Friday, April 23, 2010

NFL Draft Observations
It wasn't surprising that Tim Tebow, the Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to two national championships, was drafted on the first round. Although he is somewhat limited in his throwing the football, Tebow can run and that physical attribute alone should make him a valuable addition to the Denver Broncos. With the advancing popularity of the Wildcat formation plus third-down and short yardage situations, Tebow would be an asset in the same way that Michael Vick played quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons.
And, it wasn't surprising that Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen was selected in the middle of the second round by the Carolina Panthers. Unlike Tebow, Clausen has a good arm, but unlike Tebow, Clausen can't run. He is slow afoot and was sacked numerous times during his three-year career at South Bend, Ind. Great quarterbacks have quick feet and it will interesting to see if Clausen can out-perform Matt Moore, the current Carolina QB.
What was surprising was that Texas quarterback Colt McCoy fell all the way to the 85th pick in the third round, drafted by the Cleveland Browns who do need help at the signal-calling position.
Did McCoy's injury in the BCS Championship game against Alabama, coupled with the Longhorns' mediocre showing against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game, hurt his draft value? Being the 85th pick is quite a comedown for a player whose team was among the top-three ranked teams most of the season and who also was a leading candidate for the Heisman.

It is felt here that Taylor Mays' critical comments toward Seattle Coach Pete Carroll weren't all as a result of the former USC coach picking Eric Thomas of Texas instead of Mays, who played for Carroll in college.
After a remarkable 2009 season as USC's safety, Mays, who is from the Seattle area, was seriously considering entering the draft as a junior, but decided to return for his senior year, which turned out to be hampered by injuries and less-than-stellar play. His value to the NFL dropped and one has to wonder if his bitterness toward Carroll is a result of the coach convincing him to stay for his senior season?


Speaking of USC, when was the last time that no Trojans player was picked in the first round? There have been years when USC has dominated the draft, the way that Oklahoma did this year. In Peter King's mock draft for Sports Illustrated, Taylor Mays was slated to be taken by the Dallas Cowboys late in the first round, but he wound up the 49th pick of the San Francisco 49ers.
Wide receiver Damien Williams was selected in the third round by the Tennessee Titans. Actually, the first L.A. player to be taken was UCLA's Brian Price, a defensive lineman, by Tampa Bay.

Moving to baseball, the big question for the Dodgers is what is wrong with starting pitcher Chad Billingsley? During a recent start against the Cincinnati Reds, Billingsley lasted just two innings, gave up five straight hits including a home run, a triple, and three sharpley-struck singles, and made a poor throw to first base after fielding an easy ground ball.
Two theories being tossed around the league is that Billingsley has lost his velocity, especially on his fastball, and/or he is tipping his pitches, making some movement that is telegraphing what he will throw next.

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