As I fly the friendly skies, let's consider some final thoughts on the first round of the 2010 NFL draft:
On many other nights, Green Bay's fortuitous positioning might have led our NFC North coverage. Leaving the first round with a legitimate left tackle of the future in Bryan Bulaga, without giving up extra draft choices to move up, had to be the Packers' best-case scenario. This is about the most you'll get in affirmation from Packers general manager Ted Thompson: "We were a little surprised that Bryan was still available, and we felt like it was a very good value pick for us." Bulaga will wear No. 75 and could be a starter by the end of 2010.
We focused much of our Jahvid Best coverage on the intra-division nature of his acquisition. There are several other important aspects, including why the Lions thought they couldn't wait until No. 34 overall to draft him. Here's general manager Martin Mayhew on that topic: "Our concern was that with a night to sleep on it and this guy's ability being what it was, that either somebody would move up in the bottom of the first and take him, or somebody would move up to the St. Louis' pick [at No. 33 overall] and take him, or we thought he might be a good selection for St. Louis. We wanted to get up there and get him."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz called Best a "human highlight film" and said he expects him to be a "home run hitter." More than once, Schwartz brought up Tennessee running back Chris Johnson in comparison.
Had Best not suffered a frightening concussion last November, he almost certainly would have been off the board at No. 30. Best said he is suffering no ill effects. "I got checked out by the best doctors in the world and they said I was cleared," he said. "So that's not even on my mind anymore."
It would have been difficult to find two more players with impact at No. 2 and No. 30 than Ndamukong Suh and Best, respectively. "We were aggressive," Schwartz said. "We weren't bargain-hunting. We were going after players that we consider blue-chip players that we can build around."
The Lions had almost no pre-draft contact with Best. Asked if he was intentionally playing possum, Mayhew said: "You know ... yes. ... We felt the smart thing to do was not say too much about him."
I guess we'll never find out if Minnesota would have drafted Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who went to Denver at No. 25 overall. But we might soon find out if they have interest in Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen or Texas' Colt McCoy, both of whom remain available. During our NFL DraftCast on Thursday, I suggested I would fall out of my chair if the Vikings draft Clausen. I'm not backing off.
The Vikings have a total of nine picks now. Green Bay has seven remaining. Detroit has four. Chicago has 'em all.