Anthony Stalter vs. Ted Thompson

Regular readers know that Anthony Stalter is our NFL guru and that I’m a huge Packer fan. And since Green Bay’s general manager, Ted Thompson, made one of the more questionable trades of the day — giving up a second round pick and two third round picks to move up and select USC linebacker Clay Matthews — we thought it would be interesting to have Anthony play general manager for those three picks and see if things would have turned out better had the Packers stood pat (and drafted on Anthony’s recommendations). So Anthony is going to pick players at 2.09, 3.09 and 3.19 (the three picks Thompson gave up for Matthews) and see if he can do any better.

Thompson has a reputation for being one of the best general managers in the league on draft day, but Anthony sure didn’t agree with how much the Packers gave up in order to land Matthews:

But to give up their second round pick and two third round selections was just too much – especially considering Matthews could be one of the more overrated prospects in this draft. Some believe that he’s more of a bodybuilder posing as a football player (i.e. he looks great in workouts but could fizzle once he gets onto the field) and his character has come into question after it was made public that he and fellow USC teammates started a Facebook group called, “White Nation,” in which they posted a picture of an African American baby in handcuffs and had a caption underneath that read, “arrest black babies before they become criminals.” He claims it was just a joke and maybe he will turn out to be a versatile pro. But the trade and selection were very un-Ted Thompson-like for draft day.

We’ll revisit this after each of the next three seasons (unless the winner becomes obvious before then) and see how the two strategies compare. In the interests of fairness, I asked Anthony to make his pick at 2.09 without thinking about who slipped to 3.09 or 3.19.

So, without further ado, Anthony’s picks…

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NFL Draft: 5 Second Day Steals

What constitutes a second day steal in the NFL draft? Well, opinion of the evaluator above all else, I guess. But if a player was projected to be taken higher than he was, then that plays into the notion that a team got somewhat of a steal for that selection. Below are five players that were selected on Day 2 of this weekend’s draft that I thought were decent steals.

1. Carolina Panthers No. 163, Round 5: Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma
I was flat out flabbergasted that Robinson fell to the fifth round. Not that this holds much water because I’m not a scout, but I projected Robinson to go to the Steelers with the last pick in the first round in each of my three mock drafts. He was arguably the best guard prospect in the draft and instead of being a first day lock, he fell all the way to No. 163 for reasons unbeknownst to me. He has the talent to be a future starter and maybe sliding this far will motivate him to succeed.

2. Chicago Bears No. 119, Round 4: D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
The only reason Moore slipped to the fourth round is because of his size (5’8”, 192 pounds) – or lack thereof. If he were two inches taller and 10 pounds heavier, he would have been a second round pick and maybe the fourth corner taken overall in this draft. Moore has tremendous athleticism, good speed and is an aggressive player. Nathan Vasher has struggled the past two seasons for the Bears and I wouldn’t be surprised if Moore challenges for the starting cornerback job opposite Peanut Tillman in training camp. If he doesn’t start, he’ll certainly see some time in nickel packages as a rookie.

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Vanderbilt achieves first winning season since 1982

Thanks to their 17-16 victory over Boston College in the Music City Bowl on New Year’s Eve Day, the Vanderbilt Commodores secured their first winning season since 1982 and just their fourth seven-win season in the past 50 years.

The last time Vandy made a bowl appearance was 26 years ago, so it was a pretty cool site seeing their players douse head coach Bobby Johnson when Myron Lewis intercepted a Dominique Davis’ pass with under two minutes remaining in the game to cap the win.

Despite the loss, this was a pretty impressive year by BC. Not many college football pundits thought they would do much this season after Matt Ryan was drafted, but they went to the Big East Championship and a bowl game, which speaks volumes to the job head coach Jeff Jagodzinksi did this year.

Hopefully both of these teams remain competitive next year, because they were fun to watch in 2008.

By the way, Vandy’s D.J. Moore declared for the NFL Draft following the game. That guy was a sick returner this year.

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