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Brunner's Blog: Short Saturday


College area scout Todd Brunner shares his insight from within the War Room during day one of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Things went really well today. At the 29th pick, you don't really know who is going to be there so you kind of speculate, and so when Kentwan Balmer fell we started getting really excited as he inched closer to us. We had a couple of guys in mind but in all of the stuff we talked about, we never thought he would make it to us.

As soon as Seattle announced their pick, we knew he was our guy and we were ecstatic. We love Kentwan's size and his strength and the fact that he can hold his ground and we believe he can bolster our defensive line because of his physical traits. As it was my job again this year, I got him on the phone and he was super excited and you could hear his family was also very excited. One of his coaches, I'm not sure if it was his high school or college coach, was with him and everyone sounded very exuberant. I talked to him for about 5 or 10 minutes and then after Coach Nolan and Coach Manusky talked to him, we transferred him over to Cari Parham. She was working on flights to get him in for his press conference on Sunday, and the kid was so excited that he wanted to get on a plane immediately to get out here. That's always great to hear. You want a kid who is that fired up about joining your organization.

We picked again ten slots later and when we were on the clock, we had calls from a couple of teams. We were zeroed in on Chilo Rachal and although Scot McCloughan did consider some of the offers, ultimately he said this kid is a big, powerful man and too good to pass up on, and so we took him.

We really like that he's a big, strong, and powerful man. You can never have too many offensive linemen and the bigger and the stronger, the better.

Calling him on the phone was a treat as well because if you know his story growing up, I think the whole city of Compton was at his house and it was just an eruption when I called. He was just ecstatic as could be, so much to the point that apparently the city his having a parade for him on Sunday.

It's fun talking with these guys because they are like little kids whose dreams have just been realized and it's a moment I get to be part of, which makes for an enjoyable assignment over the draft weekend.

So we felt great about how things went, and I thought in particular some of the other teams who did well were Kansas City and Dallas. I was happy to see Joe Flacco go in the first round as high as he did.

Overall, there was also probably one or two surprises in terms of guys going higher than expected.

All in all, it went so quick. It was a little different not to have the third round occur on the first day. We talked about that some because you always look at that round and the guys you take in it as players who are going to be able to come in and help you. So, it's kind of nice to have the big three rounds done in one day, but at the same time, it was nice that it ended a lot earlier. We finished two rounds today in less time than we finished the first round a year ago.

I'm looking forward to Sunday. We're getting started much earlier and it goes a lot quicker because it's only five minutes between each pick. Tomorrow is where scouts earn their money because they are usually more of your backup guys, and guys who you really have to project at the next level. It's a chance of really getting that find. Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick, Terrell Davis was a sixth-round pick, and we got Eric Johnson a couple of years ago in the seventh round. He went on to have 80 plus catches for us one year!

So, it's a challenge and you just have to pinpoint the right ones. Hopefully we come up with a good one. I'll be back to recap Sunday when it's all over.

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