When players are drafted by our favorite team, we are actually one big ball of emotion ready to roll either way; happy or disgusted. And that is how some of us football fans remember when a particular person has been drafted. Such was the case when the Kansas City Chiefs drafted defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey from Louisiana State University. I almost had a career threatening injury doing dances that haven’t yet been created. To be frank about the matter, I got excited about quite a few draft picks, but none as intense as the 5th pick. Well, below are some of those draft picks that made me animated about the 2008-2009 NFL football season. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of the Junior class in my complete list of 25. As I stated earlier, the younger generation is taking over. There is a changing of the guard so to speak. Ladies and gentlemen, continuing my list of Sleepers, here are numbers 6 thru 10.
6. Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech, 5’10″, 189 lbs., Junior, drafted (2nd Round – 35th Pick) by the Kansas City Chiefs. The main reason that I like this guy is because he is probably the hardest hitting cornerback in Division IA football, something that the Kansas City Chiefs needed very badly; a selected bunch of punishers like Bernard Pollard and Derrick Johnson. Furthermore, Flowers has the best footwork and hip rotation of any player at the collegiate level. The kid can give a Chiefs fan a double take, to make sure that it’s not Dale Carter. I have read critics compare him to Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a junior he received All-American and All-ACC honors. Flowers had 17 stops for losses during his tenure at Virginia Tech. Prior to V. Tech, this is a kid that attended a military school, Hargrave Military Academy; a boarding school serving young men in grades 7 – 12, and a post-graduate year. In conclusion, I will leave you with some stats regarding Brandon Flowers’ athleticism.
a) 4.5 in the 40 yard dash
b) 225 lbs. bench press 14 times (300 lbs. bench press)
c) 435 lbs. squat
d) 30″ vertical jump
7. Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State, 6’2″, 218 lbs., Junior, drafted (2nd Round – 3rd Pick) by the Washington Redskins. I must say that Thomas is probably the strongest wide receiver in the entire draft. Transferring from Coffeyville Community College, Thomas was a standout at Michigan State. At the end of his junior year, he averaged 199.23 all-purpose yards per game. He set a school single-season record with 79 catches, and finished second in the Big 10 with 1,260 yards. Thomas, in my opinion, is strong like T.O. or David Boston, so he can push off corners in the press coverage. If a wide receiver would have been drafted in the 1st round, it would have been Thomas. He has long limbs and quick feet. The only catch to Thomas is that he really only played one full year of Division I football.
a) 4.4 in the 40 yard dash.
b) 365 lbs. bench press
c) 28″ vertical jump
d) 500 lbs. squat
8. Tavares Gooden, LB, Miami (The “U”), 6’2″, 238 lbs., Senior, drafted (3rd Round – 8th Pick) by the Baltimore Ravens. I call this pick, “Project Ray.” The Ravens take another linebacker from Miami. Although, I worry about the durability of his left shoulder, I believe that Gooden can play the role of Peter Boulware or Jamie Sharper. Ray Lewis is not far from retiring, and becoming a coach somewhere, so this may be his last student of the game. Kind of like the Chris Carter tutelage of Randy Moss. While Gooden is not as spectacular as previous linebackers at Miami, he is a very talented football player. He is a sideline-to-sideline run defender, and with professor Ray preaching to him from the podium, he should only get better. As a senior he registered 87 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. Gooden is a dominating type of player, who may (God-forbid) follow the career footsteps of Lavar Arrington or Kendrell Bell. Very talented, but injury prone.
a) 4.6 in the 40 yard dash
b) 225 lbs. bench press 13 times (325 lbs. bench press)
c) lots of hope!
9. Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana, 5’11″, 185 lbs., Senior, drafted by the New Orleans Saints. Due to his size, he is one of the more underrated cornerbacks from this year’s draft. However, due to his speed, he is one of the more versatile cornerbacks in this year’s draft. The Saints are a fast team, with fast players such as Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush, and now, Tracy Porter. He had 156 tackles, 17 passes defended, and 16 interceptions (3 short of the school record of 19) in which he gained a whopping 413 yards from those interceptions, and of course shattering the previous Indiana record of 360 yards. He also had 23 punt returns for 254 yards. He is destined to return some kicks as apart of his job description. He could be used like Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears, but I would like to see how Sean Payton will use Tracy. Regardless, Tracy is going to have an immediate impact on the Saints behalf, and make a pretty good defense even better. Keep an eye out!
a) 4.37 in the 40 yard dash
b) 225 lbs. bench press 18 times
c) 34″ vertical jump
10. DeSean Jackson, WR, California, 6’0″, 178 lbs., Junior, drafted (2nd Round -18th Pick) by the Philadelphia Eagles. DeSean is the most explosive receiver from the 2008 draft class. He is definitely a deep threat, as during his sophomore year he had 28 plays of 20 yards or more. Jackson’s game-by-game stats are not at all impressive, however he managed to scorch Oregon for 11 catches for 161 yards, and two touchdowns. DeSean’s best year at California was a sophomore year that produced 1,060 yards, on only 59 receptions, and nine touchdowns. While attending the University of California, Mr. Jackson found the end zone 29 times in 36 games! That includes touchdowns as a special teams returner, a running back, and a wide receiver. Sounds like Tracy Porter on offense. Furthermore, he was the Most Valuable Player in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, in San Antonio. Among 80 of the nation’s top players, Jackson had seven catches for 141 yards, and took one of those 45 yards for a touchdown leading his team to a 35-3 victory. Turning to matters of concern, DeSean was ranked #100 in a list of Division I-A wide receivers numerically ordered according to “reception yards.” Also, receiving many touches for a guy his size could prove to be hazardous to his health.
a) 4.30 40 yard dash
b) 250 lbs. bench press
c) 395 lbs. squat
d) 35″ vertical jump
Thank you all for reading this article, and I will do my best to get the remaining 15 players to you in a timely manner. Also, as soon as the Kansas City Chiefs get well into mini-camp, I can bring you the article previously mentioned regarding an in-depth look at the defensive bench of the team. God Bless!