Complete listing of ASU players drafted into NFL

Here are the breakdowns of ASU players drafted by round since 1964. Until 2013, Arizona State had at least one player drafted into the NFL every year since 1964, one of the longest streaks in college football at the time.

Note: where the player was drafted by both the NFL and AFL, I chose the lowest round. Note, this tally and the listing below do not include free agent signings. Continue reading Complete listing of ASU players drafted into NFL

Roger Craig should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame

In the NFL news today was the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There were some obvious selections, including Jerry Rice – whom I consider to be the greatest player in the modern era. I’m a huge Jerry Rice fan.

But there was another 49er on that list that I think doesn’t get the credit her deserves: Roger Craig. To this day, he stands as my favorite NFL player – even above Rice, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, and Steve Young. That’s probably because I love Craig’s style of game so much.

In recess and street football games as a kid, he was the guy I always wanted to be. The running back, with high knees that slowed the tackles (or two-hand touches, as the case usually was). The out-of-the-backfield receiver that no one wanted to cover. Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing quarterback too; but as one of the fastest kids at that age, it made more sense to get me the ball quickly and let me go.

Nostalgia aside, there’s a strong case for enshrining Craig in the Hall of Fame. He may not have been the Eric Dickerson or even Marcus Allen of his era, but what he did helped revolutionize the way the running back position is played and valued in an offense. His 1000/1000 season still holds as one of the greatest single season performances of all-time.

It’s time for a Roger Craig bust in Canton.

The best Super Bowl ever?

I’m shocked that I’m still hearing people discuss the Super Bowl as the best ever. I’m sorry, but there’s simply no way that you can say that – under nearly any measure.

A struggle of the best teams? Hardly. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams to ever make it to the big dance, if not the record-holder. In fact, the Cardinals wouldn’t have even made the playoffs if they hadn’t played in the worst division in football (not surprisingly, every other team in the NFC West has parted ways with last year’s coach). The Steelers were certainly a good team this year, but also weren’t as good as they’ve been in recent years either.

A showdown of Hall-of-Famers? Nope. While Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger may eventually end up there, they aren’t HOF material just yet (yes, some believe Warner belongs there, but he’s only been successful in special offensive systems and has had some pretty bad years, too – any one remember his Giants days). Nope, this game couldn’t hold a candle to the Montana vs Elway, Bradshaw vs Staubach, Montana vs Marino, Aikman vs Kelly, Elway vs Favre, the list goes on and on.

A showdown of head coaches?  Again, no. Tomlin and Whisenhunt are great young coaches, but they’ve hardly established themselves among the league’s best. I suspect that they will, but that’s not yet the case.

The biggest upset?  Well, certainly not – the better team, the Steelers, won the game…even if they had to do it in the last minute.  Besides, last year’s Giants, the 2001 Patriots or those pesky Jets of Super Bowl III might take issue.

The best finish?  Nope, not that either. There have been a bunch of very compelling finishes in Super Bowl history – whether that’s the 49ers winning drive over the Bengals, three last-minute winning field goals by the Patriots, the missed field goal that let the Giants sneak away with a win against the Bills, or the last second game-saving tackle by the Rams over the Titans. It was a great finish, sure, but it clearly isn’t unprecedented or unusual. And frankly, with today’s league parity, most of the recent Super Bowls have come down to the last drive.

Look at just about any measure – aside from viewership, which is mostly driven by factors unrelated to which teams are playing – and it’s pretty darn hard to make a case that this was the best Super Bowl ever. Let’s stop saying it was.

Singletary in as 49ers coach

It would have been shocking if the 49ers didn’t name interim head coach Mike Singletary to the permanent position, so it was expected that they would do so in short order after the season concluded. Of course, it was a little surprising that it was done before the team even reached the locker room after a last-minute field goal gave them their fifth win in the last seven games.

That’s a great move – Singletary has shown that he can take control, make sound decisions, inspire the team to play, and even keep big egos like that of Mike Martz in check. The more questionable decision was to promote 27 year-old Jeb York to the role of President. Having both Jeb and Mike in control of off-season manuevers means that the Niners will have no experience to draw from when those big decisions come around. In addition, it probably means that Scott Pioli won’t be adding his name to the mix, which though a long shot, would have really sparked my confidence in the future of the franchise.

Instead, Niner fans are left wondering if Martz will stick around and if the organization can really chart a new course through what could be an interesting couple of years. We’ll have to see what happens with Martz, as there seems to be conflicting reports in the last few days about his perceived status. While some consistency is badly needed in the OC position in San Francisco, I don’t think Martz is the long-term solution and I don’t think it makes sense to keep him any longer if he isn’t. If the right guy is available – which won’t be Norv Turner after tonight’s Chargers win – I hope the Niners pull the trigger. Martz’s offense isn’t as successful as it once was, and his system is overly complex and unique. Changing now will speed up the eventual transition process away from him. I think Martz did a decent job in the second half of the season, when Singletary spelled out who would be playing QB and what Martz’s gameplan would be, but I just don’t think he’s the right guy for the job.

We’ll see how Mike Singletary feels about it later this week.