Monday, April 27, 2009

Post-Draft Thoughts

Looking back on Saturday morning, I wasn't enthusiastic about the likelihood of the Bengals draft Andre Smith over Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe. Now that I've had a day or two to absorb the draft, I think I can say the Bengals actually did a pretty good job. There is a lot of potential in this draft class; but the problem is that all these players are going to take work to make them starters in the NFL. The got players who are very athletic and have great potential, and most of these players the Bengals got as "steals" by taking later than they were projected to be picked. The problem is that the reason these players slid in the draft was questions over character issues and work ethic.

Rey Maualuga (inside linebacker, USC) was projected to go as high as the middle of the first round, so he was something of a steal at the sixth pick of the second round. Defensive end Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech) was a great value at the top of round three, and adding tight end Chase Coffman (Missouri) later that round should give Carson Palmer another weapon on offensive. The Bengals finally addressed their gaping whole at center in the fourth round with Jonathan Luigs (Arkansas) and fifth-round pick Kevin Huber (Cincinnati) should be a big upgrade over Kyle Larson at punter (and I'm biased towards that pick since Huber is a Cincinnati native and UC alum).

The one pick that I really did not like came in the sixth round with Bernard Scott, a running back from Abilene Christian with quite a checkered past: offenses include being being suspended from football his senior year of high school, attending for different colleges, being arrested at least five times, and being kicked off the team at Central Arkansas for punching a coach. Basically, this guy sounds like Chris Henry II. Now considering that Scott is a sixth round pick, there's a chance he doesn't make the team anyway--and he's easy to cut if he does get into trouble--but since there were other running backs available who were just as good if not better, it was a needless risk. All the picks are listed here.

The way I see it, the coaches have placed a lot of pressure on themselves with this draft. Players like Smith, Maualuga, Johnson, and Brown all have huge potential, but it will take a lot of coaching and motivation to get them there. A number of the players already have legal incidents and other trouble in their pasts: Smith's Sugar Bowl suspension and pre-draft mishaps, Maualuga has been arrested, Johnson is reported to be unmotivated at times, and Brown seems to idolize Pacman Jones. These guys could turn into great NFL players, but it will be up to the coaches to motivate them enough to perform at their best and stay out of trouble.

Since draft grades are so popular, if I was going to grade the Bengals' draft, at this point in time I would give it a B. There are only a couple players that could come in almost right away and be good players. Most of these guys are going to be a project, and there is potential for huge embaressment if these guys screw up. This draft could end up scoring as high as an A or if could drop much lower. It all depends on what Marvin Lewis and company can do with these talented rookies.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NFL Draft Day

The NFL draft is today, which I'm looking forward to for a few reasons, but mainly to watch the Cincinnati Bengals set themselves up for another year of failure and to see where the large crop of players from the University of Cincinnati get drafted.

Nearly all mock drafts I've seen have the Bengals drafting Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, which I believe is a terrible choice as Smith has proven himself to be unstable and out of shape (suspended by Alabama for the Sugar Bowl game last year, randomly disappeared from the NFL combine, and showed up overweight to Alabama's Pro Day). Most alarming is this report that the Bengals are planning on taking Andre Smith even if Eugene Monroe or Jason Smith--almost universally regarded as the top two OTs in the draft--falls to them at the number six pick. Most signs point to St. Louis selecting Jason Smith with the second pick, but there is a decent chance of Monroe still being on the board when the Bengals are on the clock. The Bengals certainly need to take an offensive tackle, but passing on Monroe for A. Smith will be an enormous mistake. We'll see what happens in a couple hours.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A few updates

Still working on rolling out some changes and new content (which--let's face it--will probably never happen). I hope to finally get a short summary of my recent vacation up by the end of the week. Another thing I'd like to do soon is find a new layout or template for the site, but so far that isn't going well.

In the mean time, you can get your craving for more Davie-related content from my Twitter updates and my new station. Check them out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Great Sand Dunes

Taken by my friend Daniel. The Great Sand Dunes, Colorado.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Some pictures from Guadalupe Mountains, our first big stop of the trip. Hope to post more stuff soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Sad Sign of What Our Country Is Becoming

A man who refused to have his vehicle searched at an Arizona highway checkpoint was tazed and beaten by police.

It is incredibly tragic when citizens who are attempting to defend their Constitutional rights are treated as criminals and abused by the very individuals how have pledged to "serve and protect" our society. I love that he goes so far as to name the names of the people who tormented him. The majority of law enforcement officers are good people, but there are a handful of thugs like these individuals who ruin their image. These people need to be fired, and I certainly hope the man sues the government for this unconstitutional action. I'm sure this won't make the mainstream news, which is a shame because this type of thing needs to get out to more people. Anyone who says the man is an idiot and should have just let them search the car doesn't appreciate how important our freedoms are in this country.

The scary part is I drove through one of these checkpoints just last week in New Mexico while on vacation. Orange cones lined the highway diverting everyone into the checkpoint. I pulled up and an officer asked me if they could search the trunk. When I told the officer that I could only open the trunk with the key from the ignition, he had me pull off to the side. I was got out, opened the trunk, and then stood off to the side with one officer watching me while two other officers and a dog rummaged through the trunk (my friends Daniel and Perry were sitting in the car the entire time). At the time, part of me really wanted to protest that they could not search my vehicle without probably cause, but I held back because I didn't to drag my friends into a mess like that, and we were trying to get to White Sands National Monument before dark. I'm glad there are people like this man out there who have more courage than I do to stand up to these violations of our civil rights.

Monday, April 13, 2009

just take it or leave it

I just returned from vacationing in the Southwest for the past ten days. It was a nice break--except for one major hiccup--and I plan on recapping the trip later this week. Right now I have a mountain of chores to tackle and hundreds of pictures to sort through.

I also plan on revamping this site and introducing some new content that will hopefully make this thing more active. This blog has been come close to dying lately, and what follows will probably be my last effort to keep it afloat; if this fails, I'll probably pull the plug.

More to come... (?)