SI.com At The Draft Blog (cont.)
Tampa Bay 3:57 p.m.
In Tampa, we have to agree with the decision of the assembled media in Long Island to watch the NFL Network's draft coverage, if for no other reason than the NFL Network keeps running a crawl explaining that draft analyst Mike Mayock believes a "bubble butt" is an essential trait for a lineman. The best part: he's absolutely correct. (As a former lineman myself, I can say that). --Andy Staples
Chicago 3:50 p.m.
If the Bears are thinking OT right now, they've got to be happy. Kansas City was one of the teams expected to go after offensive line help (Ryan Clady of Boise State), so its selection of DE Glenn Dorsey means one more quality tackle moves down on the board. Clady will probably still get scooped up, but it could help push another tackle like Jeff Otah or Chris Williams down to Chicago's first spot at No. 14. --Marty Burns
Tempe, Ariz. 3:48 p.m.
The NFL got it right this time. After watching the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn agonize in the green room for hours the past three years, the six players that were invited to New York for the draft were the top six players selected. Vernon Gholston was the last to go, being by his lonesome for only 10 minutes before being selected by the hometown Jets. --Arash Markazi
Alameda, Calif. 3:42 p.m
The most predictable ending since Hayden Christiansen donned the Darth Vader helmet in Revenge of the Sith. And at least here at Raiders HQ, that's good news for all of us wolfing down our barbequed ribs and Caesar salads. Now the silver-and-black are off the board until tomorrow, thanks to them dealing away their pick in the second round for cornerback DeAngelo Hall. That also means none of us here will have to wait around until the second round -- a serious possibility if the Raiders had actually traded the pick.
But the joke here now among the scribes is that fans are probably growing thirstier for blood by the second. Atlanta's pick of Matt Ryan means all the top defensive linemen are still on the board, and that's still the Raiders' most glaring need. And there went LSU's Glenn Dorsey to Kasnas City, just behind McFadden at No. 4.
Still, Run DMC is now a member of the Raider backfield, and he's the kind of explosive player this team might need -- maybe even a LaDainian Tomlinson-type. Pair him with JaMarcus Russell and that's two pretty damned dynamic players moving with the rock next season. And with that, I'm off for a second helping of ribs. --Jonah Freedman
Long Island, N.Y. 3:34 p.m.
The revolution starts now. Fourteen media members at the Jets team headquarters put it to vote and, alas, we're watching the draft on the NFL Network, not ESPN. (NFL Net won by a very wide margin.) Quoth one anonymous reporter: "I can't handle Berman for that long."
Twenty minutes into the draft, I think we whiffed on the pick. NFL Net's sound has gone haywire twice already, and something went wrong during the Matt Ryan pick, leading them to replay the moment. --Adam Duerson
Flowery Branch, Ga. 3:25 p.m.
There was no other pick. For this team, at this time, the Falcons had to take Matt Ryan. In March -- before they had visited with Ryan at Boston College -- Atlanta braintrust, led by GM Thomas Dimitroff, were sold on Glenn Dorsey. But everything they saw in Chestnut Hill, Mass., at a workout and a greaseboard session after seeing him throw, and at a dinner in Boston's Back Bay, led them to Ryan.
One particular thing they loved: Dimitroff asked Ryan a trick question at dinner, a question designed to have him say he was playing with inferior players around him. Ryan didn't take the bait. He said he loved his teammates and was indebted to them for helping BC win 11 games.
Dimitroff loved it. Absolutely loved it.
The Falcons are going to be bad over the next couple of years. I mean, 8-24 bad, or something like that. They need a guy who won't blame anyone, who will be the ultimate team guy and care about nothing but winning. They got that guy in Ryan.
Talked to Ryan at length last night. "Winning,'' he said about 16 different ways, "solves everything.'' It'll take a while, but I like the pick. --Peter King
Irving, Texas 3:23 p.m.
We got an email today from Rocco, a die-hard Cowboys fan in Toronto (of all places), and he's wanting to know how in the world Bill Parcells picked Jerry Jones' pocket on Friday for inside linebacker Akin Ayodele and tight end Anthony Fasano, for a mere fourth-round pick?
It's a good question. The Dallas to Miami pipeline is getting plenty of use this offseason, but the Dolphins getting two potential starters for one fourth-rounder is no small trick. Ayodele has at least been a decent starting linebacker in the Cowboys' 3-4, and Fasano was a second-round pick just two years ago. What's up with that?
Rightly or wrongly, Ayodele became expendable when the Dolphins signed ex-Dolphin inside linebacker Zach Thomas in February. To me, that's counting on Thomas and his concussion history more than you should, but that's apparently how Dallas views it. As for Fasano, who played hurt a lot last season, the Cowboys didn't think he was developing sufficiently enough behind Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten. I remember seeing Fasano drop a sure touchdown pass from Tony Romo in that Week 13 showdown at Texas Stadium against the Packers, a game Dallas wound up winning.
You'd have to expect that the Cowboys will be looking to draft another tight end, although they are high on third-year veteran Tony Curtis, who caught three passes last season, all for touchdowns. One way to look at the trade is that Dallas just reacquired the fourth-round draft pick that it sent to Tennessee in exchange for Pacman Jones. --Don Banks
Los Angeles 3:19 p.m.
Not to be outdone, the Rams at No. 2 took another player named Long -- Chris Long of Virgina. He is a very high intense player who plays hard every snap. He will benefit from the notoriously loud Edward Jones Dome, utilizing the energy in the building. Fans will enjoy watching his excellent quickness off the snap. --Michael Lombardi
Los Angeles 3:14 p.m.
The first pick is off the board. Jake Long, to the Dolphins, is a very athletic and lean big man. He has great toughness and long arms and can play right or left tackle. He fits what the kind of player that Parcells converts most, especially on the line. The key to this pick is it sets the tempo of the kind of player that the Dolphins will pick this weekend. --Michael Lombardi
Long Island, N.Y. 3:09 p.m.
Touching note from the Jets' Hofstra digs, where beat reporters actually bring baked goods in for each other. (No, really. Honest to blog.) One reporter has his fingers crossed that Oakland takes McFadden, simply so that Jets brass are spared the inevitable, merciless booing when New York (he thinks) passes on McFadden.
The buzz around here suggests Troy's Leodis McKelvin is the Jets' guy. Not the sexy pick, but certainly a need-based move. New York had just 15 INTs in 2007, which ranked 20th in the league. (On the flip side, they'd be wasting McKelvin's record-breaking return skills. Justin Miller and Leon Washington are handling the Jets' return game just fine, thank you.) Financially, though, McKelvin would make sense. The Jets spent boatloads of free agent money in the offseason, and a guy like McKelvin might be a little cheaper to sign than some of the more obvious choices (Gholston, McFadden, Ryan...). Less sensitive note: Over on FSNY, someone just referred to Glenn Dorsey as a "Big Fatty." --Adam Duerson
Alameda, Calif. 3:02 p.m.
What's the greatest sign you're sitting amongst a room of jaded football scribes? The hearty round of belly-laughs in the Raiders media room upon NFL commissioner Roger Goodell telling the ESPN crew that Draft Day is "the best day in the NFL."
In any case, there's growing speculation that the Raiders could trade down their No. 4 pick -- perhaps with New Orleans for its No. 10 pick -- which would obviously be a huge sign that Lane Kiffin's desire for help on the defensive line has somehow won out over Al Davis' love affair with speed. In other words, no Darren McFadden. Right. I'll believe it when I see it. Stay tuned. --Jonah Freedman
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