I’ve never been a huge fan of the NFL draft. I covered the league for 10 years but always thought the draft was absurdly long and needlessly drawn out. The first round could be done in an hour and a half – it’s not like the teams don’t know who is available, they’ve done nothing but study that for four months. (Quick story: I did a draft day story with former Wisconsin defensive tackle Wendell Bryant in 2002. When the Cardinals went on the clock with the 12th pick, they called Bryant immediately to tell him he was their pick. He stayed on the phone with them the entire time – so it’s not like they were scouting out trades. They didn’t bring the card to the podium until a couple seconds were left on their 15-minute clock, presumably so ESPN could talk about the Cardinals for 15 minutes while they were on the clock. That’s why the first round takes like 93 hours.)
Anyway, a lot of folks other than me will be watching (if I needed another reason to pass, this ABSURD op-ed piece by Roger Goodell has pushed me far away from the NFL table until the labor situation is settled), and Jeremy Mauss of the Mountain West Connection blog is doing a great job on his MWC/NFL draft coverage. I’d recommend everyone check it out. He has taken the Sporting News’ full seven-round mock draft and highlighted which Mountain West players TSN thinks will be selected. There are 20 players on that list (no Reggie Rembert, or any other Air Force player) and I won’t steal his work by listing them here. Go to his blog.
The most interesting Mountain West player this year, by far, is TCU quarterback Andy Dalton. I’ve seen him projected in the middle rounds, and today ESPN’s blogger mock draft had him going 12th overall. I’m not quite as passionate about Ramsey when it comes to Dalton, but I do think 12th is a bit insane. I don’t think Dalton will be a great starter in the NFL, but I’ve been wrong plenty of times before. I’ll try one more prediction then – the best Mountain West player in this draft will be San Diego State receiver Vincent Brown.