Remember how in Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan can’t stop talking about the girls and she refers to it as “word vomit.”
Welcome to my life when it comes to football. It’s even worse in the off-season. Like, is it football season yet? Because I could really use some Sunday sessions with beer pitchers and wings, watching a good old game of pigskin. Because now, I’m watching golf on Sunday’s and then some oh, I don’t know, college rugby?
Enough ranting. Let’s talk football. Particularly, let’s talk about the NFL Draft and who really stacked up and is on their way to a good start to the season.
Now you know the Jets were going to make this list. Honestly, the poor team had to. If they didn’t get a good draft this year than YIKES. They can’t afford another season like their past one. However, after the draft picks they snagged this year, they’re bound to move their way up the rankings.
First round: Leonard Williams, USC Defensive End
Leonard Williams was the best player in the 2015 NFL draft, and the Jets got him as the 6th pick?! Lucky dogs. Leonard Williams is a force to be reckoned with on the field. He was like the college version of JJ Watt, in other words, no one wants to line up in front of this kid unless they like pancakes. Williams ended the 2014 season with 80 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles. Bottom line? He’s a boss.
Second Round: Devin Smith, Ohio State WR
Talk about opening up some serious play option for Geno Smith. With super quick feet and explosiveness off the line, Smith gives the Jets the opportunity to do something they have struggled with the past couple seasons, SCORE. Smith does a good job of tracking the ball deep and has the opportunity to be a big playmaker, as long as he can keep a hold on the ball.
Third Round: Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville OLB
When I hear Lorenzo Mauldin’s name two words come to mind: persistence & character. Let’s start with persistence. Mauldin started all 13 games in 2013 despite the fact he was struck by a vehicle on his mo-ped heading to practice in August. Mauldin never gives up on the play and has a knack for getting his hands into passing lanes. Beyond talent this guy has CHARACTER. After living in 16 different foster homes growing up, Mauldin developed a mindset that nothing would stop him from reaching his dream. Like the Jets or not, this is a player TCD will be rooting for big time this season!
Fourth Round: Bryce Petty, Baylor Quarterback
Yes, Jets head coach Chan Gailey has announced Geno Smith is without a doubt the Jets starting QB for the 2015 season. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to have this guy waiting in the lineup behind him. Petty led Baylor to back-to-back Big 12 championships and went 21-4 as a two year starter. He was also a NFL Combine top performer in four categories.
Vertical Jump: 34 in
Broad Jump: 121 in
3 Cone Drill: 6.91 sec
20 yd Shuttle: 4.13 sec
Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys need to be mentioned. The Cowboys need more man-power on defense and boy did they stack up. Five defensive players to be exact. But after their first round pick they got lucky. Real lucky. Like we’re talking three first round picks, but only had to use one actual first round pick.
First Round: Byron Jones, Connecticut CB
Now don’t be fooled by “Connecticut” being by this kid’s name. The Cowboys had the 27th pick of the first round and they sure got what they bargained for. You might remember Byron Jones from the NFL Combine, because he was the top performer in five of the categories. Yes, FIVE.
Vertical Jump: 44.5 in
Broad Jump: 147 in
3 Cone Drill: 6.78 sec
20 yd Shuttle: 3.94 sec
60 yd Shuttle: 10.98 sec
Second Round: Randy Gregory, Nebraska OLB
Gregory was still left in the draft and the Cowboys made sure to pick him up like a good habit, even though Gregory’s character may not include the best habits. But who other than Jerry Jones is willing to take a risk like that. Do I need to go through a list of players with attitude problems that worked just fine in the Cowboys line up? That’s another story. Overall, Gregory is highly skilled with pass rushing and should be able to add to the Cowboy’s defense. Oh, did I mention after two seasons he ranks ninth on the school’s all-time sack list with 17.5 sacks. In two seasons? OK. We see you Gregory.
Third Round: Chaz Green, Florida OT
Green is a good choice for the Cowboys because he has the potential for position versatility. He can blitz, block and he has a keen sense of football intelligence, which is not to be overlooked, as some of these players can quite literally be described like Turley from The Longest Yard aka “just hit that guy” mentality. Not to say that doesn’t work though. Look at Margus Hunt. That’s another story. Bottom line? Green could fit anywhere on the Cowboys O-line.
Fourth Round: Damien Wilson, Minnesota LB
With Sean Lee’s original health concerns, this is a hole the Cowboys thought to fill just in case. One of Wilson’s strengths that will help bring consistency to the Cowboys defense is Wilson’s ability to block at angles. In order to make the starting line up for the Cowboys he will have some things to improve upon, but overall, good snag for the Cowboys.
Of all the teams picks this year, the Giants did well to fill places they need fixed immediately. Like, possibly fixed as of opening day.
First Round: Ereck Flowers, Miami OT
Let’s get PHYSICAL! PHYSICAL! If anyone is asking for more physicality on the offensive side of things for the Giants, you would think it’s Eli Manning. Manning took 28 sacks last season for 187 yards. Ouch. This is where Flowers comes in. At 6’6, 330lbs, Flowers tips the scales with sheer force and power behind him. I mean, the kid was a top performer at the NFL Combine with 37 reps on bench press. WOW.
Second Round: Landon Collins, Alabama S
If there is a team that needed to fill the safety position for the sake of their season, it is the Giants. Hence forth, Landon Collins. Honestly, the Giants are so desperate to fill this position, there’s a reason they traded up to snag this guy. Don’t be surprised if Mr. Collins gets some starting time in the next year, or you know, starts on opening day.
Third Round: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA DE
Yet again, here is another player that could see some starting time as a rookie for the Giants. Odighizuwa has no problem converting speed to power as a run defender and is as persistent as they come when it comes to pass rush.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
SAN-DEE-AYE-GO (clap) SUPA-CHAR-JAS! Let’s just say the Chargers need just that. A super charge. And what better way to do that than add some super speed to the lineup.
First Round: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin RB
***MY FAVORITE PICK***
A running back picked in the first round aye? If that’s not a dead giveaway on some speedy talent at this offensive position than I don’t know what is. Besides being one of the most exciting players to watch this past college season, Gordon does WORK on the field. He totaled 2,587 single-season rushing yards (the second most in FBS History.) Barry Sanders holds the number one spot with 2,628 yards in 1988, and let’s be real. Gordon would’ve passed Sanders if he wasn’t pulled after the third quarter of the Nebraska game, aka the massacre of a game where Wisconsin won 59-24 and Gordon broke the FBS single-game rushing record (at the time) with 408 yards. He also won the Doak Walker award, was Heisman runner up to Marcus Mariota and was a combine top performer in four categories.
40 yd Dash: 4.52 secs
Broad Jump: 126 in
20 yd Shuttle: 4.07 secs
60 yd Shuttle: 11.00 secs
No wonder the Bolts traded up to snag Gordon while he was still available.
Second Round: Kyle Emanuel, North Dakota State OLB
Now here’s the defensive super charge the Chargers needed. Emanuel totaled 19.5 sacks his senior year and against top 25 opponents, he tallied 16.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks… in just eight games. Granted, Emanuel’s numbers may be considered a bit “inflated” as he is a small school prospect. Bottom Line? Emanuel is a big physical hitter, and should be a good match up with Denzel Perryman at linebacker for the Chargers.
Here is another team that really needed some fresh talent and a good draft. With the third overall pick in the draft, it would be pretty hard not to get a good update.
First Round: Dante Fowler Jr., Florida OLB
Third pick overall in the draft, and Fowler is obviously a catch. Just check his numbers. Fowler led the Gators with 15 tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hurries and 8.5 sacks. In 2014, Fowler also tallied at LEAST one tackle for loss in every game except one. Impressive.
Second Round: TJ Yeldon, Alabama RB
Straight from the belly of the beast, the crimson tide beast that is, Yeldon is to be credited with a good amount of Alabama’s success the past couple seasons. My favorite stat showing Yeldon’s athleticism that is sure to impress, is that Yeldon is the first true Alabama freshman to rush for 1,000 yards. But wait there’s more to it. Yeldon did all that while (wait for it) backing up Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers superstar RB. Not too shabby. The only concern here is that the Jaguars may be relying too heavily on Yeldon. But I mean, who else do they really have to rely on? Sorry I’m not sorry. #truth
Other Notable Picks:
Third Round: Jaelen Strong, ASU WR
Third Round: Tevin Coleman, Indiana RB
Fourth Round: Jeremy Langford, Michigan State RB
Fourth Round: TJ Clemmings, Pittsburgh OT
First Round: Danny Shelton, Washington DT
San Francisco 49ers
First Round: Arik Armstead, Oregon DT
Second Round: Eddie Goldman, FSU DT
Second Round: Eric Kendricks, UCLA ILB
Phewph! Glad I got that out of my system. Only 93 more days until the NFL season starts… Great.