So now we know how much the word immaturity can cost you in the pocketbook.
Jimmy Clausen, junior quarterback from Notre Dame, was finally taken with pick No. 48, by Carolina in the second round. The Panthers were ecstatic after failing to move up to the first pick in the second round, at 33. They didn't have a first-round pick. They needed a quarterback. They have two excellent running backs and a coach, John Fox, who has been to the NFC title game.
Clausen gets to go to a team that wanted him, in a system similar to the one he played at Notre Dame, under Charlie Weis, who apparently is no longer a pariah. Weis where he belongs, in the NFL, at Kansas City as an offensive coordinator. Clausen is where he belongs, in the NFL, not taking freshman calculus and making visits to the Grotto.
Colt McCoy, the Texas wunderkind, was drafted by Cleveland in the third round at pick at 85. By a team that needed a quarterback and passed on Clausen a few times. A team with a new general manager, Tom Heckart, who held the same job with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles, remember, jettisoned Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a second-round pick, No. 37 overall (and a third- or fourth-rounder next year). The most replayed draft moment on ESPN was McNabb being selected in 1999 by the Eagles and coach Andy Reid. with the second overall pick. Boos reined when Ricky Williams' name was not announced.
We all know how that worked out. What we don't know is this year's quarterback carousel.
While Clauden got mercilessly dissected for two days, everyone admitted he has all of the skills and a ton of pro-style experience. We heard about Tebow's intangibles, but rarely was his skill set analyzed.
Clausen kept taking hit after hit (Tedy Bruschi on ESPN mused that perhaps it was because he is a Notre Dame quarterback, you know, how Brady Quinn and Rick Mirer have fared ...) ... Wow, let's check out Jason White then with respect to Sam Bradford (hmmm ... Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma) or even name me another Oklahoma quarterback except for Troy Aikman, who transferred to UCLA ...
But no one knows about the college quarterbacks. However, Donovan McNabb is a proven quantity and some actually mention the word Hall of Famer on occasion.
So did the Eagles get enough for McNabb? No way. The Steelers were shopping Ben Roethlisberger and wanted a No. 1 pick. He's still available as the draft finishes up Round 4.
Here's the rub for the Eagles. Just as they turn the keys to the Mercedes over to Kevin Kolb, they draft Northwestern's Mike Kafka in the fourth round, at pick No. 122. That chill that went through McNabb's spine three years ago just went through, Kevin Kolb. Now you know how it feels, Kevin, Reid's hand-picked successor.
(Interestingly, the first two highlight clips ESPN showed of Kafka were of him running the ball, including out of a Tebow-like Wildcat formation.)
Kafka looks like the real deal and a perfect choice for Reid, smart, big, athletic, and most important, Reid gets genius points, same as he did for Kolb. Kafka was under the radar.
As for analysts, well, one on NFL Network Friday night theorized that you should look at Clausen's and McCoy's backups to get a sense of how good they are. It was a creative attempt, yet ridiculously flawed. Dayne Crist was used to light a spark under Clausen, but he tore an ACL. He did return for today's spring game. Notre Dame and its new coach Brian Kelly, will be looking for answers at that spot, which includes Joe Montana's son Nate. But don't expect Crist to be a first-round pick. Same at Texas.
There is so much information and opinion and most, if not all, is misinformed.
These teams -- and especially analysts (not to mention journalists) -- don't know for sure. Trent Dilfer raves about Clausen. Herm Edwards, sitting next to him on the set at ESPN, practically jumps out of the screen railing against Clausen.
Right now, for Clausen, the only ones that matter are John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney who held his breath at pick No. 47 when thought Arizona was going to pick the Irish QB. "You always say anything can happen,'' Hurney said. ``Wow, it happened. We feel extremely fortunate to get a quarterback of his ability with the 48th pick.''
Clausen lost more than a few millions but has the right place and plenty of time to prove people wrong. Heck, he might wind up starting by the end of the year. Same with McCoy. Who knows, maybe Sam Bradford, the golden boy at pick No. 1, becomes Joe Montana. Or Tim Couch and David Carr, which is why the collective bargaining agreement is in the play and people like Drew Rosenhaus will always be Darth Vader.
And in Philadelphia, Mike Kafka is now playing the understudy role, Kevin Kolb is on stage playing the lead and Donovan McNabb is in the nation's capital, giving an entire city hope for a few years. All for Nate Allen and a No. 3 next year.
The quarterback carousel will play itself out. The pick here is that people will rue passing on Clausen, the Rams won't be able to adequately protect Bradford and his repaired shoulder, Tim Tebow will make more pro-life commercials (boy, would Notre Dame have traded places on that issue) but fail miserably because he can't throw the ball, McCoy will keep smiling but be another mediocre QB and McNabb (and Shanahan) will laugh all the way to the playoffs.
And behind closed doors, Kafka gets ready to take over in two years.
Sleep tight, Kevin Kolb.