Friday, April 27, 2007

2007 NFL Draft

As all you NFL aficionados no doubt know, the NFL's 2007 Draft is tomorrow. Okay, okay, I know that none of you know or care about this! But I do!

I'm looking forward to seeing what the San Francisco 49ers do. The last season was a real turnaround for the 49ers: the offense looked good with Frank Gore running the ball very effectively and Alex Smith maturing as a quarterback. Vernon Davis, last year's first round pick, was injured for part of the year, but he has the promise to be a great tight-end. However, the defense was pathetic last year (though they showed some life toward the end of the season). Fortunately, the 49ers had a great off-season in terms of free-agent acquisitions, and have significantly strengthened their defense.

So what's it going to be this year? Most prognosticators have the 49ers taking a defensive player with the 11th pick (in the first round)---maybe a linebacker (Patrick Willis) or someone on the defensive line, either a tackle (Alan Branch) or an end (Adam Carriker). But if an offensive tackle like Levi Brown is still available at the 11th pick, then the 49ers will probably snap him up. Of course, the 49ers might indulge in a blockbuster trade to move up to the 2nd pick and grab Calvin Johnson, a wide receiver most people consider to be the absolutely best player in the draft. But in the absence of such things, a focus on the defense is clearly called for. It would also be nice to get a wide receiver, but it seems that other than Calvin Johnson, the rest of the receivers in the draft are likely not good enough to be the 11th pick. Of course, the 49ers have lots more picks: a total of 10 in the 6 rounds. Looking forward to seeing what they do.

And then there's the excitement of what the Oakland Raiders will do with the first pick. (Yes, the Raiders ended the 2006 season with the absolutely worst 2-14 record and got the rights to the first pick.) The most likely pick for the Raiders is quarterback Jamarcus Russell. Apparently he is a complete quarterback with all the skills you want. But there's some question about whether he is adequately driven to succeed at the highest level. Brady Quinn is the other highly rated quarterback, but he's likely to go further down. Finally, Al Davis might decide that he really doesn't want to take a quarterback with the first pick (he's rarely done so in the past, and the two times he's done it, it has led to flops), and will instead pick Calvin Johnson. Or they might trade the first pick for a boatload of picks to fill all the holes they currently have (this is an unlikely option, though). So lots of excitement on what the Raiders will do.


Ashish said...

What, you blog about the NFL draft and ignore the first debate among the dem hopefuls?


Pandu Nayak said...

That's because I have my priorities right!

Alon Halevy said...

I think this posting is Pandu at his best. No matter whether you are a fan of football, you don't care about it, or don't even know the precise shape of the ball he's referring to -- you now have great talking material for your next party. After reading his excellent summary of the situation, you can now be a star of any conversation relating to the topic, thereby probably extending your social circle quite considerably.

Personally, my fanhood of the 49ers is directly linked to their success (i.e., not much in the last few years). If you ask me who plays for them these days, I'd probably still mention Montana and Rice. And for me, Steve Young is just that, the "young" quarterback.

On a more technical note, I was "surprised" that there was no mention of the story of Amobi Okoye on the post. (That's the little I got from watching TV while on my treadmill).

Pandu Nayak said...

And what, pray, is the story of Amobi Okoye?! Clearly I'm not as well informed as one might like to think...!

A search for [amobi okoye] on your favorite search engine yields the following profile:

Lee High School: Originally hails from Anambra, Nigeria ... extremely bright ... size, speed and work ethic are pluses ... tested into the ninth grade as a 12-year-old when his family moved to Huntsville from Nigeria ... played three years of prep football ... took up the sport as a sophomore, knowing next to nothing about the game ... started 13 games on the defensive line as a 13-year-old ... played both ways, earning honorable mention all-state honors as a junior ... logged 60 tackles and nine sacks, earning first-team All-State honors on both sides of the ball as a senior.

So it seems he's young, very bright, and a star player. Quite a combination.

Alon Halevy said...

and search for [Amobi Okoye draft] reveals that he was drafted by the Houston Texans yesterday. CNN also claimed he got accepted to Harvard but declined so he can go to school in Louisville.

Moral of the story? spend more time on your treadmill watching TV.

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