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2007 NFL Draft: Thoughts on the first day

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I'm punch drunk
Per usual, we have a lot of debate here as to how the first day of the draft went for the Colts. Our own jbd, who posts here and founded the very funny sports humor site Charlie Weis Ate My Baby, had this to say about the Colts using the #32 pick on Ohio State WR Anthony Gonzalez:
I CANNOT be convinced that this was a good pick. this was a BAD pick, plain and simple. Two stud LBs had falled to where not many thought they would be available, and hell [Michigan DT Alan] BRANCH was still there.
Meanwhile, the folks over at New Era Scouting had this response to the Gonzo pick:
Keyshawn Johnson [commenting for ESPN] basically called this pick out of nowhere, and the Colts appear to have found the prototypical slot receiver. Gonzalez should step in and immediately provide an upgrade over the extemely overrated Brandon Stokely.

While I love to read jbd's stuff, I have to strongly disagree with his assessment. Gonzalez at #32 was the best player still on the board, and the Colts took him. That's the smart play. I did a profile of Gonzalez earlier this month, but did not include him in my Mock Draft (gee, that turned out to be accurate) because I thought someone would take him earlier than #32. Gonzo is everything the Colts look for in a WR: tough, smart, runs great routes, and catches the ball. He rarely fumbles, gets open after contact, and is passionate about playing football. Gonzo, in many ways, reminds me of Reggie Wayne. He might not have the speed and flashiness of Ted Ginn Jr., but I think he'll turn into a better receiver than Ginn, just as Wayne turned into a better receiver than his former Miami teammate Santanna Moss.

Quinn Pitcock enjoys blood on his pants
Now, despite my disagreement with jbd, I certainly understand his concerns. The #1 need in the draft is defensive tackle help, and this draft was thinner than Nicole Richie on a crack binge at DT. I knew a player like Branch would not get drafted by Indy. He's fat, slow, and doesn't work or play hard all the time. The guy we all wanted (Justin Harrell) ended up being the #2 overall DT in the draft, and the Packers were smart to scoop him up. Green Bay will have a good defense very soon. So, with this in mind, I had no problem with the Gonzo pick (and saw the value in it) if Polian managed to grab someone like Quinn Pitcock in the 3rd round, which Polian did.

Folks, I picked Pitcock in my Mock Draft, which means it was so obvious the Colts wanted him it isn't even funny. The guy is considered "undersized" at 6'2'', 299 pounds. You can read NFL Draft Countdown's scouting report on him, and you'll see that he is a Tampa 2 DT if ever there was one.

The other major "splash" the Colts made in the draft was trading a 4th round pick and next year's first round pick for OT Tony Ugoh. Some folks freaked out a bit when they saw that next year's first round pick was traded to the 49ers for a second round pick, which Indy used on Ugoh. Ugoh was a first round prospect folks, and very rarely do you get a OT as good as Ugoh fall into the second round. With all of Ryan Diem's injuries, and the notion that Tarik Glenn is not going to play forever, trading for Ugoh makes total sense.

Finally, I was very big on Tanard Jackson (who was just taken in the th round by TB). The reason I was big on Jackson was because I thought someone like Daymeion Hughes would not be there in the third round. I was wrong, and Polian snatched him up in the third round. Hughes is physical, tough, and can play well in a zone. He's a perfect Cover 2 DB.

In conclusion, this was as good a day one draft I've seen from Polian in a while. This seems as good as the 2004 draft when Polian got players like Bob Sanders. The Colts got players I did not think they had a chance of getting, and addressed many, many needs. Now, onto the fourth round, where Polian typically finds real gems.