After the Shea McClellin selection last night, there was nearly a riot on WCG. Few of us knew anything about him; less of us expected him to be the 19th selection of the NFL draft. This led to immediate calls for Phil Emery's position to be terminated (and perhaps even some for him to be terminated!).
And yet, that was just par for the course last night. Let's look at all of the selections made last night and how much people expected them.Selections 1-5: Andrew Luck (IND), Robert Griffin III (WAS), Trent Richardson (CLE), Matt Kalil (MIN), Justin Blackmon (JAX).
- None of these players were exactly unexpected.
- The first surprise was that Cleveland allowed Minnesota to commit highway robbery (I mean, were they actually going to trade all the way down to 16 so the Jets could get Richardson?).
- The second surprise was that Blackmon went in the top 5 and Morris Claiborne fell out of the top 5.
Selections 6-10: Morris Claiborne (DAL), Mark Barron (TB), Ryan Tannehill (MIA), Luke Kuechly (CAR), Stephon Gilmore (BUF).
- Here's where things started to get interesting.
- The only expected selections were Claiborne (he wasn't going to fall too much further, right?) and Ryan Tannehill (Miami really likes him, don't they?).
- Not many people were expecting Mark Barron to be a first round selection, let alone 7th overall.
- Most of the speculation around Kuechly had him going somewhere in selections 10-15, not 9th overall.
- Stephon Gilmore at 10? How many people were expecting the top 2 Cornerbacks to go in the top 10, and that one of those would not be Dre Kirkpatrick?
Selections 11-15: Dontari Poe (KC), Fletcher Cox (PHI), Michael Floyd (ARI), Michael Brockers (STL), Bruce Irvin (SEA).
- The first Defensive Tackle came off the board at 11, and it was Dontari Poe. I'm pretty sure no one called that one.
- The first Defensive End came off the board at 15, and it was Bruce Irvin. If you called that one, you need to give me your lottery numbers!
- Surprisingly, the only offensive lineman off the boards so far is Kalil. No one wants the other tackles and guards available yet.
- About the only pick from these that I was expecting was that Floyd would not last until our selection.
Selections 16-20: Quinton Coples (NYJ), Dre Kirkpatrick (CIN), Melvin Ingram (SD), Shea McClellin (CHI), Kendall Wright (TEN).
- There weren't that many surprises in here (aside from McClellin) apart from who's still on the board given the previous selections.
- Kalil is still the only offensive lineman off the board.
- Apparently the Bears' DE rankings had McClellin ranked above Chandler Jones, Whitney Mercilus, and Nick Perry.
Selections 21-25: Chandler Jones (NE), Brandon Weeden (CLE), Riley Reiff (DET), David DeCastro (PIT), Dont'a Hightower (NE).
- Note that New England moved up for Jones as soon as Chicago took McClellin. Coincidence? Maybe.
- Surprises: Brandon Weeden in the first round? to a team that already has a young quarterback?
- Riley Reiff and David DeCastro falling out of the top 20?
- Most of the speculation around Hightower had him as a late first-rounder. 25 doesn't strike me as "late first round" territory.
Selections 26-32: Whitney Mercilus (HOU), Kevin Zeitler (CIN), Nick Perry (GB), Harrison Smith (MIN), Doug Martin (TB), David Wilson (NYG).
- Where to begin... I was expecting Zeitler to go some time in the late first or early second... but I was also expecting Cordy Glenn to be taken before him.
- Mercilus and Perry seem to be where we thought they would be.
- Harrison Smith: There were a lot of people questioning one first round safety, let alone two!
- Running backs: I don't think anyone had Martin and Wilson going in the first round in a "passing league."
- AJ Jenkins: Most of the rankings I saw had him lower than a number of the WRs still on the board; Mocking The Draft's wide receiver rankings have Jenkins sitting pretty at 14, behind Jeffery (2nd round), Sanu (2nd round), Randle (2nd round), Jones (3rd round?), McNutt (3rd-4th round)... you get the picture.
What's the point of all this? Simply put, we do not know what goes on behind the scenes. We have access to a lot of information via the internet, but that doesn't mean we actually see all of it. Our perceptions are colored by the mock drafts we see, the scouting reports we read, and the media attention given to each prospect. Why did I think the Bears would take Mercilus if he was there? Because someone reported that apparently they really liked him. Why did they say that? Probably to drive up his stock so another team would take him and leave McClellin to fall to the Bears. Why did we all get upset with the McClellin selection? Because he wasn't one of the very highly-ranked (by us) offensive linemen still available, because he wasn't the most highly-ranked (by us) defensive end on the board (created by us).
I think we need to give the Shea McClellin selection the benefit of the doubt. First off, Phil Emery had access to all the same information we did, and then some: personal experience, Combine interviews, private workouts, and the like. He seemed to be very comfortable with the selection, and must know something we don't know. Second, we can't blame this draft on Jerry having naughty pictures of Phil, unless he also has naughty pictures of 31 other general managers! There were very few selections after the first two which did not have something questionable about them from our perspective. That's just the way the draft works (from our perspective).
Before we tar and feather Phil Emery, let's see what the kid from Boise State can do.