NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell at the NFL Draft
When the legendary southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd came out for their encores, they always asked their audiences, "What song is it you want to hear?" The wasted audiences always shouted back in unison, "Freebird," easily one of the top rock songs of all time. Today, I am asking a similar question that we all know the answer to.
"What words do you want to hear?"
The sweetest words that we've been waiting for since the end of the season are about to be uttered by NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell a short time after the 2009 NFL Draft begins this afternoon at 4pm. Those words?
"With the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, ..."
Of course, based on this morning's amazing news, that sentence will be finished with "...the Detroit Lions select Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia."
Stafford signed a colossal recession-busting contract, for six years, $72 million with $41.7 guaranteed, topping the contracts that first pick in the 2008 draft, Miami's Jake Long, as well as free agent Albert Haynesworth signed with the Washington Redskins this off season.
I don't get it, but if Stafford is the real deal, then it's a great deal for both. Me, I would have taken the offensive lineman out of Baylor, Jason Smith with the first pick and then grabbed one of the USC LB's with the Lions other first round pick at #20. Then they might have been able to land another key ingredient with the first pick in round two as well. That team needs players and will probably be one of the bottom feeders in 2009, putting them in great shape to draft early in 2010 and land one of the three top QB's coming out in Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy or Florida's Tim Tebow.
But, for now, we will see how the next tow picks go, which should define a majority of the rest of the first round. Will one of the many teams interested in USC's Mark Sanchez trade up to get him? Who, if anyone, will land Arizona's Anquan Boldin? If one of the other teams above the Ravens in the draft grab him for a 2nd round pick and a current player (Jets, Eagles), then while I will be very disappointed, it will certainly affect the players available when we pick. If the Jets or Eagles trade for Boldin, they won't be targeting a wide receiver with their first round pick, which just means more tough choices for us.
Either way, it will be an exciting day here on the Beatdown, as well as around the entire NFL. Follow all the action here and browse around all of the SB Nation Football sites to keep up with all the other fans of this day. The next seven hours from the time of this post to the start will be excruciating, but well worth it. Come back closer to 4pm, where I'll set up an Open Thread for the draft itself.