Weeks and weeks of worrying and hand-wringing are about to come to an end today, because the 2008 NFL Draft has finally arrived. It’s time to leave the Bobby Petrino era behind and embark on a brighter tomorrow.
This could be a franchise-altering draft. The cupboard’s looking bare at many positions on the roster with Bobby Petrino bolting out of town, with quarterback, wide receiver, defensive tackle, and cornerback all looking shaky at best. Maybe Roddy White builds on his success from last year, maybe Jonathan Babineaux becomes a borderline elite defensive tackle, and maybe the Falcons unearth a gem at cornerback, where they have interesting young players like former UDFA Brent Grimes. Many of you would argue that quarterback is the team’s biggest need, and while I’d agree up to a point, this class is loaded with high-value options like Joe Flacco and Brian Brohm.
I’m here to make what I think is an obvious case: Glenn Dorsey should be the pick at #3 for the Falcons. There’s little question that Jake Long is going first overall to the Dolphins, but then the Rams could go for defensive end (and Jake brother) Chris Long, Dorsey, or Boston College product Matt Ryan at quarterback at #2. I’m hopeful they’ll make a mistake and pass up Dorsey, who promises to be the best of the three.
Dorsey was simply dominant in his senior season at LSU, putting up 12.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks in 14 extremely productive games. He’s a senior and a high-character guy by all accounts who would be a perfect locker room leader for a Falcons team trying to find its footing under new head coach Mike Smith (I think we should call him Smithy, how about you?), and a gem of a selection for incoming spiky-haired general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
Compare that to Ryan, who threw way too many picks in his college career at BC, completed under 60% of his passes last year, and looks to me like a future Alex Smith, a quarterback selected way too high who surely does not have a long and bright future in the NFL. As I’ve written before, the Falcons simply can’t screw up their excellent draft position by gambling on a quarterback who doesn’t seem likely to come in and immediately have success, much less still be successful a decade from now for this Falcons team.
The team would be better off with Flacco, who has a cannon arm, or Brohm, who is a savvy passer with a very bright future in this league. You can get one of those guys by trading back up into the first or even waiting until the early second round.
Maybe someday in the very distant future, the Falcons will have occasion to bring Matt Ryan and Jake Long onto the team at the same time as backups, just as Dorsey is entering the twilight of what I’m sure will be an illustrious career. But that’s kind of an outlandish scenario, so for now, let’s content ourselves with landing Dorsey today.
If I’m wrong about this and Matt Ryan or Chris Long have better careers than Glenn Dorsey, may all my hair fall out. It’s what I’d deserve for being so wrong.