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Draft Recap - - Day #1

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Dwayne Jarrett
The Carolina Panthers
Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith and Ryan Kalil all went in the 2nd round of the draft yesterday. I said back in January that it was time for him to go and while I still feel that way, his draft stock dropping like it did to me is a clear indication that he may not have taken the process as seriously as he should have.

The Panthers got themselves a great receiver in Jarrett and with Keyshawn and Colbert there, along with the insanely talented other Steve Smith he will be challenged with all he can handle if he expects to make it in the NFL. It easy for anyone to look back and say he should have stayed in school for one more year just like Smith did but I'm not sure that would have helped based on we have heard from the "NFL Experts." Staying in school wouldn't have made him any faster and his work ethic should have been where it needed to be in order to stay in the first round.

I disagree with Gary Klein in today's LAT that all three were first round prospects. Maybe all three were at the very end of the process but not when all three finished the season. Smith and Kalil, to even make them considered to be first round picks, did the hard work that Jarrett needed to do to keep himself in the first round, more on Smith and Kalil later. I agree with "Pete Carroll who counsels draft-eligible juniors that they should not make themselves available for the draft unless they are regarded as the top player at their position" (from the article). This year it would have tough for Jarrett to be in that top spot with Calvin Johnson out there but to be eighth receiver selected overall to means you over played your hand.

Like him or not, Keyshawn obviously knows what he is talking about as he felt Jarrett should have stayed for his final year as did Jarrett's mother, but that is now in the past. Keyshawn is also right on another issue, the goal should not be striking it rich with the first contract but putting yourself in position for that monster second contract. Jarrett is going to have a tough time getting on the field with the stable of receivers that The Panthers have and while I'm sure Keyshawn and Colbert will look out for their schoolmate in order to help him through the process don't think for a minute that they won't roll over Jarrett for a starting position, that whole school thing goes right out the window at this level.

Steve Smith
It was also reported in the article that Carroll could not be reached for comment, I'm not surprised it is the second year that Pete Carroll has a lost a player to the NFL who may not have been ready so to me his silence is deafening. He knows the NFL and he knows how agents will whisper sweet nothings in player's ears just to make a buck.

A quick note on the receivers taken ahead of Jarrett, NFL teams are certainly not infallible as is the case with the Miami Dolphins, their first round pick of Ted Ginn Jr. only reinforces why they won't win any playoff games in the future. That's a lot of money to pay a "Return Man" and not acknowledge his "abilities" as a receiver. Imagine Jarrett at that spot. Here is Jarrett's Q&A transcript.

Steve Smith on the other hand had a great day being drafted by The New York Giants. Living here in the NYC area I have had my fill of this team but as a life long Giants Hater I will force myself to watch them in order to see Smith perform. This is a great place for Smith to be as it gives the Giants another weapon in a possession receiver like Smith. With Amani Toomer coming off a season ending knee injury Smith has an opportunity to step right in to the mix and make some plays if Toomer is not ready to go. And based on what I read on the Giants' official site he may get his chance right out of the blocks, The Giants will look to play him in the slot or thee outside as his versatility is what makes him great.

Not to knock Jarrett but Smith heeded Coach Carroll's advice and stayed for his senior season and it paid off huge dividends. He will be under a bit of a microscope here in NYC but his demeanor will be a perfect fit for him to be productive. With Manning, Burris and Shockey doing most of the heavy lifting on offense he will get his chance to shine no doubt. Here is Steve Smith's Conference call transcript with the media.

Ryan Kalil
The Carolina Panthers
Ryan Kalil will be teamed up with Jarrett at Carolina.  Kalil really pushed his draft stock high with a great senior bowl and an impressive combine. He really kept his wits about him and he made the most of his opportunity. The turning point for him was at the Senior Bowl when he lined up against Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the 19-year-old considered to one of the top picks in the draft. The drill was a simple one of merely keeping his hands on Okoye while Okoye attempted to swat them away. Kalil kept Okoye at bay and really impressed the scouts and coaches in attendance. Ryan has been the anchor of the USC offensive line and that experience put him in a great spot on Saturday. Here is his Conference Call transcript. Kalil's ability to play both Guard and Center will make him even more valuable to The Panthers though I would bet that Carolina will focus on his abilities as a Center.

It may not have been the results that some wanted to see on Day1 in the draft but our guys did well over all. SC had a bit of a light class this season but if you look at the underclassmen that we lost last year it think it evens out in the long run as SC continues to put top talent into the NFL Draft.

I'll have a look at how Dallas Sartz and Oscar Lua faired in Day #2 later on this evening or tomorrow.

FIGHT ON!