Drafts are the best, I like all kinds:
- Miller Light and Miller High Life for your cheaper American beers.
- I enjoy Corona, Dos XX, and Pacifico for Mexican beers
- And of course, the greats like Stella Artois, Kilt Lifter, and any Chimay.
But, that is not the draft I am talking about; of course I am talking about the NFL Draft that occurred this last Saturday and Sunday. Now I am no draft expert, I do research and try to know about players that have a chance going in the first three rounds. That being said, I will give you my draft review, but not a letter grade, because let's be honest, we will not know for three or four years about the players that were picked and how they will do. So here we go, if you don't agree with me that is fine, let me know, I love me some comments, just make sure that you take your homer glasses off first.
A Great Draft to Me (Like a Chimay)
Arizona Cardinals- Ha, I say to not be homer and I my first listing is my favorite team. I love hypocrisy. Anyways, I think the Cardinals had a great draft; they did not reach for any of their picks, and really followed the Patriots, Steelers and Colts drafting philosophy of best available player, regardless of position. I think Rashad Johnson will be a good player, and really helps them on special teams now. And for those of you who don't know, you can see the groundwork being laid for a transition to a more Steelers like game plan with the picks of Herman Johnson and Trevor Canfield, two big maulers who should develop into possible starters in the next couple of years.
Cincinnati Bengals- After the gift of Rey Maualuga and the ultimate boom or bust pick in Andre Smith, they continued to do well. Michael Johnson is a first round talent, with a seventh round brain. I loved the Chase Coffman pick, getting Carson Palmer a nice safety net, in the Chris Cooley mold of H-back/Tight ends. All of that said, they also picked up a very good punter in Kevin Huber, who can really change the field position battle.
Cleveland Browns- Well, Eric Mangini definitely went to the Patriots school of drafting, trading down multiple times in order to increase the number of draft picks they had. Alex Mack is a ten year starter in the waiting and picking up Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi to team up with Braylon Edwards, for whomever the quarterback will be. They picked up two linebackers in the next couple of rounds, but the pick I like the most, is the one of James Davis in the sixth round. Davis was probably going to be a top three round pick if he came out after his junior year, but he had a horrible senior year and now fell all the way to the bottom part.
Green Bay Packers- I personally believe this team had the best draft. Picking up B.J. Raji was a no brainer, but I loved the move of trading back into the first round to grab Clay Matthews, who will excel at any backer position in the 3-4 the Pack are going too. They drafted two linemen with great versatility, which fit in their offensive schemes. The pick that I really believe will pay huge dividends was that of Quinn Johnson, the human bowling ball, at fullback. Think Lorenzo Neal that is the type of lead blocker he can be.
Houston Texans- While Brian Cushing will get all the pub, I think that Connor Barwin will end up having the longer more productive career. I liked the pickup of Antoine Caldwell, and think he can be a very helpful swing guy on that line. My favorite pick though is that of James Casey, who is so multi faceted that he will have a chance to be a star in Houston.
New England Patriots- I won't talk much about it, because I do not like this team, but you have to respect what they continue to do each and every year. That is all you get from me Patriots fans.
Philadelphia Eagles- I like the pick of Jeremy Maclin, and think he will end up being a Reggie Wayne type receiver in three or four years. LeSean McCoy is a nice back and can become a number one eventually. With the later round picks, they decided to go the route of productive college players, that don't have as high of a ceiling, but should be good pros in Cornelius Ingram and Victor Harris. The last 4 picks were people they hope will turn in to productive role players and backups. There draft will hinge on picks one and two filling needs that they have on offense.
Baltimore Ravens- How Michael Oher fell to them is beyond me. I think this kid is going to be a solid OT for years to come. The pick of their draft to me is Paul Kruger, who is still raw, but will work harder than anyone else on their team in order to succeed. They drafted two defensive players in the middle rounds, who will play special teams and get some plays in the rotation this year.
San Francisco 49ers- Got a steal of Michael Crabtree at #10. I don't know why people think he is a diva, I have seen this kid work hard to get where he is, and think he is going to be great. The pick of Glen Coffee in the third is a Mike Singeltary pick, a tough, downhill runner who likes to hit people. To me the two most intriguing picks were those of Nate Davis, and Ricky Jean-Francois. Two players who could turn into starters in this league.
Seattle Seahawks- Other than the gift of Aaron Curry, I loved the pickup of Max Unger, a great swing man type guard who should have a long career in Seattle. I was not as high on the Deon Butler pick, but the pickup of Mike Teel to develop is a nice one.
Washington Redskins- I likes the Skins draft for two reasons, one, they didn't give up the farm for Mark Sanchez, neither did the Jets but Daniel Snyder has a habit of overpaying for things. And 2, they picked up the best pure pass rusher in the draft to pair with Albert Haynesworth. Their entire draft hangs on what Orakpo does and if he can take some of the pressure off of Haynesworth, they will have a successful draft.
A Nice Draft (Corona, Dos XX)
Detroit Lions- They had a nice draft, no doubt about it. I am not crazy about the Matt Stafford pick, and think Jason Smith was the better option, especially with the dearth of good QB's coming out next year, but I can't fault a team for trying. The Brandon Pettigrew pick, also a nice pick, but I would have preferred Michael Oher there for them, because then you have your LT of the future protecting your QB of the future. The Louis Delmas pick was a nice one, to be the QB of the defense and has Bob Sanders potential, but will also need to get stronger to stay healthy. I really liked the pick of Derrick Williams, a nice deep threat receiver and a good return man. Zack Follett will work hard and should make the team and contribute on special teams. Detroit fans will love him because of his work ethic.
St. Louis Rams- Loved the Jason Smith pick, was a little less enthusiastic about the James Laurinaitis pick, even though I understand why they picked him over Maualuga. I did not like the third and fourth round picks, with the needs they still had, but admittedly, I do not know as much about these guys as others that were picked in the third and fourth round and they may be good solid pros.
Pittsburgh Steelers- They had a good draft, but I thought they went a little safe with their first round pick. I was hoping to see them take Max Unger, because he would have been a great fit on their line, but Evander Hood will be a good player, I just don't know if he is strong enough to play nose or quick enough to play DE. The later round picks were all Steelers type picks, good solid guys that are not flashy, but are good players who work hard to get the job done. I like Hood, and think he will be good, I just think Unger could have been your new Alan Faneca.
Indianapolis Colts- I liked the pick of Donald Brown, and think he will do well in a couple of years as the feature back in the Colts offense when they inevitably let Joseph Addai go. The pick of Fili Moala fits a huge need, and will free up their linebackers to make plays, and should draw some attention away from Freeney and Mathis. My favorite pick is Austin Collie, who will get the Colts a nice third option and probably become the next Brandon Stokely in that offense. The pickup of Pat McAfee is a big one, because the Colts lost their punter, who granted did not get a lot of work, but was able to change the field for their defense and offense when he was called upon.
Carolina Panthers- Everette Brown will be a steal, especially if they are able to keep Julius Peppers for the next year. Sherrod Martin fills a need at safety and should be a productive, if not spectacular pro. The pick of the draft for them may be Tony Fiammetta, a nice fullback who will open up more running room for Williams and Stewart and will be a nice safety valve for the $45 million dollar man Jake Delholmme. And if Duke Robinson is motivated, he will be a nice player and really help the running game be even more productive.
Tennessee Titans- Kenny Britt will be a nice weapon for Kerry Collins and should develop into a number 2 receiver at the least. Sen'Derrick Marks will have some big shoulder pads to fill, and I am afraid he may flop trying to be Albert Haynesworth, instead of using his strengths, his quickness and penetration skills. Javon Ringer will be a nice compliment to Chris Johnson in a couple of years when LenDale White is gone, but Jason McCourty is my sleeper in this group. Jeff Fisher is great at coaching up CB's and with McCourty's raw physical talent; he could be a very good player.
New York Giants- Hakeem Nicks is the only player that really matters in this draft, because he will be the key to the future success of not only Eli Manning, but the Giants. If he can have half of the effect of Plaxico Burress, then this will have been a nice pick up. Clint Sintim is a nice pass rush option, who will be groomed to replace Mathius Kiwanuka in a couple years when the Giants let him leave. Andre Brown is the person I am most interested in seeing. He has the potential to be in the rotation for the Giants at RB and could be a steal in the fourth.
Buffalo Bills- Needed an OT and that is the only reason I did not love their draft. Aaron Maybin is going to be a nice addition to the pass rush, and Eric Wood will give them a center they have not had since the mid 90's. But, with William Beatty sitting there, I thought that just made too much sense. The pick of Nic Harris in the fifth round is my favorite. Some guys are just football players, and I think he is one of them that can turn into an Adrian Wilson like safety/linebacker hybrid if used correctly.
Atlanta Falcons- They needed help on defense and they got it. I love the Peria Jerry pick and think he can be like Darnell Dockett, with a better motor. William Moore is a nice pick, but I think there were better players still available at that point that could have helped a little more. Lawrence Sidbury will be a player, and I think the Falcons really did well here to get him. I was close to putting this in the love tier, but something just felt off.
San Diego Chargers- Larry English makes sense, because the Chargers are not afraid to let anyone go. But I thought there were more important positions they could have addressed there, especially with some nice offensive and defensive lineman still on the board. Picking up two guards in the third and fourth rounds makes sense and I like the prospect of Louis Vasquez replacing Mike Goff. Demetrius Byrd is the wild card for me, because he has the potential to be a nice player if he is able to heal from his car accident injuries.
New Orleans Saints- Only four picks and every one of them was a defensive player which is what I thought they would do. I like Malcolm Jenkins and think he will be a nice player, but he reminds me of Antrel Rolle in that he may not have the speed to play corner and may need to move to safety. That is why I put them here, because they then took a safety next round, but Chip Vaughn will probably be a strong safety and we will see. The only real problem I had was not finding a RB or any offensive line help, but with the limited picks, I like what they did.
New York Jets- I liked the Sanchez trade, and thought that they gave up only one viable player in the deal in the Elam kid. I like Shonn Greene, but they probably could have got him in their original position, and I just thought with only three picks, they should have tried and got a receiver for Sanchez to throw to. It is nitpicking and just a personal thing, but that is why I only liked their draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars- I liked them taking Eugene Monroe in the first round, and I am a fan of Eben Britton and what he can do on the field, I just don't know if I love them taking two OT's with your first two. I really liked the late round receivers they picked up in Jarett Dillard and Tiquan Underwood, but I am not a Mike Thomas fan, and think there was better value at the pick.
Hey it's Still a Draft (Cheap American Beer)
Miami Dolphins- I am not a Vontae Davis fan and think that a WR like Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt would have fit nicely. I loved the pick of Sean Smith and think he will be a better pro than Davis will. The picks of Patrick Turner and Brian Hartline show the need for receivers, and I like both guys, but neither one will be a number one receiver, which is what they still need. John Nalbone is a nice Bill Parcells type tight end who I think will start in a couple of years. I just wish they would have taken a WR instead of Davis, but that is why I am writing this and not making decisions.
Minnesota Vikings- I am not a huge fan of Percy Harvin, and think he will be a little to injury prone for my liking. I also am not a fan of Phil Loadholt, unless they put him at guard, because he has no quickness out of his stance. That being said, I really like the pickups of Asher Allen and Jasper Brinkley, both players who will bring a swagger to the Vikings defense.
Denver Broncos- Drafting Knowshon Moreno is never a bad thing, because he has the potential to be a great back, but I do not understand why they ignored the defense with Brian Orakpo and Brian Cushing on the board. I like Robert Ayers, but I am not a huge Alphonso Smith fan, and think Darius Butler would have been a better pick. Then, trading up to draft a blocking tight end in Richard Quinn was a little puzzling, but that is why I don't give draft grades, because we don't know how any of these guys will turn out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Josh Freeman is this draft, and it isn't so much the pick of Freeman I didn't like, it was trading up two spots to get him. It shows desperation to find a franchise QB in a QB weak draft. I think they would have been better served waiting till next year to pick up a QB.
Oakland Raiders- It isn't really the players they drafted; it is where they drafted them. If they wanted DHB so bad, they should have tried to trade down to 10 or 13. I just don't like all the developmental talent they drafted, because DHB, Mike Mitchell and Matt Shaughnessy are all developmental.
Kansas City Chiefs- I find it hard to believe they could not get the Jets to trade with them. I like Tyson Jackson and think he will be a solid pro, but drafting a solid guy over guys with the potential to be spectacular is puzzling. The other reason I am having a hard time with their draft is because they needed help at LB and there was a lot of good ones in this draft.
Chicago Bears- Trading away their second rounder did not make sense to me and they have a lot of boom or bust prospects here in Jarron Gilbert and Henry Melton. They both have great talent; it is just a matter of developing that talent. I like the Juaquin Iglesias pick, and think he will be a good possession receiver, but I just did not understand trading away their second round pick.
Dallas Cowboys- I think they just were not prepared when their pick came up. I have a feeling they wanted a certain player in the second round, and he was drafted right before their pick and they did not know until they called in to pick him and the guy on the other end said, "He was just picked." They made a ton of picks, but the only one I really liked was Stephen McGee in the fourth round. I don't know why they drafted a kicker when they have a very good one, but again, they will be another wait and see team.
I don't give letter grades because I don't know what will happen in the future. I just analyze what the teams did and if I thought they filled needs without reaching I put them in the great section. If they filled needs, but reached or missed someone I feel was a better prospect, I put them in the like section. If they made a pick that I don't understand, I just think to myself, man I love the draft in spite of this. Because let's face it, any type of draft is a good type.