I covered the Champ's Sports Bowl over four days in Orlando back in December and I don't recall ever hearing the name Gosder Cherilus mentioned. What I remember is that Michigan State's defense chased beleagured Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan all over the field for much of the night. And B-C struggled to run the ball all evening long so whether Cherilus was responsible for any of that, I don't know. I do know he is perfect for the Lions because as usual, no one coverinig the team figured he'd be the player they'd take in the first round. Not that they don't need offensive line help-- where don't the Lions need help, right?
But it's difficult to project how he'll fare in his rookie season. To me, there is no reason to praise or condemn this pick-- once we see him in action then we can all judge from there. Most fans never heard of any of the Lions' other draft picks, save perhaps for Central Florida running back Kevin Smith who went in the third round. He's small, but fast, but again, projecting how college draft picks will fare with Detroit is always a challenge. Rod Marinelli seems to be a guy who likes to draft on character and attitude and that's fine and we'll see how these players all fit in or not.
Michigan State's three draft picks are probably all disappointed they weren't chosen earlier. Two were junior college players, so senior Kellen Davis was the only player from his recruited class who ended up being chosen in the draft. That's as many players as were chosen from the same class at Grand Valley State and Eastern Michigan, both having one player chosen. The other two MSU picks were junior college players. It's easier to understand MSU's struggles on the football field the past few years when you watch the draft. State simply needs better players, NFL calibre players if you will.
Why does Michigan always contend for the Big Ten title? Better players, right and the Wolverines had six guys chosen so it seems obvious there is a direct correlation to a team's won/lost record and how it fares in the NFL draft. But if Michigan also lost six NFL draft picks, that means the replacements might not be as good and so will Michigan even be the 9-4 team next fall that it was this past season? Stay tuned.