The 2010 draft intrigue began with the 5th pick by the Chiefs of Eric Berry. The first four picks were pretty much known to everyone in the blogosphere and even to those who get their football news at the bottom of an ESPN screen while they are watching ice skating.
But Berry, already conceded a spot in the HOF, was nevertheless merely a Safety, one of the lower paying slots on a football team, and therefore no lock to even be picked in the top ten. When he was, the first round began to acquire some dipsy-doodle.
The guy most people figured would not last till the sixth pick, LT Russell Okung, was suddenly still on the board for the Seahawks and, with the retirement of LT Walter Jones, was precisely what they needed. A perfect pick for Pete Carroll’s inaugural second-coming, and a good pick for this year also. Pete was no doubt pleased pink.
The Cleveland Browns then stepped to the podium, as newly enthroned king, Mike Holmgren, made his inaugural second-coming pick, also. Holmgren then selected Joe Haden, a controversial CB from Florida. This is not too high to pick a CB, but there were many questions about Haden’s speed and lock-down abilities. Some draft boards even had him going late in the first or even falling to the second round. A risky move by Holmgren and not a particularly good one, given the woeful state of the Brown’s offense.
Holmgren was a failure in his GM capacity with the Seahawks, and is no doubt driven to prove he is a big time talent pickin’, team buildin’ dude. We’ll see. Cleveland fans are desperately hoping Holmgren is as wonderful as many 49er fans think he is, and at this point are probably just nodding their heads at every questionable move he makes. The season ticket sales were already generated by the hiring of Holmgren, so none are needed from any particular player they draft. Haden will help the team this year, as any good CB would. Whether he’s a great CB and worthy of being picked this high remains to be seen.
The Raiders picked 8th and shocked the world by making a safe and sane choice in LB Rolando McClain. This pick set off rumors that Al Davis had slipped into a coma before the draft. It also, just as it had the previous year, sent tingles through the 49ers draft room. Many expected the Raiders to take an Olineman here, a specific Olineman named Anthony Davis, and the 49ers were quite happy that their Bay Area brethren did not. McClain is a good pick here, though. He will be on the field this year and helping that run porous Raiders defense be a little less leaky. Nothing, of course, will do anything to alleviate the black out problem in Oakland as long as Davis is running the team.
The Buffalo Bills then set off a Bay Area blogosphere moan everywhere but in the 49ers draft room by taking C. J. Spiller, a superb, quick RB who had risen to the top of the off season wish lists of many a fan. Even if this smallish fellow is Reggie Bush II, Buffalo made a good choice here. The fans were thrilled and old Ralph Wilson dearly needs as many of them in his stadium as he can get. And Spiller will definitely add some spark to the Bills putt-putt offense, an offense so bad that T.O. was on it last year and nobody noticed. In addition, the selection of Spiller, instead of an Olineman, cleared the last hurdle in the way of the 49ers getting precisely the player they lusted for.
Rounding out the top ten, the Jaguars took Tyson Alualu, a DT from California. This was an astoundingly bad pick. Just foul. To begin with, nobody in Florida had ever heard of this guy, meaning he is going to sell zero season tickets for the team. If they had selected Tim Tebow, as many thought they might, it would have guaranteed a no black out season. Conspiracy leaning fellows could surmise that this was an excellent pick because the Jags owner does not want to sell tickets, preferring instead to have one final straw blacked out season so he can split to California and be the King of L.A. Who can blame him? Maybe by then, Tyson will be a solid pro. Not this year, however.