Monday, April 27, 2009

NFL Draft: Winners and Losers

3 Winners:

New York Giants: New York did a great job filling their needs and getting quality talent. Hakeem Nicks is a great value at 29 and should help replace the loss of Palxico Burress. Both of the Giants two second round picks could have easily gone in the first round. Clint Sintim should become an instant starter and will be a nice addition to the Giants fearsome pass rush. The Giants also did well in the mid rounds by adding WR Ramses Barden, TE Travis Beckum, RB Andre Brown, and QB Rhett Bomar. All four of these players should contribute to the Giants long term future. Overall the Giants added a number of guys with big upside potential and filled all their needs.

New England Patriots: New England did what they do best, stock pile picks in this years draft and next year. When the dust settled the Patriots ended up with 6 picks in the first 100 and added two second round picks in 2010. New England used their extra picks to bolster their secondary and offensive line. Patrick Chung and Darius Butler are great additions to the Patriots secondary. WR Brandon Tate could be a great steal for the Patriots in the third round. He was once thought to be a first round talent but fell due to injury and poor decision making. If he stays healthy and out of trouble he will be a good third option for Tom Brady. Overall the Patriots got plenty of value and players that will fit into their system.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals had a high risk/high reward draft. Its high risk because a number of the players they picked have concerns involving either their character or work ethic. Its high reward because if all the players they drafted can get their careers on track then the Bengals may come away with 4-6 starters from this class. Andre Smith and Jonathan Luigs will instantly upgrade a weak offensive line unit. While I'm not a big fan of Rey Maualuga and think he's much better suited for a 3-4 alignment, he will be an upgrade for the Bengals at MLB. Michael Johnson is another interesting prospect. He has the upside to be the best defensive end in this draft he just needs to stay focused. TE Chase Coffman was a great pick for the Bengals. He catches anything thrown his way and will be a favorite target of Carson Palmer.

3 Losers:

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders shook up the first round by taking Darrius Heyward-Bey with the 7th overall pick. While there were plenty who considered Heyward-Bey a quality receiver, its doubtful any other team would have taken him in the top 20. Heyward-Bey isn't a number one receiver in the NFL and will make the Raiders regret not taking Michael Crabtree in the first round. Throughout the draft the Raiders consistently took players who they could have taken in later rounds. There's not alot of upside or potential in this class, and it won't help the Raiders find their way out of the top 10.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay was already missing its 2nd round pick after giving it up for Kellan Winslow, the Buccaneers gave up another pick to move up two spots in the 1st round. Tampa Bay moved up so they could select QB Josh Freeman. While the 6th round pick they gave up was a small price to pay, it was completely unnecessary. Tampa only had to wait out the the Browns and Broncos and neither one was likely to take Freeman. Freeman is a nice QB prospect but he's hardly a sure thing. He will need a couple of years of development time before he can be an effective starter in the NFL. Other than Freeman Tampa didn't draft many other players with a high upside. The Buccaneers failed to address a number of their needs on draft day, and could very well pay for it in the win column this season.

Kansas City Chiefs: Even though they had the 3rd pick in the draft the Chiefs had a very unimaginative draft. Kansas City took DE Tyson Jackson with the 3rd pick. Jackson is a very good player, but probably not the third best player in the draft. Kansas City would have been better served taking anyone of B.J. Raji, Eugene Monroe, Michael Crabtree or Aaron Curry. Anyone of them would have filled a bigger need than defensive end. Also any of those players would have had a greater value at the number three spot than Jackson did. If you are going to guarantee that much money to a player it should be for a sure thing. In the mid and late rounds the Chiefs reached for a couple of players and ignored needs at linebacker and safety. Kansas City should have picked players that could have filled some immediate needs, and drafted a higher rated player at number three.

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