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A Few Words on the Draft

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By Gregg Hayim

First things first; I think I speak for the masses when I say that the English language is yet to invent a strong enough adjective to accurately describe the adrenaline accompanying  a six+ hour first round.  I had to turn off the television when ESPN cut to the on-board camera inside Joe Thomas’ fishing boat.  The emotion filled close up of him baiting his line put me over the edge. I felt as though I may have hyperventilated if I didn’t turn away.

In all seriousness, does anyone else agree that some sort of petition needs to be signed urging the league to condense the duration between picks? Six hours and eight minutes to select thirty-two players! Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Lou Holtz Head Coach of this team for a shorter period of time? For a league as conscious of its fans as the NFL, would it not make sense that they could devise a plan to pick up the pace?

Point and case: our beloved New York Jets. The team makes a bold first round trade to jump into the fourteen spot; presumably with the intent of selecting Darrelle Revis before the Steelers have their chance to do so.  Yet it takes nearly the entire fifteen minutes to make it official. Either the Jets had not made a decision, in which case they never should have traded in the first place, or Mike Tannenbaum was waiting for the uncontrollable laughter to subside before relaying his pick to the Commissioner.  I can just imagine the back and forth between GM and commissioner:

Roger Goodell: Mike have you guys made up your minds?
Mike Tannenbaum – hahahahahahahah- just a second Commish. I can’t breathe!
Commissioner Goodell: What the hell is wrong with you? You are the General Manager of footballs next great dynasty, why are you laughing like a damn hyena!?
Mike Tannenbaum: hahaha- I am sorry Rog, but did you hear the one about the Dolphins taking a punt-returner with the ninth pick in the draft!

All jokes aside, despite the anticipated monotony of the day, all in all, I felt it to be a pretty decent draft. There are certain elements that I look for in a draft before stamping it with my approval; specific aspects that, in my mind, make the day interesting or not. Drama, suspense; an unexpected pick or a fortuitous trade. A falling stock grabbed late or a risky pick taken early you get the point. And for the most part, Saturday had most of that.

The afternoon had its highs and lows but I think my favorite moment- prior to the roar of the Radio City crowd alerting us that the Jets had made a move- had to be the camera shot of Brady Quinn’s table just as the Minnesota Vikings took to the clock.  More precisely, it was the look on the face of the blonde to Brady’s right as the Vikings deliberated.  At the time, the question on everyone’s mind was whether or not the Vikings were content with Tavaris Jackson as their quarterback or if they would, instead, select Brady Quinn to become the face of the franchise. If the Vikes passed- it was assumed- so too would Atlanta; and the Notre Dame product, Quinn, would land squarely in South Florida. ESPN cuts to Quinn, and then the blonde. And you can just see the wheels turning in her head? Hmm Minnesota’s obese middle-Americans who ski in their jeans. Nothing much to do besides a big mall I like the sound of this. This is good this is real good.   Then the Vikings pass-and as expected-so do the Falcons. Miami is now on the clock and once again ESPN cuts to the table.  As the clock is counting backwards from fourteen down to zero, the blonde on Brady’s arm is doing the same with her relationship.You can just tell that this poor girl is cursing the football gods for doing this to her.

In her head, shes saying something to the extent of “fifteen minutes ago he could’ve been living in Minnesota… not a good looking girl within five hundred f*&*ing miles!  ESPN does a close up; she forces a smile.  Now he’ going to Miami  sunny skies, Latin models and night clubs. He’s young, good-looking and rich he’s going to get more tail then Timberlake. I’m done. Thirteen agonizing minutes later, in a strange twist of fate, Miami takes to the podium and the young blonde is introduced to her savior. His name Cam Cameron.

Now let’s get down to business- the J-E-T-S and their BOLD draft day moves. I’m not going to beat around the bush. Let’s be honest, despite what Mel Kiper -and that head of hair that is seemingly designed to surf on- thinks, the draft is a crap shoot. Perform a Google search for any draft of any year and you are guaranteed to find more names that you have forgotten then those you can remember. It’s purely a numbers game. With only so many available positions, coupled with such large annual draft classes, more players will fail than succeed; it’s as simple as that.

With that said, both Darrelle Revis and David Harris seem to be impact players and I look forward to their contributions. I wish them both the best of luck in NY and hope they both successfully live up to billing.  Furthermore, what impressed me on Saturday was not the actual selections, but rather the manner in which they were accomplished- yet another example of this new found Jet aggressiveness. The Tangini Combo- amazingly given this team’s track record- has somehow, in a matter of a year, managed to gain my confidence; and I don’t think I’m alone out there. Inexplicably, and contrarily to past regimes, I get a sense that they did their homework and that they did it well.  Both Mike Tannenbaum and Eric Mangini strike me as the type you would look to sit next to during an exam. Hell, if I don’t know the answer, one of these guys must…that type.  Having zeroed in on two prospects they felt would both contribute immediately and both be gone by the time the team selected, they acted.  They didn’t settle for the best available at the time, rather they made two decisive moves to proactively grab what they felt to be the best available, period.

So Mr. Tannenbaum and Mr. Mangini, I will leave you with this… whether or not your instincts were correct -only time will tell. But the manner in which you went about business this past weekend….Well, I guess Ben Stiller said it best when he said �I like your moves…I like your style�.

JETS 07’….Super Bowl Bound & Doing So in a Hurry.

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