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News » Trying to make sense of a crazy NFL draft

Trying to make sense of a crazy NFL draft

Trying to make sense of a crazy NFL draft
HOUSTON - The NFL draft is nuts.

One of these days I'm going to make my way out to Radio City Music Hall and share in the mayhem. Who doesn't love those crowd shots of beer guzzlers in their favorite NFL jerseys reacting to their team's picks; half of them going berserk when their pick is announced while the other half shakes their collective heads as if to say: quot;What were we thinking?quot;

The message is simple: It's a crapshoot, but a fun crapshoot that gets us all lathered up for the Football season.

Here are my impressions from Day 1:

Quietest owner: Jerry Jones, Cowboys

At first glance at Saturday's second round, it appeared Dallas had replaced the Minnesota Vikings as the league's war room laughingstock.

Television cameras showed Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones feverishly working the bat phone with the 51st pick while head coach Wade Phillips stood by looking bewildered as usual.

And just when you thought the Cowboys were the biggest circus since Barnum & Bailey, we find out Jerry Jones traded that pick to the Buffalo Bills and it wasn't for Terrell Owens, though I would have been all for it.

Dallas did not make a pick in the first two rounds for the first time since 1980. Can't wait to see what they do with those 12 remaining picks. Maybe they can invite former Minnesota coach Mike Tice to the war room to help them, eh, move things along.

The Bengals being the Bengals:

Much maligned Cincinnati brass men Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis have taken plenty of criticism for bringing in players with character issues, but the Bengal nation lauded them for promising to clean up that locker room.

So what did the new-look Bengals do with their first two picks? They took Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith in the first round, then selected Southern Cal linebacker Rey Maualuga in the second.

Tide coach Nick Saban suspended Smith for the Sugar Bowl for improper contact with an agent, then the kid showed up out of shape for the NFL rookie combine and didn't work out. Then he left.

Maualuga was arrested in college on suspicion of battery, and USC coach Pete Carroll benched him one game for his conduct at a party. YouTube viewers have seen his clip, co-starring unsuspecting ESPN reporter Erin Andrews.

Who knows? Maybe the two will each play for 10 years and make All-Pro teams, but you would think the Bengals brain trust would be trying to steer clear of players who have checkered pasts.

Biggest non-surprise: Oakland Raiders

With can't-miss prospect Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech sitting in the green room awaiting that phone call, the Man in the White Jumpsuit went and picked Maryland wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh overall pick.

Heyward-Bey is a good player, but he is no Crabtree.

Davis is obsessed with 40 times, and Heyward-Bey's 4.3 clocking was enough for Davis to bypass Crabtree.

Guess what, Al? A fast 40 isn't a guarantee for greatness.

How many receivers ran slowly and became Hall of Famers? Let's start with Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin. Of late, Larry Fitzgerald didn't burn up the 40. He turned out OK.

Best jack of all trades: Connor Barwin, Houston Texans

Houston found another defensive end to complement Mario Williams. Barwin, taken in the second round after first-round choice Brian Cushing, may end up backing up Steve Slaton the way the Texans brass raved about him Saturday.

He played defensive end, linebacker, tight end and H-back at Cincinnati, and Houston coach Gary Kubiak is ready to play him all over the defensive line.

Did we mention Barwin played for the Bearcats basketball team as a walk-on in 2006?

quot;If you can get athletes that are intense and add that to your group, it enhances your ability to play good defense,'' said general manager Rick Smith.

Most intriguing pick: Pat White to the Dolphins

White could represent the second coming of the Slash position, and given Miami coach Tony Sparano's penchant for the Wildcat formation, look for the West Virginia quarterback to get some looks at quarterback and receiver.

That's the only explanation that makes sense with Bill Parcells already solidly behind Chad Pennington and Chad Henne at quarterback.

White impressed scouts in private workouts with his accuracy, but I think this was a case of Parcells taking the best athlete remaining on the board, even if the 6-foot, 197-pound White doesn't fit into Parcells' preference for a big Football player.

Last green room guy: Michael Oher to the Ravens at No. 23

The subject of Michael Lewis bestseller quot;The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,quot; Oher was the feel-good story of the first day.

Once homeless and functionally illiterate, he found himself a millionaire Saturday. The Ravens think they have found their next Jonathan Ogden at left tackle.

The Ole Miss star was the last player left in the draft's green room.

With what this kid has overcome in his young life, it was well worth the wait.

cgolden@statesman.com; 912-5944

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 26, 2009

Anthony Weaver Name: Anthony Weaver
Position: DE
Age: 27
Experience: 7 years
College: Notre Dame
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