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A record draft with a tinge of weirdness

A record draft with a tinge of weirdness

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on April 30, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 4:43 PM

Monday, April 30, 2012.

The more you look at Kellen Moore’s NFL landing spot, the more you like it.  After going undrafted as the winningest quarterback in college football history, the former Boise State star will be with people who understand his essence.  It starts with Detroit wide receiver Titus Young, the former Bronco who caught the first of Moore’s 142 career touchdown passes at Boise State back in 2008.  If anyone in the Detroit Lions locker room has doubts about Moore’s ability to throw the deep ball, Young can set them straight.  He was the recipient of most of them. 

Then there’s the Lions’ offensive coordinator, who happens to be Boise State tight end Gabe Linehan’s uncle.  That’s just one reason Scott Linehan should connect with Kellen.  The fact that the elder Linehan is a former Idaho quarterback is beside the point.  He can conduct his own version of “Gruden’s QB Camp” with Moore.  Speaking of which, one line from Kellen’s episode with Gruden earlier this month really takes root now.  Of those who don’t think he has a chance in the NFL, Moore said, "You smile at them, say thank you and remember their name."

When Tyrone Crawford was picked in the third round by Dallas Friday night, Boise State appeared to be on a roll toward what ended up being a school-record six draft choices in one year.  But there was certainly some anxiety on Saturday as round four came and went without a Bronco being chosen.  Finally, George Iloka was taken near the end of the fifth round by Cincinnati, and Billy Winn was chosen late in the sixth round by Cleveland.  Iloka looks like he’s in a good spot, though. gave the Bengals an “A-plus” grade for their draft: “If you didn’t buy the Bengals’ rise last season, this should push you over the top.  Cincinnati landed potential starters with each of its first nine picks.”

I’d be surprised if this ever happened before.  Graduates of Boise city high schools were taken with back-to-back picks Saturday.  Boise State’s Nate Potter, the former Timberline star, went to the Arizona Cardinals with the 14th pick of the seventh round.  Then the very next selection saw the Dallas Cowboys pick up Montana’s Caleb McSurdy, the one-time Borah standout.  Potter and McSurdy used to play against each other on the blue turf.  Potter, whose stock fell more than any other Bronco the past six months despite his status as a consensus FBS All-American, now gets a fresh start with the Cards.  He’ll try to crack an offensive line that includes one of his mentors, former Boise State great Daryn Colledge.  Potter becomes the third straight BSU starting left tackle to be drafted into the NFL, joining Colledge and Ryan Clady.

Shea McClellin’s new life in Chicago wouldn’t be complete without the acid pen of a big-city sportswriter.  David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune said of the McClellin pick, “You can't hate it yet.  But it's very hard to wholeheartedly endorse—especially considering the pool of potential Bears available.”  Then came the big-conference snootiness, as Haugh said the selection surprised him because Chicago picked McClellin “over pass rushers considered safer picks from larger programs such as Whitney Mercilus of Illinois and Chandler Jones of Syracuse.”  Illinois and Syracuse? 

Haugh continues: “As perennially strong as the Boise State program has become, I still wonder how many future NFL offensive tackles McClellin faced weekly.  Is a Boise State pass rusher more prepared to sack NFL quarterbacks as one who plays a Big Ten or Big East schedule?”  To his credit, Haugh included this from Bears general manager Phil Emery.  "Watch him perform against Georgia and watch him perform against Virginia Tech and I think you'll see a very good football player,'' Emery said.

Tampa Bay is being roundly hailed for its first round selection of Boise State’s Doug Martin last Thursday night.  Martin had already been compared to Baltimore’s Ray Rice, and now the association is even more appropriate.  The Buccaneers’ new coach, of course, is Greg Schiano, who used to coach Rice at Rutgers.  When asked if Martin reminded him of Rice, Schiano smiled.  “I do see some of it,’’ Schiano said.  “To tell you the truth I do.  I see a guy who runs hard and plays hard.’’

Things worked out rather well for Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer Saturday.  The Idaho linebacker was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by Seattle.  Toomer parlayed an outstanding showing at Idaho’s Pro Day last month into possibly a nice living in the NFL.  He got the attention of scouts by running the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds and 4.55 seconds and going 42 inches in the vertical leap.  Toomer also has fullback experience, rushing nine times for 27 yards and three touchdowns last season in short yardage situations.

This was the payday Graham DeLaet needed to make his defined goal more manageable.  DeLaet yesterday recorded his second-best career result—and second-biggest check—tying for fourth at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and winning $281,600.  The former Boise State standout finished three shots behind Jason Dufner and Ernie Els (Dufner won in a playoff).  That took his season earnings from $204,264 to $485,864 as he plays on a 26-tournament medical exemption.  Now DeLaet needs $182,302 over his next 14 events to retain his PGA Tour card.  His top tour finish ever was third at the 2010 Shell Houston Open, earning him a career-best $336,400.

Boise State men’s tennis coach Greg Patton has now taken home championships in four different conferences since joining the Broncos almost 20 years ago.  Patton added the Mountain West to the WAC, Big West and Big Sky yesterday as BSU blanked New Mexico 4-0 in the title match.  Boise State had also shut out TCU 4-0 in the semis.  The Broncos thus earned the Mountain West's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, with the brackets to be unveiled tomorrow. 

Elsewhere, the Boise State women’s softball team took two out of three games from New Mexico, but that means the Broncos’ 28-game home winning streak came to an end yesterday when they lost 6-5 to the Lobos.  And the College of Idaho baseball team lost three of four at Corban over the weekend, but the one victory allowed the Coyotes to clinch the top seed and an opening round bye in the NAIA Grouping Tournament this week.

This Day In Sports…April 30, 1990:

David Cone of the New York Mets forgets the basics of baseball and pays for it in a game against the Atlanta Braves.  While arguing a call with umpire Charlie Williams at first base, ball still in glove, two runners scored to give the Braves a 4-1 lead.  Cone didn’t ask for time out after Mark Lemke was called safe on what would have been a third-out grounder.  Teammates desperately tried to get Cone’s attention while Dale Murphy and Ernie Whitt crossed the plate, and the Mets went on to lose, 7-4.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket.  He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)