I took a look at what I thought were the “bests” of the 2011 NFL draft yesterday, here my five “worsts”:
5. Browns call the wrong guy
Don’t feel bad if you had a hard time keeping Cameron Jordan, a defensive end from Cal, and Jordan Cameron, a tight end from USC, straight, you aren’t alone. Cameron Jordan was drafted by the Saints with the 24th pick in the first round. He was at the Saints facility on Saturday when he received a call from the Cleveland Browns and had to explain to the Browns representative that he is not the guy they selected with the fifth pick in the fourth round. Oops. See the Shutdown Corner article for more on this strange story.
4. Atlanta’s trade up for Julio Jones
I’m glad I’m not a Falcons fan. As Lions fans, we may be gun-shy about highly drafted wide receivers thanks to Matt Millen’s reign of terror but at least he didn’t mortgage the future by handing away a bounty of other picks to make his selections (Millen wasted them on his own, thank you very much). The move up to take Julio Jones sixth overall cost Atlanta the 27th, 59th and 109th overall picks in this draft and their first and fourth rounders next year. A high price for the draft’s second best receiver.
3. Bears stall trade talks, time expires on Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens thought they had a trade worked out for the Chicago Bears to move up to the 26th pick in the first round only to have the Bears back out at the (literally) last second. The clock expired on the Ravens and the Chiefs made the 26th pick. Former Vikings coach Mike Tice took a lot of heat when the team picked two slots later than planned due to clock issues of their own. Where is Tice coaching now? Chicago, the team that caused this problem for the Ravens. The damage was minimal, if anything, as the Ravens selected Jimmy Smith 27th overall.
2. Roger Goodell looks like a fool
The commissioner’s annually takes the podium to declare the opening of the NFL draft. Fans typically greet the ceremonial gesture with rapid enthusiasm. They were certainly rabid this year, although the tone was decidedly different in the wake of contentious labor negotiations between the league and its players. Boos rained down on Roger Goodell and chants of “we want football” reverberated through Radio City Music Hall. Through it all, Roger Goodell either appeared stunned by the chilly greeting or surprised at the length of the vociferous response. The man who heads the league known for power and strength was incapable of quelling the crowd, instead he offered weak responses in an attempt to indicate his agreement with frustration over the current labor situation.
1. Mark Herzlich goes undrafted
There can be no cries of injustice and draft pundits weren’t particular surprised, but it was sad to see Mark Herzlich go undrafted. The Boston College linebacker was once considered a budding top draft choice until a cancer diagnosis put the brakes on his football career. Herzlich returned to the field this past college football season but wasn’t the same impact player he was before battling cancer. Still, there was a possibility that some team would use a late round pick on him in hopes that his strength returns to 100% and he remains cancer-free. Judging by the fact that Herzlich was even in position to be considered as a 2011 draft choice means that this point is much more likely to be a beginning than an end. Mark was selected in the 10th round of the UFL draft and now faces a decision about signing with the Omaha Nighthawks or waiting for his opportunity in an NFL training camp.