This one’s for the ladies.
Because the ladies like Bad Boys.
That’s right George Michael and the other guy, Bad Boys stick together. They line-up over guards and centers, they dig in the trenches, the isolate the line, they close gaps (or prevent them from ever occurring), they’re the unsung heroes of any successful defensive unit and, in the case of British Pop Stars, they give blow jobs in rest stop bathrooms off the Jersey turnpike.
And they didn’t come any badder than former New York Giant Keith “The Hammer” Hamilton.
Drafted by the Giants out of Pittsburgh in the 4th round of the 1992 draft Hamilton was considered a high-upside, high-risk defensive end. Everyone felt he had the mad skillz to perform in the league, but was he mature enough to pull it all together? In short, he was a BAD BOY.
After a successful rookie season as a situational pass-rusher in which he downed quarterbacks 10 times, big Keith struggled his next two years prompting then-Giants coach Dan Reeves to “penalize” him by moving him from end to defensive tackle. Yet the only penalty inflicted would be on the interior lineman and running backs who would feel his wrath for the final 9 years of his career.
Hamilton never really received the credit he deserved as a defensive tackle, only being recognized as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2000. But he was that rare combination of DT – a man who could clog up the run and occupy the middle, while also rushing the QB (as his 10 sacks during the Giants surprise Super Bowl run in 2000 proved). There are others who could do that too – such as ex-Jet and Cannonball Run scene-stealer Joe Klecko, the highly intellectual and savvy San Diego State alum LaRoi Glover and the Vikes John Randle, who was probably the best pass-rushing Defensive Tackle of all time.
Yet whether clogging up the run, occupying multiple lineman or sending a QB to the turf, the position of defensive tackle became THE sexy position of this draft following one performance by one player during last year’s Big 12 Championship Game.
Ndamukong Suh’s performance in a nationally televised game with immense importance to the University of Texas and their national title hopes was flat out the most dominating performance most anyone (myself included) had ever seen from a college defensive football player. Nebraska couldn’t get the ball past the 50-yard-line but that Suh led defense absolutely shut down the Longhorns and their bible-thumping QB Colt McCoy, who just the week previously had lit Texas A&M up for 49 points in a Heisman-esque performance by McCoy.
Simply put, Suh made McCoy his bitch that night. Later that evening, when McCoy was seen wearing heals and a halter top while standing on his tippy toes to solicit a guy in a Ford Truck, if you thought it was Suh you saw sitting in a caddy wearing a pimp hat – you’d be wrong – it was Keith “The Hammer” Hamilton, who’d been pimping McCoy out for the past 2 years after winning him in a poker deal from Big Doc Johnson behind the Magnolia Cafe on South Austin Blvd. Suh would never pimp someone out, he’s a very upstanding young man.
So with Sam Bradford coming off an injury, Suh – who had been dominating all season long for the Cornhuskers (fans didn’t just start spontaneously yelling “Suh” in unison in the Big 12 Championship game) seemed liked the consensus number one pick for the St. Louis Rams until all of the sudden abuzz began a circulatin’ for one Gerald McCoy.
The Oklahoma Sooner may not have gotten the pub that Suh received, but scouts were gushing over him the way a fat man gushes over a KFC Double Down Sandwich.
The thought is that McCoy’s got a higher upside with more room to grow (physically and as a player). That Suh will still be very good, but he’s reached his ceiling whereas McCoy’s got better potential.
However, I’m not buying it. The play on the field doesn’t show it and the combine results don’t show it either where they both ran identical 4.98 40’s, but Suh benched 9 more reps and had 5 inches on him on that all important vertical jump (sure McCoy took by a foot on the broad jump, but who would you rather have in the trenches – U.S. Olympic High Jumper Amy Acuff…
Or multi-gold medal winning U.S. long jumper Carl Lewis?
(I don’t remember what year that was, but since it was at a Nets game when Derrick Coleman and Sam Bowie were still there, it’s got to be going on close to 20 years and it’s still the funniest thing on Jim Rome’s radio show when he plays it).
Now McCoy can sing better than Carl Lewis (because it’s physically impossible not to) and I did find him to be a charming rapscallion on the Dan Patrick show, but I still don’t buy him as being better than Suh.
My prediction is Suh will be a Pro Bowler, McCoy will be a good player but not dominant.
Of course, with all the attention Suh and McCoy have received, that hasn’t left much room for talk about anyone else, such as big Dan Williams from Tennessee and Penn State problem-child Jared Odrick, both of whom also could find themselves nabbed in Round 1.
It’s hard for me to get excited about an overweight defensive tackle named Dan who’s last name begins with W and sounds like Wilkinson and I think everyone in Cincinnati knows of what I speak.
But Williams does have the body of a guy who could become a line-clogging nose tackle and Odrick looks to have all the physical tools to be a solid rotation guy with good penetration skills whose off-the-field disorderly conduct charge won’t look so bad if he slips into the 2nd round.
The guy I really like is UCLA’s Brian Price, a 34-rep strong man who’s slow 40 time at the combo belies his lateral quickness. He’s got John Randle like skills and should go in the first but will probably slip to the 2nd where someone will get the steal of the draft. Mark my words – and I will be mocked – in 5 years Brian Price will be a better pro player than Gerald McCoy.
The guy I really don’t like is Alabama’s tub of goo Terrance Cody. Sure he’s got that Gabe Wilkens like body and someone will look to plug him at the nose, but his performance at the combines (a molasses-like 5.64 40 with the lowest broad and vert numbers of any tackle) was the least impressive athletic performance by an overweight human since this ol’ gal hit the treadmill.
And she ran like a 5.57 40.
BK and I both loved Hamilton almost from the moment he was drafted and both felt Reeves was mishandling him. To this day, I still wonder if he should have been moved back to end but BK knows and loves Hamilton as the man who lined up on the inside. He’s never been able to wrap himself around a player who he felt had Hamilton’s combination of strength, speed, fear-inducing eyes and back-alley pimpitude – although Florida State’s Brodrick Bunkley was close. In 2006, BK had Bunkley rated HIGH on the BK-O-Meter and said he felt he could be “another Hammer.” BK pumped the Bunkley bandwagon right up until the Eagles drafted him with the 14th pick overall that year at which point BK quickly responded by spewing “Fuck that guy.” Meanwhile, despite Hamilton’s 2003 arrest for Cocaine possession and 2006 arrest for child abuse, BK couldn’t say he was completely surprised. “What do you expect,” sighed a tearful BK, “he’s a bad boy.”
TOP 12 DEFENSIVE TACKLES
Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
He will never live up to his senior season in Nebraska, but he doesn’t need to and he’ll still make the Pro Bowl
Brian Price, UCLA
I said it once, I’ll say it again – you don’t clog up a Brady Hoke-coached offensive juggernaut like the SDSU Aztecs and not turn out to be a great player. He’s got a sky-high DDI and his BK-o-Meter keeps him in play.
Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
It looks like he’s going #2 overall and I’m not saying he’s going to be a bad player. I’m just saying he’s not going to be a great player.
Linvall Joseph, East Carolina
6’4″, 328 lbs. and strong as an ox – he’s a sleeper and will go in the 2nd to some happy camper. BK-o-Meter is very high, DDI is solid as a rock.
Jared Ordick, Penn State
His off-the-field issues grade him down, but at the very least he’ll be as good as ex-Nitney Lion Jay Alford and that guy sacked Tom Brady to end the Super Bowl 3 years ago.
Tyson Alualu, California
Another Pac-10 guy who can make it at the next level, at 295 he might be more of a rotation guy but he can cause havoc on the offensive line and might bite of a center’s ear if he really gets frustrated.
Dan Williams, Tennessee
I don’t see it and this is a very strong draft for interior defensive lineman, but at this point I can’t really sink him any lower.
Geno Atkins, Georgia
I’m not one to overvalue physicals on Defensive Tackles and I’m surely not someone who particularly wants to support a guy named Geno – but look at those combine results – a sub 4.8 40 with 34 reps and a longer broad jump than McCoy! He can probably sing the national anthem too.
Cam Thomas, North Carolina
He knows the pro-style playing under Butch Davis at the N.C. and even though his physicals are good – not great – he can play a little and the NFL needs a big nose tackle named Cam.
Lamar Houston, Texas
This guy rocks – 3 time member of the UT Athletic Honor Roll, spoke to young girls about building self-esteem, visits kids with Autism and supported Mother’s Against Drunk Driving only to go out and get into an auto accident while driving drunk. But he is a pretty good player.
Al Woods, LSU
11 inch hands…11 INCH HANDS!
D’Anthony Smith, Louisiana Tech
I once had a college roommate named Anthony Smith and he played jazz piano. D’Anthony Smith was born in Berlin, Germany where they love jazz.
BK’S LUCKY NUMBER 13
What does the name Jeffrey Owen’s mean to you? Well if you’re a fan of the Montreal Alouettes, it probably means meet your new back-up defensive tackle. He’s an average player who doesn’t make a lot of impact plays nor consistently opens up opportunities for his teammates. But, as BK might say, “44 FUCKING REPS!” As for his barely reaching 6’1″ height, BK has a simple retort “Height is overrated. Just marry tall.”