Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jon's 2011 NFL Draft Grade's

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton/QB/Auburn/Grade: C: I think the only good thing that can come out of picking Newton is giving the Panthers a little more popularity and creating a bigger fan base, but beside that using the No. 1 overall pick on a developmental player is not what you want to do. You usually want to pick a player that is considered a sure thing, and Newton is anything but that. There is a chance for high reward with this pick, but the risks highly out weigh the reward.

2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller/LB/Texas A&M/Grade: B-: This was a good pick but as with Newton, there is a risk as well. The Broncos are asking a defensive lineman to play linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. I personally think Miller was one of the top three players in the draft, but he fits the 3-4 outside linebacker mold much better then the 4-3 linebacker. Hopefully John Fox will be able to put a package together for him, but I personally would have taken a 4-3 defensive lineman like Marcell Dareus or Robert Quinn.

3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama/Grade: B: I think Dareus is an excellent player, but not the impact player the Bills needed. I think Dareus could be a force in a 4-3 defense, but in a 3-4 I believe he will be good, but not an impact player. It is a pity Denver and Buffalo couldn’t have switched picks because I think both of these guys would have had a chance at rookie of the year in a different type of defense.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A. J. Green/WR/Georgia/Grade: A: Finally the Bengals get a sure thing in Green, after picking the most risky players in each of the last couple of drafts. With the drafting of Dalton in the second, I think the Bengals pretty much said that the Palmer, Owens and Ocho show is leaving town. I personally had Green as the top prospect in the country and the Bengals did well to snag a Super Star with this pick. 

5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU/Grade: B-: I think Peterson is a GREAT player, but still the Cardinals came out of the draft with all the needs they went into the draft with, unanswered. I think picking Gabbert here would have been a better pick, and if not Gabbert, maybe trade down a couple of spots and stock up some picks, because this team has lots holes and Peterson didn’t help to fill any.

6. Atlanta Falcons (From: Cleveland): Julio Jones/WR/Alabama/Grade: C+: I think this was a bad trade from both sides. Cleveland did get a ton of picks to be able to build their franchise, but if the Falcons do well the 1st round pick they gave them for next year will be like a 2nd round pick and they missed out on Julio Jones who could have given Colt McCoy some much needed tools. From Atlanta’s point of view they gave up a ton of stuff and in the end they got Rodney White the second. They needed a deep threat which they could have gotten in Torrey Smith and he would have been there in the late first. I think Jones will be a great player and all, but they already have White and now all you have is two Rodney White’s on the field, which isn’t a bad thing, but they still don’t have a great deep threat receiver and I personally would have gotten an upgrade for a fast deteriorating defensive line.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Aldon Smith/OLB/Missouri/Grade: B: Don’t get me wrong I love Smith and think he has the most upside and potential of any pass rusher in the draft, but Gabbert just fell in your lap and it is clear Alex Smith isn’t the future. But besides form Gabbert I believe Smith will be able to be a face of the defense type player. He only played two years in college and he already dominated, he can do nothing else but improve. I think Gabbert should have been the pick here, but I think they did get the defensive player with the best potential and that can’t be considered a bad thing.

8. Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker/QB/Washington/Grade: B-: I think it was a major mistake to pass on Gabbert here, for Locker who has a ton of question. I think Gabbert would have taken this team to the Super Bowl and it seemed to be built perfectly for him. But, at the same time I am still giving them a B- because I also believe, if any team can get Locker to succeed, it would be the Titans. Watch out, in a couple of years we could have a new rivalry with Gabbert playing the team who passed on him twice a year and Locker getting to try to prove he was the right choice.

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith/OT/USC/Grade: B: I think Smith was the right pick, but with Gabbert on the board why not trade down and get a ton from a team that desperately needs a QB and then Smith would still have been available in the 11-15 range. But, besides that they needed someone to protect Romo and now they have him.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars (From: Washington): Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri/Grade: B+: I think it was a major mistake for the Skins to pass on Gabbert with the HUGE hole they have at QB, but for the Jaguars’ they have their QB of the future and something for the fan base to get excited about and if that fan base isn’t Jacksonville in a couple of years, it will give another fan base someone to believe in. I think the Jaguars did well to get a QB in a division with Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub and newly drafted Jake Locker. If Locker pans out nicely, then this could be one of the best QB divisions. Also I like this pick because they won’t have to rush Gabbert into being the starter and he can sit and learn behind Garrard, look at Green Bay, it worked out pretty well for them.

11. Houston Texans: J. J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin/Grade: B: I thought picking Watt was a nice way to start building Wade Phillips 3-4 defense, but I though they needed an outside linebacker or a corner, who could impact the defense more then the defensive line could. Still it is known that you build a defense from the line out, so maybe it isn’t too bad of a pick.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder/QB/Florida State/Grade: C-: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Ponder is a bad player, but he defiantly isn’t an early first round pick and probably not a first round pick period. I think the Vikings got nervous and picked a player that they could have gotten way later in the draft.

13. Detroit Lions: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn/Grade: C+: I think they got good value here with Fairley falling this far, but they already have Ndamukong Suh and multiple other defensive lineman that are pretty good. I think Amukamara should have been the pick here and if not him I would have gotten Robert Quinn, who could fill a position of need. I think they needed help at DE and CB and there were two good players at that position where they picked and they passed on both. In a good light, I think teams will have a terrible time going to Detroit and trying to run up the middle.

14. St. Louis Rams: Robert Quinn/DE/North Carolina/Grade: A-: They got a potential No. 1 overall pick with the 14th pick of the draft, which is pretty nice. I personally would have taken Amukamara with this pick since Chris Long is staring to turn into a force and the Rams have a need a DB, but everyone knows how Steve Spagnola loves to load up on defensive lineman and it worked in New York.

15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey/OL/Florida/Grade: C+: I like Pouncey, but I think he was overrated because of his brothers success and for an interior offensive lineman to be taken No. 15 overall is kind of high. I think the Dolphins really needed a playmaker on either side of the ball and they didn’t get that.

16. Washington Redskins (from: Jacksonville): Ryan Kerrigan/OLB/Purdue/Grade: B-: I think getting Kerrigan was a good move, but drafting Gabbert would have been a great move. They now have another much needed impact player on defense, but they have absolutely no one on offense. I think Shanahan could have turned Gabbert into a star, but with them passing on him, don’t be surprised if this team picks No. 1 overall next year.

17. New England Patriots (from: Oakland): Nate Solder/OT/Colorado/Grade: B: Maybe Bill Belicheck sees a future Matt Light in Solder so I won’t question him. Still, they need defense help and didn’t get any in this draft.

18. San Diego Chargers: Corey Liuget/DT/Illinois/Grade: B: This was a decent pick, but with Cam Jordon still on the board I think they should have gone with someone who already was used to using the 3-4.

19. New York Giants: Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska/Grade: C+: I really liked Amukamara, but they already have 3 good corners and if they don’t want Eli to have another year like last year, then they need to get him some guys to protect him. As I said, I like Amukamara, but they needed Offensive linemen and they didn’t get any.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa/Grade: B: I really liked Clayborn as a player and think he could be a great NFL player. I think he is a high risk health wise, but the late first round is usually when people take a chance on guys. The Buccaneers addressed their interior defensive line last year and then they addressed the exterior this year. I think people need to watch out for Tampa, because this team is loaded.

21. Cleveland Browns (From: Kansas City): Phil Taylor/NT/Baylor/Grade: B-: I still think Cleveland should have gotten a receiver to help Colt McCoy out, but Taylor is still a good pick and will be a nice build block for the Browns.

22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo/OT/Boston College/Grade: B+: The Colts needed an offensive lineman and the most pro ready “O” lineman fell right into their lap. Castonzo is just the player Peyton needed and is just the player Eli wanted, Castonzo is super versatile and if he doesn’t work at tackle then he can move to guard. This was all around a solid pick for the Colts.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Danny Watkins/OL/Baylor/Grade: B+: The Eagles needed a pro ready offensive lineman, much like the Colts and they got exactly what Vick ordered. I think it was a good draft for the Eagles and Watkins better be ready to step in and protect Vick right away.

24. New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama/Grade: B: I didn’t think this was a bad pick, but it wasn’t great either. The Saints now have two Heisman trophy runningbacks on their roster and I think if Ingram is going to play at all, then they will need to get rid of Thomas or Bush. I think Ingram will be better then expected and the Saints got good value at 24.

25. Seattle Seahawks: James Carpenter/OT/Alabama/Grade: C: I think Carpenter is an underrated player, but he isn’t a first round pick. I think the Seahawks stretched here and they could have moved back into the 2nd round and still got their guy. I think it is good to see Carroll building this awful “O” line, but they reached big time.

26. Kansas City Chiefs (From: Cleveland/Atlanta/Baltimore):

Jon Baldwin/WR/Pittsburgh/Grade: B: As with the Ravens, the Chiefs got great value at 26 and take care of off field problems and you have the most talented wide receiver in the draft. I think the Kansas City offense just got much better with young guys in Charles, Bowe, McCluster, Moeaki and now Baldwin; this offense will be hard to stop.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado/Grade: B+: This guy does have a bunch of risk, but in the late first round this was a great value. Smith does have off the field issues, but take care of those and you have an elite corner picked at 26.

28. New Orleans Saints (From: New England): Cam Jordon/DE/California/Grade: B+: I think this will be a Clay Matthews like mistake for the Patriots; they had a player that would fill a big need in Jordon and just passed on him. The Saints are now loaded and the player they will be able to get with the Saints pick next year won’t be as good as Jordon. The Patriots almost of a steal, but then traded it away.

29. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson/DE/Temple/Grade: B: The Jets needed a pass rush and they will hope Wilkerson can clog the middle enough so that they can get some more presser.

30. Chicago Bears: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin/Grade: B+: They needed an offensive lineman and thankfully one slipped down to them. Jay Cutler was crushed last year and if they don’t want a rerun of him getting hurt in the NFC Championship game, then they needed to get someone to protect him.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cam Heyward/DE/Ohio State/Grade: C-: I think Heyward is an underrated player and I think he will do well in the NFL, but they had huge holes on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield and then they go out and get a pass rusher when they are already loaded. It is true the “D” line is getting old, but at least there is someone who is good playing the position, on the offensive line they don’t have much and they are totally empty at corner. Don’t know what they will do to fill those holes, but they certainly didn’t fill them in the draft.

32. Green Bay Packers: Derrek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State/Grade: B: I wasn’t crazy about this pick, but it never hurts to make sure your QB is well protected. Sherrod played in a conference with strong defenses so he will be well prepared for the NFL. 

Post Draft Power Rankings

Power Rankings:

  1. Green Bay Packers: I picked them to go to the Super Bowl before the season and I think they have a good chance to repeat this year. They have a ton of impact players coming back from injury, so this squad can only get better. I think now that Rodgers has tasted success I develop into one of the top 3 Quarterbacks in the league and I think he will start to dominate defenses as Brady and Manning do.

  1. San Diego Chargers: I think after a disappointing season the Chargers will be out to prove something and I think Phillip Rivers will prove that he belongs in the conversation with Brady and Manning as the best QB in the NFL. They get Jackson back this year and I think a change at coordinators on defense might help them out as well. I think this team is much like the Packers a couple of years ago and is just waiting to burst on the scene.

  1. New Orleans Saints: They added more weapons for Drew Brees and they strengthened the defense as well. I personally think that Saints team will be better then the 2009 Super Bowl squad. They got steals in the draft and got a couple of key free agents.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are coming back with full strength and I think they aren’t happy with the ending of last season. I think the Steelers proved last year that you can never count them out and I think they will be back at it this year.

  1. New York Jets: Rex Ryan better win the Super Bowl this year or he will be the laughing stock of the league. The Jets added some good players, but their key job will be to keep Holmes and Edwards, now that they have chemistry with Sanchez.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: They added more weapons for Matt Ryan this year, but failed to upgrade their defense, let’s see if that will turn out to be a smart move or not. I think Ryan now has the tools to make this offense scary and this is the time for him to step up and show he is one of the elite QB’s in the league.

  1. New England Patriots: I think they got too caught up with trying to stock pile picks next year and didn’t improve the team much. I think it was a bad idea to not give this team some more young players and I think Belechick’s luck can only go so far.

  1. Dallas Cowboys: I think this could be the year the Cowboys finally show the huge amount of talent they have. I think Tony Romo will be out to prove something and I think this whole team feels embarrassed and are out to win peoples respect back.

  1. Baltimore Ravens: Flacco needs to step up this year and carry this team. The defense is getting older and Flacco needs to take hold of this offense and carry the team this year. The Ravens are getting older and the window of opportunity is getting smaller.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: Teams started to find Vick’s week spots towards the end of last season and Vick better hope he can play better then he did in the playoffs. This isn’t an easy division anymore with Dallas on the move.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I think the Buccaneers started to get it rolling at the end of last season and Josh Freeman is making those plays that the big guys make. The Buccaneers were able to finish rebuilding the defensive line in the draft and now have to hope they can pick up a couple of free agents to help out on defense. If the Buccaneers are able to get a big free agent like Asomougha they could be pushing for the Super Bowl and not just the playoffs.

  1. Indianapolis Colts: I think the Colts are starting to run out of steam and Peyton Manning can’t do it all alone. The offensive line was terrible and the defense wasn’t to impressive either. They will need to hope the team can make big strides in the offseason, or Peyton Manning may not be playing in January.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: I think if Matt Cassel is able to come out this year and be able to create a big passing attack, this Chiefs squad could be really dangerous. The Chiefs added some impact players in the draft and now their offense is loaded. The defense will have a year of Romeo Crennel’s defense under their belt and expect the defense to only improve.

  1. San Francisco 49ers: With new coach Jim Harbaugh in town expect this team to finally start showing their true potential and if he can get Alex Smith going, this team could be very good.    

  1. Houston Texans: Now that the Texans have a good running game and have Owen Daniels back from injury, expect this offense to be good. I think this team has a real chance at the division. I think Wade Phillips will be able to build a good enough defense to be able to win games and this Texans team could finally start showing life.

  1. New York Giants: Eli needs to bounce back this year and the defense needs to step up. It would be great for the Giants to be able to pick up a couple of free agents to help out and then maybe they can be in position the try to make a run at the division.

  1. Chicago

  1. St. Louis Rams: This is a team that if Josh McDaniel’s can get that offense rolling, can take the division by storm. Bradford looks like the next great passer and everyone knows how good McDaniel’s is at bringing the best out of Quarterbacks.

  1. Detroit Lions: This is another team that if Stafford can come out and play well, can be a real force and have a good shot at the playoffs. They have a awesome defensive line and defensive rookie of the year Ndamukong Suh can only get better.

  1. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have one of the most talented young teams out there, but I still question Jason Campbell at QB. I think the defense could be dominate, but the offensive line is worse then last year and I think Campbell has done as well as he is going to do.

  1. Minnesota Vikings: I think this could be a sleeper team. The do have Adrian Peterson to carry the offense and they have a strong defense. If Christian Ponder can just play halfway descent, then this team could do something’s.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: I think this is a team on the rise, but I think they need a couple of more years to develop. I think David Garrard won’t be able to repeat his performance from last year and I think there is a good chance we could see rookie QB Blaine Gabbert on the field toward the end of the season.

  1. Arizona Cardinals: If they land a descent QB, which is highly likely, they could be an descent team next year. I think they will be able to strengthen their defense, but they need Beanie Wells to be an impact player this year.

  1. Miami Dolphins: If Chad Henne goes out there and tares it up then maybe the Dolphins will have a chance, but without a running game I think this team will be one dimensional and defenses can shut them down.

  1. Denver Broncos: If Tim Tebow can inspire his teammates, as he did last season, we may have a sleeper team here. I still don’t expect them to be a playoff team or something, but I do think this could be a 500. team

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: It all maters whether Dalton players well or not. If he does this could be one of many sleeper teams this year. I think Zimmer will be able to get his defense back on track and without the distractions of the Circus (that would be Owens and Ocho) in town; the Bengals might be able to win a bit of games.

  1. Tennessee Titans: It all maters who starts at QB. I think Collins will start the season off, but if they are able to get a better veteran QB via free agency or trade, this team could be able to make some noise.

  1. Carolina Panthers: Whether it is Cam Newton or Jimmy Clausen I think this team will rely off their running game with two young quarterbacks under center. Expect Ron Rivera to get the most out of this team and don’t be surprised if they are able to get 6 or 7 wins.

  1. Buffalo Bills: I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is a good Quarterback, but I think the luck they had last year will run out and we will be able to continue to see the Bills team we have watched the last couple of years.

  1. Cleveland Browns: This team has some sleeper to them as well and it will all be up to how well Colt McCoy can play. This team has some talent, but it is also very young and not very experienced.

  1. Seattle Seahawks: I think the Seahawks were one of the worse playoff teams in recent history and I think they will prove that this season. They lack impact players and if they can’t get Hasselbeck to return, their season could be a mess.

  1. Washington Redskins: I they are one of the worse teams offensively, I’ve seen in a while. They had Blaine Gabbert fall into their lap and then traded the pick. I have high doubts that John Beck will be able to carry this team and don’t be surprised if this is a 0-16 season for the Redskins. They have no talent on offense, but if they do as bad as I think, they will be able to get one of the best QB prospects coming out of college in Andrew Luck in next years draft.