Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SEC continues NFL Draft dominance

In total, 35 Southeastern Conference players were taken in the 2008 NFL Draft, including four of the first 10 picks. Vanderbilt saw three players drafted, which was more than Alabama, Florida, Miss. State, Ole Miss and South Carolina, and as many as Tennessee.

While this shows that the Commodores are clearly more talented than they have been in the past and that they have a coaching staff that knows how to develop players, it also leads us to ask the question: how have they not gone to a bowl game in any of the past three seasons?

But, that's a question for another day...As far as the SEC goes, it once again led all conferences in drafted players with 35. The Pac-10 was second with 34, the ACC had 33, Big 10 28 and Big 12 27.

Here's the SEC breakdown:

Alabama: 0

Arkansas: 6
Darren McFadden, RB (Round 1, Oakland)
Felix Jones, RB (Round 1, Dallas)
Marcus Harrison, DT (Round 3, Chicago)
Marcus Monk, WR (Round 7, Chicago)
Peyton Hills, FB (Round 7, Denver)
Nate Garner, OT (Round 7, NY Jets)

Auburn: 5
Quentin Groves, DE (Round 2, Jacksonville)
Patrick Lee, CB (Round 2, Green Bay)
Pat Sims, DT (Round 3, Cincinnati)
Jonathan Wilhite, CB (Round 4, New England)
King Dunlap, OT (Round 7, Philadelphia)

Florida: 2
Derrick Harvery, DE (Round 1, Jacksonville)
Andre Caldwell, WR (Round 3, Cincinnati)

Georgia: 4
Marcus Howard, OLB (Round 5, Indianapolis)
Thomas Brown, RB (Round 6, Atlanta)
Chester Adams, OG (Round 7, Chicago)
Brandon Coutu, K (Round 7, Seattle)

Kentucky: 4
Jacob Tamme, TE (Round 4, Indianapolis)
Keenan Burton, WR (Round 4, St. Louis)
Andre' Woodson, QB (Round 6, NY Giants)
Steve Johnson, WR (Round 7, Buffalo)

LSU: 7
Glenn Dorsey, DT (Round 1, Kansas City)
Chevis Jackson, CB (Round 3, Atlanta)
Jacob Hester, FB (Round 3, San Diego)
Early Doucet, WR (Round 3, Arizona)
Craig Steltz, S (Round 4, Chicago)
Matt Flynn, QB (Round 7, Green Bay)
Keith Zinger, TE (Round 7, Atlanta)

Mississippi State: 0

Ole Miss: 0

South Carolina:1
Cory Boyd, RB (Round 7, Tampa Bay)

Tennessee: 3
Jerod Mayo, LB (Round 1, New England)
Brad Cottam, TE (Round 3, Kansas City)
Erik Ainge, QB (Round 5, NY Jets)

Vanderbilt: 3
Chris Williams, OT (Round 1, Chicago)
Earl Bennett, WR (Round 3, Chicago)
Jonathan Goff, LB (Round 5, NY Giants)


Tony Arnold said...
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Tony Arnold said...

Well we did not go last year, because of our quarterback problem.

In Jay's senior year we did not go for the same reason we have missed too often--we have the talent, but we don't know how mentally and emotionally to win the close games at the end. That, and laying a big egg in the 1st half of the UK game.

One area I disagree with Bobby Johnson on is that at this point you do have to coach the emotional part of the game. You have to fire the guys up and teach them how to get over the mental hump of winning. Once you do get over it, then you can go back to focusing solely on the process and on execution.

But right now we have to find a way to get the players at key times to what it more than the other team. I think both the players and the coaches, have some work to do on that front.

We are so close. I love my school, I love the players, and I like the coaches. I will continue to do the one job I have--buy tickets, contribute to the NCC, and scream at the games.

Jarred Amato said...

You're right, Tony. We are almost there and while it may not happen this season, it's only a matter of team before we are playing in a bowl game. The difference between 7-5 and 5-7 has nothing to do with talent. It's about attitude and effort and having the right mindset, particularly late in games, and of course a little bit of luck.

Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I think it's all going to come together soon.

Tony Arnold said...

I hope you are right Jarred. I went to our last bowl game when I was a sophomore engineering student. It has been a long wait and I am ready to go--whereever and whenever.

David Rutz said...

The quarterback problem hurt last year; if Nickson had lived up to his preseason 3rd-team SEC selection we would have gone bowling.

But even when Nickson didn't live up to expectations, Mackenzi Adams played well enough to beat Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Those three games, he passed for six TDs, ran for another, and had no interceptions.

Chalk the Kentucky loss up to terrible execution in the special teams, but losing to Tennessee and Georgia were, like Jarred said, because of the wrong mindset at the end of games.

In my opinion, we lost the Tennessee game when the Vols failed to get a 2-point conversion to tie the game at 24 in the fourth quarter. If the game had been tied, maybe that would have woken up the offense that they actually had to WIN this game to win it, not sit idly by and take one minute off the clock at a time with obvious running plays. Instead, still up 24-22, we wussed out again, and the n Tennessee got the ball back and kicked a field goal to win it. I'm not sure if we would have won the game if they had tied it earlier, but it may have made the difference.

Bottom line is, Vanderbilt will never get to a bowl if Johnson and Ted Cain don't trust their quarterback to make plays late in the game.

David Shochat said...

Mentally both the players and coaches need a ton of improvement. One has to look no farther then the UT and Georgia game last year. In the UT game, the roughing the punter on Stewart completely changed the momentum of that game. One it was bad on Stewart's part, but more importantly, "Why did the coaches call for a block in that situation?". I think we were up by 2 TDs, UT was near their own 40 or the 50 i think, and it was fourth and short. Not only were we in control of the game but it could have easily been a fake.

In the Georgia game Cassen has to know that the game is pretty much won as long as we protect the ball at all costs.

Also, I agree with Rutz. If Cain and Bobby don't trust their QBs we will never win. We dont have the RBs to just run the ball 75% of the time. I realize that maybe the coaches don't have faith in the QBs, but whose fault is that? Also, I would rather give some of the QBs a chance to make plays and lose taking risks then to lose playing conservative. In the end, we are Vandy. We haven't been to a bowl in 20+ years. What do we have to lose? Nothing. We only have things to gain. There is a time and place for playing conservative, but it is not the WHOLE SECOND HALF!!!

David Shochat said...

On another note, the same amount of NFL prospects as UT, more than Florida and South Carolina. I hope that recruits see that... you can come to Vandy, get a great education in case football does not work out, but also make it to the NFL if you work at it.

Tony Arnold said...

David, one point on which I truly agree is to stop playing so conservatively.

I will not tell you how many losses and losing seasons I have endured, it dates me too much.

So my philsophy is if we are likely to lose anyway, be aggressive. Being aggressive is what got us the lead in the UT game in the first half. And don't get me wrong, trying to block a punt when the situation does not call for it is not what I mean by being aggressive. You can be aggressive, but still play smart.

If we are going to go down, go down fighting.

More to the point--in both football and basketball, quit managing the clock so much. Have you ever noticed that the game clock stops less when you keep executing your offense successfully rather than when you are trying to be conservative with it?

I am a firm believer that if you keep scoring and getting defensive stops, the clock manages itself.