Review of Round 1 & Remaining Draft Expectations

The first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, as always, was 32 picks of unpredictable selections, trades, rising players, and falling talent.  By pick 7 I knew that my mock draft was soon headed for disaster (although I’m pretty sure that my 7 correct picks equaled that of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay).  Every year I like to think that teams will actually draft players that fit their system and address their needs.  But, every year teams jump up and drop down and end up selecting guys that in many cases just don’t fit what that particular team is trying to do.  Here are some of my thoughts about the first round:

-Sam Bradford #1 was a necessary pick for the Rams and I think he will play a key role in the future of their franchise.

-The Chiefs made the best selection in the first round.  Berry was considered as one of the elite players in this draft.  He can cover and hit.  He is an intelligent kid and pairing him with Brandon Flowers in that secondary will vastly improve the Chiefs defense.

-The Oakland Raiders finally made a pick that wasn’t exceptionally stupid, although I still think an offensive tackle was the way to go.  How do you expect Jamarcus Russell to not be terrible when you cannot give him time to throw?

-No wonder why Jacksonville cannot sell tickets.

-San Diego jumped up way to high to get Ryan Mathews.  I understand that he was the highest rated running back on their board, but I am convinced he would have been available at pick 18, or at least somewhere around there.

-Josh McDaniels said that Demaryius Thomas reminds him of Brandon Marshall.  Josh, you jumped dumped your best offensive player because of issues you were having with him, but they drafted a guy that plays just like him on the field?  I question his decision making (although the Tebow pickup was huge for Denver).

-The Dallas Cowboys draft yet another wide receiver with character issues.  Are any of you truly surprised?  I’m just shocked that a guy with talent compared to Larry Fitzgerald dropped that far for just chillin’ with Deion Sanders.

-And the New England Patriots continue to baffle with their drafting scheme…

First Round Winners

Seattle Seahawks (selections: Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma + Earl Thomas, S Texas)

Russell Okung, in my opinion, was the best tackle in the draft.  I thought they would snag Trent Williams with the 6th pick to address their biggest need, but Washington picked Williams and Okung fell right into Pete Carroll’s lap.  Then, at pick 14, Earl Thomas (a top 10 talent) was still available and the Seahawks did not hesitate to take the best player available when safety was not one of their biggest needs.

Grade: A

Detroit Lions (selection: Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska + Jahvid Best, RB Cal)

Ndamukong Suh was undoubtedly the best player in this draft.  The economics of the first pick forced the Rams into taking a quarterback, and allowed the Lions to grab the most talented player.  Defensive tackle was the biggest need and they got the most talent at the position.  Then, the Lions traded up with Minnesota to grab Jahvid Best.  With Kevin Smith’s injury issues and mediocre production, Best will provide them with a great change-of-pace option with the ability to be an explosive player (if he can stay healthy).

Grade: B++

San Francisco 49ers (selections: Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers + Mike Iupati, G Idaho)

The common theme here is that teams with two picks in the first round displayed the ability to capitalize on their picks.  The 49ers were rumored to be interested in a quarterback, but Singletary and company decided to give Alex Smith a chance (which I believe the deserves) and surround him with some young and talented offensive lineman.  Singletary also went a long way in changing the philosophy of his football team.  Davis and Iupati are both punishing run blockers, so Frank Gore and Glen Coffee’s role in the run game will certainly expand, while Mike Crabtree and Vernon Davis will look to flourish off of play-action passes.

Grade: B++

Arizona Cardinals/Indianapolis Colts (selections: Dan Williams, NT Tennessee / Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB TCU)

The reason that I put these two picks together is because they both displayed the same philosophy in yesterday’s first round: Sit in your spot and select a player that fits your scheme and addresses team needs.  The Cardinals got very lucky that Dan Williams fell all the way down to them at 26, but they were desperate for a nose tackle and ended up with the best one in this draft.  During the draft yesterday, one of my colleagues (my close friend Chris Veltri) told me something that makes a ton of sense.  He was explaining that every year, teams similar to the Colts that consistently pick in the bottom of the first round, just wait around in their slot and wait for guys to slip through the cracks and slide down the draft board.  Jerry Hughes, Donald Brown (2009), Anthony Gonzalez (2007), and Joseph Addai (2006) were all players taken pick 27 or later that have provided great value for the Colts and contributed to their success.  The ability to get value from guys that fall down draft boards is what keeps the Colts picking in the later part of the first round every season.

Grade: B+/B+

First Round Losers

Buffalo Bills (selection: C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson)

Don’t get me wrong, C.J. Spiller is a great player and I thought he was actually worthy of a top ten pick.  Sadly, the Spiller and Bills marriage just doesn’t make any sense to me.  Spending roughly 9-10 million dollars a season on a third running back is outrageous.  Now, reports are surfacing that the Bills want to trade Marshawn Lynch.  Lynch’s value immediately just took a two round hit.  Pre-draft Lynch may have been able to warrant a late 2nd round or third round pick.  Now that teams know Lynch is expendable, he may be worth a fifth rounder.  Questionable move for the Bills and unless they grab Clausen in the second round, Chan Gailey’s time in Buffalo may be short lived.

Grade: D-

Jacksonville Jaguars (selection: Tyson Alualu, DT California)

The Jacksonville Jaguars cannot sell tickets and their games therefore get blacked out.  Tebow was an option just solely to sell tickets.  I though Dez Bryant was an option just to get the fans excited.  Even a great pass rusher would have some people want to buy tickets.  But no, the Jaguars draft a defensive tackle that they could have gotten at the end of the first round, if not in the second round with the tenth pick in the draft.  Are you kidding me Jacksonville?  No wonder why you cannot sell tickets!

Grade: D-

New England Patriots (selection: Devin McCourty, CB Rutgers)

A very taboo move I am making right now, calling out the always right coach Belichick.  McCourty is a decent player, but you know that you’ve made a questionable first round pick when on the radio the name the player’s position as “cornerback/special teamer.”  Belichick cherishes McCourty because he can play”4 downs,” which means he can play on defense for three downs and will then contribute on special teams.  I don’t disagree with the McCourty selection, but I do disagree with the placement of the selection.  The Patriots have major needs at outside linebacker, wide receiver, tight end, running back, offensive line, and defensive line.  The only position they may not have a major need at is cornerback.  Now, the Pats have the ability to address those concerns with their abundance of picks in the second round, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Belichick continues to baffle and avoid the obvious needs.

Grade: C-

Remaining Patriots’ Picks and Possible Selections

Round 2, pick 12 (44th overall) – from Jacksonville – Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame
Round 2, pick 15 (47th) – from Tennessee – Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB Clemson
Round 2, pick 21 (53rd) – assigned – Alex Carrington, DE Arkansas State
Round 3, pick 26 (90th) – from Dallas – Aaron Hernandez, TE Florida
Round 4, pick 15 (113th) – from San Francisco through Denver – Lonyae Miller, RB Fresno State
Round 6, pick 21 (190th) – assigned – Danny Batter, ILB South Dakota State
Round 6, pick 36 (205th) – compensatory – George Selvie DE/OLB South FloridaRound 7, pick 22 (229th) – assigned – A.J. Edds, OLB Iowa
Round 7, pick 24 (231st) – from Philadelphia through Denver – Shelley Smith, OG Colorado St.
Round 7, pick 40 (247th) – compensatory – Doug Worthington, DE/DT Ohio State
Round 7, pick 41 (248th) – compensatory – Trindon Holliday, WR/KR LSU
Round 7, pick 43 (250th) – compensatory – Daryll Clark, QB Penn State

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2 Responses

  1. I was hoping for Dez Bryant…twice. And both times they trade down.

    I then hoped for Odrick or Kindle. Then they go and get a cornerback/special teamer ala Matthew Slater.

    I do think cornerback was a need however after watching Johnathan Wilhite get beat like a drum on a weekly basis. Leigh Bodden is their number one corner with the aging Shawn Springs on the other side.

    Cornerback was a need. Just not the biggest.

  2. Agreed they needed cornerback depth. But, they have several other needs that are more pressing. I don’t have as much of a problem with picking McCourty than I do with Belicheck’s philosophy. Granted it has worked considering the Pats were the team of the past decade and Belichick was the coach of the past decade. But, I think that in order to improve this upcoming season you need to grab guys that have the talent and experience at a level where they can compete immediately in the NFL.

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