Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Post-draft Reflections

I reviewed the Giants draft on ScoutsNotebook and gave it pretty high marks. They took several of my favorite guys. This led to some interesting comments on the EMB.

I am a football fan as well as being an Eagles fan. Every year I watch thousands of kids play college football. I choose a handful to really like. I follow those guys in the NFL, whether as Eagles or on other teams. I cheer for them to succeed.

Just because I like certain players does not mean they will have good careers. I get all excited when the Eagles take players I think highly of, but that sword is double-edged. It is incredibly frustrating and depressing to see those players when they fail. My track record is mixed. I thought I'd offer up some comments on players over the years, good and bad, starting with 1999, Big Red's first year in Philly.

1999 - I liked a lot of guys that year. There was not one player I was dying for the Eagles to get. I thought Tim Couch was the best player and a lock to go to Cleveland. He did and things weren't so great. I liked Donovan McNabb a lot, but also liked Daunte Culpepper quite a bit. I was able to see 8 UCF games that year and thought Daunte looked like the real deal. My favorite of all the QBs was Cade McNown of UCLA. That might sound weird now, but Cade was a great college player. USC was a middle of the road team back then. UCLA was the toast of the town and Cade was the big star. Unfortunately, he took a party lifestyle to the NFL instead of a work ethic and flamed out badly in Chicago. Cade and Couch at one point were fighting over a Playboy playmate. Both guys dated her off and on. Both guys failed at the NFL, but they can say they dated a playmate. I have yet to reach that stratosphere. I did once have a stripper throw a dart at me, so that's at least a start in the right direction.

2000 - There were 2 players I coveted for the Eagles. WR Plaxico Burress and DT Cory Simon both fit major needs and both looked like great players. The Eagles went with Simon and things were great for 5 years. After that...Titanic-ville. Plax obviously has been an Eagles-killer for a long time. He would have been a really interesting player for us. You never know how he would have developed in our system, but he would have given Eagles fans the #1 WR they always coveted.

My favorite 2 players were the PSU stars Courtney Brown and Lavarr Arrington. Both guys were can't miss superstars in my mind. Courtney went to the black hole known as the Cleveland Browns where high picks go to disappear. Arrington had a good start to things in DC, but the revolving door on the defense slowed him down and then injuries got the best of him. Those are 2 of the best college players I've ever seen.

There were a few guys I really like down the line. SS Kennoy Kennedy was an impact hitter at Arkansas. He was vicious and the league basically drove him out with fines and threats of suspensions. I loved LB Barrett Green from West Va. He could fly to the ball. They turned out to be solid pros for a few years.

I'll add the next couple of years tomorrow.


Prem Prakash said...

"I did once have a stripper throw a dart at me, so that's at least a start in the right direction."

Great line!

izzylangfan said...

I think you are correct. The Giants had a very good draft. That really annoys me. I love it when the Giants mess up.

I remember the year Corey Simon was drafted. The pundits thought the Eagles might go for Plax but a few thought there were character issues. I guess they were right on both counts - that there was a character issue and that the Eagles wouldn't go for him because of that.

Let's see - he put an unlicensed gun in his sweat pants, you'd think the weight of the gun would take his pants right down to his ankles. Oh and the gun went off because he forgot to put the safety on. What a jerk.

Stephen said...

Plax has been a mixed bag, in Pitt he had obvious maturity issues, and in NY he was great for a few years before he decided that trying to act tough doesn't need to come with enough intelligence to put the safety on your gun.

Either way you probably recouped your investment in the guy, but I'm not sure Plax is the kind of guy I could cheer on. He always struck me as being more concerned with his image than the game, and anyone who spikes the ball before being tackled in the middle of the field is kind of funny (though Desean runs a close second for his antics this past year, at least he didn't get up woofing after he did it like Plax did).

izzylangfan said...

I agree that the Steelers and the Giants probably recouped their investment in Plax. Though its difficult to work the devastation of the Giants after the gun incident into the payback equation.

However, you don't invest in a loose cannon with the hope that it won't go off until you get your moneys worth. Everyone probably figured that TO wouldn't go off until the third year. Oops!

With regard to DeSean Jackson there are obviously maturity issues. You only have to see interviews with Jackson and Maclin to see that Maclin is far more mature. And Jackson would have probably been a first round pick except for those issues. But Jackson is struggling with it and trying to grow up. I give him credit for that, we all have to deal with our weaknesses and nemesis and the fight is somewhat heroic. As for celebrating too soon in Dallas - that was the excitement of a young man potentially scoring his first touchdown in the NFL. Yes it raises concern but I can forgive that. But If Jackson evolves into an elite receiver will he or anyone else be able to contain that ego. The jury is out on that one.

Stephen said...

I don't anticipate Jackson being too much of a problem, he seems to be a man willing to work within the confines of the team.

Everyone, athlete or everyday office worker, has an ego. It's just a matter of whether you put your ego's needs ahead of your team or not. People like TO will blame the quarterback, the tight end, the owner or freaking Ghandi for not getting him the ball enough because its not about the team winning for him, its about TO getting his stats to reinforce his ego. I haven't seen anything resembling that kind of behavior so far from Jackson so I don't think it will be an issue.

Keep in mind Jackson is about the size of my little brother soaking wet as well, thats also something that would help keep him out of the first last year I imagine.

Stephen said...

oh, in other news, is Michael Vick out of jail? I can't tell with the overwhelming coverage on NFL.com and the round the clock nfl network updates (live from Vicks house even!) about it.

You'd think that Bill Walsh rose from the dead and walked on water the amount of attention they're giving it. Its a shame Jim Johnson, who coincidentally doesn't beat drown or electrocute dogs to death, barely gets a whisper about his leaving the team for his fight with cancer.