Tonight will be the first time newly acquired Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya takes the ice. Stan Bowman traded a 2nd and a 3rd round pick in the 2013 draft for Oduya. Oduya is a decent player who should help the Blackhawks make the playoffs. He moves the puck well, skates pretty well, and can kill penalties probably more effectively than the Nick Leddy, Lepisto, O’Donnell, etc. Having said that…this was a public relations trade by Stan Bowman. Make no mistake about it.
Johnny Oduya is not a star player. He is not a piece that will fix all of the Blackhawks defensive woes. He is a third pair defenseman with 13 points and is a -9. If everything comes together down the stretch for the Blackhawks, maybe Oduya’s presence is enough to get the Blackhawks out of the first round…maybe.
Stan Bowman traded All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell away for basically nothing last summer and spent cap space on a collection of journmey men and underachievers who have been largely disappointments. At the time Bowman assured Blackhawks fans that the extra salary cap relief would be spent at the deadline. With the Blackhawks mired in yet another losing streak, ranking as one of the NHL’s worst defensive teams, and also struggling on special teams Stan Bowman made a desperate, short-sighted, public relations driven deal. Giving up two high draft picks for a rental 3rd pair defenseman is poor management. It’s just the latest mistake in what has been a downward spiral since Bowman took over 31 months ago.
Early round draft picks in 2013 are extremely valuable commodities. It’s value is something the Blackhawks should know very well. Duncan Keith…2nd round pick. Dave Bolland…2nd round pick. Patrick Sharp…3rd round pick. Corey Crawford…2nd round pick. And that’s just some of the current roster. Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, and Brandon Saad, who are regarded as some of the Blackhawks’ best prospects, were also second round picks.
Stan Bowman threw away great assets for 18 games of an average defenseman. That’s deplorable management. Stan Bowman took over in July 2009, watched a team his predecessor assembled win the Stanley Cup, and has since made the team worse with every transaction. Obviously the salary cap limitations forced the Blackhawks to break-up their 2009-10 championship roster, but blaming the current state of the Blackhawks on the salary cap is a poor excuse. Stan Bowman has had his finger prints all over this team for 2 full off-seasons and has failed to deliver a winner. Another seemingly inevitable early playoff exit should have Stan Bowman’s seat feeling pretty hot despite his recent contract extension.
I was looking around for post-combine Mock Drafts since McShay/Kiper haven’t come out with theirs yet. All I could find were a bunch of morons from Bleacher Report saying shit like Luke Kuechly was going in the 2nd round. Which is ridiculous. I am smarter than those dickheads. So here is the best mock draft you’ll see all day.
1. Indianapolis Colts– Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Probably the most obvious number one pick ever.
2. Washington Redskins– Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Redskins trade up with Rams and finally get the QB Dan Snyder has been trying to buy for over a decade.
3. Minnesota Vikings– Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Minnesota starts rebuilding their line with a franchise type Left tackle to protect Christian Ponder
4. Cleveland Browns– Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The Browns probably want RGIII and could very well trade up to get him. If they don’t they take the best player available which also happens to be a position of need.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Quinton Coples, DE/OLB, North Carolina
Coples is a bit of a stretch here at number 5, but TB desperately needs a pass rush. Trading back could also make sense
6. St. Louis Rams– Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
After flipping with the Redskins, the Rams get a difference maker at WR for Bradford.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars– Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Jags really want Blackmon to slip to them, but they have holes everywhere. Adding Claiborne could quickly transform their secondary into a good one.
8. Miami Dolphins– Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
The Dolphins are going to need somebody to protect Peyton Manning’s noodle neck. An O-line bookended by Jake Long and Riley Reiff is a great start.
9. Carolina Panthers– Michael Brockers, DL, LSU
Panthers have a lot of holes on defense and never replaced Julius Peppers when he left via free agency. Brockers has a high ceiling and would fit well as a rusher in the Panthers’ 4-3 scheme.
10. Buffalo Bills– Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
The Bills are remaking their defense and adding another beast from the SEC to the D-Line will make one level of their unit dynamic. Ingram really impressed during the combine.
11. Kansas City Chiefs– Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Patriots-West, aka KC Chiefs, will look to get either Tedy Bruschi or Vince Wilfork with this pick. Poe had the most impressive combine in my opinion, but I think KC opts for the future captain of their defense.
12. Seattle Seahawks– Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Pete Carroll is a moron so it wouldn’t surprise me if he traded this pick for TJ Yates, but if he doesn’t they should try to add a dynamic pass rusher. Upshaw, though not a perfect fit scheme-wise, is the best on the board.
13. Arizona Cardinals– Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Your father’s Cardinals are back. This team is a mess. They need help everywhere, but a good place to start is keeping their QBs out of the emergency room. Martin is the best option to left on the board.
14. Dallas Cowboys– Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Call me crazy…but it wouldn’t totally shock me if the Cowboys got in on the RGIII sweepstakes. It’d take a lot to move up that far, but Jerry Jones is crazy enough to try. They’ll likely stay at 14, and try to improve their secondary. Barron best DB on the board
15. Philadelphia Eagles– Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Vince Wilfork 2.0. The guy is a moster and a freak athlete. Eagles need help against the run and Poe can play either the nose in a 3-4, or a 1 gap DT in the 4-3.
16. New York Jets– Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Jets are one of the oldest teams in the NFL and with no slamdunk pick available at 16, the smart thing to do would be to trade back and acquire more picks. That’s not the Jet way, so they will continue to revamp the D-Line and take Cox.
17. Cincinnati Bengals– Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
Bengals definitely need help at guard. They could go with DeCastro out of Stanford…the safe, smart, productive pick. Or they could be the Bengals and get enamored with a big dude. Glenn has Bengals written all over him.
18. San Diego Chargers– Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Michael Floyd could be an option here depending on what happens with the Vincent Jackson situation. Having said that…corner is a position of need for the Chargers and the offense will be fine with or without a Jackson replacement.
19. Chicago Bears– Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
I don’t think Kristin Cav has ever given Jay Cutler the raging hard-on that he must have gotten watching Floyd at the combine. He ran faster that expected. He is the big, fast, smart, perimeter threat the Bears have needed for…well…forever.
20. Tennessee Titans– Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
The Titans desperately need pass-rush help. There are a few guys(Vin Curry, Whitney Mercilus, Nick Perry) with about the same talent level. If the Titans don’t trade down, they take player best suited to fit their 4-3 scheme.
21. Cincinnati Bengals– Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Cincy’s running game was putrid last year. They could go and get the other guard with a 1st round grade here…or they could reach a little for the second best RB in the draft. Nobody has ever taken two guards in the 1st rd and I don’t think the Bengals start a trend.
22. Cleveland Browns– Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
If the Browns take Richardson at #4, sign Matt Flynn, and take Kendall Wright here, the Cleveland Browns would suddenly have the pieces in place to be a very dynamic offense. Wright didn’t wow at the combine, but he didn’t fall backwards into 108 catches and 15.4 yards per catch. Wright is the perfect fit.
23. Detroit Lions– Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The only reason Jenkins goes this low is because he is a problem child. The Lions desperately need DB help and are probably willing to take a chance on a knucklehead like Jenkins.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers– Devin Still, DT, Penn State
Steelers need to get younger and deeper on the defensive line. Local product Devin Still fits the bill.
25. Denver Broncos– Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Broncos need secondary help, but there isn’t a lot of value at this spot on the board. So they’ll continue to overhaul the front seven and get a dynamic interior rusher.
26. Houston Texans– Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
This is with the impending free agency of Mario Williams in mind. Mercilus could slide into the giant void left by Williams and contribute as an edge rusher in the Texans 3-4 scheme.
27. New England Patriots– Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The Pats biggest needs this offseason are Safety, OLB, and deep threat WR. So it would make perfect sense the Belichick completely shock everyone again and take a Konz as he continues to rebuild the O-line on the fly. It’s the smart move with both current Patriot centers entering free agency. Belichick playing chess, everyone else playing hungry hungry hippos.
28. Green Bay Packers– Nick Perry, OLB, USC
Packers defense needs help. Perry put up great numbers at the combine and has plenty of on-field production. The last time the Packers took an OLB out of USC it worked out ok too.
29. Baltimore Ravens– David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Interior offensive line is probably the biggest need for the Ravens at this point. DeCastro is the best guard remaining on the board.
30. San Francisco 49ers– Reuben Randle, WR, LSU
Nobody needs WR help more than the 49ers. How they made it to the NFC Championship with that collection of dickheads beats the hell out of me. Randle never really impressed me, but that could be because of the QBs at LSU suck hard. I wonder sometimes if those guys were actually left handed.
31. New England Patriots– Harrison Smith, FS, Notre Dame
Obvious position of need for the Patriots. Smith tested well at the combine and has shown tremendous instincts on the field. He is a great play-maker. Adding Smith to Chung, McCourty, and last year’s 33rd overall pick Ras-I Dowling(injured all season) could transform 2011’s worst pass defense into one a strong unit. Dynasty Reign.
32. New York Giants– Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Ugh, whatever. Fuck off Giants.
follow me @WindyCitiSports