Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mel Kiper's Christmas now lasts three days

The NFL Draft begins tonight, and as a Bucs fan I can't say I'm too worked up about it. It certainly appears they're going to take Gerald McCoy with the third choice, and that's a solid pick. They need DT help, and some scouts think he's the best player in the entire draft (Pro Football Weekly has him ranked there too.) All indications are the Jaguars and Dolphins would love to trade down, but to do that someone has to want to come up and get a guy which is no sure thing. I'll say the Fins do deal but Jax is forced to stay put and takes C.J. Spiller. I believe Maurkice Pouncey will be the first Gator drafted and that Joe Haden will also go in the middle of round one. If Jimmy Clausen is gone by pick seventeen, I believe Tim Tebow will be selected no later than pick 30 by Minnesota and possibly earlier in a tradeup by someone (Buffalo or Denver the most likely).

One of tonight's storylines will be what Pete Carroll does in his first draft as the man in charge with the Seattle Seahawks. Yesterday on his Twitter feed, Carroll put out a list of songs he claimed were clues to the Seahwaks draft plans. Since Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" was one of them and there's not a player named Jeremy anywhere in Pro Football Weekly's top 150 prospects, I'm thinking he might be jerking people's chains a bit. On the other hand, if you're looking for Tebow destination clues one of Pete's choices was "Superman's Song" by the Crash Test Dummies. I'm not buying it, but they could use a quarterback so there it is. Can you imagine Bill Parcells doing this?

I'm not a big fan of this whole NFL Draft on a Thursday night concept. The league apparently feels it will draw bigger ratings by putting the event in prime time rather on Saturday. Maybe they're right, but I suspect they aren't. They'll be competing with a lot tougher programming competition this evening than a little baseball and a couple of NBA and NHL playoff games on Saturday. One thing that really puzzles me is the NFL's effort to hype this by having a red carpet entrance for the first time featuring "celebrities". The NFL's got lots of clout, the event's in NYC, so you'd assume that list of big timers will be pretty impressive. The featured celebs are Whoopi Goldberg, Alysssa Milano and Jillian Michaels of "The Biggest Loser". Maybe everyone else is at home watching CSI or The Office?

In a followup on a previous story, Esquire Magazine's sexiest woman alive online bracket features the longest voting windows in history but has finally completed round one. The verdict is in, the readers have spoken, and Lane Kiffin has defeated Natalie Gulbis to advance to the second round of sexy woman voting. Next up is a matchup with Danica Patrick, who used her Twitter account and fanatical racing fans to beat Erin Andrews. Which fanbase will be more powerful - Danica worshipping gearheads or Kiffin hating college football fans? Should be amusing. Right now it's a 50-50 split early, although given how long the last round took I think you have until the NBA Finals to vote.

Speaking of Tennessee, new coach Derek Dooley is saying he doesn't think the NCAA will hit the Vols with anything much as a result of the investigation into the hostess scandal and other Kiffin staff related fun. Dooley's probably right, but then he goes on to say that he believes punishments should follow the coach that commits the violations. If that's the case, how does Steve Rubio still have a job at UT when the "recruiting intern" got UCF into an NCAA jam and then bailed for Knoxville? Would Dooley like the Volunteers to take on UCF's punishment for Rubio's cheating?

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