I am still getting used to this May Draft time frame. While I appreciate the fact that the NFL generates more television appeal by pushing it out to May and moving the first round to prime time, I wish it were better coordinated with the golf down at Sawgrass. Saturday afternoon was tough on the clicker. If those are the only problems I have, I guess I got it pretty good.
First and foremost, Happy Mother's Day. Everyone be sure to appreciate your mother everyday and be sure to let your mamma know you appreciate her today.
The NFL Draft was as intriguing for a Clemson fan as it has ever been. Sammy was a shoe-in Top 5 pick and went to the Bills early. The big question there is did the Bills give up too much (traded an overall #9 pick, next year's first round choice, and a 4th round pick to move into the #4 spot). Clearly the Bills' management are hungry to get into the postseason for the first time in a very long time and believe that Sammy will put them over the edge and into the playoffs. Sammy will start next year and I believe will get his. He was ready to step right out of high school into major college football and I believe he is ready to do the same in the NFL. Thus (assuming Watkins stays healthy next year), the trade should be assessed by whether the Bills make the playoffs next season as that was the intent.
Brandon Thomas landed in a great situation. He had an ACL injury prior to the draft and the 49ers pulled him into their organization. If you've been living under a rock, I'll break it down for you: San Francisco is stacked everywhere. In addition to being loaded, they are relatively young. On top of all that, they stockpiled a boatload of picks. What all of this means is that the Niners can make value picks (Lattimore and now Thomas), place those picks on PUP, and feel no consequence. The ability to "redshirt" players based on depth is very, very impressive. The luxury that a Lattimore or Thomas has to rehab as much as necessary due to the 49ers' situation is very, very fortunate. Not only does BT land in a successful organization but he also is fortunate enough to be able to take time necessary to assure he comes back at 100%.
Martavis Bryant dropped to about where we thought he would. It is a shame that a man with that much raw talent decided to screw around and screw around his first couple years at Clemson. If Bryant had actually given a shit his first or second year at Clemson, he would have been in the green room with Sammy Watkins last Thursday. Mamma's, be sure to use Bryant to warn your kids that talent alone won't get you through life. Bryant's piss poor attitude nearly got him removed from the Clemson program. That same poor attitude kept him from properly developing at Clemson. We think that he has all the skills to be great and said so repeatedly here. We sincerely hope that he understands how great he can be and puts in the effort needed so that all the raw talent can shine on the big stage.
No, I was not surprised that Tajh went late. I understand that he has improved drastically since changing quarterback coaches. This cannot overcome the Senior Bowl disaster and the inconsistencies we saw at Clemson in terms of draft position. What it does do is realign Boyd with his core objectives. Boyd's issues at Clemson, I believe, were mostly mental. He corrected a lot of the technical problems he had in his throwing motion after The Chad came on board. Was his motion flawless? No, but it was much better as a senior than it was when Napier was here. His issue has to be between the ears. Tajh needed to be in a groove to be confident and just play the game. If a team was able to put pressure on him, Tajh typically got happy feet. He also would lock in on a target and not read the defense to make the best moves. While I understand that this is a very difficult situation (and no, I've never been a starting college quarterback in this situation), this comes with the position. I'll be interested to see if his draft prep coaching can help him become a more consistent player on the field. With the Jets, it is always possible that he sees the field next season.
Breeland went in the 4th round. We pegged him round 3-4 so this wasn't a big surprise. While Clemson will really miss the experience, I am not convinced that another year would have allowed him to improve his draft stock so understand and agree with his move to go pro and get drafted by the Redskins. We'll discuss the defensive backfield at length in anticipation of the 2014 football season for sure, so I won't belabor this too much here.
Sawgrass always presents an exciting tournament. This year will likely produce the same as Kaymer and Spieth will battle. Sergio is three off the pace and I am sure the media will be all over that one. Unfortunately, they screwed the pooch with the greens down there. The PGA put an unfortunate chemical blend on the track and it did not fare well. They also chose a while back to rip out the SubAir units and install an inferior product so they have that working against them as well. We'll see how a young buck like Spieth holds up and whether or not a vet can throw down a low score to put pressure on the two leaders. Obviously the fans are out there pulling for the American.
I'll take a brief moment to discuss TPC Sawgrass. I have played the golf course and it is ridiculously tough. The fairways are very, very narrow. There are hazards all over the place. Prior to going down there, I was advised to skip the practice range and spend all my time in the practice bunkers. That was great advise as I've never hit so many golf balls in sand (or water) as I did that day. The tournament itself is incredible. It is target golf so that is interesting. The mood, though, is more of a party than a golf tournament. Back when I went, there was a beer tent behind 17 so you can imagine how excited the crowds were at all times. Long and short, the course is well designed and laid out for the fans to have great access and views via mounds placed for patrons. Head down to Jacksonville and catch this one if you ever get the chance.
NeckCAR was in Kansas last night. I am still bitter that the Cup Series took away the premier Darlington pre-Mother's Day Saturday night spot. It is crap that they are eventually going to eliminate Darlington from the schedule, but that is another topic for another day. Jeff Gordon was able to pull through last night and assure a spot in the Chase. The media was obviously overwhelmed by the fact that Danica finished in the Top 10. It is what it is.
I got little else but the obvious. Keep the tee ball in the fairway and enjoy this warm weather. I am not sure why Keller Williams always ends up shoeless, but nonetheless here is a dose of K-dub and the one everyone knows: