Yeah, I know, it’s a week late and it’s more foosball. But it’s content, right?
– Hey Johnny! The good news is, you went in the first round like everyone thought you would! The bad news is you were drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Guess you’re regretting that monkey’s paw NOW, huh?
I’m actually of two minds on Johnny Manziel. On the one hand, he actually IS a good quarterback, and it seems like his teammates liked him a lot, which suggests the grumbling about his attitude might be somewhat overblown. This story also irritated me a lot: Browns owner tells Johnny Manziel to “act like a backup”, “this isn’t Hollywood”.
I mean CHRIST JOHNNY, IT’S NOT LIKE THEY SELECTED YOU IN THE FIRST ROUND OR ANYTHING. Or that the guy you’re backing up ended last season on a severe knee injury. Or that the Browns have been shuffling quarterbacks like cards trying to find one that isn’t a total bust. REIN IT IN, KID, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
On the other hand, he’s pretty much earned a lot of his haters, and he really is kind of a media whore, mostly because the media has had their tongue so far up his ass they’re giving him a prostate massage. So maybe the owner is right to be concerned that that kind of attention is distracting from football, which the whole team needs to concentrate on. I can’t help but think the Browns would be biting themselves in the butt by relegating him to indefinite backup after the preseason, though. They’re good at that.
– Michael Sam MICHAEL SAM MICHAEL SAM OMFG MICHAEL SAM. I do think it was long overdue that the NFL have an openly gay player, and I’ve mostly been optimistic about league reaction- though I do think it’s hilariously ironic that the only person to really say something nasty about it plays for San Francisco and most of the guys that said supportive things are from places like Detroit.
The media circus around him is MORE THAN A LITTLE MUCH, though. I mean seriously, an Oprah documentary? It’s pretty well counter to the message those supportive players and coaches and owners were backing- that as long as someone plays well it shouldn’t matter who they’re with off the field. That said, he mostly strikes me as a genuinely nice, hard-working kid who is very naive in handling this kind of attention, which more than a few rookie players are. I do think he needs a lot of development before he’s going to be anything all that special, but I do get the impression he can and will put his all into it. I still think NFL offensive lines will probably smush him as a DE, though. I think he could do better as an outside linebacker if he can adapt. He’s smart enough to.
I’m actually kind of interested to watch the Rams this season, though I’m not remotely a fan. I love rising underdogs, and they played the draft very intelligently. If they can keep Sam Bradford healthy, which is a big if and I’m not sure essentially marrying the dude was at all a good idea, I think they can better themselves a lot this season.
– Jadevon Clowney is either going to be an incredibly exciting player to watch or the biggest bust since Ryan Leaf. There’s absolutely no denying the dude is a freakishly gifted athlete who’s played awesomely well all his life, but I’m not so sure about his work ethic. It’s not uncommon for guys with this much sunshine stuffed up their ass to figure they’re already awesome and the coaches don’t know shit. Plus the Texans haven’t had the most serendipitous luck with draft picks.
– Speaking of work ethic, I’m looking a lot more forward to watching Teddy Bridgewater than Manziel. I don’t much like the Vikings, but I will be given they’re NFC North. He had a not so awesome pro day, but I tend to think it was just that: a bad DAY. His college career was fairly impressive, and he seems to learn from his mistakes rather than melting down from them. Given he’s a rookie and he’s GOING to fuck up, that’s a valuable trait. I’d rather have seen him go to Jacksonville, since I DO like them (remember what I said about underdogs), but Blake Bortles was hardly a bad choice there either. Hoping he doesn’t spook like a skittish horse the way Gabbert tends to.
– I have mixed feelings about the Lions draft. On the one hand Eric Ebron is a pretty amazing athlete and god knows Stafford needs more weapons than just Johnson, as great as Johnson is, on the other hand tight end was a position they were already pretty deep in whereas they had a LOT of others they really needed to shore up, like their defensive backfield and wideouts. (Although Brandon Pettigrew thinks he’s a lot better than he actually is, so maybe it’s a wiser choice than it initially looks to me.)
I love the Kyle van Noy pick, though. I think he was a bit underrated, and the Lions NEED more good linebackers than just Tulloch. They’ve got an awesome defensive line, but beyond that… not as awesome.
Travis Swanson was an interesting choice. Their offensive line definitely needs help, but a lot more in terms of tackles and another good guard than center. On the one hand, Dominic Raiola is 35, and will need a successor. On the other, he’s also remarkably durable, solid, and looks to have plenty of gas left in the tank. Maybe more a long-term investment than a short-term shoring up.
Nevin Lawson… maybe, maybe not? He’s kinda short, but god knows he can pour on the speed, and he seems to be decent at intercepting anyway. Maybe not as much in the pros, though. I still hope Darius Slay will work out better with more development and think he can, but this is more a third question mark at corner than anything else. Chris Houston is pretty awesome but not Nightcrawler.
Caraun Reid… if there’s one thing the Lions do not lack for, it’s impressive defensive tackles. On the other hand, I cannot help but be ridiculously charmed by this guy. He seems smart as hell, actually finished his college degree and did it in the Ivies, loves singing in church choir, and whips his glasses off like Clark Kent becoming Superman on the field. And his job is basically “Hulk”. Omigawd he’s just adorable. Maybe a hedge against Fairley disappearing up his own ass?
TJ Jones… my reaction was and kinda still is “who?”. They need more depth at WR, and though Golden Tate will help, they need more. I would rather have seen them take a wideout earlier in the draft. It was seeming like they’d trade up in pick order for Sammy Watkins, which would have been awesome, but alas it was not to be. Right now he feels like another “meh, it’s a body” along with Fuller and Broyles.
Nate Freese… this guy might actually have been a late-round steal. The Lions have issues with closing, and an accurate and reliable kicker helps saving busted drives. They have kind of a curse on the position though, so we’ll see.
– Oh Jacksonville. Go home, you’re drunk. Bortles was a good grab given what an epic bust Gabbert turned out to be, though I hear mutterings they’re not going to let him start. (He’d be worse than Henne? Really? I agree Bortles needs development but c’mon!) They somehow let their freaky little power dwarf Maurice Jones-Drew get away from them when he was pretty much the one player on the team who was truly standout in the league. Lee was a great pick and Robinson might turn out to be, but the rest were iffy at best.
– I am very sad Khalil Mack went to the Raiders. I was really looking forward to watching him (MAYBE IN DETROIT??), and the Raiders and their fans are such dicks. He’s truly gone to the dark side. Or at least been press-ganged to it.
It can’t be news to any of you that I’m a huge nerd…