Saturday, April 26, 2008

Digging into the Draft | by Pat

Today's Draft Day and we'll get to find out the new home of guys like Laws, Carlson, Sully, and Zibby. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were following the high school recruitment of Zibby on and by the end of the weekend he'll move on to the next step of his football career. While waiting to hear those ND names announced, here are some links to help pass the time.

First up, some human interest stories on the major Irish draft prospects. The Chicago Tribune covers the pre-draft jitters of the Irish quartet -- Laws, Carlson, Zibby, and Sullivan -- most likely to be drafted. Trevor's relationship with his brother is covered in one article while his homestate Minnesota paper highlights his strengths as a football player. USA Today has a short draft profile on John Sullivan while his Greenwich hometown paper covers the local angle. Carlson's local paper ran a nice piece on him while the larger Star Tribune did a similar rundown of the Minnesota native. Michael Rothstein documents Zibby's post-Combine workouts and the Chicago Tribune talks Zibby and Da Bears. Joe Brockington talks about his hopes for playing in the NFL for his hometown paper. There's even a story on Ambrose Wooden and his decision to end his football career and start his business one.

Some of the Wonderlic scores are being listed now. Assuming these scores are accurate, the ND players fared very well. John Carlson scored a 40 (out of a possible 50 points) which is the highest score of the listed players. Sully earned a 35 and Laws picked up a 30 while Zibby notched a 26.

ESPN's Todd McShay felt the need to mock draft all seven rounds and, for posterity, here are where he slotted the Irish players. John Carlson: 2nd round, #56 - Packers. Trevor Laws: 2nd round, #59 - Colts. John Sullivan: 4th round #101 - Rams. Tom Zbikowski: #103 - Falcons. Joe Brockington: 7th round, #235 - Cowboys. Feel free to add your guesses in the comment section. You can follow their actual draft post with this draft tracker, set to Irish players only, or the current draft in total.

Finally, here's a great read of Chinedum Ndukwe's roller coaster draft weekend last year as he sweat out the draft for the full seven rounds. Here's a brief excerpt but make sure to read the whole thing.

With the impact of Rich Braham's retirement settling in, the Bengals wanted a young player at center behind veterans Eric Ghiaciuc and Alex Stepanovich. Santucci hadn't played much of the position at all, but he was smart, tough, and had the build.

Now the Bengals were down to their last pick, No. 253. There were more crossouts than names left. Video directors Travis Brammer and Kent Stearman were starting to break down the draft room and getting ready for rookie camp.

And the guy the Bengals almost took in the fourth round was, just like in the movies, still there.

"Even though he had the top grade of anybody left, there was still discussion," Coyle said. "Did we already have a guy like that and did we need bodies someplace else?"

But the grade carried the day.

"The last two times I called him, it had been pretty grim. When I called him to tell him we'd picked him," Cioffi said, "it was like a parade."