Cavalcade of Whimsy, Part 2 - 10 Draft Issues
Carolina Panther QB Jimmy Clausen
Carolina Panther QB Jimmy Clausen
Posted Apr 27, 2010

What are the top ten things about the draft world to be grouchy about? It's part two of the Cavalcade of Whimsy.

Cavalcade of Whimsy

April 27 - NFL Draft, Part 2

Past Cavalcades
- 2008 Season | 2009 Season 
- Jan 19, Part 1 - Oh those wacky coaches 
- Jan 19, Part 2 - The sucky 2009 season 
By Pete Fiutak

- April 27 NFL Draft - The ESPN nightmare  

The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
The ten things about the 2010 NFL Draft I'm grouchy about …

10. Never, ever, ever, ever use Tom Brady, Brett Favre, or Terrell Davis as a reason to keep watching after the first round.
No, you're not going to become the next American Idol if you believe in yourself. No, you're never going to date a Victoria Secret's model. No, you're not going to draft a hall of famer after the second round.

Brett Favre was a bust of a second-round pick for Atlanta and was saved by the vision of Ron Wolf and the coaching of Mike Holmgren. Tom Brady was a throwaway of a sixth round pick for New England and needed Drew Bledsoe to get hurt to become a legend. Terrell Davis was a sixth round special teams selection who happened to luck into playing on a team with one of the most running back-friendly systems of all-time. Talent rises to the top, but Brady and Davis, and almost all players who become special after being taken beyond the first 50 or so picks, were stars on sheer dumb luck. Which is why …

9. Rounds five through seven.
Other than to use them for currency, there's no reason to let the draft go beyond four rounds. Players might like to have their names called, but if they don't go within the first 130 picks they're far, far better off being free agents so they can find the right fit. The process of the final 120-or-so picks is a total waste of time and effort, and while teams like to use those picks to trade and use in package deals, they're simply unnecessary. It's not fair to the players, who then have to hope to become a special teamer to get noticed, and it's not fair to the teams who could better spend their time recruiting the mid-level prospects who might work.

8. Jevan Snead should be able to go back to school.
There was a moment last year around this time when some were chattering that Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead had the skills and the potential to be the No. 1 overall pick. After a mediocre 2009, his stock started to plummet, even though he still had the raw tools to potentially be a good pro. He chose to come out early after getting his degree, and it was a disastrous decision as he didn't get picked and ended up signing a free agent contract with Tampa Bay. While it wasn't going to be a given that he'd win back the starting job if he returned to Ole Miss, there should be some sort of safety net in place for the players who don't get taken when and where they want to. It should be like the NBA where a player can return to school as long as he doesn't sign with an agent. Of course, timing-wise that's impractical, college teams have spring ball and NFL teams want to secure their free agents, but there should be some consideration to those players who went through the evaluation process and ended up getting some bad advice.

7. There needs to be a rookie salary cap.
And it should be coming. Whenever the NFL gets around to finally getting its collective bargaining agreement in place, the rookies are going to be drafted by Screwed City. There's talk that next year's rookie contracts could be a quarter of what this year's rookie class will get, and that's a good thing. If a player is great, his team will make sure he's taken care of, and if he's not, then a team isn't paying for a great college career. It'll also make the draft more fun as teams can take players purely based on talent evaluation while not worrying about anything else. Go ahead and take a flier on a quarterback since it won't cripple your salary cap. Trade away more draft picks for established players so other teams can take prospects on the cheap. A rookie salary cap, and especially a slotting system, would suddenly make the game of the NFL Draft far more interesting.

6. The idea of hanging with Mike Ditka making anything better
I sat through every second and every moment of the draft, and during that time I assume that roughly 48% of it was devoted to the same Coors Light commercial about the dream of making a party better with big boobied cheerleaders along with the presence of Mike Ditka. Unless Coors Light gives you a Ditka-like fake orange glow, there's nothing that the most overblown, overrated sports figure of the last 25 years can enhance by showing up at your gathering. (Unless you get a parking ticket on your big yellow Rangezilla after keeping it in a 15 minute zone for a few hours and you need someone to scream expletives and fire out a "Do you know who I am?" at the poor meter maid who was just doing her job. And then, after being asked to watch the language with children present, he can fire off an F-Bomb You before peeling out and almost hitting two cars. But I digress.)

5. Jim Brown
Oooooh, Jim Brown is at the draft! Do you see him? There is Jim Brown?! Jim Brown is hobbling up to read a name! Now THIS is a special event … Jim Brown is here!

The ESPNers needed to be hosed down over the mere site of Brown sitting in a corner. "Oh, what a thrill this must be for these kids to meet Jim Brown." No, what a thrill for them that they've already been advanced more money by their agents and representatives than Brown made in his entire football career.

There's no truth to the rumor that next year's draft will feature Conrad Dobler and Earl Campbell to continue the tradition of showcasing decrepit and crippled men whose quality of life went into the tank by playing a violent, collision sport. Congratulations you first rounder, if you actually make it, you just won a lifetime of chronic pain and misery! Now give your Unky Goodall a hug.

4. Allowing outsiders to call the names
Do you really care that Deion Sanders got to call out a draft pick? How about the special tear-jerker of a moment when Mack Brown said the words Colt and McCoy? From here on, with the exception of a Make-A-Wish kid (who got to read off a Pittsburgh Steeler pick), just let Roger Goodell handle this. The draft needs to go back to being more business-like and less about the gimmicks; this isn't Match Game '10. Which also means it's time to stop …

3. Using the troops as props
Is there a point to trotting out a few select men and women from our armed forces in the middle of the draft? We all respect the troops, but this comes across as forced schmaltz and a bit exploitative. They come out, everyone stands up and cheers, Berman says something jingoistic, and the draft comes to a screeching halt. The NFL's heart is in the right place, so if the tradition is going to continue it should be used to start the show before everything gets underway. Again, everyone is for the men and women of the armed forces, but the draft should be just about the players and the process.

2. The Football Position.
Please, to all those who get paid to speak, analyze, and broadcast football, I'm begging you to try going a whole broadcast without saying the word football, and I'm on my hands and knees with the desperate hope that you'll never, ever, ever again use the word position where it doesn't belong. As in "he's a great football prospect for the quarterback position, but the Panthers really needed to address the linebacker position for their football team."

It's a bit like a t-shirt that says Dallas Cowboys Football or New York Yankees Baseball. Like the Cowboys and Yankees are known for their fine wines and fairly traded coffees and need to highlight the sports divisions of their organizations. Talking heads, try to leave out the unnecessary filler.

1. Eligibility
As the NFL is trying to come up with its new deal with the players organization, let me throw out a suggestion to finally do what's right and to correct a long time wrong.

Let players be eligible for the NFL draft whenever they want to.

It's time to cut the pretense that most of these players are going to school for some noble cause, and it's time to drop the charade that going to college to become a better football player is somehow less respectable than majoring in Prancing and Dancing, or any one of the other focuses of study that my soon-to-be-graduating sister worked on (to arm her with enough job skills to become a Sandwich Artist … maybe).

The world needs ditchdiggers, too. Only the creamiest of the crop would ever think about trying to jump to the NFL without a few years of college experience, and the self-delusional ones who would leave out of high school and don't want to be on a college campus shouldn't be forced to go.

The NFL is getting a free ride when it comes to college football being used as a developmental league, and now it's time for a Julio Jones, a Mark Ingram, or even a Seantrel Henderson to be able to work on their craft and get paid to do it. Pro personnel types always cry about college players needing to unlearn and redevelop their mechanics and techniques, and it's time that some players get a chance to make the jump to do what they want to at a higher level.

Instead of wasting a breath on a sixth round draft pick, why not draft a prospect like Henderson, pay him for two years to see if he can develop into a true player, and then reap the rewards? Soccer in England and hockey in Canada have their clubs and their junior leagues, and it's time that football players be allowed to try to become football players.

Random Acts of Nutty … Provocative musings and tidbits to make every woman want you and every man want to be you (or vice versa) a.k.a. things I didn't feel like writing bigger blurbs for.

- What's the point of the Senior Bowl if you're going to ignore what happened during that week? Brandon Graham and Tyson Alualu, considered early second rounders after the season was over, lit it up in practices and dominated the game sending their stock soaring through the roof on the way to becoming the tenth and 13th picks, respectively. However, the star of Senior Bowl week was Dan LeFevour, who more than proved he could play on the same field with the rest of the all-stars. Tebow couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat, couldn't throw, and was a total disaster, yet he went with the 25th overall pick. LeFevour was tremendous and went 181st.

- Some team had to think about giving up all their picks this year for picks in 2011 and beyond. If all the rumors turn out to be true, it might cost as much to sign an entire draft class next year as it will to sign two high round players or one top ten pick this year.

- Urban Meyer: "Tebow would be my first pick overall." And there's reason number 39 why Cleveland won't be calling after Mike Holmgren fires Eric Mangini at the end of the year.

C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
1) Overrated: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' over-enunciated Empire State Of Mind on the continuous loop in my head … Underrated: The pain of a Mister Misty freeze coupled with getting jabbed in the ears with a sharp stick while being forced to sit through trailers for Sex and the City 2.

2) Overrated: Primetime NFL Draft … Underrated: NBA and NHL playoffs
3) Overrated: Mel Kiper ... Underrated: Mike Mayock
4) Overrated: Pete Carroll picking up LenDale White ... Underrated: Washington dumping Jason Campbell
5) Overrated: Getting a hug from Roger Goodell ... Underrated: Getting a hug from Colt McCoy's girlfriend

Sorry this column sucked, it wasn't my fault … my life has revolved around the world of hip snaps and bubble butts, and not in the fun way. Let's get the college football world rolling again.

- April 27 NFL Draft - The ESPN nightmare