I've always found the draft a bit of an odd thing. On one hand fans typically like to see their players to get drafted early and take pride in how many players were taken by teams in The League. But then again, fans dread and seethe scorn when a player jumps for the cash, and also can't feel good about so many talented players not being around for the next college football season.
Anyway, five Penn State players were taken in the seven round draft, second most in the conference to Ohio State, and another nine guys were signed as of the time of this post.
Aaron Maybin - Pick 11, Round 1 (11) - Bills
Project Mayhem, who came out of nowhere in 2008, did The Pass Rush Factory well on Saturday, confirming the jump was indeed a pretty good move.
There were early rumors that Maybin could go as high as five with the Browns looking at so many holes, but most of the recent projections had him in the 10-12 range. The 'experts' can score this one as correct, and Buffalo Rumblings is pleased:
On paper, Buffalo has its most explosive pass rusher since Bryce Paup...What makes this pick better is the fact that they took the right player. No DE displayed a quicker first step in college or at the Combine than Maybin. I had him rated as the top DE on the board the moment he declared for the draft, and the Bills clearly followed suit, if only at the most critical juncture. I think he's the best pass rusher in the draft. The Bills, too, think he's the best pass rusher in the draft, and his upside is tremendous.
Derrick Williams - Pick 18, Round 3 (82) - Lions
No one deserves a little draft luck like Williams, the former #1 rated recruit in the land was taken in the third round and, for the second time in his career, will be tasked with helping to rebuild a program in distraught.
The Pride of Detroit gives the pick a D+, which is, well not even a real grade if I remember right. Regardless, they didn't like the pick, although I think that had a lot to do with Williams not really filling one of their copious amounts of needs like some of the other players who were still on the board.
The Lions have a history of dismissing important needs and picking wide receivers, and as bad as a D+ is, I have to give him credit for his optimism. If I was cursed with being a Lions fan for the past several years, every decision that organization made would get an F- by default until something dramatic happens. I would probably just be that bitter.
The Free Press has a couple of quotes about the pick:
"He came into Penn State and he was supposed to wow everybody. He didn't initially, but came on. ... He doesn't have the great 40 time, but he's quick out of his burst, out of his cuts. He has that burst you look for and has the ability to score in a lot of ways -- in the return game, on reverses, catching the football. He's very good after the catch in the open field."
You hear things like this all the time and I gave up a long time ago trying to argue about it. Williams was no Reggie Bush or Tim Tebow, but he was important, in a way that the occasional observer wouldn't recognize. I don't blame anyone for this, I completely understand how his stats can be seen as underwhelming, but let's drop the whole "never lived up to the hype" thing, because to be frank it's a stupid comment.
"II thought he had an excellent Senior Bowl, but he followed it up with a poor Combine, running a 4.67 -- very slow for an elite receiver. Great Senior Bowl, but too many drops in his career. ... I watched him catch punts one day (at the Senior Bowl) and this is supposed to be an elite punt returner and that day if the football had been a harpoon, he'd have been dead. It'd have pierced his chest."
He was reportedly pretty sick the week of the combine and told by his agent to sit the thing out. He worked out anyway, which was indeed a bad decision, but as we've talked about before here at BSD looked great in the Senior Bowl.
And I have no idea where he's going with that harpoon analogy.
Deon Butler - Pick 27, Round 3 (91) - Seahawks
About four picks before Butler was drafted by Seattle, a commenter who shall remain nameless set the over/under at pick 114 in the open thread, a fourth round choice. I too was a bit surprised to see him go so early, but his blazing 40 at the combine apparently helped the draft stock of one of the most under-the-radar receivers in the nation last year.
Seattle loves them some record setting Penn State receivers, of course, and so we all saw this coming:
"He has some of the same traits as far as route-running goes," Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said when asked to compare Butler to his fellow PSU alumnus. "He's not as polished, obviously, as Bobby is."
Rich Ohrnberger - Pick 23, Round 4 (123) - Patriots
Ohrnberger was probably the biggest surprise from a Penn State perspective, who many thought wouldn't go until after Shipley and Cadogan. Not true, of course. Ohrnberger will be buried on the depth chart this season, but was part of an effort to hedge against an aging line:
Ohrnberger, a player who took a pre-draft visit to Gillette Stadium, adds youth to the interior of the offensive line and provides a fallback, longer-term option with starting guards Logan Mankins (left) and Stephen Neal (right) entering the final year of their contracts.
PatsBlog likes the pick, even if it did cost them a well respected cornerback in Ellis Hobbs:
Ohrnberger is a guy I actually like. Although he is undersized, he plays with a good motor, is quick out of his stance, and is good in pass protection and pulling. Solid pick who could eventually take over for Stephen Neal at right guard.
A.Q. Shipley - Pick 17, Round 7 (226) - Steelers
There was a time when I though A.Q. might not get drafted, and at that time I was thinking it would be the most bewildering event (or non-event?) of the weekend.
He is undersized, and probably slid because of it, but once picked I found it hard to feel bad for a guy who gets to play for his hometown team. The Steelers earned overall "grades" as low as an F and as high as an A+, further lending credibility to the practice of grading drafts.
Naturally the local papers loved it. Not everyone was sold, though:
Can't say I'm too big a fan of Big 10 football so I can't comment on whether or not Shipley is so adored for his local product status, his ability on the field, or some combination of the two. Probably headed for the practice squad as well, but there's an interesting discussion to be had about the future of our offensive line - especially for those who have an opinion one way or another as to whether or not Shipley legitimately could be a better than average starting center....
I'm not sure if he's upset the Steelers picked a kid from the Big Ten or if he simply doesn't know much about A.Q. It's not like the Big Ten hasn't produced some decent linemen in the last five years. Besides, as far as risk and reward go, there's nothing wrong with picking the conference's best center in the seventh round and hoping it works out.
Quickly: Signed but undrafted...
It's easy to pile on Maurice Evans at this point; he goes undrafted but signs with the Giants. As disappointed as I am in his 2008 production and decision to leave, I can unconditionally say I wish him all the best.
Jordan Norwood will join the Browns, and Facebook Stalking H/T to NittanyWhiteOut, who was all over this one.
Gerald Cadogan was a major surprise as an undrafed free agent. He'll go to Carolina.
Lydell Sargeant will move north to help build Penn State another satellite campus in Buffalo. Front page promotion for the best photoshop of this one in the comments.
Tyrell Sales signs with the Colts.
Josh Gaines stays in-state with the Eagles.
Dan Lawlor signs with the Redskins.
Mark Rubin signed with the Rams.
Anthony Scirrotto signs with the Panthers.