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Draft Recap, Day 1

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Well, the first two rounds are in the books, and it seemed much more exciting than in recent years.  I think the 10 minutes in between picks helped a lot (3 hours, 23 minutes for Round 1, a record), and there were plenty of WTF moments.  I'm going to break down the league into 4 categories, with an overall best and an overall worst (like this one is tough):

Overall Winner (Tie):

  • Indianapolis:  The Colts ranked 31st in rushing last year, and we all know that Addai needs a sidekick to split carries with to be effective.  Polian went out and got the FBS leader in Yards last year, a guy who can catch the ball, and a guy who's got something between his ears.  A great pick by the Colts.  Then they traded up to get a much needed DT, who fits perfectly into the Tampa 2.  We are all thrilled at how the draft turned out, especially since it was better than everyone else.
  • Philadelphia: Who would have thought that Jeremy Maclin would fall all the way to 19?  The Eagles needed more help for Donovan McNabb, and he certainly got it with Maclin.  A perfect fit for the Eagles.  Add to that getting great value with LeSean McCoy, helping out Brian Westbrook, and the Eagles made out like bandits.  Along with the fact this is entirely different to the philosophy of Andy Reid's previous draft, makes the Eagles Day 1 tops in the league.

 

Top of the League:

  • Atlanta: The Falcons filled a big need at DT with Peria Jerry, and got a great value with William Moore.  Both will probably start right away.  Great work by the Falcons, making it 2 years in a row with very good opening days of the draft.
  • Baltimore: The Ravens made a great move moving up to get Michael Oher in the first round.  A position of need, with a player who could have gone in the top 10.  Paul Kruger will also help the Ravens' sack numbers, which was the only thing lacking last season.  Plus learning from Terrell Suggs won't hurt either.
  • Jacksonville: I hate to say it, but the Jaguars really improved themselves today, taking bookend OTs.  This is key, as they will be facing 4 of the premier DEs in the league twice each.  Nothing exciting here, but much needed for the Jaguars.  Maybe they finally learned from all those mistakes?
  • Miami: Taking 2 CBs, at great value, who both fit the defensive scheme really well, is a great start to the draft.  They also got another piece to their Wildcat package with Pat White.  Should be very interesting to see how they use him.  Very good so far for the Dolphins.
  • Minnesota:Getting Loadholt at 54 is a great value, and will anchor that OL for years.  Harvin obviously had his issues, but putting him on the field at the same time as Peterson is scary to think about.  The Vikings definitely helped themselves today.
  • New England: The Patriots trade around a few times, pick up 2 new secondary starters, a DL as insurance for Wilfork and Seymour, and an OT named Sea Bass.  No surprise, as the Patriots are always good on draft day.  Dammit.
  • NY Giants: I guess they don't need Plaxico after all?  Nicks will fit in perfectly in NY, and they fill a need with Sintim at LB.  Maybe a little out of place, but a great value pick.  Getting Beatty at 60 was also great, as he can learn for a few years before being asked to step in and start.  Great day for the Giants.
  • San Francisco: First, Michael Crabtree falls into their laps, then they trade away their 2nd rounder for a 1st next year (Panthers).  Singletary must be pissing himself in joy.  Great day for the 49ers.
  • St. Louis: The Rams get their starting LT of the future, and get a MLB as well, ready to learn from Spagnolo.  Nothing sexy, but the Rams did really well today.
  • Washington: The Redskins only had 1 pick (shocking for a Snyder team), but they certainly made the most of it.  Orakpo loved being drafted by them, and is a great value at 13.  He'll fit in quite nicely next to Haynesworth.  I can't believe the Redskins are in this category, but they certainly are.

Solid First Day:

  • Arizona: Surprised nobody by taking Beanie Wells, who will fit in right away.  Adding a pass rushing DE helps the defense, desparately in need of somebody who can do that.  Nice work filling needs.
  • Cincinnati: The Bengals certainly don't shy away from players with problems off the field, do they?  They took 2 very talented players, who could turn out to be very good, if they keep their head on straight.  They could have been in the higher category, if not for those problems.  Still, not bad for the Bengals.
  • Green Bay: Raji was a very good pick, and should step in right away and play quite a bit.  They then moved back into the first round to get Clay Matthews, who I'm not entirely sold on.  He'll fit well into their new 3-4 defense, but we'll see how well he plays in a new scheme.  Overall though, a pretty good day for the Packers.
  • Houston: More building of the defense for the Texans.  Cushing is a polarizing player, which puts this pick slightly into question.  Barwin is a good, versatile player, but seems like he doesn't quite fit their scheme.  We shall see though, twice next year.
  • New Orleans: The Saints only had 1 pick, and they made the most of it.  Jenkins fits a glaring need in the Saints secondary, and should start right away.
  • NY Jets: I think they gave up a lot for Sanchez, but they got their guy.  Sanchez is going to have a lot of pressure on him, especially being in New York.  Only time will tell if this trade will work out.
  • Seattle: Seattle made this category solely on getting Aaron Curry.  Putting him together with Totupu and Peterson Leroy Hill make the Seattle LB corps one of the best in the league.  Picking up Unger is also a solid pick.
  • Tennessee: The Titans finally take a WR in the first round with Kenny Britt.  I think this also puts to bed any Boldin or Edwards trade talks.  Marks in the 2nd is questionable, but their DL coach is one of the best in the league, and will at least help fill the (huge) gap left by Fat Albert.

Ok, but could have been better:

  • Buffalo: I know they liked Maybin, but Brian Orakpo fell into their laps, and they passed on him.  They better hope Maybin turns out to be a good player.  They also took 2 Interior Lineman.  Sure it is good value, but do they need 2 of them this high in the draft?
  • Carolina: Everette Brown kept falling and falling, and was saved by the Panthers.  Good value, but giving up a first rounder next year, again, for him?  That doesn't make sense.  Taking Martin is a good pick, but doesn't make up for giving up a 2010 first rounder for #43 in the draft.
  • Cleveland: The Browns traded down 3 times in the first, including the big one with the Jets.  Then they took Alex Mack (finally), which is an ok pick.  He's a good player, but they have an established starter there now, and they need starters.  They did pick Robiskie, which is a good pick that the locals will like.  They then took another WR, and reached on a DE/OLB.  They better hope they trade Edwards, or else taking 2 WRs, pretty high, won't make much sense.
  • Detroit: I struggled with the Lions.  They got their QB, and got a pretty good safety, which is fast becoming a very important position in the NFL.  While Pettigrew is a pretty good TE, they passed on a bookend OT in Oher.  If they pick an OT with pick #65, they move up a category.  But right now, I can't get over them passing up a talent like Oher.
  • Denver: The Broncos ended up with 5 first day picks, including a couple of reaches (Quinn in the 2nd?!).  I picked Moreno in our Mock Draft here, but not at 12, at 18.  Moreno will be a very good player, and it doesn't matter how many RBs are on the roster.  Ayers is a good pick, but trading a first next year for Alphonso Smith?  They better hope they are good next year.  Iffy start to the McDaniels era.
  • Pittsburgh: There were multiple OL that would have made much more sense than a backup NT, especially one that many thought fit best into a 4-3 scheme.  We all liked Hood here, and will be fine in that defense, but Roethlisberger needs some protection, and he didn't get it when he should have.
  • San Diego: I think the Chargers got sniped by division foe Denver, with them taking Knowshon Moreno, and took a bit of a reach in Larry English.  He's a very good pass rusher, but they do have Merriman and Shaun Phillips already, who are pretty good.  Maybe Merriman isn't really ready to come back?

What the hell were they thinking:

  • Kansas City: There was a lot of talk about Tyson Jackson skyrocketing up draft boards Thursday and Friday, and I guess they were all right.  I understand the fit, but taking their 2nd Top 5 DL in as many years?  When a much better player in Curry is still there?  Doesn't make any sense.
  • Tampa Bay: They can thank Al Davis for being completely clueless, or else Tampa would have had the worst draft.  Trading up to get their 4th QB?  Especially one who many draftniks have serious concerns about?  Bad start to the Raheem Morris era.

Al Davis is really out of touch:

  • Oakland: Do I really have to explain this?  Passed on far and away best WR (Crabtree) to take the "fast" guy in Heyward-Bey, then took a guy that Kiper had listed as a 5th rounder, NFLDraftScout had as a 6th, and Mayock had as a 7th rounder.  But guess what?  Mitchell can run a sub 4.4 40.