Friday, June 28, 2013

5 comments Peter King Used to Hand Out NFL Draft Grades

So apparently Peter used to hand out NFL draft grades in MMQB. That's right, MMQB used to be a column that consisted of something other than Peter's reaction to the latest Meryl Streep movie, complaints about cab drivers who don't speak sufficient English, and 500 words about the week's most interesting Tweets. Thanks to Dave for pointing out these 2000 NFL Draft grades from Peter. Just look at his picture beside the column title. Peter was so young and so much less lofty than he is now. He was just a squirrel out in the world trying to find a nut or at least some good NFL nuggets to chew on. It's amazing how short MMQB used to be back then. It feels very bloated now compared to this one page Peter used to write for his readers every Monday.

I must preface my 2000 NFL Draft Report Card by saying I don't think these things are worth very much. 

And yet, he isn't doing them for fun, so either Peter is being forced to give out draft grades by Sports Illustrated or he chose to give them out and immediately wants us to dismiss his opinion.

I'm a guy who travels or interviews on Saturdays during the fall, catching snippets of games on TV with phone glued to ear. I remember watching Wisconsin beat up Iowa last fall from the Marriott Suites/Chicago O'Hare and seeing Ron Dayne dominate the game and thinking: Boy, is he slow hitting the hole, and is he lucky to have that mountainous offensive line. The NFL will eat him alive. True?

Yes, it was true.

I remember seeing Peter Warrick in the bowl game and thinking what a great NFL player he would be. And so for me to say I know with clarity who did well in the draft this weekend is stupid. 

"Hey everyone, come read this week's MMQB. It's really, really stupid because I try to grade each team's draft. It's incredibly dumb for me to do this, but I encourage you to read it anyway. You are a moron for reading these stupid grades because as someone who makes his living as an NFL insider I know nothing about any of the players entering the NFL Draft."

I will, however, tell you how I think each team did in assessing its needs, responding to its needs and maneuvering to address those needs on draft weekend. 

Yes, but how do you know how well a team addressed its needs on draft weekend if you have no idea how good the players they drafted are? So if a team covered all of their needs, but drafted players who were all back-ups at Division III schools would that team have done a good job on draft weekend? I doubt it. There has to be some analysis and knowledge of the players that are being picked in order know how well a team addressed its needs. Otherwise if you aren't aware of a player's talent then you can't judge how well the need for a team was filled. So Peter can't dismiss his knowledge on the players in the NFL Draft and then expect us to believe his grades as they pertain to filling a team's need.

My ground rules have one key element: With few exceptions, anything after the fourth round I don't count. Look at the fifth round in 1992, for instance.
Three of the 30 guys picked turned into good players -- Ed McDaniel, Santana Dotson, Joe Bowden. I'm not real high on a 10 percent rate of return. 

As we all have heard constantly, Tom Brady was picked in the sixth round of this very 2000 draft. It's sort of ironic Peter didn't worry about picks after the fourth round in this draft.

1. Oakland. Now, I fault the Raiders for panicking and not dropping down once or twice 10 or so spots and getting an extra four, five or six while ensuring they'd still get their man, kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

This is a tough grade because the Raiders got Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski with two picks. They got two quality players in this draft, but they were a punter and a kicker. The Raiders also took the kicker in the first round and passed up Shaun Alexander. I have a hard time giving this draft an "A-" even if the Raiders nailed down their punter and kicker for the next decade (or more).


3. Tampa Bay. I count Keyshawn Johnson, who cost two ones and makes Shaun King 20 percent better just by suiting up. Cosey Coleman's an eight-year starter after Randall McDaniel retires. 

Actually Coleman started for seven years until he knees gave out on him. This is probably the right grade, even though Nate Webster was the second-best player to come out of this draft. Johnson did help Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl.

4. Washington. They picked the right guys. By the way, remember it's the long-lost Charley Casserly who made Arrington/Samuels happen. 

Did they pick the right guys though? I know Arrington had injuries, conflicts with the coaching staff and other issues, but Urlacher was still there for the Redskins to draft (more on Peter's opinion of Urlacher later). The Redskins didn't get anyone else out of this draft other than Arrington and Samuels. I'm not sure I can go all the way to a "B+" for a team that had two of the top 3 picks (with one of the guys not lasting past 2006 with Washington) and they didn't do anything with their other six picks. 

5. Buffalo. Pick 89 overall, Corey Moore, will be one of those classic Bills picks (they always get a very good player after the first round, every year), the kind of player GMs will regret passing on. 

Big miss here. The Bills regretted drafting Moore. Erik Flowers, the Bills' first round pick, didn't last to the 2002 season with the Bills and Corey Moore lasted one season in Buffalo. The Bills' second round pick Traveres Tillman last two seasons with the Bills. This was a bad draft for them and Sammy Morris is probably the best player to come out of it. It has to be an "F," right?

6. Green Bay. Bubba Franks becomes the next Mark Chmura, for health and off-field reasons, immediately. Late Sunday, one scout told me Na'il Diggs, the Ohio State linebacker picked in the fourth, will be a classic NFL playmaker, a quicker Spielman. 

It's hard to grade this draft fairly. The Packers had 13 picks and came away with Franks, Diggs, Clifton, Gbaja-Biamila and Mark Tauscher. That's a lot of picks in a draft, but the Packers did pretty well with five of them, so I have to agree (I know!) with Peter. This is a "B+" draft.

7. Pittsburgh. Here's one of my post-fourth-round exceptions: Love the pick of Tee Martin late in the fifth.

Well of course Peter is going to make an exception to the rule he just stated about not evaluating players past the fourth round. It's one of his northeast NFL teams and the Steelers drafted Tee Martin who was (Peter's boy) Peyton Manning's backup at Tennessee. That's a home run pick right there...or it was until it wasn't.

Watch the games. He belongs in the NFL.

I did watch the games and have the benefit of hindsight. It turns out Tee Martin did not belong in the NFL after all. He didn't belong in NFL Europe or the CFL either. 

Steelers got two big receivers (Plaxico Burress and Danny Farmer) and I have a sneaking feeling that Martin will be throwing to them in December, at the end of a lost Steelers season.

Tee Martin never ended up throwing a pass in the regular season as a Pittsburgh Steeler. So much for the Tee Martin era in Pittsburgh. The Steelers did draft Plaxico Burress, Marvel Smith, Kendrick Clancy and Clark Haggans though. Not a terrible draft. I think "B+" is a bit high though.

8. New England. J.R. Redmond will be the every-down back by Oct. 1. Not bad for the 76th overall pick. 

Redmond wasn't an every-down back by October 1. The Patriots did draft Adrian Klemm and Patrick Pass though. Oh, and they also drafted Tom Brady. I don't like giving out a grade based entirely on one pick, but I'm going to give the Patriots an "A" for this draft. That tends to happen when Hall of Fame quarterbacks are taken in the sixth round.

9. Tennessee. Good value in LB Keith Bulluck at 30. The Titans are the NFL's Linebacker U. 

Other than Bullock the Titans got Robaire Smith and Erron Kinney in this draft. I'm pretty sure that's not a "B" draft. Let's give this one a "C-" and move on.

10. Cleveland. Courtney Brown is a draft. 

No he's not. Courtney Brown is a bust. The Browns had 13 picks in this draft. That's a lot of picks and the best player they got out of this draft was Dennis Northcutt or Lewis Sanders. That's right. So what grade should I give this draft. They didn't draft all busts, and even Brown was okay when he was healthy, but this was a terrible draft for Cleveland. I'll be kind and give it a "D-."

11. San Francisco. The 49ers did the right thing by passing on Pennington.

Probably not. On the bright side they did draft Giovanni Carmazzi and Tim Rattay.

Four or five of the defensive draftees will be in the starting lineup on opening day, and none is a slam-dunk great player. Worrisome. But what choice did they have? This gives them the best chance to be good the fastest. 

It really depends on the scale you want to grade these picks on (like whether you think short-term contributors are valuable), but this wasn't a bad draft for San Francisco. A "B" might be a fair grade. The 49ers had 11 picks and got Ahmed Plummer, Julian Peterson, Tim Rattay, Jeff Ulbrich, John Engelberger, and Jason Webster. It's certainly not a murderer's row of picks, but they also played well and contributed for the 49ers.


12. Jacksonville. R. Jay Soward and Tom Coughlin. Now that's a match made in heaven.

Soward was drafted later in the first round so I don't know if I would call him a bust, but he was one of the worst first round draft choices in the history of the NFL Draft. Soward had a drinking problem, didn't want to be a first round pick and played in Jacksonville for one season catching 14 passes. This was a match made in Hell, not heaven. Even the most disciplinarian-type coach can't coach an alcoholic who won't listen to anyone.

Why do I give this a chance? Because scouts love Soward -- assuming he'd have someone to lean on him 25 hours a day. 

So it could work as long as the Jaguars never let Soward out of their sight. That sounds like a plan that had no way of working. The Jaguars did excellent in getting Brad Meester, Rob Meier, and Danny Clark. I'm not sure that deserves a "C+" grade. I would bump it down to a "C."

14. Jets. Call me a nut. I like Laveranues Coles, who has Deion speed and, at 77 overall, is an almost riskless pick.

Actually Coles was 78th overall, but third round picks really aren't "riskless" picks. A team hopes a player chosen in the third round can be ready to be contribute or be a quality backup. So there is some risk involved in the pick, especially since the Jets had just traded Keyshawn Johnson.

The Jets had four first round picks and Peter barely mentions them. I find that somewhat odd.

The big question here is: Is Keyshawn Johnson for John Abraham and Anthony Becht a good trade? Didn't think you'd think it was.

Actually that's not a terrible trade. John Abraham was a really good player for the Jets until he left to go to the Falcons. The Jets got Shaun Ellis, Abraham, Pennington, and Becht in the first round, as well as getting Coles in the third round. I have to give this draft at the very least a "B+" and possibly an "A-." Becht wasn't ever great, but Ellis, Pennington and Coles were good players for the Jets for a while.

15. Giants. I do think Dayne's a plodder, which would be okay here if he had a line to open a hole for him.

This was a good call by Peter. Dayne was a plodder.

The Giants have picked six in the top three rounds of the past seven drafts: Thomas Lewis, Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard, Joe Jurevicius, Brian Alford, and, this year, Lambuth (Tenn.) College's Ron Dixon. You see, then, why I am not advocating Ron Dixon buy a split-level in Tenafly, or even a condo in Hackensack. 

Peter King with the brief travelogue on north Jersey. I would say this was a "C" draft and Peter was right, but I have to give the Giants credit for hitting on Short and Dhani Jones. Well, maybe a "C" sounds about right. Actually, I'll be kind and go with a "C+."

16. Baltimore.

But the Ravens were dumb not to trade down from 5 for a bounty of picks. Shaun Alexander (who went 19th) will be a better pro than Jamal Lewis (fifth), by the way. 

They were actually pretty equal to each other. Lewis (along with the Ravens defense) did lead Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory, so maybe I would give him the slight edge. He was more a plodder and never had a high per carry average for much of his career, so maybe Alexander has the edge. Clearly this part of Peter's draft grades has me very confused.

Either way, the Ravens left this draft with Travis Taylor and Adalius Thomas also. I think a grade a bit higher than "C" is required, but not too much higher.

17. Arizona. The Thomas Jones draft. He'd better be the long-term back there, because they've spent too many picks trying to get this right. 

He was a long-term back, but just not for the Cardinals, but for the Jets and Chiefs. The other best players from this draft for the Cardinals were Raynoch Thompson, David Barrett and Darwin Walker. I'm thinking this is more of a "D" draft. The Cardinals waived Walker before he even played one game.

18. Cincinnati. One scout I like said Sunday: "I always like their draft. Then every year their team stinks. I don't know what that means."

This is not even a "C" draft. This was the Neil Rackers Draft. Does that excite you to hear?

I will say this: Peter Warrick will be the offensive rookie of the year or my name is Giovanni Carmazzi. 

Warrick wasn't the offensive rookie of the year and Peter King has still not changed his name. They got Neil Rackers, so that moves this draft into "D-" territory and explains why the Bengals struggled so much at the beginning of the 2000's.

19. Denver. Deltha O'Neal is a better returner than corner; Denver needs him to be great at both jobs. Bill Romanowski, those are Ian Gold's footsteps you're feeling. And his hot breath on your neck.  

Even though O'Neal wasn't great, this probably wasn't a "C" draft. The Broncos got Cooper Carlisle, Mike Anderson, Kenoy Kennedy, and Ian Gold in this draft. Okay, so maybe it isn't much higher than a "C," but it is higher.

20. Kansas City. I like Sylvester Morris.

Well, at least someone liked Morris. The game of football did not like him. He was injured and ineffective for most of his career.

But I can't figure for the life of me why Carl Peterson, who is a smart man, didn't go out and spend a couple of picks to save his running game for years by dealing for Corey Dillon. Dumb, dumb, dumb. 

In retrospect this probably would have been a good move. The Chiefs also got Dante Hall in this draft, so that was fun for a while.


21. Carolina. Top pick Rashard Anderson, a corner/safety, has hands of stone. Not a good quality for an interceptor. 

Oh, and he also had a drug problem. Who doesn't miss the George Seifert era in Carolina? This may shock you, but a team that went 1-15 in 2001 did not have a good draft in 2000. Jeno James and Deon Grant played a big part in the 2003 Super Bowl run, but that's about it.

Lester Towns did teach me a valuable football-related lesson that sometimes tackles are overrated. SOMEBODY has to tackle the ball-carrier and that explains how he had 91 tackles in 2001 despite being the slowest linebacker I have ever seen play. That 2001 team was so terrible somebody had to tackle the opposing player after a 5-6 yard gain.

23. Chicago. Brian Urlacher had better be great. I keep getting a feeling that he might be 80 percent player, 20 percent shoot-up-the-chart myth. 

He's also 100% a Hall of Famer. Remember Peter thought Urlacher was 20% shoot-up-the-chart myth the next time Peter talks about how great Urlacher is. The Bears also got Mike Brown and Paul Edinger in this draft. Anytime a team drafts a Hall of Fame linebacker in the draft I think that draft deserves an "A" not a "C."

SPECIAL ENTRANT IN THE C-MINUS CATEGORY: Brett Favre's Pennzoil commercial. Cute, almost. But you-know-what about the day job. 

Not that Peter has ever had any type of obsession with Brett Favre of course. He still randomly brings Favre up now after Favre has retired and has managed to force a Favre reference into MMQB for over a decade now.


Whew! That's painfully unfunny. I'm embarrassed for Peter.

27. San Diego. When you have one pick in the top 80, as it seems the Chargers do every year, draft is annually unimpactful. 

This draft was an "F." Damion McIntosh was pretty good for a while, but there's not much else here. Okay, if I give the Bengals a "D-" for drafting Neil Rackers maybe I could give this draft an "F+."

29. Atlanta. Their draft looks totally non-impactful. 

This draft wasn't totally non-impactful, but about as close it can be. Travis Claridge is the best player in this draft for the Falcons. Another "F" draft. Peter has to be meaner.

30. Dallas.

Another "F" draft. It's either Mario Edwards or Michael Wiley that were the best picks in this draft.

31. New Orleans. Uninspired. And it's all Ricky Williams' fault. 

Not really uninspired. The Saints landed Tutan Reyes (not great, but he played for a while in the NFL ), Marc Bulger, Darren Howard, Chad Morton, and Terrelle Smith. It's not a "D" draft, but considering they didn't have a first round pick they didn't do too terribly.

3. I think ESPN does a wonderful job covering the draft.

Of course Peter King thought ESPN did a wonderful job. It makes sense. He probably still thinks this.

I did, however, love the ripping by Ron Jaworski of the Browns' picking a Spergon Wynn over Joe Hamilton in round six.

It's good to see Jaws was ripping a draft choice that 13 years later would be seen as debating the value of a turd burger versus a shit sandwich.

There are days, those close to Parcells say, when he thinks he'd like to stay in the Jet front office beyond this offseason. But there are more days that he finds himself thinking how good a life it would be to live in Sea Girt, N.J., a block from the Atlantic Ocean, and, about noon every Saturday, either drive or helicopter up to Bristol, Conn., to work Sundays and Mondays in the ESPN studios. Two workdays a week for what I'm sure must be nearly seven figures.

We had to deal with another decade of Parcells threatening to "come out of retirement" and coach the Buccaneers, then he actually coached the Cowboys, and finally he ended up in the Dolphins front office. I'm not sure if Parcells was ever really thinking about how good life could be a block from the Atlantic Ocean. He was more interested in putting out feelers for jobs and then denying his interest in those jobs.

corners Robert Bean and Anthony Midget went to Cincinnati and Atlanta, respectively. Midget's 5-10, so I guess he's no Mini-Me. 

An "Austin Power" reference. It was the year 2000, so Peter was just being hip and "with it."

8. I think I wonder why the Grande Hazelnut Latte at the Starbucks bars I frequent in Burlingame, Calif., and Embarcadero when in the Bay Area costs $2.95, while the Grande Hazelnut Latte at my Starbucks in Montclair, N.J., costs $3.45. Does it cost 50 cents to ship a pod of espresso from Seattle to New Jersey?

Peter was still complaining about the cost of coffee 13 years ago. I'm pretty sure he will never stop doing this. The reason the prices differ is because it very well could cost Starbucks more money to ship the coffee across the United States or Starbucks just knows Peter will pay whatever it costs to get the Grande Hazelnut Latte wherever he may be.

Shouldn't I have better things to worry about on draft weekend? 

Absolutely. Should you not complain every time you are inconvenienced in any way while in public? Again, yes, but it has never stopped you.

10. I think opening weekend is exactly 20 weeks away. I like Tampa Bay over Indy for the marbles. 

It was Baltimore over the New York Giants. Tampa Bay and Indy both lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. It's been over a decade, but MMQB isn't too much different, just much, much longer and it contains more material that is non-NFL related. 


JBsptfn said...

Yeah, a lot of people had Indy in the Super Bowl that year, but I had them playing Washington, not Tampa.

As a Denver fan, though, I agree with his analysis of Deltha O'Neal. The Broncos should have targeted Julian Peterson or John Abraham in Round 1 that year instead. By 2003, they moved O'Neal to WR for a while, and then they traded him the next year.

Snarf said...

Jamal Lewis on the browns was a plodder. Jamal Lewis pre injury on the ravens was a stud. 230 lb back with breakaway speed. Watch the 2003 highlights for a refresher.

Bengoodfella said...

JB, I can't remember who I had. Some of his analysis wasn't bad, but I did enjoy the Urlacher comments.

Snarf, Lewis did carry the 2000 Ravens offense it seemed. Of course the defense was good too, but Lewis didn't seem much like a plodder that season either.

Anonymous said...

I wanna give a couple examples of just stupid logic on Peter's part.

"Now, I fault the Raiders for panicking and not dropping down once or twice 10 or so spots and getting an extra four, five or six while ensuring they'd still get their man, kicker Sebastian Janikowski." How in the hell can the Raiders ensure that Janikowski will still be there if they trade down? Are they going to force teams at gunpoint to not take him? I always love when Peter says, Team A should have traded down for extra picks. Yeah, sounds great, but it takes two to tango, dumbass. Was anyone actually offering the Raiders an extra 4, 5 and 6? But they should have accepted the fake trade I just made up, all the while ENSURING they can still get their man.

"I count Keyshawn Johnson, who cost two ones and makes Shaun King 20 percent better just by suiting up."

I mean...huh? If Keyshawn Johnson suits up but doesn't play a down, how is he making Shaun King better? Through osmosis? And I love how he throws out "20%" like it's just a fact. Not 10%, not 30%...20%. As we all know, Keyshawn Johnson did not in fact make Shaun King 20% better (or if he did, Shaun King REALLY sucked before coming in contact with Keyshawn), and the Bucs ended up trading for Brad Johnson a year later.

I don't fault Peter for his inability to be clairvoyant. But I do fault him for using such stupid logic sometimes. And I also find it funny that he actually made an exception to his "no picks after the 4th round" rule to pump up a QB...but still not Tom Brady. Also funny; the fact that Jaworski actually wasted breath debating Joe Hamilton vs. Spergon Wynn.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, you are ruining these fantasy trades that Peter is trying to make. I'm not sure if Peter knows those trades were on the table or not, but I'm speculating that he was speculating.

We all know Keyshawn made Shaun King 10.11% better anyway. That's a fact.

I thought it was hilarious he broke his rule and it didn't have to do with Tom Brady.