Friday, April 25, 2008
A word of advice to the Atlanta Falcons
Living in Atlanta, I spend an inordinate amount of time stuck in traffic. I usually listen to Sports Radio 790 The Zone. One of the recurring laments of all the Zone's shows is "how did the Hawks pass on Chris Paul?" For those who don’t follow the NBA, in 2005 the Hawks took Marvin Williams with the No. 2 pick in the draft as Paul fell down the board to the Hornets. Fast forward to today. The Hornets are one of the rising teams in the league and Paul is an MVP candidate. Williams is a slightly above average player.
Hindsight is 20/20. The Hawks and many other NBA teams were drawn to Williams’ upside. They said Paul did good things at Wake Forest but his stats were not where they needed to be (FG%, etc.) for him to become a great player.
Now the Hawks’ neighbors the Atlanta Falcons sit at a similar crossroads. Do they take lineman or roll the dice with Matt Ryan. You know how I feel (I’ve been saying it all week). But I want to close this draft eve argument by bringing things back to Paul. A point guard in basketball and a quarterback are very similar positions. Both are called on to lead the team and make everyone better. Great ones are rare. When you get a great one, they can transform a team. If the Falcons think Ryan is the best QB in the draft there is no excuse not to take him. Linemen come and go and are plentiful. The Falcons have a huge need at QB and if Ryan is the right fit, the pick will pay dividends for the next decade. Don’t make the same mistake as the Hawks.