The Picks Of The 2009 Draft: QBs, Heyward-Bey

Let’s be clear right now - nobody would watch the NFL draft if every team drafted wisely. Just like car racing is only good for the crashes, which is unimpeachable fact, people really watch the draft for the lousy picks, the ones that leave the fans at Radio City agape in disbelief.

Jets Fans Draft
(Yes, howl in anger. Howl for my amusement.)

In that sense, then, our hats are off to Oakland, who just selected Darrius Heyward-Bey, a Maryland speedster who nobody figured was a top 10 talent. While he was still projected as a first-round pick, he was in no way the top WR on the board - that’d have been Michael Crabtree, who’ll be able to thumb his nose from San Francisco across the bay at the Raiders for years to come. Heyward-Bey, while supremely athletic, possesses all the qualities that add up to “epic WR bust,” mainly a lack of production in college, an inability to run a crisp route, and hands of stone. So he can’t run a decent square in, nor would he be able to catch it anyway. Sign that man!

Al Davis, who is a total cancer on his own team, wasn’t done wrecking the franchise once again. His next pick was Ohio safety Michael Mitchell, two names that could theoretically be pronounced exactly the same. Mitchell didn’t run a fast 40 at the combine, mainly because he wasn’t even invited.  But at Ohio’s pro day, Mitchell ran a 4.40 40, and Davis was apparently smitten. But Mitchell was never a very good player, and every analyst figured he’d be drafted later. Like four rounds later.

Past that, the story of the draft was the quarterbacks. Matt Stafford was the first pick, obviously, having signed with Detroit yesterday.Then the Jets traded all the way up to the fifth pick to select Mark Sanchez, despite the odds against a quarterback succeeding in the NFL after all of 16 career starts. Still, Sanchez isn’t nearly the risk that Josh Freeman is. Freeman, despite having more red flags than Tiennamen Square, went at the 17th pick after Tampa Bay traded up for the pick.

So, let’s recap: Stafford, who is by no means a lock to succeed, especially behind a sieve of an offensive line, signs the largest rookie contract ever. The next two quarterbacks, both of whom are extremely risky picks, were drafted by teams who needed the players so badly that they traded up for the picks both times. That’s such strange behavior for what looks like the weakest first round quarterback class since at least 2002 (David Carr, Joey Harrington, J.P. Losman Patrick Ramsey).

But with all that analysis, we’re getting away from our earlier point: angry fans are funny. So let’s ride out with Jets fans tortured over the years: