A Truly Spectacular Show
Posted April 29, 2011 9:08 pm
By: Sef Gold
For the first time since the Super Bowl, there was an optimistic buzz concerning the NFL. On Thursday night, labor issues were pushed aside and the first 32 members of the 2011 rookie class were celebrated and welcomed in to an elite fraternity of NFL players. From the time Carolina chose Cam Newton until Green Bay took Derek Sherrod, fans around the world celebrated their team’s selections. In a brief, four-hour moment, the regular NFL, America’s favorite sport, was back.
In what could be called one of the most talented draft classes in recent history, there was certainly a cow theme to the first round, as 20 of the 32 picks were made to beef up the line. Buffalo was the first team to start what became the linemen trend, selecting Marcell Dareus. Dareus, who anchored Alabama’s defensive line, should come in and make an impact right away for the Bills, similar to Ndamukong Suh for Detroit. As for the Lions, they made it clear that teams will have to run outside the tackles by selecting Nick Fairley to play next to Suh. Suddenly, Detroit could be an offensive line’s worst nightmare.
While there was no huge surprise in the first round, many people did not see 4 quarterbacks being picked in the first 12 spots. It seemed that all of the pre-draft speculation concerned which defensive lineman was going to be the number one overall pick, yet the Carolina Panthers went with the player who has the biggest upside in the entire draft. Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who has play making ability similar to Ben Roethlisberger, can also run. If Cam is properly developed, he could become the best player in the NFL for years to come. The Titans, Jaguars and Vikings also appear to be grooming new quarterbacks. Just like the 2004 quarterback class that featured Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Roethlisberger, the 2011 draft class could feature multiple superstar quarterbacks.
The first round thrills that took place Thursday night provided fans with some much needed optimism and excitement. The stage is set for the rest of the weekend’s festivities and action that will come with the remaining six rounds. As fans will start to picture the 2011 version of their favorite team’s roster, the NFL has once again captured its audience’s attention.