About that 2009 draft…
So. Jason Smith is available. Jets released him yesterday.
Jason ‘second pick in the 2009 draft‘ Smith, that’s who. Consensus top-three pick. Rams’ next Orlando Pace. Anchor on the line for next decade. Busting holes for Stephen Jackson; protecting Sam Bradford’s back.
Three years later he’s being traded straight-up for journeyman OT Wayne Hunter. Four years later he’s being cut from the 6-10 Jets.
Smith has had more than his share of injuries. Three concussions. Two seasons finished on the DL. But even before that, Rams fans had concerns.
Smith’s contract, signed before the new CBA, was crippling for the Rams. So it was pretty much a train wreck of a pick. Especially when you consider that they passed on:
That’s weird. Of the first five picks in 2009, only Matt Stafford seems to be a significant contributor to an NFL team four years later.
If we keep going:
- Andre Smith, rounding into form now, but it was uncertain for the first two years;
- Darrius Heyward-Bey .. meh;
- Eugene Monroe — solid;
- BJ Raji — hit;
- Michael Crabtree .. looking good;
- Aaron Maybin, bust;
- Knowshon Moreno .. err;
And then Orakpo, Jenkins, Cushing.
Massaging the numbers as I’m wont to do: of the first twelve picks in 2009, only four (Stafford, Monroe, Crabtree, Raji) are slam-dunk ‘We’d take them again’ choices. Out of those twelve, three are disasters (Smith, Maybin, Curry), three are disappointments (Jackson, Sanchez, Moreno).
When you consider thousands of hours of research by hundreds of paid league sources …
33% hit rate on the top 12 is weak… and…
A whiff rate of 38% in the top 12 is a damning indictment of all the NFL personnel experts who are smarter than you.
Where are you going with this, Kanick?
So let’s have fun with this drafty-picky game!
I mixed it up with minor twitter and Cleveland sports-radio celebrity Hiram Boyd tonight. Hiram’s a Ziggy Ansah fan. So am I. I’m also a Margus Hunt fan.
Since we’re moving to a 3-4, we need new personnel.
(Don’t believe the bullshit you’ve been fed about ease of transition. We need new and different personnel than what we were stockpiling the last two years with Jauron. We’ve covered the stupidity of this.)
We now need a ‘5-technique’ DE and it’s a pretty specific profile. He’s long and fast and strong. Think Richard Seymour. The current prototype is JJ Watt.
Anyway, I asked Hiram: if you can choose between a 6-5, 270 guy who’s been playing football since 2010 and a 6-8, 280 guy who’s been playing since 2009 and is also faster and stronger.. whom do you pick?
Predictably, my Margus Hunt infatuation was disparaged.
In fact, another amateur draft wonk chimed in to project Hunt as a 6th rounder. (And that’s fine because no one knows anything as I’ll get to below.)
I’m not naive about falling in love with workout warriors. I know and agree with drafting ‘football players’ and that that is an intangible not measured at the combine.
But 6’8″ 290 guys who run in the 4.5s, jump 38″ while benching 225 40+ with 82″ wingspan arms don’t come along very often. In fact, they’ve never come along before.
We shall see this week whether or not Margus Hunt can actually put up such other-worldly athletic numbers. But if he does, and if the Hawaii Bowl performance —
Hunt had three tackles for loss, two sacks, forced two fumbles and got a safety. SMU, which was a 12-point underdog, was up 22-0 at halftime thanks to the fact that Fresno State couldn’t block Hunt. The Mustangs ended up with a convincing 43-10 win.*
— seemed legit: of course he’s a top 10 pick.
So where are you going with this again?
NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING. And as over-engaged fans, it’s worthwhile to step back and assign realistic expectations to this whole thing.
Example: in 2009, if you’d picked Clay Matthews at four instead of Aaron Curry, you’d have been by yourself. But you’d have been right.
Succumbing to pre-draft groupthink is easy. Having the balls to pick your guy, having the courage to go against the grain, is where it’s at.
- Rayfield Wright, 7th round.
- Richard Dent and Leroy Kelly, 8th round.
- Roger Staubach, 10th round.
- Deacon Jones, 14th round.
- Bart Starr, 17th round.
- Larry Little, undrafted.
- Jon Randle, undrafted.
When you’re making a speech in Canton, no one cares where you were drafted.
Put a bow on it and go to bed.
- Draft time is a great time to be a football fan.
- Eschew big name draft pickers like Kiper and McShay. Can you imagine how many dinners CAA has bought these guys?
- Seek out guys who review tape like Sobo and guys who love it and dig deep for late round value like Becks aka TheScout! aka @ScoutSlaya.
- Trust your eyes. Alec Ogletree impressed me more than Jarvis Jones when I watched UGA. (Chik-Fil-A Bowl aside) Sam Montgomery and Kevin Minter looked like bigger forces for LSU’s defense than Bark Mingo.
- Stick to your guns. No one tracks this shit.**
* Kanick lost big on this game. Loved Fresno this year. Love Derek Carr.