Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5 comments MMQB Review: It's an Unpredictable Draft After All Edition

Last week in MMQB, Peter King passed on all the draft rumors that were in fact lies. Peter also put out a call to get himself a right-hand man, marveled that Billy Joel is 65, began a thought about the NBA with his typical "Now I don't watch the NBA and know nothing about it, but...," and gave the Seahawks advice on trading back (which they took!). This week Peter talks about the INCREDIBLY UNPREDICTABLE AND WHO SAW THIS COMING NFL Draft, the kiss heard around the world (and of course it was Jeff "8-8" Fisher who caused this kiss and it just so happens the Rams had a reporter embedded in with their draft again...how fortuitous!), he discusses Johnny Manziel because Manziel is the guy who gets pageviews, and rues the day he wasn't embedded with the Rams during this draft.

Where do you start after a weekend like this?


(I've now used my quota of all-caps for this post I believe)

The Michael Sam saga, which couldn’t have been more dramatic if the Coen brothers had scripted it.

But it would be much more quirky with some more indie songs mixed in.

The Johnny Manziel story, which blew every sports story out of the water for two days. Wait until you hear his Twitterverse dominance. It’s something like you’ve never seen.

"We in the media have been shoving a story down your throat and you won't believe how popular it is on Twitter as a result from people complaining about us shoving the story down your throat."

It’s Trent Baalke’s drafting world, and we’re only visiting it.

If only they gave out Super Bowl trophies for drafting, the 49ers would be three-time champions and wouldn't be the second-best team in their own division.

Footsteps by Jimmy Garoppolo. Tom Brady shakes.

Yes, I'm sure Hall of Famer Tom Brady is shaking in his boots at the sign of a rookie quarterback from Eastern Illinois being brought in to back him up. He's probably incredibly frightened and hiding behind Gisele right now.

My pick: Sam. An emotional, cool, explosive moment, with Sam getting the call telling him he’d been drafted with the 249th pick in the draft from Rams GM Les Snead. “Man, was he emotional,” Snead said Sunday morning.

What a brilliant job the Rams did in drafting Sam. This is why they are Super Bowl favorites this year. What a team on the rise. They had another excellent draft and most likely are now a dynasty.

Snead handed the phone to coach Jeff Fisher, with Sam tearing up and slowly, slowly, slow folding over and weeping, his male partner there to comfort him.

It's called "a boyfriend," Peter. It's called "a boyfriend."

On national TV. It’s a scene we haven’t seen in American TV history (and certainly not in American sports history), thankfully running unedited and uninterrupted by ESPN.

We've never seen two men kiss in American TV history? I feel like this isn't true, unless it's 1988 and "Six Feet Under" (among other shows) hasn't aired yet. It's not like the kiss was live, because Peter makes mention in this very MMQB that it was on a tape delay. So he's confused me.

“I could feel the pivot in history at that moment, with that phone call,’’ Snead said.

No Les, the world changed at that moment. After that moment, nothing will be the same. It's all thanks to Jeff "8-8" Fisher and the Rams organization. The world is now safe for homosexuals to kiss. The world thanks you, Rams organization.

Late Saturday night, after the Rams finished signing their undrafted free agents, COO Kevin Demoff and Jeff Fisher sat in the coach’s office and read through the messages and Tweets of support. 

Not that they are proud of themselves or possibly 10% drafted Sam because he was the best player on their board who would also just happen to give them a lot of really good press. I'm very jaded and I try not to be. My initial thought after being happy a team finally drafted Sam went back to my thought prior to the draft that the team that drafted Sam is going to get a lot of really good press. What do you know? It's the team that allows national writers to be embedded in their organization during the draft, the team that doesn't need a PR department because they understand how to use their connections in the media to give access (that the media appreciates and reciprocates their coverage accordingly) to writers that make them look good. It's a smart move to allow writers to be embedded in the organization and it's also a smart move to draft the first gay football player.

They read these words from President Obama: “From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.” And this Tweet from Ellen Degeneres: “So proud of the @STLouisRams for showing there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

Well, now he has to make the team. If the Rams were really nice they wouldn't have drafted Sam and allowed him to go to a team with a crappier defensive line as an undrafted free agent. That's just me being logical in a football-only context of course.

Fisher and Demoff were moved by the reaction. “It was a reminder of the power of the NFL,” Demoff said, “and how we could use the power for something good.”

“I wish I could have digested it and take it all in,” said Snead. “I’ve never been part of a decision that brought people to tears. But I couldn’t really embrace the moment, because we were so close to the end of the draft, and we had to mute the TV so we could get going on our undrafted free-agent class.”

I'm not going to ruin a moment or what the Rams did, but the jaded part of me knows the Rams knew what the reaction would be. They didn't obviously didn't draft Sam because of the reaction, but this isn't bad press.

And new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves the desperate underdog; a seventh-rounder on any roster is an underdog.

Plus, Michael Sam can make a few extra bucks if he hurts any of the opposing teams players. That's always a benefit for playing under Gregg Williams (Don't you think that if a parent names their child "Gregg" with the extra "y" it tells you this person will be annoying in some fashion? Maybe not). You like how the Rams hired Gregg Williams and Peter King hasn't mentioned it yet at least once in-depth? I wonder why that is? He certainly followed up on Sean Payton and Jonathan Vilma after their suspension for their participation in the bounty scandal.

(By the way, I really do not hate the Rams. I don't. I hate Peter's affiliation with them and how I believe it affects his coverage)

But he’ll have a chance. And the Rams are perhaps the best spot for him.

The Rams are the best spot for every player.

It’s two hours from where he went to school, and the media is largely friendly, and wherever he went Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper would have been part of the early days of training camp. The Rams know it, and Jeff Fisher can handle it.

It's not like the negative feedback and comments that Jason Collins experienced playing in the non-media friendly Brooklyn, 3000 miles away from where he went to school...I mean, right Peter?

Preamble to yet more words about Johnny Manziel, the 22nd pick in the NFL draft Thursday night: Between 7 p.m. and midnight Thursday, Twitter recorded approximately 2.5 million Tweets related to Manziel...Five times as many people Tweeted about Manziel alone as Tweeted about the four most important games of the night and the most charismatic athlete in America playing in one of the games—James.

I wonder how many of these Tweets were a reaction to ESPN and NFL Network's fascination with talking about Manziel continuously on the air? I can't help but think a lot of these Tweets were about the excessive coverage and discussion of Manziel. Peter probably doesn't think about that because he's most likely not self-aware enough to understand people react negatively to the media's saturation of Manziel coverage.

Manziel does not like to let people see him sweat. He knew his every move on this night would be scrutinized closely. But the Rams passing on him hurt. Because now he thought he’d be in for a free-fall. He turned to Burkhardt, and sort of out of the side of his mouth, said this:
“E.B., we’re screwed.”

What Manziel really meant is that there were women waiting back at the hotel who would only be there until 10pm and it was already 9:33pm, so there is no way they were going to make it back in time.

“But,’’ I said, “what about Dallas at 16? You didn’t think that might happen?”
“No, not really,’’ he said. “After talking to [owner] Jerry Jones a little bit, I understand why they wouldn’t. I felt it would be crazy for the state, for them, and for me. I thought the whole thing would be hectic. Plus, Tony [Romo] is so great. It just wouldn’t have been a great fit. I knew that, and Jerry knew it too, I think.”

Jerry Jones don't give a crap about "fit," he cares about winning and keeping the Cowboys name out there. These kids are so naive.

And so here’s Johnny. 

I see what you did there, Peter. Uber-creative. 

But the Browns must have really loved the Manziel tape—because his workout with Cleveland brass 19 days before the draft was a mess.

Manziel's workout with the Browns was a mess? I'm surprised Mike Mayock didn't move Manziel off his Top 5 quarterbacks board simply because Manziel had one bad workout. That's how Mayock does quarterback prospects isn't it?

On Good Friday night, Browns coach Mike Pettine, GM Ray Farmer, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains went to dinner with Manziel and Burkhardt at a country club outside of College Station, near the Texas A&M campus. “We worked out 10 quarterbacks and ate with all with all of them,’’ Pettine said Saturday night. “That’s the only meal we didn’t pay for.”

It helps that Manziel's parents are wealthy, while I'm not sure the wealth status of the other 10 quarterbacks, I'm guessing they don't have the wealthy financial background that Manziel has. So that does help Manziel pick up the tab.

Manziel was in Cleveland Friday and got handed his playbook—on a tablet—and examined the playbook on his trip home from Cleveland. Having a playbook will be different for him, because A&M didn’t give out playbooks, just weekly game plans. “It’s a bigger league and a bigger deal,’’ he said. “But I’m preparing the same way I always would. It’s football.”

I hate to play this card, but I don't hate it so much that I won't play this card, but I can see the fact his college team didn't have a playbook hurting another quarterback prospect coming out of college. I probably isn't a big deal, but this is the type of fact that would just get added on to the litany of things wrong with Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles by a guy like Nolan Nawrocki.

What to do about Josh Gordon?

Is Gordon not going to get the "I hope he gets the help he needs" treatment like Jim Irsay? Weird how that works, isn't it? Peter King wants an owner to just get the help he clearly needs, while he looks at an NFL player's drug use purely on how it affects that player's team down the road during contract negotiations. It's not the first time Peter has done something like this. 

The Browns are trying to establish a winning program, and if they can’t trust their best player, which Gordon clearly is, they’re going to have a tough decision on their hands if and when he’s suspended, and when he returns. Gordon has two years left on his rookie contract. How can the Browns possibly know what to pay him in a second contract, having no idea if they can trust him from one week to the next? If Gordon did test positive, and knowing that a monster contract would likely be coming at the end of this season if he could stay clean, it’s either a measure of the depth of his problem or a measure of his immaturity. Or both.

I think it's better that Gordon's issues come out now rather than after he has signed that monster contract extension, right? Who cares if Gordon has a problem? Let's talk about how it affects his contract situation down the road.

But to get no receiver in a good crop of them, knowing you might not have Josh Gordon all season—and maybe forever—is the problem I have. When you start a draft with 10 picks and get zero wideouts, and have to rely on either a blockbuster trade for a veteran or signing a damaged-goods free-agent like Santonio Holmes or Miles Austin, that’s wrong. 

Yeah, that's wrong. It's wrong for the Browns to not meet Peter's expectations for what they should spend their draft picks on. It's wrong and is something the Browns shouldn't have done. They didn't have a good draft because they didn't spend their draft picks in the way Peter King thought they should have.

I support trading out of the fourth pick, particularly if it means you get two high picks next year and a corner you feel is the best in the draft. So I would have made that deal. If it were me, I’d have taken a Marqise Lee or Jordan Matthews instead of Bitonio.

Maybe that would have been a smart move to take Lee or Matthews. Maybe Gordon won't be suspended all year. Maybe it's the Browns and they didn't feel like putting a curse on any more wide receivers by drafting them. They already cursed Nate Burleson and Josh Gordon after all.

Memo to Dawg Pounders happy with the Manziel pick: Stop cursing Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi. Just stop it. Do you know how much those two men helped you draft Manziel? With Banner and Lombardi running the 2013 draft, the Browns traded their fourth-round pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for the Steelers’ third-round pick in 2014; that was the 83rd overall pick in this year’s draft. In September, Banner/Lombardi traded running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for the Colts’ first-round pick in 2014; that was the 26th overall pick in this year’s draft. On Thursday, Farmer traded those two picks—26 and 83 overall—to Philadelphia for the 22nd overall pick, the pick he used to draft Manziel.

Yeah, stop cursing those guys for blowing draft picks and helping to put the Browns in the position where they had a Top 5 selection again. Lombardi and Banner did two whole things right, shouldn't that count for something and help them both avoid criticism? Plus, Peter likes these two guys and it's not nice to be mean to Peter's friends. Mike Lombardi knows Bill Belichick, you know. So he's a genius by extension.

One last point about Manziel: Imagine if he’d been drafted by the Rams at 13. Imagine the TV trucks, news helicopters, and Ellen DeGeneres and Deion Sanders and Chris Berman and Brian Williams at a May practice to see Manziel and Michael Sam.

Yeah Peter, but then you could just buy a condo in St. Louis and cover Manziel, Sam, and do Marvin Demoff's bidding while not even having to leave the city. How great would that be?

And don’t assume Manziel isn’t happy being with the Browns. I certainly don’t. 

Why the hell would I assume that Manziel isn't happy being with the Browns? What indication would have gotten that would cause me or anyone else to think Johnny Manziel didn't want to be a Brown? I don't understand where comments like this come from.

Something he said, seriously, Thursday night when it was over and he was a Brown illustrates the fact that we’re dealing with a different cat here. “I kind of like the fact the Browns had the guts to pass on me twice, then come up to get me,’’ he said.

BREAKING NEWS: An NFL player likes the team who drafted him and thinks it's a good fit.

Now that we see the final product of what the Niners gave away and received in the Alex Smith trade from 14 months ago, we can judge one thing about San Francisco GM Trent Baalke: He is calculating, he is fast, and he knows how to set up his team for the future.

The 49ers win the draft again! That's another trophy in the "Paper Champion" trophy case.

QB Alex Smith  

DL Tank Carradine (second round, 2013)
LB Corey Lemonier (third round, 2013)
LB Chris Borland (third round, 2014)
RB Carlos Hyde (second round, 2014)
WR Stevie Johnson (acquired for 2015 fourth-rounder)

This seems like a good trade, but here's one point based on an opinion that I have. All of these players came from big-time programs (Johnson came from the Buffalo Bills of course) and there seems to be a bias towards the media giving more attention and "what a great deal!" status to picks whose name they recognize. It's only natural, but the fact the 49ers selected players with name recognition doesn't mean they will be good NFL players. So what I'm saying is this seems like a good deal, but it's nearly impossible to know for sure based on the fact Peter recognizes these names.

Then Peter goes on about how Trent Baalke made a lot of trades and it all seems positive for the 49ers. Again, time will tell and I feel like every year we get part of MMQB lauding how Trent Baalke did a great job drafting and moving around his picks to get more picks.

One reason why the TV ratings were so high (round one of the draft on ESPN and NFL Network, 8.7 rating; the LeBron playoff game and Bruins-Montreal hockey playoff games, combined, 3.8 rating) was the suspense. The first pick was cloudy until the end, and America was clueless about the third (Jacksonville) and fourth (Cleveland) picks. Could Johnny Manziel land at any of those places? Could he slide way down the board.

I know I personally didn't care who the Panthers drafted. I was just interested to see who drafted Johnny Manziel. After all, everyone on Twitter was interested in Manziel and the interest in Manziel on Twitter wasn't partly commentary aimed at the media's fascination with Manziel. Of course not.

Caldwell has known for some time—months, really—that he wanted to take Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the Jags’ first pick in the draft. But he told only coach Gus Bradley his thoughts, and as the team went through draft meetings, he’d go through the ratings with the coaches and scouts and never tip his hand about who he thought should be the pick.

This is really the only way to keep a secret isn't it, don't tell anyone?

I found it surprising that Caldwell and his former boss and mentor, Thomas Dimitroff, were discussing a trade of first-round picks. They had many discussions about swapping the third and sixth picks in the draft, with Atlanta handing Jacksonville a third-round pick to make the move.

That is surprising that two teams whose GM's are familiar with each other would choose to make a trade. Has this ever happened before? More importantly, how could Caldwell and Dimitroff do anything that may risk the top-10 players that Peter King just knew would go in the top-10 back in March? The top-10 was set, don't try to mess with it by trading around in the first round.

Ironically, Atlanta would have picked Jake Matthews at three; the Falcons got him at six. And Bortles would have been Jacksonville’s pick at three or six.

That's an insane fact for one of the most insane drafts in the history of the NFL. I wasn't paying attention to who the Falcons or Jaguars selected because I was so busy worried about where Johnny Manziel would be drafted.

“All along Gus knew, and late in the process, we clued in [owner] Shad [Khan],” said Caldwell. “But there was just too much at stake to risk anyone finding out and possibly jumping us.

Caldwell was worried about a team jumping the Jaguars, but he was perfectly content trading back and letting the Browns or Raiders jump ahead of them to get Bortles. Interesting. But don't worry Jags fans, David Caldwell totally thought about what would happen if the Jags moved back.

“The reason I didn’t take the trade is there were so many teams that wanted quarterbacks—at one, four, five, seven and eight, and they were all within striking distance of us,” Caldwell said. “I just kept thinking, ‘One of those teams has to see what we were seeing in Bortles.’ 

It would be weird if one of those teams didn't see what the Jags saw in Bortles. I mean, it's like how many NFL teams can be so blind to such an obviously talented quarterback? If none of these others teams saw what the Jags saw in Bortles then that would mean these other NFL teams are pretty stupid, right?

A guard? [Jacksonville did use a third-round pick on guard Brandon Linder of Miami.] You can find guards. You can’t find the quarterback you think fits your team best. So in the end it wasn’t a hard decision for us.” 

Bill Polian and Dimitroff trained Caldwell well.

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Peter was telling us in MMQB that teams can find quarterbacks later in the draft and used Nick Foles and Russell Wilson as examples of this? But now, Peter is all "...trained Caldwell well" when it pertains to Caldwell's statement you can't find the quarterback you think best fits your team best in the 3rd round. So what is it? Is it possible to find QB's in the third round or not? Just last week Peter was claiming it was possible to find good quarterbacks in the 3rd round.

“If it was A.J. McCarron and Katherine Webb kissing, no one would say anything. But we’ve been documenting the NFL draft for 35 years, and we’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve never seen a man and a man. My instincts were to just let it roll.”

—Veteran ESPN NFL producer Seth Markman, whose job it was to determine what pictures from the draft America got to see over the weekend, and who let the video of Michael Sam and his partner kissing run at length.

Of course if it was A.J. McCarron and Katherine Webb kissing ESPN also wouldn't have kept the camera on them as long as they kept the camera on Michael Sam. The video would have been cut off much earlier than it was cut off by the time Sam came around to kissing his boyfriend. Just to be fair, I have to mention this.

“Mike Glennon is the Bucs’ quarterback of the future here.”

—Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith, after the Bucs passed on Johnny Manziel in the first round.
Wh-wh-wh-what? What about Josh McCown being signed, and what about the serious pursuit of Manziel?

It's almost like McCown isn't "the future" and the Buccaneers' interest in Johnny Manziel was just a smokescreen. That couldn't be true though, could it? Peter is shocked because he believes whatever these sources are telling him around draft time.

“This is gonna be a great relationship. Thanks for pulling the trigger, coach.”

—Giants fourth-round running back Andre Williams of Boston College, taking a call from Giants coaches upon learning he’d been drafted by the team.

The MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas was in the Williams home when he got picked, and she’ll be writing the latest installment in an offseason-long series on Williams in the coming days. As a cute aside, when Williams got off the phone with Tom Coughlin, Vrentas reports, his mom bear-hugged him and said: “Now you’re Andre the Giant!”

What a shockingly precocious series of events!

Slot receivers the Patriots have loved:

In 2009, New England drafted the 5-10, 198-pound Julian Edelman, a former option quarterback who ran a 4.51 40-yard dash, and brought him to camp as a slot receiver and returner candidate. He was a seventh-round pick of New England, 232nd overall.

In 2014, New England drafted the 5-8, 190-pound Jeremy Gallon, a former option quarterback who ran a 4.49 40-yard dash, and will bring him to camp as a slot receiver and returner candidate. He was a seventh-round pick of New England, 244th overall.

That's crazy that the Patriots would draft former option quarterbacks in the 7th round twice in a span of five years. The two players are within two inches of each other AND their first names both begin with "J" followed by five other letters. This is eerie and probably the most important factoid in the history of the NFL Draft.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

It's between this and the "Adieu Haiku" for the highlight of my MMQB experience.

Last Tuesday afternoon, I was aboard Delta flight 6196 from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Nashville. We had just touched down in Tennessee when the woman in front of me, about 55 I’d guess, began to cry. Evidently, she was looking at her phone upon landing and got some distressing news. The crying was a few little sobs at first, and then it got louder, and a few moments later, she got someone on the phone and lost control.

“I just can’t believe it!” she said between sobs. “I should have gotten here yesterday! I’m too late. Oh, noooooo! My God! 

Clearly this person just missed seeing Johnny Manziel get drafted. It's all anyone cared about all weekend, which is why Peter talks about Manziel so much, because Manziel is so popular. Manziel isn't popular because the media talks about him all the time, not at all. Anyway, back to the woman crying...

Clearly, someone close to her died within the last couple of hours, and the woman was distraught to have missed the final moments … and the chance to say goodbye. As we got to the gate, her crying continued unabated. The guy next to her acted like nothing was happening. Never even glanced over at the woman. 

What? This man didn't attempt to do anything to make this random woman feel better? What kind of world do we live in that a man would choose to mind his own business while a person is upset beside him? Not a world that Peter would want to live in. Why wouldn't this woman want to share her troubles with a perfect stranger and why wouldn't this guy ask her to do so?

Just then, the flight attendant in front of the aircraft walked down the aisle to her and said, “I am so sorry for you. Do you need a hug?”

“YES!” the woman in mourning said, and nearly collapsed into the flight attendant’s arms. They hugged for maybe 10 seconds, and then it was time to go.

Leaving the plane, I passed the flight attendant and said, “That was one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen a flight attendant do.”

Peter then followed it up with, "But your coffee tastes a little weak. It's a travesty this airline would try to sell such weak coffee on a plane. May God have mercy on your soul and I will never fly this airline again."

“Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner, has as part of its plot the Browns bypassing the best quarterback in the draft, picking another player, then trading back up to a higher pick in the first round. The only thing missing is the parallel story: Costner never picked the quarterback. Ray Farmer did.

Great. Thanks Peter, you ruined the end of the movie for me. Now where else am I going to see a two hour advertisement for the NFL and have to pay $9 for a ticket to do so?

I'm not sure this makes to me. Most people don't think outside the box, so wouldn't "the box" not be a lonely place to be since that's where most people think? Of course Peter believes this statement is brilliant because it sounds brilliant.

Not to be all baseball-centric on a football weekend or anything, but I would read “The Philosophy of Joe Maddon” book. What an interesting guy.

It does sound smart, doesn't it? But I think most people don't think outside the box, so thinking differently from others and not doing the popular thing is probably the more lonely thing to do. But again, don't think about it and this statement sounds great.

Ten Things I Think I Think

I think these are my quick-hit thoughts on the draft:

a. Hey Mike Silver! Good choice, being in St. Louis! Why wasn’t I that smart?

Because if Peter was in the Rams draft room for two straight drafts then it might start to look a little bit suspicious. Of course Peter did write an entire column trying to help Alex Mack get out of Cleveland, then followed it up with a discussion in MMQB where he showed the Browns gave Mack a lot of guaranteed money, while also indicating the Browns disrespected Mack in some way. So basically, Peter has no shame and it wouldn't surprise me if was in the Rams draft room for every draft starting next year until he retires.

b. Ryan Mallett might turn out to be a fine pro, but I don’t know how you’d know that after this three-year disappearing act with New England. He’s one for four, 17 yards, zero touchdowns, one pick. Career rating: 5.2.

c. Thus, Jimmy Garoppolo.

Okay, "Thus, Jimmy Garoppolo" needs to be added to the sentence above in "b." It's not a separate topic from the discussion of Ryan Mallett and is tied into the discussion of Mallett. I don't know why Peter insists on putting three words on a completely separate line.

e. May draft: “I haven’t met anyone in the league who likes it. Not coaches, not scouts, not GMs,” said Mike Mayock on air Saturday evening.

Roger Goodell likes it and the draft still got ratings. So it will probably be pushed back even more. Mayock also added "I didn't like the NFL Draft's Pro Day, it has fallen out of the running of my top-5 favorite professional drafts, except I will say the NFL Draft tied for fifth place so I can say it was in my top-5 favorite drafts when someone tries to call me on this."

i. Thought the Bills overpaid in acquiring running back Bryce Brown from Philly (a fourth-rounder next year that can turn into a third depending on performance), but look at it this way: Buffalo essentially traded Stevie Johnson, who was out the door, and fetched a four from San Francisco, for Brown.

Peter gives his opinion that the Bills overpaid for Bryce Brown and then says, "look at this way" and tells us why the Bills really didn't necessarily overpay for Bryce Brown, because the pick they used to trade for Brown they got from the 49ers in exchange for Stevie Johnson. So Peter basically gave his opinion and then gave us information about why his opinion was wrong, but did it in a way that made it sound like his opinion was the general public's opinion.

2. I think Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III’s season-opener just got a lot more interesting. He’ll have to face J.J. Watt coming from the left, Jadeveon Clowney from the right. On the road, in roaring Reliant Stadium. Yikes. Put on your track shoes, Robert.

But Peter, you said Khalil Mack was going to the Texans in your mock draft and in MMQB. What happened there?

3. I think, speaking of season-openers, I’ll be glued to the super-fast Brandin Cooks, the Saints’ first-rounder, on the rug inside the Georgia Dome. To me, that’s the game of the day on Sunday afternoon in Week 1:

It's May. How about everyone shuts the hell up about any "game of the day" during any certain week in the NFL until training camp is over and it's known what the final roster might look like for many of these NFL teams? I guess it's not presumptive enough to have patience and wait, so Peter has to give his pick for "game of the week" during Week 1 four months before the season is to begin. After all, it's never too early to make assumptions based on which team looks best on paper.

This weekend he was John Stockton to his smart football panelists—Mike Mayock is simply the best, and Daniel Jeremiah was good too (except when giving every team a glowing report card after the draft, because draft report cards the night of day three are the height of folly)—

It's the height of folly to give a draft report card after the draft has happened, but it's never too early during the month of May to pick out which game will be the best game to watch during Week 1 of the NFL season.

Eisen asked, incredulously, how a Marist defensive end (Terrence Fede) could be picked at 234, with the SEC defensive player of the year, Sam, still on the board. The answer is complicated; Fede is a legitimate prospect, and he deserves credit for working his way into being draftable. But it’s a smart question, a question all of America was asking, and good for Eisen for pressing his football men on it.

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year undrafted also. Not that Rich Eisen would take the time to point this out of course. Clearly it doesn't merit a mention at all.

6. I think Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie might have gotten two of the 10 best players in this draft, when history looks at it. Buffalo pass rusher Khalil Mack (who didn’t look too thrilled to be a Raider, by the way)

Okay, maybe there is one player who didn't want to be drafted by the team who drafted him, but Peter doesn't want it to get twisted, Johnny Manziel is very happy to be a Brown.

and Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr are going to be franchise cornerstones. The Carr part, of course, assumes that he can be protected,

Well of course. We wouldn't want Derek Carr to turn into the new David Carr.

9. I think I am so pleased that Bill Nunn, who scouted for the Steelers for 46 years and died last Tuesday night at 89,

You are pleased Bill Nunn died? You heartless son of a bitch...

had his moment in the sun on draft weekend. One of his protégés, Buffalo GM Doug Whaley, used advice from Nunn (“Do not ever be afraid to make a big move if you believe in it strongly”) as one of the spurs to deal his 2015 first- and fourth-round picks to simply move up five spots to take the No. 1 player on the Bills’ draft board, wideout Sammy Watkins of Clemson. Think of the significance. The biggest trade of the 2014 draft happened 48 hours after Nunn died—and it was pulled off by two African-American general managers …. Whaley and Ray Farmer of the Cleveland Browns.

I'm sure Bill Nunn would be proud to know his advice was used to move up and make a move that many people considered bone-headed.

Whaley knows he has taken a colossal gamble by dealing so much to simply move up five spots. But he’s okay with it. At first I was not...They used two prime picks next year to move up five spot to get him, and let’s face it—the first-round pick, judging by recent Bills history, could be a top 10 pick. This is not a move I would have made,

Peter is fine with this move, but he would not have made this move. He doesn't like the move, but he officially approves of it so this trade can go through.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

b. We need to care about Boko Haram and the Nigerian abductions. We’re a civilized society, and we need to act.

Perhaps "we" do care about the Nigerian abductions already and maybe "you" need to act. Fly over there now, Peter. Do it. Or you could continue to say "we" need to do something while not even vaguely attempting to explain how "we" need to act.

e. Saw “The Grand Hotel Budapest.” Very cute and quirky. Not the best movie of the year, but two hours well spent.

It would have been much more dramatic if the Coen brothers had scripted it.

g. Coffeenerdness: Thanks, Bongo Java in Nashville, for the great latte the other day. Artfully done.

Consider yourself considered "artful" Bongo Java in Nashville! Peter looks forward to coming back to Nashville in 10 years and giving you his business and you should look forward to it as well. 

i. Did ump Laz Diaz embarrass himself the other night in the Yankees-Angels game or what? Amazing tht baseball

Yes, "tht" is amazing.

j. May 7 in Atlanta: 94 degrees on my rental car’s dashboard. Did I miss spring?

Yes, spring happened while you were having coffee at Bongo Java.

The Adieu Haiku

Sam’s a Ram. What now?
The buzz will die down. And then:
Can he sack QBs?

The pointlessness of this haiku can't be overstated, though I have repeatedly tried. 


Anonymous said...

"Ryan Mallett might turn out to be a fine pro, but I don’t know how you’d know that after this three-year disappearing act with New England. He’s one for four, 17 yards, zero touchdowns, one pick. Career rating: 5.2."

This is truly hilarious. Mallett has thrown 4 passes in garbage time...what a bum! He's playing behind Tom Brady, who never misses time and a guy the Patriots would never put on the bench. Mallett could literally be the 2nd best QB in the league and he'd still never see the field. But yeah, what a three year disappearing act. Beat Tom Brady out in training camp, asshole!

"My pick: Sam. An emotional, cool, explosive moment"

What the hell are those three words doing together? Cool and explosive are antonyms as far as I'm concerned, and emotional and cool basically are as well in this context.

Ericb said...

So Peter watches a woman have an emotional breakdown and criticizes a guy for not paying any attention to her but it's not like he tried to comfort her either. So does Peter somehow get empathy credit for just watching?

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, those are two good points. "Cool" and "explosive" do seem like antonyms to me too. I wish I had paid more attention to the Mallett comment. He plays behind a HoF QB. What does Peter expect?

Eric, it's not his job to comfort her. It's Peter's job to listen to the entire conversation, transcribe it in MMQB and then comment on it. The guy was a jerk, while Peter is a journalist.

Besides, why would Peter hug a perfect stranger? Don't you know who he is?

Slag-King said...

I just wanted to comment on two things. First, Peter calls out a Miami player for his tweet and approves Miami's disciplinary action. Contrast this with his character assassination of Kosar which was, by far, worse than Jones' comments on Twitter. Will he own up to his comments? He only apologized grudgingly and somewhat half-heartedly. His column shows that he thinks he has a right to say such nasty things about people (including the ones he eavesdrops and stares on a weekly basis) and should not suffer the consequences for expressing his opinion because it is his right; whereas, if anyone voices his opinion that is against what Peter thinks it is right, then that person deserves all the curses and plagues in the Bible upon him. Peter has left the fair-minded journalism a long time ago and is rapidly becoming, dare I say it, Bill Simmons (gasp!).

Second, do you get the feeling that the Sam episode that ESPN filmed was staged and directed? Will Peter care if it was?

Bengoodfella said...

Slag, I had completely forgotten about Peter's comments regarding Bernie Kosar. I really do think at a certain point some of these writers lose the ability to have perspective and understand while they may have gained a lot of respect it doesn't mean they can whatever they want in their columns or their point of view may be correct.

The Dolphins certainly have a right as Don Jones' employer to suspend him or take some sort of disciplinary action. They are his employer. I get that Peter agrees with the decision, and that's fine, but he won't look inward to see if his comments on Kosar were right or wrong because his employer wouldn't dream of disciplining him for his opinion. He's worth too much to them.

It very well could have been in preparation for the documentary about Michael Sam that's coming up. It wouldn't surprise me.