NFL Draft Notes, Cont.
Marketer: Cleveland Right for Quinn
Despite Brady Quinn's drop to No. 22 in Saturday's NFL Draft, Quinn's CAA marketer Howard Skall insists that Cleveland taking him was the best marketing situation. "From a marketing standpoint, I can't imagine he'd be more marketable if he was taken at number nine at Miami," Skall said. "Cleveland is definitely the best place for him, being that he grew up a Browns fan and has a chance to lead that team back to glory."
Although Skall says that Quinn's drop wasn't "what we expected to happen. Everything corporate America saw in Brady before the draft was on display on Saturday -- character, class and poise." Skall said that even though Quinn moved out of the green room, he wanted to do the interview with ESPN's Suzy Kolber.
Reebok Happy With Draft
With JaMarcus Russell going to Oakland and Brady Quinn going to Cleveland, it couldn't have worked out better for the folks at Reebok. "There were two phenomenal markets in Oakland and Cleveland looking for their messiah and they both got who they wanted," said Eddie White, vice president of team properties for the brand. Quinn, who will be wearing No. 10, and Russell are expected to battle it out for top jersey sales among rookies.
Nike's DraftNike signed an unbelievable amount of picks -- 19 out of the 32 players taken in the first round. Those players are JaMarcus Russell, Calvin Johnson, Gaines Adams, Adrian Peterson, Amobi Okoye, Marshawn Lynch, Darrelle Revis, Jarvis Moss, Leon Hall, Michael Griffin, Aaron Ross, Reggie Nelson, Brady Quinn, Dwayne Bowe, Anthony Spencer, Robert Meachem, Greg Olsen and Anthony Gonzalez.
The guy who most benefited from being picked as high as he did as far as shoe negotiations go is likely Ted Ginn, who was taken ninth by the Dolphins and is currently in negotiations.
On Mike Francesa's show on NBC on Sunday night, New York Jets general manager Mike Tennenbaum declined to tell Francesa how high Michigan linebacker David Harris, who they drafted No. 47 overall, was on their board. Tenenbaum said he didn't want to reveal that until contract negotiations with Harris wrapped up for fear that his agent was listening to the show and would use that as leverage in contract negotiations.
No More "Sleepers"
Years ago, drafts were filled with sleepers -- virtual unknowns who would go from obscurity to the league. I was convinced this was a thing of the past. Workouts are too public. There are too many blogs. Too many draftniks. That's why I couldn't believe it when I read Lee Jenkins' article in the New York Times about Walter Thomas, the 370-pound defensive tackle who could do back flips, and -- get this -- run a 4.9 40-yard dash. Thomas, Jenkins wrote, had a college career of two games before he was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, which halted his short career. The article was filled with glowing quotes and said that, in recent times, Thomas had gone from the 74th best defensive tackle in the draft, according to one site, to as high as No. 15 at his position.
This was an incredible story. A guy who I had never heard of, who had this great story, who -- according to Jenkins -- "had to be drafted." But after -- at least according to ESPN.com's DraftTracker -- 18 defensive tackles were taken, teams had obviously filled their need for the position and Thomas wasn't a part of that.
I wonder how much Roger Goodell's new code of conduct fit into the fact that he was not drafted or was it simply the fact that this story was just a good story and not necessarily based in reality. It will be interesting to see if a team signs him as a free agent.
Sponsorship of the Week
There was plenty of sponsor presence at the draft -- from Hummers lining the outside of Radio City to the Burger King king making an appearance, but I think the best sponsorship was happening behind the scenes. Visa used its NFL sponsorship to offer an NFL Draft Package to its cardholders. The deal included a trip to the draft, breakfast with Rex Grossman. OK, that's not that great. But the first four cardholders to sign up got to hand the hats to JaMarcus Russell, Calvin Johnson, Gaines Adams and Adrian Peterson before they walked out on stage.
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