Shanoff's W.U.C.: NFL Draft Superlatives

Today's Calls: Matt Stafford vs. Mark Sanchez, Michael Crabtree vs. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Percy Harvin vs. Beanie Wells, Pat White vs. the Wildcat, Seahawks vs. Broncos, Celtics vs. Bulls, Caps vs. Rangers, Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Andy Pettitte, Ryan Succop vs. Irrelevancy and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Ever remember an NFL Draft first round go faster? That alone should qualify it among the best drafts ever. But let's hand out the 2009 NFL Draft Superlatives anyway: ↵

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↵Biggest winner, Top 10: Mark Sanchez. Telegenic quarterback from the uber-successful college QB factory ends up in the league's biggest media market, coinciding with the arrival of a head coach whose last team made the playoffs with a rookie QB. Oh, and he's bilingual. Ka-ching! (Runner-up: Percy Harvin to the Vikings.) ↵

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↵Biggest loser, Top 10: Michael Crabtree. How does the draft's most talented player fall to No. 10? Wasn't a team need? Bah: He wasn't even the first receiver drafted. When Oakland took Darrius Heyward-Bey, the stunned look on Crabtree's face was priceless. And he goes to a team with no good QB! (Runner-up: Chris “Beanie” Wells) ↵

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↵Lifetime Achievement: Al Davis. Hey-Bey was the quintessential Raiders pick: All 40 and a shocker, particularly with Crabtree available. Second-rounder Mike Mitchell was mocked by TV pundits, but it sounds like Chicago was ready to snag him. Maybe the pundits should do a little more homework? ↵

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↵Worst 1st round: Broncos. Yikes. I love Knowshon Moreno, but didn't the Broncos sign three RBs in free agency? Also: How could they pass on Brian Orakpo? The ‘Skins, who picked next, snapped him up without missing a beat. He should have been the Broncos' pick. Oh, and the whole 2010 Seattle debacle. ↵

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↵Best 1st round: Seahawks. First, they landed arguably the best defensive player in the draft in Aaron Curry. But, in the masterstroke, they swapped their second-rounder for the Broncos' first-rounder in 2010, putting Seattle in a position to package their two '10 1sts for ... hmm: Sam Bradford? ↵

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↵Most overlooked: Matt Stafford. His day came Friday, when reports leaked of that monster contract. That made his actual selection an afterthought. Then he was upstaged by the Sanchez pick and hometown approval. The unusually quick pace of the draft only put Stafford in the rear-view faster. ↵

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↵Most inspired pick: Pat White. The team that revolutionized the Wildcat formation a year ago drafts the player best-suited to run the NFL Wildcat in the history of college football. It was the one you wanted to see happen, then it did. Calling it now: White as 2009 Fantasy Football uber-sleeper. ↵

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↵Draft Must-Read: Mike Florio’s analysis. ↵

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↵NASCAR: Wow, there was more crashing than racing. And Carl Edwards finished the race ... on foot! (For those who didn't, aren't you bummed you weren't watching it live?) ↵

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↵NBA Playoffs: This Celtics-Bulls series is epic. After the Game 3 blowout by the C's in Chicago, you would be forgiven for thinking the Bulls had packed it in following the Game 2 heartbreaker. Hardly: They came back and punched the champs right in the mouth. It took double overtime, but they earned a TKO in Game 4. If the Cavs are more or less locked in as conference champs, I don't want this series to end; it's the best it'll get in the East this spring. ↵

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↵More: Cavs sweep Pistons — that was as easy as it was expected. The Pistons, as a franchise, are reeling. They have the cap room in 2010 to be a player for two superstars; they will need both to remain relevant in the East into the next decade. ... Hedo FTW! Magic reclaim home-court advantage. ... Rockets go up 3-1 on Blazers. ↵

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↵Tonight: Lakers go for the close-out at home. ... Heat try to press their advantage in Miami in Game 4. ... The Nuggets nearly pulled off a Game 3 W in New Orleans; the way they have played in Denver, tonight's game isn't do-or-die to win, but it sure would create some much-needed cushion. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵
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↵Sox sweep Yanks: Ellsbury steals home! ↵

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↵N.L.'s Hottest: The Pirates! (Yes!) ↵

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↵N.L.'s (Not) Hottest: So much for the Marlins' mo. ↵

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↵Rookie Watch: Jordan Zimmermann (2-0!) ↵
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↵Fantasy Stud: Jay Bruce (3-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI). ↵

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↵NHL Playoffs: What was that about the Caps being finished? Chokers? Down 0-2 after two games in D.C., they have tied up their series at 3 all with the Rangers, with the must-see win-or-bust game 7 back in D.C. ↵

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↵CFB Spring: Matt Barkley may very well be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft (per Kiper), but he won't be the No. 1 QB at USC this fall if his performance in the Trojans' spring game is any indication: 2 INTs and a fumbled hand-off. Aaron Corp's job is safe — for now. ↵

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↵NBA Draft: Gerald Henderson is entering, but won't sign with an agent. Why? He is guaranteed to be a Top 20 pick, and his athleticism and scoring punch — sort of a poor man's Kobe — was on display this season for Duke. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, the Wizards will likely trade their top pick if they don't pick 1st (Griffin) or 2nd (Rubio). For a team with vets and a closing window to try to make a run in the East, they can't afford to let young players develop — they already have too much unfulfilled potential on their bench. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Ryan Succop. The South Carolina kicker was the last player taken in the draft, earning him the Mottram-esque honor of "Mister Irrelevant 2009." Save your jokes about kickers and irrelevancy. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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