The Million Dollar Man ... growing up that nickname was Ted DiBiase's of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, which is now the WWE. I had the action figure and even the small wrestling ring so I no longer had to pretend my parents' coffee table had three ropes and turnbuckles. Why I ever gave all that stuff to Goodwill, I will never know.
The new guy in Denver that I'm dubbing with the Million Dollar Man nickname has a bit more to it with the 61.5 in front of it, but Dumervil deserves it. I'm sure Doom's teammates will be getting a few free expensive dinners before the season kicks off and as long as he and his teammates stay hungry everything should be gravy.
You can also be sure that a guy with Dumervil's character won't just be picking up checks for his co-workers from time-to-time as the Miami-born Elvis has plenty of family in Haiti, and I think he'll probably be using some of his wealth to help the less fortunate in pretty outstanding ways. Whether or not the media catches wind of Dumervil's good deeds you just know this guy is about more than himself.
I didn't know much about Dumervil before he got drafted by the Broncos, but I do remember looking over Denver's draft picks from Day 2 (Rounds 3-7 before the change in 2010) and thinking to myself, "Hey, isn't that the guy who led all of college football in sacks?" I didn't know how Denver was able to land the talented defensive end so late, did Dumervil have some character flaw or injury history?
I wanted answers ... on paper, a pick that low doesn't have the best chance to reach stardom. The top pick of the 2006 draft was also a defensive end and he finished his two-year college career at North Carolina State with 20 sacks, 14 in 2005, and sacking the quarterback is the name of the game at the NFL level for defensive ends. Knowing NFL teams obsession of getting to the QB it's even more curious because Dumervil finished his last two-seasons at Louisville with 25 sacks, 17 in 2005.
Were teams willing to pass on Dumervil 125 times solely based on his height and weight? Williams measures an impressive 6-foot-6' and 295 pounds to Dumervil's 5-11' and 248 pounds. But their production on the field is where Williams is coming up a bit short of Dumervil as the Houston Texans' end has 39.5 career sacks to Elvis' 43. While some knocked Elvis' size, I saw it as a positive as the battle at the line of scrimmage has always been about leverage and what better way to get under somebody's pads then to naturally already be there.
Any draft is a crapshoot and players will continue to be discovered late ... hindsight would be out of business otherwise. (Hindsight is in business? If so, then I must be in the wrong business.) It would seem that more and more franchises are putting workouts and measurements behind on-field production, but there will continue to be guys who get passed up for one reason or another. And some of those guys turn into great players because they are already great players. And some guys turn out great because they have a chip on their shoulder and want to prove themselves. We saw both cases in the NBA Draft last season with Ty Lawson and DeJuan Blair.
The Denver Nuggets grabbed Lawson in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 18th pick in the 2009 draft after six other point guards were taken ahead of him. Lawson was a great player at North Carolina and in his first NBA game he went about his business as usual and scored 17 points and dished out six assists in 26 minutes against the Utah Jazz. Lawson was a case where an undersized player was passed up numerous times even though he could cut it on the floor.
Blair had to wait until the second round (37th overall) to hear his name called by the San Antonio Spurs, and that put a chip on his shoulder. The undersized power forward tried to get teams to notice him before the draft by cutting his weight from 315 pounds to 275 pounds, but the 6-7 Blair had too many teams concerned about his knees (he somehow can play without anterior cruciate ligaments, ACLs, in either knee). Blair worked his butt off and went out and posted 7.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in just 18.2 minutes as a rookie. Underdog teams always attract fans and underdog players win us over as well.
Finding hidden gems makes the whole draft process a little more fun. Elvis is no longer being paid like the 126th player taken in the 2006 Draft and better yet, he's going to be a Denver Bronco for a long time ... our 61.5 Million Dollar Man.