Friday, March 4, 2011

Irish Fantasy Draft: Rounds 5 & 6

The owners' teams are starting to take shape. By email, by text, by fax, and by telegram the picks continue to flood into Fantasy Draft Headquarters. Here's the picks and analysis for rounds five and six.

5.01 (UHND) - Bert Berry OLB

"Sticking on the defensive side of the ball I wanted to add some pass rush skills and Berry fits the bill perfectly. Notre Dame has not had many great OLB in the last 20 years, but Berry was great in 1996 with a team leading 10 sacks. The lack of other great pass rushing OLB at ND from the last two decades pushed me to draft Berry maybe a little higher than I would have liked, but with Weaver, Berry, and Lyght on my defense I have a very solid foundation." - Frank

5.02 (Domer Law) - Demetrius DuBose, LB

"It's time to start building up my defense a bit more, since I know I'll be scoring points in bunches." - Wacko

5.03 (Her Loyal Sons) - Ron Powlus, QB

"Good luck to those of you without a QB picked." - domer_mq

5.04 (WeNeverGraduate) - Renaldo Wynn, DE

"A big part of me wants to pick one of the three quarterbacks I had rated substantially higher than Powlus just because, but I'll resist (little known fact: Powlus was an understudy in the movie Happy Feet...his feet were happier than the lead, it just turned out he wasn't a penguin). The building of a dominant defense continues with ND's last defensive lineman to be picked in the first round. Young and Wynn up front with Stonebreaker patrolling behind them? Matty likey..." - Mattare

5.05 (Subway Domer) - Grant Irons, DE

"Grant is going to play defensive end for the Subway Domer Disciples. His versatility plays an important part." - Subway Domer

5.06 (Irish Illustrated) - Rick Mirer, QB

"I can’t believe Mirer is still sitting on the board at the end of this round and he won’t be there when my next two picks come around, so I’m going with the guy who captained the ’92 team and went on to be the second pick in the NFL Draft. The guy won 29 games in three years, an Orange Bowl and a Sugar Bowl. Winning." - Pete

6.01 (Irish Illustrated) - Victor Abiamiri, DE

"It’s getting late for quality defensive ends in this draft, so I’m grabbing Abiamiri to stick next to Zorich on the defensive line. The guy was a specimen and three-and-a-half year starter for the Irish who finished with 20 sacks. He gets lost in the stardom of Justin Tuck, but Abiamiri actually went higher in the draft." - Pete

6.02 (Subway Domer) - Julius Jones, RB

"I had thought that I would wait a few more rounds before I grabbed a full-time running back, but I have missed put on a few players that I had circled and I don't want JJ to be another one. Jones is an explosive back that when given the rock on a consistent basis, he proved he could stack up the yards and TDs. Jones is also a dangerous kick returner. Deuce, deuce!!!" - Subway Domer

6.03 (WeNeverGraduate) - Allen Rossum, CB

"We continue loading up on the defensive side of the ball with the best cornerback available, Allen "Awesome" Rossum. He was a multi-year starter at cornerback and a dynamic, record breaking returner that adds speed, speed, and more speed to my squad." - Mattare

6.04 (Her Loyal Sons) - Marc Edwards, FB

"I play my football with a fullback." - domer_mq

6.05 (Domer Law) - Tom Zbikowski, S

""I'm at Bengal Bouts right now so it's only fitting that I draft the baddest ballhawk/boxer in Notre Dame History." - Wacko

6.06 (UHND) - Shawn Wooden, CB

"With only a few solid corners left, I wanted to make sure I had a pair of great corners patrolling the secondary. Wooden was a great corner for the Irish in the mid 90's and made one of the most memorable plays in the last 20 years by knocking down Charlie Ward's final pass in the '93 classic with FSU." - Frank

- - - - - - - - - -

What wins championships? Defense. And through six rounds I've got the makings of a damn good one.

In rounds five and six I grabbed Renaldo Wynn to be one of the bookends of my 4-3 defense and Allen Rossum to lockdown a cornerback position. I feel as if Wynn is overlooked by most Irish fans and at least not remembered as fondly as guys like Justin Tuck, Victor Abiamiri, and Grant Irons. Fact of the matter is he registered 19.5 sacks over the course of his career and to date is the last Notre Dame defensive lineman drafted in the first round.

(Aaron Lynch will be changing that in a couple years, but Renaldo will carry that title at least a little while longer.)

To refresh everyone's memories on just how good Wynn was in college, let's go to Dr. Lou. This is a quote from Holtz during an interview in 1996, Renaldo's final season at Notre Dame:

"He's the aircraft carrier of the defense. They know one thing -- when we go out there, there isn't anybody who's going to knock Renaldo Wynn off the line, nobody is going to be able to block him one on one. And when Renaldo says something people listen, including the coaches."

That's pretty high praise from the Little General. The trenches are where games are decided. Heading into battle with Bryant Young and Renaldo Wynn leading the charge is a pretty good position to be in if you ask me.

With the second pick I snatched up Rossum, far and away the best cornerback left on the board. He was a three year starter during a time where the Irish weren't on short supply of solid cornerbacks. When he'd wrapped up his career, Rossum had snared seven interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns.

He was also fast. Real fast. How fast? He broke Rocket's 55-meter indoor track record. That fast.

While no Notre Dame fan would argue Rossum was a more explosive returner than Rocket, there's certainly a legitimate argument that he was equally as productive. Awesome Rossum returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in his career, averaging 30.7 yards per return whenever the opponent was dumb enough to test him. His punt return numbers weren't too shabby either: three more touchdowns and a 15.8 yard average.

The nine total touchdown returns (3 kickoff, 3 punt, 3 interception) set the NCAA record. He also ran back a blocked PAT but that doesn't even count for the record books. The bottom line is that he had a nose for the endzone. And he was fast. Lightning fast.

Unfortunately YouTube let me down and only has one of his returns available to enjoy. I suppose--as the Texas Tornados so wisely said--a little bit is better than nada. Enjoy!