When the Cincinnati Bengals snapped up tight end Jermaine Gresham in the first round of last April's NFL draft, many Bengals fans groaned. What?!?! they cried. Bob "Jane" Bratkowski is an ignorant slut who doesn't know how to use the TE! Others pointed to the fact Gresham was coming off a season-ending injury. Just what we need, another prime candidate for injured reserve. And still others slagged his ability. Rob Gronkowski is better and we could have gotten him in the second round!
For the record, I loved the pick. And also for the record, I may be horribly wrong. But less than two months after the draft, I already feel more comfortable with Jermaine, who has gotten nothing but solid reviews, than I think I would have with some of the other alternative picks bandied about before the draft.
This was brought home to me today after hearing reports that one popular choice for the Bengals in April, former Notre Dame WR Golden Tate, did his best Homer Simpson last weekend, robbing a doughnut store.
Tate, 21, is a rookie from Notre Dame chosen by the Seahawks in the second round. He lives in the building on one of the higher floors where the café was located, and he was not arrested nor cited. He received a warning, though.
Lucky he's not a Bengal and this didn't happen in Cincinnati or Covington, eh?
Anyhow, according to Tate, Top Pot Doughnuts' maple bars are "irresistible," so Bengals brass might want to keep an extra eye on Andre Smith if they ever go to Seattle.
Tate, however, wasn't anywhere near as popular an alternative pick as ex-USC safety Taylor Mays. Fortunately, Mays' demonstration of maturity during the draft softened the hit. Many fans wanted Dez Bryant, whose two-month-old NFL career can already be described as illness- and injury-ridden. And popular we-can-get-a-TE-later pick Rob Gronkowski isn't exactly climbing the depth chart in New England.
Yes, it's way early. I'm just noting for the record that I like the early trend.