April 29, 2006

2006 NFL Draft

Round 1:
#1 - Houston Texans: Mario Williams DE, N. Carolina St.
The Houston Texans ruined a draft day surprise by announcing their contract agreement with Mario Williams the night before. The Texans had better hope he's worth the money and that they didn't make as big of a mistake as everyone says they did.
#2 - New Orleans Saints: Reggie Bush RB, USC
Due to the Houston Texans taking Mario Williams, the Saints followed with an announcement of their own: they would be taking Reggie Bush. Now the Saints have a solid veteran and the top overall player in the draft at RB.
#3 - Tennessee Titans: Vince Young QB, Texas
Vince Young steps into a starting role in Tennessee, he might start slow, but he has a very big upside.
#4 - New York Jets: D'Brickashaw Ferguson OT, Virginia
The Jets chose to protect the QB, whoever it may be at any given time.
#5 - Green Bay Packers: AJ Hawk OLB, Ohio St.
The Packers went with the "safe pick" in Hawk, and he's definitely what they need on defense...although it may be their offense that actually needed help.
#6 - San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Davis TE, Maryland
They have bigger problems than any team in the league and it'll be a long time before you see these guys in the playoffs.
#7 - Oakland Raiders: Michael Huff CB, Texas
If you've noticed in the past, the Raiders like to draft DBs
#8 - Buffalo Bills: Donte Whitner S, Ohio St.
Yeah, ummm...
#9 - Detroit Lions: Ernie Sims OLB, Florida St.
The Lions need to watch the "Concussions to go" stat on the scoreboard, but a nice fit otherwise.
#10 - Arizona Cardinals: Matt Leinart QB, USC
What more could Leinart want? He's got two great WRs, a top RB and he's going to play this season when Kurt Warner gets his yearly 6 game injury.
#11 - Denver Broncos (Trade w/STL): Jay Cutler QB, Vanderbilt
#12 - Baltimore Ravens (Trade w/CLE): Haloti Ngata DT, Oregon
#13 - Cleveland Browns (Trade w/BAL): Kamerion Wimbley DE, Florida St.
#14 - Philadelphia Eagles: Brodrick Bunkley DT Florida St.
#15 - St. Louis Rams (Trade w/DEN(via ATL)): Tye Hill CB, Clemson
#16 - Miami Dolphins: Jason Allen S, Tennessee
#17 - Minnesota Vikings: Chad Greenway OLB, Iowa
#18 - Dallas Cowboys: Bobby Carpenter OLB, Ohio St.
#19 - San Diego Chargers: Antonio Cromartie CB, Florida St.
#20 - Kansas City Chiefs: Tamba Hali DE, Penn State
#21 - New England Patriots: Laurence Maroney RB, Minnesota
#22 - San Francisco 49ers (via DEN): Manny Lawson DE, N. Carolina St.
#23 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Davin Joseph OG, Oklahoma
#24 - Cincinnati Bengals: Johnathan Joseph CB, S. Carolina
#25 - Pittsburgh Steelers (Trade w/NYG): Santonio Holmes WR, Ohio St.
#26 - Buffalo Bills (Trade w/CHI): John McCargo DT, N. Carolina St.
#27 - Carolina Panthers: Deangelo Williams RB, Memphis
#28 - Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcedes Lewis TE, UCLA
#29 - New York Jets (via DEN): Nick Mangold OC, Ohio St.
#30 - Indianapolis Colts: Joseph Addai RB, LSU
#31 - Seattle Seahawks: Kelly Jennings CB, Miami Fl.
#32 - New York Giants (Trade w/PIT): Mathias Kiwanuka DE, Boston College

Round 2 started with several pick for pick trades and one that sent Javon Walker to the Denver Broncos for a 2nd round pick(37th overall).

Round 2 picks (ESPN.com)
Round 3 picks (ESPN.com)

Starting Early

Wow, the 2006 NFL draft is technically starting a little early this year, Mario Williams IS a Houston Texan as of tonight when he agreed to a six-year, $54 million contract ($26.5 of that guaranteed). I'd say that this would anger the Houston fan base...if they had a fan base. This an unexpected outcome indeed, even after the news broke that Mario Williams could be the first pick two weeks ago. I had my "what if"s about it, I talked about it, and nobody thought it was possible. Apparently the impossible has just happened.

Will this go down as one of the biggest draft mistakes in NFL history or will it pay off? I guess only time will tell. Another question would be that even if this backfires in the Texan's faces, will it be as bad as the Chargers drafting Ryan Leaf?

The New Orleans (or wherever they're playing this season) Saints are reportedly prepared to take Reggie Bush with pick #2 and stated that they're not interested in trading, but will entertain offers.

Now whose 2006 NFL mock draft hasn't been effectively destroyed?

April 18, 2006

Kobe is no MVP

Kobe, Kobe, Kobe...I would like to know why so many people are calling for Kobe Bryant to be the 2005-06 NBA MVP. "Kobe scored 81 points in a game"...so what? That makes him the MVP? That put him in the lead for the scoring title and nothing else.

It seems like all people care about anymore is scoring, and that team play like the Pistons, Spurs & Suns is "boring". I hear people giving Kobe credit for "leading the Lakers into the playoffs"...ummm, they have the 7th spot in the west, that's not much to celebrate. It's already bad enough that people are praising him for scoring 40 points in losses. The only thing the Lakers have to thank for their playoff slot are the Jazz, Sonics, and Timberwolves for having horrible seasons. It almost makes me forget that Phil "The Zen Master" Jackson is coaching this team.

Scoring the most points in the NBA is never a reason to award anyone the most valuable player award, that's why there's a scoring title. Although players have won the MVP and scoring titles in the same season before (it's been done nine times by five players; Pettit +2, Chamberlain +2, Abdul-Jabbar, McAdoo, & Jordan +3), the award is for playing unselfishly, having a positive impact, and being a leader on the court for a winning team, not simply for scoring.

The last time the MVP was awarded to a player not on one of the top teams in the league was in '88 (Michael Jordan).

Fact: Kobe Bryant is not and will never be Michael Jordan. The only number Kobe will have over him is total points scored in a career because if Kobe plays as long as Jordan did, he'll have played seven seasons longer than Jordan (didn't go to college and probably won't retire and come back twice). Well, he'll beat him in turnovers too.

I've never really understood why every big scorer gets the Jordan comparison. Vince Carter, Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway, and many more haven't filled the shoes so why keep comparing?

Like it or not, Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups are the top candidates for MVP this season, and statistically, it's pretty even. Nash is having a slightly better season than last year with 3 more points per game, but averaging 1 less assist per game. He's also succeeding despite the injury problems that Phoenix has had this season. Winning your division without your top scorer is pretty hard to do. Since he's the reigning MVP and put up just about the same numbers, he should get it, right?

Well, there's a player named Chauncey Billups who led the Pistons to the top record in the NBA and is a threat to Nash's possible back to back MVPs. Chauncey is having a career year in points, assists and 3 point percentage. While the stats are nearly identical, there is one significant difference: Nash has 3 more assists per game than Billups, but is 3rd in the NBA in turnovers while Billups is 48th in the league in turnovers and #1 in assists per turnover.

While Billups poses the biggest threat, Nash deserves it more. The Phoenix Suns succeeded without Amaré Stoudemire, who only played 9 games, and Kurt Thomas, who missed 30 games. Meanwhile Shawn Marion, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, James Jones, and Eddie House all had career years...and don't forget that they played without Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson who were traded in the offseason.

The voting should go like this:
1. Steve Nash
2. Chauncey Billups
3. Dirk Nowitzki
4. Kobe Bryant
5. LeBron James
6. Dwayne Wade

So Nash gets MVP...and Kobe goes home with the scoring title and a first round exit from the playoffs.