Monday, April 30

NFL Draft In Review (Day 1)

Round 1
Best: Adrian Peterson - solid RB who will pair well with Chester Taylor and the revamped OLine from a year ago to provide a crutch to whichever QB of the future they groom
Brady Quinn - there was an interesting piece on this trade over at pro-football-reference, basically, the Browns paid high dollar for this pick in terms of "draft value", but the point is made, that the 22nd pick was really, to the Browns, an extra in the top-10, since that is where Quinn was valued, anyways, the real issue is that the Browns got a stud QB, local boy, and franchise LT to boot.
Worst: Levi Brown - I'm not sold on Levi Brown being worth a top-5 pick in the draft, the Cardinals needed to come away protecting Matt Lienart and Edge but basically got screwed as their prize LT was snatched up by the Browns, and were unable to trade out of the pick
Jamarcus Russell - yeah, yeah, yeah, they had to, he's a man of mythic proportions and stories, I would argue that the best way to go with this pick would have been Calvin Johnson, then to draft one of the "2nd tier" QB (Edwards, Stanton or Beck) to groom behind Trent Green or some other old fogey, ESPECIALLY if you're trading away Randy Moss. WTF were they thinking. Russell's growth will be hindered by playing for a team not ready to compete (see Carr, David)
Panthers: I loved the trade down, as one reviewer put it, there were only about 15 1st round quality players in this draft, and the Panthers made one of the smartest moves of the day trading away from a reach at any position they would have needed. The move saved cap room, and added nice OLine depth (which we'll get to later). Now, the actual pick, Jon Beason is the kind of guy the Panthers love, devoted to football, already has a mentor on the team, plays better than his measurements, and fills both the OLB and ILB positions (in case of a Dan Morgan injury)
Suprise: Ted Ginn Jr. - Wow, what a reach. This is where Ted Ginn goes if he's the best Ted Ginn he can be, heals super fast, is super fast, and is a prime reciever and punt/kick returner. However, with Brady Quinn on the board, and a gaping need at QB, how do you wiff on that one. This smells like the Bills passing up Leinart last year, not a smart move.

Round 2 (and no, they won't all be that long winded, though after that I have decided to split this up into a Day 1/Day 2 post pair) I'm tagging players with their teams here as well, since there may be more doubt about that sort of thing
Best: Eric Wright (Cle) - a solid corner who dropped too far into the 2nd round, the Browns finally addressed the other side of the ball and got good value
Ryan Kalil - see Panthers section
Worst: Chris Henry (Tenn) - a decent RB who may have succeeded in a rush happy offense like Atlanta or Denver, however he likely won't make an impact with the Titans (and they needed a WR here too)
Eric Weddle (SD) - not that the timing of the pick was bad (37th), its that the Chargers shouldn't have traded up to get him, a bit of a waste of draft picks in my opinion
Brian Leonard (St. Louis) - doubt he'll perform well for the Rams, a 2nd round pick really needs to be a viable option or instant starter, looks like the Rams missed that memo
Panthers: Dwayne Jarrett - essentially Keyshawn Johnson v 2.0, should be able to step into the 3rd WR role immediately and provide a consistent balance to Smitty for the future
Ryan Kalil - what a pick, easily the best center in the draft, however somehow slipped to the late 2nd round, also can long-snap as a bonus (goodbye Jason Kyle?), not necessarily a position of true need, but with the OLine injury bug that seems to eternally bit the Panthers, not a bad idea, this also makes Justin Hartwig expendable and a threat to be cut after the year
Suprise: Alan Branch (Ariz) - I had him in the top-10 which is certainly where his talent level was, but motivation and character questions arose during the draft, and he slipped right to the happy Cardinals

Round 3
Best: Lorenzo Booker (Mia) - a solid RB from Florida State who hasn't quite completely shown his full potential, he'll be a fun change of pace from the hard hitting Ronnie Brown
Worst: Tank Tyler (NCSU) - a character problem is not what you need now with the league cracking down on that sort of thing, I don't care if a guy can bench press my Taurus 13 times, if he ends up in the commisioner's office its not only a wasted pick, but a black eye for the franchise
Panthers: Charles Johnson - a solid DE from UGA, Johnson is known for his balance, ie ability to play the run or pass, he will immediately fill in for Rucker and Peppers on every 4th play or so and keep them fresh, while in the long term be a replacement for the aging Mike Rucker, also a good foil for the Panthers' other backup DE, undersized speed rusher Stanley McClover. On another note, I've come to terms with the Panthers inability to draft a Safety. The missed out on "their guy" multiple times, Meriweather/Nelson in the first and Weddle in the 2nd (not to mention Gattis/Gaddis in the 4th), in either case, hopefully a fill in can be signed, or maybe Nate Salley will realize he played a THE Ohio State University and start representing

Top-10 performance Review
1) Oakland Raiders - JaMarcus Russell QB, LSU
Check
2) Detroit Lions - Calvin Johnson WR, GT

Check
3) Cleveland Browns - Brady Quinn QB, ND

Minus 1/2 (I mean, they did take him later)
4) Tampa Bay Bucs - Gaines Adams DE, Clemson

Check
5) Arizona Cardinals - Joe Thomas OT, Wisc
Minus 1/2 (OT Levi Brown, I got the position and the rationale right)
6) Washington Redskins - Amobi Okoye DT, L'ville
Minus 1/2 (I mentioned Landry as an alternative)
7) Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson RB, Oklahoma
Check
8) Atlanta Falcons (via Hou) - Laron Landry S, LSU
Minus 1 (DE Jamaal Anderson, oops)
9) Miami Dolphins - Alan Branch DT, UM
Minus 1 (WR Ted Ginn, oops again)
10) Houston Texans (via Atl) - Levi Brown OT, Penn St.
Minus 1 (DT Amobi Okoye)
Also, I got 8 correctly in the top 10, with super loser points for whiffing on Branch
55% correct, 8 of 10 overall

References:
List of Draftees Rounds 1-7
Mike Tanier's 7-round review
Charlotte Observer Projected Depth Chart
Panther's Various Draft Grades

2 comments:

John said...

Thanks for posting the expected depth chart link. A few comments on that:

Rosario listed as both a TE and a FB option? Really?

I like how it lists Williams ahead of Foster.

Is Chris Gamble really our third-worst cornerback?

How the HELL did Na'il Diggs drop to third-string status?

How many weeks before the "start Carr" chants arise?

Ryan said...

to answer your questions:

1) yeah, he's an "H-back" meaning smallish tight end, who can play some FB and move around a little, pretty awesome fit for Jeff Devidson's schemes (this also adds the aspect of him moving around pre-snap, from FB to TE and back, yummy)

2) yeah, unfortunately our 2nd rounder from last year is better than our 1st rounder from 2 yrs ago, sigh. then again, there are teams that would kil for that kind of depth, and in reality, i think they're all pretty equal, with lucas being bigger (better against the run), gamble being faster, and marshall being a bit of both, also i think this "prospective" depth chart does a lot of guessing and progressing the players (see williams>foster), more on that in a sec

3) the chart is assuming james anderson develops into a will witherspoon type, as his college background and draft position would indicate, if this is the case, yes, better than na'il, if not, well, then no

4) um, can the answer to this be a negative number? i mean, i think they've already started especially since fox & co have had to yell "JAKE IS OUR STARTER" at the top of their lungs. I think with the run game back to normal (read 2003 levels), jake will look a lot better, he's always been more of a "game manager"