What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Thursday night marked the first round of the NFL Draft. Wasting absolutely no time, ESPN made sure I heard some truly stupid shit early Friday morning.
As a sports blogger, I used to do a full-on draft breakdown until two things happened.
The first was that I realized the NFL Draft is really an exercise in educated guesses and luck; spening a lot of time writing about it is akin to putting a lot of words on the page about drawing to an inside straight. If you hit it, you’re a genius, and if you don’t, you’re dogshit. This holds true for any roster moves, and that’s really all the NFL Draft is; three days of televised roster moves.
Being all about roster moves makes it all about the end results. If you doubt that, consider the following. Bill Polian got into the Hall of Fame by hitting a lot of “gutshot” straight draws; he built those “Jim Kelly” Buffalo Bills and the “Peyton Manning” Indianapolis Colts. But if he had drafted Ryan Leaf instead of Manning, he gets relegated to the ashheap of NFL history along with Jerry Glanville…you know, the guy who gave away Brett Favre for a bag of Jimmy John’s sandwiches.
The other thing that happened was I came to the realization how incredibly thick-headed every NFL Draft commentator is. I had a “hemmorhoidal flare-up” -level painful reminder of that first thing Friday morning. To call Mike Golic, Mike Golic Jr, and Jason Fitz the “Three Stooges” would not only be an insult to the Stooges, it would be massively inaccurate.
When it comes to comedy, “The Three Stooges” are a doctorate level course in timing. There’s nothing funny about cracking somebody in the brain with a hammer, unless you do it at exactly the right moment, in which case you become a comedy icon. When it comes to talking about the NFL Draft, I have no clue what the three ham-skulls known as Golic, Junior, and Fitz do well.
What got this all started is they didn’t seem to like the New York Giants selecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. This immediately led to an outcry from the “barking dogs” at the World Wide Bottom Feeder about how they didn’t understand this pick. There were two main reasons for this disbelief.
The first was that the Giants needed to take an edge pass-rusher at that spot. OK, fine…whatever. That’s a matter of opinion, and we are all entitled to one. Moving on.
But the one I don’t understand at all went something like this: “If you’re going to take a quarterback, why wouldn’t you take Dwayne Haskins at that spot?”
I can give you two answers to that question.
The first goes back to that opinion thing. I live in the heart of B1G Ten country, and I watch a ton of college football. That means I’ve seen more than my fair share of Haskins at Ohio State, and frankly, I’m not that excited about him as a quarterback on Sundays. Obviously, ESPN’s “barking dogs” disagree; they done nothing for the last four months creating this narrative they are the “be-all, end-all” when it comes to being the authority on “Who’s Who” in the draft class. It’s like they have no idea I know they are wrong far more often then they are right.
Let us not forget it was many of those very same “barking dogs” who tore the Kansas City Chiefs apart for moving up in the draft to select Patrick Mahomes…a guy who by the way put up over 5,000 passing yard and 50 touchdowns in 2018. These are the same “barking dogs” who said Baker Mayfield couldn’t couldn’t be an effective NFL quarterback, and all signs point to him being the ring-leader of a football renaissance in Cleveland.
I don’t know what the Haskins-o-philes see in this guy to suggest he’s going to tear it up on Sundays, but I can tell you the three bullet points which are the under-pinning of my opinion.
In 2012 they drafted Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. They destroyed one and let the other go via free-agency after franchise-tagging him twice. If that isn’t good enough for you, just take a gander at the list of quarterbacks the Redskins have drafted in the last 35 years: Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey, Gus Frerotte, Cary Conklin, Stan Humphries, Mark Rypien, and Jay Schroeder. The last three guys on that list turned out to be at least serviceable QBs, but with the exception of Rypien, the other two had their best days somewhere else…and even Rypien wasn’t exactly “long-term success.”
Boil all that down to gravy, and in my humble opinion, Dwayne Haskins looks like a ready-made, discount-store version of Jamies Winston.
My second answer is more about facts that opinion; a “Sergeant Joe Friday”-style breakdown of only that which we know to be true in order to explain why this pick makes perfect sense for the Giants.
Keep that distinction in mind, because this isn’t about “right” and “wrong.” I’m not guaranteeing the success of one guy over another; people who speak in those terms are idiots because as I’ve said, the NFL Draft is a gamble. I’m talking about which guy makes more sense to bet on.
FACT #1) Daniel Jones is a better pure passer than Haskins.
At Duke, Jones completed 60 percent of his passes and had a 2-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. Those may not be the “fantasy” numbers people wish for in a quarterback, but they also suggest this is a guy who doesn’t need a lot of things “fixed” before he can compete at the next level.
FACT #2) Daniel Jones is far more “NFL Ready” than Haskins.
Haskins has issues with his throwing mechanics which contribute to why he’s prone to tossing a lot of picks. His hips flu open early, which causes him to sail a lot of balls; many of his interceptions come on overthrown balls. Coupled with his “riverboat gambler” proclivity to take chances, one really has to be concerned about what’s going to happen when Haskins has to adjust to tighter throwing windows and a faster pace.
FACT #3) Daniel Jones means almost no “tweaking” of the offense for the Giants.
Face it, for a host of reasons, the New York Giants are gong to feature a ball-control, run-based offense. That means at some point, the quarterback, whoever that may be, is going to need to sell some “play-action” stuff. Jones is much better suited to that given the fact Haskins is seriously limited in terms of his mobility. Also, Haskins would present another challenge to the planners of the Giant offense, namely his lack of mobility means some enhanced pass-protection schemes.
FACT #4) The “David Cutcliffe” factor.
It just so happens Daniel Jones learned how to play quarterback from Duke head coach David Cutcliffe…the very same guy who taught those very same lessons to Peyton Manning as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee, and to Eli Manning as the head coach at Ole Miss.
FACT #5) Eli Manning is still on the Giants’ roster.
And he’s going to be for the immediate future. This isn’t going to be like Peyton’s departure from the Colts; Eli Manning gets to adjust the “Eli Manning” style to the new offense, and Daniel Jones gets to watch and learn from that transition, all while being groomed as the successor. That’s like getting into graduate school for “Cutcliffe Quarterback U,” and whatever you may believe the pros and cons of Dwayne Haskins may be, you’re not getting that situation with him.
I’m a “bottom-line” sort of guy, and to me, the bottom-line here is there are five indisputable facts supporting the Giants picking Daniel Jones. Moreover, it is those facts which make it hard for me to understand how neither Golic or whoever that little, kewpie-doll-haired twerp Jason Fitz is could figure this out, especially in a world where the “barking dog mentality” has been so demonstrably wrong so many times.
But it also seems that once the “barking dogs” start, they can’t stop, even when that means barking to a narrative they themselves created. It was the “barking dogs” who sold themselves on the idea that Haskins was a better pick for the Giants. They sell such opinions for so long they begin to take them as fact, so much so that when reality breaks away from what they’ve been selling, the “barking dogs” react by shitting all over the lawns of those who rejected their ersatz “reality.”
That’s why we need the Sports Sewer more than ever.
BONUS FACT: Before last night, the last Ohio State quarterback taken in the 1st round was Art Schlichter. Let that one sink in for a minute.
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