Friday, April 23, 2010

First Class

-- All I can say is, wow. That was a great draft, lots of stuff to get through, pretty darn exciting. 1. St. Louis Ram: Sam Bradford, QB: Was it really in doubt? I'm still not convinced though. The Rams O-line is significantly different to the one that Bradford played behind in college. 2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT: Jim Schwartz was only ever looking at one guy with this pick. He needed Suh to be the anchor for his line, allowing him to build a carbon copy of the defense he ran so successfully in Tennessee. The Lions Defense just got upgraded big time. 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Gerald McCoy, DT: It was heart warming to see McCoy's reaction to the pick. You know he's going to give everything for that team and when McCoy is giving you everything he has, you're in great shape. Quarterbacks beware! 4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, OT: Considered by many to be the most technically sound OT in the draft. Certainly very physically gifted and should slot in well to Mike Shanahans Zone stretch rushing attack. 5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, S: Scott Pioli followed the old Belichick/Patriots model of strengthening up the middle first and Berry is definitely a big strength. Fantastic footwork, quick hips, Berry will be looking to make some plays in a very much pass first division. 6. Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung, OT: It had to be. The Seahawks needed a new LT and Okung will be their guy. If Okung can take the pressure of the QB and buy him some more time, Seattle might just be able to get their offense up and running again. A great pick for a building franchise. 7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB: Mike Holmgren was quoted as saying that he wish he liked Jimmy Clausen more. To be fair to the old dog, he stuck to his guns and went for the best player on his board. I'm still not sure about this one though, not sure how much of an immediate impact you're going to get. 8. Oakland Raiders: Rolando McClain, LB: Oh boy, did the Giants crowd in Radio City Music Hall not like this!! The guy they all thought would replace Antonio Pierce was instead scooped up by Al Davis in a pick that is surprising only in the fact that it was actually a good one. Raiders fans will sleep a lot better tonight. 9. Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller, RB: Elected not to take a QB and as we will see, that came back to haunt them. Spiller though is a great playmaker, both in the run game and the return game. If they can establish the threat of Spiller rushing, then maybe the play action game will open up a little for the Bills. 10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyson Alualu, DT: The immediate reaction of many people will be 'what?'. And to some degree they have a point. But the Jaguars needed to upgrade their defensive line and by going for an interior player like Alualu, they get a pass rush and run defense upgrade. Many will point to Dan Williams still being on the board, but I think Alualu gives you a better pass rush, which is the main thing Jacksonville were lacking. I like this pick... 11. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT: ... But I don't like this one. Davis is fine, he'll be great on the right hand side. But why trade away a fourth round pick for him? You just leap frogged the Dolphins by trading with the Broncos, neither of whom were ever likely to take Davis. It just doesn't make much sense to me. Still though, Davis is a good player and hopefully this will spell the beginning of a run first mentality. All we need now is a guard... 12. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB: Hello!! Bold move by the Chargers, but they need a back to spell with Sproles. The trouble with this pick is that you're giving up later selections to draft a player in a deep position. Even if the Chargers had stayed put, a good RB is going to fall to you. You can even wait till the second round and get a pretty good back to put accompany Sproles. I just think this is bad value management. 13. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE: The Eagles traded up as the Broncos were more than happy to move back. And in return, the Eagles got one of my favourite players in this draft. Graham has the potential to make the most impact in his rookie year, especially with Trent Cole on the opposite side for teams to worry about. Great pick. 14. Seattle Seahawks: Earl Thomas, S: Nice pick. Thomas is a great safety and can really help to anchor the middle of the Seahawks defense. There are some good RB out there in the NFC West and Thomas wont be afraid to put his head down and get stuck in. 15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE: The Giants fans were cheering as Pierre-Pauls name was read out. I think they'll be crying by the end of it. Pierre-Paul is a classic example of scouts over valuing speed and strength without the necessary football brain or technique to back it up. 16. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Morgan, DE: Surprised he fell this far to be honest. The chatter going about is that the Titans were disappointed to see Pierre-Paul come off the board, but I think at the end of the season they'll look back and thank their lucky stars it happened this way. 17. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, OG: ... and that's our O-line sorted. Kind of. I love Iupati, such a determined and physical guy, great at blocking both the run and the pass. Very happy with this pick. More than makes up for the moment of madness earlier. Expect Frank Gores numbers to spike next season. 18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, OG: No surprise to see Pouncey come off the board next. He's a great guard who will one day likely shift to center for the Steelers. They're a good franchise, and good franchises have a habit of picking linemen in the first round. Pouncey is a solid addition to this franchises future. 19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon, LB: When you're playing the Panthers twice a year, it helps to have a good LB in the middle to stop the run (not that the stupid Panthers ever fully utilize their rushing assets). That's what you get with Weatherspoon. After McClain came off the board, I'm surprised that the Giants didn't snatch this guy up, but the Falcons certainly aren't complaining. Nice pick. 20. Houston Texans: Kareem Jackson, CB: I get it, you need a corner to replace Dunta Robinson. But take another look at your draft board. Look at the corner position and..... doh!! Yep, there's Kyle Wilson, sitting there wondering why he's still not been taken by number twenty. This is just a clear cut mistake by the Texans. 21. Cinncinati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE: I was watching the draft on the live feed, when me and Tom Waddle (great analyst) both said TE at the same time. They cut to Commissioner Goodell standing at the podium, and although I couldn't see or hear him anymore, I have this instinctive feeling that Waddle, like me, said 'Jermaine Gresham', just before Goodell read it off the card. This is a solid pick for the Bengals that rounds off nicely an excellent receiving corp. They might just prove to be 'The Team To Beat' next season. 22. Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas, WR: Finally the Broncos realised they hadn't picked anyone, so Josh McDaniels calls his old friend in New England, and hey presto, the Broncos steal one of the best receivers in the draft (alongside Arrelious Benn). Well done Broncos. 23. Green Bay Packers: Brian Bulaga, OT: I feel sorry for Bulaga. He got all dressed up to come to the draft, all excited about the fact he was going to be taken in the top ten and start earning a truck load of dollars...... or maybe not. Well, he'll still earn a truck load of dollars, just it'll be more of a GMC Sierra as opposed to a sixteen wheeled beast. The Packers were probably stunned that Bulaga made it this far, but they would have had no doubts snapping him up. Aaron Rodgers can now abandon any plans to have the seat of his pants cushioned for 2010. 24. Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant, WR: Let me ask you a question; you just released your starting left tackle and you have two very good WR on the books, so do you really want another one, especially one who comes with a lot of character concerns, something that your franchise has only just got over the season before? This is a horrible pick, stupid as hell. Keep an eye out tomorrow for a trade involving Patrick Crayton. Baltimore and Miami will probably lead the charge, and they'll be in for a treat if they get him. 25. Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow, QB: Oh yeah, they did!! Sacrificing second, third and fourth round selections is a statement of intent by Denver. Personally I think Tebow is great and Denver is an awesome fit. He won't be expected to come in day one and start, he has a QB-centric coach, and eventually Demaryius Thomas will become his new toy as they grow up in the system together. But Denver paid a heavy price. They just lost three potential players, and in a draft group this deep, they may come to regret that. The suspected reason that they made the move was due to the Bills apparently trying to put something together to come get Tebow. The Ravens have obviously taken full advantage. With these extra picks, it essentially means they got Anquan Boldin for free. Meanwhile the Bills were, by all accounts, absolutely devastated that Tebow got away from them. 26. Arizona Cardinals: Dan Williams, DT: Williams + Dockett = major interior domination. With the disruption to their LB corps, this pick brings a bit of stability. The Cardinals do not want to get involved in more shootouts like the one against Green Bay in the post-season. They'll be hoping that Williams will make such future encounters a little more one sided. 27. New England Patriots: Devin McCourty, CB: Bill Belichick likes nothing more than a player who can do multiple things. McCourty brings not just ability at the CB position, but big time special teams play to, from returning kicks to blocking field goals. The only reason you'd take him over Kyle Wilson would be for this. 28. Miami Dolphins: Jared Odrick, DT: With the addition of LB Karlos Dansby, this is exactly the kind of upgrade the Dolphins needed defensively. Their defense is definitely their weak spot and Odrick has more potential than people think. 29. New York Jets: Kyle Wilson, CB: Was Rex Ryan ever going to let this one pass? No, not at all. Add Wilson to Cromartie and Revis and suddenly you have a secondary that is not going to give up a lot of yards through the air. They can play man across the board and just blitz the crap out of people with few worries this season. New York is going to be a scary place to go play. 30. Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best, RB: Again, I'm not a big fan of teams moving up for RB when you know you could get a solid guy in the second or third round. Made worse by the fact they're picking at two in the second round, which is only a few picks away. I just don't think you can allow yourself to get that attached to a RB. 31. Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes, DE: Obviously the whole Dwight Freeny injury thing in the run up to the Superbowl has stuck in the minds at Lucas Oil stadium. Hughes is a viable rotation type guy, though given the desire for speed on the Colts defense, it's entirely plausible he could end up playing DT. 32. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Robinson, CB: "Yeah, let's pick the one position outside of QB that we don't really need". The Saints need a run stopping LB and/or DT. This is a big mistake I feel as they might just be out of luck when they come to pick again tomorrow. Well, that's the first round done. Personally I thought it was fantastic to watch and the primetime format worked beautifully. I'll be back tomorrow to offer my thoughts once more on what promises to be an exciting second and thrid rounds. Have a great day everyone.

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