FORMER EAGLE UPDATE
You aren't going to believe this. L.J. Smith is currently injured and missing time at the Ravens practices. Shocking. I don't wish ill upon LJ, but that is sorta funny. We'll see if he can stay on the field this year.
Sean Jones is saying all the right things about his status. He's currently the #3 Safety on the team, behind Cover Q...Mikell at SS and Demps at FS. Jones has the best combination of size/speed/skill among the trio. So why's he third? Aside from the fact he's new to the team, Sean hasn't always played up to his ability. He should be one of the better Safeties in the entire league. He's got that kind of talent. You see it at times, but not often enough. I think the Eagles are hoping to motivate him as well as building up Demps confidence. Jones very well could win the job, as he hopes to do. He's not pouting about being a backup. He's biding his time until TC when he can hit and tackle and the coaches can see him in full force.
My favorite high-end player that year was QB Joey Harrington. I absolutely loved him as a college QB. Oregon really broke through as a national power in the 2001 season and I'd followed them closely for several prior years. I thought Harrington was the best player in the class. Oops. I didn't count on a couple of things. First, he'd never really understood adversity. Oregon was solid. He was good in HS. He had a nice family and good upbringing. Then he went to Detroit. He simply wasn't prepared for that kind of struggle. The other problem with Joey is that he wasn't the kind of QB who could carry a team. He needed a strong supporting cast. This isn't an insult. Some guys are like that. Troy Aikman is the best example. When Troy had great weapons, he made them even greater and won titles. Take those weapons away and he wasn't the same guy. John Elway was able to put okay Broncos teams on his back and lead them to the SB. Harrington was similar to Aikman and that showed in his results.
Julius Peppers made me nervous because he went pro off a mediocre season and seemed to be aloof as a person. I wondered if he'd fit in well in the locker room. Obviously he's done well, but is somewhat of a weird duck. I wasn't a huge Ed Reed fan because he was a sloppy tackler. I've adjusted my thinking since then. I covet ballhawks.
Some of my favorite players were Clinton Portis, QB Rohan Davey, S Chris Young, DE Greg White, and DE Raheem Brock. Portis was a steal in the 2nd round. I thought he should have been a 1st. Davey was a great leader and winner at LSU. I wasn't sure if he could start in the NFL, but I loved his intangibles. Young was a great hitter/tackler. He just wasn't athletic. White was an undersized DE who had a great motor and some quickness. Brock impressed the heck out of me at the Blue-Gray game that year. He was a ton of fun to watch. Portis became a star. Brock is a solid DL. The rest had short careers.
Like most people on Earth, I was shocked to see us go CB, S, CB with the first 3 picks. I didn't see that coming a mile away. Lito was a terrific college player so that pick didn't bother me at all. I though Mike Lewis was great value in the 2nd. I liked that pick a lot. Sheldon was a player that had really grown on me at the Senior Bowl. I liked him as well.
Brian Westbrook was a good pick in the 3rd round. I figured he'd make a good backup RB and RS. Glad I was wrong on that. Scott Peters and Freddie Milons were solid picks, value wise. Milons peaked early at 'Bama. I should have factored that in more than I did. Tyreo Harrison seemed like a wasted pick to me. He never stood out when I watched Notre Dame. Hated that pick. We took Brock in the 7th. Great pick. Unfortunately there was a big dispute about his signing bonus and the team ended up letting him go. What a waste.