Peter King’s MMQB site launched its redesign with a pretty cool project: Some big names getting together to do a draft of all-time NFL players. Here are the rules:
For the 25-round draft, the mandate was that each team had to field an 11-man offense, 11-man defense, plus a kicker, punter and wild card player-either a special-teamer or another favorite of the drafter. (There was no requirement to draft a kick returner.)
It all turned out pretty good, but both King and sports fans had to question the selections made by Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts. He owned the No. 4 overall pick and took … a punter.
Now, look: Ray Guy is one of the game’s greatest special teamers, a Hall of Famer who deserves a yellow jacket. But we all know from fantasy drafts that you don’t touch a kicker until the final round, and that more than applies here. Fouts explained it to King:
“I really wanted [Johnny] Unitas,” Fouts said afterward. “But he was taken. So I thought I would shock the world. Not that many punters had the impact Ray Guy did on a game. He came into the league the same year as me , and I watched him affect games for so many years. He was such a weapon. And I thought I could get a great quarterback down the road, and I did [Terry Bradshaw, in round five].”
Fine, but you could have gotten Tom Brady (ninth overall by King)! Or Joe Montana (11th) or Jim Brown or Deacon Jones! Plus, with his fourth-round pick, Fouts took a kicker: Jan Stenerud, who was good, but the same philosophy of taking anyone but a kicker applies.
Here’s some reaction from Twitter, including Sports Illustrated itself: