Friday, May 4, 2012

FInal Draft Grades: NFC West

San Francisco 49ers When it comes to 'the draft,' teams need to determine if any need is pressing and go out and find the player that does just that; see Dallas Cowboys selecting Morris Claiborne. Adversely, if your team has no pressing needs, use the leverage you have and dump your picks to teams looking to fill a need. San Francisco thoguht otherwise. We thought San Francisco was no way letting Stanford tight-end Coby Fleener (with his former coach on the sideline, Jim Harbaugh) go by them, and they did. Fleener would have taken pressure of Vernon Davis immediately, but the 'Niners feel the better person do that was Illinois receiver A.J. Jenkins who I had literally never even thought of in the first or second round, and he went #30 - first round. Scratching-my-head in anticipation of their next selection, Oregon running back LaMichael James. While 90% of NFL teams are busy down-grading the run game and making it irrelevant, the 49ers are busy adding LaMichael James an undersized rookie back and free-agent veteran, overweight back Brandon Jacobs, to a backfield that already includes Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. So I ask again, was there any reason you didn't want to just trade these picks? But, we won't go any further with San Francisco, they did just have a very good season and we'll wait to evaluate further. Final Grade: C-

Seattle Seahawks I disliked nearly every single pick that Seattle made, no wait, I did dislike every single pick that Seattle made. Defensive end Bruce Irvin from West Virginia is a knucklehead and it is absolutely absurd to have drafted in the 1st round, ahead of anyone. Put it this way, I would have taken 'high-as-a-kite' offensive tackle from Ohio State, Mike Adams, before I took Irvin, and that is only if Adams agreed to play while high. I've laid out what Seattle hopes to do next season in Pete Carroll's words, "The players don't matter, it's the heart that counts, if we play with heart and soul, we can win, again, the players don't matter, who's excited?!? Come on, you're all going to be Hall of Famers because I'm jacked and pumped!" Seattle is a mess, when is Carroll going back to college? He knows it doesn't matter if you pay players right, you'll still get another job; see Urban Meyer. I'd be re missed to not mention my favorite dumb Seattle pick, as if Irvin wasn't enough. The Seahawks took Wisconsin undersized quarterback Russell Wilson, who lets call a spade, a spade, owes current Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, his entire rookie salary for being a 3rd round pick. If Carroll believes that Wilson is going to compete for a starting job, what was the reason they just paid former Green Bay back-up turned Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn $26-million dollars?!?! Mix in the 17 defensive tackles they added and I need a drink. Final Grade:F

St. Louis Rams By all accounts the Rams main goal was getting the young oft-injured quarterback, Sam Bradford, someone to throw the ball to. Then the Jaguars messed that up and traded ahead of the #6 selection to steal Justin Blackmon from underneath the noses of St. Louis. Rather than reaching for a player they were unsure of at #6, it seems as though St. Louis regrouped for a moment, collected a mid-second round selection from Dallas along with the Cowboys #14 overall pick and went back to the drawing board. Here is where I fault St. Louis; (1) They didn't think as highly of Michael Floyd as we all did. Clearly Fisher has no problem with players with baggage; see 2nd round selection cornerback Janoris Jenkins. That being said, maybe he just didn't evaluate Floyd as highly as we did. (2) The player they selected first, LSU's Michael Brockers has major bust potential, something the Rams cannot afford at this stage in the game, not when a 10-year guard in Stanford's David DeCastro was still available. But I won't bang on the Rams, they had a plan and executed it once things fell the wrong way. Adding Jenkins in the second round is fantastic at #39 if he stays out of trouble, major if. The Rams also added their two receivers in Wake Forest's Chris Givens in the third and Appalachian State's Brian Quick (a project) but none the less did find value weapons for Bradford. It should also be noted that the running back from Cincinnati, Isaiah Pead came off the board prior to LaMichael James and Lamar Miller, but I'll give Fisher the benefit of the doubt, he coached Eddie George and Chris Johnson, I think he gets it. Final Grade: B

Arizona Cardinals I always love to make the Cardinals a personal punching bag of mine, but after The 2012 NFL Draft, I can't do that. . . as often anyway. When the Cards never replaced receivers Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin, I had a major problem with them adding a quarterback with questions like Kevin Kolb. When they took to this draft, they corrected some things. All-World receiver Larry Fitzgerald started doing cartwheels in his living the moment the Cardinals announced they had selected Notre Dame pass catcher Michael Floyd to be his teammate at #13. It's a solid pick for Floyd who has some damage control to do on his image, but he's in a great spot to do that playing opposite a talent as rare as Fitzgerald's. I also loved that the Cardinals grabbed the falling stock of Mississippi offensive tackle Bobby Massie at pick number #112, tremendous value for a guy who fell as far as Massie did. We anticipated the Cardinals selecting a quarterback somewhere over the four-days of the draft, just turns out it was Ryan Lindley from San Diego in the fifth round and not Kirk Cousins who we would have loved to see end up in Arizona competing for a starting job either next year or even this year. Final Grade: A

. . . .Next up, NFC North.

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