Friday, April 27, 2012

NFL Draft: Round 1 Three Up / Three Down

I hope no more trades happen till you read this, but the way last night went, it could . . .

Let's Get After It!

Three Up

New England Patriots If you woke up today and didn't watch the draft because of how disappointed you've been in Bill Belichick's draft career, you'd be stunned. Bill ditched his usual routine and finally drafted a couple of super-talented players with all the picks they'd acquired. First there was Chandler Jones from Syracuse, a kid who spent much of the first part this past season injured but then when he got healthy, boy did he show up. Chandler Jones gained a ton of momentum in the past three weeks leading up to the draft. He's the type of pass-rusher who is going to give the Patriots defense a ton of flexibility, something they have seriously lacked over the past few seasons. Then, they went ahead and added Dont'a Hightower, the versatile linebacker from Alabama. Hightower can stop the
run up the middle and also play great from sideline to sideline as he demonstrated in Nick Saban's complex defensive system in Tuscaloosa. Talk about getting outside of the comfort zone for New England and Bill Belichick, on Thursday night he moved up twice to draft both players which he wanted to give his defense the teeth they've been lacking.

NFL Fans Hey, that draft was fun. With the rookie salary scale now in place, teams where not only more apt to make deals to trade up for players they coveted, they actually did it! The Browns didn't hesitate to swap picks with Minnesota to ensure they got their man in Trent Richardson, despite it being just one slot! The Cowboys jumped up to the sixth overall pick to get the defensive back they never thought possible. The Jaguars moved into the top five to get the receiver that they wanted! It was mind boggling for the most part! Not only did the draft seem like it flew by, it did fly by coming in under four hours. All-in-all, a draft like that is just more exciting, even the teams who played deep into the playoffs can get their fan bases excited about what they may or may not do because now the price tag isn't nearly as difficult as it once was! Bravo Goodell, bravo!

Dallas Cowboys Of course they're our favorite team, but you have to give them credit. We know that Jerry Jones loves trading in the first round, but this time he nailed it. By moving from #14 to #6, the Cowboys were able to net the best cornerback in available in the draft. LSU's Morris Claiborne is going to instantly impact the Cowboys terrible pass defense from a season ago, that's filling a hole and doing it the best possible way. The Cowboys did the one thing that I've been dying for NFL teams to do for years, go get your players no matter what you have to do, when you really like them. Why worry about next years pick or next rounds pick if the guy that can make your team legitimately better is available for you to go out and get?

Three Down

New York Jets It's not that the Jets picked North Carolina defensive-end Quinton Coples, it's who they passed on when they selected Coples which I take issue with. Still on the board for Rex Ryan and the J-E-T-S was the bigger more consistent South Carolina pass-rusher Melvin Ingram. Also, who their division rival New England (more on him in a moment) selected, Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones. Coples is a player who is going to have to be coached up, has under-performed based on what we thought he was a couple years ago at North Carolina, and isn't even going to play every down because of what he lacks. While it was cute for the Jets to put it out there in the days leading up to the draft that they were very interested in finding a way to acquire Alabama running back Trent Richardson, stick to doing your homework on guys you might actually have the chance to pick.

Seattle Seahawks You cannot convince me otherwise, Pete Carroll isn't a draft guy. He did a great job by picking up some extra picks and moving back in the in the first round to #15, yet then went and selected a guy he probably, no wait, definitely could have gotten on day two. Undersized West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin might be very fast with a 'great motor,' and Carroll might be all kinds of jacked and pumped with landing him, but he's a player who doesn't play against the run and being selected in the top half of the first round, there is no way that Seattle just got everything they could have out of that selection, not a chance. Doesn't this seem oddly familiar to what they did a year ago drafting Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter at twenty-five (25) when no one had him that high?

Tampa Bay Bucccaneers I'm still curious as to how handing the Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon and giving up their opportunity to take a cover-corner like Morris Claiborne benefits them in the long run. Cam Newton and Matt Ryan play in their division and they're only going to get better and better in the passing game, does a safety really make them better defending the pass, more so than a cornerback would have? ESPN's John Clayton wrote something very similar this morning and it's true. They're already getting torched every year by New Orleans and with the other two division opponents playing them twice a year, how soon is it before you make a move and find a cornerback to vastly improve your secondary? When you had plans to take a defensive back anyway, isn't the cornerback the logical choice? Ask Dallas (more on that soon).

More NFL Draft talk in the coming days . . .

Follow us on Twitter!

No comments: