The first day of the 2007 NFL draft is over and it has properly kicked everyone's ass. Coverage Coverage started on ESPN at 6PM Friday night and Saturday saw 12 hours of stats, highlights and massive amounts of gas exiting the network talking heads. I think Deadspin put it best: "No matter what I look at now, a tree, a drunken hobo, a bag of cocaine, I see a scrolling 'team needs' bar underneath it." I want to cut the WWL some slack, because the NFL Draft is their baby. They've been with it from the beginning and are a major reason why it's the monster event it is today, but come on.
There was good news for Buckeye wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez as they were each selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Ginn went #9 to the Miami Dolphins, while Gonzalez was taken with the last pick of the opening round by the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.
The two became just the 4th set of wideouts from the same team taken in the first round of the draft. Ike Hilliard and Reidel Anthony were taken out of Florida in the first round of the 1997 draft. Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne were Hurricanes snatched in the first round of the 2001 draft. Amazingly, a mere twenty minutes before Gonzalez was selected, LSU's Craig Davis was taken by San Diego, joining teammate Dwayne Bowe as the 3rd pair of wide receivers taken from the same school in the first round of a draft. The first two pairs from the same school to go in the first round were a hex on their respective quarterbacks as the NFL careers of Danny Wuerffel and Ken Dorsey never got going. Time will tell how #1 overall pick JeMarcus Russell and the yet to be drafted Troy Smith's careers will play out.
The Ginn pick shocked and angered Dolphin fans who were counting on Brady Quinn coming to South Florida. Coach Cam Cameron came out to boos as he was trying to talk up the pick to a Miami draft party. The Dolphins better hope they can bring in Trent Green because you've got anonymous ESPN anchors saying things like "The Dolphins will trade Culpepper for a bag of coffee grounds." If the Fins don't address their quarterback situation, Ginn could be put into a position to fail. Even with the special teams openings made possible with the departure of Wes Welker, Ginn is in a tough spot without major quarterback help. Oh, he's fast and he'll make some plays in the return game, but he'll also need to make a mark at the wide receiver spot or Dolphins fans will never forgive him. Personally, I'm just waiting to see photos from Ginn's draft bash in Cleveland where he was sporting a lime green tie and shoes.
As a Buckeye fan, you have to love the Gonzalez pick by the Colts. Gonzo is in a situation where he can step in at the third receiver spot vacated by the departure of Brandon Stokely. His work ethic, intelligence, grit and precision routes coupled with the fact that he'll be working with the most cerebral quarterback in the game should equate to an immediate impact. Mel Kiper, in a moment of clarity, said Gonzalez was a "younger, more talented version of Stokely."
Quinn Pitcock was the only other Buckeye selected on the first day, going late in the third to Indianapolis. He'll have a golden opportunity to help the Colts shore up some of their defensive holes. In somewhat of a surprise, running back Antonio Pittman is still on the board. Pittman had a bit of buzz heading into the draft based on his excellent 40 times, but 9 other running backs have already been taken in the first three rounds including chronic underachiever Lorenzo Booker of Florida State and Penn State's Tony Hunt.