enlightened look at nfl draft

Another sporting event (if you can call it sporting but it is certainly an event) has appeared on the horizon. The NFL draft. I love it because it is still an extension of college football and it is a crapshoot. there is a bear behind meAnd ESPN has figured out how to put a bunch of young men in an audience of drunken fans looking woefully nervous on whether they will not only make millions of dollars (or lose millions of dollars) or whether they will just look plain foolish sitting there in an audience with people who have nothing to do with the draft. I love the people who attend it (unfortunately I haven’t been invited back since the last time I attended – see picture at right). And, of course, the buildup and rumors and discussion and everything associated with looking back at college football is awesome.


Before I go thru my unique view on the draft here are a couple of things I have liked this year:

–          The Jon Gruden interviews of the top quarterbacks. Awesome. I am not a big fan of Gruden’s talking style but he knows his shit and he didn’t really hold back on critique. My gut tells me he sees something in Tebow the rest of us don’t yet and that intrigues me.

–          The ESPN analysts. They have done an awesome job of keeping the bullshit to the minimum. In fact they seem to be more honest about the flaws (and vocal) than any year in my memory.

So. As you prepare for the three day draft extravaganza here are some random thoughts for you:


Nick Saban is like having General Grant taking over Robert E. Lee’s army. Bear Bryant is spinning in his grave. Nick Saban wins in college and wins in the NFL. Now that Pete Carroll has left the college game I am not sure there is a better college coach out there that can build an effective college team and effective NFL players. I still don’t get the elephant mascot (are there elephants in Alabama?) but they have a couple of monsters going in this year’s draft. And next year’s. And probably the year after. If you are an NFL team maybe you can just buy stock in Alabama and receive a player as a dividend and skip the draft.south carolina

University of South Carolina

I still haven’t forgiven them for George Rogers winning a Heisman when a Trojan should have, getting drafted high and sucking in the NFL. In fact I believe he set the Gamecocks program back for years. Even the ole ball coach can’t save them. I am pretty sure no Gamecock will go in the early rounds this year but who cares.

Notre Dame

I have been really vocal on how I think Tebow is going to suck in the pros (but hope I am wrong). Clausen is another one (except I am not sure I want to be wrong).  His hands are small so he struggles to hold onto the ball. notre-dame-cheerleaderHe stares down receivers (imagine what Terrell Owens would say to him in a huddle after getting killed when Jimmy had stared at TO a couple of times in a row as he came across the middle). Anyone who thinks they can build a team around him has been smoking something good under the golden dome.

I still don’t get why people don’t talk about Golden Tate. Big. Willing to go across the middle. Metal clamps posing as hands. Hard worker. Best thing for ND? Weiss got drafted early this year after deciding to not come back.

penn state

Penn State

For everything I said about Saban being one of the best coaches at building a great college team and great NFL players, well, just think maybe the opposite with Paterno. He builds okay college teams (they almost always seem to underperform with players who should perform better) and then when they get to the NFL they truly hit their underperforming stride. Any NFL team drafting a Nittany Lion is in a downward spiral.


I know nothing about Missouri other than they have a kickass journalism school, a great bar called Harpo’s and I wanted to post this picture.


Bo Jackson. It’s all been downhill since Bo. Anyway. I am pretty sure the reason why a lot of Auburn players don’t get drafted really high is they refuse to take the IQ test. I am pretty sure no one actually graduates from Auburn. ABUURNI am pretty sure they throw awesome parties and a home football game is a three day event (no classes on Friday). I am pretty sure if you wait and draft an Auburn interior lineman or linebacker in the late rounds no one will notice until they make the pro bowl several years down the road. Their late rounders are strewn throughout the NFL (but they still don’t take IQ tests).


Utah probably had a good team before Urban Meyer and the other Mormon schools around them started winning but who knew. I am still unclear why anyone, let alone a good player, would actually go to college in Utah instead of Boise State or BYU but the few players who actually get drafted do well.

Small colleges

Every year some small college player sneaks into the first couple of rounds that no one has ever heard of, everyone is dubious that someone in a small college can compete with the ‘big boys’ in the ‘big boys league’ and then they end up in the pro bowl before ¾ of the ‘big boys.’ win lose we boozeEven better? Despite the entire hullabaloo (it has been a long time since I have typed that word) with the draft and the top 25 programs probably over 60% of the NFL rosters come from schools rarely discussed.

Plus. Small colleges typically keep things in perspective with regard to their programs (see “win or lose we still booze”).


The NFL draft is the first thing I would use the next time their coach wants to renegotiate his salary. No one from BYU ever gets drafted. Every year BYU wins 10+ games. He has to live in Utah surrounded by a lot of salt. Half the players he recruits in high school go off to someplace around the world on a mission before he can coach them 2 years later. Either give him more money or a couple more wives with prepaid credit cards.


That orange and white checkerboard thing they put in their end zones has to be one of the most obnoxious things you will ever see. The teams they put on the field are obnoxious and disappointing. The running backs they put in the NFL are unstoppable. What happens to Volunteers after they leave Tennessee? It’s like they remember how to play. Cheerleader (T cheek)Draft ‘em. Maybe all that orange saps their abilities and once you get them into a different color they regain their powers. Interesting concept. Someone should do a study on the affects of orange on people.


I am still not sure I was wrong about Stafford yet (I didn’t think he would be a good pro quarterback … and one year does not make a pro quarterback). But. In general if I were a betting man I would put money on any UGA player that gets drafted will be successful in the NFL. Whether you have actually heard of them or not for some reason they produce when they get into the Big game.

North Carolina

south carolina fans

UNC fans

For some reason I find it amusing that some of the most incorrigible NFL athletes come from the Bible belt. Anyway. Butch Davis is not only a good coach but he is a great recruiter. The stream of UNC players entering into the NFL draft similar to the good ole days of when his Hurricanes were streaming may not be today but very very soon.


I am going to miss Massive Mangini prowling the sidelines.kansa jayhawks

I wish Kansas and Kansas State would just have a combined team and then maybe they would win more often.

I am sure people get drafted from Kansas but they are mostly in the Army I bet.


Forget Tim Tebow. In fact forget any Florida quarterback. But. Every year they produce a Percy Harvin in the draft. Doesn’t matter which side of the ball you are talking about there is one every year. A really good college player that is shrouded in doubts by the grandmasters of NFL knowledge and some GM sucks it up, ignores the pundits and drafts him (and is a winner down the road). The Florida players you have to be careful with? The ones who everybody agrees will be great. I know. I know. It doesn’t seem logical and I am sure if I did some regression analysis I could figure out the path to proper draft selection but it’s easier for me to point out the obvious and let someone else do the background work. Plus. I do love the gator mouth arm cheer at the games.


Florida State

It’s a team that year in and year out can’t seem to stop the team they are playing against from scoring when they need them to not score yet year in and year out they place monster defensive players into the NFL. I still cannot figure out why FSU cannot get a great quarterback but beyond that position if someone gets drafted by FSU they will be a good draft selection for that team. I don’t care where they show up in mock drafts.


The best guy drafted out of Arkansas recently (if not ever before some random offensive lineman) is a running back no one paid any attention to and has a name similar to Felix the cat. The reason why I include Arkansas is because I love a team called the razorbacks and their quarterback would have been the first drafted if he had come out this year. Mallett is the real deal. Big. Cannon for an arm. Being coached by a coach who knows how to get him ready for the NFL. And he is throwing the ball in Arkansas. Successfully I may add. He will be the best thing since Billy C came out of Arkansas.

usc song_girls1USC

Weird draft for SC. Awesome NFL type tight end. Fails a drug test. Awesome NFL type defensive lineman. Suggested he takes some plays off. Awesome NFL type safety. Concerns he can’t play coverage. They probably will have 4 other players in top 4 or 5 rounds. Probably end up having 8 to 10 players in NFL. The good news for SC? They drafted everyone from the Tennessee high school draft and will reload fast.

Written by Bruce