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Around The League Day 1 Wrap-Up

I had a good time being the comments editor on the live threads today, and I also agreed to write this Around The League Day 1 Wrap-Up.  While I am not branding it as an edition of ST&NO, I'll try to keep it Shallow and Narrow, like always.

1.  To keep this family-friendly, John Clayton is a total fool.  Peep this from his Day 1 wrap-up:

5. Denver rookie head coach Josh McDaniels doesn't have a grasp on how to build a team. He signed three running backs in free agency and drafted another (Knowshon Moreno). And then he sent Denver's first-round choice in 2010 to Seattle for this year's 37th overall choice, which he used to pick cornerback Alphonso Smith. That's bizarre. Mike Shanahan must be laughing at that one.

I wasn't initially that thrilled with the Moreno pick, but it's growing on me.  What helped was listening to Michael Lombardi say something that made temendous sense.  He said that in a 3 WR set, a star RB makes a defense defend the box, which in turn, opens the WRs up to do damage.  I'm an offense guy, and I never really thought about it in those specific roster construction terms, though it's obvious.  Yesteday, he talked about how Chris Johnson opened everything up for the Titans this season, by being a star back in a mostly 3-wide scheme.  So I am happy with Moreno. 

Clayton's non sequitur about signing 3 RBs in free agency is typical of him.  They're guys who will compete for a roster spot, and either will or will not make the team.  We only want the best players making our team, John.

To the point of trading next year's 1st rounder, I come back to the concept of the time value of money (TVM.)  My first bachelor's degree was in Finance, and you spend a lot of time on TVM in that kind of program.  Basically, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar next year, mostly because there is certainty in the purchasing power of that dollar today.  This applies to future draft picks, which tend to be discounted to the middle of the next round.  So, next year's one is equivalent to a mid 2nd round pick next year.  The 37th pick is a high second round pick, so it's theoretically a good deal.

Mike Mayock thinks this is a weak draft, and that's fine, but it is utterly meaningless in this case, and he and Charley Casserly tried to make it seem meaningul.  Alphonso Smith is a smart, productive, versatile, high-character player who can contribute right now.  His quality is completely independent of anybody else's quality, or the group's aggregate quality.  It has absolutely zero to do with the overall depth of a draft class.

By the way, I like Ayers, McBath, and Quinn too.  Read HT's article which focuses on the Broncos' haul, as he did a great job making sense of it.

As for Clayton, I wonder if he himself is claiming to have a great grasp of how to build a team.  Maybe he fancies himself as another Ernie Accorsi or something.  All I know is, when you're just some bug-eyed tool pundit (meant negatively, as always,) you should be careful showing such certitude about something which has a lot of potential to be thrown back in your face for years to come. 

Rectum?  Damn near killed him.

2.  AFC One-Liners!!!! Yay!!!

a.  New England's first three picks were terrific (Chung, Brace, Butler) but the Vollmer pick was a reach.

b.  The Jets got their man in Mark Sanchez, and have to be happy to have something so exciting to sell their fans as a new 1st round QB.

c.  Perplexing day for the Bills, with a not-ready-for-primetime pass rusher, 2 interior offensive linemen (when you need a Left Tackle,) and a slow CB.

d.  Miami picked three great athletes in Vontae Davis, Pat White, and Sean Smith, and followed their profile very closely.

e.  Baltimore got great value, as usual, with Michael Oher and Paul Kruger.

 f.  Cincinnati picked two productive guys with character red flags, in Andre Smith, and Rey Maualuga.

 g.  I liked Cleveland's trade with the Jets, but the guys they picked sort of made this a loser of a first day.

 h.  The Steelers kind of bombed too, with no offensive line help appearing.

 i.   Houston improved their defense with Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin, and will be in the playoff mix this season.

 j.   For Indianapolis, I like Donald Brown, and am less high on Fili Moala, but mostly, I wonder why no WR?

 k.  Jacksonville set out to solidify the OT spot, and did so resoundingly with Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton.

 l.   Tennessee got good value with Kenny Britt and Sen'Derrick Marks, though neither projects as a star.

 m.  Oakland did the Al Davis shuffle, and picked two guys who are going to be busts.

 n.  Kansas City reached for Tyson Jackson, but he'll be a good player for them.

 o.  San Diego picked a good player in Larry English, but Ryan Clady will dominate him regularly.

3.  And now, NFC One-Liners!!!! Double-Yay!!!!!

 a.  Dallas sat out, which created an ironical situation which was used to stupidly criticize Denver's desire to jump in for Alphonso Smith.

 b.  The Giants did very well, taking 3 guys who will start sooner rather than later (Nicks, Sintim, Beatty.)

 c.  Philadelphia continued to overhaul its offense by getting good pick values for Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy.

 d.  Washington kept their first-rounder (!!) and took Orakpo, who hopefully isn't soft and used to being coddled, like nearly all former Texas Longhorns.

 e.  Chicago sat out also, because like their QB, they're too cool for school.

 f.  Guru and I disagree, but I like Detroit's Day 1 performance, especially Brandon Pettigrew.

 g.  For the Packers, great pick on Raji, and questionable pick on Clay Matthews, given their roster.

 h.  Minnesota did great with Percy Harvin, and added a potential good RT in Loadholt.

 i.  Atlanta got a good player in Peria Jerry, and a high-risk/high-return player in William Moore.

 j.  Carolina was kind of meh, in my opinion, but I get what they were doing.

 k.  I hope New Orleans isn't planning on leaving Malcolm Jenkins in a lot of one-on-one island situations.

 l.  Josh Freeman will eventually be a very good NFL QB for the Buccaneers.

 m.  Arizona strengthened themselves with Wells and Brown.

 n.  Taking Jason Smith and James Laurinaitis was like hitting back to back doubles for the Rams.

 o.  The Niners did well to land Michael Crabtree, but the decision to trade out of the second round was weird.

 p.  The Seahawks are going to be back to being competitive this season, given decent health, and Curry and Unger will start right away.

4.  Teams which gave me a warm fuzzy include Baltimore, Miami, Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle, Minnesota, New England, the Giants, and our own Broncos.

5.  Teams which I judge to have spit the bit include Dallas, Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, New Orleans, Carolina, Pittsburgh, and most especially, Oakland.

6.  Did I mention that I think John Clayton is a fool?

7.  Retired for John Elway.

8.  NFL Network did a terrific job with the coverage of the Draft, with the exception of occasionally letting Jamie Dukes appear on their air.  He claims that Florida State is the Harvard of the south.  All I know is, I spent 6 years in Jacksonville, and the least bright people in town are overwhelmingly the people wearing garnet and gold, so I think he's incorrect about his alma mater.

Anyway, the things that ESPN does which make me want to throw something didn't happen on NFLN, and it was most refreshing.  Minimal cliches, no Berman pomposity, a complete lack of Kiper irritability, and zero terrible suits (even from Prime Time!!!!)  Kudos to them for doing a good job.