COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 01: Alshon Jeffery #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks dives for a touchdown against T'Sharvan Bell #22 of the Auburn Tigers during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Before I make my pick, Imma go on a little rant which does tie into my pick.
You know what grinds my gears? The NFL pre-draft process.
Seriously. The flipping and flopping of players and prospects up and down boards in the 4 months preceding the draft would cause even my psycho bi-polar ex-girlfriend to say "Whoa, let's calm down just a tad". There are dozens of cases every year where workout warriors fly up draft boards and casual pot smokers fly down them (Thanks idiots for Justin Houston). The worst part is this is all because of hype, conjecture and my favourite, the 40 yard dash (or as we call it in the CFL combine, the 36.576 meter dash). I honestly have no idea if all this asshattery is solely us fans and the media hyping dudes, and the GM's and VP's are sitting in their offices laughing their ass off that 3rd round talent are being mocked as top 10 picks because they bench pressed a medium sized Hyundai, or if they are actually listening to the hype. I'd like to believe that good GM's set their draft board early and unless they end up Bobby Petrinoing the offseason, they set it and forget it. I heard a good story after Bill Parcells got hoodwinked into drafting Pat White because he blew up the combine that he set his draft board in January and didn't do anything unless a kid got arrested. Games aren't played in March, so why the hell would a guy move up or down 3 rounds simply because of his ability to broad jump? I don't get it.
I also believe good GM's don't give a rats-arse about "Winning the draft", they care about getting good players to make their team better. You really think Jerry Reese lost any sleep in 2010 because the Pete Prisco's of the world gave him a crappy draft grade for "reaching" on Jason Pierre Paul? Well if he is losing sleep because of all the noise, his 2 Super Bowl rings would make for some rad ear plugs. The point is perceived value is just that, perceived. That's why it drives me crazy to hear stuff about value and reaching and yadda yadda yadda. If team X wants player Y and he won't be around the next time they draft, who cares if Mel Kiper is yammering on about a reach? They got their guy.
Which brings me to my pick.
For some reason I watched a lot of South Carolina Gamecock games the last 2 seasons. Maybe it's because my CBS carrier likes them, or maybe simply because I still giggle every time Vern Lunquist says their appreciated team name (You might know this about me, but I'm 12). I remember a young man by the name of Alshon Jeffrey being an absolute monster, especially in 2010. The CBS crew probably wore out several telestrators circling him on every play showing how the opponent tried to roll coverage to him, double him, jam him, whatever they could do, but he is such a big powerful body that he schooled everyone he played. He was a consensus top WR prospect, and by all intents and purposes, he was NFL ready. He was recognized by ESPN as the best player in the SEC, Kiper had him as the best WR in college football and 5th best player in America.
Then 2011 happened. Looking at his numbers in a vacuum, Alshon's numbers plummeted. Well he must suck right? He forgot how to play football in the offseason? Yep, that makes sense. Well if you look at the Cocks offense (He he), they ran the ball very effectively with superstud Marcus Lattimore, they suspended their useless QB for being an idiot off the football field, only to throw an equally useless QB out there who makes Matt Cassel look like Dan Marino in comparison, and yeah, his production dropped off. But ask the opposing defensive coordinators who they had to stop. The same amount of attention was still on Jeffrey, the offense just shifted, it doesn't make him any less of a football player.
Oh by the way, Jeffrey in the last game he played as a Gamecock, caught 4 passes in the first half for 148 yards.
So long story longer, I'm picking Jeffrey to the Colts. I think it's the perfect pick of tremendous value due to his "dropping" and the fact that the Colts have a brand new QB and what better way to allow him to succeed then to surround him with weapons. They brought back Reggie Wayne, but with Pierre Garcon going to Washington, allows Alshon to slip right in and be a huge target for RGIII. He's got all the traits you are looking for in an NFL in today's game. I love these big bodied wide receivers way more than the Desean Jacksons of the world and with a sub 4.5 40 time, he's got adequate speed to get down the field. He doesn't need to run by anyone, he's the kinda guy who will go up and get the rock. I love this pick and so should you, so go ahead Arrowhead Pride, click "I agree" (Assuming Thorman remembers to put in a poll)
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)
32. New York Giants - Baylor WR Kendall Wright
34. Indianapolis Colts - South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery