Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Madness of the NFL Draft

First off, let me remind you, I am Mike Solarte, not Mel Kiper.

His job is to study the draft, and all things connected to it.  Me?  I try and worry about everything from football to hoops to golf....well, you get the idea.

I will admit, right off the bat, I have no clue who the Carolina Panthers will select with their first round pick (9th overall).  As of this blog, I am pretty sure even they don't really KNOW.  They have ideas and scenarios, but to think they are locked in on one specific player would be inaccurate.

Who do I THINK they will take?  BC linebacker Luke Keuchly or UNC DE Quinton Coples.  Those are the guys I THINK they would select.  And it would take two different scenarios for each of them.  Keuchly at 9, if the Panthers don't trade down.  Coples at 16 if they work a deal with the NY Jets.  Keuchly's resume is solid, and Carolina could use a guy like him as both depth and insurance.  The Panthers are watching for Jon Beason and Thomas Davis to return from season-ending injuries in 2011.

As for Coples, there is the now-famous knock on him, that he takes plays off.  He doesn't try hard all the time.  I would like to remind the Court of Public Opinion, the same was said of Julius Peppers when he came out of college.  He was so terrible with the Panthers, that many fans hated him when he left after spending 7 seasons in Carolina, and refused to sign a long-term deal.  Yes, I know he wasn't terrible.

The NFL Draft is as inexact a science that you will find.  For every 6th or 7th round gem, there are 1st and 2nd round washouts.  Tom Brady, Terrell Davis come to mind as late round gems.  Ryan Leaf and Eric Shelton come to mind as early pick washouts.

My advice:  on draft night, whether you watch at home, or at a sports bar with buddies, enjoy the ride, and the night.  The Draft signifies one thing:  the new season is rapidly approaching.

Had to add this in.  Former Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown took to the airwaves of the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and basically told anyone listening that while Michael Jordan was brilliant, he is surrounded by idiots.  The idiots are also "yes" men who can not tell His Airness "no."

OK, so if that is the case, why is it Bobcats fans had to wait for Brown to be fired before seeing Gerald Henderson get quality minutes?  Not saying Henderson is a star, but how do you know what you have if you don't play him?

Why did Brown lobby so hard for Tyrus Thomas to get the big contract he got?  Thomas has proven nothing in this first year of the big deal, other than a reported altercation with Head Coach Paul Silas.  Maybe Brown was hoping for a tussle with Thomas himself.  Who knows.

For every gripe of Brown's, there are questions that can be fired back in his direction about his run in Charlotte.  In the end, Brown sounds like a jilted girlfriend.  While his knowledge of the game is tremendous (he's forgotten more about the game than I will ever know), this instance makes him look petty, which is sad.  Brown is the ONLY coach to win both the NBA Title and an NCAA Championship.

You can add Travelling Whiner to that list as well.  Is there one spot that Brown left in better shape than when he got there?

Mike Solarte

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