With the 2014 NFL Draft now in the books, things that were hazy a few days ago are now clear. Questions regarding the NFL futures of several Alabama players are now answered…or at least starting points have been determined. And the wisdom regarding the decisions of some Tide underclassmen to come out is now under the microscope.
But before we go there, check out these headlines on AL.com from Saturday morning:
Keep in mind, the Alabama player pictured went in the 2nd round, while the Auburn player wasn’t taken till the 3rd. We’ve beaten the drum about media bias in Alabama for years; this is just another small taste. Through the first three rounds, Alabama and Auburn had the same number of players selected…by virtue of round selection Bama even had a slight edge. But the headline spin paints a positive for Auburn while a negative for Alabama. Just pointing this bias out, again.
Cyrus K to the Bills in the 2nd
On to more important things, following the 1st round selections of CJ Mosley and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, offensive tackle Cyrus Koundjio became the Tide’s 3rd player taken in this year’s draft, going in the 2nd round to Buffalo as their 2nd pick (the 44th player taken overall). Their first pick (#4) was Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. Kouandjio becomes the 9th offensive lineman taken in the NFL Draft in the Nick Saban era at Alabama. Of those, seven (7) were selected in the first three rounds.
Speaking of media bias, if you were to watch SEC games on CBS the last few seasons, you would’ve thought quarterbacks Aaron Murray, AJ McCarron and Zach Mettenberger would’ve been taken long before Saturday’s draft clean-up duty. In his broadcasts of Georgia games, were you able to hook a generator to Gary Danielson’s mouth, just on the CBS color analyst’s praise of Murray alone you could light the city of Atlanta for four days. Similar praise was volleyed for AJ and Mettenberger. But when it came time for the NFL money to change hands, QB’s from Eastern Illinois, Fresno State and Central Florida were tapped looong before these three.
Of course, for years CBS has had a contract with the SEC to broadcast their “Game of the Week,” obviously standing to gain from any hype (manufactured or natural) generated from viewer interest. But this variance of NFL scout and CBS analyst opinion just leads me to ponder, how much of what we buy into in the fall is real, and how much of it is a media creation?
Oh, AJ. The 2014 NFL Draft was especially brutal if you were pulling for him to have a good weekend. Between the self-projections (of “going between #16 – #35 overall) to all the tweets, to the reports of his attitude and meeting cancellations rubbing teams the wrong way, McCarron’s draft stock plummeted like a shot turkey crashing to the earth.
I still maintain that his body of work should have had him drafted before Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, Pitt’s Tom Savage or Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas…Logan Thomas is awful…but something happened in the minds of NFL owners making McCarron poison. Nobody wanted any part of him.
May we all learn from McCarron in whatever line of work you’re in. Nobody likes a cocky punk unless the cocky punk is thought to be a can’t miss sparkplug, bringing instant success to your franchise. AJ isn’t thought to bring that kind of “add water and win” type ability, so in the eyes of NFL owners everywhere, he’s just a cocky punk. Hopefully today’s lesson in humility was well received. And hopefully his fiance’ can comfort him in his time of need.
War Ram Eagle…Phhssshhhhh
Shifting an eye to the never tiring hype machine in Lee County, Auburn’s Tre Mason was taken in the 3rd round by St. Louis where he’ll join his former teammate Greg Robinson. Have you heard? Mason eclipsed Bo Jackson’s single season rushing record!! That’s a standard nugget the barners like to throw out. They served up the same tired sound byte early and often when Michael Dyer did the same thing.
Nevermind that Bo’s playing days didn’t include a 12th regular season game, nor did it factor in a league title game between the regular season and the bowl game. And B-b-b-o’s team’s offensive bread and butter wasn’t hurrying up to the line of scrimmage to try and catch you before you were ready…Auburn still played man football in the 80’s. But, if it sounds good, the Auburn hype machine will spew it for the underlings to slurp it up. And slurp it they do…with two straws. Oh you dumb, predictable barners. Facts are such a hassle for you.
Keep these facts in tow as well: It’s worth mentioning that Rams Coach Jeff Fisher’s son played at Auburn; their GM Les Snead is an Auburn grad, and former Aubie Barrett Trotter is a Rams scouting assistant. Similar to Ozzie Newsom’s affinity for Bama players in Baltimore, the Auhbuhn Fambly may now have a chapter in St. Louis. In a related note, Auburn’s style of play and late Rams draftee Michael Sam have a lot in common.
Final draft tidbits:
• 41 players from the 2011 Alabama/LSU games have been drafted. No wonder those games were so good.
• 102 under classmen came out in this year’s draft. After the three “money rounds,” only 41 had been selected. Much of the remaining 61 were probably certain they’d hear their names called.
C’mon 2014 underclassmen…learn from the mistakes of your elders. Please? If you’re gonna get paid, come out. If not, stay put.
• Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin has had four 1st rounders over the past two drafts, with tons more being taken in later rounds, but A&M has yet to so much as win their division. You’d think that much talent would translate to hardware. Of course, the same can be said of Les Miles…maybe more so.
• Much to my surprise, former Bama safety Vinnie Sunseri was taken in the 5th round by New Orleans. I’m glad I didn’t bet on this, but good for him. Hopefully he’ll continue to prove me wrong.
• Nick Saban should make a life size picture of Adrian Hubbard and put it somewhere in the Mal Moore Athletic Complex. Under it should just be the words “Listen to me.” Hubbard came out, seemingly against the coach’s advice, and finished the weekend undrafted. Going back to the earlier point above, if you’re gonna get paid come out. If your uncle is just telling you you’re gonna get paid, stay in school and improve your draft stock. I promise you, Nick Saban knows what he’s talking about and isn’t trying to stick it to you.
• Bama’s draft total for 2014 reads like this:
1. CJ Mosley 17th – Ravens
1. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 21st – Packers
2. Cyrus Kouandjio 44th – Bills
4. Kevin Norwood 123rd – Seahawks
5. Ed Stinson 160th – Cardinals
5. AJ McCarron 164th – Bengals
5. Vinnie Sunseri 167th – Saints
6. Jeoffrey Pagan 177th – Texans
• Alabama head coach Nick Saban has now had 41 players drafted in his time in Tuscaloosa, just a handful shy of a complete NFL roster. What would that depth chart look like?
• Bama landed 8 in this year’s draft. Auburn only had 4. Florida State only had 7. Someone please get Danny Kannell on the phone and tell him to shut his pie hole. FSU’s Auburn-esque flash-in-the-pan last season was cute, but daddy is still daddy. Only LSU had more players taken than Bama (9).
• Player selections by conference: SEC (48), ACC (42), Pac-12 (34), Big 10 (29), Big 12 & Mountain West (16 each)