Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two Hoosiers in a row

Just as I think Hardy is going to drop a ton, he is picked right after Porter. Hardy is going to the Buffalo Bills, who used the 41st pick to get him.

Hardy was the fourth wide receiver taken overall, which is one better than he was projected. Most of the grades I saw had him as the fifth-best in the draft.

The first Hoosier is taken...

The first wide-out went at pick 33 -- it was Donnie Avery from Houston.

The big IU story today was that Tracy Porter was selected before James Hardy. Porter went at Pick 40 to the Saints. There was talk among the ESPN guys that the Saints may have been trying to work a trade to get Jeremy Shockey, but it didn't materialize at that time.

It's good that the Hoosiers had at least one player taken in the second round. It is an indication the team is able to attract some quality talent. And as the rebuilding, I mean building, process continues, potential recruits will notice that.

James Hardy still not picked

IU receiver James Hardy was projected to be selected late in the first round. The first round is now over and Hardy has not been picked. In fact, no wide receivers were selected.

We'll see what happens in the second round. There were no receivers graded as can't-miss impact players, so maybe teams decided they weren't worth a first-round selection.

The Steelers are on the clock

And the pick is ... Rashard Mendenhall. This is kind of a surprising pick for me. The Steelers have Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport. Parker is the speed guy. They need a bruiser back and I didn't think that was Mendenhall. The bio (linked above) says he is a physical runner that does well between the tackles. So maybe I'm wrong.

If the Steelers were going to draft a running back, they needed to get a straight-ahead type of back, one who is going to get the tough yard on 3rd and one.

The prediction here was offensive line, but most of the good linemen were gone. My only guess is Mendenhall was the best player left and they couldn't pass him up. He was predicted to go a lot higher.

The Bears are on the clock

The guess is offensive line by ESPN ... and it's offensive tackle Chris Williams.

The Bears more than nine minutes of the 10-minute allowance. That leads me to believe they waffled back and forth on the pick or they were entertaining trades. Running back Rashard Mendenhall still was available and I think the Bears considered taking him to shoulder the rushing load in case Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson still can't get it done.

Offensive line was the safe pick and fills an important need. The Bears need to protect their quarterback (whoever it will be) just so their offense can get started.

Draft is underway...

The ESPN draft tracker is here. The version is here and CBS's version is here, along with NBC's.

Through the first seven picks there were no surprises. Even the green room is now empty, meaning all the top guys expected to go high have been pick. The only minor surprise was the Patriots trading the seventh pick to the Saints.

The Ravens just traded their pick to Jacksonville, which now is on the clock. The Bears should be picking in about an hour.

Draft Day begins

But there apparently isn't any reason to watch the first half hour of the draft, because the first three picks already are set. ESPN reported during its four-hour pre-show that after Jake Long is picked by the Dolphins, that the Rams likely are going to take defensive lineman Chris Long. And now the Falcons really want to take quarterback Matt Ryan with the third pick, ESPN says. Steve Young says they have to take Ryan to get over the Michael Vick saga.

There's always the chance this is just gamesmanship by the teams, and it wouldn't be the first time the media has been used to distribute some misinformation. I guess there's still some reason to watch, but I wouldn't be sure you are in your seat with your beer and popcorn right at 3 p.m.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Show time

The NFL draft is less than a day away and I'm sure wide receiver James Hardy, defensive back Tracy Porter and a couple other former Hoosiers are having trouble sleeping.

Hardy is projected in two mock drafts to go in the late first round to San Francisco. An mock draft has Hardy going to the Cowboys.

Porter could go as high as the second round. Long snapper Tim Bugg also is considered a prospect, as is fellow defensive back Leslie Majors.

All the fun begins tomorrow at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. We already know who the first pick will be: its offensive lineman Jake Long from Michigan going to the Dolphins. The Rams now are on the clock. The Bears have the 14th pick and the Steelers pick 23rd.

Update (4-26): The L.A. Times mock draft has Hardy going to the Titans in the first round. Less than five hours until Long is announced as the top pick...