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The Best Draft?

By on May 7th, 2014 in Football 14 Comments »

Nothing beats a fine, well seasoned draft,…

The NFL draft is just a couple of days away. Auburn’s 2013 class of athletes may very well be the best in nearly a decade, possibly longer. Some are graduating seniors, a couple are gifted juniors who made the leap into the professional ranks, but all will be missed and celebrated by Auburn fans whomever they play for in the professional ranks.

Like a fine German Pilsner, the process is bittersweet as I know some of my favorite players will never wear Navy and White again, never feel the turf of Jordan-Hare under their feet, never celebrate a victory with the Auburn family on the field as anything but a spectator. They will be cheered by unfamiliar faces in unfamiliar places and never again hear the “Waaaaar Eagle!” on the field at kickoff thundering from the stands.

This is actually my least favorite time of the year, as the NFL Draft is usually the last mass-media mention of football until early August. The lawn will need regular mowing and edging now. The heat will be relentless, and the cool brisk fall days enjoying the games a distant memory.

It’s enough to drive a man to drink, finding solace in a cold one as we review Auburn’s draft prospects.

Admittedly, there are worse things in  life,… ;-)

Hacker-Pschorr_Cleavage

Here’s to a long life and a merry one

A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer—and another one!

— Irish Toast

Greg Robinson

A 6’5″ 332 lb dominant left tackle whose dynamic run blocking was a catalyst for Auburn’s success on the left side of the field. Greg’s excellent mobility met and matched the best pass rushers of the Southeastern Conference and secured the pocket against nearly every blitzer sent his way.

At the combine, Greg ran a 4.84 second 40-yard dash and had a 9′ 7″ broad jump, which for a 332 lb lineman is just extraordinary. His balance, strength and physicality may propel him to the top of the NFL draft.

The fact that Shon Coleman and Gus Malzahn have been invited to the NFL Draft presentation might be an indication that some other people think so too.

Dee Ford

6’2″ 252 lb outstanding edge pass rusher with excellent balance, speed and agility to beat even the most able of pass blockers on the edge. Dee Ford made his name across four full seasons at Auburn, including both national championship campaigns of 2010 and 2013.

While hampered by lingering injuries throughout his career and even into the combine, Dee should still be a fairly high pick in the draft, possibly even in the first round.

Tre Mason

5′ 8″ 207 lb running back with excellent burst speed, agility and an almost uncanny knack for finding an inside crease and hitting it for extra yardage after contact. His 10′ 6″ broad jump and 38.5 vertical leap at the NFL combine displayed just how powerful his leg strength is.

But beyond that, Tre has displayed a work ethic and toughness that is truly exemplary. Time and again as the season wore on, he could be counted on to gain the extra yardage to propel the team down the field, maintaining drives and then suddenly bursting through for big gains. 663 of his 1816 rushing yards were earned in just the last three games against against some of the toughest defenses in the nation.

An outright steal for any team in the league, possibly even in the first round.

Chris Davis

At 5’10” 202 lbs Chris is a little short for an NFL cornerback, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up in technique and heart. Draft after draft analysis point to his leadership, open field tackling and run support.

His skills as a speed return specialist should also be noted, even for those few people in Outer Mongolia who didn’t see the end of the 2013 Iron Bowl.

A late 6th-rounder, Davis will likely show his talents and maturity in camp and preseason. I expect him to do well in the NFL.

Jay Prosch

6’1″ 256 lb power blocking back who ran a 4.72 40 at Auburn’s Pro Day and did 27 reps on the bench press (four better than any other FB). Jay doesn’t have many statistics to display from the 2013 season, but tapes of his blocking could be used as training videos for proper technique.

Jay is a true throwback to an earlier age of Larry Csonka, John Riggins, and Mike Alstott. A powerful, disciplined and technically superb fullback whose precision blocking paved the way for his quarterback and running backs both at Illinois and Auburn. You can easily imagine him playing without a facemask and just a leather cap and doing just the same as he does with modern helmets and pads.

Another late round steal for any NFL team. Jay reminds me a great deal of Heath Evans, in size, ability and NFL potential.

Steven Clark/Cody Parkey

It’s rare that special team players are talked about during the NFL draft. Normally teams pick up these valuable players as free agents. Parkey and Clark are exceptional as both are being considered for late round picks.

Steven Clark’s precision punting is a thing of beauty. Time and again he dropped punts inside the five yard line with a backspin that defied belief, securing fantastic field positions for the defense and giving SEC offensive coordinators and head coaches migraines trying to dig themselves out of deep holes. That skill has not gone unnoticed among NFL teams, and he has a chance to secure a lasting career in the league.

Possibly as high as a fifth round pick – a tremendous pick for any specialist.

Cody Parkey has a steeper climb to secure an NFL slot, but still has a very decent shot due to his powerful leg and excellent kickoff skills (including an amazing onside kick ability). His draft prospect suffered slightly in the National Championship game when he missed a 33-yarder, but previous game winning kicks secured his place in the top three kickers in this year’s draft.

Seventh round potential, but well worth a look.

Honorable mention – Exceptional Auburn players who also have the potential to sneak in the final rounds of the draft

Nose Equae- Defensive End
Jake Holland – Linebacker
Craig Sanders – Defensive End
Ryan Smith – Safety
Ryan White – Cornerback

A fantastic selection of Auburn players in this year’s draft. I’m very impressed with each of them and look forward to watching them play with swelling pride (and swilling beer) this fall.

War Eagle!



The French drink wine, the English tea.

The Yankee drinks his hot black coffee.
The child drinks milk nine times a day.
The Scotsman sips his whiskey toddy.

You can keep you wine and keep your tea!

My curse on him that brings me coffee!
I’ll drink porter, if I may.
It makes me feel content and happy.

Refrain

Porter quaffed down with a laugh.

The gentry have their aching livers.
Water is all right in tea,
For fish, and things that swim in rivers.

Water is All Right in Tay – The Clancy Brothers

14 Comments

  1. uglyjoe says:

    Great writing and very informative. It amazes me that Tre Mason is not further up on the national radar screen. ???

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..Running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL. They are typically in and out in about 4 seasons, if they play. Ben Tate recently commented that if he’d known how NFL salaries go, he’d have campaigned to play safety at Auburn. He thinks he’d have been making 10 times as much money, with much less wear and tear…

  2. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    Good read Sully. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night, will be pulling for our Tigers once again.

  3. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Good read and I appreciate the pics … It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a draft but I’m looking forward to this one.

    Which brings up an important question that hasn’t been asked…What is everyone’s drink of choice???
    “to know a man (or lady), look at the drink in his hand…”

    How about crunching some beer/calorie stats for us Sully???

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      My drink of choice differs by locale and activity. As a military brat and later soldier who spent a good deal of time in USAREUR, my tastes lean heavily on my introduction to beer in high school (Germany has no drinking age – a fact I leveraged for all I was worth).

      In Germany

      For dinner – Hannen Alt
      Anywhere near Frankfurt – Binding, either “Export” or “Romer Pils”
      (except in the Irish Pub in Sacsenhausen – then there is no other than Guinness)
      In Munich – Paulanerbrau

      Anywhere else in Europe north of Florence – it was a joy to try each local brewery.

      In Ireland – Guinness under any and all circumstances
      In the Benelux – Heineken
      In France – I wouldn’t drink French beer if you paid me, but the wines were excellent
      In southern Italy and Spain – see France

      In the states, I’ll try a few microbreweries from time to time, but am frequently disappointed and will usually switch to Sam Adams, or any number of imported Canadian/German/Czech beers as I can get them.

      I might use most other domestic brews as weed killer. I don’t mean to be a snob. It’s just that my tastes were introduced to European draft beer at a very early age and stayed there.

      • War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

        Lived in Stuttgart for a couple of years and the Straussburg area in France wasn’t bad for beer because they moved the border so much over the years that a lot them considered themselves German! I’m not really a beer drinker but there is comparison between European and American.

      • win4au says:

        Guinness contains fish bladder and high fructose corn syrup. I would go with Smiddicks (Smithwicks).

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..In the day, it’s definitely coffee. I really like the time to grind my own, maybe something like a bag of Higher Ground. More likely, I’m brewing up a quick pot of Community Coffee, with chickory. I do about a third of a cup of half ‘n’ half, pour coffee on top of that. No sugar.

      …..My favorite alcohol drink is the Stinger. Technically, that’s half brandy and half white creme de menth, on the rocks. I’ve modified my recipe to 3 jiggers of 80 proof brandy, (usually Paul Masson Grand Amber), and 1 jigger of Rumpleminze peppermint schnapps. (100 proof.) A little guy like me doesn’t need but one of these to be pushing the legal limit!

      …..Typically, I’m more often going to drink Club-400 on the rocks. A jigger of that and some ice cubes costs 40 cents, if you buy the big plastic 1.75 liter. I hit the Club a few times doing live threads in 2012, to be sure!

      • Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

        Good stuff. I’ve taken notes and plan to do my best to expand my taste since I’ve never been out of country…well, except for Haiti and they have a pretty good pilsner that’s a Heineken product.

        Cheers!

  4. spanky says:

    I would love to see Greg go first, but I do not thinkit is likely. Every first round pick is anounced by a special guest, so this is probably why gus and shon are going.

  5. ATL_AU_FAN says:

    Tanqueray and Tonic with lime for me but nothing serves as the final drink of the night more than The Macallan 18 –

  6. ATL_AU_FAN says:

    And while I’m not much of a beer drinker, the local beer in Koln (Cologne) Germany called Kolsch isn’t bad at all. (Sorry I cannot properly type the German words due to the lack of special characters).

  7. restless6 says:

    The Rams had the best draft day. Two road grinding offensive linemen are needed in that division. Dee has a good home in KC. I’ve always liked Andy Reid.

    On the flip side, the Browns suck, as do the Vikings. Manziel and Bridgewater will flop. Carr or Mettenburger should have gone ahead of these two guys.

    On the beer side, my hands down favorite is Bell’s American Ale. It’s a very hoppy IPA, and is one of the highest rated commercially available beers on the market. I also like Victory Golden Monkey. It’s an easy to drink Trippel.

    Up here in North Alabama, Straight to Ale has some superb brews. If you haven’t had their Monkeynaut or Brother Joseph, you’re missing out. They also brew other great beers that are only available on tap. The Free the Hops movement has enabled some world class beer to be sold and made in Alabama.

    Always remember, Beer is not the answer. It is the question. The answer is “Yes.”