It's tough being first. When you're first, you can choose ANYONE you want. When you were a kid and you got to be the captain for a backyard game of football, the top choice was the most important. If you chose the best player, you were going to win. While the first choice is the most important, most times, the second one is the easiest.
It's so much easier to be 2nd, isn't it? All this draft pressure lies solely on one team to perform: the Astros. If the Cubs, with the 2nd pick, don't pick the most successful major leaguer in this draft, it's easy to brush that off. Why? Because they can always claim they didn't get to choose who they REALLY wanted because he went 1.1! The Astros take Appel, the Cubs can take Gray with no pressure. Last year the Astros picked Correa, and the Twins had the "easy" choice by picking up Buxton.
It takes MORE guts and courage to take who you think is the best when the rest of the world says you're wrong. The second pick just gets to take the "leftover." That's so simple. "Well, he's good and all, but since we don't really have a choice, we'll go with him."
Just imagine if the Colts didn't take Manning and instead went with Ryan Leaf. How different would things have been? Many "experts" thought Leaf was the better choice. How'd that one turn out?
I baseball, I like to look at the 2001 draft. The Cubs had the "easy" choice when Prior fell into their lap at #2 (Joe Mauer went to the Twins #1 that year). Were they criticized for that pick? Of course not! Because 2nd never has to make as tough of a decision as #1 does.
This year's certainly no different. The Cubs have it easy. They're free from scorn. They're free from pressure. They're free from failing this draft.
But then again...they're the Cubs. I take it all back.