Monday, May 5, 2008

"O'Malley's Tallies" - - NFL Draft 2k8

Wow! Time really does fly. It seems like such a short time ago I was writing about last year’s weekly fantasy contributors and now the draft has already come and gone. As I am sure is the case with most of you, the weekend of the NFL Draft is something I look forward to every year. While you may be ready to pull your hair after ESPN beats the proverbial dead horse every year with wall to wall previews the week before, once the draft begins is when the excitement really begins. While this year may have lacked the top heavy star power of other years, the 2008 draft class was full of a number of talented collegiate athletes that will make an impact for their teams for years to come. With nothing is certain and the draft truly is a crap shoot sometimes, my edition of “OMalley’s Tallies” this week will focus on some of the teams I felt did the best and worst as well as some fantasy sleepers to keep an eye on going forward through training camp and into the regular season. Without further ado, here is my recap of this year’s draft…


1. Kansas City Chiefs – While I may be the FURTHEST thing from a Herman Edwards fan, after this weekend I must tip my hat to him and G.M. Carl Peterson for an outstanding job drafting. After ranking 28th in the NFL last year against the run, the Chiefs addressed a major need right away by grabbing the draft’s best run stuffer in LSU’s Glenn Dorsey. From there, the team went on to fill their other major need by grabbing offensive guard Brandon Albert from UVA. Out of all the picks in the 1st round, Albert was by far and away the best value pick in my opinion as he should help solidify an offensive line lacking a lot of talent and youth. In the 2nd round, the team struck gold again by selecting cornerback Brandon Flowers out of Virginia Tech. While Flowers may not possess the speed of Leodis McElvin or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he is by far and away the draft’s most physical corner (could eventually benefit from a move to safety later in his career) and will make an immediate impact for the team on the other side of veteran Patrick Surtain. Here are some of the rest of the Chief’s great picks last weekend:

+ 3rd round (82 overall): DuJuan Morgan, Safety (NC State)
+ 4th round (106 overall): William Franklin, WR (Missouri)

2. Carolina – While many will question the team for not addressing the quarterback position, I look at the team’s draft as one that has seemed to fly under the radar as one of the league’s best. After losing Deshaun Foster to free agency, the team immediately replaced him with a physical athlete in Johnathon Stewart from Oregon. Along with D’Angelo Williams, this backfield will possess a lot of youth and that “thunder and lightning” quality that more and more teams strive to attain in today’s game. From there, the team did a great job just six picks later in acquiring University of Pittsburgh Offensive Tackle Jeff Otah who will help pave the way for the two young men mentioned in the preceding. Despite not having a 2nd round pick, the team still found their man in the 3rd round by selecting one of my favorites, CB/S Charles Godfrey out of Iowa. While they officially list him as a cornerback, Godfrey has a future at safety in my opinion and possesses that blue collar attitude that seems so prevalent from Hawkeye players. While I know this may be a big statement, but I see a lot of former Hawkeye Bob Sanders in Charles Godfrey and could eventually be a replacement for Panthers fan favorite Mike Minter.

+ 3rd round (74th overall): Dan Connor, LB (Penn State)
+ 5th round (141st overall): Gary Barnidge, TE (Louisville)

3. Tampa Bay – John Gruden and company hit the jackpot at pick #20 with one of my absolute favorite players in the draft Aqib Talib. Despite major character issues and questions about drug habits, Talib is by far one of the draft’s most athletically gifted athletes and will be in the running for Rookie Defensive MVP (You heard it here first..). His ability as a punt returner and also on occasion wide receiver at KU gives coach Gruden some additional weapons in his arsenal to use from time to time when needed. Did I mention how much I LOVE this pick???? Staying in line with the athleticism, the Bucs did a great job in the second round as well taking Dexter Jackson from 1-AA powerhouse Appalachian State. While he definitely lacks the size that most teams look for, Jackson is a game changer and can hit the “home run ball” at any time. With a good camp, look for Jackson to be a great slot option and take some pressure off aging veteran Joey Galloway. In the 3rd round, Rutger’s T/G Jeremy Zuttah was another great value pick that should compete for a starting job on Tampa’s line this year.

+ 5th round (160th overall): Josh Johnson, QB (San Diego)
+ 6th round (175th overall): Geno Hayes, LB (FSU)


1. Tennesee – When your leading receiver from the previous year is a slow, possession receiver by the name of Justin Gage, you know it is time to get yourself a playmaker wide receiver for Vince Young. While they did get themselves a playmaker running back in Chris Johnson from ECU, the fact that they didn’t take a receiver until the late 4th round (Lavelle Hawkins, Cal) and instead took two defensive ends and a tight end (ANOTHER tight end drafted by the Titans!?!?) should really be disheartening to #10.

2. Chicago – “With the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft, the Chicago Bears select University of Illinois and hometown hero running back Rashard Mendenhall!” Oh…wait…they took Chris Williams, offensive tackle from Vanderbilt. While I can’t knock Williams as a player, the selection to me was not the right one. Instead of taking Mendenhall and immediately getting themselves a playmaker to spell 1st round bust Cedric Benson, the team later reached heavily on RB Matt Forte out of Tulane in the early part of round two. With the exception of a good value pick in Craig Steltz in late 4th round, I was not a fan of what the Monsters of the Midway did on draft day.

3. Jacksonville – Why would you trade up to #8 overall and give up a number of picks in the process to take the most over hyped player in the draft in Derrick Harvey? Yea…I don’t know either. For a second round pick, they could have easily convinced a desperate Miami Dolphin team to trade them All World defensive end Jason Taylor and been that much closer to making that Super Bowl push that many scouts believe is right around the corner. Instead, they will have to deal with the growing pains and ups and downs of having two rookie defensive ends (Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves) instead of a former Defensive MVP.


1) Steve Slaton (RB, Houston Texans) – for anyone that regularly watched WVU football games the past few years like myself, it is evident what a playmaker Steve Slaton really is. While his numbers slipped his junior year due to some nagging injuries and the emergence of Noel Devine at WVU, Slaton can definitely still change a game on one play. When you add together Slaton’s playmaking ability and the wide open mess that is the Houston Texan’s backfield, this rookie 3rd rounder should have every opportunity to be a 1,000 yard back this season.

2) Dustin Keller (TE, New York Jets) – In round 2 of the draft, the Jets may have found themselves their first playmaker tight end in years. Missing on players Like Anthony Becht and Chris Baker over the years, Keller should finally be that athletic tight end in line with the Jason Witten and Jeremy Shockey’s of the world. Despite the presence of veteran Bubba Franks, Keller should get every opportunity to be the playmaker after Chris Baker is most likely cut in the coming weeks or months.

3) John David Booty (QB, Minnesota) – I know, I know. You must ALL think I am crazy for this one and I am well aware it is a major reach. However, the quarterback situation is far from settled in Minnesota with Tavaris Jackson, journeyman Gus Frerotte, and Brooks Bollinger on the roster. With that being said, Booty is used to playing against top competition coming from the Pac-10 and the Vikes West Coast offense should match up well for Booty. With Adrian Peterson in the backfield and newly signed Bernard Berrian aboard, would it really be that outlandish to think this 5th round pick has a shot to win the starting job? If he does, he could make for a serviceable QB2 in mixed leagues this coming season.

Others to consider: Limas Sweed (WR, Pittsburgh), Kevin Smith (RB, Detroit), John Carlson (TE, Seattle), Mario Manningham (WR, New York Giants)

Thanks for reading everyone! Feel free to send me your thoughts and opinions and I look forward to another season of football and “OMalley’s Tallies”!

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Kevin Fenstermacher said...


I don't know if I would consider the Panthers draft as one of the elite. They traded away a ton to get Otah when there was a surplus of teams to trade to go and grab a tackle. That first round pick next year has a good chance of being a lot higher than where they grabbed Otah. They also didn't address their biggest need which is quarterback. The Dan Connor pick was very good value at that spot though.

I understand you were going for sleepers but just a few other rookies worth mentioning are:

RB Rashad Mendenhall (Pittsburgh)- will be a great compliment to Parker and is a great fit in Steel City.

RB Darren McFadden (Oakland)- Two time Doak Waler Award winner; Adrian Peterson 2?

I agree with all of your sleepers as breakout candidates, besides Booty (obviously). Here are a few more:

QB Brian Brohm (Green Bay)- He has just as much of a chance at playing time this year as Booty and has twice the talent. He will be the premier quarterback from this draft.

WRs Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Mario Urrutia (Cincinnati)- The Wide Receiver position in Cincy has a lot of question marks. Troubled Chris Henry is gone and Chad Johnson wants a trade. Even if Johnson stays one of these youngsters will receive significant time. Simpson was the top pick of the three (2nd round), but Caldwell played at a more established program and can learn some of the nuances of the league from his older brother Reche. Urrutia is a touchdown machine in waiting. He was a steal for the seventh round. He has a big frame (6'6") and has big play ability. His stock fell this year after some drops and Louisville had a bad season as a whole. Look for him to grab some touchdowns this year and surprise everyone with some solid playing time. Again all of this could be even greater if Chad Johnson finds his way out the door.