Over the summer of 2009, folks from The Blue-Gray Sky, Classic Ground, Rakes of Mallow, and Her Loyal Sons held a mock draft from a pool of talent consisting of the rosters of the 2009 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their opponents for that season. As the season approaches, we’re presenting our picks in hopes of sparking some debate and helping the ND fanbase better know the ND team and their opposition.
*Note: After the 5th round, we decided to speed up the draft a bit by each making 2 consecutive picks per round. So from here on out, until the final round, each round will feature 2 picks per team – and thus 2 write-ups.
Player: Mark Dell
By now, the “absolute gems” of the WR pool have been taken, so I’m looking for things like “dependable,” “surprising speed,” and “good leadership qualities” in my WR, but I still think I’ve gotten a pretty good value pick here in Mark Dell out of MSU.
Career: Mark did pretty well for himself as a freshman in Dantonio’s program, actually getting to play in all 13 games and starting in 8 as a split-end. He finished his first campaign with just 20 catches, but he did manage to record at least one catch in 12 games. In 2008, he once again only started 8 games, but saw action in 11, and this time his productivity jumped considerably. Mark lead the team in receiving yards and yards per catch (679, 18.9). He did only have 3 TD catches, but then again, he was playing for MSU.
Why Him Instead of a Domer: The must-have Irish had been taken long ago, so I was looking for a guy who might be a starter for his squad. Mark will almost certainly start the season at the #1 SE.
Career Vs. Notre Dame: Mark has just one catch for 16 yards in 2007 against the Irish. In 2008 he lead his team in receiving versus ND with 4 catches for 80 yards. And if I recall correctly, 1 or 2 of those catches really kept long MSU drives alive. That might be why I remembered him when it was time to draft. I remember being infuriated with him (and whoever was covering him).
Prediction for 2009: Well, he’s still playing in Mark Dantonio’s system, but with Javon Ringer out of the game, he’s got an opportunity to become a much higher value asset to MSU. If the MSU running game isn’t as effective as it was in 2008, Dell could find himself as the #1 target in a lot of “must pass” down and distance situations. And, considering MSU plays at ND this year, he’s practically guaranteed to make me want to kill something.