Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mock Draft for The Blackburn Seat (2010)

Once again, is releasing a potential candidate field for the 2010 Tennessee 7th Congressional District race. After months of extensive research, the complied list provides a springboard for rumor and political conjecture. Like most mock drafts, the field is wide open and may present a few surprises.

According to Tom Guleff of, “Even though we haven’t completed this year’s election cycle, all eyes will be on the governor’s race in 2010. The big questions will be : Where is Bill Frist ? Where is Marsha Blackburn ?”

Here’s the Mock Draft 2010 for Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District (not in draft order):

1. Steve McManus
2. Brian Kelsey
3. Mark Norris
4. John Ryder
5. Jim Coley
6. David Kustoff
7. Tom Leatherwood
8. Jim Bryson
9. Bill Giannini
10. Paul Stanley


Steve McManus

Insiders have Steve as the top ranked prospect in this draft since early in the season, even ahead of Kustoff and Stanley. He showed late in the tournament that he needs to work on developing a go-to move. But he’s simply the best athlete in this draft, and he’ll become more polished over time. If he keeps it up we could regularly witness some outstanding performances against any rival.

(Above photo is a composite of Congressman Marsha Blackburn and Steve McManus.)

Brian Kelsey

The GOP will likely take advantage of him whenever he wants to change the rhythm of the game with more aggressive defenses, perhaps even a full-court press, where Brian is a master at terrorizing opposing ball-handlers.

Mark Norris

Scouts have been keeping tabs on how much Mark’s overall skill-level has improved from his freshman campaign to now, particularly his ability to face the basket and do the things that modern-day players are expected to do, especially in regards to his mid-range jumper. Defensively, Mark doesn’t make anywhere near enough use of his excellent physical tools, as he doesn’t always appear to be as intense on this end as he is offensively. His name also appears in other draft camps (i.e. Mock Draft 2010 Governor and an unreleased Mock Draft 2010 Lt Governor).

John Ryder

John makes all the lists coming out of Shelby County. John Ryder remains a physical specimen, who impresses with his size and leaping ability. But his pure strength and athleticism will be less of an advantage against others who all possess those qualities. Scouts like Ryder’s soft touch and range, where he can be a bonus stretching the defense. He is certainly Mr. Insider with the GOP, so he makes this draft list.

Jim Coley

No change in scouting report from earlier draft selection in Mock Draft 2010 Governor. Remember Reece Gaines? Neither do we. No doubt Jim has a bit of toughness and leadership qualities that Gaines didn’t have, but the question is, what does Jim do better than other guys? Jim’s lack of height shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and could really surprise people with his ability to transition into the larger game like others have. This sounds crazy, but he is a gamer. Jim continues to hang around which could mean trouble for opponents.

David Kustoff

Kustoff has a good style for playing shooting guard in the game. He’s got a smooth stroke and a better mid-range game than you’d expect from a prospect. The biggest adjustment he’ll need to make heading to the game is that he’ll need to prove to defenders that he can beat them off the dribble, or he’ll find it very hard to create space for open shots. David’s prep career peaked exactly when you want it to, right at the end, and it’s amazing how often the guys who look the best in the post-season all-star games end up being the guys who have success in the league.

Tom Leatherwood

It’s hard to figure that Leatherwood would have gone in the first round, but he might at this point. Tom can score with the best of them, but he didn’t have a particularly strong showing in the all-star game “sweeps” period against team Blackburn. His best bet at success in the game is proving to scouts that he can become an offensive spark. Nice guy with heart.

Jim Bryson

Jim was pretty much a lock for good minutes on a given night, but for whatever reasons, no one pays attention. He’ll go in the first round because of his solid size and ability to score the ball. You’d like to see Bryson work harder off the ball, or focus more on being able to handle the ball better as the point guard. More likely though, you’ll see Jim start spending an inordinate amount of time working on his three-point shot to develop his range.

Bill Giannini

Bill is easily the most overlooked prospect out there right now. No doubt in some minds he will end up being a better pro than others. Bill could end up being the most devastating offensive player in his class, even better than the highly touted Blackburn. If he ends up in the position, he could be a legitimate point scorer. He has a knack for scoring with the ball that simply can’t be overlooked.

Paul Stanley

Similar to fellow vote getters, Paul’s greatest asset has always been his mature, physically developed game. So much of Paul’s gift was about overpowering guys down low, so he’ll need to refine his post moves, and continue moving without the ball. It would also be nice if he could be an inch or two taller or be a better shot blocker, but that’s not a deal breaker. P.S. is a solid contender with a following.