ESPN’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook, is one of my favorite online journalists. He writes with a lot of insight and takes some unique perspectives when evaluating the NFL and other topics, which is a pleasant change from reading the patented cliches many football writers spew (which obviously NEVER happens at the BLD).
Easterbrook hit on an observation I find to be very intriguing in his latest article:
“In the 2008 draft, Jersey/B (the Jets) used the sixth selection on Vernon Gholston; in the 2009 draft, Buffalo used the 11th choice on Aaron Maybin, and Denver used the 14th selection on Robert Ayers. All are hybrid defensive end/linebacker types who specialize in rushing the passer, and the three have combined for zero career sacks in the NFL. This year, Jersey/A (the Giants) used the 15th choice of the draft on hybrid defensive end/linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who specializes in rushing the passer. Pierre-Paul had just six sacks in his sole season as a major college player, finishing a distant 69th in Division I sacks. Yet in April, no team drafted Antonio Coleman of Auburn, a three-year starter who compiled 22 solo sacks in the SEC, college football’s toughest conference.
Drafts can be judged three years later. TMQ has a sawbuck that says in three years, the undrafted Coleman will be a more accomplished NFL player than Pierre-Paul, Gholston, Maybin or Ayers. Also undrafted in 2010 was Blue Cooper, who bested Terrell Owens’ receiving records at Tennessee-Chattanooga. I would have drafted him for his name alone.”
Besides appreciating a guy with the last name Cooper, Easterbrook mentions a player I am rooting for to make the Bills’ squad this year in Antonio Coleman. I thought Coleman played pretty well in preseason game one, and have been intrigued since I saw his impressive sack totals in leading the SEC. Granted, he’ll only need one sack to outdo the three first-round pass rushers Easterbrook named, but I have hopes he can be a contributor in the Bills’ new 3-4 defense.