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5:53 p.m.: The only fans left at Radio City Music Hall right now are no longer in healthy relationships. My editor has asked me to stop by blogging, mainly because he's going to a Broadway musical this evening. For those of you interested in my pick-by-pick coverage, the great C.J. Ah You is no longer on the board. And our friends in San Diego just selected Brandon Siler, who almost slid right out of the entire draft.
Werder just made his fifth videoconference appearance of the day, but he remains lucid. With Wingo driving the bus in the Bristol studio, you can pretty much count on a healthy dose of Cowboys information. And I'd be remiss not to mention the fine work of Suzy Kolber, who's been situated just behind me the entire day. Her facial expressions indicate that she's always on the verge of telling you something that could change your life. And Mel is sharper than ever. After sharing a split-screen with the ubiquitous Todd McShay for three months, Mel was on fire.
The fact that Anthony Arlineis still on the board just goes to show that the entire league is capable of completely blowing it.
Special thanks to my editor John Banks for reading all 12,000 words -- and even adding a few of his own. To my wife, who joined me for this trip -- and saw me for about 20 minutes. And to Grant Teaff for simply being Grant Teaff.
with enduring love,
5:08 p.m.: A guy from Whitworth just went in the draft! Still no Aggies...Chris Torn weeps.
5:05 p.m.: The Panthers just selected Baylor cornerback C.J. Wilson with the 226th overall pick in the draft. This will go down as one of the great value picks in draft history.
And in other BU news, Wingo asked Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin why he took a punter (Daniel Sepulveda) in the fourth round today.
Tomlin joked that playing for Baylor had provided Sepulveda with more opportunities than most punters...Special thanks to loyal readers Anthony Violi and Ryan Hefton, who have read this blog for a combined 17 hours. I'm humbled and slightly troubled by this fact...Dan Santucci is off the board, folks. OK, I'll answer some questions. What do you want to talk about?
4:58 p.m.: Folks, I hate to tell you this, but Purdue offensive tackle Mike Otto is off the board. I just returned from visiting with Dallas radio legend Norm Hitzges and his longtime producer Mark Freidman. They're discussing the fact that Texas A&M is about to be shut out in the draft for the first time since 1974.
Thanks to draft guru Rick Gosselin for looking that up for me...Michigan State punter Brandon Fields now off the board. Carolina on the clock.
4:14 p.m.: We have an exclusive with Cowboys coach Wade Phillips. While I was making a Tuscan pesto chicken sandwich run, I checked in with blog correspondent Ed Werder in Dallas. Asked to shed light on why the hell the Cowboys would select Arizona kicker Nick Folk in the sixth round, Werder was kind enough to hand his 1991-model cellphone to Wade Phillips, who he'd been staking out for the past 45 minutes.
Phillips reminded me that the Cowboys struggled on kickoffs last season and said Folk reminded him of Morten Andersen.
Then he quickly ended the conversation.
"Matt, I have to get back in there and draft another kicker now!"
The really awkward part was the guy at Cosi Bakery kept asking me if I wanted sun-dried tomatoes while I was trying to talk to Phillips.
Back with some great Mike Tomlin stuff in a moment.
2:56 p.m.: I'd vowed to high-step through Times Square with my Latitude D620 if I nailed the Chargers 172nd pick. But A.J. Smith pulled a fast one and went with Boiste State wide receiver Legedu Naanee "Juice." This team needed a defensive end or a guard, and A.J. pulls the trigger on Naanee. He would've still been available next weekend for goodness sakes.
Hey, I'm in major need of a break. Anyone know a good restaurant within walking distance (10 steps) of Radio City Music Hall?
Oh, and Werder just banged out a text message in less than 14 minutes. The guy's on fire. He's having way too much fun with his Glowpoint videoconferencing machine. I'm not sure if ESPN has gone to him 17 times because of his immense talent or the network is in love with the Cowboys.
Actually, I'm leaning toward the former. Note to Archer or Werder: make a 10 a.m. tee time at Cowboys GC for Tuesday.
What in the name of Efren Herrera is going on at Valley Ranch? The Cowboys just took a freakin' kicker in the draft -- and his name isn't Mason Crosby. They took Arizona kicker Nick Folk in the sixth round. The last time the Cowboys drafted a kicker there were like 27 rounds in the draft! Stop the madness. I'm outta here.
Oh, and the fact that an SMU linebacker just went in front of Baylor CB Anthony Arline is a crime against humanity. I love what Phil's doing on the Hilltop, but this is a slap in the face to Baptists across the nation.
2:31 p.m.: OK, for my next trick, I'll nail this Chargers pick at 172. I've got them taking DE Jacob Ford out of Central Arkansas.
2:13 p.m.: Who needs Randy Moss when you can grab Virginia Tech's David Clowney in the fifth round? My friends at the Wooden Nickel in Appleton are rejoicing over this pick.
Clowney is thinly built and isn't a polished route runner, but he does catch the ball well, which is a good skill for receivers to master.
Ted Thompson said earlier he wouldn't comment on the Randy Moss trade. The man has gone out and gotten two second-tier receivers in this draft. Brett Favre has to be pleased with what he's seeing.
Michael Vick was just interviewed on ESPN. Didn't hear what he said, but I hope someone asked him about the dog-fighting story.
From the sound of it, this story's not going away. Vick and his "little chef" could be in trouble. And by the way, have you guys ever hired a personal chef based on his ability to always pick the right spice? This is a strange tale. And Vick didn't help matters by no-showing Congress at a scheduled breakfast on Capitol Hill.
The Commish wasn't happy about that.
1:52 p.m.: E-mailer Jon Humbyrd wants to know why no one has taken Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander. Jon, the kid is barely 6-0 and weighs 228 pounds. I like the fact that he was a playmaker, but his lack of size and strength means he could get engulfed by offensive linemen. We had the guy going on Day 2, so this isn't a huge surprise. I do think he's pretty good in coverage and could contribute on special teams.
In other news, Dante Rosario the TE from Oregon, is off the board to Carolina. And Pittsburgh takes the guard out of Rutgers, Cameron Stephenson. Really nice talent, but very raw.
1:34 p.m.: The 49ers just took Texas cornerback Tarell Brown in the fifth round. This kid's timing has never been good. He's a great talent, but he keeps getting into cars with people who have firearms and marijuana. I was at UT's Pro Day when head coach Mack Brown made a passionate defense of his cornerback, but then a few days later, Brown was arrested again.
Talent-wise, he's probably a top-five corner. But he went three rounds later than he should've because of his poor decisions and the Commissioner Goodell's tough stance on conduct. It was pretty impressive to see him pull a hamstring after running 4.4 in the 40 and still complete his workout.
1:32 p.m.: When I came in last night from re-setting my board, I bumped into Gaines Adams in the hotel lobby. Apparently, Adams shared an elevator with my wife two days ago and here's how the conversation went:
Mer: You sure look nice.
Adams: Thank you.
Mer: (sensing that a 6-5, 265-pound man with about 37 diamonds on his giant watch might be in town for the draft): Are you dressed for something special?
Adams: Yes, the NFL draft.
Mer: Are you being drafted?
Adams: I sure hope so.
Mer: Good luck to you.
Adams: Thanks. What are you up to today?
Based on that in-depth conversation, my wife is now a fan of Adams' work.
12:56 p.m.: OK, I'm going to take some e-mails for a few moments. The Packer Nation is not pleased at this point:
Andrew G. writes: "This is ridiculous. I'm a huge Packer fan and I love Brett Favre, but
he should just retire now. Today. The Packers can't give up a fourth-rounder for one of the best wide receivers in the game!?!?! As much as I look forward to the NFL draft, Ted Thompson [expletive] me off every year. Brandon Jackson over Michael Bush? Passing on a Randy Moss deal. I am extremely upset."
Andrew, I want you to take a moment to relax. I'm told Ted has big plans in the fifth round. It obviously wouldn't have taken that much to get the Moss thing done. The Patriots stepped in and made it happen. But hey, you somehow landed wide receiver James Jones yesterday.
12:50 p.m.: Chargers just took a former Southlake Carroll (Texas) Dragon at No. 129. Scott Chandler went to Iowa as a wide receiver and ended up a tight end. He's 6-6, 268 pounds and has excellent hands. I'm sure the Chargers are hoping he can take some attention away from Antonio Gates, but the thing he can't do is block.
Chandler doesn't really like the contact. Interesting choice after taking LSU wide receiver Craig Davis. Obviously, A.J. Smith and Norv Turner are trying to add more firepower on offense. This might be a different-looking draft if Wade Phillips had taken over for Marty.
12:39 p.m.: I'm afraid Jerry Jones turned this draft over to the great asst. head coach/offensive line coach Tony Sparano after the Cowboys took Anthony Spencer in the first round yesterday. The Cowboys picked Boston College offensive tackle James Marten yesterday and then picked up another offensive tackle, Doug Free of Northern Illinois, today in the fourth round.
The club is obviously preparing for the loss of Flozell Adams in free agency. And quite honestly, they'll be happy to see the chronic underperformer go. Marten and Free will compete for his job, perhaps as soon as this season.
I'm sure the Cowboys were surprised that Free was still on the board today and decided to snap him up.
12:15 p.m.: I'm not totally sure about this, but I think Swank Magazine just interviewed me. If you're unfamiliar with this publication, it's known for its great mock drafts.
The guy asked me to name the best athlete I ever saw who no one else would know. Said it was going to end up in a book at some point.
My answer: Damon Miles from Kaufman (Texas) High School, who should've been a starting safety or cornerback in the NFL. Miles just couldn't deal with authority, as the great John Williamson can attest to.
12:10 p.m.: Our blog correspondent Ed Werder has been even busier than usual this morning. Through the miracle of the Glowpoint videoconferencing device, Werder has already filed three reports this morning.
And he even found time to check in with us. He said Jerry Jones talked about how his decision to pass on Brady Quinn shows exactly how much the Cowboys think of Tony Romo. He said the Cowboys never considered taking Quinn with that pick.
Surreal moment of the weekend: when Werder referred to a text message he received from Romo during a live shot from Oakland. It took Ed like three years to learn how to send a text, and now it's just another weapon in his impressive reporting arsenal.
Good pick by the Lions at 117. Manueal Ramirez is an absolute mauler from Texas Tech. Those guys don't get noticed because they play in the spread offense, but he had a nice performance at the combine.
12:05 p.m.: The Steelers have pulled a coup! Cowboys Pro Bowl punter Mat McBriar breathed a sigh of relief when the Steelers took Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda with the 112th pick of this draft. The Cowboys elected not to let McBriar and Sepulveda compete for world punting domination.
You know Sepulveda's a stud when the Floyd Casey Stadium crowd at Baylor would cheer wildly in fourth-and-long situations.
The Packers originally had the 112th pick, but Ted Thompson couldn't figure out who to reach for.
11:50 a.m.: Just received a text message from Cowboys punting genius Mat McBriar asking me why I was getting started so late this morning. Said he logged on at 9 a.m. and expected me to be ready. As most of you know, I had to stay up late last night re-setting my board. Where do I see most of the value today? Well, that's pretty obvious. The sixth round. This is where you go to find help on special teams and you can occasionally stumble across a starting offensive lineman.
Lots of questions about the Cowboys this morning. Folks unhappy they came away with two players who probably won't start next season. Well, I tried to tell you that Jerry was convinced this team didn't have any holes. He's ecstatic about that 2008 first-rounder he got from Cleveland.
But before you think I'm being a Cowboys homer, I do have to wonder about taking Isaiah Stanback in the third round. I just don't see the guy being an NFL quarterback. So you're basically taking a chance on a guy being a dual threat. When that 2008 pick shows up in the top three, you'll want to thank Jerry. But in the interim, you may not see the results you're looking for. I do think there's a chance Anthony Spencer could surpass Greg Ellis pretty quickly. The guy's only had one great year, though. He wasn't much of a factor at Purdue before that.
11:39 a.m.: As you just read, the Patriots have traded their 110th pick to the Raiders for one Randy Moss. I know Lane Kiffin is thrilled to have this done. He wanted to start with a clean slate, and that couldn't happen with a high-profile non-performer. Bill Belichick was successful with another reclamation project a few years ago when the Pats acquired the disgruntled Corey Dillon from the Bengals.
The thought is that Moss will succeed when surrounded by a better group of players. The truth, though, is this guy doesn't really want to play anymore. One of the scouts I know in Oakland has told me that the organization pretty much eliminated from its future late last season.
It's sad that such an unbelievable talent only commands a fourth-round choice. I can tell you this: The second- or third-biggest regret Jerry Jones has is not picking Moss in 1998. Much, much more to come.
11:33 a.m.: This place has thinned out considerably this morning, in part, because most people have no earthly idea who these guys are. But fortunately for you guys, I've been a second-day specialist for many years. This dates to me hitting on Pat McQuistan in the seventh-round last season.
New England 110th pick for Oakland wide receiver Randy Moss. It's official folks. Back with a lot more in a minute.
11:26 a.m.: We wondering if the good folks in Wisconsin are hot over Moss heading to New England. Thoughts, people?
11:25 a.m.: You probably know by now that our Len Pasquarelli is reporting that the Patriots and Raiders have agreed to a deal that would send Moss to New England. I just placed a call to my guy in Oakland, so hopefully we'll have more details as the day goes.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys selected Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback. I know the Cowboys really wanted Beck out of BYU, but he went earlier than expected, to Miami. Stanback is a great athlete, and he really improved his throwing mechanics over the past couple of years.
He had Lisfranc surgery, and that could slow his progress. I think the Cowboys could be thinking about him as a dual player.
Much more to come.
11:19 a.m.: Top of the morning to you. Cowboys on the clock in the fourth round.
Man shouting, "Draft a holder, Dallas!"
Upset special this morning was Jacksonville taking Maryland punter Adam Podlesh with the 101st overall pick. Two-time Ray Guy Award winner Daniel Sepulveda of Baylor was expected to be the first punter taken.
Cowboys still don't have a wide receiver and that was a priority. San Francisco has just traded its 124th overall pick for Seattle wide receiver Darrell Jackson.
11:10 a.m.: The fourth round got off to a bad start. Raiders introduced as Los Angeles> Raiders.
11:05 a.m.: Randy Moss to the Patriots? Does that make New England a lock for the Super Bowl. Much more to come.
10:31 p.m.: (Saturday) Since I just surpassed the 6,000-word barrier, my editors have asked me to stop. Perhaps forever. But Lord willing, we'll start over Saturday morning. Special thanks to the guy who said he left his niece's first holy communion early because he didn't want to miss my third-round coverage.
9:45 p.m.: (Saturday) Once again, I hate to take credit for anything. But some of you may recall me saying the Cowboys were going to take Boston College OT James Marten in the third round about three hours ago.
OK, I'm going to read some of your e-mail and call it a night -- unless you're just dying to continue!
9:35 p.m. (Saturday): Several Raiders fans are accusing me of neglecting them. Guys, I spent the first three hours analyzing your No. 1 pick. Now, you want me to get excited about Josh McCown and Mike Williams coming to town?
Will that trade save the franchise? You bet your Al Davis jogging suit it will. McCown and Williams will make beautiful memories and will thrill you and your offspring.
Green Bay finally gets around to taking a running back. Brandon Jackson out of Nebraska. I've seen him play three times in person, and he's great at accelerating. I also recall him being about 5-4, so he's able to run through the legs of his offensive linemen.
Matt Mosley covers the NFL for ESPN.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.