Thursday, April 26, 2012

NFL Draft 2012

We have finally reached the NFL Draft, which starts tonight in prime-time on ESPN.  After hours of analysis and talk about who will land where, the mystery will finally begin to be unraveled tonight from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  A record 26 players have been invited to the venue, showing just how possible flux is in this draft.  The only locks of this draft are the two men in the picture here, quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, who are going to be the first and second picks of the draft, respectively.  Luck will heir apparent to Peyton Manning, while RG III will try to get the Redskins on track in the nation's capital. 

I will not be able to watch most if not all of the first round live coverage tonight because I have a night class.  However, I will be following it when I can on my computer and keeping up with the picks.  For me, the NFL Draft is great and all, but personally I see more excitement in the NBA draft.  With the NFL draft, there are too many players, scouting reports, and things to keep up with.  Unless you are a Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, or just an avid college football junkie, it is impossible to watch all the game tapes, combine performances, and interviews for this draft class.  I am willing to venture in saying that I have seen a lot of the first round draft picks play and can speak a little bit to their skills, but I don't claim to be an expert on the matter.  With college basketball, it is much easier to see these guys play.  You would have to own multiple TVs and watch countless hours of college football in order to be able to truly know the players for this draft class.  Kiper and those guys get paid to do that, but personally I don't have the time or energy to invest my life into that.   College football's draft also spans seven rounds and three days, while the NBA draft only has two rounds and finishes up in just one night.  That's probably why I'm drawn to the NBA one just a little more, but the intrigue of the NFL draft is on my mind today.

ESPN and other networks do a great job of providing all the analysis and player reports.  I have looked at some mock drafts, but none of those will hold true to form as trades between teams will certainly throw this first round for a loop.  The only certainties are those first two picks, and rumors about teams moving up or down have been plentiful in these past few weeks or so.  I am not going to pretend I know a ton about every player who will be drafted tonight.  I'd rather just sit back and watch the action unfold rather than just making up wishy-washy analysis that won't serve a purpose.

I want to address my Chicago Bears in this blog entry.  Before the acquisition of Brandon Marshall, it seemed the Bears were certain to draft a wide receiver for Jay Cutler to throw to this upcoming season and beyond.  However, the pickup made the Bears feeling they didn't necessarily need to target guys like Kendall Wright of Baylor or Michael Floyd of Notre Dame.  Their biggest needs now seem to be on the offensive and defensive lines, as well as possible help in the secondary.  Bears fans also have to worry about Matt Forte's contract status and if a team like the Patriots may swoop in and try to trade for him on draft day.  The Bears' offensive line is still very sketchy and needs definite help, so it would help to address this.  Cutler needs the time to throw the ball.  The line improved a little bit last year, but it is still not good enough at this point.  The defensive line isn't horrible, but they need more than just Julius Peppers in order to have a good push rush.  The secondary has been all right, but a real playmaker would help this defense out a lot.  Phil Emery seems to have a handle on his stuff more than Jerry Angelo, so it will be good to see what type of approach he takes in this draft.  This draft will certainly be instrumental in the team's success for years to come.  It is obvious that he's the type of guy to not divulge strategy and picks, but he has an agenda to win and wants to do what he can to put a great team on the field.

The first round is sure to be full of surprises tonight.  Let's enjoy the ride and see who drafts who, who trades out of picks, and who reaches for players. 

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