Post-NFL draft musings

Doug Gulasy

Ziggy, Alex Mack and Al Davis … oh my!

Ah, the NFL Draft. Who doesn’t love two days of overpaid athletes-turned-analysts predicting how the NFL careers of future overpaid athletes-turned-analysts will turn out?

To be honest, I could take or leave the draft. But because it marks the first sign of football since the Super Bowl, I watch it every year.

Plus, the draft gives us all so much to talk about. For example:

&bull Is it just me, or do the members of ESPN’s NFL Draft panel hate each other? Mel Kiper Jr. hates Todd McShay, Trey Wingo hates Herm Edwards and Chris Berman hates Keyshawn Johnson.

Oh yeah, and everybody hates Steve Young. Including me.

&bull You know who I felt the worst for during the draft? Darrius Heyward-Bey. After the Raiders selected him seventh overall over Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, the draft experts ripped the pick to shreds and called Heyward-Bey a potential bust.

That’s not exactly the type of thing you want to hear when you’re surrounded by family in the most exciting moment of your life.

And speaking of which …

&bull The Raiders’ latest draft debacle – picking Heyward-Bey over Crabtree and taking unknown Ohio University safety Michael Mitchell in the second round – has most people thinking that Oakland owner Al Davis has officially lost his mind.

Not me, though. I think Davis knows exactly what he’s doing. In fact, I bet Davis sits down before the draft each year and plots about how he can make people question his judgment.

Of course, my scenario doesn’t make Davis seem any less insane.

&bull Don’t look now, but the Cincinnati Bengals had one of the best drafts of any team. They drafted talented players – Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson and Chase Coffman – to fill team needs at offensive tackle, linebacker, defensive end and tight end. What is the world coming to when the Bengals look smart during the draft?

&bull Meanwhile, the Browns traded down three times in the first round – and took a center. Don’t get me wrong; Alex Mack was a solid pick. But I’m sure Browns fans were hoping for something a bit more exciting than a guy who seems to be named after a Nickelodeon show.

&bull In an apparent attempt to cancel out the Browns’ Nickelodeon pick, the Steelers picked defensive lineman Evander “Ziggy” Hood in the first round.

Hood gets his nickname from the comic strip of the same name – and I don’t know about you, but I’ll take Ziggy and his gang of animals over Alex Mack any day.

&bull Going into the weekend, I didn’t expect former Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman to get drafted. However, I can see now why the Patriots took him in the seventh round.

If there’s one thing the Patriots love, it’s versatility – and Edelman is certainly versatile. He has the athletic ability to play several positions, including quarterback, wide receiver, kick returner – and even defensive back, if the Patriots decide to do a redux of the Troy Brown experiment.

&bull If I didn’t want to see whether a Kent State player would get drafted, I wouldn’t have paid attention to the second day of the draft. In fact, I think I would rather watch bowling on ESPN instead of the draft’s second day.

&bull That being said, I’m already counting down the days until the 2010 NFL Draft – I can’t wait to see who the Raiders pick first.

Contact sports editor Doug Gulasy at [email protected].