5:28: ESPN's coverage of the first round is coming to an end, as the draft moves over to ESPN2. However, I'm done with it for now. I'm gonna stick with ESPN, and the NBA playoffs. I may add more thoughts on the draft later on, but for now, I'm done with the live updates.
5:24: I'm still not sold on Roddy White, who I'd never heard of until about two hours ago. But he looks like he can stretch the field, which is what the Falcons need. If he can turn into a deep threat for Vick, it'll just make their entire offense better.
5:20: This ESPN U draft coverage is garbage. I watch the NFL draft to learn about the NFL, not college football.
5:16: That commercial for Gatorade Endurance Formula was kind of creepy. The message I got was "Drink Gatorade or Die!" Ummm, I'm gonna stick to Diet Coke.
5:13: With the Falcons on the clock, the War Room is getting pretty busy. Still, those two girls are sitting at that lonely table in the back. Maybe they're in charge of donuts, or coffee, or Mike Vick's STD testing. Who knows?
5:11: ESPN's crew seemed pretty speechless there for a second on the Chris Spencer pick by Seattle. He doesn't look bad on the film, but he doesn't seem like someone who can push people around in the running game and make holes for Shawn Alexander (assuming Alexander is still there when the season rolls around).
5:10: Chris Berman's being a little harsh when it comes to Seattle's receiving corps, but he does have a point. Someone needs to learn to catch on that team. I'm still not sure who this "Roddy White" guy is that Kiper's pushing on us. I'm not sold on small school wide receivers.
5:01: Jon Jansen if definitely trying to take the high road with analyzing his team's pick, but I'm not sure he's sold on this quarterback carousel that the 'Skins seem to be stuck on.
4:58: Wow, that was a tepid response from the crowd for the Jason Campbell pick. You'd think Giants fans would care more about who Washington picks. Maybe we can draft some more Auburn guys in the later rounds. Hey, they did go undefeated.
4:57: Looking at Mel's big board, Heath Miller, might actually be a good choice for the Joe Gibbs offense. Still, it looks like they're going with Jason Campbell.
4:45: Rodgers definitely looks like he's been crying. And they couldn't even get his name on the back of the Packers jersey, like some of the other top picks. Not good signs at all.
4:44: Now what does Joe Gibbs do here?
4:43: Sure looks like Rodgers is going now, based on his reaction there. Yep, he's got the smile of "I'm being picked now."
4:42: Wow, they just showed Green Bay's rankings from last year. 25th on defense?! Damn, they need to pick someone on that side of the ball, like Randy Mueller suggested.
4:41: Rodgers is actively working two cell phones right now. Which means either Green Bay or Washington is taking him. In fact, he might be talking to both teams, trying to work a trade, or he could be talking to his agent on one and some team on another. Either way, he's getting pretty pissed that he's still sitting in that damn room.
4:32: Wait, Oakland moved up for that? Were they worried that the Packers were looking at Fabian Washington? Or did they think someone else might trade up? I hope ESPN asks these questions, because I'm not so sure that move was worth a fourth round pick. And seriously, did Aaron Rodgers sleep with Paul Tagliabue's daughter or something? Because this is starting to get sad. It's been four hours.
4:28: Oh, an intriguing trade. What's Oakland got up its sleeve? Are they looking at Rodgers, or something else. I'd have to assume they want Rodgers, which puts the 'Skins back into the running for Jason Campbell at 25.
4:25: We're back into the "no surprises" portion of the draft, though that could change with the 'Skins second pick. Also, with Rodgers still on the board, could Green Bay look at drafting Brett Favre's eventual successor.
4:16: So the last minute (this morning) rumors were right, and Jacksonville did grab Matt Jones in the first round. He didn't stand a chance of falling to their pick in the second round. I think he's gonna be a Hines Ward type player, who does everything from the wide receiver position, and should at least make a big contribution on special teams in his rookie year.
4:14: So Aaron Rodgers is still sticking around, looking more and more like Rashard Lewis was that year in the NBA Draft (I think '99, but I'm not exactly sure).
4:08: Dallas has pretty much completed their conversion to the 3-4 with Marcus Spears. And I'm sure their marketing department is working on some kind of DeMarcus/Marcus marketing campaign. The possibilities are endless (and trite, but endless nonetheless).
4:00: Major props to Mel Kiper for nailing St. Louis's pick, while Torry Holt was way off. Still, Holt made an interesting point about the Rams defensive scheme and how they interchange defensive backs, so they need depth there. Plus, now Holt points out that Barron has a great mentor in Orlando Pace, which should help the offense in the long term.
3:54: Wow, Mike Vrabel is making the exact opposite argument I would expect someone from the Patriots to make in regards to the Randy Moss situation. Then again, we saw how getting Corey Dillon (arguably a bigger locker room troublemaker than Moss) helped the Pats, so maybe Vrabel knows what he's talking about.
3:51: So Aaron Rodgers's mom was being consoled (or counseled) by Donovan McNabb's mom. I wonder if she offered Aaron some Chunky soup?
3:42: I'm back now. I took some time to update some software on my parents' iMac G4, plus my iBook battery died. Also, I managed to verify that the power was on at my apartment, and I'm now back at Black Ops HQ for the rest of the draft. Here's my quickie thoughts on the picks that have happened in the interim:
•11. Dallas - DeMarcus Ware: A good defensive guy who should cause trouble for the QBs in the NFC East.
•12. San Diego - Shawne Merriman: A guy who's very similar to Ware, but a little stiffer. His stiffness actually comes across so much in highlights that it concerns me.
•13. New Orleans (from Houston) - Jammal Brown: Honestly, I don't care about who was picked so much as who was picking. Finally, a damn trade. Why hasn't there been more trading yet?
•14. Carolina - Thomas Davis: I hadn't heard too much about this guy going into the draft. I've really got very little to say about him.
•15. Kansas City - Derrick Johnson: I like this guy's talent and how hard he plays. Plus, KC needs defense like I need money. So good pick.
•16. Houston - Travis Johnson: Whenever you can move down three picks and still get the guy you wanted, it's good times. Especially when you have as many needs as Houston.
2:24: Looking at the picks coming up, I can't see Dallas, San Diego or Houston taking a QB. Carolina, maybe, but they seem satisfied with Delhomme, and KC has Green (though he's getting up there in years). Beyond that, we've got New Orleans (Aaron Brooks), Cincinnati (Carson Palmer), Minnesota (Daunte Culpepper), St. Louis (Marc Bulger), then Dallas again. If it looks like Rodgers will still be around with Dallas's second pick, I wouldn't mind seeing Washington try and trade up. Because if Rodgers is still around at 24, Green Bay would almost have to take him as Brett Favre's successor.
2:22 - I'm watching these highlights of Mike Williams, and it looks like he's in practice or something. That's how much better he was than anyone else in the film. Will it translate to the NFL? Who knows? Oh, and this almost obsoletes my Charles Rodgers jersey less than two months after I got it.
2:21 - OK, they're taking Mike Williams. Almost as stupid of a mistake. Do they really need another wide receiver? Charles Rodgers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams will be a nice receiving corps, but Joey Harrington sucks.
2:20 - Detroit's got its pick. If they're picking Rodgers, that'd be a stupid mistake.
2:15 - Well, the Skins stuck with the safe pick and replaced Fred Smoot, with a guy who seems like he's pretty good. I still would have preferred Rolle, but I'd take Rodgers over Jones. Plus, with a second 1st round pick, the Skins may still be able to address their other needs, particularly the WR spot.
2:12 - ESPN just pointed out that 21 Miami players have been drafted in the first round since 2000. I actually at one point put together a two-deep of Miami players from that era. It's amazing how much of a team you can put together with recent Miami players. I wouldn't be surprised if they competed for a playoff spot, even with Ken Dorsey running the show at quarterback.
2:09 - I hope Jon Jansen spends his entire career with the Redskins. He's a smart guy and good NFL player. He agrees with me that Mike Williams wouldn't be a bad pick here.
2:04 - Oh, and now is as good a time as any to mention the new Cardinals jerseys look atrocious. Seriously, they might be the new worst jerseys in the NFL. They're like bad XFL knockoffs. I liked the understated simplicity of their old ones (the plain red home jersey is actually a classic, as opposed to the faux classics of the Giants and Jets).
2:01 - Damn. I think it's a good pick for the Cards, but I was hoping Rolle would be around for the Skins. Well, at least we can still get Carlos Rogers (but man, Mike Williams has to be tempting right now for Joe Gibbs. He's like a combination of Art Monk and Gary Clark).
2:00 - The 16% of people on ESPN.com who think the Cardinals should take Mike Williams need to have their NFL fan rights revoked.
1:58 - I know it's really late to mention this, but Torry Holt's tie is ridiculous. At least he knows what he's talking about when he's talking about Arizona's offense. He just needs to slow down when he's talking, and he'll be a great future NFL analyst.
1:53 - I think my power is back on at the apartment. I'll probably head back after the Redskins make their pick. I wish there was a better way to test than verifying that Mail is running on my G5 by sending myself an e-mail to Yahoo!. Plus, I still haven't seen the damn Madden commercial and I can't find it anywhere online.
1:51 - The pick is in. The Vikings select Troy Williamson. The Vikings fans seem happy with the selection. Now, where does Mike Williams fall to? You know the Cardinals aren't taking a WR. Will the Redskins change their focus at No. 9? I hope not, especially not if Rolle is still available. Putting him and Sean Taylor back together in the same defensive backfield will be quite a combo.
1:48 - If Torry Holt hadn't been botching Troy Williamson's name, his analysis right there would have been very spot on. It's nice that ESPN brings in people who can use game experience to analyze future players.
1:39 - So now Minnesota takes Mike Williams, Arizona takes Aaron Rodgers and Washington takes Antrel Rolle. If that's how it breaks down (which is likely how it will) this could make for the most boring draft ever. Just like when I did a diary of the most boring Super Bowl ever, or when Bill Simmons did his of the most boring NCAA tournament first day ever.
1:38 - Titans take Pac-Man Jones, who couldn't possibly look more ghetto. It's like they just drafted Lil' Jon. He's wearing some T-shirt with picture of someone on the front (it may actually be him, for all I know) and a bling'd out Pac Man chain. And now he's going to Tennessee. This is going to end poorly for everyone.
1:36 - More boring stuff about Williams and Brown. I. Don't. Care. Really. We get it. They played the same position, they competed for playing time and they like each other. Please stop now.
1:33 - Suzy Kolber needs to communicate more with the guys at the desk. She's covering stuff in her questions to Cadillac Williams that was already covered right when he was picked. And now she just asked him a question that he already answered. She's not on top of her game today.
1:25 - From the reaction at the Cadillac Williams household, it looks like he's the pick. I still thing Rodgers would have been a better fit in Tampa, but I prefer this pick to Mike Williams. In fact, I think the Bucs are getting the best of the big three backs. Oh, and when the fuck are we going to have a trade. Probably not at six here, where the Titans will pick a DB (though they could trade down three or four spots and still get one of the top three).
1:23 - Mort disagrees with me on the Bucs needing a QB. Sure, their RB and WR positions aren't the most solid in the NFL, but I think they're better off at those two spots than at QB (oh, and their other guy is the useless Brian Griese).
1:19 - You know, I'm not really sold on Aaron Rodgers, but he'd probably be a good pick for the Bucs right here. He's better than Chris Simms or whoever else the Bucs have at QB.
1:16 - Benson is coming off as very emotional right now, but I wouldn't put it past him if he was stoned.
1:12 - Whaaaaa?! Someone please remind Lovie Smith you're allowed to pass the ball in the NFL. Anthony Thomas, Thomas Jones and now Cedric Benson. But no passing game whatsoever. If I was playing against the Bears, I'm playing a 10-man front, with just a deep safety.
1:11 - I wish I cared about the Bears pick. Maybe I should care for Pooz. But I don't. They're the Bears. And apparently they missed the pick deadline. Nice job guys. Come on Tampa... steal the pick!
1:05 - I have to say, the video conference technology used by ESPN has really improved over the years. The first year they did it, it looked like they were using USB web cams over dial-up. Now, it's not much different from actually having a broadcast camera there.
1:03 - Anti-happy with this lack of Madden Next Gen commercial. I'll have to hit the web later to see if I can find it.
1:00 - Braylon Edwards's family has taken over the stage. I think Steve Harvey was there in his trademark Fedora. Oh, and did I miss the Madden commercial between 12:00 and 12:15. If so, I'm pissed. If it's airing in this break, then I'm happy.
12:57 - Nope. It's Blingy. Stupid Browns. Good look getting any production out of this guy. He was a dropper at Michigan, and he's gonna be a dropper in the pros.
12:56 - A card delay - could it be a trade?! Please?!
12:55 - People in the Falcons draft room have become aware of the web cam and a couple of them keep looking directly at it. Also, there are two girls in the back of the room sitting at their own table. They look like they've been shunned or something. Maybe the Falcons' personnel thinks they have cooties. From what I can tell from a low-res web cam, the blonde looks kinda cute.
12:54 - General green room rule of thumb - if you're on your cell phone with less than two minutes left before the next pick, you're probably not being picked. Those table phones are the direct line of contact. And Braylon Edwards, please put the Sidekick away. You're not Jay-Z or Paris Hilton, you're fucking Braylon Edwards. Give it up.
12:51 - Wow, Andrea Kramer hasn't aged well.
12:49 - OK, I've got a window up with the Falcons live draft cam, and right now it's pretty boring. People sitting in front of computers, people drinking coffee and eating donuts, and a TV that's off. Hey guys, want to turn on ESPN, maybe? Just a though.
12:48 - So about 15 minutes after the 49ers said Alex Smith is staying with the 49ers, ESPN is already talking about further trade rumors.
12:45 - Hopefully this end the "will Ricky Williams come back" stories.
12:42 - Looks like Miami's picking Ronnie Brown, who's on one of the desk phones in the green room. Yep. That's the pick. Apparently Nick Saban doesn't do drafting via two-way.
12:40 - And further cementing my dislike for Braylon Edwards, ESPN showed him in the green room, two-waying someone. Bling-bling!
12:38 - With Miami on the clock, this draft could start to get interesting. This spot is pretty highly coveted by teams looking to get Braylon Edwards, who I'm still not sold on. He was considered an underachieving dropper for much of his early career at Michigan, then had one good season and suddenly he's a No. 2 pick. Why don't teams learn their lessons on consistent production.
12:32 - These sit down interviews with the guy who was just picked aren't the same without Craig Sager (I know, different sport, but still...). Although they generally go better in the NFL than in the NBA, since there's more time between picks. In the NBA it seems like they're always rushing the answers, just so they don't risk making David Stern wait to announce a pick (and thus incur his formidable wrath).
12:28 - With the first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Alex Smith. And the 49ers are now on the clock for the 2006 NFL Draft. Seriously, I'm not a fan of this pick. Especially with Matt Leinart available next year. They should have tried much harder to trade down, especially if there were, as ESPN reports, five teams trying to trade up.
12:23 - Bringing on Torry Holt to do analysis is a weird, but I think good, choice. Of course, he has no concept of when to talk and when to stop talking. Still, I can't wait until the Rams pick, just to hear what he has to say about his own team.
12:22 - OK, they just reported the Redskins are trying to trade up to No. 1 to get Braylon Edwards. Someone, please stop Joe Gibbs. He's out of control.
12:20 - The way these guys are talking about Mike Nolan, you'd think he was Bill Walsh's son, not Dick Nolan's.
12:19 - OK, time to explain why I'm late on this thing - I woke up and we had no power in the apartment - nothing at all. So I had to drive to my parents' house to watch the draft and detail it on my web site. Oh, and since I don't have access to my G5 right now (that pesky no power thing), I have to wait for my iBook to make a local copy of my iDisk, so I'm putting this in TextEdit in the interim.
12:17 - Alex Smith is being interviewed right now and saying all the right (read: boring) things. How funny would it be if, while they were focusing so much on Alex Smith, the 49ers selected Braylon Edwards or - even funnier - passed.