Sunday, April 25, 2004 

Day one of the Draft

As usual, there were some curious moves on the first day of the draft. I thought the Giants gave up too much for Eli Manning, especially considering he was not a consensus #1. If Rivers develops, the Chargers made a great move. The Cowboys dealing down and missing out on the top RBs was surprising, while Buffalo's move to sacrifice a first rounder next year to draft a QB makes me wonder if this year will be Drew Bledsoe's last. The Patriots were likely stunned to see Wilfork still there at 21 - but taking TE Ben Watson at 32 seems like a reach; I wonder if they could have traded down a few spots.

On the plus side, the Lions were able to get both a top WR and a RB, while the Raiders abandoned their recent history of curious picks by solidifying their corps of linemen - not that flashy, but essential to re-work that team.

Saturday, April 24, 2004 

Quarterback Shuffle

The Eli Manning situation has been compared with John Elway refusing to play for Baltimore in 1983, with one big difference - Elway had an option to play pro baseball. Manning's threat "to sit out a year" makes no sense - what's he going to do, play touch football with Peyton? That having been said, I think San Diego should trade down and get more picks. I don't think they're ready to give up on Drew Brees, but they could go after someone like Kurt Warner after June 1 to try to win some games and push him.

P.S. Manning really wants to play for Tom Coughlin? In the middle of the New York media circus? Be careful what you wish for...


Run to Foxboro

The Patriots trade for Corey Dillion makes sense, but I wonder if they could have made the deal happen for the 63rd overall pick instead of the 56th. Could make a difference if they try to trade up in the first round. Speaking of that, I think Belichick would only move up if he could a) get one of the two top DBs on the board (Jones, Hall) and b) trade Ty Law to replenish the picks he used to move up. Personally, I think Law will still be a Patriot after today.

Sunday, April 18, 2004 

Trade up?

Following up on the draft pick value chart I wrote about last time, the Patriots first few picks currently look like this:

1st round, 21 = 800
1st round, 32 = 590
2nd round, 56 = 340
2nd round, 63 = 276
3rd round, 95 = 120
4th round, 113 = 68

Which means that if they packaged 21, 63, and 113, that would add up to 1144 points, which translates to just below the 13th pick in the draft (worth 1150 points). I speculated about such a deal two weeks ago (April 3).

However, I'm not sure I completely trust these types of charts. First, they don't take supplemental draft picks into account. But more than that, I'm suspicious that in some drafts you see "plateaus" of players; i.e. a group from 28 to 58 that are all pretty much the same. Identifing those areas is harder to do with a simple chart.

Saturday, April 17, 2004 

Draft Pick Values

A good "draft pick value" chart (recently profiled in Patriots Football Weekly) is online at the Football Corner website. They also have a mock draft and other info. I'll be adding them to my links soon...

Saturday, April 10, 2004 

Going Long

I took a look at "Going Long", a recent book on the history of the AFL. It looks good, though it is a little skimpy on Patriots mentions. Supposedly Michael Felger of the Boston Herald is working on a book of Patriots history - long overdue, though I suspect Will McDonough took some of the best stories with him...

Sunday, April 04, 2004 

57 Channels...

I also hope that the NFL doesn't use its NFL Network to blackmail broadcasters and cable companies when the current TV deals expire in 2005. Paul Tagliabue "success" as commissioner is based mainly on the explosion of TV revenue in recent contracts. Maybe he thinks cable companies will pony up enough dough to carry the NFL Network to make up the difference, but I don't think so. In the long-run, the NFL Network's niche should be as the premiere network for NFL Films productions plus more "behind-the-scenes" footage the regular networks do not have access to.

Personally, I think Monday Night Football has run its course as a weekly event and should be replaced. Here's one idea - sell ABC/ESPN a "prime time" package of 40 games and let them basically schedule the games. If they want one game on each Sunday and Monday night, fine; that leaves 6 games left over for say, special Thursday night telecasts. But in the last month of the season, they might be better off scheduling 2 games on a Sunday night, and broadcast the better game nationally on and the other one in just the home markets of those teams. Just an idea...


Share and share alike

It was good to see the owners extend the NFL Trust for another 15 years last week. Part of the reason the NFL is what it is today is their unique revenue sharing model. It keeps teams like Green Bay afloat in small markets and allows the Salary Cap to work. The NFL Trust is a relatively small amount ($4 million per team) for merchandise, but eliminating it might have paved the way for weakening other revenue sharing agreements.

Saturday, April 03, 2004 

Feeling a Draft

I'm suspicious of the Patriots-Lions rumors since similar rumors were proven false last year. I can understand the Patriots moving up, but giving up 3 picks between 21 and 56/63 seems to be a lot to get one player. However, I think it might be reasonable for the Pats to give up 21, 56, and a fourth to move up into the mid-teens and grab a RB like Jackson.

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