by Matt Soltysiak
The NFL draft never plays out exactly how most envision. Last weekend, was no exception. The Detroit Lions did sign Matthew Stafford the night before, making him the highest paid number one pick in the history of the draft. Some don’t agree with this pick, but it was no real surprise.
Offensive Tackle Jason Smith went second and Kansas City surprised a few by picking Defensive End Tyson Jackson third. That allowed Seattle to replace linebacker Julian Peterson (they traded him to Detroit this off season) with Aaron Curry. At number five New York made the biggest move of the draft. Cleveland traded out and the Jets landed Quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Now I’m not one to pick which teams are the winners and losers of the draft because you really won’t have a good idea until a couple years from now. Some individual players do come to mind as winners. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Mitchell both went much higher than expected, so each will likely get a bit more money than they were originally expecting. So they both won. Some might say Michael Crabtree was a loser because he fell to 10 and another receiver went in front of him, but he still went in the top 10! So I don’t agree. Another player that dropped is USC linebacker Rey Maualuga. He fell from a mid-first round pick to the 2nd.
Without passing too much judgment, here are some other random observations from the draft:
- Did Denver really take a running back at number 12 overall when they signed 3 free agent backs this offseason?
- Jacksonville had offensive line issues last year, they drafted two quality tackles with their first two picks. Later on the Jags picked up Jarrett Dillard and Mike Thomas- both productive receivers in college.
- The Lions took a Tight End at the 20 spot, really?
- Arizona grabbed Chris Wells in the first round, does this mean Edgerrin James gets what he wants? (out of a contract that would have paid him $4.5 million this year) And is this really a good thing for a running back who is at the end of his career?
- If Percy Harvin is as good as advertised, it could be pretty crazy to see him and Adrian Peterson on the field at the same time. The rest of the NFC should be thankful the Vikings don’t have a quarterback- otherwise things could get really ugly.
- The Bengals grabbed a tackle, linebacker and defensive end with their first three picks. It’s not so much the positions they got, but the potential of each player. If Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga and Michael Johnson produce as expected, this team just got a lot better.
- Quarterbacks Chase Daniels and Graham Harrell didn’t even get drafted. Did you see their college games or stats?
- Indianapolis took a running back in the first round, what does that say about Joseph Addai?
- Cleveland took two receivers in the second round, probably a really good move.
- The Packers draft wasn’t sexy, but it has to be scary for those who play Green Bay. Two first round picks spent on the front seven of the defense.
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