We are a week from the draft. We love the draft. You know this.
We will cover two macro topics today. Let's start with the big movers in this class. We offer this quick top five (yes, the soon-to-be patented 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10) with these two caveats.
First, this comes in the homestretch of the draft process, and as Todd McShay said on Mike & Mike on Thursday morning, this is really 'crusty-scout' time and everyone is looking for fault in almost every prospect. Secondly, the amount of misinformation from this point forward will only increase. Here are the big 5 movers:
- Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech quarterback. Talk about escalating quickly, Mahomes has passed Watson.
- Solomon Thomas, Stanford defensive end. Dude is now a top-five lock.
- The running back. A trend of devaluation ends; three RBs in round one.
- Former Tennessee quarterbacks. McShay said Dobbs and Peterman are early second rounders.
- Tennessee's pick at No. 5. This may take more than five words
OK, the Titans are the only team in the top 10 on the ascension. The Titans have shown a willingness to move down and accumulate picks.
In the value, impact and need corollary for the Titans, if Jamal Adams, the LSU safety is on the board, then you forget the trade offers. Adams will be, barring injury, a year-in, year-out Pro Bowler at a position that is becoming more and more vital for NFL defenses. (And never mind the fact that the Titans DC is Dick LeBeau, who works with safeties like Salk worked with vaccines.)
If Adams is gone, well, things could get very interesting for a Titans group that is building a very nice core. If a team believes that a Mitch Trubisky or a Deshaun Watson or even Mahomes is the franchise QB in this draft, the most likely team in the top 10 to pull the trigger on a quarterback is the New York Jets.
The Jets pick 6, meaning that if, say the Browns, want the first shot at a QB, they could package a lot to go from 12 to 5, and the Titans would reap the benefit. Tennessee GM Jon Robinson has plenty of options, for sure.
NFL Draft, part 2
We got a little wordy there. Hey, it happens. Sue us. (Actually don't. Thanks.) We love the draft. You know this.
This is the 10-year anniversary of the best NFL draft since the famous collection of 1983 that included Elway, Kelly, Marino and a few other Hall of Famers named Dickerson, Matthews and Green. (Side note: A seventh Hall of Famer — Richard Dent — was an eighth-round pick by Chicago.) In truth, that 2007 collection could surpass the '83 haul in terms of overall Hall of Famers, but the lack of QB-star power provided by the Elway-Kelly-Marino trio is tough to overcome.
Still, the directions of a lot of franchises were set for a decade by the successes and failures of the 2007 draft. (And the career of at least one Hall of Famer has been likely been forever wasted considering the time Joe Thomas has fruitlessly spent with the Cleveland Browns.) Let's review the 2007 draft and offer a redraft with some comments. Deal? Deal. (We'll go team — who they picked — who they should of picked — and comment.)
1. Oakland Raiders — Jamarcus Russell — Joe Thomas. Thomas is one of four NFL players to make 10 consecutive Pro Bowls. Russell is most famously known as being the punchline for people who enjoyed Purple Drank.
2. Detroit Lions — Calvin Johnson — Johnson. The best wide receiver of his generation and, like Thomas, a future Hall of Famer. Also like Thomas, his career languished without much postseason opportunity.
3. Cleveland — Joe Thomas — Adrian Peterson. Another future Hall of Famer. Wonder if Peterson's time in Cleveland could have changed the direction of the Browns, who have had 25 starting running backs (and that's not counting fullbacks) since Peterson entered the league.
4. Tampa Bay — Gaines Adams — Patrick Willis. Adams did not have much of an impact; Willis was the central figure of a 49ers rebuild that had them in the Super Bowl and poised to get back to another.
5. Arizona — Levi Brown — Joe Staley. Brown, a tackle from Penn State, flopped. Staley, who the 49ers took late in round one, was a Pro Bowl mainstay at the same position.
6. Washington — LaRon Landry — Darrelle Revis. This may be too low for Revis, who is headed to the Hall and was the best at his position for a long time. Landry was not a bad pick, but Revis, who went 14 to the Jets, was an all-time great pick.
7. Minnesota — Peterson — Marshawn Lynch. Beast Mode went 12 to Buffalo, and considering the career Peterson had in Minnesota, his numbers likely would have been better there.
8. Atlanta — Jamaal Anderson — Marshal Yanda. There are still a number of Pro Bowl regulars on the board. Landry, Lawrence Timmons (Pittsburgh, 15 overall), Michael Griffin (Tennessee, 19), Eric Weddle (San Diego, 37) but Yanda, who went 86 overall, is another guy who will get Hall of Fame consideration after a stellar decade in Baltimore. This side of Russell, Anderson was arguably the worst pick of this draft.
9. Miami — Ted Ginn — Dwayne Bowe. If the Dolphins wanted to stay at wide out, Bowe's career was leaps and bounds better than Sir Drops a Lot, Mr. Ginn.
10. Houston — Amobi Okoye — Timmons. Good times.
A difficult decision
We just talked about decisions and directions and the fall out.
Would any of those changes have brought a Super Bowl to any of those teams?
Hard to know. How about this one? Magic Johnson was on The Ellen Show on Wednesday and shared this story.
According to Magic, who has found unreal business success after his ultra-successful NBA career, an upstart shoe executive approached him as an NBA rookie. All the shoe companies lined up to pay Johnson, the charismatic star of the league. Except Phil Knight, the founder of fledgling company called Nike.
"All the other companies offered me money, but they [Nike] couldn't offer me money because they just started. So he said something about stocks: 'I'm gonna give you a lot of stocks.' I didn't know nothin' about stocks," Johnson said.
If Magic had said yes, he would have been the point person on Nike ascent to the top of the sports apparel universe. A rise that helped lift Michael Jordan to arguably the most recognized team-sport athlete on the planet and made him a billionaire.
In fact, with Jordan, who wore Converse at UNC, Nike all-but cripples Converse, which had lured Johnson and Bird and Dr. J and had all the stars of the day.
"Boy, did I make a mistake," Johnson told Ellen. "I'm still kicking myself. Every time I'm in a Nike store I get mad."
This and that
* Now we know why it's 15-love in tennis. Here's the video of a pro match in Florida that was delayed because of, shall we say the sounds of love.
* Speaking of tennis, Serena Williams announced she's pregnant. It also means she won the Aussie Open with another human life inside her. Let that sink in. Heck, the way she's playing now, she could win next year's Wimbledon wearing her child in a Baby Bjorn, like that the dude from The Hangover.
* Let's talk about context. The New York Times threw out comparative photos from the Patriots visit to the White House in 2015 and their visit yesterday. The numbers are obviously different. Well, the photo did not include the detail that the support staff was in the photo in '15 and sitting on the lawn yesterday. Oh, the details.
* TNT will have another year of The Dunk King, which tries to find the best amateur dunker from around the world. Here's a question, why is the winner of this not immediately invited to the Dunk Contest at the NBA All-Star game? The Dunk King new season begins in May, airing after TNT's coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Remember the mailbag folks. We have a few, but the more the merrier.
We could do something on pot day — it being 4-20 and all — but we'll pass on that. According to the Twitter-verse, today is national high five day.
Rushmore of most famous high fives. Go.
And remember the mailbag.