Having monitored mock drafts closely the past few months, I can report that not much surprises me. I know most of the names, and I have some notion as to where they’re supposed to go. But Pat Kirwan of NFL.com stumped the Buzz band in his latest mock by throwing out a name — and it’s a good name — as the Falcons’ No. 1 pick.
He’s Evander Hood, a defensive tackle from Missouri. His nickname is Ziggy. (Me, I don’t know why a guy named Evander would need a nickname, but that’s just me.) As NFL.com’s scouting report notes, Ziggy had a tepid senior season. But he had a good Senior Bowl and an even better pro day, according to Frank Cooney’s NFL Draft Scout, and of such things are 24th overall picks sometimes made.
OK, so you’re asking: Why Ziggy? Dave Henry of Amarillo.com — Hood is from Amarillo, which rhymes with “pillow,” sort of — writes that Hood’s grandmother dubbed him that because he reminded her of the pillowy comic-strip character. This apparently is the same grandmother whom David Ubben of the Columbian Missourian reports will send Ziggy articles about himself via the Internet.
A confession: I don’t know what Thomas Dimitroff is apt to do come Draft Day. (And neither do you.) But I do know that TD has told me more than once that he and Mike Smith value defensive tackles immensely, and I could see the Falcons spending their first pick on a DT more readily than I can them picking a marginal linebacker or even a tight end. (Peyton Youmans of the Bleacher Report expresses a similar sentiment.)
Plus, I just like the idea of a 300-pound lineman who goes by Ziggy.
Esteemed former colleague Gordon Edes, writing for Yahoo! Sports, chronicles the spring rise and the many inspirational tattoos of center fielder Jordan Schafer. Gordon — who was known as either “Hack” or “Slash” at the ol’ AJC for his merciless editing of I.J. Rosenberg’s copy, which occasionally warranted it — also reports that Schaefer spent $90,000 of his bonus money not on a new car but on a computer-driven batting-practice machine. Why, I have one of those in the back yard!
According to Scout.com, though, Schafer is only the 103rd-best prospect in baseball. Tommy Hanson is No. 5 on the list, and Jason Heyward, not to be confused with Justin Hayward, is No. 9. And Julio Teheran, a pitcher from Colombia, is No. 16, which surprises the heck out of the Braves blog Talking Chop.
Michael Vick, noted author
Gossip writers Rush & Molloy of the New York Daily News inform us that a certain former Falcons quarterback is seeking a ghost writer for his prison memoirs. The same Daily News informs us PETA is already irate. The same Daily News wonders if any Vick book would violate the Son of Sam law, which holds that a criminal cannot profit from a written account of his crimes.
Writing for the aformentioned Bleacher Report, Robert Holland suggests the Bulldogs should turn to Billy Gillispie, who just got fired after two winning seasons at Kentucky. The same Mr. Holland also lists five reasons Georgia is poised for an immediate reboundSorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Not to be a negative Nelly, but I’d disagree on both points. Gillispie got canned because he was a terrible ambassador for Kentucky basketball, and Georgia needs a salesman as much as it needs a coach. And the Bulldogs could hire Mike Krzyzewski and they’d still stink next season. Holland notes that Georgia’s returning roster is young. With the exception of Trey Thompkins and perhaps Dustin Ware, it’s also remarkably untalented.
A guess: Georgia will do well to win 12 games in 2009-2010, which is precisely the number the 2008-2009 team won.
Speaking of the former Kentucky coach, here’s a rather hilarious video of him being chased through the halls of Memorial Coliseum by the legendary Alan Cutler of WLEX-TV on the day Gillispie became the former Kentucky coach.