Last night I made my final pick in the All Time NFL Mock Draft which we have been involved in this past week. It has been fun, a little addictive and has also bettered my knowledge on some of the players who have graced the game.
Head Coach - Vince Lombardi - For me the coach was the most important pick as the greatest coaches have the ability to maximise the abilities of a team. I think Lombardi is the greatest and I did not want to miss out on him. Having said that no other coach was picked until Round 20!
Quarterback - John Elway - A homer pick maybe but a guy who has that ability to win and could make every throw in the book available in Round 16 was too good an opportunity to miss.
Running Back - OJ Simpson - Purely from a football point of view a guy who had it all. At his peak as dominant a RB as there has been in the league. Round 19 was too good not to pick up.
Full Back - Bronko Nagurski - A true legend of the game and a huge man for his era. Tough and brutal runner who was also a great blocker. A weapon and a protector all in one.
Tight End - Rob Gronkowski - This pick drew some questions and I understand why especially as Newsome and Ditka were still on the board. However after the most dominant TE season in the history of the game I asked myself this which TE would I least like my team to come up against?
Wide Receivers - Randy Moss and Steve Largent - For me the perfect complement for each other. The most talented receiver to play the game who could stretch the field and on his day was unplayable and one of the games greatest ever possession receivers.
Offensive Tackles - Joe Thomas and Tony Boselli - A few of the top tier all round tackles were off the board by the time of my pick but IMO at their best these two are as good a pairing of pass protecting Tackles I could have selected anywhere in this draft. With all the great pass rushers on the other teams I feel secure as I possibly could do with these guys as the bookends.
Guards - Steve Hutchinson and Joe DeLamielleure - Hutchinson as good a guard as I have seen who at his peak was strong in both the passing and run games. DeLamielleure I have to admit I was not familiar with at all but after researching the players at the position getting a 6x All Pro, All Decade and HoF player who contributed heavily to OJ's success and had a great record against Joe Greene seemed a logical choice.
Center - Dermontti Dawson - One of the great all time Centers. HoFer and 6x All Pro. He was strong dominant against the run and solid in the passing game. A steal in the penultimate round.
Defensive End - Jim Marshall and Willie Davis - Two of the greatest pass rushers to have played the game and members of two of the greatest D lines of all time. TBH I was hoping to pair Eller and Marshall together again and reform the Purple People Eaters but was just beaten to him.
Defensive Tackle - Alan Page and Jamal Williams - Page is arguably the greatest pass rushing DT of all time so he was a target early on in the draft. With the number of pass rushers on the defensive line I felt I needed to add some balance to the line so added the massive Williams to became the space eating run stuffer as well as a player who could force double teams and allowing the others to cause havoc.
Outside Linebacker - Jack Ham and Lawrence Taylor - One of the true strengths of my team and the position I am happiest with. If I was picking an all time 4-3 D with the whole pool of players these two would be the guys I would pick. Taylor the greatest pass rushing LB of all time and Ham the greatest coverage LB of all time. Also they could both tackle with the best of them.
Middle Linebacker - Randy Gradishar - Maybe a little of a homer pick but a tackling machine who was comfortable in coverage. His abilities allow Taylor to roam near the LOS and wreak havoc.
Cornerback - Champ Bailey and Darrell Green - I dare you to throw in their direction! Both have great speed, great tackling ability and great coverage skills. Both in my top 5 all time CBs along with this fella.
Free Safety - Rod Woodson - The greatest all round corner to have played the game and in the top 3 of FS to have played the game. Great tacklers, great blitzer, great in coverage and pretty handy returning the ball as well.
Strong Safety - Dennis Smith - A solid player who can contribute in coverage as well as being a devastating tackler who could stack the box.
Kicker - Adam Vinatieri - Mr Clutch enough said
Punter - Sammy Baugh - One of the great QBs of all time but also holds that accolade as a punter. Could punt the ball in the 1930/40s 85 yards!
For me it was all about trying to cover all positions. Already on the roster is Baugh who can back up QB and DB, Nagurski who could back up LB and Dermontti Dawson backing up G. Getting a few HoFs in there as well definitely helps.
Jim Thorpe - RB/FB/TE
LeeRoy Selmon - D line
Lionel Taylor - WR
Tom Nalen - C
Bob St Clair.
Would appreciate any comments.