You Got Served - White Boy Day!

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS Peyton Hillis did consistently perform feats of superhuman strength, otherworldy athleticism, and other-universely grit, while maintaining large biceps and wearing alligator-skinned boots on his off-time, and loving Wal-Mart, apple pie (from Wal-Mart), grandma (a greeter at Wal-Mart), and wholesome milk from American cows (in the Northern Mariana Islands),

AND WHEREAS he played for a since-deposed coach who took a lenient attitude toward his eight fumbles, especially those which happened while hurdling other men, because, hey, that's a highlight play on SportsCenter most of the time,

AND WHEREAS the greater Cleveland area has long been looking for a true caucasian hero, from towns like Euclid and Lyndhurst to Beachwood and Solon, through Brecksville and Strongsville, and Middleburg Heights, and up to the noted caucasian haven of Parma, through Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Lakewood, Rocky River, and Westlake, and extending outward to the white parts of Lorain County, Summit County, Portage County, Geauga County, and every other damn county with a significant caucasian population who wants in on this,

AND WHEREAS a legion of scorned Broncos fans, and stupid dumbass reporters at the Denver Post can now gloat, and say they told us so,

LET IT BE RESOLVED that today, April 28, 2011, shall be called White Boy Day.  We at IAOFM congratulate Peyton Hillis and his legion of caucasian fans in Cleveland, Denver, Arkansas, and soon, the entire globe on their shared victory.  We hope it tastes sweet like Wal-Mart apple pie.

Happy Draft Day, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served.  The last two years, I’ve done a seven-round mock draft, and I “eyed” doing one this year too.  Since reporters would have you believe that everybody is just going crazy with eyeing things.  After an extensive session of eyeing the seven rounds of mockery, I decided not to do it.  (I will always be able to claim that I had Tom Brandstater right, two years ago, though, for whatever nothing that’s worth.)

You know why I decided not to do it?  Because who cares what I think will happen when 32 teams get to take turns picking players?  Regardless of what I think, something different is going to happen today, tomorrow and Saturday.  I already know that I am smarter than the average football writer, and so do you, so joining their contest for luck-driven bragging rights just brings me down to their level.

The whole exercise is asinine, as much as the cottage-dwellers will be mortified to read that.  I’m fairly new to this realization, but instinctively, somehow, the others here at IAOFM have known this, and the only bit of Mockery we’ve collectively produced was my Rational Actor version of about a month ago, and that’s entirely different than a “predicting what will happen” wankfest.  I can assure you that you’ll never see a Mock Draft Part 39 here.

If I were a nihilist, I’d just say the hell with it, and end the column here, and let the chips fall where they may.  I also would have pissed on the carpet a few minutes ago, rather than the toilet, when nature called.  Since I’d never want to offend The Dude, though, later for all that nihilism.  (I’d also be annoyed with myself if I stepped in an indoor puddle later.)

Instead, we’ll revisit the old feature Loosely-Related but Not Random Thoughts.  I’m going to try hard to make it a humdinger, or whatever.  (I think a humdinger is a good thing.)  Did you know that humans are incapable of deciding to behave truly randomly?  We’re only capable of behaving in a way that we think is random.

So, armed with an extra big Wednesday night smirk, an 18-year-old date to my fraternity’s annual alumni banquet on Saturday, and enough Draft thoughts to make her want to ditch me if I bring any of them up, it’s time for some Ready… BEGIN!!!

1.  There were some interesting (if hard-to-believe) rumors out of Washington and Houston on Tuesday about the Redskins and Texans wanting to move to #2 for Blaine Gabbert and Von Miller, respectively.

It’s not hard to believe that either team values those players highly enough to trade big packages for them.  Gabbert is stylistically a Shanahan-type of player, and Washington has dreck at the QB position.  Miller would be a great fit for Houston’s new Wade Phillips 3-4.  For both teams, these players are worth breaking the bank for, because both can fill a huge void on a close-ish team, while having the potential to be a 10-year impact player.  (I don’t love Gabbert, but if Shanahan does, more power to him.)

I say it’s hard to believe because I doubt that either team has enough to offer to make it worth the Broncos’ while.  In either case, I think it would take this year’s second-rounder and next year’s #1 and #2, and maybe a player, if the NFL follows Susan Nelson’s order to start the league year immediately. 

That’s a lot to give up, even if it is to get the guy that you think puts you over the top.  Remember how much it cost for the Giants to go from #4 to #1 for Eli Manning?  We’re talking about going from #10 or #11 to #2.  Houston’s sucky beat reporter John McClain suggested that Amobi Okoye could be part of a trade.  That’s a nice idea if the Broncos were in the “underachieving replacement-level player” business.  Give me Mark Anderson, and I might find some value there.

As for players from Washington’s roster, Adam Carriker and Jeremy Jarmon interest me in a limited way as defensive linemen.  I like Chris Horton as a box safety, and he didn’t get on the field much for Washington in 2010.  There’s not much else there.

If the Broncos did decide to drop down for an extra #2 this year, it would definitely go a long way toward helping them draft four starters.  It’s possible that Nick Fairley would be there at #10, but not likely.  I think this stuff about him “falling” is a bunch of cottage-driven nonsense, and that we’re going to see that tonight.

Most probably, in the 10-11 range, you’re talking about Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, Cameron Jordan, J.J. Watt, Corey Liuget, and Aldon Smith.  Maybe Da’Quan Bowers too, if you’re not scared off by the knee.  In other words, maybe you’re looking to drop down again, to 15 or 16.  At that point, you really better hope that the depth play works out.

The bottom line is that I don’t think the Broncos will be trading down, especially as far as 10 or 11, but I wouldn’t slam them if they did.  I’m not one of these guys who cares that much about “Draft picks”, which I consider to be derivative assets, in the sense that they eventually become players, just like an oil contract becomes a barrel of light sweet crude on your doorstep.

I only really care about what is done with the picks, and how the roster is improved.

2.  I think the QB picture portends to be very interesting, and how it plays out could be really helpful to a team like the Broncos that probably isn’t shopping for one.  The general assumption is that Cam Newton will go first, and Blaine Gabbert will follow somewhere in the top five.  It gets really interesting after that.  There are some people who think that Jake Locker is actually the best player, and that he resembles Brett Favre, in terms of skill-set.  There was a rumor a couple days ago that Andy Dalton (Chad Pennington Jr., if you ask me) could go at eight to the Titans.  Ryan Mallett has been dogged by the rumors of a drug problem and a bad attitude, but it’s easy to see a team loving him in the first round.  Colin Kaepernick and Christian Ponder could likewise jump in there, near the bottom.

I expect that all seven of these players will be gone by the 45th pick, which is interesting to us, because, meanwhile, there are about 11 DEs and 7 DTs in this Draft’s top 45 players, as well.  I highly doubt that 25 of the top 45 picks will be defensive linemen and quarterbacks, with the slippage likely to be seen in the defensive line.  For that reason, I think there’s a pretty good chance that a guy like Adrian Clayborn may be available at #36, and that a 10-year starter at DT like Jurrell Casey may make it to #46.

3.  The Running Back group is interesting to me too, and I think the third round would be a great place for the Broncos to grab one.  I like Jacquizz Rodgers and especially DeMarco Murray, and I think each would make a nice complement to Knowshon Moreno.  I don’t think that the Broncos really have their second quality RB yet that they can count on for 16 games.  I think that doubling up between the middle of this Draft and getting another guy in the seventh round or in free agency could be very helpful.  The name of the game with RBs anymore is having a number of quality runners who are durable.

4.  I’m a Florida football fan, because when I was growing up, UConn was a 1-AA team, and nobody cared about them.  I liked the way that Florida threw the ball under Steve Spurrier as a teenager, and then when I moved to Jacksonville for six years, I picked a side, like everybody does.  To simplify it, you could say that J-ville is about 1/3 Florida, 1/3 Florida State, and 1/3 Georgia fans, but I actually consider it to be a Gator town by plurality.  I’d say the actual split is something like 40% Gators, 35% Seminoles, and 25% Dawgs.  You actually hate your neighbor if he flies Garnet and Gold or Red and Black on his house.  I always laugh at these Midwesterners who think that Ohio State and Michigan is a heated rivalry, because it’s nothing compared to the Southeast.

I see a ton of Gator football, so I tend to get a good feel for their players, and since they recruit a lot of good ones, I always seem to disproportionately like Gators in draft classes.  One guy who I love, and who should have come out this year, is CB Janoris Jenkins, who wore #1 for the Gators.  He would have competed with Prince Amukamara to be the second CB picked this season.  He chose to return for his senior season, though, and that plan was derailed when he was dismissed from the team for getting arrested for the third time for marijuana possession.  Evidently, it was in the console of a car he was in.  The new coaching staff and Head Coach Will Muschamp couldn’t afford the heat that this would bring, so Jenkins was dismissed. 

Some people think smoking pot displays “bad character”, but I am not one of those people.  I don’t personally do it, but I have no problem with it at all.  In fact, I think it should be legalized for use however the user wants to use it, medical or otherwise.  In Ohio, it’s actually decriminalized, and we’re far from a socially-progressive state, with all the thumpers in the southern part of the state.  If you get caught with up to 100 grams, it’s a violation - like a speeding ticket.  If you’re not familiar with weed economics, 100 grams is a lot; 28 grams is an ounce, so 100 grams is just a little shy of a quarter-pound.  The average user buys a quarter- or half-ounce a week, or maybe a whole ounce, but virtually never more than that at one time.  If you’re holding 100 grams, you’re probably up to no good, vis-à-vis our current laws, and I can see why it would be a misdemeanor.  Ohio’s reasonableness on this front likely portends for increased tolerance nationwide.

I mention all of this because I wouldn’t let a guy smoking weed deter me from drafting him.  I’ll bet more than 50% of NFL players do it from time to time.  I’ve seen some estimates that 80% of NBA players do, and they’re helped by the fact that it’s not part of their substance abuse policy - appropriately, in my opinion.  No matter how the puritanical types want to spin it, marijuana just isn’t a dangerous drug.  Lying to ourselves that it is, and teaching kids that it has any similarity to something like heroin is doing them a disservice.  They try pot, see that it’s no big deal, and imagine that heroin is also not a big deal.  The conflation of the two in the prevention-geared messaging ends up promoting the use of the dangerous drug, once the user realizes they were lied to about pot.

That was a tangent, but I’m allowed to go off on those as I feel like it.  Anyway, Jenkins is a really good player, and the Broncos should be looking at his tape, because he’s very likely to be in the Supplemental Draft this summer.  The way that works is that teams who want a player can blindly bid for him at a round level that they feel he’s worth.  If they win the player, next year’s pick in that round is forfeited, and they’re awarded the player now.

Remember how I think draft picks are crap, and players are the actual asset?  This is where that comes into play.  Say it’s the 2009 Draft, and I want Alphonso Smith near the top of the second round.  I can trade for that pick, but I have to give up next year’s first-rounder.  Typically, there’s a one-round premium for “next year” when you’re trading Draft picks.  That makes sense, if you consider that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.  (Despite all of the howling, if Alphonso Smith had turned out to be a really good player, nobody would have a problem with the deal, in retrospect.  Again, the player is the asset, not the pick that you used to take him.)

The benefit of the supplemental Draft is that you can get a player now by using a “next year” pick, and the pick you lose is the one in the same round you’re taking the player in.  It’s a better deal than you can ever get in trading for a pick, as long as the player performs to the level you’re valuing him at.  It’s especially a good deal if you have a high pick in the Draft, because you have round priority over other teams, for what amounts to a second time, and you only had to suck once to get it.

Peep this scenario -  The Broncos, Texans, Ravens, Steelers, and Packers all bid a second-round pick on Jenkins, which is what it probably takes to get him.  The Broncos are awarded the player, because they pick first in this theoretical second round.  If they improve a lot, that next year pick becomes a lower-valued pick than what they just used on Jenkins.  Even if they are bad again, the downside is that it could possibly be the first pick in next year’s second round.  That’s a pretty low risk.  You just have to hope the player works out as well as planned, which in Jenkins’ case is likely.

I ran out of time more than I ran out of thoughts.  I’ll be in the chair solid for the next two nights, though - commenting on all picks and burning up the IM machine with Doug, TJ, and Doc.  Be here at IAOFM, friends, because we’re going to hook you up with the best analysis you can find anywhere.  You deserve nothing less on White Boy Day.

1.  I’m not in the arguing business, I’m in the saying what I think business.
2.  I get my information from my eyes.

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