Draft Day Rundown

By Chris Pine
Jets Staff Writer
April 24th, 2003
Bradway's pick of LB Jonathan Vilma adds speed and youth to the Jets LB corps.
Bradway's pick of LB Jonathan Vilma adds speed and youth to the Jets LB corps.
I have decided to write an article while I watched this year’s NFL draft covering every pick up until the Jets first selection. This draft has many sub-plots and is packed with more intrigue than an episode of Survivor. There are trades being speculated upon, demanding quarterbacks, and roughly five thousand quality wide receivers. Now there are several scenarios which could unfold involving the Jets, but; it is probably safe to say they pick a defensive player in the first round. Hopefully I can provide some sort of insight into what transpires.

First thing I have to say is that just watching the draft is a task within itself. There is so much going on at once. It is a sensory overload to the football portion of your brain. They try to predict the upcoming pick and throw a few players and stats at you there. Then they interview players, coaches, executives, janitors, and just about anybody else that they can get their hands on. Sometimes they are talking about a player selected three picks ago and playing catch-up with the league. It can be a little challenging to keep up with. The in-house round table of Mel Kiper Jr., his hair, Chris Mortenson, Michael Irvin, and Chris Berman provided pretty decent insight throughout the draft. I needed a translator just to understand what Irvin was saying. Then there was his suit which was a very tasteful brown-on-brown. Is it just me or do you think that he and Mc Hammer were tight back in the day?

San Diego picks Eli Manning with the first pick despite all of his protests against playing for the Chargers. It seems as though he would rather be playing for the New York Giants and with all of the rumors about a trade he may get his wish. My only question: is Manning insane? Does he know what the weather is like in San Diego? Does he not like to look at scantily clad women in November?

Oakland grabs Robert Gallery which is just Al Davis flipping the bird to everyone involved in the draft, from the pundits to the general managers. This should be what propels the trade and sends Eli Manning to the Giants.

Arizona selecting Larry Fitzgerald follows the mold of most of their drafts. Obtain a player for a position that you already have covered. Aren’t they pretty solid at wide receiver? Now they have Bryant Johnson, Anquan Boldin, and Larry Fitzgerald ready to catch passes thrown by either Shaun King or Josh McCown. Meanwhile two solid quarterbacks are still available.

The Giants pick Philip Rivers and don’t contact him before the selection? Something smells rotten in the state “Joisey” and I’m not talking about the garbage, or the highways, or the industrial parks. It seems as though the trade will happen, as shivers begin to run down Kerry Collins’ back.

The trade comes in and every Giant fans cries “Pennington who?” It seems that for the rights to Eli Manning the Giants hand the Chargers about eighty future draft picks.

Let me digress for a minute here: You know that the Redskins are going to the playoffs this year, right? I mean let us review some of their moves: Cornelius Griffin, Shawn Springs, Walt Harris, Mark Brunell, and Clinton Portis. This team is vastly improved over the last year’s squad. If this team does win the NFC East everyone will be gushing about Joe Gibbs and his genius. Now look. I think Joe Gibbs is an excellent coach worthy of every accolade he has received but in all honesty wouldn’t you be a little more impressed if he could succeed with a team that slightly resembles the one Steve Spurrier was stuck with?

And while I am on the subject of the Redskins how in the heck are they doing what they do? I don’t understand where they keep getting the salary cap room from. They have to have pictures of Paul Tagliabue in a compromising position.

Washington selects Sean Taylor who Mel Kiper Jr gushes about for five-plus minutes. Great, in other words: I hate the ‘Skins.

Another digression: Is it just me or does Chris Berman sound like William Shatner at his most campy? “If…WE believe…that both ELI Manning…and…Phillip Rivers…can start..AND Rivers will…probably start…effectively….ENDING…the Drew... Brees…Era…Spock, What..DOES that mean! We ARE…human…BEINGS! WITH FEELINGS!”

Sorry, got a little carried away there.

Nothing seems more unorganized than NFL draft coverage. Feeds breaking up, cameras blacking out, guys are talking over each other. I love it.

While watching the interview with Ernie Accorsi I find myself wondering if he knows how bad his hair piece looks? It has to be a wig. The color is bizarre and it never seems combed. I say do a Bruce Willis and shave it off. That is my plan once the rest of my hair disappears. (Single women should ignore that last sentence. I have flowing locks of hair. Uh..and rippling muscles!)

My favorite player in the draft Winslow goes to the Browns in a trade with the Lions which means that the best player available will not be a Jet. Of course it makes sense for the Browns with the Butch Davis and Miami Hurricane connection. Who will be throwing to him? And who is protecting that quarterback? I see Winslow becoming a blocker and a very disgruntled player.

I love these NFL guys. They ask Butch Davis about Kellen Winslow and he says, “Well, he is a tight end with some size and he can catch the ball and run with it.” Thanks for the detailed analysis. Butch, what do you think of bologna? “Well it is a meat product and can go on a sandwich and be eaten.”

The Lions grab Roy Williams who many people believe is the best WR in the draft. It gives the Lions a great young tandem of Williams and Charles Rodgers getting passes thrown to them from Joey Harrington. All first round picks from the last three years. Now they need some defense. Irvin blasts Williams for staying in school and not “being a man” and entering the NFL last year. I think he was just jealous of Williams’ yellow-on-yellow suit.

Deangelo Hall gets snatched up by the Falcons. Hall is an excellent player but might not be the best DB in the draft. It does however take another defensive players’ name off the boards.

Nice interview with the Manning brothers who appear to be wearing matching suits. I guess it is almost a case of “similar siblings” (yes, I did just make that term up). Wasn’t the word around the league that Peyton stayed in college one more year so he wouldn’t get selected by the Jets?

Some good news for the Jets as the Jaguars pick Reggie Williams. He is a big guy who can catch. Not too much speed though and with Jimmy Smith on the other side it is a little suspect of a pick. At least that is one more defensive player left in the draft pool for New York.

The Texans take Dunta Robinson who I believe is the best all around cornerback in the draft although he is considered short at 5’10” but a solid pick and someone I would have loved to have seen go to the Jets.

Now if the Steelers do what they should do and grab a quarterback the Jets will have a lengthy list of linebackers and cornerbacks to choose from.

The Steelers do indeed grab Ben Roethlisberger who many believe to be the best quarterback to come out in this draft. I didn’t really watch too many games involving Miami of Ohio so I can not testify to that. What I can tell you is according to my theory on quarterbacks it doesn’t look good for Gentle Ben. A great quarterback has to have a great name that is easy to spell. Young, Montana, Marino, Elway, Unitas, the list goes on. I am sorry to say that Roethlisberger doesn’t cut it.

That reminds me of another theory of mine I will share with you: The New Uniforms. Every time I have seen a team change their uniform good things have happened. The Broncos win a Super Bowl, the Jets go to The AFC Championship Game, and The Angels win a world series. The list goes on and on. I am going down on record and say that the Bengels will go deep into the playoffs next season.

The Jets are up and I am just praying they don’t mess things up. I must have worked myself up so much because when they do grab Jonathan Vilma I don’t really have any kind of reaction.

A quick scouting report on Vilma: A middle linebacker with great speed but who desperately needs help from the defensive line in order to make things happen. He is a hard hitter and a very good tackler. He is a very smart player who can read the offense quite easily and has tremendous football instincts. He may start by mid-season and could enable the Jets to throw out some different looks, defensively, on the field. He is also from the University of Miami which is a plus since the Hurricanes are a NFL player making machine.

If anything the Jets did accomplish what they set out to do this off-season by getting younger and faster. One of the problems that I can see right away is that all of the Jets’ acquisitions are inexperienced and untested. There is a chance that instead of being frustrated with the guys who have been here for years, as fans we could become frustrated with the new guys.

Since it will be something like nine hours until the Jets pick again I will have to withhold my final opinion on the draft until after the last pick. Hopefully I have something to look forward to. Hopefully Bradway and Edwards have done their homework and will use the remaining nine picks wisely. Of course, looking at their track record doesn’t instill too much confidence. Ahhh, to be a Jet fan.

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