Friday, April 29, 2011

NFL draft, Friday

OK, the second and third rounds of the NFL draft are about to get started, and I'll be pulling for University of Kentucky WR Randall Cobb to somehow end up with the Miami Dolphins. Also, I'll be excited to see the former players' announcing picks for their teams. Sam Madison, who played at Louisville, is scheduled to call Miami's next choice, a third rounder.

The cheating New England Patriots are on the clock ...


  1. Here are the states where yesterday's first-round choices played their high-school football:

    Georgia--QB Cam Newton (first overall choice, Auburn), T James Carpenter (25th, Alabama) and DE Cam Heyward (31st, Ohio State)

    Alabama--DT Marcell Dareus (third, University of Alabama), WR Julio Jones (sixth, Alabama) and DT Nick Fairley (13th, Auburn)

    Missouri--DE Aldon Smith (seventh, Missouri), QB Blaine Gabbert (10th, Missouri) and DE Adrian Clayborn (20th, Iowa)

    Texas--LB Von Miller (second, Texas A&M) and QB Christian Ponder (12th, Florida State)

    South Carolina--WR A.J. Green (fourth, Georgia) and DE Robert Quinn (14th, North Carolina)

    Florida--CB Patrick Peterson (fifth, Louisiana State) and DT Corey Liuget (18th, Illinois)

    California--T Tyron Smith (ninth, Southern California) and CB Jimmy Smith (27th, Colorado)

    Wisconsin--DE J.J. Watt (11th, Wisconsin) and T Gabe Carimi (29th, Wisconsin)

    Arizona--CB Prince Amukamara (19th, Nebraska) and DE Cameron Jordan (24th, California)

    Washington--QB Jake Locker (eighth, Washington)

    Oklahoma--C Mike Pouncey (15th, Florida)

    Indiana--DE Ryan Kerrigan (16th, Purdue)

    Colorado--T Ryan Solder (17th, Colorado)

    Maryland--DT Phil Taylor (21st, Baylor)

    Illinois--T Anthony Castonzo (22nd, Boston College)

    Pennsylvania--WR Jonathan Baldwin (26th, Pittsburgh)

    Michigan--RB Mark Ingram (28th, Alabama)

    New Jersey--DE Muhammad Wilkerson (30th, Temple)

    Mississippi--T Derek Sherrod (32nd, Mississippi State)

    (Baylor G Danny Watkins, the 23rd choice, did not play high-school football in Canada. He picked up the sport at Butte (Calif.) College.)

  2. Kentucky, which had no players selected in the first round yesterday, went 6-7 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference last season. Here are the results of those teams that did have players selected in the first round

    Alabama 4 first-rounders (10-3, 5-3 in the SEC)
    Auburn 2 (14-0, 8-0, national champions)
    Missouri 2 (10-3)
    Colorado 2 (5-7)
    Wisconsin 2 (11-2)
    Baylor 2 (7-6)
    Ohio State 1 (12-1)
    Iowa 1 (8-5)
    Texas A&M 1 (9-4)
    Florida State 1 (10-4)
    Georgia 1 (6-7, 3-5, beat Kentucky)
    North Carolina 1 (8-5)
    Louisiana State 1 (11-2, 6-2)
    Illinois 1 (7-6)
    Southern California 1 (8-5)
    Nebraska 1 (10-4)
    California 1 (5-7)
    Washington 1 (7-6)
    Florida 1 (8-5, 4-4, beat Kentucky)
    Purdue 1 (4-8)
    Boston College 1 (7-6)
    Pittsburgh 1 (8-5, beat Kentucky)
    Temple 1 (8-4)
    Mississippi State 1 (9-4, 4-4, beat Kentucky)

    All but one of these teams (Purdue) had seasons I would've preferred to Kentucky's.

  3. Given my research today, I am prepared to officially declare that Kentucky needs more stars but that, unfortunately, it likely is going to have to nab them out of places like Alabama and Georgia.

    Big news.

  4. I am stunned at just how much the management-labor fight has already impacted my interest in the NFL. The lack of veteran-player transactions, the likelihood that a work stoppage would mute the rookies' impact this fall and the bummer pall that the lockout talk is casting on the broadcasts have conspired to rob this draft's juice.

  5. "Little Joe" Morris just announced the Giants' choice, a defensive tackle from Washington, D.C., and the University of North Carolina and the 52nd straight selection in this draft who played at neither the University of Kentucky nor a Kentucky high school.

    Honestly, Gov. Steve Beshear (D-Dawson Springs) needs to make the improvement of KHSAA football part of his campaign platform.

  6. OK, the good news is that UK coach Joker Phillips (of Franklin!) is obviously on top of this situation, as this offseason he hired the former head coach of LaGrange (Ga.) High School, Steve Pardue (of County!), to recruit and coach UK's running backs.

    OK, I'm feeling better about this situation.

  7. Plus, we've got Tee Martin heading into his second season on Coach Phillips's staff. He's a well-regarded recruiter with ties to both Alabama and Georgia.

    Feeling better--yes!

  8. HeathPostdotcom would be Tweeting its endorsement of the UK situation to coaches Phillips and Martin, but, alas, the Twitter desk has been on the fritz all day.

  9. Fifty-seven choices in, and rates Randall Cobb is rated as third-best-available prospect. Twenty-one choices before Sam Madison visits the podium with the Dolphins' third-round selection ...

  10. OK, the Dolphins zip into the second round to select a running back from Kansas State and son of minister mom and dad. He looks like a solid selection, the announcement of whom Sam Madison prefaced with a lovely tribute to the late Jim Mandich. And now Franco Harris comes on to announce the Steelers' pick, a giant offensive lineman from Florida.

    So things are picking up all around.

  11. And Randall Cobb goes to the Packers! HURRAH!

    I should point out that Cobb is not a Kentuckian. He played his high-school football in Tennessee.

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  13. Cobb joins a former UK teammate, punter Tim Masthay (of Murray!), on the Packers.

  14. In spite of these developments of late, this draft continues to lack juice for me, and the main reason--even more than the labor goofiness--is that I'm not watching it with Rob, with whom I got together annually for eight or 10 consecutive drafts.

    The first one was when he was living in Lexington and I was in Washington. We rendezvoused at an Econolodge or Motel 6 or something in Parkersburg, W.Va. We watched every pick over two days as ESPN and ESPN2 split up the coverage over a Saturday and Sunday.

    In those first couple of seasons, back in our late 20s/early 30s, we would eat chips, pizza and cookies the whole time and then stay up late on the Saturday night, studying various draft publications and playing computer games. As we approached 40, however, we had to adopt more sensible eating and sleeping patterns in order to stay strong through the seventh round.

    Now that the NFL has busted this thing up over three days, it's not nearly as physically demanding as back in the day. This must be exactly how Chuck Bednarik felt whenever he heard Hank Stram and Pat Summerall going on and on about how impressive an athlete Randy White was.

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  17. Eighty-five picks and still nary a Kentuckian. I mean, I know there are 50 states, and we're still talking about fewer than one pick per state. But, come on, Alaska isn't using its 1.7 picks; the Dakotas probably aren't using theirs. And do they even play football in New Hampshire?

    Well, yes, they do. I had forgotten about Greg Landry's USFL turn.

  18. I cannot begin to explain how happy I am to see that I missed coverage of cheating New England's choice of Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett in the third round. I'm sure this ensued a solid five minutes of chattering about how brilliant Bill Belichick is and how the Patriots are the perfect, tough-love environment within which the 6-foot-7 hurler can reach his potential after apprenticing behind Tom Brady for at least a few seasons. And I'm sure someone tried to make a comparison to the Packers' drafting Aaron Rodgers while Brett Favre was still around, and I would bet pretty much any dollar amount that none of these guys brought up that the Patriots are cheaters and have always been cheaters and are probably such monumental, historical cheaters that the NFL has destroyed the evidence in order to protect the integrity of its league history.

  19. Johnny Patrick, a cornerback from the University of Louisville (who hails from DeLand, Fla.), goes in the third round to the New Orleans Saints.

  20. Three rounds done. To summarize: No Kentuckians, Randall Cobb's a Packer, UK's coming around, Paul Warfield was awesome and the Dolphins are going all the way!

  21. Of course, Baltimore should select John Elway. There's no way this kid will miss out on the opportunity to be the next Bert Jones.

  22. OK, Stanford's Elway goes to Baltimore, so Frank Kush has a big star to build around as long as he George Steinbrenner's big money doesn't lock him in with the Yankees.

  23. ESPN's Chris Berman just suggested that a "secret meeting" among Colts officials, Elway and his dad might've smoothed out whatever differences had existed between team and player.

    Well, as a Dolphins' fan, I am not going to worry about Elway at this point. Even a prospect as good as Elway is unlikely to turn the 0-8-1 Colts into a contender in the AFC East. We've still got the AFC East's best young quarterback in David Woodley, and, besides, any of the other three teams and their veteran quarterbacks (New York with Richard Todd, New England with Steve Grogan or Buffalo with Joe Ferguson) poses a significantly bigger immediate threat to our division defense.

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  25. MTV is changing everything. Now even ESPN is putting footage to pop music. They just showed Elway highlights against "Shining Star" by Earth, Wind & Fire.

  26. Man, this is turning into one of the all-time-great running-back drafts ... SMU's Eric Dickerson goes second to the Rams; Penn State's Curt Warner, third to the Seahawks.

  27. Good, sage advice from Miami's Tommy Vigorito to Dickerson and Warner: Don't "expect to set the world on fire right away ... You're not really expected to go in and start and gain 2,000 yards your first year ..."

    Also, Lord Jim's in Hawthorne, N.J., looks like a nice hideaway for a drink or two and maybe a game of chess.

  28. Excellent point about Los Angeles ... now with Dickerson with the Rams and Marcus Allen with the Raiders, it's pretty clear that L.A. has become the capital of the NFL.

  29. Five minutes to go before Denver has to choose, and the Broncos are apparently deciding whether to make a trade with Dallas for a tight end or select Notre Dame's Tony Hunter. The deal with the Cowboys would make sense, given Denver coach Dan Reeves's history with Dallas. But I think Hunter might well be this draft's safest choice. He's got that Dave Casper pedigree.

  30. Billy Ray Smith, the linebacker from Arkansas drafted by the Chargers, has even more impressive pedigree.

  31. Interesting ... Chiefs go with Todd Blackledge ... Sports Illustrated's Dr. Z said his Kansas City sources told him that they were leaning toward Tony Eason of Illinois. "I should've known they were blowing smoke."

  32. Great, great coverage. Thank you, Eric. Sorry about the labor situation.