Draft Winners and Losers (A Second Opinion)
By Patrick Luo
Kansas City Chiefs: (A+) Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles, Brad Cottam, DaJuan Morgan, William Franklin, Brandon Carry, Barry Richardson, Kevin Robinson, Brian Johnston, Mike Merritt
In terms of just the draft, they easily had the best one. If you consider the fact that they had to give up Jared Allen for a lot of the picks, not so much. But they still had the best draft. Getting the 2nd best defensive prospect (in my opinion), Glenn Dorsey, with the 5th pick is huge. They still addressed their offensive line issues with Branden Albert, easily the top guard in this draft class. They also drafted Barry Richardson from Clemson, great value for a 6th round pick. Cottam was a good pick in the 3rd, maybe a slight reach, but he’s still the best blocking tight end in the draft. DaJuan Morgan, arguably the 2nd best overall free safety in this draft, was a good value pick in the 3rd. Brandon Flowers was another good pick at the top of the 2nd, because of some teams valued Flowers as the #1 cornerback. The combine changed that, but the potential is still there.
Pittsburgh Steelers: (A-) Rashard Mendenhall, Limas Sweed, Bruce Davis, Tony Hills, Dennis Dixon, Mike Humpal, Ryan Mundy.
If they would have addressed there need on the offensive line sooner they would have got an A+, but they came out with great value at every pick. With the 23rd overall pick they got Rashard Mendenhall, easily the 2nd best running back in this draft projected for a top 15 pick. And then in the 2nd round they got Limas Sweed, arguably the best receiver overall. His hands and size will be great for Big Ben. He wanted a big receiver and he got one. Tony Hills and Mike Humpal are great 2nd day picks that will add depth. Bruce Davis, linebacker from UCLA, is also a great pick. He was a great value and is the perfect fir at outside line backer in the Steeler 34 defense. QB Dennis Dixon is an interesting pick, he tore his ACL mid season and might be converted to wide receiver.
Miami Dolphins: (A-) Jake Long, Phillip Merling, Chad Henne, Kendall Langford, Shawn Murphy, Jalen Parmels, Donald Thomas, Lex Hilliard, Lionel Dotson.
Bill Parcells has just started a great rebuilding project. Obviously you don’t want your player to be a bust with the #1 overall, so they pick the safest pick in Jake Long. He doesn’t allow sacks and he doesn’t commit penalties (2 each in his entire career). Phillip Merling is a great value pick in the 2nd round, and Henne could come and compete for the starting job immediately. Not to mention he’ll have a familiar face protecting him in Jake Long. Langford and Murphy are great value picks that provide depth. Even if Jason Taylor leaves, Merling and Langford will produce enough to be slightly less than Taylor’s production.
Minnesota Vikings: (B-) Tyrell Johnson, John David Booty, Letroy Guion, John Sullivan, Jaymar Johnson.
They got Jared Allen with their 1st round and both of the 3rd round picks. They might have had the best “draft” because of the Allen trade. Excluding Allen, they still had a pretty good draft. Safety Tyrell Johnson was a great pick in the 2nd round and will should start by mid season. Q John David Booty (JDB) at the top of the 5th was also pretty good. Tavaris Jackson isn’t the most consistent of quarterbacks, and JDB could compete for the starting job right away. Even the picks of Guion and Sullivan are pretty good. Guion provides depth on the defensive line if one of the Williams were to fall to injury. Sullivan might be the best center in the draft and his leadership on the offensive line would be a great addition considering the Vikings’ offensive line is aging.
New York Giants: (C) Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas, Mario Manningham, Byan Kehl, Jonathan Goff, Andre Woodson, Robert Henderson.
The Super Bowl Winners lost a lot of key players in free agency. Those were filled with Kenny Phillips and Terrell Thomas as the Giants’ first two picks. I like Kenny Phillps, but Robert Bryant of NFL Draft Dog thought they should have drafted Tyrell Johnson instead, regardless Phillips could start and CB Terrell Thomas is very versatile, but not very speedy. He can play cornerback, safety, and return kicks and punts. Manningham is a great pick because Burress is aging and Manning needs a young receiver who he can work well with. Manningham has great speed and should work well in the Giants’ offense. Goff is a great pick to add depth when Mitchell left for the Bills. Andre Woodson, although not an immediate need, was a worthy risk. He was at one point a highly quarterback for the draft until scouts took a longer look at his painfully slow delivery.
Carolina Panthers: (C+) Jonathan Stewart, Jeff Otah, Charles Godfrey, Dan Connor, Gary Barnidge, Nick Hayden, Hilee Taylor, Geoff Schwartz, Mackenzy Bernadeau
In terms of value, they did a great job. But they got so many players that they don’t need. They needed a power running back to complement the speed of DeAngelo Williams, so why not go for Mendenhall? He’s easily a better power back and better overall back than Jonathan Stewart. Otah is a great pick, but they gave up too much to get him, a 2009 1st rounder? That’s too much. Godfrey and Connor are amazing picks in the 3rd, but the thing is that they don’t need a cornerback or a middle linebacker. Godfrey will probably move to safety, but he’s a much better cornerback. Beason is a great middle linebacker so the Connor pick is really interesting. Yes he was obviously the best player available, but with a 7-9 record I think you want to fill your holes instead of drafting the best available.
Atlanta Falcons: (C+) Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Curtis Lofton, Chevis Jackson, Harry Douglas, Thomas DeCoud, Robert James, Kroy Biermann, Thomas Brown, Wilrey Fontenot, Keith Zinger.
Falcon fans wanted to forget about Michael Vick, and the best quarterback in this draft falls right into their laps in Matt Ryan. I personally don't like Ryan, but he was unanimously regarded as the top QB in this draft. The problem is, who is going to block for Ryan? OT Sam Baker was an incredible reach, and they didn’t even have to trade up to get him. They could have stayed at their 2nd round spot and probably get him. Curtis Lofton was a pretty good pick in the 2nd round and Jackson, Douglas, and DeCoud are all solid 3rd round picks. Even with the absence of a 4th round pick, they probably could have traded down and added more depth.
Green Bay Packers: (C+) Jordy Nelson, Brian Brohm, Patrick Lee, Jermichael Finley, Jeremy Thompson, Josh Sitton, Breno Giacomini, Matt Flynn, Brett Swain.
Why the heck do you draft Jordy Nelson when Limas Sweed, Malcolm Kelly, and DeSean Jackson are all on the board. Don’t get me wrong, Nelson is an underrated receiver and runs routes well, but he definitely is no t the best receiver available. The Packers don’t even need a receiver right away, so why not draft someone like Kelly and Jackson and have them improve while not being pressured to contribute immediately. Brohm was a great pick, he was rated as a first round NFL Draft Prospect for most of the season. Brohm is great insurance and should be a started in the league in a couple years. The more questionable pick is Flynn. I don’t think the Packers want Favre back anytime soon with all the quarterbacks they drafted. Patrick Lee however, is possibly the best pick of the bunch. He’s a physical cornerback who fits what the Packers want in a cornerback. Sitton and Giacomini are great picks, but they are needs that the Packers could have and should have addressed earlier in the draft. Sitton might have been a bit of a reach though.
St. Louis Rams: (C-) Chris Long, Donnie Avery, John Greco, Justin King, Keenan Burton, Roy Schuening, Chris Chamberlain, David Vobora.
The first receiver to be taken off is… Donnie Avery. If you think that’s a typo it’s not. I can understand if you don’t want a possession receiver and you want a speed receiver but… Avery? Is it just me or is DeSean Jackson still on the board. Oh wait, he still is. Other than that pick, I think they hit on every other pick. Chris Long is in my opinion the best defensive player in the draft. Yes even higher than Dorsey. John Greco is a very versatile offensive lineman who can play all four positions on the offensive line other than the center. Roy Schuening, and Justin King have the potential to start as rookies. Even if they don’t, King can provide a role in a role in the nickel defense. Schuening is a good pick, especially since he’s the 3rd best guard on most people’s draft boards.
Chicago Bears: (D) Chris Williams, Matt Forte, Earl Bennett, Marcus Harrison, Craig Steltz, Zack Bowman, Kellen Davis, Ervin Baldwin, Chester Adams, Joey LaRocque, Kirk Barton, Marcus Monk.
Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, and Kyle Orton. Does anybody see anything wrong with this? Oh that’s right, they’re all incompetent and the Bears’ front office doesn’t recognize that. While Chris Williams was the only right pick I think they made, the Bears did horrible. The Bears drafted Matt Forte in the 2nd while Ray Rice, Kevin Smith, and Jamaal Charles were all on the board. Now Cedric Benson is in jail and looks like a huge bust. Matt Forte is also a horrible complement to Cedric Benson. Kirk Barton is a great pick, especially in the 7th. He had a great Pro Day and could have been drafted around the 4th round. To grab him in the 7th is a great pick. However, Monk and Bennett are excellent picks and will provide depth at receiver with the departure of Bernard Berrian.
Baltimore Ravens: (D) Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Tavares Gooden, Tom Zbikowski, Oniel Cousins, Marcus Smith, David Hale, Haruki Nakamura, Justin Harper, Allen Patrick.
Am I the only one that thinks Flacco is an incredible reach? The Ravens could have easily grabbed him without trading up for multiple reasons. For one, he wasn’t the next best quarterback. Also, the next quarterback that was drafted was Brian Brohm, and he was 38 picks later. Sure your original target, Matt Ryan, was already picked and you didn’t want to take the risk that Flacco was picked, but moving up to 18 is way too much. They also never addressed their need of cornerback or defensive line. They need depth there. Both starting cornerbacks are over 30, and they seriously need to get a young cornerback in there soon. No defensive lineman was drafted, Pryce will be 33 and Gregg will be 32.
Denver Broncos: (D) Ryan Clady, Eddie Royal, Kory Lichensteiger, Jack Williams, Ryan Torain, Carlton Powell, Spencer Larsen, Joshua Barrett, Peyton Hillis.
Outside the picks of Ryan Clady and Petyon Hillis, the Broncos’ draft was horrible. Javon Walker left so a receiver needed to be drafted. But was Royal really the best you could do? Malcolm Kelly, Limas Sweed, and DeSean Jackson are all on the board. Lichensteiger is an interesting pick because he’s not the best center and the Broncos don’t have an immediate need for center. Not to mention he’s a reach in the 4th round. Jack Williams was a big reach in the 4th round, and same goes for Torain in the 5th. I hope the Denver scouting teams knows something I don’t because their draft was pretty bad.
Tennessee Titans: (D) Chris Johnson, Jason Jones, Craig Stevens, William Hayes, Lavelle Hawkins, Stanford Keglar, Cary Williams
Based on how no receivers were taken the 1st round, I think the teams saw something that I didn’t. However top receivers Sweed, Kelly, and Jackson were all taken within 6 picks before the Titans could pick. The real problem here is they didn’t draft a receiver until their 4th round pick. Their biggest need by far, and they could only get Lavelle Hawkins, pathetic. Chris Johnson was a major reach with the 1st rounder, and there were a ton of better options left. A trade-down, or defensive line depth would be better. Kentwan Balmer and Lawrence Jackson would have been better options than Chris Johnson. Lavelle Hawkins has some potential, but they still could have nabbed a receiver within the first 3 rounds.