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. 

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