Sunday, February 26, 2006

Combine Madness!

While I know everyone out there can’t get enough two man luge coverage, there have been some non-Olympic sporting events occurring over the past few days that should also be talked about. For example, the 2006 NFL Combine. While I could care less about who ran the fourty in such-and-such a time, or which top-rated quarterback opted for a full workout, speculation as to what the Houston Texans might do with their first overall pick has me interested. According to, they (the Texans) may be trading their pick to the Jets of New York for the fourth overall pick. To me, this is probably one of the worst teams to trade to, as both clubs suffer the exact same problem (i.e. no offensive line to speak of). You could make the argument that the Jets are in dire need of a quarterback, so trading up to get Leinert or Young might be a good move, but it seems to me that having a porous O-line is what got them in trouble with Pennington in the first place. If Pennington were to make a come back next season, having someone like D'Brickashaw Ferguson (best name for an offensive lineman EVAH!) would be the best thing for them. The same goes for the Texans, another season with their current line and David Carr might just start taking a knee on every down just to avoid more punishment. In this draft with so many good players up for grabs, I just can't see the Texans flipping a first overall for nothing less than a wholesale upgrade in their O-line.

Also of note: some waves are being made by the number three ranked QB in the draft, Jay Cutler, who some still predict will go first out of the QBs in the incoming group (over Leinert and Young). The esteemed Alex Abboud has already given us his thoughts on Cutler, and I have nothing to say about the guy other than I am sure he has the "utmost of upside potential."

And finally, is it just me, or does the combine, like seemingly everything else with the NFL, seem way over-hyped? I'm sure this has been asked before on this blog, but I often wonder how strong a correlation there is between combine performance and success in an NFL career. My guess is little to none.


At 2:30 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

To me, this is probably one of the worst teams to trade to, as both clubs suffer the exact same problem


Are you saying that the Texans shouldn't trade the #1 pick, thinking the Jets will take a QB or Bush, because the Jets may actually take Ferguson? My guess is that the two teams would work that out in advance of a trade.

I find the whole thing fascinating. I do not envy these GM's. Do you take guy who could be the best running back ever (Bush), the winner of the National Championship (Young), last year's Heisman Winner (Leinart), or a guy who will solidify your O-line for years to come (Ferguson)? Do you take the best player available, or the best fit for the team you have now? All I can say is that I am actually excited to watch the draft this year, and THAT is a first.

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Alex said...

The NFL Draft is always awesome; it's one of my favorite events to watch of the year.

As for the combine, I don't think there's a huge correlation between success there and success in the NFL. If anything, the combine tends to favor players who can bench a lot, or run a quick 40 yard dash. These players are labelled "workout warriors", because they shoot up the draft boards because of their performance in skills categories, not on the field. So it's just as probable that combine success is an indicator that someone will bust rather than be a success.

As for the Bush situation, I'm still wary of the idea that the Texans will trade the pick. Shortly after the end of the regular season, they were nearly certain they were going to pick Bush, but maybe that was a ploy. It's also possible that they're just listening to offers now, with no serious interest in swapping the pick.

As for what the Texans should do, this article makes a pretty convincing case for why they should not pick Reggie Bush. I agree with many of the points, though I'm not convinced that Leinart would be the best pick.

That being said, for now I have to say that the Texans should hold the pick and take Bush. It comes down to taking the best player available vs. picking to fill a need. Picking to fill a need makes sense to me when you have most of the key pieces in place already. The Texans have a good receiver (Andre Johnson), an unproven QB (David Carr) who may or may not turn out to be a success, and an above average, though not elite Running Back (Domanick Davis). They also have random pieces in place on defense. If they can get a package of 4-5 picks for the #1 (including one in this year's Top 5 and another #1 next year), then they should consider how many holes they could fill then, and if that trade would bring them closer to being a contender than staying put and drafting Bush would, but otherwise you have to take the best player available.

Good post Nate.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

I guess I was trying to say that the Jets do not have a lot to offer in the way of an O-lineman, so it may make more sense to trade to a team that has a surplus at that position (if such a team exists). The best case scenario would be to have the Texans trade down to some team for a good lineman, and still be able to draft Ferguson in a later pick (although this is probably not a realistic scenario). Their best bet may be to in fact draft Ferguson #1 overall to ensure they get him, the only problem being that they pass on what could be the best football player ever (supposedly).

To sum it up: if you are going to trade down, why trade to the Jets, as at number four, there is no guarantee of obtaining Ferguson, and consequently they miss the boat on improving their O-line.

It was a poorly worded statement, just chalk it up to rusty writing skills and my mind still reeling from the psychedelia of the closing ceremonies.


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