NFL: The Weekend’s Biggest Winners and Losers
It was a long weekend. Still getting used to it being three days but it definitely didn’t disappoint. We didn’t cover as much on Saturday because…well, because we have lives and it was day three so we didn’t expect much. But we were in for a surprise. So many trades occurred. Bravo to the NFL in general, who was a big winner in all of this. On to some of the biggest winners and losers, in no real order.
Seattle – When arguably the best LT in the draft falls in your lap and you needed that position filled with your legendary LT retiring, you know it’s going to be a good draft. The Seahawks struck gold with Russell Okung with their first pick, then had Earl Thomas fall into their lap next. The luck continued when they found Golden Tate available with their next pick. For some reason, the WR’s in Seattle that they imported haven’t done too well. Tate played bigger than he is at Notre Dame and we think he may be successful in the NFL too. They continued to fill positions of need throughout the draft and even managed to acquire what seems to be their One-Two punch at the RB position with Leon Washington and Lendale White. If Washington recovers and White lays off the Little Debbies, the Seahawks could be exciting to watch.
San Francisco – Singletary likes to run the ball. He likes smashmouth football. So with his first three picks, he gets two starters on the left side of the offensive line and gets somebody who likes to play a little smashmouth football. Then they picked up a LB who fell to them for one reason or another as well as drafting a RB to compete for a back up position. If that wasn’t enough, the signed another undrafted free agent who, if developed correctly, could challenge Alex Smith in a year or two for the QB position. Or he will be fun to watch in the Wildcat. I had something about LeGarrett Blount in this section, but it looks like he sucker-punched the 49ers and decided to sign with the Titans. Not smart…
Oakland – Yes. It’s true. Even when they did reach, they reached in the right round. Not the first. They decided to do things the right way in Oakland this time around. Not to mention they bamboozled the Redskins. First, they picked up a great LB in Rolando McClain who won’t get run over like Kirk Morrison did. Then they pick up DT Lamarr Houston who somehow fell into their lap. Next, they drafted an OL from a small school who some people think can start immediately. Even so, he’ll be a quality back-up. In the fourth round, they selected a player many thought they may be stubborn enough to draft with their first rounder, Bruce Campbell. Not only did they get that Combine star, they also selected Jacoby Ford, another flashy pick. But they chose these two on day three. Not bad at all. They filled the last few picks with a few defensive players. They may be really good on defense next year. Most importantly, however, was that they got their starting QB for possibly the next 5 to 7 years for a conditional 4th round selection in 2011. A starting QB for a conditional 4th rounder. Not only do they get to say goodbye to “No Muscle or Hustle” Russell, they get a QB who has been through it all already. Nothing will surprise him in Oakland. He should be focused and motivated to prove his doubters wrong. Wow, sure did have a lot to say on Oakland.
New England – Bill is back. His wheeling and dealing landed him two young Tight Ends who will be welcomed weapons for Tom Brady. They were desperate to restock at that position. He landed two great LB’s who will go well with their young leader Mayo. Cunningham will probably play outside LB, which will be similar to what he did at Florida, and Spikes will probably go out and try to prove to everybody that his combine and pro day numbers meant nothing. They also picked up a smart DB in the first round who will help their secondary and he is also a great special teamer, which he would be expected to do in his first year anyway. They selected the draft’s best punter, drafted help on both lines, and picked up a project QB who got to throw to Dez Bryant in college. Not bad at all. What’s even crazier is, while wheeling and dealing, he picked up a second rounder for next year. So that’s two first rounders next year and two second rounders. Wow.
Cleveland – This is borderline, but for some reason I like what they did. They selected arguably the top CB in the draft when they needed secondary help and then picked up a S to add to that. Both will likely start. Then they selected a sleeper RB in Hardesty who should share time in the backfield with Harrison from day one. The entire time, they had passed on Colt McCoy, even though they needed a young QB. Well guess who fell into their lap the next time they had a pick. That’s right. He will have to adjust to playing in the cold, but he should fit well into their west coast offense once he gets used to the speed of the game and continues to work behind the scenes. He gets to sit behind two veterans who aren’t considered long term options. Couldn’t get any better for him. They needed more DL for their 3-4 defense and were able to pick up a few, who may or may not make the team. I like Holmgren, and he generally picks up the right guys for his team.
Baltimore – What can you say about Ozzie? He sure likes the draft. I think Kindle will be a star and will have more than enough time and opportunity to ensure his health since he’s getting League medical attention now and is going to a great organization. Then Cody fell into their lap. If he can manage his weight, he is going to be a problem. Then, as they were looking for help at tight end for their young QB, Ed Dixon from Oregon was still on the board. Things just always seem to go right for the Ravens. Except for Kyle Boller. But I think Ravens are very happy with their selections, even if they didn’t get their first choice at WR or TE.
Denver – We could look back a couple years down the road and be completely wrong, but for right now, we are unhappy with what Denver did. The reason they lost last year was because of their defense. With that said, their first five picks were on offense. Wow. Secondly, they took projects or reached on their first three picks. Thomas may be great soon, but he will have to adjust to a new type of game. He has the potential to be great, but has the potential to be average as well. You don’t want that from your number one selection. Then they traded up, using a bunch of good draft picks to select a project QB in the first round by the name of Tebow. Tebow may one day be great, but he could easily be the next Eric Crouch. Do you want that from a first round QB? We don’t. We have a divided view of him here at SkyBoxTalk, but we all agree that we won’t be surprised if he is a huge bust. Next they picked up an OT in Beadles that they could have gotten in round 4. After that, the selections weren’t too shabby, but we just think that somebody as imperious as Josh McDaniels shouldn’t be taking so many risks when he isn’t proven yet. Trade away your top three picks from 2006 in a little over a year and then make risky picks? He better hope thinks pan out. He doesn’t have many people on his side.
Jacksonville – It seems to us like Jacksonville makes a lot of mistakes in the draft. We think they made another one by selecting a DT that nobody had even heard of when DTs such as Williams, Cody, Odrick, and Price were still available. Just doesn’t make sense to us. They still haven’t gotten a great return on their picks from the last couple years, relative to where they were selected. They also reached for a DT in round 3 when there were more established ones on the board. With so many holes to fill, and so many seats to fill, they just did not draft well for either in our eyes.
Washington – While they selected a LT who should fit well into their zone blocking scheme, the rest of their draft didn’t make much sense. With so much help needed on the offensive line, they didn’t address that position again until the 7th round. This is why they never have good lines. While they could possibly have a good addition to their 3-4 LB crew in Riley, they had no need to select a TE or a WR when they did. They also failed to trade away any of their unhappy players for second or third round picks this year, while giving away their starting QB last year for what could become a 5th rounder. Not impressed.
San Diego – This one will be quick. While I do believe that they definitely needed help at the RB position, they needed all the picks they had before they traded up because they have a lot of holes to feel. It may not seem like it, but they do. Matthews better be worth the pick, because they needed the rest of them.
More thoughts to come over the next couple days…