So I just got back to my apartment and went online to check the NFL draft thus far. At the moment, I see that Brady Quinn is still undrafted and Miami just took Ted Ginn, Jr. with the 9th overall pick. (For all of you who predicted that the Lions would pass on Ginn but he would still be picked before Quinn, please comment below.)
I think the NFL draft is the most interesting among the major sports. It's deeper than the NBA draft, but not as overwhelming as the MLB draft. (Do the NHL or NASCAR even have drafts?)
Another thing I like about the NFL draft is that one player does not a franchise make, even though some GM's keep acting otherwise. History has repeatedly shown us that when a team starts trading away multiple assets to move up in the draft, it usually backfires:
- Would you rather have Mike Vick or both Drew Brees AND LaDainlian Tomlinson? (Nice one, Falcons.)
- How about trading Shawne Merriman and Philip Rivers for Eli Manning? (The Giants essentially did.)
- Mortgage your franchise's future just for the rights to Ricky Williams? (Da Coach should not have also been Da GM.)
- Nor is it an historically good idea to trade away multiple draft picks for an established star. (Don't click here, Westy.)
But seriously, at running back you don't need a great player. You just need a player who can do "The 4 Basics":
- Be durable
- Follow your blockers
- Hang onto the football
- Pick up the blitz
The thing about any one running back is that they don't make that big of a difference in playoff games when they're up against real defenses. And they get hurt. That's why RB's drafted in the first round often hold out for every last dollar during signing bonus money negotiations. History says that it will be the only "big" NFL pay day that they get.
When Reggie Bush started to "go off" last year and put up some big numbers, people started mocking the Houston Texans for passing up on him for defensive end Mario Williams. However, let's see how things play out over a 10-year span. With Williams, the Texans were making a relatively safe pick--getting a guy who was nearly a lock to be an above average DE for a decade. If things go well, he might become a great DE for a decade. With Bush, even if he is the best running back who ever lived, it is unlikely he could consistently remain an "elite" RB for a decade.
Oh well. I'm sure teams will keep taking RB's in the first round and doing other odd things like packaging five draft picks for "that one guy who can change everything." But I really shouldn't complain about this--it makes things interesting.