Saturday, April 27, 2013

Studs and Duds: A Rough Draft

By Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello

Studs and Duds is a weekly feature on Suite Sports. Who had a good week? Who had a bad week?


Patrick Beverley

The Rockets inserted Beverley into the starting lineup for Wednesday's Game 2 against Oklahoma City. Beverley responded, playing 41 minutes (second-most on the team behind James Harden), and he scored 16 points, pulled down 12 rebounds (five offensive), dished out six assists, and shot 53.8 percent from the field. There's more than a little buzz around the NBA blogosphere that it might be Beverley, not Jeremy Lin, who is Houston's best point guard. Plus, his name is Beverley, so puns aplenty.

He's the real deal.  


Big Uglies

This year's NFL Draft may have been abominably weak at quarterback and running back, but the order was absolutely stacked with quality offensive linemen and interior defensive linemen. We all know the stats: Two OL picked to start things off, only one skill player taken in the top-10, more lineman taken in the first round than any other draft.

But this wasn't just about the first round, there is some serious depth here.

Consider the fact that players like Purdue DT Kawann Short and Florida State OT Menelik Watson (guys with "First Round Grades") both fell to the second round, and Alabama's stud nose tackle Jesse Williams STILL HASN'T BEEN PICKED!!! So, if you needed a franchise quarterback, it wasn't your year. But, if you needed somebody that can alter the point of attack in your favor, this was your draft.


Aaron Rodgers

Finally, someone becomes the latest "highest paid football player ever" and actually deserves it. I guess I'd give it to a Super Bowl champ/MVP that is playing at an elite level over Tony Romo.


The New York Jets

I told you they were gonna do it!!! Those tricky Jets, they've cornered the backup quarterback market for the foreseeable future! Yesterday, the Jets added Geno Smith to such clipboard holding-worthy names as Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, David Garrard and Greg McElroy.

The only regret the Jets have at this point, I'm sure, is that they couldn't quite land Kevin Kolb this off-season. Brilliant work guys!



The Knees of NBA Point Guards

 Chris Paul tore his meniscus in 2010. Ricky Rubio tore his ACL in 2012. Derrick Rose tore his ACL in 2012. Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in 2013. Russell Westbrook tore his meniscus this week.

Can we just put Steph Curry and Ty Lawson's knees on 24-hour watch? Just to be safe.


The Los Angeles Lakers Training Staff

Things are just going bad to worse, health-wise, for the Lakers. First they lose Kobe Bryant to a season-ending Achilles injury, then Steve Nash needs an epidural to deal with the pain in his legs (for the uninformed, that's the same thing they give to women before childbirth to deal with the imminent pain associated with passing a human being out of their vagina), Jodie Meeks went down with an injury, Nash and Blake missed Game 3, and now Metta World Peace is questionable for Game 4. There's an entirely realistic scenario in which the Lakers perimeter rotation for Game 4 prominently features Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris, Chris Duhon, and Devin Ebanks.

No, I'm serious, that's not a joke. This is real life.      


Drafting on "Potential"

Listen, I'm all for looking at what a player can be, rather than what he is. But, there are limits. For instance, the first three pass rushers taken in the NFL Draft (Dion Jordan at No. 3 to Miami, Ziggy Ansah at No. 5 to Detroit and Barkevious Mingo at No. 6 to Cleveland) combined for 14 sacks last season.

That would be a pretty good season for ONE top-10 pick, but it took three of them to accumulate those pass rush totals. Then take, for example, Georgia's Jarvis Jones who fell to Pittsburgh at No. 17. Jones had 14.5 sacks by himself last season, and did so facing double teams in America's toughest college football conference.

Again, I'm all for potential, and I like all three of those guys as prospects, but something is off when production is that low and we think so highly of them.

Also, the Bills taking EJ Manuel in the first round.... I mean, seriously? Did they even watch him play?


The Top of The NFL Draft

Any front office picking in the top 10 that wasn't at least LOOKING to trade down was doing a major disservice to their organization. There are no sure-fire blue-chip players in the draft; the only guy who comes close is Chance Warmack, and he's a Guard, so it's not like he's really a franchise-altering star. The first two picks were both Left Tackles - Kansas City took Eric Fisher of Central Michigan, and Jacksonville took Luke Joeckal of Texas A&M. But is there really a huge, outrageous difference between them and Justin Pugh (drafted 19th by the Giants) or Menelik Watson (42nd by the Raiders)?

Most scouts say no.

If your team is in desperate need of an Offensive Tackle or a pass rusher on defense, this is the draft for you, because there are about seven of each of them with really substantial difference between them. Anything else, though, you're out of luck.