Thursday, April 21, 2011

One week from the 2011 edition of the NFL draft

One week removed from the NFL Draft on April 28th, subdued though it may be this year by the lockout and labor talks that don't seem to be going anywhere.

Three hugely gifted Bama players are sadly leaving the Tuscaloosa fold and joining some of my favorite college players of the past fews years in the NFL.

Rolondo McClain is in RaiderNation, Mt Cody in Baltimore, Javier Arenas is in KC - so the question is where is Mark Ingram going to fall?

This guy was the workhorse of the 2009 National Championship. He willed Bama to win. I'd like to see him slip to the 49ers in the second round, but for his good hopefully he will be a Tim Tebow-styled higher pick than expected.

Marcell Dareus is another amazing young phenom who factored highly in the Bama championship - his interception return in the BCS title game garnered him the MVP. The dude is a stud, and just like Ingram - he has the drive to succeed. Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert described Marcell as "relentless" and "a high, high motor guy who makes a ton of plays for a defensive tackle." Sad he won't be in Tuscaloosa this fall.

Finally, Julio Jones, who is little short of being a superman. He played most of the year last year with a broken hand, and he catches balls. He ran a 4.3 40 yard sprint with a hairline fracture of his foot (that he'd found out about 2 days prior). Julio might go to the Browns, to become the new face of their franchise.

Bottom line is compare these three guys to Cam Newton who expects himself to transcend the QB role and to be a football icon. Really? John Gruden humiliated him and made him look underprepared. Gruden has since downplayed the clip saying Newton is the best of the QB class. Remains to be seen. If Carolina picks him, he could be the next Vince Young - a great talent whose ego could not handle the load of losing because he did not want to put the time in.

You won't have those dedication questions on the Bama boys. Good on them. Proud to cheer for them.

Roll tide roll.