I find myself going back and forth from ESPN’s draft coverage and NFL Network’s and here are some meandering thoughts:
· Chris Berman needs to give it up. He brings NOTHING to the table and just like the last few drafts, he seems poorly prepared.
· Mel Kiper, Jr. remains the ESPN star and his passion is contagious. That said I do enjoy Mike Mayock’s take as well as that of Charles Davis on NFL Network.
· Adam Shefter far outshines Chris Mortensen who like Berman has worn out his usefulness.
· ESPN has to be benefitting from NFL Network incessant replays of the Alyssa Milano and the Play 60 spots. I think it’s time for NFLN to hire some account execs to sell ads.
· Cam Newton has been well-coached and delivered smooth albeit canned answers during his pressers. It reminds me a bit of the end of Bull Durham when Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) addresses media questions after being coached up by veteran Crash Davis (Kevin Costner). Newton is a poser and come September, he’ll be EXposed.
· As for the war rooms, first blush suggests that the Tampa Bay Bucs, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins have all outperformed many of their previous draft day efforts.
Today I expect the Ravens to get a pass rusher, a RB and a backup quarterback. The name of Christian Ballard has been mentioned quite a bit but word is he was a drug flunky at the NFL Combines. That said the Ravens are dialed in tightly with the Iowa staff and I’m sure they have a solid read on Ballard.
A running back will do two things for the Ravens: 1) provide a fresh look to spell Ray Rice and; 2) allow them to cut ties with Willis McGahee who is set to earn $6 million this coming season. The saved money can be used when free agency opens up to sure up areas of need not addressed in this draft.
As for backup QB, I’m thinking Greg McElroy from Ozzie Newsome’s alma mater the University of Alabama. McElroy is a smart quarterback who could be a long-time backup for Joe Flacco without really pushing for the starting position. Think Frank Reich to Jim Kelly during the Bills’ heyday.