You know I’m not a homer. You know I don’t just spout the company line. You know I call them as I see them.
First, the NFL Draft is an amazing item, because all these blabbermouths make their money by saying “I grade (Team X) draft a B+”. Like the day after the draft, you have a clue as to who’s going to turn out to be a superstar, who’s going to become a bust, whatever. What gets me is the thing about these “experts”. Mel Kiper Jr, who I happen to like because he worked hard at his craft and eventually found a market for it, was a fan. Give him credit for making a mountain out of that molehill, but come on now, these are young men, some with serious issues we are talking about!
So we call the Draft grades “happiness level”, because we don’t know what’s going to happen. Does anyone know how Nick Fairley is going to be in the lineup with Suh the Destroyer? Now that guy has a motor that doesn’t stop. I can tell you this, if Fairley shows any signs of taking downs off, he’s going to have to deal with his own teammates first.
And Suh is not a guy you want to piss off. Heck, I’m not even sure I want to write about him!
Anyway, I see where the Raiders are getting called “draft losers“. Kind of funny. How can you call a team “draft losers” when you haven’t seen how the players turn out? Isn’t the idea of a draft to pick a player who you think can play a certain role on your team? During the Draft, I remember one analyst…I believe it was Chris Landry…saying “It takes three years to judge a team’s draft”. Truer words have rarely been spoken.
The Raiders did what happens to a lot of teams: They drafted for need. What happens when you draft for need? You have to reach for players who might not be evaluated as highly because you “need” that player in your lineup. I think that’s what happens a lot in Oakland. Especially if that player is fast. If you continuously draft for need, you’ll end up getting players who don’t have the talent level to match where you selected them. Then you’ll suffer through years of losing.
Detroit received kudos for their draft; they picked a number of players who APPEAR as if they will do well in the NFL. They stuck with what Coach Schwartz called “draft discipline“. They stuck to their board no matter what they thought their needs were. I think that’s pretty smart. Then again, Detroit is going to get torched in their secondary unless they pick up a defensive back or two when free agency starts. Now I hear where Detroit fans are so happy about their status at the moment, anything less than .500 will be a disappointment.
They play eight games against teams that won 10 or more games. They play the defending Super Bowl champion, the previous Super Bowl champion, and a team that was #1 on offense and #1 on defense and didn’t make the playoffs. They play at what surely will be an improved Dallas team and an improved niners team. The Lions play the fourth hardest schedule in the NFL next season. Can’t see where there’s a lot of room for improvement in the win-loss column.
To throw this in, I know two guys who weren’t very happy with the Fairley selection: Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler. LOL.