I'm a little tired at the moment, so I apologize if this post is less than stellar, but I can't go to bed before venting out what I'm grumbling about to myself. First of all, have our rookies been impressive so far, this year? Yes. However, what makes me cringe is the fact that I know Mike Brown is patting himself on the back and viewing this as vindication for not hiring an adequate scouting department. So, I thought I'd take a moment to analyze whether or not he (or Marvin with his limited scouting help) really deserves much credit.
Let's start off with Jermaine Gresham. If there was one glaring weakness we had (at least in my opinion), it was that we lacked an offensive threat at the TE position (other than Coffman who hasn't proven himself to be an adequate blocker - though I thought he looked a lot bigger than before this past Sunday) for Palmer to utilize. With the assumption that Odom would return to his once-hyped ability and Fanene could fill in, the picking of a TE in the first round was a no-brainer. And Grisham was pretty much the consensus top TE in the draft. So, I'm not giving much credit to MB on that one.
Next, Carlos Dunlap. Okay, the next weak spot we had was DE (despite the Odom's triumphant return). So, in the second round, what does Mike Brown do, as usual? He selects a projected number one draft pick (by many "experts") who somehow slipped to the second round because of charecter issues. Not to mention, all the other top DE's were taken ahead of him and the next DE selected wasn't until 18 picks later. So, Mike Brown rolls the dice on yet another talented player with a poor work ethic. Now, if you ask me, I believe the jury is still out on Dunlap, but I think MB got lucky on him. And I still want to know why it took Dunlap so long to get on the field. Yea, many of you are dissapointed in Marvin for supposedly not evaluating talent properly, but something had to be going on behind the scenes for Dunlap to be in Marvin's doghouse - which he might still be. And it concerns me...
Alright, moving to the third round. With aging Chad and the loss of Henry, reciever was a new concern. So, insert Jordan Shipley, who yes, I love as a slot reciever. But, let's be honest, reciever (especially slot recievers) is probably one of the most overrated positions and are the easiest to find. Plus, Shipley came from a big-time program in Texas, who also produced Quan Cosby the year before. So it's not like Mike Brown really had to do a lot of research just to find him. In fact, my guess is they noticed Shipley while they were looking at film of Cosby. So after two rolls of the dice on slot receivers from Texas, they finally nailed one. Great work, Mike.
Now, let's take a quick break here. What have we really figured out, which Mike Brown should have foreseen? Our RG is aging to the point where he is becoming inadequate and Livings/Mathis at LG don't cut it. So instead of picking an offensive lineman with our other third round pick to bolster the interior line.....
We select Brandon Ghee. Okay, with Joseph and Hall at CB's with Pacman on the horizon, can someone tell me why we picked another CB in the second round? I think I know the answer, which makes me want to throw up, and that is: because Mike Brown doesn't anticipate signing both JJo and Hall, so he is attempting to find a replacement for one of them. Ughhhh. Please tell me you don't see it that way. But rest assured,
Ghee has proven himself to be a very reliable CB we don't know anything about him, so he might still prove to be valuable...
Geno Atkins. Okay, talented player, proven to be an interior pass rushing force on third downs, who may have some potential. But, as an every-down DT who is a solid run-stuffing force who can crumble lines and be a disruption in the backfield on running plays, he doesn't quite cut it. And to be honest, so far it seems incorporating Geno into our defensive scheme has been similar to fitting a square peg into a circular hole (or however that stupid expression goes). Just not really sure about that pick yet. Plus, where did he come from? Georgia, another big-time program with high visibility who I think primarily caught the eye of MB with his impressive 40 time and combine workouts.
The one draft pick I might give credit to MB/Marvin for is Muckelroy in the fourth. Hopefully, he will pan out as a legitimate SAM LB, though this remains to be seen. And I hate to beat a dead horse here, but he came from Texas. Why can't we scout out legiimate players from small schools? Oh wait, that would require scouting...
In the fifth, we finally pick an offensive lineman. Great, now we get to
see hope he and the other seventh round
might potentially pan out. Way to protect your $118 million dollar investment in a non-mobile QB, Mike.
Oh, one other draft pick in Briscoe, who they thought was so great after picking him, they let him go to TB.
Bottom line, I don't believe Mike Brown deserves a lot of credit for this draft and it makes me angry to think that he is probably using this year's rookie class to validate himself as a GM and convince himself that he has finally gotten a grip on talent evaluation. Please, don't drink the Kool-aid.