It happens every year. Some teams make surprisingly good picks in the NFL Draft, and some teams make surprisingly bad picks in the NFL Draft. In 1998, every team made a bad one.
How so, you ask? Because no one drafted London Fletcher, a lightly regarded prospect out of John Carroll in Cleveland, Ohio. Fletcher, however, willed himself into an NFL player, played 16 years in the league and won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams.
Given all that, Fletcher was the perfect person to drop by CBS Sports Radio to give his take on Thursday evening’s first-round festivities. Asked for the biggest shocker of the night – and not necessarily in a good way – Fletcher gave an honest take on the aforementioned Rams, who took running back Todd Gurley with the tenth overall pick.
“(I was surprised) not because he’s not talented, but . . . they have Tre Mason, who I thought really came on at the end of last season,” the CBS Sports NFL analyst said on Tiki and Tierney. “They have Benny Cunningham. They have Zac Stacy. You look at St. Louis’ offensive line, they were in position to take some offensive linemen at a position of need. Them not taking one of the offensive linemen, that was kind of a shocker.”
In fact, Stacy, who rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, has reportedly requested a trade as a result of the pick. So, too, has Tennessee quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who is apparently upset that the Titans drafted Marcus Mariota, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
Brandon Tierney found this laughable. So did Fletcher.
“He didn’t even finish the season last year,” Fletcher said of Mettenberger, laughing. “No, you don’t have a leg to stand on. I was shocked by that. I can understand Zac Stacy asking for a trade because he has had some production in the league and now he’s probably going to be a third back – maybe even fourth. I can understand him asking for a trade, but Zach Mettenberger? If you think you’re that good, go out and beat the guy.”
While Fletcher was a tad perplexed by the Rams, he heartily endorsed the Washington Redskins, the franchise for which he played from 2007 to 2013. Washington took Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff fifth overall.
“I love the pick,” Fletcher said. “When I looked at Scherff on tape, I got goosebumps. I’m like, I’m glad I don’t have to go against this guy. You talk about a mean, nasty, finishing type of offensive lineman – he was a finisher. That really shows the sign of a change in Washington. (General manager) Scott McCloughan, you see his imprint on that team. There’s Leonard Williams right there for him. If they had (taken) him, I wouldn’t have been upset with that either. But (there were) a lot sexier picks out there, and you go with the guard – tackle, possibly. I love the pick.
“He’s the type of tone-setter that the Redskins need,” Fletcher continued, “especially on that offensive line. They were kind of soft in the trenches over the past few years, and the quarterbacks have really taken a lot of punishment up there. So you add another mainstay on the offensive line. I love the pick.”