SMC students weigh in on NFL Draft

The 2013 National Football League draft was held from April 25 to April 27 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Even though Los Angeles does not have an NFL team, Santa Monica College students still root for their favorite franchises.

The New England Patriots are famous for drafting successfully. One of the team's more notable selections includes three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time NFL most valuable player Tom Brady, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.

Prior to the draft, SMC student Walter Mendez, a Patriot fan, felt the team should target a defensive tackle with the 29th overall pick to shore up their lackluster defensive front and help Brady pursue that elusive fourth championship.

Fortunately for Mendez, the Patriots traded their late first-round pick for four other picks, one of them an early second rounder which they used to select Jamie Collins, a defensive end linebacker hybrid from Southern Mississippi.

“With Vince Wilfork getting old, I think they might target a defensive tackle," Mendez said about the team's moves. "But I’m more concerned about losing Wes Welker. I thought Tom Brady took a pay cut so that we could keep him."

One of the Patriots chief rivals, the Miami Dolphins piled up 11 picks in the draft including the twelfth overall selection.

But the Dolphins pulled off the first shocker of the day when they traded up with the Oakland Raiders to pick number three in order to acquire star defensive end and linebacker Dion Jordan from the University of Oregon. Jordan has been touted as the “top pass rusher” by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay.

The most popular NFL franchise among Angelenos are the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders, who played in Los Angeles for 12 seasons from 1982-1994, last won the Super Bowl in 1983.

After the Raiders traded the third pick to the Dolphins, they used the twelfth overall pick to select cornerback D.J. Hayden from the University of Houston.

The Raiders also acquired the 42nd overall pick in the trade which they wanted desperately in this deeper than usual draft, especially since they didn’t have any other second-round picks. They used the second-round selection on offensive tackle Menelik Watson from Florida State.

“I think with proper coaching, we can make a lot of our top picks work for us,” said SMC student and avid Raiders fan Jessica Campbell.

Even though the Raiders were in a great position to draft virtually anyone they wanted, they knew who they wanted and knew they could trade down and still get him while adding a valuable second round pick in the process.

“I’m feeling like the Raiders are going to take it this year, I say we go with Sharrif Floyd and shore up the defensive side of the ball,” said SMC student Tesean Lincoln, another big Raiders fan.

Numerous draft gurus touted Floyd, a defensive tackle from the University of Florida as the best defensive tackle in the draft, but he unexpectedly fell out of the top 20 and was considered a steal by the Minnesota Vikings at pick 23.

There was a little bit of pre-draft talk of the Dolphins possibly trading down from the 12th spot and obtaining the Vikings two late first round picks, but Miami decided to go in another direction.

Before the draft however, SMC student and Minnesota Viking fan Ejay Adkins said he would be, “very interested in a possible trade with Miami." But Minnesota decided to take their chances and see who fell to them at 23 and 25.

Not only did Sharrif Floyd unexpectedly fall to them at 23, so did cornerback Xavier Rhodes out of Florida State who some draft analysts ranked as the number two cornerback in the draft.

Just when everyone thought the Vikings were done on day one, they surprisingly traded back into the end of the first round to select the second highest ranked wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from the University of Tennessee who was projected to go as early as eighth overall.

Even though Adkins was in favor of the possible pre-draft Vikings-Dolphins trade, SMC student and fellow Vikings fan Jordan Cameron voiced his displeasure.

“I would rather take those two first round picks and trade them Victor Cruz,” said Cameron.

With Cruz being a stand out wide receiver, Cameron can’t be disappointed with landing the second highest ranked wide receiver prospect, especially as late as the Vikings did.

In depth opinions and comprehensive knowledge on such a wide range of teams only begin to describe the NFL fan base here on campus.

It’s obvious that the absence of an NFL franchise here in LA has not diminished the spirit of the NFL of the fans here at SMC.