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Jake Locker, Christian Ponder Were Reaches for Titans and Vikings

James Carpenter going 25th overall to Seattle may have been a shocker, and the bounty the Falcons paid to move up and select Julio Jones was surprising, but nothing was more stunning than seeing Jake Locker and Christian Ponder go eighth and 12th respectively. I figured Locker would sneak into the back end of the first round and that Ponder would be a second-round pick, but I never thought these guys would each go Top 12. That’s just insane.

Locker seems like a likable guy and his physical tools (arm strength, size, and speed) are undeniable. The guy is talented. But I’ll harp on the same issue many analysts have with him: he just doesn’t have accuracy. I know his team at Washington was not very good and that he made the Huskies, but the guy just is not accurate with his passes. I’ve seen him unable to throw the football to immobile targets. How’s he supposed to throw on the run with Pro Bowl defensive backs covering his receivers? Locker can make plays happen, but I just don’t see him doing well in the NFL. Then again, this could be my Angels bias creeping up because I’d like to see what he could do in pro ball.

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Julio Jones Is Good, but Atlanta Falcons Traded Way Too Much

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft was filled with surprises, ranging from Jake Locker going 8th overall to James Carpenter getting picked by the Seahawks at 25. While fans were shocked left and right, one move that stood out to me for its outrageousness was Atlanta’s decision to trade five draft picks for Julio Jones. I like Julio Jones, but I’m not sure I’d deal five picks for a receiver guaranteed to be a combination of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Wayne.

Atlanta gave up the 27th overall pick, their second and fourth-round pick this year, and their first and fourth-round picks in 2012 just to move up to the sixth spot. That’s two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth all for Julio Jones. That’s close to too much to surrender for a franchise quarterback. What can a second receiver do for you?

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Nick Saban, Mark Ingram Shocked James Carpenter was Drafted in First Round

Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter was picked by the Seattle Seahawks 25th overall in the first-round of the draft Thursday evening. The pick was stunning to most people because Carpenter was projected as a mid-second round pick by several analysts. Hearing Carpenter’s name get called was even shocking for Bama coach Nick Saban, who was sitting at running back Mark Ingram’s table. Check out their priceless reaction to the pick:

Nick Saban said to himself “James Carpenter went in the first round?” while Ingram said “Did they call James? I’m happy for him.” Either Saban was listening to too much Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock talk and was caught off guard, or he didn’t think his former player was a first-round talent. Something tells me it’s a combination of the two factors, and that can’t be a good sign for Seattle.

As for the Seahawks, GM John Schneider explained the pick saying “Quite frankly, our top-rated guy came to us and he stayed there the whole time.”

Carpenter himself admitted the pick shocked him. Was it a good pick or a reach? Only time will tell, but if this is who Seattle had at the top of their board, they made the right move.

Also see: Mark Ingram crying during his draft day interview

Kristin Cavallari Approves of Chicago Bears’ Gabe Carimi Draft Pick

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler recently got engaged, Cavallari confirmed on her twitter page Thursday. Given that news it’s no surprise to see her celebrating Chicago’s first-round draft pick on Thursday evening as Bear Goggles pointed out to us:

Folks were cracking jokes about Jay Cutler retiring immediately after the Detroit Lions selected ferocious defensive lineman Nick Fairley to pair with Ndamukong Suh. That was a clear reference to the beating Cutler took during the season due to the lack of an adequate offensive line. It’s about time the Bears invested in protecting their quarterback, but I guess you can’t completely blame them when they had to trade away half their picks to get Cutler in the first place.

If you’re interested in more pics of the lovely Kristin Cavallari, go here.

Prince Amukamara’s Family Wins the NFL Draft Fashion Award

Prince Amukamara, who was widely rated as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL draft, slipped to the 19th pick and was snatched up by the New York Giants. The former Nebraska Cornhusker drew all sorts of attention on draft day not just because he fell a good 10 spots, but also because of the fashion choice by his family. Check out this picture of Amukamara’s family on draft day:

Prince’s parents are Nigerian, and his father is actually a chief so that’s how Prince got his name. He has five sisters whose names are Princess, Precious, Promise, Peace and Passionate, and his mother was actually a sprinter in the ’84 Olympic Games. Just check out the sweet hat his mother was rocking!

As you can imagine, the New York papers are having a ball with Prince’s name given that the draft happened on the eve of Royal Wedding. Please hold the jokes.

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

Mark Ingram Cries During Interview with Suzy Kolber (Video)

The New Orleans Saints traded draft picks with the New England Patriots to move up and select Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the 2011 NFL draft. Ingram went 28th overall and actually had to wait longer than some people expected him to. After getting picked, he was interviewed by ESPN’s Suzy Kolber who got personal with him. Kolber read a message Ingram’s father had sent to him from prison, and the emotion caused Mark to break down and cry:

Mark Ingram Sr. played 10 years in the NFL, six for the Giants, and helped them win the Super Bowl in 1990. In 2008 he was sentenced to seven years in prison for bank fraud and money laundering. He’s not expected to be released until late 2014, but there’s little doubt his impact on his son is profound.

Also see: Ingram’s reaction to the James Carpenter pick

Reggie Bush on Twitter: ‘It’s Been Fun New Orleans’ After Mark Ingram Pick

My first thought after hearing the New Orleans Saints had drafted running back Mark Ingram was “so much for Reggie Bush.” Apparently he was thinking the exact same thing. Not long after the selection, he sent off this blast on twitter:

And just like that, a new catch phrase was born. Bush was set to make nearly $12 million in the upcoming season so the team was going to ask him to take a paycut anyhow, but now with such a crowded backfield (the Saints also have Pierre Thomas), it just makes it more clear that New Orleans is moving on.

To say Bush was a bust with New Orleans is like saying JaMarcus Russell is chubby. The Heisman Trophy winner* was supposed to be the next superstar when he entered the league. The Houston Texans were ridiculed for passing up the seemingly superhuman Bush in the draft, but they turned out to be right.

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