The world wide leader in sports has devoted a 4 minute block to a segment called On the Clock which profiles an NFL team as they approach draft day. This week our Texans were on the clock. [note: apparently there are two versions, one for TV and one for Internet] On the broadcast version, the roundtable discussion is between Mike Tirico, Merrill Hoge, Chris Mortensen, and of course, Mel Kiper Jr. While I think Tirico is a good booth analyst, and Hoge (who hates VY,+1) provides decent player's perspective, the one with the best inside info is Chris Mortensen.
What about Mel? Glad you asked. He pops up in mid March and goes away by mid May; he is ESPN's very own draftnik. To be honest, I've never had a problem with Mel Kiper Jr, until I actually paid attention to what he said -- like today, for example. Every one of the panelists made a valid observation, except for Kiper. Tirico noted that the Texans were a team that had to get better against the AFC South, Mortensen addressed the elephant in the room at QB, and Hoge raved about the acquisition of assistant coach Alex Gibbs. All were right on the money, except for Kiper.
Tirico asks Kiper if he was ready to admit that Mario was the right pick, but apparently Mel is still clinging to the notion that Reggie Bush should have gone number one. To bolster his point, Kiper credits Reggie Bush for getting the Saints to the 2006 NFC Championship game. As if the resurgence of Brees and the emergence of Colston was secondary to Reggie Bush's outstanding rookie campaign - a rookie campaign where he shimmied his way to a legendary 35 ypg on the ground. Color me wowed...
Mel, with all his expert analysis, goes on to tell his national audience that DeMeco Ryans "had all those tackles at outside linebacker". Outside? Really? Really. In any case, Mel Kiper Jr. was the only one to predict the Texans' probable pick at 18 - he has us drafting Mike Jenkins or possibly Derick Harvey. On the Internet version of this very same discussion*, Mel has us taking Jonathan Stewart. My guess is that he pegged us for Stewart prior to the toe injury, because apparently now he has Stewart off of his Top 25 Big Board and off our radar.
Expert analysis from a draftnik is about as good as their last pick... and if Kiper still thinks the Texans made a mistake in 2006, my guess is that the gel has finally seeped through his skull and rotted his brain. Here's hoping he reads this and sends me a scathing letter and a box of cereal.