By Rams Nation's Don Ackerman
It's Draft weekend. It's the day that dreams come true. It's a day when college kids cash in on their talents and hard work. It's a day when dreams come true. But the glimmer of fairy tale dreams coming true were dampered by spoiled brats, death, and a driving while intoxicated arrest spoiled some Rams fans fun. But the Rams still had a big day.
Sure he has a nice pedigree but Eli Manning acted more like a spoiled brat than an NFL professional. In a league and a system where most are thankful to get drafted, Eli went one overboard and told San Diego he would pout, not hold up a jersey, and would completely forego enjoying being the #1 pick overall. Meanwhile, across the nation, young men waited by their phone hoping it would ring. It's too bad a spoiled brat can demand he not have to suffer and be drafted by San Diego (where I'd be willing to suffer and toil without hestitation if a well-paying job offer came my way). But history may show Manning a fool and San Diego brilliant. The Giants gave up a lot for Peyton's kid brother: they trade North Carolina State QB Philip Rivers (draft #4 overall) as well as a 2003 3rd rounder, 2004 1st rounder, and 2004 5th rounder. No wonder the crowd in New York booed the man! I don't know how many New York Giants fans were in the crowd but I'd be unhappy as a Giants fan. Not only did New York give up a quarterback rated as highly as Manning but next year's #!? Odds are Eli will not turn things around next year and San Diego will get another low 1st round pick. All I can say is well done, San Diego! Eli, you're a brat and New York is perfect for you.
A lot has been said about the death of Pat Tillman. On a day when a family sits together and watches their college boy's dream come true, military families lost their sons. With both kids probably being the same age, it's sad to think about those we lose in our war with Iraq. It especially stands out on special days like the Draft. My thoughts and prayers go out to all families of solidiers and I wish each soldier a safe trip home.
Leonard Little has very bad timing. On draft day at 3:57 am, Little was stopped for speeding and reports indicate he was accused of driving while intoxicated. To be honest, anyone driving at about 4 am is probably speeding. Hopefully, Little was not drinking and driving but I must admit that I'm suspicious. The facts will come out shortly and at best, Little had very bad timing. I know players want to be mentioned on draft day in a positive way. I hope Little's not guilty.
It was a big day in Saint Louis. The Rams were able to get the #1 running back in Oregon State University RB Stephen Jackson. The Rams took the best player available and possibly netted the coveted "Draft Day Steal" trophy. Jackson was slated in mock drafts to go as soon as #6 to Detroit and not one mock draft I found had Jackson available at 24. Though I like the Rams' running corp of Faulk, Lamar Gordon, and Arlen Harris, I can't blame Martz for wanting to get a great player at pick #24. I'm happy to give up a 4th rounder for the best running back available.
Overall, it was a mixed up day with many emotions flying. We'll wait and see what happens with Little and how Jackson develops. If nothing else, it was a day to be remembered.
Don, the Rams Nation columnist can be contacted at Don@RamsNation.org.