I nearly fell asleep in my recliner as the Bengals prepared to make their selection in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night. I rallied and stayed awake to see Lamar Jackson’s sweet green jacket as the clock approached midnight. Did he borrow that from Patrick Reed? Some other observations:
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is as popular as Hep C. Nice try bringing three Cowboys legends on stage to open the draft. It didn’t work. Boo!
I’m not sure everyone in Cleveland is on board with the Baker Mayfield pick at No. 1. After Goodell alerted Browns fans that The Flag Planter is their QB of the future (and after being booed again), ESPN showed the scene in the Browns war room in Berea. The assembled employees looked like someone had just eaten the last piece of pizza. Moments later the New York Giants picked Saquon Barkley and ordered more pizza.
Denzel Ward is a fine football player and maybe the former Buckeyes star will live up to being picked No. 4 by the Browns. But I can’t get past him blowing off the Cotton Bowl. A small cornerback who worries about getting hurt is not a guy I want making tackles for my team.
The Saints must still be in shock after losing on the last play to the Vikings in the playoffs. New Orleans traded up 13 spots to get someone named Marcus Davenport at No. 14. They gave up a first-round pick next year to do it. Strange.
Billy Price was a safe pick for the Bengals at No. 21. The Bengals rarely do anything exciting in the first round (unlike the Browns). Price, another ex-Buckeye, will prove to be a great pick for Cincinnati … which will go 40-40 the next five seasons.
Ryan Shazier stole the show when he slowly walked to the podium to announce the Steelers’ pick. Someone said it was the first time Shazier has walked in public since injuring his spine last December against the Bengals. What a reach-for-the-Kleenex moment. Here’s hoping he makes continued progress.
Josh Allen serves as a cautionary tale for athletes who spout off on Twitter. Athletes say lots of stupid things in the locker room, on the sidelines, in the dugout, in the clubs, but that’s all between pals. But social media? Poison. Stay away.
It is shocking that this is the first year since 1977 that the Bengals and Browns have selected Ohio State players in the same draft. The Buckeyes have proven to be quite adept at churning out quality football talent. And the Bengals and Browns always can use quality football talent. As some philosopher once said, the grass ain’t always greener …
Trending up: Shea Patterson, Josh Jackson, Bo Jackson. Patterson reportedly will be cleared to play for Michigan this season. The transfer from Ole Miss gives the Wolverines a legitimate quarterback. If Jim Harbaugh doesn’t ruin the kid Michigan will be an instant contender in the Big Ten East. Patterson can sling it; he passed for 3,319 yards in 10 games for the Rebels. Do the math. The Wolverines have talent and play solid defense. Now they might score some points, too.
Trending down: Dunbar basketball, Blake Barnett, Buck-I-Guy. First Dunbar was kicked out of the state tournament. Then a judge let them back in (wonder if he’d like to revisit that decision). Now we find out that Dunbar did indeed use an ineligible player in the tournament and should’ve been shown the door. The Wolverines won’t play in the tourney next year. Kudos to DPS superintendent Elizabeth Lolli for coming clean. Power brokers always preach transparency, but usually it’s lip service. She delivered.
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