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Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Review

As much as it is silly to do a review right after the draft when we don't know what players are going to do on the field, or if they will even survive the OTA's to be on the field.....this was the longest I could bring myself to wait.  Actually, I waited and then it took my awhile to get this out, so if you see any players without comments, come back to me, I will have them shortly.

I also will make mention of the Rookie Free Agent signings to this point that stood out to me.  Those are really win-win pickups.  No one judges you if they don't make it, and you look like a genius when they do.  Unless you think they were a one hit wonder and you let them go to the Chiefs to have hall of fame careers (also here).

Ok, on to the draft, and rather than by order of draft, or how well I thought they did, we are going to go through the teams in Alphabetical order by team name.   Seemed as good a way as any, so let's move on.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS:

I can't argue with the 49ers thought that they needed to get more explosive this off season.  They have one of the best defenses in the league and a strong offensive line that allowed them to control the clock.  What they didn't have was homerun hitters.  So, they went in search of guys who could turn the typical plays into highlight real plays.  And they reached as far as they could to get their hands on them.

Round 1
30: A.J. Jenkins WR Illinois.  Jenkins made a lot of noise early in the season but largely disappeared late in the year.  He has decent size, GREAT speed, and can make plays after the catch.  He is not a polished receiver however, having come from a rushing attack.  There is nothing wrong with having him on the team, but they could have had him in the third round.  That said, there are rumors floating that Randy Moss is going to have trouble even making the team in San Fran with the plethora of receivers they have brought in.

Round 2
61: LaMichael James RB Oregon: James was one of the biggest stars in college football, playing in the perfect offense for a player of his skills.  The problem is, his skills don't make up for his lack of size.  He needs to gain some muscle, but if he does, he takes the chance of losing the quickness which has made him a difference maker.  All that is if he wants to be an everydown back in the NFL.  If he is an all-purpose back, playing in the slot, and making hay on third down and in the return game, then he is exactly what the doctor ordered.  He has great speed and ever better acceleration, allowing him to cut and shift in tight quarters.  He will not break many tackles, but god help you if you have him 1 on 1in open space.

Round 4
117: Joe Looney OG Wake Forest: Looney is a huge, road-grader, of an offensive guard.  The 49ers must feel good about his recovery from his LisFranc suffered at the senior bowl though because he was only grading out around a 4th round pick before the injury.  That said, if he comes back healthy, he is a perfect fit for what the 49ers do.

Round 5
165: Darius Fleming OLB Notre Dame: Fleming was a productive outside player, and projects well to OLB.  He was not a dominating player at Notre Dame, but does have great physical strength and could fit at strongside backer for the Niners.  Feels like a reach though.

Round 6
180: Trenton Robinson S Michigan State: He is small for a safety, but is very fast and explosive, which combined with good instincts seemed to always have him around the ball.  The Niners need depth in the secondary and found a solid contributor in a thin class of safeties.

195 Jason Slowey C Western Oregon: A late bloomer at Center, Slowey has incredible upper body strength.  He needs to play lower and improve his technique as his strength allow him to dominate his opponents player at a lower level.  He should give immediate depth on the interior line.

Round 7
Cam Johnson DE Virginia: Johnson is an athletic end with the size an strength to stay in that position in a NFL 3 man front.  He did not produce as consistently as you would like to see, which is why he dropped, but he can get after the quarterback.  A great value pick here.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS:
In what is going to be a bit of a theme, I think 49er fans have more to be excited about from their Rookie Free Agents than they do from the late round draft picks.  Looks for Chase Minnifield  and Chris Owusu to be around.  There are concerns around both of them.  Minnifield is a technician who doesn't have great athleticism, but he really knows how to play the position.  Owusu is everything you would want from a receiver.  He's big, he's fast, and he is a great teammate.  But, he has a concussion history. 

CHICAGO BEARS

I have to say that the Chicago front office and I did not see eye to eye on their needs.  There are some players in their class, but I feel like they got really lucky by what they found on the discard pile.  They should have drafted at least one O-Lineman.  I know Gabe Carimi was a step in the right direction, and they brought in a veteran backup QB, but they need Jay Cutler on the field.  To stay on the field, he needs to stay on his feet.

Round 1
19: Shea McClellin DE/OLB Boise State: Don't get me wrong, I like McClellin.  However, I don't like him in the first round.  He is fast, and has a great motor, and he was a bit playmaker for the Broncos.  BUT, there were tweeners out there rated ahead of him for good reason.  He could turn out to be a stud, but he was going to be there in the second or third round.  If they had him targeted, they should have traded down and got some extra picks.

Round 2
45: Alshon Jeffry WR South Carolina: I know there are people out there ripping this pick apart, but I loved it.  Yes, there are some maturity concerns.  Yes, his weight bounced around a bit.  No, he did not, at any point, stop killing defenses.  This guy is huge and truly seems to believe that the ball belongs to him and the other kids only get to touch it on occasion out of the goodness of his heart.  He is flat out mean and should be one of the more physical receivers in the league as soon as he puts on pads.  That said, he is not a big deep threat, bringing only average deep speed.  Course, at 6'4, 230, he's open. 

Round 3
79: Brandon Hardin FS Oregon State: I know this was an area of need for the Bears, especially in the division that they are playing in.  At least they did it the right way.  This is a big corner who can run, that they are projecting to safety.  That gives you scheme flexibility because you have a guy who actually has a chance to cover a slot receiver and who should have no trouble at all with most tight ends.  That said, he missed a chunk of last year, and again, they could have had him later.

Round 4
111: Evan Rodriguez FB Temple: Really, a fullback?  No, not really.  The bears have to be targeting him as a Tight End or an H-Back.  Again, this is an interesting pick, but was someone else going to take the fullback from Temple?  No, this was a RFA waiting to happen.

Round 6
184: Isaiah Frey CB Nevada: Frey was very productive at Nevada.  He plays a physical style, despite his size, and good field awareness and the acceleration and speed to close and make plays.  Likely to be no better than a nickle early in his career, but if he can improve his footwork, he might stick around.

Round 7
220: Greg McCoy CB TCU: A solid athlete who is very raw in coverage.  More likely that they are going to look at him to contribute in the return game while they protect their starting receivers.  If, he can hang around.  This is one of those picks where you really wonder why they thought he was worth a pick.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Finding James Brown on the heap was a godsend for the Bears.  He is a superior athlete at tackle, and is a strong run blocker.  I look for the Bears to find a way to get him on the field whether it is at Right Tackle or one of the guard spots.  They need Carimi to play at Left Tackle, and Brown is a legit option to play on the right side.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

I know there are a lot of people out there who love to bag on the Bengals for not spending money on their scouting, or for drafting knucklehead.  I am not among them.  The last few years I have watched the Bengals reload by drafting proven producers at the College level and then filling in with veterans.  This draft is a continuation of that.

Round 1
17: Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama: Kirkpatrick is a physical cornerback with great size and more than enough speed to cover man to man.  I had him rated as the top corner on the board, especially with the big wide receiver being in vogue.  The other thing that this size gives him is positional flexibility.  He can fill in at your weakest spot in the secondary and play.  A very smart pick for a Bengals secondary full of veterans/old guys.

27: Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin: This is one mean young man in the middle.  He is a perfectionist and his strength and technique reflect that.  He was one of the top values available and fills a need for the Bengals.  I will be very surprised if  he is not starting immediately.

Round 2
53: Devon Still DT Penn State: A bit of a work in progress and he continued to improve through his career as a Nittany Lion.  Still is a strong and aggressive DT who will collect and absorb double teams to prevent him from collapsing the pocket.  He needs to to improve his stamina as he seemed to wear down late in games, but they NFL teams keep people on staff for that.

Round 3
83: Mohamad Sanu WR Rutgers: Frankly, Sanu was the passing game in the Rutgers offense and by far their most explosive player.  He is a big, physical receiver who can beat press coverage and who has multiple speeds that he uses to setup patterns.  He has the potential to be a very solid #2 opposite A.J. Green.

93: Brandon Thompson DT Clemson: A very strong player who attacks the gaps in the O-Line to get behind the line of scrimmage.  He is not a DT who is going to absorb double teams so much as he is going to attack the weaknesses in blocking schemes to slide into the backfield.  Should fit well in the Bengals 4 man front.

Round 4
116: Orson Charles TE Georgia: Orson is a willing blocker, but is a big on the small side for a tightend which, combined with his speed and ball skills, makes him a receiver first.  This was not a need with Jermaine Grisham on the field, but Charles can play split which will give the Bengals the potential for some interesting personnel groupings.

Round 5
156: Shaun Prater CB Iowa: A tough corner who plays very physical for his size.  He is likely limited to special teams and nickel play.  This pick seemed a bit high.

166: Marvin Jones WR Cal: A solid possession receiver with good hands and decent speed.  Jones is not a YAC guy, but he will get open and is pretty good with the ball in the air.  This is a value/depth pick.

167: George Iloka S Boise State: Iloka is a stud safety, but has had some trouble with his emotions getting the better of him.  If he can keep his head, he has a shot at a nice long career.

Round 6
191: Dan Herron RB Ohio State: I look for Herron to be the steal of the Bengals draft.  He plays much faster than his 4.66 40 at the combine showed.  He is a nice all around back who is very good once he reaches the second level.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Bengals brought in a relatively small class of RFA's.  Vontaze Burfict is the headliner, but unfortunately it's not for the right reasons.  He was fast approaching playing himself off the team at Arizona State.  If he can't improve his attitude and make use of his potential, he'll be gone quick as a hiccup.  After him, there's not a lot that catches my eye, but Julian Miller is a very nice pickup as a Free Agent.  He is a legit DE prospect for a 4 man front.  Great effort and attitude, makes the hustle plays.  He will not be a star, but he could potentially be around for awhile.
BUFFALO BILLS

This was a very solid, if unexciting draft for the Bills.  They filled some holes and brought in some steals.  I like what they did a lot.  They are working damned hard to put together a defense that will throttle all who step before it, and looking at the depth chart, it just might work.  Seriously, 2 projected immediate starters with a handful more guys in the rotation at their given position from day 1?  Yeah, that'll work.

Round 1
10: Stefon Gilmore CB South Carolina: Gilmore is a big, athletic, corner who excelled in the zone coverage schemes that South Carolina employed.  He has the strength and athleticism to excel in man coverage as well.  I felt like this was a reach, especially in a draft that appears to have several quality corners.  That said, they have made it clear that they intend for their defense to be a strength, and this will enhance that unit even more.

Round 2
41: Cordy Glenn OL Georgia: This was a nice value and it's at the position that the Bills need to fill more than any other.  They have been coaching guys up to play left tackle for years, but they can't keep them in Buffalo.  Glenn is an athletic, mountain of a man, who was being projected at guard till people saw him move.  This was a great get for the Bills.

Round 3
69: T.J. Graham WR NC State: I was not a huge fan of picking up Graham at this point.  He was a decent, but not dominant receiver at NC State.  Picking him over guys who were more productive because of a good 40 time, seemed like a Mamula moment for the Bills.  That said, they needed wide receivers and he might work as an understudy to Stevie Johnson.

Round 4
104: Nigel Bradham LB Florida State: Bradham has star potential.  He is a superior athlete who relishes contact.  There are few linebackers in this draft who can run like he can and even fewer who led a team in tackles for 3 straight years.  I expect to see him starting sooner than later for the Bills.

124: Ron Brooks CB LSU: He was buried on the depth chart at LSU but played well when injuries gave him a chance.  He is likely a special teams ace in the NFL, which was his role at LSU as well.  I don't like taking special teams guys, especially ones that don't return kicks this high.  That said, athletically, Brooks can play with anybody.  Look for them to use him on special teams while they coach him up to see if he can transition into an NFL corner.

Round 5
144: Zebrie Sanders OT Florida State: Sanders is a versatile lineman who played up and down the line for the Seminoles.  He has very good agility and footwork which allows him to be a very solid pass blocker, but his is not near as good in the running games.  He does need to get stronger, but this allows the Bills an option of while side to put Cordy Glenn on.

147: Tank Carder LB TCU: The knock on Carder is that he is not a great athlete.  I just can't follow the logic.  The best I can figure is that he is being knocked for not being a recognized recruit coming out of high school.  He ran a sub 4.7 at the combine and was one of the best in the agility drills.  Throw in 3 consecutive all conference appointments, and this is a steal.  This is the second linebacker the Bills picked up that may very well start sooner than later.

Round 6
178: Mark Asper OL Oregon: A guard in college with good agility.  He has shown that he can pull and get down field and can be very effective in the running game.  With the players on hand, this was a value pick for depth up front.  Not sexy, but smart.

Rount 7
251: John Potter K Western Michigan: A kicker?  Really?  The best I can figure here is that they wanted a pick that wouldn't effect the cap and noone wanted their 7th round pick.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Nothing to see here, please move on.  Well, other than the pickup of Aaron Corp.  Corp had beat Matt Barkley out for the starting job at USC before he got hurt.  Once Barkley had the job, well we all know what happened after that.  A tough break for the kid, but he can play.  Nice insurance plan for the future in care Fitzgerald doesn't get it done.

DENVER BRONCOS

Round 2
36: Derek Wolfe DT Cincinnati: I really don't get the Broncos trading out of the first round to take a DT.  Their defense is a strength, and I am all for enhancing a strength.  That said, you brought in Peyton Manning, and you have given him NOTHING to work with.  Eddie Royal is gone and Eric Decker is coming back from a knee injury.  That said, Wolfe is a strong pass rusher from the Defensive Tackle spot and will make a very good front 7 even better.

57: Brock Osweiler QB Arizona State: This was a smart move for the future.  Peyton will not play for that many more years, but he is the style of QB that Osweiler should aspire to be.  Stand tall in the pocket and hit your guy.  That said, Osweiler is the athlete the Peyton only dreamed of being.  The upside on this pick is huge, but there is work to be done.

Round 3
67: Ronnie Hillman RB San Diego State: Flat out, Knowshon Moreno has not shown the Broncos what they expected to see out of him.  Hillman is a nice player, coming out of a Pro-Style attack.  He weighed in cut and about 20 lbs heavier than expected at the combine and then ripped off a scorching 40 time.  This was a great get.  With the size he revealed, he projects as more than a 3rd down guy and could be in Denver for the long haul. 

Round 4
101: Omar Bolden CB Arizona State: This was an interesting pick.  It's a gamble, but the upside against the risk was very good.  Bolden was a top talent, and one of the top 2 corners in the Pac-12 coming into this season.  Then he missed the season with an ACL.  He ran very well at the combine and showed no ill effects.  They need a guy to progress into a shutdown corner, and they are hoping Omar can do that while Champ is still in town.

108: Philip Blake C Baylor: I don't know why all of the Baylor linemen seem to be so old coming out of school, but one thing is for sure, they are putting a lot of them in the NFL.  There some issues with the interior line in Denver last year, and this is a smart pick. 

Round 5
137: Malik Jackson DE Tennessee: Jackson was a journeyman of sorts, bouncing from USC to Tennessee.  He's a strong end who can provide some pressure and played up and down the line starting 2 years at USC and then 2 at Tennessee.  He is very versatile and has a strong and consistent motor.

Round 6
188: Danny Trevathan LB Kentucky: He was one of the best players on the Kentucky defense, which is really not saying all that much.  He is a bit limited athletically, relative to some of the other prospects, but he is a smart football player who is strong against the run

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Broncos brought in a good number of RFA's and there are few that are very intriguing.  Coryell Judie is one of them.  He is a very athletic corner who will be an immediate contributor in the return came and has track speed.  He is still learning the position but has shown a lot of promise.  There was no way I thought he would go undrafted.  The other player who got my attention from their list was Jerry Franklin out of Arkansas.  He was a multi-year starter and a leader on that defense.  He is a sideline to sideline guy who can also translate that speed into big hits.  He showed a knack for making big plays and causing turnovers.  I would be surprised to not see him finish the year with double-digit tackles as he is probably the bets linebacker they are bringing in.  Odd that he wasn't drafted.

CLEVELAND BROWNS


The Browns got knocked because it was perceived that they could have done better, and they could have.  But how you judge a draft varies.  If you judge it by the number of starters that you pick up for that year, then this is a solid draft for the Cleveland Franchise.  Richardson will start, Weeden will likely start, Mitchell Schwartz will start. Those are pretty much locks.  At least one of the receivers picked up will probably start in the slot, either Bert Reed or Travis Benjamin.  I also expect to see Billy Winn and one of the Linebackers to start.  So, no matter how you judge their moves at Quarterback or their trade up with the Vikings, this was a productive draft full of solid players for the Browns.


Round 1
3: Trent Richardson RB Alabama: This pick makes a lot of sense.  I don't like trading up when you need players all over, and the Vikings definitely worked them over, but Richardson is a potential cornerstone kind of player. 

22: Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State: This one did not.  I don't have a problem with the Browns bringing in competition for McCoy, but I didn't think he McCoy played badly.  I certainly didn't think he played badly enough to deserve burning a 1st round pick to replace him.  I would have liked Osweiler or Foles in a round or 2 much more and just about anybody else here.  A right tackle like Riley Reiff or maybe even David DeCastro would have been better.  Alshon Jeffry would have made a lot of sense.  But, at least Weeden is a quality player.  I have no issue with him in first round, just not in the first round to Cleveland. 

Round 2
37: Mitchell Schwartz OT Cal: Right Tackle is a smart move for the Browns here.  I was not as high on Schwartz as some, but the position is a good one to fill.  When you take the Richardson pick into account, it makes even more sense.  If he can bookend with Joe Staley like they think he can, they will be set on the O-Line for awhile.

Round 3
87: John Hughes DT Cincinnati: This was another odd pick.  Most people are projecting Hughes as a nose tackle, but last we heard the Browns wanted to play a 4 man front.  He is a big, strong, interior lineman who will be very good against the run.  Round 3 seems high though.

Round 4
100: Travis Benjamin WR Miami(FL): Travis Benjamin is so full of potential that it's disgusting.  He's a smaller receiver who may be best used from the slot, but there are very few guys who can run like him.  Homerun speed is something the Browns have been missing.  I like the value in round 4 for a guy who might just be able to steal you a couple TD's a year that you didn't deserve.  Far from a sure thing though.

120: James-Michael Johnson LB Nevada: A downhill middle linebacker who is very strong against the run.  He has good size and athleticism.  Could be the prototype 4-3 middle linebacker with some coaching.

Round 5
160: Ryan Miller OG Colorado: A HUGE guard who projects as a swing player.  He is best used as a guard but could spot at Tackle if needed.  Right Tackle would be the preference if that is necessary.  A nice depth pick for the O-Line at worst.

Round 6
204: Emmanuel Acho LB Texas: A very smart player with good athleticism.  He played all over the linebacker corp for Texas but is probably best as a Will backer.  I expect to see him in the league, so this is a great pickup for the Browns.

205 Billy Winn DL Boise State: Winn played all over the D-Line for Boise and could potentially do the same for the Browns.  He is either an athletic DT who can rush the passer, or a Huge D-End.  I expect him to start for the Browns, not just play.

Round 7
245 Trevin Wade CB Arizona: Wade was a breakout star a sophomore who fell off in the subsequent years.  A very fluid athlete, with good closing acceleration and instincts.  He needs to be more consistent.

247 Brad Smelley TE Alabama: A nice player who will give some scheme flexibility.  He is a solid blocker who can catch the ball.  Will move between TE and Fullback, if he makes the team.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: There is not a lot to be excited about in the Browns RFA class.  They took a couple flyers on some guys, and due to their overall lack of talent there will be some guys who make the team most likely.  I did like the invites of a couple of small receivers who produced at big schools who can really run.  Bert Reed was under-appreciated at Florida State and Josh Cooper was overshadowed by Blackmon in Stillwater.  Neither is a star, but they both bring experience and athleticism which is always welcome on a franchise in the state that the Browns are.  Reed for one, clocked as low as the 4.3's at his Pro Day.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS


This was a solid draft for the Bucs.  Their first 3 picks should start.  I was a little surprised to not see more selections and/or invites spent on their Offensive Line or top level Cornerbacks.  A solid draft with good value though.


Round 1
7: Mark Barron S Alabama: They haven't had a good safety in years and Barron was projected heads and shoulders above the rest of the class.  That makes him even more valuable than he would be normally.  A nice pickup, especially having traded down to get him, which garnered them pick #101.

31: Doug Martin RB Boise State: As you can see if you look down this list of picks for the Bucs, they did not have pick #101 at the end.  No, they took that pick and jumped back into the first round to pick up Doug Martin.  This was a very smart move.  Martin is an all around back with under-estimated top end speed.  He will be a great partner for LeGarrette Blount and could very well be the starting back sooner than later.

Round 2
58: Lavonte David LB Nebraska: The knock on David was that he was undersized and he is a bit on the small size.  That said, he is a playmaker.  He has been a nationally recognized star at every level and I expect to see him succeed in the NFL too.  The only question is, will he bulk up to play LB, or will he end up as a hybrid player or a SS in response to the current trends in NFL offenses.

Round 5
140: Najee Goode LB West Virginia: A powerful linebacker with explosive athleticism, Good played both Middle and Strong Side backer for the Mountaineers.  He has great speed, especially for a backer with good size.  Is not an instinctive Pass Defender but did show good effectiveness tackling in open space.

Round 6
174: Keith Tandy CB West Virginia: You can tell that the West Virginia defense had an effect on Schiano.  He is a zone corner, but with the Tampa 2 likely to stay in place, or at least in use, this is a good place for him to take his shot.  He is stocky for a corner, and may end up as a safety or nickel.  Works well against short and underneath patterns. He has good athleticism and if his technique can be improved, he may be a #2 down the road.

Round 7
212: Michael Smith RB Utah State: A flat out burner who was hidden on the depth chart till late in his career.  Look for him to be a return guy with a couple packages in place.

233: Drake Dunsmore TE Northwestern TE: Played all over the field for the Wildcats and projects as an H-Back or receiving Tight End in the Pros.  Has good long speed but there are concerns about his acceleration.  A bit of a strider, but has great hands and good body control.  If they can find a position for him, he has a shot.  A decent gamble in the 7th

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Zach Collaros was an interesting name to see.  He was very productive at Cincinnati, but is coming off an injury.  Might be a steal to set him in as a backup/package guy.  Cody Johnson is a battering ram at fullback which could be a nasty pairing with LeGarrette Blount for short yardage.  Leonard Johnson is another think corner who might fit the Cover 2 heavy pressing scheme that we expect in Tampa and the 4.36 speed that Luther Ambrose can bring to bear has interesting possibilities.  Nothing too exciting there, but there are couple names to keep track of.

ARIZONA CARDINALS


A great draft for the Cardinals.  Value at the beginning, with the Linemen that they need sprinkled throughout.  I love the Nate Potter pick at the back of the draft.  Between him and Massie, they might have 2 new starters at Tackle.  Oh, and Floyd is a stud.


Round 1
7: Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame: I don't get the people who were down on Floyd.  I am in the middle of Big 12 country, and I put him as a very close 1A to Blackmon.  He is big, fast, runs good routes, and does a great job of high pointing the ball in jump ball situations.  The only knock is that he is a big of a long strider so he isn't going to shake people.  Well, when you are a 6'3" receiver who weighs 220 lbs. you don't have to shake people.  I think this was a value pick as they didnt' expect him to be there.  He should do well opposite Fitzgerald.

Round 3
80: Jamell Fleming CB Oklahoma: This pick surprised me.  Fleming is a solid corner who plays a very physical style and who closes well, but he is not a shutdown guy.  But, if they want to press and blitz from the edge, it makes sense.  Not a bad player, but I think they could have had him later.

Round 4
112: Bobbie Massie OT Mississippi: Massie got a knock because he is not a measurable guy.  What he is though, is a guy who was a shutdown tackle for multiple years in the SEC.  He can play, and the Cardinals got lucky that he was still there in the 4th.  The scary thing here is that he has not met his potential yet.  He has room to get stronger, which is probably the difference between him being a right or a left tackle.

Round 5
151: Senio Kelemete OG Washington: A very agile guard with a nasty streak.  He was a leader for the Husky team and projects as a quality guard in the NFL.  Look for him to start immediately for a Cardinal team who badly needs to revamp the Offensive front.

Round 6
177: Justin Bethel CB Presbyterian: A D-III star who can run and cover but needs to adjust to the physicality that he didn't see at the lower levels.  Projects as a special teams player, but may transition to a nickel if he can stay on the roster long enough.

185: Ryan Lindley QB San Diego State: This is a 'QB of the future' pick.  Lindley needs to become more consistent in his mechanics, but he can make all the throws with ease, and when he's right, he's stellar.  Big, strong, pocket passer with great potential, he is a big of a project.

Round 7
221: Nate Potter OT Boise State: I can't fathom why Potter dropped this far at all.  He covered the blind side for Kellen Moore, and frankly, Moore's jersey didn't get dirty often.  It will be interesting to see which of the 2 tackles they drafted will land on the left side of the line, and which on the right.  This was a great pick at this round of the draft.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Cardinals brought in a big number of Rookie Free Agents for competition.  The Blake Gideon and Broderick Binns pickups are ones to watch.  They were both leaders on big time teams.  Gideon, for example, was a 4 year starter at Texas in the secondary.  He is a smart player with just enough athleticism to get it done at the D-1 level.  The question is, does he have enough for the next level?

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS


A curious draft by the Chargers.  There are a lot of picks here that feel like reaches.


Round 1
18: Melvin Ingram OLB South Carolina: The Chargers need an edge rusher.  They have made a couple picks trying to replace Shawn Merriman but have not had good luck to this point.  Ingram is one of the highest rated pass rushers in this draft and the concerns about him being a little small to play D-End make his perfect for the transition to outside linebacker in the 3-4

Round 2
49: Kendall Reyes DE UConn: This looks like a bad pick, value-wise.  But if you have watched the history of the Chargers' drafts, this in the kind of player that makes their 3-4 defense go.  They like 3 big athletic D-Tackles up front to keep their linebackers running free.  Reyes is a physical run-stopper who can push the pocket.  They probably could have got him later, but he fits their scheme.

Round 3
73: Brandon Taylor S LSU: Taylor is an interesting pick.  He has corner size and can run and cover, but he is a bit small to play either safety spot.  He should be a nice special teams contributor but could transition into a nice hybrid/nickel player.  There is value there with the change in offenses, but he was pretty down the board for safeties.  They could have probably gotten him as an invitee.

Round 4
110: Ladarius Green TE Louisiana-Lafayette: I like this pick.  Green is a dynamic athlete at Tight End, which fits with what the Chargers like to do.  He is not a developed in-line blocker, but he is a weapon in the passing game.  This looks like a shot at an exit strategy for the Antonio Gates era.

Round 5
149: Johnnie Troutman OG Penn State: Troutman was a 3 year starter at Penn State and is a strong fun blocker.  The value here is very questionable however with recent events in his life.  Round 5 is not a terrible time to take a risk like this, but since they need depth on their O-Line now, they must love the potential.

Round 7
226: David Molk C Michigan: I like this pick.  Molk was one of the best centers in the country coming out this year.  The knock on him is that he is smaller, but is only about 10 lbs below the prime weight.  He is very strong, with good agility, and experience.  He could very easily be a starter in a year or two.

250: Edwin Baker RB Michigan State: Baker came out early, and I am sure he expected to be picked up earlier than this.  He was all Big-10 as a sophomore before sharing carries last year.  That has less to do with him as it did the depth at the position.  This was a steal for the Chargers, he should be a nice platoon back for the Bolts

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: They picked up 3 players as RFA's that most people projected as starers.  Sean Cattouse at safety got All-America mention and was a stud for the Cal Bears.  Taylor Embree has been the big target on a Cal team that has had it's fill of small burners at the position.  He doesn't have great speed, but is another option for what Antonio Gates has brought to San Diego.  Finally, Christian Tupou was a leader for the USC D-Line.  He is an explosive Tackle/End who fits a 3-4 perfectly.  Cattouse and Tupou both have a shot to start in this league.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS


This is a typical Scott Pioli draft.  You can almost see what he was thinking, but he seems to always be reaching for the home run gamble.  At least this time he gambled on unique athletic talents.  Poe and Stephenson are the keys to this.  If one or either of these make it, this draft will be a success.


Round 1
11: Dontari Poe DT Memphis: This is the gamble of the day, but if it hits, it's big.  The Chiefs need a Nose-Tackle and men with that size who have the athletic ability that Poe does just aren't seen very often.  There are concerns around his fire and his conditioning, but it could be as simple as remembering that a 350 lb guy isn't going to run 40 straight snaps a game.

Round 2
44: Jeff Allen OL Illinois: This was an interesting pick.  Allen started 40+ games at Illinois and shows great effort and technique.  If the Chiefs can tone him up a bit, this could be a home run.  If he stays as is, he should be a solid depth pick and could be a quality starter at guard.

Round 3
74: Donald Stephenson OT Oklahoma: Stephenson is a raw talent at Tackle.  And when I say talent, I mean to say that he is a NFL starting level talent.  He is raw, having only played 2 years at Oklahoma due to the depth on their line, but he can maul people.  He should be able to be coached up to easily start at Right Tackle, and he is can play left, allowing Brandon Albert to move to guard, this will be a scary line.  A project, but the upside is huge.

Round 4
107: Devon Wylie WR Fresno State: Wylie can fly, and will contribute immediately on special teams.  Speed is a huge area of need for the Chiefs.  I don't know about the draft spot, but Wylie could stick on the team.  Pioli is constantly trying to prove that he is smarter than everyone else, for Cheifs' fans sake, I hope he's right.

Round 5
146: De'Quan Menzie CB Alabama: Menzie was the forgotten man in the Bama secondary.  He hurt his stock by not running well at the Combine, but played MUCH faster than the 4.7 he ran at the combine.  He is a good athlete with great instincts, but he may be better projected at safety.

Round 6
182: Cyrus Gray RB Texas A&M: Gray played all over the field for the Aggies and is another pick to illustrate the Chiefs recognition of their need to get faster on offense.  He is a great value in the 6th round but the question is what position will he play for the Chiefs.  He is much like Dexter McCluster, but has more weight and may allow for a transition to the receiving corp for McCluster.

Round 7
206: Jerome Long DE San Diego State: They think that Long may be a fit at D-End in their front line.  This is a gamble on a breakout player, and the 7th round is a good time to do it.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: A large group of no-name players is what you see when you look at the Chiefs' RFA list.  One of those no-names is Tysyn Hartman though, and he is  playmaking ball-hawk with great ball skills.  I don't know why he hasn't gotten more attention, but if you watched the Wildcats play a game, you likely saw Hartman make a game-changing play.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

I like what the Colts did overall.  Solid picks early with talent, and then they tossed in a couple of gambles late.  They have also done a good job of bringing in players prior to the draft to fill in spots.  Make no mistake, this is not the same team that Peyton Manning took over all those years ago.  If a couple things go right, they might flirt with .500.

Round 1
1: Andrew Luck QB Stanford: This was a given.  The best prospect we have seen in years, to the team that is starting over.  This was a smart move, and it had to happen.

Round 2
34: Coby Fleener TE Stanford: This was a dream situation for their new leader.  He an Fleener have a great amount of chemistry and when it doubt they can rely on that to move the chains.  Fleener is a great athlete who can block and is a great weapon in the passing game.

Round 3
64: Dwayne Allen TE Clemson: This pick raised a lot of eyebrows, but I kind of like it.  You got the top 2 players are a position which gives you not only depth but considering who these guys are and the position, it gives you a ton of flexibility.  What I read from this is the the Colts are going to want to be physical and run the ball first, but these guys can both play in all facets of the game.  Allen is a more physical blocker, while Fleener is the faster player, but both of them are effective in the passing and rushing game.  I look for the Colts to have several packages where both of them are on the field with Fleener moving around the cause mismatches.

92: T.Y. Hilton WR Florida International: If you have not see T.Y. Hilton play, you should find some tape.  This kid is grease lightning.  He is very reminiscent of DeSean Jackson coming out of Cal, but has not shown the same attitude, which could be a plus.  He has to prove that he can beat press coverage at this level, but this is a guy who can turn any play into a game changing play, and the Colts need every advantage that they can find.

136: Josh Chapman DT Alabama: A solid pick for the front line of their new 3-4.  It will be interesting to see if he plays inside or at end, but this is not pass rusher, so much as a guy who will keep your linebackers running free.  He is strong enough that he can provide a solid bull rush and cover 2 gaps if he is not double-teamed.

170: Vick Ballard RB Mississippi State: Ballard is a big back who plays downhill and is very physical.  He is fairly polished in pass protection and showed some speed to break plays at Mississippi state, which conflicts with his reputation as a power rusher lacking top-end speed.  A nice value at this pick.
206: LaVon Brazil WR Ohio: A solid college receiver who is more likely to contribute in the return game.  He has good speed, but needs to improve on his consistency in running routes and footwork overall if he wants to play receiver in the NFL.

208: Justin Anderson OT Georgia: A depth pick for the offensive line.  You didn't hear much about Anderson along a very good Georgia line, but he is a mountain of a man, with great potential.  He had injury trouble at Georgia, but when he was healthy, he was a beast to deal with.  This is a home-run swing by the Colts, because if Anderson can stay on the field, their O-Line will be in good shape down the road with Winston Justice and Anthony Castonzo already in place.

214: Tim Fugger LB Vanderbilt: Fugger was a late-blooming D-End who is targeted as a project to move to OLB in a 3-4.  A great value for a potential future starter at this point.  Fugger is smart, fast, and strong.  If he can make the transition, this will be a steal.

253: Chandler Harnish QB Northern Illinois: Harnish is a backup QB with good experience and great athleticism.  He is not a polished passer though, as he needs to become more consistent in his accuracy.  Likely no better than a backup and maybe a package guy. 

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: There is not a lot here, but I will have my eyes on Chris Galippo and Griff Whalen.  Galippo was a big time recruit to USC who had a solid career, but never really dominated.  Whalen was the leading receiver for Andrew Luck last year, so that familiarity may give him enough of a head's up to make the team.  Oh, and Whalen was Luck's roommate.

DALLAS COWBOYS

I really underwhelmed by the Cowboys' draft.  Claiborne will start but after that I just don't see much.

Round 1
6: Morris Claiborne CB LSU: I know this guy's reputation, but in the games I watched, I just never really saw it.  But the Cowboys need to sort out their secondary and taking the corner who was at the top of most team's board, is a good place to start.  As for trading up, there were a handful of corners in Claiborne's league, so I don't think trading up was necessary.
Round 3
81: Tyrone Crawford DE Boise State: Crawford is a pure effort guy who is nearly completely unpolished as a pass rusher, but he has been very productive.  Despite that lack of polish, I think he fits what the Cowboys do, as he has the right body type to play end in their 3 man front, and his effort will keep O-Linemen honest and give the linebackers a chance to make plays.  The third round was too high though.

Round 4
113: Kyle Wilber LB Wake Forest: A coverage linebacker, which is not necessarily a good fit in a 3-4.  I can't see him as much more than a special teams player, which is not good in the 4th round.

135: Matt Johnson S Eastern Washington: This was a nice gamble by the Cowboys on an athletic safety out of a small school.  He has the measurables to make the plays and was consistent at Eastern Washington.  I look for him to make a mark on special teams and possibly work his way into the rotation in time.

Round 5
152: Danny Coale WR Virginia Tech: Coale was hidden a bit, playing for the run heavy hokies, but he was their playmaker on the outside.  He has good size and legit speed, but he's going to have a hard time seeing the field with the depth the Cowboys have at receiver.  Nice value at this pick though.

Round 6
186: James Hanna TE Oklahoma: Hanna is one of the new hybrid tight ends.  He has wide receiver type speed at 252 lbs, but is very raw.  This could be a steal if they can polish up his technique just a bit.  He is a mis-match waiting to happen as he will outrun and outjump nearly any safety in the league and is bigger than nearly any linebacker.

Round 7
222: Caleb McSurdy LB Montana: A hard-nosed run stuffing linebacker from a small school.  I like how he plays, but I just don't know if his head for the game is going to be enough to make up for his lack of wheels.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: I love the Levy Adcock pickup.  Drafting an all Big-12 left tackle would be great.  Getting him as a rookie free agent is ridiculous.  A great find for the Boys with no risk.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

This was a nice draft for the Miami Franchise.  There are a couple of risks, and a couple of 'sure things'.  The players they picked all appear to fit their scheme.  I don't look for huge results out of this draft this year, but if they didn't get 2 starters, I will be very surprised.

Round 1
8: Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M: If they do what it looks like they are setup to do, and let him sit till he's ready, this is a decent gamble.  I don't like him at this spot, but they were afraid that if they waited, he would be gone.  Tannehill has all the tools and, reportedly, a good head on his shoulders, but he wasn't consistent closing out games which concerns me.

Round 2
42: Jonathan Martin OT Stanford: This was a great get for the Fins.  A bookend tackle for Jake Long was a huge need, and early on Martin was the top tackle on some boards.  Whoever is at QB is going to be happy to have this youngster around.

Round 3
72: Olivier Vernon DE Miami(FL): A huge talent, but he didn't get it done like was expected for the Canes.  He has a chance to step in at OLB, but he has to get serious.

78: Michael Egnew TE Missouri: Another hybrid Tight End.  He fell off a bit after a huge junior year, but that was in no small part by the rise in attention that he was receiving.  He has great size and nice speed, while running good routes.  He is very effective in the red zone especially, but as expected coming out of Missouri's unique spread attack, he does not block well inline.

Round 4
97: Lamar Miller RB Miami(FL): I had him in the top 3 of the running back class.  He has great acceleration to one of the better top ends in this draft.  This was a great value for the Fins.

Round 5
155: Josh Kaddu LB Oregon: A solid linebacker who doesn't have the upside as a pass rusher that Vernon does, but he much more ready to play.  He fell a bit because his emotions and aggressive nature have led to some mistakes like overpursuing, but he is a beast. 
Round 6
183 B.J. Cunningham WR Michigan State: A solid receiver who was absolutely not what the Miami faithful were looking for.  He runs good routes an has good hands, but is not a gamebreaker.

Round 7
215: Kheeston Randall DL Texas: A very strong interior lineman who has the potential to play up and down the Miami D-Line.  He often man-handled the man in front of him and was mobile enough to facilitate twists and stunts.  Could be a nice fit for the 3-4 the Dolphins run, and is a great value in round 7.

227: Rishard Matthews WR Nevada: Matthews is a solidly built, physical, receiver.  He plays bigger than his 6 feet using his long arms to snatch the ball away from his body.  He plays with decent speed, but is not elite in acceleration or deep speed.  There are some character concerns.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Miami has invited a pretty large number of RFA's, which is a smart move on their part.  They need to fill quite a few gaps, and competition is key to that.  There a few names that stood out to me.  Among them are Jacquies Smith, Jeff Fuller, and Derek Moye.  Fuller and Moye are both big receivers from big programs who played against top competition.  They are both big targets with solid speed who will be vying for an outside receiver spot.  Fuller is by far the favorite, having been Tannehill's favorite target and having a productive career at A&M.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

This was a very good draft by the Eagles.  They filled needs, and loaded up on talented kids.  There are a number of risks here, but if half of them hit, this team just loaded up.

Round 1
12: Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State: Cox is regarded the best pass rushing DT in this draft and one of the best DT's overall.  The 'Wide 9' setup of the Eagle's front 4 requires athletic tackles to be successful, so getting Fletcher Cox looks to be a perfect fit for their defense.

Round 2
46: Mychal Kendricks lB Cal: Kendricks is an athletic linebacker, who was the defensive player of the year in the PAC.  He is shorter than is normally preferred, but few linebackers run like him while carrying 240 lbs.  He needs to be more consistent in his tackling as he goes for the big hit too often, but should an immediately contributor.

59: Vinny Curry DE Marshall: He didn't get the national re known that he would have if he played in a bigger conference, but Curry was absolutely dominant for Marshall and is well-suited to what the Eagles do with their Ends.  Has a very good anchor and is well developed as a pass rusher.  Better at the point of attack than the reputation of current Eagles ends.

Round 3
88: Nick Foles QB Arizona: A nice project QB for Andy Reid in the third round.  Foles is a big QB with a strong arm.  The knock that I put on him is that he fell into the trap of trying to do too much.  He needs to learn to take what's there and play with a more calm and controlled tempo.  He has the size, the head, and the accuracy to have a shot if he can learn to set his feet and be decisive.

Round 4
123: Brandon Boykin CB/KR Georgia: Boykin fell due to a broken leg, but this is a guy who can just out-athlete people.  I would pay money to watch him and DeSean Jackson go at each other in practice.  He is a very aggressive athlete who moves easily and makes the most of a small frame with aggressive play.  Should be an immediate contributor in the return game.  If they put Boykin and Jackson back on kicks together, they are going to give special teams' coaches nightmares.

Round 5
153: Dennis Kelly OT Purdue: A massive tackle who was a 3 year starter at Purdue, Kelly came in under the radar.  He is a project, but the Eagles think they can turn him into a starter.  With their history of developing Offensive linemen, I don't think I am in a position to challenge them.

Round 6
194: Marvin McNutt WR Iowa: McNutt was a value pick.  He was the leader for the receiver corp for Iowa and brings good size and a physical approach to the position.  I expect the Eagles are targeting him to be their possession guy who goes over the middle. 

200: Brandon Washington OG Miami(FL): Washington is a road grader at guard who is going to be Shady McCoy's new best friend.  I was really surprised to see him fall this late in the draft.

Round 7
229: Bryce Brown RB Kansas State via Tennessee: Brown was one of the top running back recruits of recent years and was starting by the end of his freshman year at Tennessee.  After Lane Kiffin left, he headed home to Kansas State, but things didn't work out there.  He has the physical ability to be a player in the NFL, but they Eagles have to get his head right. 

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Chris Polk.  Cliff Harris.  Damaris Johnson.  All three of these guys are unique players who were among the most productive at their positions.  They are also guys with question marks.  Polks are injury related, but he is just as viable an option as a second back for Shady as Brown is.  Cliff Harris was the best return man west of the Mississippi before he reckless driving got him booted from Oregon.  Oh, and he was one of the best cover men in the country too.  If he doesn't make this team, it will be his own fault.  Johnson is another DeSean Jackson clone, which is interesting.  Not bad interesting either, after all, the Eagles have proven that this type of receiver works in their offense.  If his girlfriend had just refused to hook him up at Macy's, he would have been drafted.  Maybe the Eagles should send her a thank you card.

ATLANTA FALCONS

The Falcons broke their normal trend last year by making a splashy pick with Julio Jones.  They have now gone back to the practice that built their team into the annual playoff team that it is.  They drafted to their identity.  They want play physical football, run well to setup the play-action pass.  So, they drafted linemen and some pieces for their defense.  A very sensible draft.  It's not sexy, but I think it'll work out.

Round 2
55: Peter Konz C Wisonsin: Konz will start from day one for the Falcons, the only question is whether he will be at Center or Guard.  The common prediction is that he will start at Guard for now, but they want to be physical, and that has to start up front.  This is a great pickup for the Falcons.

Round 3
91: Lamar Holmes OT Southern Mississippi: Homes is a mountain of a man who was a dominant Tackle in C-USA.  He is a raw, but the potential is huge.  A nice depth pick for the Falcons who appear to have recognized that they need to keep Matty Ice upright to do what they want to do.

Round 5
157: Bradie Ewing FB Wisconsin: Ewing is a strong lead blocker, but taking a fullback this early is an odd choice.  The trend is evident here though, the Falcons are going to come out and hit people in the mouth.

164: Jonathan Massaquoi DE/OLB Troy: The Falcons need pressure off the edge to finish off what could be a very solid defense.  At this point, Massaquoi is a one-trick pony, but it's an impressive trick.  He is one of the few true edge rushers in this draft.

Round 6
192: Charles Mitchell S Mississippi State: Mitchell is a playmaking safety who the Falcons are hoping will compete for their Free Safety spot.  He is more likely to contribute on special teams, but in the 6th round, there's no shame there.  From what I can find about Mitchell, I don't expect for him to settle for that role.

Round 7
249: Travian Robertson DT South Carolina: Purely a run stuffing tackle.  He has quick hands and does a fair imitation of an immovable object.  He will work well into the rotation on running downs.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: There are a handful of solid prospects here, but the only one that caught my eye was James Rodgers, whose younger brother Jaquizz is on the team.  Rodgers is a limited athlete, but he runs good routes and finds space in zone defenses.

NEW YORK GIANTS

Round 1
32: David Wilson RB Virginia Tech: Wilson is an explosive back with good power and burst.  He has the potential to step in as an everydown type of back and should fill Brandon Jacob's spot with a more dynamic talent.

Round 2
63: Rueben Randle WR LSU: Randle was stuck on a poor passing team, but he is a very talented receiver.  He has good size and solid deep speed.  he should be able to beat press coverage and has the potential to be better than Mario Manningham, who he is being brought in to replace.

Round 3
94: Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech: Hosley is a smaller corner than Aaron Ross who left for Jacksonville.  He is a smart corner with good acceleration, but without great long speed.  He learns receivers and gambles well.

Round 4
127: Adrien Robinson TE Cincinnati: Robinson is a raw talent who is still learning the game, but he has the speed to stretch the field from the Tight End spot.  He is a bit of a project, but he will get time sooner than later.

131: Brandon Mosley OT Auburn:  A physical, mauler, with good agility.  If they can afford to have him play Right Tackle, he should be a great player in that spot.

Round 6
201: Matt McCants OT UAB: McCants is an agile tackle, but needs to get stronger to play at this level.  Right now, he projects as no better than a swing backup tackle.

Round 7
239: Markus Kuhn DT North Carolina State: Kuhn is a raw, but talented Defensive Tackle.  He plays with a great motor, and gives full effort on every snap.  The Giants seem to always be looking for interior defenders, so this is a good team for him to land on.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: There's not a lot to see here, not yet.  G.J. Kinne has nice potential as a project QB/Backup.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

All I can say to Jags fans is, take the bad with the good.  You got Blackmon, and might have a pass rusher, but I don't know what the deal was with drafting a punter.

Round 1
5: Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State: This was just what the Dr. ordered for Blaine Gabbert.  Gabbert was hung out to dry as a rookie with a wounded line and no weapons.  Blackmon won't help the line, but he is the best receiver coming out this year. He has great hands, body control, and truly believes that every ball in the air is his.

Round 2
38: Andre Branch DE Clemson: Branch is a great athlete who might be a bit of a tweener.  Best case, the Jags move him between OLB and DE to suit the down and/or opponent.  Worst case, they just found a situation pass rusher who they try to build into a full time, something.

Round 3
70: Bryan Anger P Cal: yeah...what?

Round 5
142: Brandon Marshall LB Nevada: Marshall is a solid prospect, athletically, but he needs to learn most about playing the position..  He may see the field, but if he is starting as a rookie, it will be a bad sign for the Jags.

Round 6
176: Mike Harris CB Florida State: Harris is a unique prospect.  He played all over the secondary for the Noles, but due to the depth of the secondary in Tallahassee he spent most of him time covering the slot.  With the pickup of Aaron Ross, that experience may very well get him on the field sooner than if he had been an outside corner like most of the other corners drafted.

Round 7
228: Jeris Pendleton DT Ashland: Pendleton is another small school line prospect, which the Jags have done a fine job of unearthing the past few seasons.  He is a massive man, but it will take work to craft him into an NFL starter.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: It's a thin group, but Michael Brewster was a steal.  He is a very athletic lineman and I expect for him to be an understudy to Brad Meester while he perhaps starts at guard.  He is a nice depth find for a Jags line which seams to be constantly shorthanded.

NEW YORK JETS

There are some solid picks here too, but the Jets do love to gamble, don't they?

Round 1
16: Quinton Coples DE North Carolina: I really like this pick.  There are questions about Coples' fire and consistency, but he was productive at every spot he played on the D-Line for the Tar Heels and he is the kind of athlete that gives Rex the flexibility to get creative with his defenses.

Round 2
43: Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech: I don't really like this one.  He is an athlete, but in the second round, they could have had a more polished receiver.  It better work, because they need something for Mark Sanchez.

Round 3
77: Demario Davis LB Arkansas State: Davis is a sideline to sideline linebacker who gives great effort and can play on run downs now.  Has the speed an explosion to be a good blitzer.  He will need to prove himself in coverage.

Round 6
187: Josh Bush S Wake Forest: A smart player at a position of need.  In Rex's schemes, that brain is important, but does he have the athletic ability to play at this level, or is he just a special teams player?

202: Terrance Ganaway RB Baylor: Ganaway is a physical downhill runner who fits the Jets' offense.  I expect for him to take a good number of carries away from the underwhelming Shonn Greene.

203: Robert T. Griffin OG Baylor: A mature lineman  who run blocks well despite having played in a spread attack.  He moves well enough to pull and has the size to fill at Tackle in an emergency.

Round 7
242: Antonio Allen S South Carolina: I had Allen as my #2 strong safety on the board, so getting him at the end of the draft was a steal.  Allen is an athletic safety who likes to come into the box as a run stuffer and who blitzes well.  He should fit the Jets defense well.

244: Jordan Hill WR Western Michigan: Hill is a solid receiver who knows how to play the position, but he missing that elite measurement that would give him the chance to be a star.  He will be hard pressed to be more than a special teams player.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: There wasn't anything here that was too excited.

DETROIT LIONS

Overall, this was a nice draft, full of solid players.  When you count a couple of actual potential players in the RFA class, this draft should be one more step towards where the Lions want to be.  They needed corners and linebackers and they bringing in a bunch of both.  Oh, and Rile Reiff was a must because, frankly, megatron will only take them as far as Stafford can throw it.

Round 1
23: Riley Reiff OT Iowa: He has to be pencilled in at the Right Tackle right now.  This position had to be addressed, and Reiff, though not the premier prospect, is a tough SOB who should be able to do the job.

Round 2
54: Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma: I like Ryan Broyles, and I am really happy for him, but why would you take a guy coming back from a knee who you haven't seen run yet in the second round?  That said, this is a great spot for Broyles.  The Lions can afford to let him heal and learn with a lot of depth at receiver, and if he can make it back, the Lions will be getting a solid slot receiver who flat out makes plays.

Round 3
85: Dwight Bentley CB Louisana-Lafayette: Bentley came out of nowhere at the Senior Bowl to show that he can run with the big boys.  Well, he could that week anyway.  He will be thrown into the fire in Detroit, so we'll know soon enough.

Round 4
125: Ronnell Lewis LB Oklahoma: Lewis is a difference maker athletically and the Lions can use that at linebacker.  He is not the best at diagnosing plays, but it's tough to stop him from getting where he wants to be.

Round 5
138: Tahir Whitehead LB Temple: Whitehead is a solid outside linebacker going to a team that needs linebackers.  He was well coached at Temple and could be one of those no-names that sticks.

148: Chris Greenwood CB Albion: Greenwood is a nice looking athlete with good height and speed.  The problem is, he played D-III.  I don't understand why you would draft the project with guys like Coryell Judie and Cliff Harris on the board, especially a team that needs corners like the Lions do. Further, why would you do it in the 5th?

Round 6
196: Jonte Green CB New Mexico State: Jonte Green is another big corner with big-time speed.  The difference is, Green played D-I at least.  He was one of the few good players on a bad team, but he has serious potential.

Round 7
223: Travis Lewis LB Oklahoma: Lewis was a leader on a very good Oklahoma defense.  Lewis fell after he ran slower than was expected, but if you watch the tape, there is no way he should have been on the board.  Lewis is a smart linebacker who diagnoses plays quickly and closes on runners and is solid and smart in coverage.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Bringing in Kellen Moore and Patrick Edwards as Rookie Free Agents is a coup.  Both of these guys were terribly productive in college but there are questions about how they project because they were considered to be products of the schemes they played in.  I say, when you can bring in a guy who set records, without offering any guaranteed money, go for it.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

The Pack's defense cost this last year.  They recognized that and made several solid picks to address it.  This draft could very well give them 3 starters in their front 7.  I would have liked to have seen a running back at some point, but they can score as is.  Now, if they can just slow some people down.

Round 1
28: Nick Perry OLB USC: Perry got mixed reviews coming out of USC.  People didn't think he projected as a premier D-End as he is not the longest player in the world.  However, he has all the tools you could ever want from an OLB in a 3-4.  He is big, fast, coordinated, and smart.  He should be a perfect bookend to Clay Matthews.

Round 2
51: Jerel Worthy DE Michigan State: Worthy was an All-American DT at Michigan State.  He is solid in all facets, using his lower body strength and a good punch to set himself up.  He has quick hands and uses that to get space for himself, whether he is disengaging to attack the ball carrier, or trying to swim by to rush the Quarterback.  He will be a bit of a project as a DE, but will improve the line in Green Bay immediately.

62: Casey Hayward CB Vanderbilt: Hayward is lauded as a very smart corner.  He showed more athleticism in workouts than was anticipated, and is expected to pick up the intricacies of an NFL Scheme quickly.  This is key for a team that runs as many zone blitz concepts as the Packers do because he will have to be assignment aware.
Round 4
132: Mike Daniels DE Iowa: Daniels is another athletic big body to improve the D-Line.  He runs well enough for a 280 lb man, and should be strong against the run. 

133: Jerron McMillian S Maine: McMillan ran a blistering 40 at his Pro Day which shot him up draft boards to the middle rounds.  He is a big hitter, but has legit ball skills.  This is an upside pick, but with his wheels, he should contribute immediately as a rotation and special teams player.

Round 5
163: Terrell Manning LB North Carolina State: Manning played all over for the Wolfpack, and will find the field as a rookie.  He was graded out higher than he was drafted by a lot of scouts, and is rather unhappy about lasting as long as he did.  That chip on his shoulder might serve him well.

Round 7
241: Andrew Datko OT Florida State: Datko is a veteran tackle who would have been a top 50 pick before he injured his shoulder.  He is reportedly healthy, and if he is, he has a real chance to start at Left Tackle in the league.  He is a very agile blocker who uses his hands well and stood up very well against some premier speed rushers in his time at FSU.
243: B.J. Coleman QB Chattanooga: Coleman is the latest project QB for the Packers.  He is a big, strong-armed QB who transferred to Chattanooga after losing out on starting at Tennessee.  There is a lot of potential here.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The only really intriguing players in the RFA list for the Packers was the invitation of a couple of running backs.  They haven't really found their rushing attack the last few years, but this is the only area that they brought any in.  Perhaps they think the problem was the O-Line.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

A solid draft for the Panthers.  I know people were hoping to see more offense added, but let's be honest here, the offense was not the problem.  They made moves to improve their defense, especially the front 7, and solidify a thin O-Line.  These were smart moves, and tossing Joe Adams in there helps.  I like it, not a great draft, but a good one.  Now, if they had only taken a player in the 6th, they might have gotten a better grade.

Round 1
9: Luke Kuechly LB Boston College: The Panthers were a team with a lot of needs, and I had MLB listed as one of them, so this is a quality pick.  It's not a sexy pick, but Kuechly is the kind leader that you want on a rebuilding team like this.  He flat-out produced at BC, so after he tore up the combine, he is a hot commodity.  Good pick here, and I expect to him starting immediately.  There is some question about which linebacker position he will start at, with Jon Beason looking like he is going to be back, but a starter is a starter, and that is what the first round is for.

Round 2
40: Amini Silatolu OG Midwestern State: An aggressive lineman who will likely have to move away from Left Tackle in the NFL, Silatolu is a mauler who should be a good fit at guard with spot starts at Tackle.  He is pencilled in at Left Guard at this point, which give them a solid interior line.  Not a sexy pick in the second, but a solid player.

Round 4
103: Frank Alexander DE Oklahoma: Alexander is not known as one of the more explosive D-Ends coming out, but he is a well rounded End who was very productive behind the line for the Sooners.  He has the potential to be an every-down end, showing good agility and aggression with a consistent motor.  A great value in the 4th round at a need position.  I don't get the feeling that he will be a star, but the Panthers would love to have a solid starter after chasing this position for several years.

104: Joe Adams WR Arkansas: The Panthers fans were clamoring for a weapon for Cam, and here is what they got.  Joe Adams is as dangerous as anyone in the country once the ball is in his hands, but he does need some work on catching away from his body and ball security.  Has legit deep speed with great acceleration and was the special teams player of the year in the SEC as well, so he should make an immediate difference while he learns how to succeed as a smaller receiver from Steve Smith. 
Round 5
143: Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina: A big corner who may project better to safety.

Round 6
207: Brad Nortman P Wisconsin: Really, all the needs you have and you are going punter?  Well, at least it was late.

Round 7
216: D.J. Campbell S Cal: Campbell was overlooked by many leading up to the draft because his running mate, Sean Cattouse, received so many accolades.  Campbell is a superior athlete to Cattouse and will get a shot in Carolina. 

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: There were some interesting pickups in the RFA class for the Panthers.  Tauren Poole is a downhill runner who is best as a one-cut back who may give some depth behind DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.  Matt Reynolds was a steal at OT.  He started his entire career at BYU and was a leader for that offense.  He took a hit from playing in a wide split, passing spread, but I have the feeling that he will stick.  Look for him to see the field as a rookie is either tackle takes a ding.Wes Kemp is a big receiver out of Mizzou who showed legit speed in workouts.  He was never a lead receiver for the Tigers, but was productive and is a beast of a blocker at the Wideout position.  I wonder if they aren't thinking of moving him around the field and trying to pack a few pounds on and call him a Tight End.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

It had been awhile since the Pats 'needed' a draft to go well.  This is one of those and, as usual, it looks like they drafted well.  They restocked their front 7 on defense and brought in a couple guys who will fight for playing time in the defensive backfield.  And they did NOT draft a punter.

Round 1
21: Chander Jones DE Syracuse: Jones is regarded as one of the best edge rushers in this draft, and the Patriots were sorely lacking that last year.  I see him as a situational player to start, but with the way the Pats move their fronts around, that doensn't have the same meaning as it does on some teams.

25: Dont'a Hightower LB Alabama: Players like Hightower are the key to what Bill Belechik wants to do.  Hightower can play any spot in the front 7 except Tackle.  He is big, and fast, and knows how to play.  I like this pick even more than the Jones pick.

Round 2
48: Tavon Wilson DB Illinois: Wilson came on late in the draft process and is seen as a guy who can play multiple positions in the defensive backfield.  The Pats need help there and will look to plug him into the weakest spot.  I expect to see him at free safety, or perhaps a hybrid role for nickel and dime packages.  I think they could have got him later.

Round 3
90: Jake Bequette DE Arkansas: I like Bequette.  He was underrated as a pass rusher after having a productive career at Arkansas.  He has the size to play any spot on a 4 man front, or end in a 3, and has the brains to keep up with the schemes in New England.  A nice pick to bolster the front line.

Round 6
197: Nate Ebner S Ohio State: Ebner is a raw athlete who is still learning the game.  He never played high school football, as he is a world class rugby player.  He is as physical as you would expect and should be a special teams demon.  Has the physical traits to play SS, if he can learn the techniques and improve in coverage.

Round 7
224: Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska: This is the pick that could make this draft.  Dennard got in a little trouble between the season and the draft, but he was a star at Nebraska.  He is a physical corner who tackles well and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions.  Does not back down.

235: Jeremy Ebert WR Northwestern: Purely an athlete pick.  Ebert is a burner who moved to received in college.  I look for him to contribute on special teams.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: A relatively thin class of Free Agents, but Markus Zusevics was on a lot of boards as a draftable player.  He was the 'other' tackle at Iowa, but projects as a guard.  He does not pull well, but has good strength and a frame that may allow him to gain more weight.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

The Raiders hamstrung themselves, but even at that, this was a dissapointing draft.  I really don't see how they didn't pick up a cornerback.  In the last year and a half, they lost both their starters.  Every pick feels like a reach to me.

Round 3
95: Tony Bergstrom OT Utah: The Raiders are entering a new era.  They burnt this draft collecting quarterbacks, so I was really interested to see what they would be able to make of it.  Bergstrom is a solid, experienced lineman who projects as a Right Tackle or Guard.  He is experienced enough, that he should be able to play early in his career.

Round 4
129: Miles Burris LB San Diego State: A solid middle linebacker for San Diego State.  He doesn't have the biggest frame, but is very strong and has good speed, allowing him to go sideline to sideline.  A smart and decisive player who gives consistently great effort, but he is limited in coverage.

Round 5
158: Jack Crawford DE Penn State: Crawford has the body and hustle that you look for from a DE, but he is not polished.  He is a project, but there is reason to hope they he will put in the work.  I am not sure why the Raiders are reaching here, but there is potential.

168: Juron Criner WR Arizona: A big receiver who paired with Nick Foles to give the Arizona Wildcats an explosive tandem.  Criner is a long strider with decent deep speed, but he does not accelerate well out of breaks.  He has great body control, and catches the ball away from his body, which makes his size even more effective.  Could be a nice red zone threat.

Round 6
189: Christo Bilukidi DT Georgia State: A raw big man out of the newest D-I program in Georgia, Christo is a relative unknown.  He is talented athletically, but is still learning the game.  This is another project for the Raiders, but both of these guys have the size and strength to potentially play on a 3 man line.  If that is something that the raiders are interested in.

Round 7
230: Nate Stupar LB Penn State: Stupar is a solid middle linebacker with good speed.  He fills well, but needs to get stronger in how he sheds blockers.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: meh

ST. LOUIS RAMS

The Rams brought in a lot of players, which was what they needed more than anything else.  Put talent on the depth chart and let it compete, and good things will happen.  I am not a huge fan of some of their moves, it felt like they were trying to be too smart for their own good, but if they hit on some of these gambles, they are going to be well on their way back.

Round 1
14: Michael Brockers DT LSU: The Rams really did maximize value in this draft, and it starts here with them trading down and picking up Brockers and a handful of picks.  Brockers is raw, but he will make their D-Line immediately better, especially against the run.  It will be interesting to see if they move him around the line, because he moves well enough to threaten the edge in spot duty.

Round 2
33: Brian Quick WR Appalachian State: Quick is big, and fast, but I don't know why they would think they needed to draft him this early.  He may be the guy, but he would have been there in the 4th.

39: Janoris Jenkins CB Florida: Great risk/reward pick here.  Jenkins has no leverage, and it sounds like the Rams made sure that he knows that.  If he messes up, he's out, and you move on with your new lead corner already in place because you stole him away from Tennessee.  If Jenkins behaves, you have a pair of lockdown corners that most teams will envy and suddenly, you defense is a different animal.

50: Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati: Pead is a solid all-around back who blew people away at the senior bowl.  he has decent size, good speed and acceleration, and even catches the ball well.  A great stablemate for Steven Jackson.

Round 3
65: Trumaine Johnson CB Montana: Johnson is a project, but he has ALL the tools. He is big at 6'2", 200+, and has the speed to play corner.  If Jenkins works out, look for Johnson too get a long look at free safety.  With the explosion of spread-style attacks, it works so well to have a safety who can cover man to man.


Round 4
96: Chris Givens WR Wake Forest: Givens is a track guy who proved that he can produce on the field too.  He does not have great hands, but he can really stress the edges of a defense with his speed.  A reasonable gamble for the Rams who need weapons.

Round 5
150: Rokevious Watkins G South Carolina: Watkins is a huge Offensive Lineman who played all over the line for the Gamecocks.  He is a little raw, but has all the power you could want from a lineman.  The Rams are hoping to plug him in at Left Guard.

Round 6
171: Greg Zuerlein K Missouri Western State: So, you need help all over your roster and you are going to waste a pick on a kicker?

Why do you need help again??....oh, that's right.

Round 7
209: Aaron Brown LB Hawaii: Brown was somewhat hidden on a bad Hawaii defense, but he can play a bit.  He has good size and speed, and is solid in coverage after chasing receivers all over the field in the WAC.  A bit of a project, but there is enough talent to make it worthwhile.

252: Daryl Richardson RB Abilene Christian: Richardson is a solid all around back with good explosion.  If he is near the player his brother, Bernard Scott is, the Rams will be ecstatic.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: I like the Rams bringing in Austin Davis.  He is a smart quarterback who was very productive in college. While he doesn't have the arm that Sam Bradford does, he could develop into a very nice insurance policy. 

BALTIMORE RAVENS

This was a meat and potatoes draft for the Ravens.  They restocked their O-Line and their defense, while taking a flier on a solid receiver prospect.  Ozzie Newsome doesn't make mistakes.

Round 2
35: Courtney Upshaw LB Alabama: Upshaw was a rush end at Alabama, but showed the ability to play well in space and against the run when the opportunity presented itself.  He will need to be coached up regarding coverage, but he shows good agility and awareness, which is more than many linebackers every have.  This pick worked out perfectly with Suggs going down.  With Upshaw and Sergio Kindle there to fight for the spot opposity Paul Kruger, while they wait for their turn to lead this defense, the Ravens should continue to be solid on that side of the ball.

60: Kelechi Osemele OL Iowa State: Osemele was a massive tackle for Iowa State who projects as a mauling guard at the next level.  He has the functional strength that you would hope to see from a player of his stature, utilizing good technique.  He projects better at guard due to average lateral quickness.  Should step in and compete for the left guard spot immediately.
Round 3
84: Bernard Pierce RB Temple: Pierce is a bigger, all around, back who should pair nicely with Ray Rice.  He was the workhorse at Temple, and was productive even though he was the well-known focus of the offense.  Shows good quickness and sharp cuts to make tacklers miss before finishing with good physicality.  He doesn't have the highest top end speed, but he gets to what he has quickly.  A nice pickup in the third round.

Round 4
98: Gino Gradkowski OG Delaware: Gino is a small school star with experience across the interior line and a great reported football IQ.  He will need to get bigger and stronger, but should be a technician.  Could project well as a Center.

130: Christian Thompson S South Carolina State: A physical safety with good speed.  He is a smooth athlete who rarely takes a false step, and who loves to play as the enforcer.  Projects better as a Strong Safety as he doesn't do as well with the ball in the air as you would like from a free safety.

Round 5
169: Asa Jackson CB Cal Poly: Jackson is a smaller corner, but he has above average athletic ability for the position.  He has good speed, and great acceleration, accented by the agility that allowed him to be weapon with the ball in his hands as well.  At this point, he is a raw cover man, with limited experience in zones.  Once he gets coached up, he has a shot.  Look for him in the return game early in his career.

Round 6
198: Tommy Streeter WR Miami(FL): Streeter is a long, fast athlete on the outside.  Even though he didn't produce like people expected at Miami, I was shocked to see him fall this far.  Receivers his size, with his athletic ability just don't show up very often.  This was a steal by the Ravens.  He needs work learning to beat press coverage, but once he is loose, he is nigh uncoverable because, frankly, he can get higher than the cornerbacks can.  Look for him in the red zone.

Round 7
236: DeAngelo Tyson DE Georgia: Tyson is a solid DT coming out of Georgia, who will be used to provide depth on the 3 man front in Baltimore to keep the linebackers clean.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Ravens invited a pretty good number of Rookies in as Free Agents.  The lead name for me is Bobby Rainey.  Rainey is a small back who was very productive at Western Kentucky.  He is an NFL talent, and could stick with Baltimore even thought he would be the third back.  If it's not Baltimore, it will be somewhere.  At Tight End, Nick Provo was a solid find as well.  He is a nice all around Tight End who can produce in the passing game.  He is more polished as a blocker than the other Ravens TE's were coming in, so he has a chance to stick.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

They got the Quarterback, but why did they get their Quarterbacks?  After Griffin, this is not a terribly exciting draft, but they think he was what they needed.  We will see soon enough.

Round 1
2: Robert Griffinn III QB Baylor: This is the kind of move that makes or breaks a coach and GM combination in a city.  It is true enough that the Redskins needed a QB.  It is also true, that Shanahan has been successful with mobile quarterbacks, and RGIII is one of the best examples of that style that we have ever seen.  He is an Olympic-level hurdler with an accurate cannon for an arm, who graduated college early.  But, they mortgaged a lot to get him.  I like the pick, I don't know if I like the cost, but if it works, it's worth it.

Round 3
71: Josh LeRibeus OG Southern Methodist: This one threw me.  This guy was not even on my board, but I am not going to presume to tell Mike Shanahan and his staff how to put together their zone blocking scheme.  But if a guy is not even on boards, then shouldn't he be available as a RFA?

Round 4
102: Kirk Cousins QB Michigan State: This was an odd pick to me.  Nothing against Cousins, or even bringing Cousins in this year, but you have gotten nothing else to work with RGIII and you bring in his backup?  I just don't get that.  Value is value, but they can't play for 2 years from now yet.

119: Keenan Robinson LB Texas: A solid 3-4 chase linebacker with good size.  He is an all-around solid linebacker with good agility and quick reactions.  Gives good effort, chasing plays down when needed.  I think they could have done better here, but he does fit their scheme.

Round 5
141: Adam Gettis OG Iowa: A quick, agile lineman who should be a good fit for the zone blocking scheme that Shanahan loves.  He is light for guard and blocks primarily by good position and technique.  I like this pick for the Redskins.

Round 6
173:Alfred Morris RB Florida Atlantic: Morris was a very productive, power back at FAU.  Could be targeted as a short-yardage back, but I think he could be looking at a career as a fullback.

193: Tom Compton OT South Dakota: Compton is a strong lineman, who excels as a run blocker, but scouts doubted his ability to mirror premier speed rushers.  He has the natural ability and frame to potentially be a Right Tackle.  The question is, how quickly can he make the adjustment?

Round 7
213: Richard Crawford CB Southern Methodist: A solid cornerback who dominated in C-USA.  He has solid speed, and good athleticism.  I look for him to compete for a spot as a returner and perhaps some time in nickel packages.

217: Jordan Bernstine CB Iowa: Bernstine is even more athletic than his co-hort in the 7th round, running 2 sub 4.4's at his pro day.  He was a serious weapon in the return game, but despite his speed was not a lockdown corner in the Big 10.  I look for him to get work at safety, while contributing immediately on special teams.  His career was limited by minor injuries, but the question is, how much did the Hawkeyes miss out on?

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: I like the Darius Hanks signing.  He is not Julio Jones, but he was productive at Bama, and is a legit athlete.  I also like Chase Minnifield.  I am shocked to see him as an RFA.  He is a technician at corner who won't be shocked by the bright lights.  Look for him to stick.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

They did OK with what they had after trading away their first round pick for Mark Ingram and losing their second round pick to the Bountygate scandal.  There are a couple of projects and a couple of guys who should play early.  The Saints don't have a lot of holes to fill, so if they find 2 starters out of this draft, consider it a HUGE draft.

Round 3
89: Akiem Hicks DE/DT LSU: Hicks is an athletic D-lineman who has the size and edge ability to potentially play all over the line.  What he does not have is any polish.  He played at tiny Regina in Canada after not making the grades at LSU.  This is a gamble, but if it hits, it will hit big.

Round 4
122: Nick Toon Wisconsin: Toon was the only noted receiver threat on Wisconsin, and he was still very successful.  He is a physical tactician, who catches the ball away from his body and consistently beat press coverage.  I would like to see better top end speed, but he is another nice weapon for the New Orleans offense as they restock.

Round 5
162: Corey White S Samford: White is a small school stud with outstanding athletic ability.  He has both top end speed and explosive quickness.  He played corner in college, so there is some question as most pundits have him at SS.  He may be the best athlete in the New Orleans secondary the minute he signs.
Round 6
179:Andrew Tiller OG Syracuse: Tiller is a big guard who the Saints hope can develop to replace Carl Nicks in time.

Round 7
234: Marcel Jones OT Nebraska: Jones is a big right tackle who flourished in the Huskers' run heavy attack.  He is a decent athlete, but could be more lean which may help him avoid recurrence of his injury history.  He is raw, but has good feet and should fit the run game well.  Could project as a nice swing player.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Saints are bringing in a big number of RFA's per their normal process.  They love to scour the ranks of small schools for that diamond in the rough, and I have the feeling that we will be patting them on the back over one or two of these guys.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

A solid draft, but it shocked a lot of people.  I don't know that they got good value, but I think the Seahawks are better after than they were before the draft.

Round 1
15: Bruce Irvin DE/OLB West Virginia: Irvin is a big time edge rusher, nobody is questioning that.  That said, questions around him abound.  What position is he going to play in a 4-3?  He is a linebacker sized pass rusher who played with his hand on the ground.  Is he going to be able to transition to OLB, or did they really burn a 1st round pick on a situational pass rusher?  Is he going to be able to stay out of trouble?  Did they really need to take him in the first round to get him?  I hope for his sake, and Pete Carroll's that it works out, but I would liked the pick better in the second.  Maybe even loved it if Nick Perry had been drafted to play on the other side, or if the Seahawks ran a 3-4.

Round 2
47: Bobby Wagner LB Utah State: Wagner is an athletic linebacker who impressed as a leader for the Utah State squad in 4 years as a starter.  He does a good job of diagnosing plays, and penetrating to cut plays down early.  Solid in pass coverage as well.  A nice player from a smaller conference.

Round 3
75: Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin: Wilson can do it all, he's just a wee bit short.  if he was 6'0, he's a first round draft pick, and 6'0 is not tall.  I am rooting for him in a big way.

Round 4
106: Robert Turbin RB Utah State: Turbin is a shorter back with good power and quickness.  Was very productive in college and should fit the physical style that Seattle favors.

114: Jaye Howard DT Florida: Howard is a defensive end in a tackle's body, but that might be a great thing.  He has the agility of and end, and carries his 300+ very well.  I am looking for he Seahawks to move him around the line, and for him to be a beast at end on running downs.

Round 5
154: Korey Toomer LB Idaho: A very athletic linebacker who has the speed to run down seams with even the most athletic tight ends.  He needs to be more decisive in his reads, but has the ability to be special.

Round 6
172: Jeremy Lane CB Northwestern State: Lane is another big cornerback who has progressed steadily through his career, showing better coverage skills each year.  He better stick on special teams though so he will have time to develop though, because he is just not there yet.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: I really like the Jermaine Kearse invite.  He is one of those guys who stood out on film. He was so fast with the ball in his hands, but his workouts didn't reflect that so he dropped.  Outside of that were a ton of small school invites, which are another chance for us to learn that Pete Carroll staff does their homework.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

This draft was just what the Steelers needed.  They restocked some on both lines and brought in a number of other intriguing pieces.  Another great job by the Rooney family and their staff.

Round 1
24: David DeCastro OG Stanford: Steelers fans should be dancing in the streets that DeCastro fell to them this late.  He is listed as a guard, but in much the way that Brandon Albert was coming out of Virginia.  He played guard because they had another guy who could play tackle better than their next option could play guard.  They need an influx of health and youth for the line, and where DeCastro lands, they will be happy to have him.

Round 2
56: Mike Adams OT Ohio State: Maybe DeCastro will play guard after all.  Adams fell with a positive test, but he sounds properly apologetic.  If he is, he has all the tools to start at Left Tackle in the league.  That would set the Steelers up with 3/5 of the line for the next decade.

Round 3
86: Sean Spence LB Miami(FL): Spence is a rock star linebacker who fell because people think he's too small.  But he hits, and he runs, and he can cover.  A nice get for a defense that is predicated on the play of it's linebackers.

Round 4
109: Alameda Ta'amu NT Washington: And, if you can keep Spence clean, it works.  Ta'amu was one of the few legit Nosetackles in this draft.  He is a double team drawing fireplug with a good first step.

Round 5
159: Chris Rainey RB Florida: Rainey is the quickest guy in this draft.  You will rarely see a player with this kind of change of direction or top end speed, let alone both.  He is a smaller guy, but in round 5, you have to love the value.  Look for him to move around the formation, causing issues as defenses trying to cover him.

Round 7
231: Toney Clemons WR Colorado: A big target who never had a great QB to play with.  He is a bigger receiver who runs good routes, and is dangerous after the catch.  Very quick acceleration for a receiver his size.  He needs to get better at the line beating press coverage though. 

240: David Paulson TE Oregon: A pretty pure receiving tight end out of Oregon's spread attack.  Will need to faster or bigger to stick at this level.  Has very good technique in all facets though, which speaks to a solid work ethic.  If he can transfer that work ethic to the weight room, he's got a shot.

246: Terrence Frederick CB Texas A&M: This was a surprise pick.  Most of the talk about corners out of College Station was around Coryell Judie.  Frederick is a solid corner who does a good job in zone coverage reading receiver and quarterbacks.  Could be a scheme cornerback that fits what the Steelers do.

248: Kelvin Beachum OG SMU: Beachum is a very solid pass blocker having been the Left Tackle for SMU's run and shoot attack.  He doesn't have the size to stay on the outside at the next level, so he will have to move inside.  Likely a depth pick if he can stick.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: Picking up Marquis Maze is an interesting move.  He fits their recent mold of smaller, quick receivers.  I look for him to contribute on special teams as a returner, but otherwise may be lost on the depth chart or elsewhere.

HOUSTON TEXANS

This was not an overwhelming draft, but there are a lot of quality players in it.  I like the focus on bringing in new O-Linemen, and they found a couple more nice pieces for their front 7 on defense.  If Posey is what he should be, this will be a successful draft.

Round 1
26: Whitney Mercilus LB Illinois: Mercilus has a great name and had a great year off the edge for the Illini, being downright dominate at times.  The question for me is, where was he before that.  I don't remember seeing any other great D-Ends coming out of Champaign recently.  He has the feel of a one year wonder, but the Texans don't miss often on defensive picks, so I will take a wait and see stance here.

Round 3
68: DeVier Posey WR Ohio State: I love this pick.  Posey fell off the radar a bit after losing the start of the year and playing with a young, running QB.  Posey is a big, polished, receiver who can play this game.  Getting him in the third round to put opposite Andre Johnson is huge for Houston.

76: Brandon Brooks OG Miami(OH): Brooks is a simply massive human being.  He is a vicious and strong player, who dominates in the running game, but he does not move much at all.  He should fit the Texans zone scheme as his width and strength lends itself well to the wall style blocking that they do.

Round 4
99: Ben Jones C Georgia: Jones is a hard worker who gets the most of his ability and the situation on every play.  Is a very tough player who can absorb hits and hold his ground, while showing good mobility when asked to move and pull.  Mirrors pass rushers well for a center.
121: Keshawn Martin WR Michigan State: A quick receiver who can be effective in the open field.  His acceleration allowed him to run away from most defenders once he got the ball in his hands and is effective using those same skills in the return game.  Projects as a potential slot receiver.

126: Jared Crick DE Nebraska: Crick was a top recruit coming to Nebraska and a top prospect at the start of the year.  He is an athletic DT with a good motor and solid athleticism.  He projects well as an End in the 3-4, should pair well with J.J. Watt.

Round 5
161: Randy Bullock K Texas A&M: A kicker?  really?

Round 6
195: Nick Mondek OT Purdue: A project tackle out of passing offense.  Mondek has good feet, but needs to be more consistent in his bend and technique.  Decent positional blocker.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Texans invited over 20 rookies in as Free Agents.  Case Keenum is an interesting name to see.  He has the skills to play in their offense, if he can show enough arm.  Eddie Pleasant was another well known name that they found on the pile.  He was All-PAC 12, and is a big safety with good speed who recognizes and closes in a hurry.  He projects primarily as a SS due to his downhill style.

TENNESSEE TITANS

I like the areas that the Titans focused on, if not necessarily the players that they chose to bring in.  It seems like there are a lot of role players here, but they are good character guys who have potential.  That said, the first 2 picks will be starters from day one, and if you can get 2 starters from a draft, it's a good draft.

Round 1
20: Kendall Wright WR Baylor: Wright is, first and foremost, a playmaker.  He can stretch the field vertically, and he is great working with his Quarterback to make the most of a broken play.  Jake Locker has the kind of athletic ability that Wright thrived with, though Locker was not near as polished coming out of Washington as RGIII is coming out of Baylor.  I wasn't a guy who bought into Wright in the first around, but they needed a Wide Receiver and they think Wright is the guy.

Round 2
52: Zach Brown LB North Carolina: The knock on Brown, about him being allergic to contact, may have been the best thing that could have ever happened for his career.  He is mad, and is going to be out to prove those people wrong.  Keep in mind that this is a guy who was considered one of the most dynamic linebackers in the country when the draft process started.  He is going to try to kill some folks.

Round 3
82: Mike Martin DT Michigan: Martin is an athletic tackle with a low center of gravity.  He has a decent first step as a Tackle, but needs to develop counter moves to become more consistently effective.  Gives consistent effort.  At this point, he is a rotation guy at best.

Round 4
115: Coty Sensabaugh CB Clemson: Sensbaugh has good quickness and good deep speed which allows him to turn and run with most receivers.  He needs to get stronger and develop his technique more, as he tends to get caught faceguarding which will be an issue with the bigger receivers in the NFL.  There is potential here, but work is needed.

Round 5
145: Taylor Thompson DE SMU: A tall DE with chase speed (sub 4.6).  There is talk of moving him to Tight End because of his athleticism.

Round 6
190: Markelle Martin S Oklahoma State: A very fast safety (sub 4.5), with legit recovery/closing speed.  He is very aggressive in closing for run support, which is good and bad.  He proved susceptible to play action at times.  A very talented safety, but he needs to be coached up a bit.  Many boards had him as a top 2 free safety prospect.

Round 7
211: Scott Solomon DE Rice: Solomon is another athletic, and large D-End.  He has a great motor and has chase speed, though not in the same range as Thompson. 

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: DT DaJohn Harris has a very real chance to stick on this team, as does C William Vlachos.  Both of these guys were starters on premier teams, and were on the boards of most teams.  There concerns that Vlachos was not athletic enough to start at this level, but he has a great football IQ and I have a feeling he will stick.  Harris is much the same.  He is a blue collar guy who will do his job and give you everything he has.  A Titans kind of player.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

This was a pretty good draft for the Vikings.  They got themselves extra picks with smart maneuvering and turned those picks into players who have a solid shot at contributing.  No headcases here, and took shots at filling needs on the O-Line, D-Line, Secondary, and Wide Receiver.  Well done.

Round 1
4: Matt Kalil OT USC: This had to be the pick.  They were thin at tackle before they kicked Mount McKinnie off the team for being a knucklehead.  Kalil projects as as lead tackle, and has been tested at USC.  Easy pick here, but working the Browns to pay them to pick him at 4 instead of 3, was great.

29: Harrison Smith S Notre Dame: Smith is a physical safety with good athleticism, but he was nowhere near a 1st round grade.  I like them addressing their secondary, but they could have had him later.

Round 2
66: Josh Robinson CB UCF: Robinson was a stud in C-USA and lit up the combine.  This was a good get for the Vikings and I expect him to be no worse than their nickle back as a rookie. 

Round 3
118: Jarius Wright WR Arkansas: Wright is a quick receiver who runs great routes, has very good hands, and can play in the slot if needed.  If he were 2 inches taller, he would have been a first round pick.  Nice value, and fills a need here for the Vikings.

Round 4
128: Rhett Ellison TE USC: A solid player who played a couple spots for the Trojans.  Can play fullback or Tight End.  A solid blocker, but does not have overwhelming strength. 

134: Greg Childs WR Arkansas: Childs is coming back from a knee injury, but showed how far he has come by ripping off a sub 4.4 40 at his Pro Day.  Unlike his teammate at Arkansas and now in Minnesota, Childs is not a small receiver.  He is the prototype, if he can be healthy.  Getting them both is HUGE for the Vikings and Christian Ponder.

Round 5
139: Robert Blanton CB Notre Dame: Blanton was a big corner at Notre Dame, but could project as a Free Safety in the NFL.  Regardless, he has great ball skills and has a knack for making plays.  A solid pickup who could start within a few years at 2 positions.

Round 6
175: Blair Walsh K Georgia: A kicker?  meh

Round 7
210: Audie Cole LB North Carolina State: Cole was a leader for the Wolfpack.  He is more athletic than he is often given credit for and shows great instincts and reaction time.  Is a strong defender against the run, hitting holes quickly and chasing plays down from behind with good speed.  Is capable, but not great in pass coverage.  He has good awareness, but needs to cut down on how much he tends to use his hands.   Played both outside and inside for the Pack.

219: Trevor Guyton DL Cal: A hustling DT with a low center of gravity.  He is very active, but does not have the explosion of the premier tackles.   A nice depth player who will leave it all on the field.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS: The Vikings invited a lot of players in, but there is no one there that rung a bell for me.