The Golden Bears Are Getting Drafted

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, April 25th, 2008

California Tennessee California Tennessee California vs TennesseeCal, Tennessee
Oh, really? It’s tomorrow? Okay then…

Well, DeSean Jackson has been taken through the ropes the past few days. Like here. And here. And here. And here. He’s not exactly getting the benefit of the doubt.

If anything, I’m flabbergasted at how overhyped translates into overrated. The MEDIA overhyped him, and now they’re taking a dump on him.

In Cal’s four biggest games before they fell off the map–Tennessee in the opener, Oregon in Autzen to establish Pac-10 prominence, UCLA in the Rose Bowl to regain the initiative, Arizona St. to save the last hopes for a Rose Bowl season–Jackson had his strongest performances of 2007. Ditto versus Arizona last year, where he did everything he could to keep Cal on track to the Rose Bowl. He has never performed well against USC because of the two/three man packages that face him (hence strong performances by Hawkins the past two years). So Jackson has done what people expected he would do in games he was needed the most. What more could you want from him?

In any case, this is the best thing that could happen to Jackson–if he really does have what it takes to play up to his level, all this trash-talking that’s downgrading his draft stock will help build up his shield for criticism. If he does suffer from the prima donna attitude, he’ll hopefully be humbled by the disrespect he’s receiving.

Here’s a great in-depth look into DeSean by NFL Films.

Teams interested in Jackson: Rams, Eagles, Cowboys, Bucs, Niners (???), Titans & Ravens, and I’m sure more.

Justin Forsett, doing Saturday workouts with the Niners, and taking physics midterms two days before. Golden Bear through and through, that’s for sure.

Lavelle Hawkins might not be going too far. The Niners seem to be buzzing about him. Also interested: Broncos and Cowboys and Chiefs.

Thomas DeCoud, as expected, will be a solid third round prospect. He’s solid. Solid as a rock. Not a liquid. Here’s a draft profile.

Craig Stevens, loved by the Seattle Seahawks, Redskins, Patriots, Bills, and a lot of other teams. The farther down you go, every team is looking out for you. It seems he’ll go pretty safely in the fifth-sixth round somewhere.

Nothing at all for Mike Gibson and Robert Jordan, but here are links to my brief profiles.

My thoughts? This might be the largest group of talent Tedford has had available to the draft–2006 might have had better all-around players in college, but only one seemed guaranteed to be a bona fide star, ghostriding the turf of Buffalo (by the way, Happy Birthday Money!). This year you have a strong number of prospects who will probably never become superstars (maybe DeSean), but all have the opportunity to end up to play key roles as top receiver, second or third options at receiver or running back platoons, backup tight end, etc. Everyone will be able to find a role they can fit into and survive well in the NFL. Perhaps one or two of them will push themselves to that star level.

Considering how valuable they all appeared together at Cal, it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the stigma of their slide. Hopefully we’ll see enough of this team in the NFL to see if the psychological hangover was left behind in college.

Provide your thoughts on the NFL Draft.

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