(Mistakatonic University Press) - The pre-season is over. After a thrilling replay of last year's championship game, it's time to look at the top 36 draft picks and see how they've played.
1. FB Sam Buck, Seoul Choson
68 carries for a paltry 196 yards, a 2.9 yard average. 3 receptions for -3 yards. One touchdown. His 14 special-teams tackles are his only bright spot. This player needs 20 touches per game to make him worthy of the number 1 pick. Until he gets them, he must be rated a Total Bust.
2. DL Matt Calhune, New Deal Lions
12 Tackles are not so good. 7 sacks are very good. 2 stuffs are not so good. One interception is very good. So are 57 yards of backfield stops. He ranks fourth for sacks in the pre-season, and sixth in backfield stop yards. The pressure is on a number two pick, and Calhune has been invisible in many games. He must be rated a Minor Bust.
3. CB Ned Jarvis, Virginia Beach Panthers
Ned has 26 tackles, one sack(!), one stuff(!), and was the seventh-ranked punt returner. He only defended 8 passes, however, and got a single interception. Hopefully, he won't turn out to be a safety with an identity crisis. As it stands, he must be rated as a Moderate Bust.
4. DL Darin Hall, Albuquerque Scorpions
13 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 stuffs. If you're picked number four, you have to be better than that. He's a Total Bust.
5. HB Kenny Proctor, Haddonfield Pumpkins
384 rushes is a huge workload, that's 35 carries per game. With all that work, Proctor averaged 3.5 yards per game. That's a workmanlike average. He did have 29 big plays, a huge upside, but he also had 21 fumbles and 40 (!) stuffs, which is scary. 10 touchdowns are a great total, and his 21 tackles are great on special teams, too. Things will never be dull in Haddonfield when Proctor has the ball. It's hard to argue with his production, but at number five, you expect less turnovers and a higher average. Right now, he's a Minor Bust.
6. LB Tony Saaverda, Duluth Moose
56 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 stuffs, 5 passes defended, and a fifteen-yard fumble recovery. His stock had really fallen before the draft, but it looks like Szatch gets the last laugh. Tony is a Great Pick.
7. FB Newton Newnan, Arkham Grave Robbers
Newnan only gained 589 yards on the ground, but he did score 5 touchdowns, and led the league in avoiding stuffs. He broke off 3 big plays, but never took over a game. He probably needs more touches to really show his value. Until then, he's a Minor Bust.
8. WR Al Toon, Long Beach All-Stars
Over 1000 yards in the air, a gaudy 20-yard average, and 7 touchdowns. Add in his 17 tackles on special teams, and 16 big plays, and you have dynamite. His only faults were his 4 dropped passes, fourth worst in the league. Still, he proved he is a dangerous weapon. He's a Perfect Pick.
9. LB Kenny Arnold, Haddonfield Pumpkins
46 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 stuffs, and 16 (!) passes defended. Three interceptions, too, and one fumble recovery. He's playing a complete game and playing it well. He's clearly a Perfect Pick.
10. S Darryl Miller, Pullman Cougars
Darryl had an amazing 62 tackles, and 22 passes defended. Those are All-Pro numbers. He has six interceptions, tied for second in the league. He's an All-Pro and a Perfect Pick.
11. QB Scott Hennig, New Deal Lions
Nearly 2500 yards passing, a rating over 100, 32 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. He was only sacked 9 times, and he scrambled for another 147 yards. He was the second-rated passer, was second in yards per pass, and had 17 big plays. Scott is a Perfect Pick.
12. WR Shannon Shepard, Texas Outlaws
Shepard thrived in the Texas passing game. He scored an amazing 18 touchdowns on 94 catches, and racked up 1376 yards with 12 big plays. 2 drops in 94 catches is an amazing stat. He's a Perfect Pick.
13. S Nicholas Collard, Seoul Choson
55 tackles is good. An 18-yard average for those tackles is pathetic. As it turns out, Nicholas is a superb return man, he led the league on punt returns with a 14-yard average. His 37-yard return was a league best. Still, he's not defending any passes, stopping any runs, getting sacks or making interceptions. Right now he's a center-fielder and a great kick-returner. You need more than that from the number 13 pick, so he's a Moderate Bust.
14. WR Miguel Evans, Owasso Rams
Miguel only caught 24 passes. He only scored 1 touchdown. He did get 10 first downs, which is a perfect role for his skills. But he fumbled 3 times, which is a very high number for a possession receiver with so few touches. His 22 tackles on special teams are his best effort. Until Owasso has a deep threat to make space for him, he'll be a Total Bust.
15. S Alex Chamblee, Virginia Beach Panthers
50 tackles, but with a 10-yard average. 3 stuffs, and a 12 passes defended, which is a nice number. If Alex could stop runners sooner he would be doing a fantastic job. As it stands, he needs some sacks on his record. With his amazing speed and strength, picked at number 15, he would have to be rated a Minor Bust.
16. OL Dennis Williams, Albuquerque Scorpions
Dennis is a fantastic athlete, but he needs help from coach Powell to make the most of his skills. His quarterbacks were only sacked 11 times, but All-World halfback Chris Barnes had a truly woeful pre-season. Part of that responsibility rests on Dennis' shoulders. Right now, he would have to be rated a Minor Bust.
17. DL Cary Carlson, Haddonfield Pumpkins
Sacks, sacks, sacks. Cary had 9 sacks, which is superb. But he only got 4 stuffs, because he isn't so strong or so smart. He had 15 tackles, but only six of those came near the line of scrimmage. A key sack can turn a game around, maybe once per season. The rest of the year, Carlson will be steamrolled. Because he was taken so early, he appears to be a Minor Bust.
18. OL Clarke Bennett, Long Beach All-Stars
Ken O'Brien was only sacked 8 times all season. Mike Penn averaged over 5 yards per carry. That means Clarke was turning into Superman on a regular basis. He's a Great Pick.
19. TE Jed Sinks, Arkham Grave Robbers
What happened to Jed? He only caught 14 passes, although three were touchdowns. He did average 17 yards per catch, and got the first down on 70 percent of his catches. Jed needs more touches to justify his number 19 selection. Until then, he'll be a Moderate Bust.
20. OL Oscar Townsend, Duluth Moose
Jamie Thomas was only sacked 3 times, an amazing number. Duluth runners had high averages. Clearly, Oscar was no slouch, taking the whole team to a new level in the trenches. I see him as a Perfect Pick.
21. LB Tim Greenleaf, Haddonfield Pumpkins
Tim had 23 tackles and a nice 3.3 yard average. But he only had 1 stuff and 1 interception. Those numbers are moderate at best. He may be losing time to Kenny Arnold, but being selected at number 21 makes him a Total Bust.
22. HB Homer Thomas, Pullman Cougars
Homer has proved me a fool. I labelled him as one of the worst picks of the draft, and he went on to have a fantastic pre-season. He threw a touchdown pass, caught two more, and ran for three. He average 3.9 yards per carry, and racked up over 900 yards total offense. His 16 big plays are remarkable for a slower player. Perhaps his only weaknesses were his 23 stuffs in 118 rushing attempts. I don't think Homer will be an All-Pro, but he could carry the load at Pullman if they choose to use him. He's a Great Pick.
23. LB Tad Ramsey, New Deal Lions
Tad had 3 sacks, 2 stuffs, and 9 passes defended. He made 20 tackles, and recovered a fumble. Matt Calhune should be looking over his shoulder, because his numbers aren't that much better. Still, the 20 tackles is low for a number 23 pick. He's clearly a role-player on this loaded roster, and that makes him a Minor Bust.
24. K Sydney Evans, Texas Outlaws
Playing with the league's most explosive offense, Sydney showed he was worthy. He went five-for-five on field goals over 50 yards. He scored 99 points, and made 54 out of 54 extra points. He put 25 percent of his punts inside the 20. He missed six field goals, which is not so good, but Texas easily forgot those miscues when he beat Arkham with a last-second kick. Taken at number 24, he's a Perfect Pick.
25. LB Brian Fain, Seoul Choson
52 tackles, a sack, six stuffs and ten defended passes. An interception and a field goal block. Numbers like those will put him in the Pro-Bowl. He's a Perfect Pick.
26. OL Bob Washington, Owasso Rams
27. OL Ethan Gillette, Owasso Rams
Grouped together on an expansion team, these two trench warriors helped make game-day bearable in Owasso. John Ballard was only sacked 8 times. On the other hand, John Calloway was stuffed a sickening 49 times. John needs someone to make space for him. These two are great pass-blockers, but need to work on the run-blocking. Until that happens, these two picks will be a Minor Bust.
28. CB Keith Sims, Arkham Grave Robbers
46 tackles is good. A 9-yard average is not so good. Still, with 17 passes defended and 2 interceptions, he might have had a better pre-season than Ned Jarvis. He's clearly a Good Pick.
29. DL Tyrone Haselrig, Baton Rouge Bengals
Tyrone who? 3 tackles, one sack. That's it. His body implies a strong season. His stats imply the waiver wire. He's a Total Bust.
30. LB Adam Halsey, Duluth Moose
Adam had 46 tackles, seven (!) sacks, three stuffs, defended a pass, and recovered a fumble. Those are Pro-Bowl numbers, he's a Perfect Pick.
31. TE Sean Kay, Texas Outlaws
Five receiving touchdowns and 2 big plays. That's good production for the number 31 pick. He hauled in 52 catches, more than the top wideouts on many teams. He's a steal at this position, and a Perfect Pick.
32. OB Ken O'Brien, Long Beach All-Stars
Ken threw for an amazing 3700 yards. He threw 35 touchdowns. He also threw 30 interceptions, but against his 8 sacks and 30 big plays, it's hard to argue. You just don't plan on those kinds of numbers from your third-rounder. He scrambled for a 4.5 yard average, but his rating was only 71. In the Long Beach passing offense, he has to be rated a Great Pick.
33. OL Vic Salisbury, Haddonfield Pumpkins
Roger Fear was sacked 16 times, Kenny Proctor was stuffed 40 times, and Brian Waddle had a 3-yard average. Clearly, Vic wasn't a replacement for the lamented Vince Tabron. He's a Minor Bust.
34. S Donnell Sims, Pullman Cougars
44 tackles, but a jaw-dropping 20-yard average. Only four passes defended. He's playing the role of a kicker on a kickoff. Donnell has some growing to do, until then he's a Moderate Bust.
35. WR Glen Heller, New Deal Lions
He scored a touchdown. That's all you need to know, because that's all he did. Taken at number 35, he's easily the worst pick of the draft, and a Total Bust.
36. HB James Friedrich, Baton Rogue Bengals
James has shown the APFL that fumbles aren't everything. He led the league in nearly every rushing category, caught a touchdown pass, and racked up over 1200 yards of offense on only 211 touches. Eight touchdowns, 10 tackles on special teams, and 47 big plays (!) including nearly all the long runs. Yes, he did have a sad 48 fumbles. How many were recovered by the Bengals? 44. Far, far, far and away the best pick of the draft, embarrassing for the other 11 coaches who let him slide. He's a Perfect Pick.