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Red Raider Gridiron | NFL Draft Looms for TE Jace Amaro; Dave Parks on Being #1

The NFL Draft is Thursday and there are conflicting reports on TE Jace Amaro and his blocking ability. Looking back at Dave Parks being the #1 pick in 1964. Expansionpalooza and Northern Illinois?

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John Weast

Amaro Offers Size and Production: The USA Today is looking at the various prospects as the NFL Draft is approaching on Thursday and says that TE Jace Amaro offers size and production to the NFL (via USA Today).  All-Pro TE Tony Gonzalez spoke about what Amaro could do:

"Back in the day, a guy like Jace Amaro probably would've played defensive end," says Gonzalez. "You can't guard him, especially in the red zone. It's like, 'Jace, we're just gonna throw it in the air, doesn't matter who's on you.' "

Contrast that bit with what CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan had to say about Amaro, which is that Amaro simply can't block (via CBS Sports). Again, I get that Amaro may not be the best blocker in teh world, but what do you want him to be. He's the best pass-catcher in the Draft and if you want a legitimate pass-catching threat or an extra blocker, then my thought wuld be that you could teach Amaro to be a better blocker, but being a nimble pass-catcher is somethign that either you have or you don't. It's like saying, "This pass-rushing outside linebacker really isn't good at covering receivers."  Well, yeah, but he's a really good pass-rushing outside linebacker.  Anyway, here's Kirwan:

Amaro had a breakout last season with over 100 receptions. He's a slot player with little to offer as a blocker. He is a solid route runner. The West Virginia and Oklahoma State games made me feel like he was a sure first-round pick with 24 receptions, 310 yards and three touchdowns. He tries to block effectively but he really is an oversized wide receiver and would be a great fit on a team playing 12 personnel (1 RB, 2TE, 2WR) as the move tight end. I see him as an early second-round pick.

Parks Goes #1: Pretty cool retrospective on the 1964 #1 NFL Draft pick, Texas Tech's Dave Parks (via LAJ). Go read the whole thing, but back then, there was the fight between the AFL and the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys' Gil Brandt spread a ton of cash onto a table and wanted him to choose the NFL, but the Cowboys never had the chance as they picked 4th and the San Francisco 49er's picked 1st overall.

"I don’t know when I really thought they had drafted me," Parks said. "I really didn’t have any idea. I didn’t trust any of them I talked to. I knew they were trying to get players. They were running around, throwing money around. I just let all that go and didn’t worry about it, and sure enough it happened."

Northern Illinois to the Big 12? This is one of those pure speculation pieces and it's something that I had never considered, which is whether or not Northern Illinois should be considered a worthy Big 12 addition (via CBS Chicago). At this point, it seems like the Big 12 holds the cards in terms of addition other members to the conference and the question is always, not whether or not NIU could compete but if they could bring eyeballs and television sets to the conference. Honestly, it's not a bad option at all, enrollment of 25,000 students and I love their color scheme.


* Whoa.  All Nigel Bethel, II did at the Florida state track meet for his Booker T. Washington team was win 4 individual gold medals and 1 silver in a relay (via Miami Herald).

* ESPN continues their post-season position rankings and they have the offensive line (via ESPN) and special teams groups (via ESPN) at 6th overall.  I wonder how much the factor of having a dedicated special teams coach has into the decision making (I'm guessing not at all since Darrin "Big Money" Chiaverini isn't mentioned at all).