Guest Author - Mona McKenzie
It was actually entertaining to watch the first round of this year’s draft, even though the first two picks were a virtual lock. As expected, Andrew Luck was the first overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III was selected second by the Washington Redskins. Then, a flurry of trades started. Most notably in my book was Dallas moving up from 14 to 6 in order to select CB Morris Claiborne from LSU. Thank You, Jerry!! Cleveland moved up to select Alabama RB Trent Richardson, and selected QB Brandon Weeden later in the round. Looks like Colt McCoy’s run in Cleveland could be over.
Larry Fitzgerald lobbied for and got his man drafted by Arizona. WR Michael Floyd from Notre Dame will now be mentored on and off the field by the best hands in the NFL. Fitzgerald will certainly “Pay It Forward” with Floyd the way Cris Carter did for him. It will be exciting to see the plays made by Fitzgerald and Floyd. Hopefully the Cardinals can find a quarterback who can appropriately utilize the WR talent.
In Miami, the fans have spoken. Owner Stephen Ross knows that fans will support his team only for a limited time if the QB position is not solidified soon. GM Jeff Ireland hitched his job to QB Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M, in hopes of getting the next Dan Marino. Many pundits believe that Tannehill may not be ready for prime time, so, we’ll have to wait and see. Tannehill was the third QB selected in the first round.
The much-maligned New Orleans Saints did not have a selection until the third round because of “Bounty Gate.” With that selection, the Saints made it interesting and picked DE Akiem Hicks from Canada.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Rookie Wage Scale made it more affordable for teams to take risks on players they may have drafted in later rounds or not at all. One of the most interesting picks in the entire draft was the Redskins selecting Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins in the fourth round, to compliment Robert Griffin III and Rex Grossman. It’s hard to know what exactly the Shanahans were thinking by making this selection, but their process will likely be reveals very soon.
On the collegiate front, Alabama had an astounding 4 first round picks. Safety Mark Barron was drafted seventh by Tampa Bay, CB Dre Kirkpatrick seventeenth to Cincinnati, LB Dont’a Hightower twenty-fifth to New England, and Richardson. Not a bad showing for the current NCAA National Champions.
All in all, this draft seemed to move along faster than in other years. Pundits have weighed in on the teams they feel had a good draft. The problem is that many teams look like Super Bowl champions on paper…just ask last year’s Eagles. Redskins’ fans think they’re ready to hoist the Lombardi Trophy…let’s see what the rest of the League thinks. It sure feels great to talk about football instead of a lock out!