I, a short-time football writer and New Jersey loyalist, hereby do you the favor of picking through Peter's notes and offering my own thoughts on them, for what those thoughts are worth. (Insert nasty crack here.)
Peter introduces his notes "in no particular order," so we'll go ahead and do the same:
"• Kenny Britt is flaky. Darrius Heyward-Bey's hands and route-running are suspect. Hakeem Nicks was overweight and not in great shape when the Ravens worked him out Friday. In other words, the receivers are a suspect group, and a few of them we thought would be picked in the first round are going in the second."
It did seem, throughout the mock-drafting "process," that there were a surprising number of wide receivers projected to go in the first round. Now, sanity seems to be setting in a little, and for good reason. Former Ravens coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick spoke today on a conference call about that fact that receivers generally don't make an impact in their first year in the NFL because of the challenge of moving from the college game to the pros.
"History will tell you that that position, compared to the others, doesn't translate well or produce well in the first year," Billick said. "That doesn't mean, if you draft a guy and he's a 40- or 50-catch guy, that he's a bust. It just means that position may take longer to develop."
Billick cited Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin as receivers who could make greater contributions in their first year, since they can help in the kick-return game and maybe as third-down playmaking options. But in general, he said, the pro game is too fast for any college receiver to nail on his first try.
"The caliber of competition, the corners they're going to see in the NFL, it's just a lot better than anything they've seen in college," Billick said. "The sheer athleticism of what they're facing, it's a much tougher transition for a wide receiver than probably, other than quarterback, any other position."
More from PK:
"• Detroit, as of midnight Sunday, wasn't tipping its hand or negotiating with anyone for the first pick. Tom Condon, the agent for both Matthew Stafford and Jason Smith, was in Detroit Thursday, and the agents for Aaron Curry were at the Lions on Saturday. No significance to either visit because the Lions didn't tell either side who they were picking.
• I don't believe Detroit has to have a deal with a player before picking him No. 1. I believe the Lions want to have a deal done, surely, but if management is virtually certain the player won't hold out, it's likely not to be a deal-breaker."
Holy crap. Can you imagine if Detroit didn't take Stafford No. 1 at this point? Fifteen teams' heads would explode. Goodell would have to call a two-hour timeout to let people collect their thoughts. Seriously, what would happen? Would the Rams think about taking him at No. 2 due to concerns about Mark Bulger's long-term viability? Would Seattle pick him or Mark Sanchez at 4, or go a different way? Would more or fewer teams scramble to trade up to Seattle's spot, or Jacksonville's, or San Francisco's, in an effort to get Sanchez or Stafford? It would change the entire dynamic of the first day if the Lions took Smith or Curry. Which is why it would be kind of awesome.
"• St. Louis, at two, is divided on tackles Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. Smith has an edge, but it's a little one."
Seems like the Rams don't feel like they can lose, whoever they get to replace Orlando Pace. Then again...
"• Two teams I spoke with failed Monroe on their physical exams because of his knee history; one said Monroe would likely be fine for three or four years, minimum, but the team would be worried about relying on Monroe for a 10-year career. I hear this, but I think it's overly cautious. Anthony Munoz had 14 teams fail him on their team physicals in 1980, and he went on to be a durable Hall of Famer, maybe the best tackle of all time."
Maybe, but Munoz didn't sign for whatever Monroe's going to get if he goes in the top five of this year's draft. Teams are "overly cautious" because of where the finances of this thing have gone. It's tough to find a team that'll take a guy with any kind of question mark right now. Of course, it's even tougher to find a guy who doesn't have at least one.
Tough to go wrong there, especially if it's Smith. The Bengals could easily be tempted by Michael Crabtree if he's still there, since they lost T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the big WR they have left is something of a colossal flake. But they have a huge need at OT, and I still think Alabama's Smith might be the steal of the draft if two OTs go before him.
"• New England loves UConn cornerback Darius Butler. New England is smoke-screening by letting on that it loves UConn cornerback Darius Butler."
Anybody else think the Pats and the six picks they have in the first three rounds are going to do something to make themselves the story of the weekend?
"• San Francisco won't pick Josh Freeman.
• Denver won't pick Josh Freeman."
Bet that changes if he's still around when those teams are picking in the second round. What? I'm just saying.
"• New Orleans is going defense with its only pick, at 14, in the first three rounds."
That smells a lot like Malcolm Jenkins. Though who knows? Once they get wind of Belichick being all over Darius Butler, maybe they rethink. Either way, PK seems to be one of the few who's not pegging Beanie Wells for the Saints in the first round. Maybe that's because...
"• Some teams are scared off by a sesmoid bone problem in one of big back Beanie Wells' feet."
So there you have it.
Just part of the flood of information you can expect to enjoy between now and 4 pm Saturday. I remain a big Peter King fan. Even if he did bail out on New Jersey for Boston.
He'll come back. They always come back.