Thanks to late Sunday calls, Larry Grant and Kirk Barton will be getting a chance to prove they belong at the next level. Both were taken in the seventh round, Grant by San Francisco and Barton by the Bears.
Aside from the thrill of, you know, hearing your name called in the NFL draft, Grant will surely see his streak of consecutive championship game losses ended with the 49ers and Barton missed "Mr. Irrelevance" status by 5 spots. So, happy thoughts all around.
Fullback Dionte Johnson was not selected and will try to make teams via the free agency route. Johnson's dad, the defensive line coach in New England (you may have heard of him), has enough contacts in the league to at least get Dionte some looks.
But back to Gholston -- how will a guy that seems so shy and humble handle the fans and media in New York? Jets fans at the draft seemed to like the pick, chanting "VER-non GHOL-ston" leading up to the selection (while impressively keeping their bearing to break into boos when it was announced that the Pats were on the clock).
Aside from those at the draft, the New York media and fans appear to be more split on the selection, however. Fans wanted McFadden in the worst way and there was supposedly a failed attempt to trade for Chris Long. You can read into the fact that the Jets waited 9:23 into their alloted 10 minutes to make the pick, but I'm not sure if that means anything these days (see: picks one through four).
For the pro-Gholston faction, the Jets got a freak of nature that will stack their linebacker corps and took a guy the Patriots were rumored to be coveting.
One commenter summed up the manic minds of Jets fans:
"The Jets canâ€™t win with some of you. Take Gohlstonâ€”terrible move, workout wonder. Pass on Gohlston and have the Pats take himâ€”Jets are outsmarted, Pats are geniuses."
This statement is not only correct, but further underscores whey the league must never move the draft out of NYC.
The coach is going to say the right things, but I still liked what Mangini had to say about Gholston:
"I'm always happy with sacks in bunches," Mangini deadpanned.
Asked if Gholston could be overrated because of his amazing combine workout, where he blew away scouts with a 4.67 time in the 40, Mangini replied almost incredulously, "He broke the sack record at Ohio State."
Still, Gholston will need a thick hide. If he's up to the challenge and can perform in this city, they'll love him like he can't imagine. If he is slow to adjust... As a fan, I'm at least comforted a little knowing that Nugent and Mangold will be there to help him settle in.
OTHER DRAFT NOTES:
- The Pac-10 lead all conferences with 34 total selections. The ACC finished second with 33, the SEC was third with 32 and the Big 12 and Big Ten round out the top five with 28 and 27 selections respectively.
- How was this man not drafted? Patriotic Americans demand answers.
- What a terrible receiver class. Justin Keller, a tight end, was the first receiver taken at #30 (and he was roundly booed by disapproving Jets fans). The first wide receiver wasn't taken until the 2nd round and it was little known Donnie Avery out of Houston. Do you think the draft crossed Robo's mind this weekend?
- Need further proof that Jets fans are a little out there. Check out this weeks-old post on a Jets blog. I think it was written by Ali G. To his credit, he was high on Gholston.