted Wood. Max Unger, who went in the mid-second round is a better center, in my opinion, and offers versatility enough to play any position on the line.