USC DT Sedrick Ellis went to the Saints with the seventh pick of the 2008 NFL Draft...just as the
Shane Bernard is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. But two weekends ago, he actually had something in common with the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay's NFC South rival.
See, for both Bernard and the Saints, Sedrick Ellis was the key to 2008 NFL Draft.
It's safe to say that Bernard took in this year's draft with two different rooting interests. We presume that, first and foremost, he wanted to see the Buccaneers have a successful weekend of player selection. But beyond that, Bernard hoped to see his list of 20 draft-related predictions come true.
In the end, 10 of those 20 predictions were on the money, and as a result Bernard was the Grand Prize Winner of the "Twenty Questions Rewind" contest on Buccaneers.com. The key piece of foresight, as it turned out, was that the Saints would take Ellis, the highly-rated USC defensive tackle, with their first pick of the day.
The Saints did just that, after trading with the New England Patriots to move up from the 10th spot to number seven. Bernard had also predicted that those two teams would be the first to trade down and up, respectively, once the draft had begun. In all, that little transaction led to three of his 10 correct answers, and also proved to be the difference between his own list of predictions and those of the two runner-up prize winners.
As a result of his victory in the "Twenty Questions Rewind" contest, Bernard, who hails from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, will soon be the proud owner of four tickets to the 2008 Buccaneers regular-season game of his choice. Perhaps he'll select the Saints visit to Raymond James Stadium on November 30, just to see Mr. Ellis in action.
For those who didn't visit the Buccaneers.com Draft Central section in the weeks leading up to this year's draft, here is a recap of the contest that led to Bernard's ticket windfall:
"Twenty Questions Rewind" continued the popular contest format Buccaneers.com has offered fans since 2005. Entrants were presented with 20 questions regarding the events that would take place over draft weekend. Using pulldown lists of the possible answers, fans were asked to make such predictions as what player the Buccaneers would take in the first round, which team would draft Connecticut quarterback Joe Flacco and how long it would take the league to complete the first round.
Buccaneers.com visitors had until midnight on Friday, the day before the draft, to submit an entry. Each fan was allowed to enter up to five times.
After the draft was completed, the correct answers were filled in to the 20 questions, and the entrant with the most accurate predictions was the winner. Out of the 2,112 submissions, only Bernard and one other entrant achieved the top score of 10.
As the other entrant with 10 did not respond to notification, as per contest rules, the two runners-up were randomly selected from among the six entrants who scored a nine. As the First Runner-Up, Russell Fox of Memphis, Tennessee took home the second prize of two tickets to the 2008 Buccaneers regular-season game of his choice. Lakeland's Charles Banks, Jr., scored an official Buccaneers hat and t-shirt as the Second Runner-Up.
Bernard did not correctly predict the Buccaneers' pick of Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib in the first round. However, he did foresee the team taking a wide receiver in the second round, and he also guessed right on the Falcons' interest in Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan. The other correct predictions by Bernard were: number of defensive linemen drafted in the first round (7); school with the most draft picks overall (USC); first position with three players drafted (defensive end); number of juniors taken in the first round (11); and the pick at which the final player in the "Green Room" at draft headquarters would be selected (6).
Fox, the First Runner-Up, made his best prediction when he guessed that "Mr. Irrelevant" would be a linebacker. Banks, the Second Runner-Up impressively predicted that Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon would be drafted in the fifth round.
Overall, this year's contest, though two questions shorter, proved a little more difficult than the one conducted a year ago. Last year, the "easiest" question – Which team will draft Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn – returned 53.1% correct predictions. None of the 20 questions on this year's list reached 50%. The closest, and far away the "easiest" question in this year's contest, was, "Which school will produce the most 2008 draft picks?" That one was nailed by 1,024 of the entrants, or 49.9%. No other question had better than 41.0% correct responses.
The toughest question in this year's contest proved to be number three, which asked which player will go one pick after the Bucs' first overall pick. Only 12 respondents got that one right, and that was somewhat predictable given that the pick – Sam Baker, by Atlanta – was considered a bit of a surprise on draft day. In addition, only 42 of the 2,112 entrants had the foresight to pair the Carolina Panthers with RB Jonathan Stewart in Round One.
Below is a rundown of the 20 questions in this year's contest, followed by the correct answer and, in parentheses, the number of entrants that got it right.
(Note: As stated in the contest rules, the entries were graded against answers as determined by Buccaneers.com. For questions 7 and 13, Vernon Gholston was designated as a defensive end, the position he played at Ohio State.)
- Who will the Buccaneers draft with their first overall pick? A: Talib, Aqib (154)
- Which player will go one pick before the Bucs' first overall pick? A: Otah, Jeff (94)
- Which player will go one pick after the Bucs' first overall pick? A: Baker, Sam (12)
- Which team will be the first to trade down? A: New England (484)
- Which team will be the first to trade up? A: New Orleans (413)
- To the nearest 10-minute mark, how long will the first round take to complete (in hours and minutes)? A: 3:30 (80)
- How many defensive linemen (ends AND tackles) will be drafted in the first round? A: 7 (542)
- What position will the Bucs draft in the second round? A: Wide Receiver (865)
- What position will the Bucs draft in the third round? A: Guard/Center or Tackle (226)
- Which school will produce the most 2008 draft picks? A: Southern California (1,024)
- Which team will draft Connecticut QB Joe Flacco? A: Baltimore (327)
- Who will be the second wide receiver drafted? A: Thomas, Devin (241)
- Which position will be the first to have three players drafted? A: Defensive End (627)
- In which round will Oregon QB Dennis Dixon be drafted? A: 5 (426)
- Who will the Atlanta Falcons select with their first overall pick? A: Ryan, Matt (665)
- Who will the Carolina Panthers select with their first overall pick? A: Stewart, Jonathan (42)
- Who will the New Orleans Saints select with their first overall pick? A: Ellis, Sedrick (256)
- How many college juniors will be selected in the first round of the draft? A: 11 (88)
- What position will "Mr. Irrelevant" play? A: Linebacker (372)
- And, finally, our annual "just for the fun of it" question: At what pick will the final player in the NFL's "Green Room" at draft headquarters in New York come off the board? A: 6 (168)