ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we put the 2009 NFL Draft to bed from the Lions team complex in suburban Motown ...
• These New York Jets, they're not messing around. Not one bit. It's pretty clear what they're doing at this point in 2009. They're going for it. Big time. Just as they did on Saturday, the Jets boldly made the draft's first deal of the day on Sunday, sending three draft picks (a third-, a fourth- and a seventh-rounder) to Detroit for the chance to select Iowa running back
It's pretty obvious that new Jets head coach
Baltimore went 11-5 and won a pair of playoff games last season with a stout defense, an offense built around its pounding running game and a rookie quarterback in
And make no mistake, by trading up to select Greene, the Jets are sending an undeniable message to veteran running back
Greene features the physical style of play that Ryan wants to be the Jets' calling card, and New York was determined to go after him when he remained on the board after the close of Saturday's second round. Sources close to Greene say they were hearing that one unknown team would be jumping up to the top of the third round to select him, and that Detroit had put the 65th pick up for bidding.
"The Jets had him rated in the second round, and they think he's ideal for them,'' a source said. "It's perfect. [Greene] is from 90 minutes down the road from the Jets, in Sicklerville, N.J.''
The Jets didn't go for flash with their last pick in the draft (193rd overall), taking Nebraska guard
• In past years, I remember being overly high on draft weekend on mid-round notables such as
I look at McGee as sort of the
As a senior at A&M, McGee got a taste of playing in the West Coast offense of new Aggies head coach
• I don't know what to make of this pool-jumping story that has apparently made Bears third-round pick
OK, I get it that it means Gilbert is one very strong dude. Granted. But does it ensure that he can really jack up the Bears' pass rush? I don't think so. No more than
• For a team known through the years for its penchant of making some dubious choices early in the draft -- see
• It's laughable when NFL personnel men say the first round of the draft is all about taking the best available player, because everybody knows it's really about taking the best available player that fits your need. Case in point: Name the three teams that entered this year's draft with the most desperate need for a starting quarterback?
Any reasonable analysis would have listed the Jets, Bucs and Lions, probably in that order. Guess who took the three first-round quarterbacks, with two of them trading up to do so, and the other club owning the first overall pick? Yep. The Jets, Bucs and Lions. The teams that really needed quarterbacks went after them, aggressively. The teams that didn't need a passer took a pass on them and instead filled one of their most critical holes.
No matter what anyone says, it's always about need in the NFL Draft. Every year.
• Speaking of quarterbacks, I love that the Dolphins went after West Virginia's
White's arrival isn't good news for Dolphins quarterback
• And the rich get richer. New England on Sunday somehow wangled a 2010 second-round pick and another seventh-rounder this year (No. 252) from Jacksonville in exchange for the first of the Patriots' three third-round picks, No. 73 overall. The Jags used the pick to select the little-known
Later in the round, New England was at it again, shipping its No. 89 pick to Tennessee for a Titans second-rounder in 2010. Tennessee took South Carolina's
How'd you like to pay New England's phone bills on draft weekend? But nobody works the draft process any more effectively than
• I'd like to say a hearty thanks to cross-bay rivals Oakland and San Francisco for giving us a no brainer of a story line to follow as the years go by -- a head-to-head battle of first-round receivers
Early on, of course, everyone's money seems to be on Crabtree leaving the faster Heyward-Bey behind.
• What would the NFL Draft be like if juniors weren't eligible? The top of it would play out very, very differently. Fifteen of the first round's 32 picks (47 percent) were juniors this year, including seven of the top dozen names off the board.
Between picks 5 through 12, teams took six juniors out of a possible eight selections: Sanchez,
• How did I fare in my final, 7.0 mock draft of the year? Glad you asked. Not bad, but I believe I've had more prescient years. I had seven direct hits of player and team in the first round, and eight instances where I had the right player in the right draft slot (I had
I had 27 of the 32 players who wound up going in the first round in my final mock's first round (84 percent), with my misses being
I guess I was a tougher evaluator than the Vikings and Dolphins because I had Harvin and Davis falling out of the first round due to their character issues.
• So many thoughts flood to mind at the news that the Patriots traded cornerback
-- First off is the strange reality that the two cornerbacks who started Super Bowl XLII for New England against the Giants less than 15 months ago are now Eagles --
-- Secondly comes the natural question of whether the Eagles are trying to have something to do with every cornerback in the league who happens to be unhappy with his contract? Philly already traded the disgruntled
-- And lastly, New England clearly means business about fixing the problems in its secondary. The Patriots finished 26th among the NFL's 32 teams on third downs last season, and they've already this offseason signed veteran cornerbacks
• What's up with Chicago's crush on Vandy? With the Bears picking Vanderbilt cornerback
By one unofficial count, there are six other Vanderbilt products in the entire rest of the NFL -- or one more than in Chicago.
• Somebody needs to give rookie Jaguars offensive tackle
And he's a bit grumpy about it.
"I couldn't be happier than to be picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but I was [ticked] off,'' Britton said, of going in the second round. "There isn't a better organization that I could have asked for, but every team that passed on me will regret it for the rest of the history of their franchise. I was always told I wasn't big enough, fast enough to play. Well, the chip [on my shoulder] just got a little bigger and somebody's going to pay.''
Britton didn't mince words about his goals in the NFL. "I want to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Super Bowl and I want to become the greatest tackle in the history of the NFL,'' he said.
And then, as if that wasn't enough, Britton put the likes of
"You know what, if one of these draft guys lined up across from me, they'd be dead, so that's not something I'm really concerned with,'' Britton said. "If you want to line up across from Eben Britton, you're going to know what's happening to you, I guarantee that.''
• I couldn't help but be struck by the irony that 10 years ago this draft weekend I was a newspaper beat man covering the Minnesota Vikings, who were in possession of two first-round picks. They used the first one to select Central Florida's
Ten years later, the worm has officially turned. This weekend I was in Detroit, where I found Culpepper once again on an NFC Central/North team that owned a pair of first-round selections. This time, the Lions used the first one to, in effect, replace him, taking Georgia's
Boil it all down and that that's pretty much the NFL's entire circle of life in a nutshell. Not to mention that Culpepper and I are getting old.
"She was a little nervous at first about it, but after a while she was all right,'' said Pettigrew, whose family is from Tyler, Texas, home to Oilers great
• Hands down the quote of the weekend came from new ESPN analyst
"This guy is one of those guys, whether he's driving a Ferrari, a Cadillac, a Volkswagen -- if he even goes to Disneyland and drives the little cars that run on the rail -- he's going to have a wreck. So you better have a good body and fender man. ... There're going to be some things you have to deal with, and you know that.''