As we sit here on NFL Draft Eve Eve, I can't help but get totally jazzed about another college-pro football marriage marathon. I'm getting anxious - like endless draft scenarios waking me up at night anxious. Yes, I'm a draft geek. Confession: I'd rather watch the draft than the Super Bowl.
Where will the 'Horns go? Will Colt McCoy be a first-rounder? What if he goes to a total loser team? What if, like, the Patriots draft him and he doesn't get to play for five years? Will he and Jordan Shipley be fishing during the draft with their cell phones in their tackle boxes? (OK, probably not, but would you really be surprised?)
And what about Sergio Kindle? Will he be a linebacker or an end? How about Earl Thomas? How high will he be picked? Rod Muckelroy? Will he even be drafted?
These are the things that I must know! Ahgg! Part of me just wants to get it over with. Part of me wants it to last forever. I mean, I hate it when the draft is over. I've also had all the mock drafts I can stomach.
So, I had to sit down and pour my thoughts into this entry in hopes that it will get me through the coming hours, and help me rest easier. I doubt it will work, but here are the Texas Longhorns who are up for the draft. And here's what I think will become of them over the next few days.
Colt McCoy, QB
Accuracy, leadership, mobility, grit, "it"-you know the story. He has the tools. He also has the tendency to throw off his back foot and flutter the long ball. (And in case any NFL general managers are lurking on BON right now to get some last-minute intell on Colt, I won't mention all the ill-timed decisions to throw across his body. See, it doesn't count if you put it in parenthesis. Writers trick!)
Don't be surprised if he's the fourth QB taken, but if so, that really won't say much. It likely will be Sam Bradford number 1 (understandable) and Jimmy Clausen number 2 (still trying to figure that one out). Tim Tebow could slip into the end of the first round on an established team with a creative offensive coordinator (say it with me, "Who dat drafted Tim Tebow?"). But, there's also a chance Colt could be QB number two. When it comes to quarterbacks, the draft can get pretty crazy.
Prediction: The Rams will probably go with Bradford at number one overall, which means they won't hold out for Colt in the second round. Given that, the most likely teams are the Chiefs, Browns and Bills in the second round. Since the Browns have given up on offense and traded away all of their players worth a darn, I'm praying it won't be the Browns. But it'll be the Browns. Sorry, Colt.
Earl Thomas, S
He's a bit smallish, but Earl has sick ball skills. He has the NFL brain and athleticism to be an elite defensive back. He can roam the backfield or man up on a receiver in the slot. He won't be the first DB drafted, but he'll be a top-15 pick.
Prediction: After the QB and tackles are taken, Thomas is likely to go somewhere between the seventh and 15th picks. Eric Berry will be drafted before him, but I bet Thomas doesn't get past the Jaguars. Worst case, he falls to Houston at number 20.
Sergio Kindle, OLB
Is he a linebacker or an end? Honestly, I'm still waiting for Mack Brown and Greg Davis to give him the nod a running back. Kindle's monster game in the Rose Bowl earned him a few million dollars (clarification for the NCAA: I mean in draft status). He's fast and has a killer motor that will wear down blockers. But Hook'em fans know that Sergio is best used as a pass rusher.
Prediction: No one is going to trade up to snatch him, and he could get mixed up in the often-unpredictable mid-first round. A good fit would be the Patriots at number 22.
Jordan Shipley, WR
Just to get it out of the way, I'm not going to talk about how he "brings his lunch pail to work" or how he is a "gym rat." He's fast, agile, tremendously athletic and will catch anything in the area code. And let's just get it out there: He's white as a biscuit. Can we get past the stereotype? No Ed McCaffrey talk? Good.
No matter what happens, Shipley will be taken too low, and whatever team lands him will get a bargain. I've always had a lot of respect for Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin and his draft coverage. He has Jordan as the 11th best receiver. I sure can't name you 10 better.
He'll run back kicks and run just about any route you need. He may get pushed around a bit in the big league, but Shipley has been roughed up plenty of times and has still performed. How do you not draft a guy who can catch, run, score, stay out of trouble, play the guitar, catch a 10-pound bass and shoot a 12-point whitetail?
Prediction: Mid to late second round is probably the best he can hope for. Best-case scenario: Pittsburgh at number 52 or Dallas at number 59. Or, ooooo, ready for this: the Browns at 71 in the third round. Colt to the Browns in the second. Jordan in the third? Brilliant!
Lamarr Houston, DT
Man, how Will Muschamp's boys are going to miss big Lamarr in the middle. Do you realize he was second on the team in sacks last year? Before Ndamukong Suh went insane in the Big XII Championship, he and Lamarr had nearly identical stats except for total tackles, which, admittedly, Suh had plenty more of.
Lamarr is a big'n who can move like an end. The team who picks him will be getting a pass rusher who will command double teams, freeing up the ends or OLBs on many plays.
Prediction: This is a sick draft for defensive linemen. Any other year and he'd be a first-rounder for sure. But he likely will fall into the mid-second. The 49ers or Texans are likely.
Roddrick Muckelroy, ILB
Is it just me or does it seem like Rod Muckelroy has been a Longhorn for like seven years? Mack Brown has been criticized for requiting undersized linebackers, and Rod is no exception. Still, he's a tackling machine. He'll be an outside linebacker in the NFL but might not play much in his first two years.
Prediction: This is a weak draft for linebackers, which will help him, but don't expect him to go any higher than round 4.
Not Likely to be Picked
Don't mean to dis the rest of the talent below, but we've covered the most intriguing above. These seven still have me studying my draft board like the SATs.
Hunter Lawrence, PK
Kickers just don't get drafted, but Hunter will land on a team. Kicking is such a huge part of the NFL, and he had a terrific year in 2009, showing accuracy and distance in big-time games.
Adam Ulatoski, OT
He could get drafted late, but don't be surprised if his name is not called.
Charlie Tanner, OG
Likely won't be drafted but could land in a team's camp.
Deon Beasley, CB
He was inconsistent throughout his career, but he does have talent.
Chris Hall, OC
He might get a chance to land on a practice squad.
Longhorns Drafted Into the NFL Since 1999 (The Mack Brown Era)
YEAR RD PK(OVER) TEAM PLAYER POS
2009 1 13(13) Redskins Brian Orakpo DE
2009 3 17(81) Buccaneers Roy Miller DT
2009 4 5(105) Bears Henry Melton DE
2009 7 2(211) Rams Chris Ogbonnaya RB
2008 2 22(53) Steelers Limas Sweed WR
2008 3 10(73) Chiefs Jamaal Charles RB
2008 3 28(91) Packers Jermichael Finley TE
2008 4 31(130) Steelers Tony Hills OT
2008 5 16(151) Texans Frank Okam DT
2007 1 19(19) Titans Michael Griffin DB
2007 1 20(20) Giants Aaron Ross DB
2007 2 7(39) Falcons Justin Blalock OG
2007 2 24(56) Broncos Tim Crowder DE
2007 4 3(102) Vikings Brian Robison DE
2007 5 10(147) 49ers Tarell Brown DB
2007 6 9(183) Texans Kasey Studdard OG
2006 1 3(3) Titans Vince Young QB
2006 1 7(7) Raiders Michael Huff DB
2006 2 16(48) Vikings Cedric Griffin DB
2006 3 22(86) Patriots Dave Thomas TE
2006 5 8(141) Lions Jonathan Scott OT
2006 7 18(226) Dolphins Rodrique Wright DT
2005 1 4(4) Bears Cedric Benson RB
2005 1 15(15) Chiefs Derrick Johnson LB
2005 6 5(179) Titans Bo Scaife TE
2004 1 7(7) Lions Roy Williams WR
2004 1 23(23) Seahawks Marcus Tubbs DT
2004 4 14(110) Bears Nathan Vasher DB
2004 7 10(211) Texans Sloan Thomas WR
2003 3 2(66) Lions Cory Redding DE
2003 3 17(81) Redskins Derrick Dockery OG
2003 3 33(97) Buccaneers Chris Simms QB
2003 4 26(123) Giants Rod Babers DB
2002 1 4(4) Bills Mike Williams OT
2002 1 5(5) Chargers Quentin Jammer DB
2001 1 2(2) Cardinals Leonard Davis OT
2001 1 19(19) Steelers Casey Hampton DT
2001 2 30(61) Lions Shaun Rogers DT
2000 6 25(191) Ravens Cedric Woodard DT
1999 1 5(5) Saints Ricky Williams RB
1999 4 23(118) Cowboys Wane McGarity WR
1999 4 30(125) Vikings Jay Humphrey OT