While this is a college football blog, I think the NFL draft still fits the scope of college football. For me, college football starts with a player signing a letter of intent, and ends with a player being drafted or signing as a free agent, or just moving on to grad school or the less glamorous part of the workforce. With round one in the books, five things stuck out to me.
1. Sam Bradford was the number one pick. Talk about the biggest case of “much ado about nothing” that football has ever seen. Bradford could have been the number one pick a year ago, but he decided to come back. He was injured less than 30 minutes into the season and the frenzy started about how much money he lost and how he should not have come back. It turns out it was all a waste of time and energy. What more productive and constructive thing could have been done with all that time and energy?
2. Big night for the Big 12. I saw the USA Today front page headline, “1-2 for the Big 12,” but that is only half the story. The first four picks were from the Big 12, three from Oklahoma, as well as picks six, fourteen, nineteen, twenty-one, and twenty-four. Nine players in all. If I had the resources, I would do the research to find out if this is precedent setting.
3. Three WAC players drafted. Ryan Matthews (Fresno State) was drafted number 12 by the Chargers, Mike Iupati (Idaho) was drafted 17 by the 49ers, and Kyle Wilson (Boise State) was taken number 29 by the Jets. As you can see, only one played for Boise State, and he was the last one taken. For all the criticism that Boise State gets for playing in such a weak conference, the WAC produced more first rounders than the Pac-10 and the MWC, an equal number of first rounders as the Big 10 and the Big East, and just one less first rounder than the ACC.
4. Tim Tebow at number 25 was not shocking. It happens every year. Someone is taken much earlier than expected. We all know the adage “it only takes one.” I just want to know what inside information Denver had that made them move back into the first round. Denver had the 22nd pick. If they really wanted Tebow this bad, they could have taken him then, or else wait for the second round. Someone else must have been hot on Tebow and was going to select him before the night ended, even with Jimmy Clausen still available. No only was this pick not shocking, but I like it. With the success Kyle Orton had last year in the Denver system, then I don’t see why Tim Tebow won’t be able to have a good NFL career there.
5. Jimmy Clausen. Quarterbacks falling in the first round has become common, but they still make it out of the first round. Not this time. Clausen is still without a team. Was leaving Notre Dame early really the right decision? How smart does this make Jake Locker in Washington look?