So, there was an NFL Draft this weekend. Unless you're an Auburn fan who's living in a house at the top a tree, you're aware that:
1. Sen'Derrick Marks went to the Tennessee Titans late in the second round with the 62nd pick overall;
2. Jerraud Powers went to the Indianapolis Colts with the 92nd overall pick, late in the third;
3. Tyronne Green became the second former Auburn player on the San Diego offensive line when the Chargers took him in the fourth round, No. 133 overall.
A handful of players hoping to get their name called--Tez Doolittle, Brad Lester, etc.--didn't get picked up, but there weren't any shockers. For Auburn's draft hopefuls as a whole, things actually went much better than expected: both Marks and Green were taken in the upper range of when they were expected to be off the board, and Powers wasn't supposed to be a third-round pick on any mock boards I saw.
So yeah, as far as the "Auburn gets guys paid (eventually)" argument I know our coaches would love to sell on the recruiting trail goes, things could have gone a lot worse. The picks extend to six years two different streaks--having a minimum three players drafted and having at least one Tiger go in the first two rounds--that it's nice to see continue, especially in a draft in which, and I quote, "UConn had more players picked on Day 1 (four) than Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan and Penn State (three) combined." A few thoughts:
--So much for Powers making some horrible, life-rending mistake by coming out early, huh? I'd like to think the more volatile edges of Auburn's fanbase would remember this the next time a kid decides to leave early and comes in for some excoriation, but oh well, I wanted him to stay too. In the end it may have been a win-win situation for all involved: Powers winds up with third-round money and in a secondary where he'll probably see early time, and Auburn finds a way to keep Neiko Thorpe developing on the field in what should be something akin to a rebuilding year.
--Further recommendation for Powers's decision comes from the fact that it's the Colts and Bill Polian who were doing the reaching for him. Polian has a long track record of successful drafting--I mean, there's a reason the guy has been the Colts' president/GM since the late Cretaceous--so it's not like Powers was getting the benefit of the doubt from Al Davis's Dessicated Corpse or anything. I'm still not sure how on earth Powers got drafted ahead of D.J. Moore, but the Colts probably know more about it than I do, right?
--More on the situations Auburn's players find themselves in from Andy Bitter, here telling us the Titans are in fairly serious need of DTs (i.e. why they took Marks when they did) and relaying quite the intriguing quote re: his reaction to the Auburn coaching turnover, and here informing us the Chargers expect Green to play center at the next level.
--Not surprising when you consider that both Power and Marks were taken a little ahead of schedule, but Auburn players didn't help their new teams into Mel Kiper's good graces. He gave the Titans, Colts, and Chargers each a grade of "C+" for their draft, calling Green a "good selection" while saying Powers was taken "a little high" and Marks was "a bit overhyped, but he wasn't a bad reach at No. 62."
Of course, the entire concept of draft grading the day after is ridiculous--yeah, obviously the Raiders blew it the way they always do, and the Bucs trading up to grab Josh Freeman (Josh Freeman!) was silly, but neither Kiper nor anyone else really has any idea whether the Colts, Chargers, or Titans had a better or worse draft than an other of two dozen teams. The NFL draft is the kind of thing for which the term "crapshoot," i.e. the shooting of crap, was invented.
--Abilene Christian, a D-II school in Abilene, Texas, had as many players drafted (2) as Michigan (2), or as many as Miami (1) and Tennessee (1) combined. Helps explain why each of those teams struggled so badly last year, right? (Likewise, despite the three players in total, that Auburn has just one senior drafted goes some way towards explaining DEATH as well.)
--Braves and Birds nails the exhausting nature of the OMG CHARACTER ISSUEZ caterwauling that's a now annual occurrence leading up to the draft:
It's not easy to evaluate Andre Smith as a left tackle. It's easy to get up on the soap box and attack him for showing up to the Combine fat.Smith, of course, went sixth overall and will probably anchor the Bengals' line for years. As Michael says, "it's almost like NFL teams remember that Warren Sapp and Randy Moss both plummeted out of the top ten for character issues and are both going to end up in the Hall of Fame." Word.
--I just thought this was interesting:
What's up with Chicago's crush on Vandy? With the Bears picking Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore in the fourth round (119th overall), Lovie Smith's team is turning into the Commodores-North. Moore will have as teammates in Chicago four other ex-Vandy players: quarterback Jay Cutler, offensive tackle Chris Williams, receiver Earl Bennett and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer.More quality SEC-wide reaction from Team Speed Kills.
By one unofficial count, there are six other Vanderbilt products in the entire rest of the NFL -- or one more than in Chicago.
--Rod Smith has signed with the Chargers, Tez Doolittle with the Seahawks. No word yet I can find on the rest of Auburn's free agents.