In the wake of this year's draft, as plays out every year, we have those folks who knew, thought they knew, wished they knew and know they didn't. But on the SunnySide, I've got the advantage of knowing that my guys are probably going to be drafted, and it adds a little spice to the days as I watch them going to different teams and wishing them well. It's kind of a small rite of passage.
The weekend of the draft is past, the main part of free agency as well as undrafted free agency is behind us and now we have to long opportunity to consider, in some detail just what it is that the Broncos brain trust has done in terms of making over this team. The Broncos are a team whose record was 8-8. This was a team who made history by being three games up with three to go and dropping them all, including the tiebreaker. It was historically bad on defense and special teams, but not as much better on offense as some have held. Passing yards are a poor measure of a team - red-zone percentage, points scored and similar measures mean far more. Weaknesses abounded, as statistics and analysis made clear. It was a team whose record was mediocre, but whose framework was as flimsy as cheap wicker.
I'm not really a contrarian. In fact, I think people who are contrary just to be contrary are typically worthless to an intelligent discussion. Incessant devil's advocacy just gets in the way of progress. Actually, if you ask some people who've begun frequenting this site recently, I am a big homer, and all I do is write happy, sunshiny stuff about how the Broncos can do no wrong. Of course, that doesn't take into account the fact that I was the first person to criticize Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders for misplaying the initial Cassel trade discussions, but that's neither here nor there, I suppose.
As I mentioned yesterday, we as football fans LOVE to read draft grades. It provides validation on so many levels - if we are pleased with our team's draft, we enjoy the confirmation of a positive grade from Mel Kiper or Clark Judge. On the other hand, a negative review from Dr. Z or Todd McShay obviously means they have no clue what they're talking about.
Of course, the same applies to those of us who dislike our own team's results - although a glowing draft grade may temper our feelings a bit, a negative one will just send our blood boiling - "The Broncos totally screwed up the draft - I was saying it all weekend. Peter King says the same thing, so obviously I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I don't drink Kool-Aid. But recent things have come to light, man.
First, I could care less about flashy draft picks or whether or not Denver's draft grades are high or low. Steve Young can have his opinion (totally biased). Jamie Dukes can have his (totally ignorant). And Kiper can have his (with a little hairspray for good measure). Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
But acting as if this draft was without direction is both rash and without merit. This, I mind. The Dude minds. This will not stand, you know, this aggression will not stand, man.
Draftivus Weekend 2009 may be over, but it seems to me that the only draft-related activity as fun as predicting the outcome is in sifting through the results and grading them. Sure, it's a little early to do so; but we all do it, and I'm pretty sure we all seek out what the "experts" have to say in order to validate our own opinions (or cast them aside as idiots). Here are some of the reactions I've seen over the past 24 hours on MHR and across the web, and I paraphrase...
You know, this has been a great weekend for MHR. Our leader got to cover the draft as a credentialed member of the legitimate media, our staff kept the information flowing, and our community contributed thousands of comments and many outstanding Fanposts throughout the two days. It was a triumph for this site, and now I am exhausted. And, yes, it's back to the day job tomorrow, for another five days. Please forgive me if this is a shorter than usual ST&NO, but my eyes hurt and my fingers are tired. Ready..... BEGIN!!!
I had a good time being the comments editor on the live threads today, and I also agreed to write this Around The League Day 1 Wrap-Up. While I am not branding it as an edition of ST&NO, I'll try to keep it Shallow and Narrow, like always.
And with the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos blow people away and take Knowshon Moreno!
A surprise to many fans but a common choice on the mock drafts, the Denver Broncos have taken Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers with the 18th pick in the NFL Draft. Head Coach Josh McDaniel is looking to make a statement about his defense - his players are going to be very athletic, hungry for coaching and very, very versatile.