Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, April 21, 2007
Cherries Draft Trio, Anticipate Owners’ Meeting
Locals to Seek QB, OL, and WR in June
by Rip Snorter
Unlike recent off-seasons, when the Delaware Cherries were able to rely almost totally
on the draft to fill holes in their line-up, this off-season they will have to wait to
fill some until the EFL owners’ meeting in June. A record low number of
retirements and defections to rival leagues kept Delaware from participating beyond
the third round in yesterday’s 2007 draft.
With the draftees in the Cherries fold, these holes are left for the Cherries to try to
fill at the owners’ meeting:
- In the first round, the Cherries, in a bit of tit-for-tat, took veteran cornerback Fakhir Brown
as the likely successor on the right side to David Barrett who, if he remains
with the team, would play a backup role. Brown
played the last two seasons with New Orleans of the SFL, the team expected to
draft Drew Brees later this week.
- Round two saw Delaware pick a highly regarded rookie center from Ohio State, Nick Mangold, to fill the spot
created by the departure of Hank Fraley for the MWFL.
- The Cherries took another Buckeye rookie in the third round, strong safety Donte Whitner. The
situation at that position is much like right cornerback. Incumbent strong safety Michael Lewis, should
he stay with Delaware, would backup the newcomer.
- Quarterback — Whomever Delaware picks up to take Brees’ spot on the roster will
battle Philip Rivers for the starter’s job. The free agent market should offer some
possibilities if a trade doesn’t materialize.
- Wide receiver — this is a complicated situation resulting from the anticipated
moves down the line of scrimmage by Lee Evans and Travis Taylor. The most likely
scenario would see Parker yield to Evans but stay as the number three and Taylor become trade bait. Parker
has additional value because he returns punts.
- Left guard — Last year’s starter Artis Hicks is expected to back up Shawn Andrews on
the right side.
- Offensive right tackle — Jordan Gross flip flops from the right side to the left
side where he will be forced to compete for a starting role with Bryant McKinnie and Chris Samuels.
At least one of the three will probably be traded to fill Gross’ vacated spot.
Back to the draft … the first player taken was linebacker A.J. Hawk. He was picked by Philadelphia.
Three wide receivers were picked in the first round — Keyshawn Johnson, by
Baltimore at number three, Santonio Holmes by Atlantic City at number six, and Donte
Stallworth by Richmond at number seven.
No quarterbacks were taken until the third round when Richmond selected PCFL veteran
Jeff Garcia with the 26th pick overall to be Donovan McNabb’s new backup. That was it for signal callers
for several rounds. Then in the eight round, Albany drafted SFL defector Steve
McNair and Syracuse took journeyman Charlie Batch, the latter mentioned as a possible
subject of interest by the Cherries.
These injured players had their rights retained:
- Wide receiver Robert Ferguson, by New York
- Tight end Donald Lee, by Philadelphia
- Pass rushing specialist Justin Tuck, by Connecticut
- Running back Darren Sproles, by Washington — a puzzling move in
that he managed to fumble six out of the ten times he carried the ball last season, losing two.
None of the teams retaining rights were forced to use draft picks for that purpose.
The league has posted the list of all picks on its website.