The 5-at-10 is happy to join you on NFL Draft eve from the newly remodeled "7-Up Stinks Studios" here in scenic Hamilton County. Let's get to it.
Here we go...
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question during a news conference in this file photo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The 5-at-10 loves the draft
The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.
And this draft has the 5-at-10 flat-out giddy. Seriously.
One of the best things about the draft in general is the unknown — the intrigue of which teams will pick which players and who will be left when your team picks, whether it's at No. 8, No. 18 or No. 108. Do you try to trade up? Do you wait and see? Do you take one of the few players at one position early because there are more players at that other position of need later? Add to that, what we discussed with Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) earlier this week on SportTalk that with the lockout, teams are under even more pressure to make picks that will stick, and this draft is flush with intrigue.
The unknown is everywhere — and we're dealing with college football stars, guys we feel like we've known for a long time. It's almost a molecular clash of known and unknown — or as noted physicist/father-turned-negotiator Sir Cecil Newton and/or fictional sport agent Jerry Maguire might say, "Show me 'da money."
So it goes. Mock drafts are everywhere — ours will be in Thursday's TFP — and the unknowns (and the smokescreens) are changing by the hour.
Plus, there are always guys that zoom up and down draft boards at the 11th hour. There is talk that as many as six quarterbacks may go in the first round (if that's the case, the flurry of trades late Thursday night for teams moving back into the first round will by dizzying). We'll discuss the QBs a little more tomorrow.
There are whispers about a couple of defensive players with questionable off-the-field issues moving up and down. Here are three:
Jimmy Smith, cornerback, Colorado: Uber-athletic and big-time size (he's 6-foot-2 and 211 pounds) has been soaring up draft boards this week. He was a second-round option because of shaky fundamentals and some off-the-field stuff last week; now there is talk the Lions may take him at No. 13 overall;
Marvin Austin, defensive tackle, UNC: Great physical numbers (he's 6-2, 310 pounds and runs a 4.84 40). If he had entered the draft last season, he would likely have been a top-15 pick. He was suspended for all of 2010 for Agent-Gate, and now he's going to be a second-round steal for someone. Although, he's being mentioned late in round one and may move higher;
Da'Quan Bowers, defensive end, Clemson: Less than three months ago, Bowers was at the top of the board — as in the No. 1 overall pick. Worries about a knee injury and an inconsistent motor have dropped the Clemson All-American, who had 15.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss last year (read those stats again, please). There is talk that he may fall into the 20s of round one, and something tells us that if say a Tampa Bay gets Bowers at No. 20, the Bucs will have the steal of the draft in three years.
Well, the second-biggest steal behind whichever team gets Patrick Peterson.
Staff Photo by Patrick Smith Florida defensive back Janoris Jenkins intercepts a Tennessee pass in the final seconds of the first half of Saturday's game at Neyland Stadium. Florida led 20-0 at halftime.
Even more love for the draft
Before we get to looking at the PATCO Speedline (as named by Chas9) Draft Challenge, the 5-at-10 had an inspired jolt of good news this morning.
The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.
Well, the draft starts Thursday — you know this, too — and in some ways the 5-at-10 was already thinking about the next few months without draft discussions.
Then it occurred to us that the NFL supplemental draft this summer will have more big names than normal.
Janoris Jenkins, the All-SEC cornerback that was dismissed from Florida's program this week, likely will be in the supplemental draft. So could any number of the Ohio State players, depending on how the OSU situation with Jim Tressel shakes down. (Here's how the 5-at-10 would handle the OSU situation — Tressel, bye-bye; call Urban Meyer, if he wants it great, if not, call Chris Peterson and start going down the list. The next coach, however, will tell everyone involved in Tattoo-Gate, "Thanks for your efforts and your sacrifice for the Buckeyes. You are welcomed to stay on scholarship and finish your degree, but your playing career here in Columbus is finished." Time to move on.)
That means there could be a few guys in the supplemental draft that are worth drafting. Jenkins is a player, the OSU receiver and running back will be NFL guys, and Terrelle Pryor could be a big-time NFL tight end.
We've got to get going, so we'll update the PATCO Speedline (as named by Chas9) Draft Challenge entries later in the comments.
Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92) is shown during an NFL football game in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Worst free agent signing in football history?
When motivated, Albert Haynesworth was a football wrecking crew. He represented the rarest of commodities in the modern-day NFL — he demanded that opponents account for him on every play, and more times than not he demanded a double-team. His last year with the Titans, he was one of the three best defensive players on the planet.
Then he headed to D.C., and what has followed can be classified as the worst free-agent signing in NFL history.
On Tuesday, Haynesworth was was charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse. He allegedly fondled the breast of his server in a restaurant in a Washington hotel. The off-the-field issues only compound Haynesworth's disastrous time in the nation's capitol.
Washington gave Haynesworth a seven-year, $100-million contract that reportedly was to pay Albert $32 million in the first 13 months. The Redskins got 16 solo tackles in eight games from Haynesworth (he either did not play or did not record stats in the other eight games). So quick math tells us that Big Al got $2 million for each tackle and $4 million for each game in which he made a statistical contribution. Uh, that's good work if you can get it, huh?
Haynesworth's contract will now be inshrined with the deals signed by former Rockies/Marlins/Braves et al. pitcher Mike Hampton and former Hawks/Magic center Jon Koncak in the GM Hall of Shame as the worst contracts in sports history.
Dwight Howard del Magic de Orlando se coloca para tirar a la canasta frente a Josh Smith de los Hawks de Atlanta en el segundo medio del juego 5 de la serie de la primera ronda de playoffs entre ambos equipos el martes 26 de abril de 2011 en Orlando, Florida. (AP Foto/John Raoux)
Playoffs back on track
If we were the gambling type, the "7-Up Stinks Studio" would have gotten a new flat screen thanks to the predictable stink bomb that the Hawks trotted out in Orlando on Tuesday. That was the classic, "We're up 3-1, we're going to go back home for Game 6, let's just have a little fun...." 25-point whipping last night.
The scary thing about that though, is if the Magic roll into the ATL and force Game 7, well, all bets are off — especially if the game comes down to coaches. Stan Van Gundy will coach circles around Larry Drew. Yes, each has movie star looks — SVG the look of a guy that could be on a cable channel such as HBO or the Showtime after midnight; Drew looks more than a little like Charles 'Honi' Coles, the fellow that was in "Dirty Dancin'" and "Cotton Club" and even had a part in "Rocky II."
Here's saying if the Hawks don't seal it in the ATL, then things do not look good.
Sidenote: Same goes for the Memphis Grizz, who head to San Antonio for Game 6 with a 3-1 lead. Here's believing the Spurs unload a lopsided win and then the pressure shifts to a Game 6 back in Memphis, that really is a Game 7 for the Grizz.
Sidenote 2: EC, looks like David Stern can breath again with the Lakers grabbing control of their series and the Bulls dismissing the Pacers. The thought of the Lakers and Spurs getting bounced in Round 1 probably had Stern looking like a young Kevin Bacon at the end of "Animal House" — "Remain calm! All is well!"
Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger (33) goes up for a layup against Chicago Bulls forwards Luol Deng (9) and Carlos Boozer (5) during the first quarter in Game 5 of a first-round NBA playoffs basketball series, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
This and that
— One more quick NBA note: Apparently, Pacers forward Danny Granger called Bulls super-gnat Joakim Noah a "coward." Noah has become the biggest instigator/trouble-maker/irritator/energy player since Dennis Rodman swapped a uniform for a wedding dress. Proving yet again, that the NBA is back to being entertaining. (Oh, yeah. Labor unrest in July. Thanks for the downer.)
— Raise your hand if your ready for the Braves to come back off Pacific Coast Highway time. Seriously, the 5-at-10 can only share the stats this morning — the Braves beat the Padres 8-2; Jair Jurrjens went the distance; David Ross hit two homers; Chipper Jones (affectionately known as L-Dub around the "7-Up Stinks Studio") had two hits and two RBIs. Want another great stat? Ross, the Braves back-up catcher, has a better at-bats-per-homer ratio (19.6) than former Braves sluggers Dale Murphy (20.0) and Ron Gant (20.1). Thank you Elias Sports Bureau, you guys do the Lord's work.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...