First of all, I want to echo John's thoughts and thank all of you for an exhilarating first draft day on the site. Chris had asked me to keep the comment threads to about 100 but I couldn't keep up! You guys made it so much fun. Also, I read Vic's comments about his uninformed mail and thought he would have rather been here with us. You guys were so informed and intelligent with all the comments. I wish I could have been around for Day 2; it looks like it was even more exciting! With that, I had a bunch of thoughts about the draft I wanted to share and see how you guys saw it.
John said biggest boom or bust is Minnesota with Percy Harvin, maybe that is true but I think the Detroit Lions with Matt Stafford is the biggest risk. I think they would have been better off waiting for Michael Vick to get out of jail. They need a running quarterback; no one will have time to throw on that team. I would advise Matt not to buy too big of a house in Detroit, the future isn't too bright. Brandon Pettigrew better become a good blocker and Louis Delmas will lose weight with all the running he will be doing in coverage.
Cleveland looked brilliant with three times trading down in the first round until they started drafting. Alex Mack will be a good center. Joe Thomas isn't much use when you can come up the middle, but Brian Robiskie and Mohammad Massaquoi as the next two wide receivers? They probably could have done as well signing Matt Jones and Reggie Williams for a lot less. Well that is too harsh, but not by much. If they had picked Clay Matthews, there would have been dancing in the streets. I don't know that they thought it through very well.
Buffalo also surprised me. Aaron Maybin is a junior defensive end that they need to begin producing a pass rush immediately. Well, we know how that goes, it doesn't happen overnight. I loved how Aaron Maybin cried when he was selected and how proud his mother was. Hope he isn't crying for other reasons later in the season. Eric Wood and Andy Levine are decent choices, but no left tackle. I think Dick Juron will see his final year.
Our friend John and Bill Belichick had a mind meld going on. Trade out of the first round and stack up on top of round two selections is what Bill did. Patrick Chung, Ron Brace and Darius Butler look like good selections. The Patriots will spend maybe $10 million in signing bonuses to get their entire draft and have a combined payroll of maybe $4 million. They have very little downside risk in this draft with a high potential of good upside performance. I want our 2010 second round selection back! (But in Gene I trust)
So why did the Jets jump to number 5 for Matt Sanchez? Cleveland, Cincy, and the Raiders weren't going to take him and he would have been sitting at number 8 with a predefined trade with us waiting. The move from number 8 to number 5 is a minimum $20 million more in cost. I guess they were afraid of someone jumping up ahead of them, but who? I'm glad they did as we made out the best from that action.
Josh Freeman throwing Byron Leftwich under the bus didn't strike me as a smart move. He better be able to play really well from day one. He either isn't very bright or needs a XXXXL jock strap to carry those balls around. Tampa isn't off to a good start.
I loved what the NY Giants did. Hakeem Nicks will be a good receiver for them. Warren Beatty and Clint Sintim I think rounds out a nice draft. It looks like they will continue the success Ernie Accorsi brought them. Now if Tom Coughlin doesn't turn the new guys off immediately they will be ok. What a great tradition that franchise has.
The sudden love affair with Andre Smith was a surprise and a pleasant one. I can't understand allowing Eugene Monroe falling to us. I also can't understand ESPN analysts jaw dropping when we didn't pick Michael Crabtree. Michael Crabtree looked so arrogant to me that I absolutely believe the reports out of Cleveland that he turned them off. I don't think the 49ers won that selection.
I don't fear Indianapolis and who they took. Donald Brown is a good back and I guess Fili Moala is an ok defensive tackle, but I don't think they have much in either. Peyton is in decline and really needs throwing targets. I applaud Bill Polian for staying away from the receivers, but this doesn't seem like a strong draft to me.
Tennessee also doesn't scare me. Sen'Derrick Marks doesn't feel like an Albert Haynesworth replacement. Their quest for a receiver has been going on for years so Kenny Britt is another attempt, but who is going to throw to him? A good pass rush on Kerry Collins or Vince Young disrupts everything. They would have been better off with Hakeem Nicks who catches everything whether it is near him or not. Maybe I am wrong, but Jeff Fisher is the real asset to that team. I don't believe they got much they can actually use.
Now Houston does scare me. The addition of Conner Barwin and Brian Cushing look like strong additions to an already good defense. They will come at the quarterback on every down. Thank God we fortified the offensive line. We are going to need that line to be very strong.
Finally we come to the Jaguars. As I said already, Eugene Monroe falling to us was a gift. The man will be here for a long time and will look like a seasoned pro day one. I don't care where he plays. I want to fax Eben Britton the Walters Football analysis on him being a "D" grade selection. I would do it but I am afraid he will kill everyone he sees while on his way to Jacksonville. I can't imagine Eben Britton and Vince Manuwai leading the blocks with Greg Jones leading Maurice Jones Drew to the outside. Only Houston has the strength to stand up to that attack.
That is what I saw. Do I have it right? Probably not, but we have to take the field to find out. I can't wait for opening day in Indy!