Friday, July 16, 2010

Harvey Unga

So they held the NFL Supplemental Draft yesterday. Running back Harvey Unga was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 7th round. This means the bears forfeit their 7th rounder in the 2011 draft.

That is precious little to give up for such a running back. The 2011 draft is going to be a pretty dry well. A lot good sophomores came out this season. Even more juniors. Since 2007 was not a good High School recruiting class, 2011 is going to feature a depleted stock of just about everything. It will also feature a few one-season wonders. I don't know which is worse: A depleted stock, or a collection one-season hits.

This is a long way of saying the Bears gave up next to nothing to get Unga.

At just under 6'1" and about 244 pounds, Unga is a punisher with the ability to break some tackles and continue down field. The Bears are reportedly planning to use Unga as a blocking fullback. This is not the role he played in college, where he was the prime rock-runner. This is not the role most scouts projected for him. It is somewhat questionable what role he will fulfill in the Mike Martz offense. Mad Mike is extremely flexible in his approach, but he tends to go with a 3 receiver set and no fullback.

Some say Unga will have to fight for a roster spot. This is not unusual. Most 7th rounders do have to fight for a roster spot. Furthermore, as ESPN has reported, just 38 players have been taken in the Supplemental Draft since its inception in 1977. Of those 38 players, eight were running backs. Four of those never actually played in the league. The other four totaled only 3,809 yards and 20 touchdowns.

The Denver Broncos selected Bobby Humphrey in the 1st round of the 1989 Supplemental draft. He responding by accounting for 75 percent of the yards and all but five of the touchdowns. Humphrey, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1989 and 1990, is the only running back chosen in the supplemental draft ever to register a Pro Bowl appearance. By 2005, Terrel Davis had taken his place.

Unga was considered by many to be worthy of a 3rd round draft choice. The St. Louis Rams were rumored (by the to be one of several interested parties. Given the fact that they just drafted a top-end surgically repaired rookie QB, and given the fact that they have only one top-end surgically repaired Steven Jackson backing him, the argument made sense. Yet draft day came and went an the Rams made no move.

This is a continuation of a collection of the largely incomprehensible moves made by Billy Devaney. Given the Rams' need for a running back committee, and given the extreme poverty of the 2011 draft, you would guess that the Rams would be willing to spend a 7th round supplemental pick on Unga

No, evidently not. I am sure the folks at TurfShowTimes are extremely disappointed this morning. I don't blame them. This is why I quit folks. I have zip, zero, zilch, nada, no confidence in Billy Devaney. I do not believe the guy is competent, and I don't think he is seeking a winner roster. I think Buttism is his key philosophy. He is doing the butt-minimum mandatory things necessary to put some butts in the seats and keep his job. Only this and nothing more.

But this is none of my business. I should butt out. What butt-minimalists do is none of my business.