Monday, April 26, 2010

Around the SEC: What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

NFL teams fill their personnel bellies with ACC, Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12 players in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Granted, players from these conferences were drafted, but more like in appetizer quantities as compared to the SEC, whose players were inhaled like fried catfish in Jerrell Powe's path. The SEC had 49 players selected out of 255 picks (just about one in every five), 23 of those went in the first three rounds (the Big Ten was second with 34 overall selections and the Pac-10 had 15 players go in the first three rounds) and seven went in the first round. Not that any of these numbers should surprised anyone. 11 out of the last 13 drafts have seen the SEC lead the way in players selected and currently the conference has a streak of four straight drafts of most players selected. And knowing the bloodthirst of SEC fans for complete and total Walmart-like dominance, I can assure you this won't slow down anytime soon. The Big Ten could expand to 40 teams and the SEC would find a way to be more successful and win a category like most players drafted. Although, I don't think they could ever challenge the Big Ten in couch-burning. Mainly because we don't need the heat and, like most people, we prefer to sit on our furniture rather than cover it in lighter fluid and yell as it's consumed by flames.

The NFL loves it some SEC quarterbacks.
We all knew Tim Tebow would be drafted, maybe not exactly where, but we knew he would go in one of the early rounds. After that, I think the only guy anyone thought might have a chance to get drafted was Ole Miss' Jevan Snead, and he probably wasn't going until at least the sixth round.  So I don't think Snead not being drafted was that big of a surprise, but seeing Jonathan Crompton go in the fifth round to the San Diego Chargers certainly classified as a legitimate surprise.

Crompton was the ultimate average quarterback. Good against bad teams, bad against good teams and average against average teams. And I really thought he was setting off on a special journey when he threw eight interceptions in the first four games of the 2009 season. Fortunately for him, he righted the ship and stopped impersonating Jevan Snead and ended up having an average year.  I'm guessing the Chargers, who traded away third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst before the draft, decided to take a shot on a rookie that they could pay 1/3 of whatever they owed Whitehurst. And if you're scoring at home, the last three QBs drafted by the Chargers: Eli Manning, Charlie Whitehurst and Jonathan Crompton.

As for Snead, he did sign a free agent contract with Tampa Bay where he will join another Ole Miss quarterback, Michael Spurlock. Snead won't have to beat out Spurlock for the third-string spot, as Spurlock plays receiver/kick returner (AS HE SHOULD HAVE HIS ENTIRE TIME AT OLE MISS), but he will have to lock horns with such greats as Rudy Carpenter and Josh Johnson. And one final piece of advice for Jevan: Throw the ball to your team.

Other SEC QBs ignored by the NFL: Tyson Lee, Joe Cox and Chris Todd.

Kentucky showcases a defensive orgy in the its spring game.
One team beat the other one 60-25 in front of 9,000 already-missing-John-Wall-DeMarcus-Cousins-Eric-Bledsoe-fans. But more importantly, the early favorite for the 2010 Awww-Shit Trophy (given to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions in season, which might have to be renamed after Jevan Snead and his 20 picks last year) Mike Hartline played well enough that he could be the starter when fall practice starts. Head coach Joker Philips wouldn't declare him the starter, but Hartlines's 11 of 24 for 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT clearly bested someone named Ryan Mossakowski (6 of 13, 37 yards) and Morgan Newton (6 of 12, 96 yards). If you recall, Hartline had a strong start (six INTs in first five games) in the battle for the trophy last year before injuring his ankle/foot/something. I hope for a full and healthy season from him so he can take a crack at Jevan's seemingly untouchable 20 INTs.

Ryan Mallett wows Arkansas fans in the Hogs' spring game.
Unfortunately, he didn't play due to his broken foot so there's not a lot to cover here. I'm sure there were good plays, bad plays and other stuff that goes with spring games. I still stand by my decree that if Arkansas can find an average defense before the 2010 season starts, they have a chance to win 10 games. They have to get lucky with injuries and Mallett will have to stop sucking in road games, but they have the offense to win that many. If the 11th or 12th-ranked defense shows up, expect another year of potentially beating anyone before falling painfully short.

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