I used to enjoy reading Peter King when I was younger. Now, I only consume his writing through the jaded, sarcastic FJM-style takedowns via KSK or occasionally when Doc mentions something he wrote on his TML blog posts. Quite simply, King's awful. But sometimes, he's so dumb, he's brilliant. His "Factoid That Of the Week That May Only Interest Me" in his most recent column is one of those times.
After three effusive paragraphs about Michael Oher's character and determination to become a better football player he notes:
That leads me to wonder one thing about the 2009 NFL draft: How do the Bengals, in need of a tackle and picking sixth overall, take the jiggly and unmotivated Andre Smith, and the Ravens, in need of a tackle and trading up to 23rd overall, take the supremely motivated Oher?
This is both a) idiotic because this was never the decision the Bengals faced and b) brilliant because how on Earth did the Bengals not face this choice?
As you will recall, without question Andre Smith and Michael Oher were the best offensive lineman in college football during the 2008 season and considered among the best prospects to emerge in recent, if not distant as well, memory. Yet, somehow, in the time from when the football season ended, until when the draft began, Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith became the undisputed two best offensive lineman in college football and consensus top offensive line picks.
This happens a lot. Many times, the fall or rise of a player's prospects can be traced to specific events. Andre Smith, notoriously, took his shirt off and fell from the top 3. Michael Oher, on the other hand, well, I have no fucking clue why we all decided he belonged as a low first round pick.
Thus, instead of the Bengals choosing between Smith and Oher, they really were choosing between Smith and Eugene Monroe. But the interesting question Peter backed his way into is why Michael Oher dropped so precipitously that the Ravens could get him at 23. For this I had no good answer, so I dug around our archives for every post where we mentioned Michael Oher. I tagged those posts and you can find them here. Here's a cherry-picked selection of findings: