31. Kansas City. Glee and happiness over the great draft, and rightfully so. But two things to remember before the ticker tape starts flowing past Crown Center: Jared Allen's gone. And there's no apparent starting quarterback.
Tamba Hali could emerge as a super-rusher with Tank Tyler and Glenn Dorsey occupying bodies at defensive tackle, but that won't happen overnight. The odds are less likely that Brodie Croyle will emerge as a middle-of-the-pack quarterback. The Chiefs will be looking for the best quarterback in the draft next April.
32. Atlanta. No one said it would be easy. When you need 12 to 15 new starters, you're basically dealing with a construction job like an expansion team. Now the Falcons have their quarterback, they hope, and their left tackle, they hope, in Matt Ryan and Sam Baker, respectively -- though there's universal doubt about Baker's ability to play left tackle in the NFL. Arthur Blank will need patience here. If he really believes Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith are the men for this reconstruction, he's got to give them three or four years to get it done ... minimum.
Text Message of the Week
"I'm ready to prove u wrong again, Mr. King. Can't wait.''
--New England safety Rodney Harrison, in a note to my cell phone, received at 10:27 a.m. Thursday.
I believe Harrison, whom I have a good relationship with (I think), is still sore about me questioning whether he could play at a high level before last season, his 14th in the NFL.
It's so fun being a motivational force.
Quote of the Week I
"It's a little overwhelming to get that news and realize you're going to have to completely change your life. It's not something that's going to go away. You've got to come to grips with that.''
--Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, who acknowledged Friday he has has been diagnosed with diabetes. He said he lost 35 pounds during the season last year, lost some speed throwing the football and thought it was stress, not anything more serious.
Quote of the Week II
"Do what you love, and be ready to put everything you have into it ... There's no 'I' in team. There is an 'I' in 'win' and what that 'I' stands for is individual responsibility.''
--New England coach Bill Belichick, in a speech to 3,200 students and townspeople at Salem State (Mass.) College on Wednesday night.
Quote of the Week III
"We have a quarterback competition here. At the end of this, we're going to find out who the best quarterback is. If it's Chad [Henne], it's Chad. If it's [John] Beck, it's Beck. If it's [Josh] McCown, it's McCown. We're going to have a competition, just like we are at every other position on our team. Nobody has the upper hand on anybody.''
--Miami coach Tony Sparano, talking about his open quarterback competition this spring and summer.
This level playing field says one thing to me: Henne, who started at Michigan as a true freshman, has a heck of a chance to win the starting job.
Quote of the Week IV
"As long as you're not killing anybody, getting anybody shot at and going to jail, then I don't have any issues.''
--Emmitt Smith, asked how he feels about the Cowboys' signing of Pacman Jones.
Emmitt the oracle.
Quote of the Week V
"Jerry Jones? JERRY JONES ON THE PHONE! JERRY JONES ON THE PHONE! JERRY JONES ON THE PHONE! AHHHOOOOOWOWWW!''
--Dallas Cowboys second-round draft choice Martellus Bennett, a tight end from Texas A&M, just before hearing the Dallas owner tell him he was a Cowboy. Hearing Jones' voice drove Bennett and his family into a frenzy.
Thanks to Rich Dalrymple, the Cowboys PR man, for forwarding the MP3 recording of the event, which is one of the most joyous things I've ever heard in my life. It sounded like the reaction one would get if Jones had said, "You just won $1 billion in the lottery.'' Really, it was even more joyful than that.
Stat of the Week
This is courtesy of Gil Brandt, my ultimate-draftnik Sirius NFL Radio colleague, and it's a good one, concerning the impact of trades on the 2008 draft.
There were 252 draft choices in 2008. Thirty-two were compensatory picks, which cannot be traded. Of the remaining 220 picks, exactly half -- 110 -- were picks exercised by a team as the result of a trade.
One more thing about the draft: There have never been as many as eight tackles taken in the first round, and eight were picked in the first 26 picks of this draft -- assuming you count a college guard, Branden Albert, projected to play tackle in the NFL. (A dangerous projection, if you ask me.)
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
When Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie enrolled at Tennessee State in 2004, he stood 6-feet-1˝ ... and weighed 150 pounds.
It's funny to hear NFL people say that Rodgers-Cromartie (currently 6-1˝, 184-pound) is too skinny, needs to get in the weight room and must start eating right. Imagine what an incredibly skinny rail he was three-plus years ago.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
There's no excuse for the porn that adorns a billboard near Times Square with the initials OMFG and a 20ish man and woman in an obvious amorous state. Who decides the standards for Times Square advertising? Larry Flynt?