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Big guys represent undeniable value


Garrett from New Knoxville, OH

You said Jonathan Baldwin has a high ceiling. Vic, what does that mean?

It's scout talk for nearly limitless potential. Baldwin has eye-popping size/speed numbers and he can jump like Larry Fitzgerald. Nobody, and I mean nobody, in this draft can go up and get the high ball like Baldwin can. So why doesn't he do it all of the time? That's the big question. Kansas City coach Todd Haley, whose father played at Pitt and has a lot of ties back there, is betting he can bring Baldwin to the top of his game and keep him there. If you wanna see what this guy can do, put on a tape of the 2008 and 2009 Notre Dame games.

Jeff from Seattle, WA

Looks like the Falcons are all in.

That's called making the big play. It's resonating very well in Atlanta, I'm sure. Jones is from the region (Foley, Ala.) and Falcons fans are very familiar with Jones' talent from his days in the SEC. Is Jones the playmaker that will put the Falcons over the top? When you give up what the Falcons did, the answer has to be yes or the long-term pain is excruciating.

Thomas from Cambridge, MA

Is the defensive line crop deep into the third round?

Yes, it is. I expected more defensive linemen to be drafted than the dozen that were picked on Thursday. Still on the board are blue-chip linemen such as Stephen Paea, Marvin Austin, Drake Nevis, Da'Quan Bowers, Justin Houston, Brooks Reed, Allen Bailey and Jabaal Sheard. Houston and Reed, of course, are expected to become linebackers, but that's not a guarantee; they can play with their hand down in a 4-3. Even beyond those guys, there are intriguing defensive line prospects such as Jarvis Jenkins and Greg Romeus. If the Packers want somebody to replace Cullen Jenkins, they shouldn't have any trouble jockeying into position to draft one. The Packers, for sure, have the ammo to move up in the second round.

Lee from Jacksonville, FL

What do you think about the Jaguars moving up to pick Blaine Gabbert?

It's simple: Gene Smith saw the best quarterback in the draft falling toward him and he found a team that was willing to let him come up and get Gabbert for a modest price. It's pure value. When it comes to getting value, GM Gene is the Ted Thompson of the AFC.

Paul from Green Bay

What's on tap for Friday?

More of the same. I'll start my chat at 4:30 and we'll have more fun. I really enjoyed yesterday. I thought the questions I got were fantastic and the best part of the night is that I found so many fun-loving readers. We joked a little to fill the dead spots. I had a blast.

Keith from Chicago, IL

What's the first question you ask our new number one pick?

Left or right; which do you prefer? I doubt that he'll answer it, but you never know. I see Derek Sherrod as a pure left tackle. He's been described as a finesse pass-blocker because the strength of his game is his athletic ability which, for a tackle, means movement. He's not a masher but he's got the hips to be one if he gets in the weight room and stays there through an offseason. Bryan Bulaga is a masher. He's a perfect right tackle, in my opinion, and Sherrod is a perfect blindside pass-protector. I see the two guys as bookends for the long-term future.

Jess from Bonduel, WI

Thumbs up or thumbs down on the networks showing the pick before it's actually announced?

It's good reporting.

John from New York, NY

Would you rather write the story or do the live chat thing?

I did both. I did the chat right up to the pick, then I left to go downstairs and listen to the interviews so I might provide an opinion piece on the pick. Mike Spofford did the nuts-and-bolts report. Yesterday was a 19-hour day and went by in a snap. The draft really is energizing. Why? Somebody should do a study on it. Why does it get us so revved up?

Chris from Tulsa, OK

What surprised you most in round one?

The haul of picks Cleveland came away with in the trade with Atlanta. That's just sheer luck. Every team in rebuilding wants that to happen to them. It's the Herschel Walker trade all over again. Five years from now, the pundits will point back at yesterday as a turning point for the Browns. Shame on the Browns if it isn't.

Rex from Rice Lake, WI

What really are your expectations with post-pick press conferences? What golden nuggets are you guys in that media room looking for?

I'm hoping the pick will have been so uplifting or disappointing that it'll cause the people who made the pick to bear their soul. That seldom happens, of course, but every so often it does. I can usually get a read from the mood of the GM or coach as to their satisfaction for the pick. Ted Thompson referred to his relationship with Ron Wolf and how the two commiserated in the past about the value of big guys and how you can't pass on them when they fall to you. That's what guided Thompson in picking Sherrod. Thompson knew he was making the pick Wolf would've made. He was making the pick a smart drafter makes.

Wendy from Seymour, WI

Given that the first BAP pick is offensive, what are the chances that we'd pick two-for-two on offense in the second round?

BAP is BAP, regardless of position. The bulk of the running backs and wide receivers crops begin to surface in the second round.

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