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Horrible inevitability, or, the Matt Millen draft plan

March 16, 2009

Every year around draft time there’s a shedload of analysis about ‘team needs’ and which positions every squad needs to address. And every year multiple franchises shun solid players in need areas in order to go for a big name rookie. We all remember the regular-as-clockwork Detroit Lions draft strategy, which involved drafting a wide receiver in the first round year upon year – Roy Williams, Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, Calvin Johnson – and becoming the worst ever NFL team as a result of idiotic drafting. But alas, the Lions got shot of (and probably considered shooting) Matt Millen, so his gold standard is no longer there for us all to laugh at hysterically. The new Lions front office will probably never draft another first round receiver ever just to offset Millen’s stupidity.

Al Davis: the new gold standard of bad drafting?

Al Davis: the new gold standard for bad drafting?

However, there are a few teams who will take on both the mantle and players they don’t need. The Raiders and Jets have been misfiring for years, and we at PAP salute their continuing ineptitude (drafting Ken O’Brien instead of Dan Marino, Kyle Brady instead of Warren Sapp, drafting a punter in the first round etc.). But, as the Jay Cutler debacle continues to worsen in Denver, it seems that the Broncos could be entering the fray as one of the new examples of front-office retardation.

Hence, we’re going to look ahead to the draft and predict what ridiculous move each of these teams will make in the ’09 first round, and shake our heads as the inevitable disappointment of draft day looms large.

Oakland Raiders

Need: Offensive linemen, defensive linemen

Will inevitably draft: a wide receiver/running back/anyone with a good 40 time.

Ah, Al Davis: he who abideth by the 40 yard dash. From Warren Wells to Darren McFadden, Davis has always believed that speed kills, but the only thing dying as a result is the Raiders’ win tally. Factor in the numerous free-agent busts they’ve had this year alone (Gibril Wilson, DeAngelo Hall, Javon Walker, Drew Carter) and Davis sets the benchmark for setting a franchise back 5+ years

The Silver and Black are in dire need of O-linemen to protect JaMarcus Russell and D-linemen to sack opposing quarterbacks, but will clearly draft someone who has a great 40 time – probably Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin. It’s hard not to sympathise with Raiders fans as the Black Hole continues to welcome shit-quick players who’ll just end up watching JaMarcus Russell get his head kicked in every week.

The Jets drafted Ken O'Brien instead of Dan Marino in 1983. Criminal.

New York Jets

Need: Wide receiver, quarterback

Will inevitably draft: Someone average instead of a future Hall of Famer

The J-E-T-S have a history of drafting rubbish players over future greats and Hall of Famers, and they either will draft someone who seems like a sensible pick (see: Vernon Gholston) who will end up being a bust, or make a ridiculous first round selection (see: multiple tight ends) which the fans hate. Everything that needs to be said about the Jets’ drafts is in the above link and the following video. There’s just no way to teach this kind of perpetual idiocy (the guy with the ‘tache at the end is my personal favourite):

Denver Broncos

Need: Any quality front-seven player to improve run defense and pass rush.

Will inevitably draft: A quarterback, because Jay Cutler wants out.

It’s amazing that a coach who learned under the reserved, low-risk management of Bill Belichick should make such a total hash of their first off-season in charge. Josh McDaniels inherited a good (potentially great) offense and a Pro Bowl quaterback, but isolated his signal-caller by apparently trying to trade him for Matt Cassel, who ended up in Kansas City. Both sides have handled this situation horribly, but the question remains: why would you EVER EVER EVER EVER try and trade one of the best young quarterbacks in the league for anyone? Franchise QBs are incredibly rare, and Cutler is one of very few that exist in the NFL right now, so McDaniels’ boneheaded decision could hurt Denver severely.

The Broncos’ run defense has been horrible for a few years, and with an above-average offense already in place, this seemed the year to build the D through the draft. However, given that now they appear to be losing their Pro Bowl QB, they’ll need a new man under center in ’09. The drafting of a new QB wouldn’t be a bad personnel decision, but the fact is Denver shouldn’t have to use a first-rounder on another quarterback when they’ve got a Pro Bowler in house.

However, the only way to see if these teams make the stupid picks we think they will is to watch the NFL Draft on April 25th. Will it be a historic date for your franchise or a day to forget? If you’re a Raiders, Jets or Broncos fan, at this point it looks like being the latter.

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