Posted: Tuesday May 2, 2006 12:53PM; Updated: Tuesday May 2, 2006 5:07PM
Breaking Down the Draft
The Packers traded former Pro Bowl wide receiver Javon Walker to the Broncos for a second-round pick.
Your e-mail was heavy on draft thoughts, naturally. Here goes.
THE RICH GET RICHER. From Vince Chase of Winchester, N.H.: "With all the draft selection ink being given to the AFC bottom feeders, not much has been said about how well the top teams reloaded. So which of the following AFC powerhouses -- Colts, Steelers, Broncos and Patriots -- do you think reloaded for a championship run?"
I really like what the Broncos did, and I think I like what the Patriots did. The Broncos might have drafted the best quarterback in this year's crop, Jay Cutler. And assuming Javon Walker rehabs well from his knee injury, that's a great pickup from Green Bay that cost Denver a second-round pick. Walker is a tough, sure-handed receiver who has proven himself under pressure in big games, something Ashley Lelie hasn't done yet.
Regarding the Pats, Mike Shanahan thinks they got the best RB in the draft in Laurence Maroney. They got the No. 1 receiver on many draft boards in Chad Jackson -- and they got him in the second round. He should be a better-than-adequate replacement for David Givens.
While researching a Vince Young story a few weeks ago, I saw a bunch of highlight-film catches by Texas tight end David Thomas, including a spectacular seam route he ran to make a difficult catch while getting blasted at Oklahoma State by a safety. New England was lucky to get him in the third round.
You never know about young kickers, but the kid they got in the fourth round from Memphis, Stephen Gostkowski, was 10 for 10 on field goals outside of 40 yards last year, and he'll be given a chance to compete with Martin Gramatica to replace the legendary AdamVinatieri. Those are the two AFC contenders that I think did the best.
NOT HAPPY WITH ESPN. From Chris of Hoboken, N.J.: "I love Chris Berman, but I have to say he ruined the first round of the draft for me. Before the pick was announced he pretty much told us who it was going to be. Obviously he knew who was going to be picked because someone was telling him in his earpiece. Berman needs to stop ruining the suspense of the draft. Also, MichaelIrvin brought nothing to the telecast except for a loud mouth."
As someone who experiences the draft from a team's site every year, I'm not a 24-7 ESPN watcher on draft day. But I see enough to know that Berman gives away secrets and Irvin screams a lot. I may be in the minority on this, but I happen to think Berman is a very good traffic cop. He's funny. And having been in that situation, with people saying different things in your ear while you're supposed to be making sense and being a tad comedic in front of the camera ... that's pretty tough business.
NO NEED TO MAIL ME GIFT CARDS. From David of San Antonio: "Well, you were off by a few rounds, but you were right about the Jets taking KellenClemens.So where would you like your Starbucks card sent to?"
Keep the Starbucks card. Now, if I'd had a direct hit on Clemens, I'd want a lot more than a Starbucks card. I'd want a round-trip to Vegas, because I'd be pretty good at gambling. In the last week before the draft I heard so many teams talking about Clemens, I felt confident he'd be the fourth quarterback picked, and I really thought it would be at the end of the first round. I was a little off there.