Draft Snap Judgments (cont.)
What's up with Chicago's crush on Vandy? With the Bears picking Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore in the fourth round (119th overall), Lovie Smith's team is turning into the Commodores-North. Moore will have as teammates in Chicago four other ex-Vandy players: quarterback Jay Cutler, offensive tackle Chris Williams, receiver Earl Bennett and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer.
By one unofficial count, there are six other Vanderbilt products in the entire rest of the NFL -- or one more than in Chicago.
Somebody needs to give rookie Jaguars offensive tackle Eben Britton a hug. Quickly. Britton was considered a first-round prospect by some draft analysts (I myself had him at No. 22 to the Vikings in my final mock), but the Arizona standout wound up lasting until Jacksonville took him 39th overall.
And he's a bit grumpy about it.
"I couldn't be happier than to be picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but I was [ticked] off,'' Britton said, of going in the second round. "There isn't a better organization that I could have asked for, but every team that passed on me will regret it for the rest of the history of their franchise. I was always told I wasn't big enough, fast enough to play. Well, the chip [on my shoulder] just got a little bigger and somebody's going to pay.''
Britton didn't mince words about his goals in the NFL. "I want to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Super Bowl and I want to become the greatest tackle in the history of the NFL,'' he said.
And then, as if that wasn't enough, Britton put the likes of Mel Kiper Jr. and his ilk on notice.
"You know what, if one of these draft guys lined up across from me, they'd be dead, so that's not something I'm really concerned with,'' Britton said. "If you want to line up across from Eben Britton, you're going to know what's happening to you, I guarantee that.''
I couldn't help but be struck by the irony that 10 years ago this draft weekend I was a newspaper beat man covering the Minnesota Vikings, who were in possession of two first-round picks. They used the first one to select Central Florida's Daunte Culpepper at No. 11 -- their quarterback of the future.
Ten years later, the worm has officially turned. This weekend I was in Detroit, where I found Culpepper once again on an NFC Central/North team that owned a pair of first-round selections. This time, the Lions used the first one to, in effect, replace him, taking Georgia's Matthew Stafford at No. 1 overall.
Boil it all down and that that's pretty much the NFL's entire circle of life in a nutshell. Not to mention that Culpepper and I are getting old.
For Brandon Pettigrew, the Lions' first-round tight end, this weekend was memorable enough in being selected 20th overall. But on top of everything, his mother, Elaine Pettigrew, flew for the first time in her life on Sunday, accompanying her son on a flight from Dallas to Detroit for his introductory news conference.
"She was a little nervous at first about it, but after a while she was all right,'' said Pettigrew, whose family is from Tyler, Texas, home to Oilers great Earl Campbell.
Hands down the quote of the weekend came from new ESPN analyst Herm Edwards, on the risk pick that is Florida receiver Percy Harvin:
"This guy is one of those guys, whether he's driving a Ferrari, a Cadillac, a Volkswagen -- if he even goes to Disneyland and drives the little cars that run on the rail -- he's going to have a wreck. So you better have a good body and fender man. ... There're going to be some things you have to deal with, and you know that.''
NFL Truth & Rumors