I have to admit that I am impressed with the degree to which our local citizenry is showing excitement over the upcoming NFL Draft. Wait a second...there's a riot going on? Hmm, I might be losing touch with what is going on in the rest of the world.
Constant Doubts And Reshuffling Of the Board
During the past two seasons, when we have posted our Little Big Board, we've mentioned how we are constantly reshuffling how we rank these players, right up until the last second. Doubts and paranoia creep into our empty heads, and eat at our brains like a worm in an apple. This year in particular, we have some nagging concerns.
We're not really that worried about who we will select in the 1st round. Finding an acceptable player here should be pretty simple. We're also not very worried about rounds 4 through 7. There are enough appealing oddballs in this class, so we should be able to grab a handful of players we like during that portion of the draft. The area that is causing us some annoyance, is in the 2nd and 3rd round area. We're not feeling too excited about our likely options here.
This has led to a fair bit of squabbling between me and Reilly. I've been leaning towards taking a more conservative approach to this area of the draft. Basically, we could take a couple reasonably solid prospects, even if they don't really excite us. We could aim for someone like Trey Flowers, who we don't expect will become a star, but should be fairly solid. There are quite a few players we could look at as similar, somewhat less stellar options. Or, maybe one of the players we really like will slip in the draft, allowing us to get someone we really want at a nicely discounted price.
Reilly, on the other hand, has been arguing in favor of taking a much more aggressive approach in these two rounds. He wants to say "screw it" to the conventional wisdom, and just reach for some of the players we actually desire, even if they are generally projected to be available later in the draft. He would have us bump up some of the players we listed as targets for later rounds, by about a round, in order to give us some 2nd and 3rd round options we would find more satisfying.
I have to admit that I'm starting to agree with him, though I might want to wait and see how things look after the 1st round before committing to this. Would we be willing to select someone like Tre McBride in the 2nd round? Maybe. We certainly think he is an interesting player, though the possibility of getting him in the 3rd round is obviously more appealing. Would we be willing to take someone like Craig Mager or Mark Glowinski in the 3rd, even though most people would probably view this as a bit of a reach? Hmm, yes, that probably wouldn't bother us as much as you might think. At the end of the day, we just like some of the prospects who we have rated for selection in later rounds, quite a bit more than some of the players we have listed for selection in the front half of the draft. Still, I really feel like trying to try to wait it out, and let our prospects fall to us, rather than chasing them.
I also can't deny that dealing with Reilly's wrath, if I oppose him, has got me feeling quite terrified. So, I might crumble under the pressure of his constant badgering. We'll see what happens.
The more you look at the information that is available, the more it appears that the Ravens are going to target a running back and a cornerback, with some fairly high draft picks. The team has been interviewing a lot of the top prospects at these two positions, and that probably says a lot about what their intentions might be.
I wouldn't criticize them for making a move at the cornerback position, depending on who they actually select. They need some more depth at that position, and there are some very interesting prospects in this year's class.
On the other hand, I just don't get what the point would be in selecting a running back. Yes, the likelihood that a highly drafted running back can produce immediate and obvious results is undeniable. They do tend to produce numbers. Still, I lean towards the idea that even a mediocre offensive or defensive lineman is probably a rarer and more valuable asset than an above average running back. A running back would probably produce the sort of superficial results that would make it appear to be a successful draft pick, but it would strike us as a weak move. I just think they should aim for rarer commodities, rather than addressing a position where you can probably manufacture similar rushing results by other means.
I also kind of wonder if the Ravens might be considering the possibility of trading up, though I'm not sure if I would support that idea either. If the 2nd and 3rd rounds are going to be the minefield of fairly mediocre talent that I previously stated that we expect them to be, maybe the Ravens would be willing to part with the picks they have in this part of the draft. If they traded away their 2nd round pick, they could theoretically move their 1st round pick up to somewhere around the 16th pick. I don't really like that option, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did this. If they did this, I suspect it would be part of an attempt to target a wide receiver. A more interesting option might be trading away their 3rd round pick, to raise their 2nd round pick to something in the area of 44th selection. Considering how many draft picks the team has this year, I would almost bet on them doing something like this.
More Dead Hookers In The Trunk
I saw that James Todd made some brief mention of this already, but I wanted to add some of my own hopes and prayers. Has anybody been paying anybody been paying attention to the Chiefs wide receivers? Outside of the recent Jeremy Maclin signing, there really isn't much standing between Da'Rick Rogers and potential stardom, other than his own personality defects (a seemingly insurmountable obstacle). Are we really supposed to take Jason Avant, Junior Hemingway, or Armon Binns seriously? I think not. Yes, they have Albert Wilson, and he is a player we have some respect for based on last year's list of receivers that the computer found interesting, but we still wouldn't say that his ceiling is probably that high.
Reiily and I are having a hard time letting go of our love for Rogers, though we have to admit that the NFL keeps kicking us in the teeth over this one. We get it, he might be an asshole. Is that really such a big deal? Aren't most of these guys morons? At least Da'Rick appears to have some real talent, so we'd really like to see the Chiefs get through the draft without selecting a serious challenger to Da'Rick's possible ascendance. Whatever his issues may be, we still think he's probably a better player than at least 90% of this year's wide receiver prospects.
Yeah, I don't really expect to ever hear from Rogers again, but I can hope.
I'm probably mentally imbalanced.
Our interest in what the Chiefs will do, seems to have several peculiar angles.
It's probably a bad sign that almost nothing fascinated me more during free agency than seeing Rodney Hudson signed by the Raiders. While his 5 year, $44.5 million deal was a bit astounding, that didn't matter much to me. Honestly, I have serious doubts about whether Hudson is a particularly good center, but if teams want to spend their money this way, that's not going to impact my life. No, Reilly and I don't particularly care about Hudson very much, one way or another.
The only reason this matters to us, is that it suddenly opens up a path for Eric Kush to become the starting center for the Kansas City Chiefs. That interests us very much, because we've been waiting for this day for the past couple years, and genuinely think he could turn out to be a special player. That really has to be a sign of sickness, when you are obsessively watching the career of another team's backup center, who was drafted in the 6th round. That's just how we roll, and I doubt there is a medication designed for this particular sort of disorder.
Now, we're stuck waiting for the outcome of the draft, hoping that the Chiefs won't select any centers (or wide receivers). We particularly don't want them to select a center with a pick in the first couple of rounds, because a player with that sort of draft status could easily doom Kush's chances of getting the opportunity we so desperately want him to receive. As we've probably said a million times, draft status probably matters just as much as actual ability, and Kush probably only has the latter of these two attributes. Actually, we'd probably say that draft status might matter more than ability. So, while you are all praying for your teams to strike gold in the 1st round, say a little prayer for this weird center prospect. Otherwise, I'm going to have to spend the next year complaining about some center that nobody appears to care about.