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 Rhonnie's Starting Line-up

Everyone is talking about the draft and their picks...so I thought I would take a few moments during my study break and create my own picks.  So, if I could meet any ten players in the NFL these would be my top choices (we'll two I've already met, but I still like them A LOT,) on with the picks.....

10. Ocho-Cinco; WR Cincy drafted 2nd round 31st overall in '01 out of Oregon; this guy is pure comedy, and I like him...l teeth and all.  Any relative of Keyshawn Johnson is cool with me.  I don't know how Ocho comes up with half of his shenanigans!!!  Chad has been labeled as the guy not to have on your team; his organization is rumored to have referred to him as a cancer.  Chad has been labeled as a regular ball of good'ole destruction.   How did Chad respond to all of this negativity?  He simply said "it hurt me"....well Chad, it hurts me too!   Trade the "cancer", TJ said so!  Dan, call him already!

9.   Frank Gore: RB San Francisco drafted 65th out of Miami to San Fran:  I love me a good ole' southern boy!  You know I love Arizona so it pains me to say it, but San Francisco is about to be the team to beat in the NFC West....ouch!  This team is rich with young talent and I will never forget during the end of the '06 season when San Fran dominated Seattle, Frank Gore and Alex Smith worked something magical....and I haven't given up on Nolan and his young boys...with Frank Gore by your side you can only go so wrong, right?  Frank Gore had an emotionally devastating '07 campaign, I couldn't imagine losing my mother and then having to pick up and play in front of millions the following week, I admire his strength and dedication to his sport.  Frank Gore was def. a steal of the ‘05 draft.  In '07 Frankie boy ranked 6th in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage...and mind you San Fran's passing game is horrific so all the heat was on my Frankie and he still performed.

8.  Walter Payton: RB, Chicago Bears drafted 4th overall in '75 out of Jackson State.  My throwback favorite...arguably one of the greatest players to ever play, his dedication to both football and his team are unparalleled; this man played in 186 consecutive games while capturing the NFC rushing title for five consecutive seasons (‘76-'80.)  From the infamous "stutter step" to his revival of the "strong-arm" tactic...Payton truly set a NFL precedent.  Perhaps Payton's greatest accomplishment was the music video "The Super bowl Shuffle," a shear stroke of creative genius, I kid I kid (I was only two when it came out!)  Payton is by far one of the most prolific players in the game, he should by a mandatory role model for every player...from his disapproval of TD celebrations (I guess Ocho-Cinco didn't get the memo) to the camaraderie he shared with his teammates...a true standup character who amassed 16,726 yards rushing, 110 touchdowns rushing, 492 receptions for 4,538 yards, 21,803 combined net yards and 125 career touchdowns.  With nine pro bowl appearances and seven all pro selections...now, that's "Sweetness."

7.  Kerry Rhodes; S, NY Jets drafted 123rd overall in the 4th round in 2005 out of Louisville, Kerry became a starter that same year, can we say bargain catch.  So, why does he make the list, well he is close friends with my number 1 selection, so he made the list by default.   Just trickin, I kid, I kid...this dude is skilled, smart, and simply adorable (yes, I'm a heterosexual female, so I can look gee's it can't all be about talent!)  Everyone knows I love black QB's, so I have a special place in my heart for Rhodes, (Kerry Rhodes was recruited to play QB for Louisville but somehow ended up at safety.)   It's safe (pun very much intended) to say that that was a wise move as he was one of Louisville's best safeties and he's quickly becoming one of the league's best safeties...it's about time they pay the guy!  With a total of 273 career sacks, 213 solo tackles, 60 assist, and 8 sacks...Kerry is well on his way to becoming a household name and finally winning a much deserved trip to Honolulu.   Kerry's rise to fame is not only because of his skills (dude also excels in basketball) but because he is one attractive cookie, Essence magazine listed him as a "Do Right Man"...whatever that means, do right man?  Isn't that an oxymoron?"   Despite the fact that he is a backwoods bama from Alabama...I still think Rhodes is an alright fella....not to mention friends with my number one selection (did I say that already?)

6.  Shannon Sharpe; 7th round in the '90 draft, 192nd overall, by the Broncos out of Savannah State, current CBS Broadcaster.   Shannon and brother Sterling (NFL wide out) truly went from rags to riches, as Shannon infamously explained, "we were so poor, a robber once broke into our house and we ended up robbing the robber."  Some people don't like the guy and I don't understand that...I attribute it to severe hater-ism.  Not only is Shannon pure comedy but he is equally and ridiculously talented, one of the best tight ends in history.  With 815 career receptions, 10,060 yards with a career average of 12.6 yards per carry.  Oh, and don't forget 62 career touchdown, 4 all pro sections and 8 trips to Honolulu...big up's to all his haters.  In terms of his commentating, Shannon mixed with Dan Marino equates to one special Sunday morning broadcast.  Shannon's unbelievably hideous vocabulary (not to mention his lisp) combined with his unique wit simply makes my day (it's a reprieve from the pretentious legalese I hear on a daily basis.) Also, it is impossible to deny the pure hilarity of Shannon's Danny Greene/Miss America breakdown rendition...if you can't appreciate the humor then your smoking rocks.  When Shannon said, in reference to one of Larry Fitzgerald's ridiculously unfocused plays, that "this boy must have Veeerr-tigo," I was straight DONE!  Did anyone else see Hard Knocks with the Baltimore Raven's?  Shannon Sharpe for President!  Let's recap some Shannon favorites.

  • "Plexiglas"
  • "ocho-no show"
  • "I've got a better chance of winning the Kentucky Derby on the back of a donkey than they have of winning the Super Bowl with Kyle Boller."
  • "I would rather die in an abandoned building alone, and my family not know what happened, than play for Coughlin."

5.  Vernon Gholston DE/LB drafted 1st overall to Miami out of Ohio; ok so he isn't technically an NFL player as of yet, and he hasn't technically been drafted to St. Louis either, but we all know his time to  shine is on the horizon...I'm putting it all on this guy to go number one!  I adore this young fella, he's a Mike Vrabel mini-me...actually, their similarities are a bit freaky, so let's keep it moving.  I like this guy simply because of his physique.  He is a work out fiend...his determination and dedication to strength and conditioning is going to make him one of the most prolific DE's in the league.  I cannot agree that Chris Long is the better option, if Chris is drafted above Vernon then politics played a factor (Howie come get your boy.)  After Gholston's combine performance I don't know how people still think there is a chance in Hades that he will be on the boards for the Patriot's selection....Vrabel and Co. fall back!  On a side note, Gholston lives with a girl, who interestingly enough isn't his girlfriend, they are just really good friends...there is something refreshing about an athlete that doesn't view all women as merely sexual objects....I LOVE this guy!

4.  Alex Smith, QB San Francisco drafted 1st overall in the 2005 draft out of Utah; there is no explanation for this selection....I just like this tall lanky white boy.  I think his photo's partying in Mexico on Drunkenathlete.com really did it for me...I love a party boy!  But seriously, Alex Smith not only has the athletic ability (in '04 he finished 4th in total votes for the Heisman) but he excels academically, he graduated from college in two years with a degree in economics with a 3.71 GPA....enough said!  Alex Smith is my little engine that could...he's going to fight and earn that starting position. ..with his cute self!

3.  Jay Cutler; QB Denver drafted 11th overall in ‘06 out of Vanderbilt; once again, there is no logical explanation for this selection other than...he was on Opera's Big Give...if she likes him, then (as her future mini-me) I like him too... just trickin, I kid I kid.  Every Sunday, as I watch my Card's brave it out on the gridiron I feel an awful pain in my heart, we got Leinart and we could have had Cutler!  Leinart is a decent (well maybe) but clearly Scottsdale, a.k.a. lil'L.A. isn't the best place for Matty-boy; this combined with his deadbeat daddy syndrome is a bit much for my taste....can we get a '06 redo?  Culter, is so quiet, unassuming and extremely philanthropic...and he is a steady work in progress, the boy has an arm on him and for the most part he has remained uninvolved in drama...well until he opened his mouth about Brandon Marshall, but hey dude deserved it...c'mon a McDonald's wrapper????

2.  Braylon Edwards, WR Cleveland drafted 3rd in the ‘05 draft out of Michigan; Braylon's philanthropic endeavors are to be admired.  This guy is literally the poster boy for the NFL, not to mention his skills are insane, sick, wicked...naasssty.  We have all seen his you-tube fantasy files video (for you slowboats, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nrk9I1jhJ9U).  Dude is a freak of nature athletically, but even more impressive are his off the field endeavors.  In a time when the NFL is facing a costly and devastating image crisis Braylon Edwards dives to the rescue (similar to his jaw dropping plays every Sunday.)  He's every NFL franchise owners fantasy; intelligent, devilishly attractive, articulate, and philanthropic (Braylon pledged $1million in scholarship money to children in the Cleveland area who maintain a 2.5 throughout high school), his charity will select 10,000 eighth-grade students to potentially receive funds)....what more could you ask for, dare I say it...the total package???

1.  Jonathan Polynice Vilma, LB New Orleans 12th overall to the Jets out of UMiami:  Hands down my favorite athlete.  I'm not a stalker but if I EVER run across this man, OH BOY!  I don't typically buy athlete's jerseys....ask yourself, would you by a Honda without test driving it?  My point exactly, without meeting a player I refuse to spend money on their product (operative word being spending, I'm actually just TOO cheap)...but what if their personality sucks and they're really the spawn of Satan?  Despite my rule of thumb, I just decided to order my very first customized T-shirt from NFL.com (too cheap to buy an actual jersey, a t-shirt will suffice.)  New Orleans comes to Arizona for the preseason opener...oh I'll be all up in it, with my very own personalized Jonathan Vilma T and my favorite Card's hat! So what is it about this guy that rocks my socks?  It's best that I bullet this...brace yourself, this guy is the best thing since sliced light wheat bread.

  • 2006 pro bowler
  • 2004 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • Owns and operates a 501(c)(3) which helps athletes invest wisely, Financial51 (financial51.org)...how generous! I respect intellect and philanthropy....this is the primary reason why I like this, addressing a major issue within the NFL....misplaced priorities.
  • In 2005, Jonathan led the NFL in tackles with 173, forced four fumbles, notched one fumble recovery, half a sack, and one interception
  • In 2006, he compiled 114 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one interception.
  • In 2007 he only played in seven games, but he still lead the team as a captain at the age of 25
  • Endorses Under Armor, Rocawear, Sprint, Campbell's Chunky Soup, Ice Rocks...a walking billboard! Vilma is one articulate, talented and all around intelligent dude, so what company wouldn't want to have him on their team?
  • Vilma will not lose, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idNDppR3SJA (I love this commercial)
  • Majored in finance at UMiami.... most colleges discourage athletes from majoring in anything remotely challenging...but Jon Jon didn't fall victim. He's a smart dude who realizes that football careers are only temporary, Vilma is marketing himself for the future.
  • He is an alleged penny pincher...just like me, 74.99 for a jersey I think not! It's refreshing to see a young athlete who doesn't spend $1000's in clubs every weekend (I used to be a hostess at a top night spot in DC and tons of athletes would stop by and drop up to $5000-$6000a weekend just to get women drunk, pathetic and wasteful!)
  • Regularly visits school children promoting his charitable missions
  • Haitian...no, I'm not Haitian but it's hot to be foreign
  • Has the tightest website out there (when it's functioning properly) http://business4.odc.net/jonvilma_v255/default.asp

Are you surprised that no Cardinals made the cut?

Compensatory Picks: Top UNC Players (there wasn't too much to choose from, but these two guys out ran the competition, the limited competition that is.)

Willie Parker; RB Pittsburgh I often say...Willie's slogan should be "Where there's a Will there's a way."  At UNC, I was Willie's Resident Advisor, and I remember fondly the night that he almost cost me my job.  During a rare but hellish snow storm, Willie and several of his friends paid my girlfriends to cook them a home cooked meal, yes this meant we had to brave the conditions, risking life and limb, and drive to the grocery store.  Money makes you do crazy things...and in my youth I sure could be bought (wait, who am I kidding, I still can!!!)  Anyway, it was a night of awkward twist and turns, figuratively and literally!  Now, at UNC Willie was pretty much a end guard tackle (sat on the end of the pine, guarded the water, and tackled anyone messing with the water supply,) I remember receiving Willie's mail and he would have letter's from NFL agents...honestly my girlfriends and I used to joke about this...no way our favorite end guard tackle was going pro!!!  HaHaHa, look who got that last laugh...Willie 1, Rhonnie 0!  I darn near crapped myself to see Willie score that touchdown in the super bowl...record breaker!  Dude defied all odds, where is the man who benched him at UNC anyway...Couch Bunting phone home!

David Thornton; LB Tennessee drafted 8th in the 4th round by the Colts, a former Tar Heel and a religiously devout man...what more do you need.  I like David because he is a fighter. David walked onto UNC's football team and worked his way up to be a solid NFL starter down in Tennessee with that horrendously tacky QB Vince Young. *Warning, warning, warning this section if for the female fans only* During my freshmen year, girls used to die when David would walk into a building, I couldn't figure out their attraction to him (I was more into frat boys) and he has that Michael Strahan gap...icky right?  WRONG, a few years back when I was fulfilling my Miss. UNC duties I was appearing at Dre Bly's Charity golf tournament and in walks David...I'm tellin you, I was like DDDAAANNNGGG, NIIICCEEE, times been good to this guy!

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