So there were no major surprises for the Raiders and 49ers in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. As expected, the Raiders took quarterback JaMarcus Russell and the 49ers took linebacker Patrick Willis. Everyone seems very pleased with these picks.
The 49ers indulged in some fancy wheeling and dealing towards the later part of the first round. First, they traded away their 2008 first round pick and one of their 2007 fourth round picks for the New England Patriots' 2007 first round pick (#28 overall). With this pick they got Joe Staley, an offensive tackle. Then they traded their second round pick (#42 overall) to the Indianapolis Colts for the the Colts 2008 first round pick and the Colts 2007 fourth round pick! So, in essence they got solid protection on the offensive line for Alex Smith while retaining a first round pick next year and their fourth round picks this year! Of course, their first round pick next year is likely to be worse than they would have had (the Colts, after all, are the defending Super Bowl champions), but overall this is a cool series of moves.
One other story from Saturday is interesting. Quarterback Brady Quinn had been slated to be a top 3 pick and, failing which, definitely a top 10 pick. The Cleveland Browns were expected to take him at #3 or Miami at #9. Imagine his disappointment when both teams took other players. Quinn slid all the way to #22 when, finally, Cleveland traded away their 2008 first round pick to Dallas and took him there! So Cleveland got him finally, but also got Joe Thomas, an outstanding offensive tackle to protect Quinn, at #3.
Quinn's fall got me thinking. When kids pick teams on the playground, there's always the fear of being the last one picked. What is clear from Quinn's situation is that this fear is not reserved for just the kids who aren't very good! Quinn was no doubt terribly disappointed at not being a top 3 or a top 10 pick. This is a reminder that disappointment is just another face of expectations over which we have no control.