The NFL Draft is this weekend, with a lot of kids in it for me to keep track of. South Carolina's got a lot of second day prospects, while UF could get three on day one depending on how Louis Murphy and Cornelius Ingram are viewed by the late second round teams. I'd love to see Ingram rewarded for coming back since he didn't get to play thanks to his ACL injury. ESPN is going to be at his draft gathering, so he should get a fair amount of attention when his name starts to surface as a logical pick. Here are Pro Football Weekly's final ratings if you want to follow along. For some interesting history, check out the NFL.com list of the alltime best pick at each first round slot. Not good to wind up with pick 7 or 25, apparently. Andy Staples of SI.com breaks down the recruiting numbers on this year's projected first round. Two two star guys made the top ten, and one walkon is a projected firs rounder - more proof recruiting "stars" are somewhat meaningful, but very overblown.
The NBA Draft is still weeks away, with college players who are still undecided about whether to remain in or not having until June 15 to decide. That's ridiculous, and mercifully enough it's about to change. Having a deadline around Mother's Day will still give kids over a month to seek feedback on whether the NBA's interested in them, but also lets coaches have a fair shot to plan for losses and recruit the necessary players.
This year's Heisman Trophy media headquarters was at the new Sports Museum of America near Wall Street in NYC. They held the ceremony in a theater near Times Square and then tried to get players down to us for interviews. It took quite a while, which meant I had some time to wander around the museum. I couldn't believe how much they were charging to come see what boiled down to a moderate amount of semi-interesting odds and ends stuff. Turns out that plan didn't work and the museum's gone under. All the discussion I heard from PR folks that night about the "new home of the Heisman" is time I'll never get back, but at least I'm not one of the people they're charging big money to get their own stuff returned to them.
Tennessee's personnel losses continue to pile up, with an offensive lineman and quarterback B.J. Coleman deciding to leave yesterday. The Coleman loss means they've got almost no viable options if anything happens to Jonathan Crompton at QB. Crompton only has this season left to play too, so there's not going to be much in the pipeline to compete for the starting QB spot in 2010 either. Lane Kiffin better find himself a special freshman QB for that year or he's in trouble.
When I covered the Jaguars, Jimmy Smith was one of my favorite people to deal with. He was a great player and a nice guy who handled the media with class. I can't say how many times he was the guy willing to stick around a few extra minutes to talk with ESPN Radio's national NFL show for me. That's why it made me sad to see the photo that accompanied the story of Smith's latest drug arrest. Smith looks terrible - he's aged himself 25 years in the last ten. I doubt I would even have recognized him had we passed on the street. Smith's rise to the Pro Bowl from his status as a street free agent nobody was a great story. Now, he's a cautionary tale of what this crap can do to your life, and it's sickening. Hopefully someone can get him to help himself.