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Wednesday Links and Notes: Draft, draft, draft

The creator of WhoDeyFans started up a new venture called Check 'em out. I've followed WhoDeyFans for a while now and they're always been pretty level-headed.

The Draft is great and all, and it adds for some killer fodder, but I'm ready for it to just begin.

More promoting that Shutdown Corner and SB Nation football blogs partnered for a Mock Draft.

Debating between that teams should either draft best available or based on need has never made sense to me. If the best player available was Matthew Stafford, and the Bengals picked first, obviously they're not drafting Stafford. But teams ALWAYS draft players based on needs in the end. And why does this argument suddenly fall silent after the first round. It's after the first round that teams actually build their foundation, not the first.

The Star-Ledger's Steve Politi writes a great piece about the NFL draft, titled "These days, it's the NFL Draft that's become the bust."

Fifty years ago, there were no mock drafts. There was no green room filled with soon-to-be millionaires in designer suits, no breathless coverage about whose stock is soaring or falling, no Mel Kiper Jr. with his endless reservoir of useless information and hair product.

Lee Grosscup was a fine college quarterback for Utah back then, and nobody knew his time in the three-cone drill or debated the merits of his arm strength. Then, one afternoon, his phone rang.

"Guess what?" the voice on the other end said. "The Giants just made you their first-round draft pick."

"The who?"

"The Giants!"

"The New York Giants?"

That was it.

Notice that EVERYONE thinks that the best solution is that the Bengals and Chad Johnson should part ways -- except of course Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis. As it happens, they're the only one's that matter. One blog writes that there's still a chance that the Eagles could make a play for Chad Johnson based on what happens with Anquan Boldin.

More in the way of ridiculous, Chad Johnson changed his name to Chad Ocho Cinco. However, that's incorrect. Apparently, it's now officially Ochocinco.

PFW writes, "Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer runs a traditional, fast-flowing 4-3 defense that he learned under Barry Switzer in Dallas, and he seeks to become more aggressive after spending his first year implementing the system last year."

NKY Sportsworld examines the Bengals offensive line. In their conclusion, the Bengals draft two offensive linemen; both of whom become instant starters. So their new line looks like this: LT - Levi Jones. LG - Andre Whitworth. C - Drafted Center. RG - Bobbie Williams. RT - Drafted Tackle. The only issue with this is that Jones starts, who is reportedly on his way out, while Collins backs up the newly drafted right tackle.

Even if the Lions acquire Aaron Curry with their first selection, it won't likely mean much for the Bengals. The Rams, Chiefs and Seahawks are projected with offensive tackle needs anyway.

Marvin Lewis said, “I don’t think we’re going in there saying we need to have a left offensive tackle. We have three guys who played the spot for us last year, so we’re not going into the draft thinking that way.”Alright. Left tackle, he says. Andre Smith is projected in the NFL as a right tackle. Hum.

Joe Reedy participated in a mock draft with several NFL beat writers. Reedy has the Bengals selecting Andre Smith. Good choice.

James Walker provides some draft thoughts. He thinks that the Bengals will get lucky and draft Eugene Monroe and that we'll go with a center in the second round. Fine by me.

The semaphore timeout period has expired.

What about an undersized defensive end that moves to outside linebacker? They're tweeners. Marvin Lewis has tried to develop them. Will this year be another effort?

Blitzburg rates the Bengals running backs as the worst in the AFCN, mostly blaming their mostly-weak 2008 performance on playing from behind.

Bleacher Report writes:

If Crabtree is gone at  No. 7, The Raiders will trade for Chad Johnson.  We get a very grateful receiver with a ton of talent, who could set the pace for our young receivers and teach them a thing or two, while they develop their skills. 

Setting aside that this sounds like a fact, there's a certain failure of understanding Chad Johnson's character; who call him grateful (which he would be probably until he's back to "losing") and a teacher (which he hasn't exhibited to our knowledge). Let's call him what he is. A great receiver that can benefit your offense if he feels up to playing for your team.

There's talk of the Eagles trading up to position themselves for Knowshon Moreno. Also, the Denver Broncos worked out Mark Sanchez, which the quarterback said went great. The Seahawks have often been targets of Sanchez. However, what's really crazy is that there's now talk of the Rams looking at Sanchez. Smoke? Sure. However, if the first two teams take a quarterback, that leaves three teams remaining before the Bengals pick -- which means we'll pick Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe or Aaron Curry, whomever is left.

Don Banks calls Pat White the most intriguing prospect in this year's draft.

Fox Sports writes that Percy Harvin and Brandon Tate have tested positive for marijuana back in February.

Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson features a piece detailing Willie Williams.

It’s a humble ending to a five-year college career that took him to a handful of schools: Miami (two seasons, one redshirt before transferring), West Los Angeles Community College (one season), Louisville (three games, ending after an arrest for marijuana possession), Division II Glenville State (one semester, before being denied transfer by the NCAA to the West Virginia school), and finally, tiny NAIA school Union College (one season) in Barbourville, Ky.

Indeed, Williams’ career has been nothing like many projected. Once considered the next great heir to a Miami linebacker lineage that includes Ray Lewis, Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams, his arrival with the Hurricanes was merely the first stop in a spiral that ended in the NAIA. Along the way, Williams’ painful history became riveting Internet fodder. Websites like Deadspin delighted in his every misstep. Message boards buzzed with each development. Among the lowlights, which Williams openly discusses:

• Eleven arrests in high school, most for petty larceny or burglary.

• A journal in the Miami Herald which spilled wild details of recruiting visits and caught attention from the NCAA.

• A recruiting visit to Florida where Williams discharged fire extinguishers in a hotel and was questioned by police for “hugging a female student against her will.”

• A transfer out of Miami after failing to crack the starting lineup as a true freshman.

• A traffic stop and arrest for marijuana possession at Louisville that ended in his dismissal from the team.

It can't be good that the NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (the guy that replaced the late Gene Upshaw) is without contract right before the league and NFLPA are set to work on a new CBA. I believe wide-ranging issues, in which time is running out, may last longer than the scheduled start of the 2011 football year.

Not a single Restricted Free Agent changed teams this year -- a first since 1993.

This concludes the longest links and notes posting ever.