Michael Lombardi of the NFLN — I don’t watch ESPN’s Draft coverage — was gushing about Eric Berry after naming him as his one “can’t miss” draft pick. He compared him to Ronnie Lott. He compared him to Rod Woodson. He basically said he had better ball skills than Fred “Curly” Neal of Globetrotters fame, and better vision than Legolas of the Woodland Realm. I literally expected a clip of Berry walking on the Tennessee River to start rolling from some backwoods passion play where Lane Kiffin played Judas.
Seriously, though, what if Berry is that good? What if Berry is a hall of famer? The best safety ever to step on a football field? Then a safety is the best player on our team. Can you think of a Super Bowl-winning team where a safety was far and away the best player? Even Ed Reed, Paul Krause and Ronnie Lott weren’t the best players on their Championship teams.
I have warmed up to Berry a ton in the past 48 hours (partially due to Lombardi, among others), but I have also been reminded of how far away we are from the Super Bowl. Given just how horrid the AFC West is, and it is effing awful, we will not be seeing a top-five pick again any time soon. We could really use another one given the current trajectory of our other recent top-fivers — Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson.
Jamaal Charles is going to have to become a superstar for us, and I think he can be one. But we will need more than that. I don’t know, maybe Berry and Ryan Lilja will be two of the ingredients that start this New England-like transformation where the entire team looks better because of improved character, chemistry, depth and overall talent. Not sure. I just know that safeties aren’t usually picked that high, and that I have yet to see one carry a team to a Super Bowl.
Then again, Darren Sharper definitely put the Saints over the hump. Can Matt Cassell play Drew Brees? Even a poor homeless man’s Drew Brees? Then again, Reggie Bush might be a homeless man’s Jamaal Charles. What about Todd Haley, how does he stack up to fellow Parcells apprentice Sean Payton? Dwayne Bowe to Marques Colston?
I think too much, but it’s NFL Draft weekend and I wanted to share my thoughts on Berry. Besides, I’m the kinda control freak who’s never gonna be happy. At least Chiefs fans got their consensus first-round pick and Tim Tebow got to be closer to god in Denver. Speaking of closer to god, anybody seen Al Davis? Oakland’s draft strategy has seemed strangely off, or should I say on, so far.