By Josh Kramer
Number three is for me. The NFL Draft is just about here (finally). After all of the analysis, sports science, and insane amounts of minutia, Thursday night, it all goes down. 253 players will learn much more about their future over the course of the three day extravaganza when their name is called. We have a semblance of idea how the first fifteen minutes will play out.
“With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select… Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford Cardinal.”
Followed by a huge smile and a very mild-mannered interview with Andrew Luck.
“With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select…Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor Bears.”
RGIII will be all smiles and of course we will get to see his goofy socks during the interview.
Then what happens?
The ball is in Minnesota’s court. They have been on the clock for months in essence. Everyone has known for well over two months now that Luck and Griffin would be the top two picks. But who will go at number three? Many have proclaimed Matt Kalil, from USC, as the guy. Others are saying Morris Claiborne from LSU. Some are even saying Justin Blackmon, the young clone of TO, out of Oklahoma State.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that Justin Blackmon is the Vikings man. Sure Minnesota has a very young quarterback in Christian Ponder, that had his fair share of issues as a rookie. I also am well-aware that the franchise player, Adrian Peterson, tore his MCL and ACL towards the end of last season. Offensive linemen are the cornerstone of any winning franchise. They just don’t get any of the press.
But Minnesota plays in the NFC North. The same division that features the likes of Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, and now Brandon Marshall. The Vikings were a middle of the road offensive team last year (they should have been much worse). This was thanks in large part to a huge effort from Adrian Peterson (and Toby Gerhart). In addition, though the NFC North is a tough division, the defenses were not exactly stellar last year. Green Bay had arguably the worst defense in the NFL and they won 15 games.
Minnesota needs help on the offensive line without question. They gave up 49 sacks, the sixth most in the NFL last season. But there will be plenty of offensive linemen to take in the second round and beyond that will likely do a similar job to Kalil. I am talking about guys such as Bobby Massie, Jonathan Martin, and Mike Adams. There will not be any Justin Blackmon like playmakers around come Round two though. Percy Harvin, the current top wide receiver in Minnesota is extremely talented and a major threat at all times, but is far to injury prone. Blackmon will provide Ponder a target that he can grow with for years to come. It could be similar to the Dalton/Green connection in Cincinnati. I think you can all agree that Cincinnati is satisfied with their first two selections from a year ago.
Logic says to take Kalil. He is the safest bet. How could you pass on Blackmon though? The man will be catching passes and making big plays for the next decade. Why not have him on your side?
Who else is still dumbfounded by Larry Brown’s decision to come out of retirement and take over at SMU? Not only is this man a Hall of Famer, but he is also the only coach to ever win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA title. Realize that SMU has not made the NCAA Tournament since 1993 (19 years). In addition, Larry Brown is 71-years-old. He is not exactly a young buck with a whole lot of time on his side. The Mustangs have gone a woeful 80 and 109 over the past six seasons. I will credit Larry Brown with getting the Charlotte Bobcats to the playoffs during his second season in 2010. This is college basketball though. A forum he has not flirted with since 1988.
Metta World War?
Should the man formerly known as Ron Artest and currently known as Metta World Peace change his name to Metta World War? After laying a vicious elbow to the head of James Harden on Sunday, Metta World Peace is under the most scrutiny he has dealt with since November 19, 2004. I think you all remember that fateful day at the Palace. Most are focused on how long the Artest suspension will be. Sadly, what is lost in this is the severity of the injury to James Harden. No Harden equals no championship for the Thunder.
Washington is the real deal
Stephen Strasburg. Gio Gonzalez. Edwin Jackson. Jordan Zimmermann. Ross Detwiler. Enough said. Not only does Washington have a star in the wings with Bryce Harper, they have one of the elite pitching staffs in baseball. These guys are young and talented. Count on them being in the hunt come October.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.