For the past few years I have been playing a little game to make watching the NFL Draft more entertaining. When my home team, the Ravens, are on the clock, I make my own pick as to who we should draft. If the Ravens trade up or down in the draft, I can choose to go along with this decision, or stay put. Obviously, I can't initiate trades on my own. It's just fun to see how my picks turn out in comparison to the ones made by the pros.
The Ravens, unfortunately, always have a couple advantages over me. They can choose to give playing time and opportunities to people who just aren't very good, and neglect other guys who have potential. No matter what team you root for, I am sure there are some players that make you wonder why the team keeps giving them chances (Terrence Cody!). A lot of the people I pick in the later rounds don't even end up being drafted, though many of them eventually do make a team's roster. Those are the risks, and there isn't much I can do about it. There's also the possibility that a player I choose will be forced to play outside of what I consider to be their ideal position, say perhaps a 3-4 outside linebacker forced to play defensive end. Again, there's not much I can do about this. In the end, I am just betting on superior athletes, with a solid history of production in college, overcoming these sorts of obstacles.
So, now that I have made my excuses in advance, for what has a rather high probability of being a future source of embarrassment, I'll get to the point and unveil who I would have selected this year.
Team Kangaroo Team Ozzie
pick #32 Jamar Taylor, CB Matt Elam, SS
pick #56 --(I don't trade up)--- Arthur Brown, ILB
pick #62 Terron Armstead, OT --(lost in trade)--------
pick #94 Da'Rick Rogers, WR Brandon Williams, DT
this could cause me trouble
pick #129 Dave Quessenberry, OT John Simon, DE/OLB
pick #130 Ryan Swope, WR Kyle Juszczyk, FB
pick #165 Eric Kush, C --(lost in trade)------
pick #168 Chris Jones, DT Ricky Wagner, OT/OG
pick #199 Charles Johnson, WR --(lost in trade)-------
pick #200 Eric Martin, LB Kapron Lewis Moore, DT
pick#203 Glenn Foster, DT Ryan Jensen, OG/C
pick #238 Paul Worrilow, LB Aaron Mellette, WR
pick #247 Wade Jacobson, OT Marc Anthony, CB
Before the mockery begins, I'll point out some of the weird issues with my draft class. Yes, five of my draftees never got drafted at all, including my third round pick Da'Rick Rogers. This is actually fairly typical, except for Da'Rick, and I expect a number of these oddballs to still make teams. The difference between a 6th round pick and an undrafted free agent is rather insignificant, and I believe in my guys (don't fuck up guys!).
A bigger question might be why I drafted 3 offensive tackles and 3 wide receivers. This probably seems like overkill, and somewhat impractical. Well, the Ravens tackles kind of suck, but fortunately this lack of talent is accompanied by no depth. So, they are bad, but fortunately there are only a few crappy guys to yell at rather than a lot of them. The situation will be getting even worse after this year when the admirably mediocre Michael Oher will be a free agent. So, I figured that as silly as it may seem the team could actually handle drafting three, and basically thought the value was there at the point they were picked at. Quessenberry could also be viewed as a guard, if that makes things seem a bit more sane.
The situation is pretty much the same at the wide receiver position, where after Torrey Smith things get very sketchy very fast. Even Torrey, who I like, kind of worries me. I'm just not convinced he is suited to be a number one receiver. I felt the value was there in the draft (except for Da'Rick Rogers evidently), so I attempted to rebuild the entire wide receiver group all at once. Yes, this would mean cutting pretty much all of the other receivers that are currently on the team. I'd be curious to hear why that would be a bad thing. Oh, fine. We can keep Jacoby Jones around to be our kick returner/dance instructor, but everyone else GONE!
Honestly, I feel that Ozzie had a better draft than he has had in years. This isn't as powerful a compliment as it may initially appear to be. I'm not sure if there will be any stars in it, but I suspect a few of his picks are pretty decent. My favorite pick is Brandon Williams, whom I considered taking myself. I see no way that he doesn't immediately take the nose tackle job away from Terrence Cody. Matt Elam might be a solid guy, though I don't like throwing out hunches on defensive backs without short shuttle and 3-cone times. I think Arthur Brown is an overrated mediocrity, but he will be surrounded by players that will probably make him look better than he is. People keep claiming he is some sort of speedy sideline to sideline monster, though I'm not sure where they are getting this crazy idea.
Time will tell how it all works out. Maybe I'll be right, and you'll become more skeptical of the wisdom of NFL GMs. Maybe Ozzie will be right, and you will become more skeptical of me (if that's possible). Either way, you manage to identify one idiot that you shouldn't be listening to, so it's kind of a win-win for you.
*Update 7/25/13- Now my 4th round pick, Ryan Swope, has retired before even starting a game, due to issues relating to concussions. This could be a rough year for Team Kangaroo.