It's been an exhausting Thursday and Friday night, at least exhausting for just sitting around and watching the draft. From the looks of it, it's been even more exhausting for you, our great readers... all 12,388 of you that visited the site yesterday, viewing over 25,000 pages. I cannot say how thrilled I am that so many people are participating in our open threads and enjoying our content. Absolutely great stuff from the community the past two days (like TennBengalFan's compilation of scouting reports and video on our favorite team's first 4 picks).
I present in return for your awesome loyalty and general greatness as readers, fans, and peers, a collection of excellent links that I don't think we've mentioned yet:
- NFL.com's free draft coverage has been nothing short of excellent. They offer unique, non-ESPN'd analysis of the draft. AND, here, you can view the NFL Network analysts' evaluations of the Gresham pick (which one voice mentioned in the same sentence as "Pro Bowl Tight End") and the Ghee pick. Ghee, as you may know, was the last player in the green room to be drafted. Absolutely great media. The NFL Network guys had him as a graded as a 2-3. He may be a great CB/FS acquisition - and an even better story as the last green room guy. You can never have enough good, motivated cover guys in a secondary.
- Speaking of audio/visual media, Bengals.com has a ton of it that you're not going to find anywhere on their Media Lounge page (and transcripts of the 3rd rd. press conference). Watch Jermaine Gresham talk, believably, about being the best tight end ever and tell me you're not inspired. Listen to Bob Bratkowski sound like he knows what he's doing with a tight end (he did coach Kellen Winslow Sr. at Mizzou, after all). You'll also find Mike Zimmer convincing you that Carlos Dunlap won't take plays off if he's coaching. Hear Marvin extol the virtue of Jordan Shipley's production, and (maybe?) mispronounce Brandon Ghee's name.
- Jordan Shipley is not Marshawn Gilyard, but he's really excited about playing in Cincinnati with his old friend Quan Cosby, against Colt McCoy, with Carson Palmer, and former rival Jermaine Gresham.
"I’ve been watching Carson for a long time, and I feel like he is as good of a quarterback as there is out there. Jermaine is also an unbelievable player. I’ve played against him the last couple years at OU. So to get to go to work with a couple of the best at their positions is going to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to get started."
- You'll also find some insight into the way Marvin thinks about picking guys. Winning, apparently, is big (but you have to click the jump to get there!):
"I think what’s big is that we got guys that all were on great football teams, so they’re used to winning. I think that’s a key element. They know what it takes to win big football games, and all these guys have played on winning teams. I think that’s big." - Marvin Lewis on draft strategy.
- Finally from Bengals.com, Mike Zimmer answered questions about Dunlap's motor.
"But I’ve been watching a lot of tape – way too much tape this time of year – and there are a lot of guys that have already gone off the board that take off a lot more plays than this guy."
- If you're into grades, here's Purple City Middie's fanpost (he gives the Bengals a B+, which I agree with), featuring a comment from Eagles fan einman77, ostensibly an impartial observer, who loves the Bengals first (2) day(s). Lucky Lester's first round grades are also out, with the Gresham pick a B+.
- Here's one list of the best players available, from Sports Illustrated. The rest are either from ESPN Insider, or not very coherent (NFL.com).