Round 1 Snaps: Tebow's Mile High landing, a sour night for Clausen
NEW YORK --
• Never before has the 25th pick of the NFL Draft ever held such weight and meaning, but leave it to
Denver's bold gambit was the headline move of a trade-filled round Thursday night, and for both good or bad, the pick of Tebow might just go a long way toward defining the still-young tenure of Denver head coach
Then again, this is an NFL rookie head coach who had the moxie to last year trade away his Pro Bowl starting quarterback,
You can't say McDaniels lacks the courage of his convictions. The man has stones, as they say.
Denver was clearly the biggest wheeler and dealer on a very busy night of action on the phone lines, and when all of the Broncos' moves were done, they yielded a very promising young receiver in Georgia Tech's
Hindsight being 20-20 and all that, Denver would seem to be an ideal spot for Tebow to serve his NFL apprenticeship. For one, the Broncos already have two quarterbacks in
And secondly, McDaniels taking Tebow makes all kind of sense given the friendship and coaching approach that has long been shared by Florida head coach
As almost everyone has said for months now, Tebow is a work in progress at quarterback. But McDaniels obviously believed in the ultimate success of that construction job more than any other NFL head coach, and he just backed it up with his team's money and his own reputation.
It's a gutsy call by the Broncos, and McDaniels just raised the stakes of the move considerably by calling Tebow's name in the first round, quite a bit higher than many expected. It's a gamble that had better work out at some point in the future for Denver, or McDaniels the brave-hearted might well be remembered as Josh the fool-hardy.
• Raise your hand if you had Tebow going in the first round and Notre Dame's
He'll go early in Round 2 in all likelihood, maybe even to Minnesota, which owns the second pick of the round on Friday night, but it turns out all that pre-draft chatter about Clausen's leadership and accountability issues were very much a factor in his scouting process.
I don't think Clausen did himself any favors by going on that
• That 24th overall pick was like the plague. It went from Philadelphia to Denver to New England to Dallas in the span of about an hour. And in the end, the Cowboys used it to take the most enigmatic player in this draft -- Oklahoma State receiver
The psychology of this pick was pretty easy to read: Never again, said Cowboys owner
This time, Jones was determined to right that wrong by getting proactive and going after Bryant, if he came anywhere near Dallas's original No. 27 slot. Jones swapped firsts with New England (27th for 24th) and threw in a third-round pick (90th overall) for the chance to go up and get Bryant. They had to, because No. 25 Baltimore was ready and willing to catch the falling star if New England didn't take him itself.
Jones is a happy man today, but the Cowboys might well need a babysitter in addition to a receivers coach for the maturity-challenged Bryant. But if he's anywhere near the steal that Moss was for Minnesota in 1998, Jerry will gladly foot the bill.
• I know one guy who didn't like the Cowboys pick of Bryant one bit: Dallas receiver
• One of the best moves of the draft, in my eyes, was San Diego basically turning its third-string quarterback into a lead running back.
Well, because the Chargers had that No. 40 pick in their pocket from the
San Diego sent Miami its No. 28 pick in the first round, plus that second-rounder (40th), a fourth-rounder (126th) and a player (linebacker
Not a bad return for a quarterback who has yet to throw a regular-season pass in the NFL. Why did the Chargers feel they had to move up that far for Mathews? According to one league source, San Diego was convinced the No. 15 Giants were all over Mathews and ready to pounce. You can argue the Chargers might have given up too much to climb the 16 spots, but I say it's a luxury the stunning Whitehurst trade afforded them.
• From what I've gleaned in recent weeks regarding him, Cal defensive tackle
Alualu was seen as a guy who might crack the lower reaches of the first round, but even members of his camp never dreamed they'd be in line for top-10 money.
The Jaguars wanted to trade down first and foremost, but they loved
And while we're at it, what is it about defensive tackles named Tyson who wind up going much higher in the draft than first expected? The Chiefs took LSU's
• In a twist few foresaw, we can't fault the Raiders for shaky judgment this time. No
The groan that went up in Radio City Music Hall when the Raiders' pick was announced was easy to identify. It was heartbroken Giants fans who believed that McClain was the answer to their team's greatest defensive need. Jacksonville and Denver joined New York in coveting McClain.
Maybe it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone, given Oakland's miseries in the last seven seasons, but I have it on good authority that McClain isn't exactly thrilled to be donning the silver and black. He didn't anticipate the Raiders' interest, and was braced for landing in either Jacksonville, Denver or New York.
And to that I say, can you blame him?
• Looks like
It seems like a luxury pick to me to take another running back when your offensive line was in tatters last season, and you're still searching for a quarterback who can win for you. Then again, Buffalo didn't put together the AFC's longest active playoff drought (10 years and counting), a decade-long streak of missing the playoffs, by hitting first-round home runs.
Green Bay doesn't need help immediately from Bulaga and can let him work himself into the lineup at guard, eventually transitioning to tackle once either
• Can I just go on record and say I don't believe the Steelers were seriously considering a trade of the suspended
• I got