The Mind Of An Football Crazed Man

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Have Moved To a New Blogging Website

As some of you guys know, I am now blogging for a sports website called the Colorado Sports desk. ( I will also be contributing blogs to another website coming soon. Due to the new business ventures that I have become involved in, I am now using a new blogging website for my personal blogs. The new personal blogsite is........ The reason for the change is because one of the websites I write for uses it and it is a much better blogging website than this one. Its cleaner, smoother and has lots of widgets to integrate things within my blogs.

Sorry for the inconvenience that this may cause but the new blog site actually makes it easier for you guys to follow my blogs. So hopefully you will like my new blog page and continue to follow.

David Johnson

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This Week In The NFL

Here I go again writing another NFL blog on my Blackberry. You probably wonder why I write blogs via my Blackberry. The reason for me doing so is that I am not forced or chained to a computer trying to input all of my thoughts into a blog at one time. With that being said, let's get to the NFL portion of this blog. Many NFL teams this week conducted OTA's and there was a lot of good news coming out of the OTA's about the top 1st round draft picks. Bradford, McCoy, Colt McCoy, Bryant, Tebow and Suh all looked great and impressed their new teammates and coaching staff. Amidst all of the encouraging news, there were lots of off the field issues that dominated the headlines.

Haynesworth continued to stay in the headlines by not attending camp which made Snyder publically express his disappointment on the situation. Later we learned that Haynesworth wasn't doing anything wrong, he has a clause in his contract stating that he does not have attend OTAs. Even though he is exercising his rights per his contract, Washington has a big issue on their hands. He isn't happy with the fact that Washington is going to a 3-4 defense and wants him to play the nose. One of the reasons besides the $100 million dollar contract that made him sign with Washington, was that they were a 4-3 team. I don't get his dislike of not wanting to play the nose in the 3-4. As I blogged on Wednesday, there are many versions of the 3-4 defense and Haynesworth would be an ideal fit in a zone blitz 3-4 or phillips 3-4. This Haynesworth drama in Washington won't be dissolved easily or soon. I expect for them to trade him for a combination of picks and/or a player before the season starts.

A player who isn't known for being in the headlines with off the field issues is Andre Johnson. To some it was a shock that he didn't show up to OTAs on Monday, but I wasn't. I tweeted something like this would happen the day that Brandon Marshall was traded to Miami, and received that large contract making him the highest paid wide out in the league. Anyone with half a brain knows that Brandon Marshall is good, but he isn't even on the same level as Andre or Fitzgerald. Yeah Marshall has put up nice numbers, but amongst the top five wide outs in the NFL, he is number five at best. Andre has put up numbers that only one other person has ever put up, Jerry Rice. With that being said, Andre felt that he needed to be paid accordingly to whom he is, the best wide out in the NFL. The problem is that he is going into the third year of a eight year deal that is a new contract he received three years into his rookie contract. Basically he had had two contracts and he has only been in the league for seven years and now he is asking for a third. His current contract is a front loaded contract. So far in the first two years of the current deal, he has collected over $25 million of a $60 million dollar contract. He has been paid like a top wide out so far. The fact that he won't be paid as a top wide out during the remaining years of his deal, is partly his fault and inflation. Him not having an agent until yesterday (Friday May 21st) led to this. An agent wouldn't have negotiated a contract that was so front loaded like his. Or if one did, he would have made sure that Andre wasn't slotted to be paid like the fourth best receiver in the league in the last five years of the current deal. Freaking Roy Williams is making more money than Andre; we all know that isn’t right. SMH. Andre did show up to camp later in the week, and all seems to be well. I doubt Houston will give him a new deal, that just would be a smart thing to do on so many levels. I do expect them to come to some sort of an agreement and things go back to normal in Houston.

Down in San Diego, as they were ooooing and awwwwing over Ryan Matthews, A.J. Smith and Shawne Merriman's new agent David Dunn sat down to discuss an new deal. Merriman has yet to sign his tender that would pay him 3.27 million, and according to the Chargers, he will be on the trade block until October. San Diego has a lot of players who need new contracts and considering that they are a very deep team, don't be surprised if Merriman is traded. He may just be a little too expensive for them to give a long term deal to with other good players on their who can fill his position. Another reason I see him being traded is that over the past two years, he hasn't been the "Lights Out" Shawne Merriman that he used to be known as. I see him going to Green Bay, Washington or Dallas with New England being a quiet dark horse.

One of the quietest news stories of the week is the possibility of Lambeau Field being expanded to an 85 to 90,000 seat stadium. I'm sure everyone who is on the waiting list for Packer tickets are praying this happens. For me it’s a mute point. I have access to 20 tickets to every home game that are four rows from the field in several areas of the stadium. For those of you who haven't been to Lambeau and have a trip to Lambeau Field on your bucket list, it’s an overwhelming experience that's almost indescribable. Anyway, for years now the Packers have been holding focus groups on this issue as well as the possibily of adding underground parking and a plaza around the Lambeau Field Atrium. The underground parking and Atrium was agreed upon and approved three years ago, but was put on hold in October of 2008. As far as the new seats go, we'll see what happens. It’s just chitter chatter for now and nothing definite has been approved. If you don't have connections like me to go to a Packer home game, you will have to continue to find a "hook up" or pray that they agree to the expansion sometime soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not All 3-4 Defenses Are Created Equal

On Monday I talked about the three core offensive systems that have turned the NFL into a pass happy, high scoring league. Today as promised, I am going to talk about the defensive side of the ball. I won't be talking about the 4-3 defense today, just the 3-4 defense which has become very hip these days. Many people think there is only one version of this defense. When people think of the 3-4, they associate it with Pittsburgh's Zone Blitzing scheme. Pittsburgh's Zone Blitz 3-4 is just one of three versions of this defense. The other two versions of this defense that are used much more than the Zone Blitz are the Phillips 3-4 and the Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4. Not all 3-4 defenses are created equal, nor are the players that play in these systems.

Bud Wilkinson created the 3-4 defense while he was the head coach at the University of Oklahoma, but Chuck Fairbanks is credited with bringing it to the NFL. Actually, there is a little bit of controversy on who brought it to the NFL. Some say Chuck Fairbanks when he became an assistant at New England in 1974. Then some say Bud Phillips when he became head coach of the Oilers in the 70's. Being that the east coast loves to take credit for stuff when they shouldnt, Chuck gets credited for it. In the 3-4 you have three defensive linemen with four linebackers which all have names. The weak outside linebacker is "Will", middle weak side is "Jack", middle strong side is "Mike", and the strong outside is "Sam".

Chuck's version of the 3-4 is the Fairbanks-Bullough, which is commonly referred to as a 2-gap 3-4 system. Most coaches who are from the Parcells/Belichick coaching tree run this system. The Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 gives teams the greatest amount of flexibility compared to other 3-4s. The linebackers in this system are extremely versatile and are capable of doing any and everything on the field. (I.e.; Mike Vrabel) When you mix the roles of the four linebackers from play to play, you can cause mass confusion for an offense. The reason this system is a 2-gap system, is because the defensive lineman are required to cover the gaps on both sides of an offensive lineman. The defensive linemen in this 3-4 are very stout so that they can occupy the offensive lineman, and allow the linebackers can make plays. It’s a more conservative version of the 3-4 compared to the other two versions. It’s typically known as a "bend but don't break" kind of defense.

The Phillips 3-4 is a more aggressive version of the Fairbanks-Bullough system. One major difference about this version is, unlike Chuck’s; it’s a one gap system. A one gap system is one in which the defensive lineman are responsible for just one gap in the offensive line. The lineman can be more aggressive, and take more risks shooting the gaps since the linebackers are asked to give them support also. The defensive linemen are more agile and slimmer than other 3-4 defensive linemen because in this scheme, there are lots of slants, and gap and loop changes. (I.e.; Jay Ratliff) The linebackers are not as versatile nor do they need to be as smart as the backers in the Fairbanks-Bullough system. They are all blitzing, gap filling linebackers who have sacrificed size for speed, and have the ability to cover but are typically not good in space. Zone coverage isn't something that is commonly done with linebackers in this scheme, except for the "Jack" and "Mike" linebackers who tend to do well playing in short to medium zone coverage.

A great example of how subtle but different the Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 and Phillips 3-4 philosophies are, is in Dallas. When Parcells was the head coach in Dallas he ran Fairbanks system. Once Wade Phillips took over, the personnel changed and things got more aggressive in North Texas. Parcells wanted his players to read and react, not only during the play, but before the ball was snapped. Parcells rarely blitzed if at all during games because he didn't want to give up the big play. If a blitz was called, but a receiver lined up in the slot, the blitz was called off most of the time. Demarcus Ware only blitzed when Bill told him to. Other than that, Ware's job was to cover tight ends or a receiver in pass coverage. Once Wade took over, he wanted the offense to adjust to the defense. His idea is that by making Ware and the other linebackers blitz on almost every play, and have his lineman shoot the gaps and casue havoc in the backfield. Dallas would be able to dictate to an offense what it could and couldnt do. If a blitz is called, it’s hardly ever called off. In Wade's 3-4, Demarcus Ware is basically an extra defensive lineman because he is blitzing on 90% of the time. I am sure we all remember the playoff game last year against the Eagles when Dallas had McNabb running for his life, and embarrassed the Eagles. That was the Phillips 3-4 at its best.

The last 3-4 defensive scheme, and the sexiest to most fans, is the 3-4 Zone Blitz. Violent, aggressive, confusing and relentless are all adjectives that can be used to describe this 3-4 scheme. This version of the 3-4 was created by Dick LaBeau while he was the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati. For some odd reason, this version of the 3-4 has become the most famous and publicly approved standard for 3-4 defenses. LaBeau's scheme is based on confusing the offensive line by blitzing players that typically wouldn't, and dropping players into coverage that don't normally play coverage. Its not knowm as an one or two gap system, its known for being both. Teams who run this version of the 3-4 love to use various principles from a one and two gap system. The defensive linemen in this defense are very similar to the lineman in the Phillips 3-4, but can vary. One spot on the defensive line that is a must, is a DT/NT who is big, thick, and heavy and can play a one or two gap. Will, Jack, Mike and Sam are all big, fast and violent linebackers who were once defensive ends in college, but are undersized to play defensive end by NFL standards. Linebackers in this scheme are asked to give run support, blitz, and zone up and man up when needed, and have to be able to disguise what the coverage is and what their true intentions are on every play.

The Zone Blitz normally is run out of two basic zone coverages with one man coverage. The two zone coverages are the "Cover Two" and "Cover Three". These two zone coverages are pretty standard throughout the NFL, minus the blitzing. Now most people don't know this, but the "Cover Two" defense that Pittsburgh uses has been a staple of theirs since the 70's. Tony Dungy, the inventor of the "Tampa Two" defense was a defensive back for the Steelers in the 70's. He created the "Tampa Two" from the same "Cover Two" defense that the Steelers have ran since the 70's, which they ran it out of a 4-3 just like Tampa. The only man coverage that this defense runs is a "Cover One". In this formation, which is also known as "Cover Zero", there is no man covering deep at all leaving a team vunerable for the big play. The free safety has no man to man responsibilities, and can either play an underneath to middle zone, or roam the field and cause havoc. The first player that comes to mind that has perfected this role in the Zone Blitz system is Troy Palamalu.

LaBeau's Zone Blitz scheme is by far the most aggressive of the 3-4 defenses. They can attack you in any formation with either a zone, man or fire zone blitz while making you guess on every snap where the blitz is coming from. In a good Zone Blitz scheme, you will never see the same blitz twice. Is it the best of the 3-4 schemes? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One major issue with this version of the 3-4 is, if you don't have the right personnel and you can't get to the quarterback, this defense isn't very effective. For proof of that, look no further than the 2002-2006 Houston Texans when Dom Capers was the head coach. He learned the system in Pittsburgh and had been successful with it there and in Carolina, but not in Houston.

Many fans and media in Denver and across the country, didn't understand why Josh McDaniels fired Mike Nolan after one year. Two weeks later, Josh hired the former New England Patriots defensive coordinator that Belichick had just fired two weeks after New England was eliminated from the playoffs. We all know that Nolan had made Denver a good defensive team while running a 3-4 defense with 4-3 players, but he didn't use a 3-4 scheme that Josh was comfortable with. Josh is a Fairbanks-Bullough coach, not a Phillips 3-4/Hybrid 3-4 guy which Nolan is. There was a logical reasoning to Josh's firing and hiring of coaches who were both 3-4 defense coaches. As mentioned earlier, not all 3-4 defenses are created equal, nor are the players that play in these systems. You also say that the coaches arent either.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Offensive Side of The NFL Today

People love to say that the NFL is a "copy cat" league, "copy cat" doesn't accurately describe it at all. Incestuous is a more appropriate word to describe the NFL when you really start to dig and learn about the game inside and out. Whether it’s on offense or defense, all teams use a variation of offensive and defensive sets & philosophies which have been learned from generation to generation. The two dominant coaching trees in the NFL are from the three "Bill's", Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells/Bill Belichick trees. The result of this is NFL inbreeding and familiararity with each other amongst all of the teams. Many coaches from these coaching trees are employed on various NFL teams have implemented what they have learned from these three men to their respective teams. When you have so many coaches who have been taught the same offensive and defensive philosophies, you create this incestuous league that we have today. An early example of what was to come in the future happened in the 1998 NFC Wild Card game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Its known as one of the most memorable games of all time that was capped by a Steve Young 25 yard TD pass to Terrell Owens with time expiring. This game has been very well documented as to how familiar that both teams were with each other due to both having coaching staffs who came from the Walsh coaching tree and all use to coach together. Steve Young once commented on the fact that he and Brett Favre could have switched uniforms and called each others plays for the other team. Situations like this happen more and more than what some people realize. Instead of dissecting offense and defense today, I'm just going to talk about offense. We will get to the defensive side of the ball of Wednesday.

There are basically five to six major offensive philosophies in the NFL today, but really only three are being used routinely. The three main offensive philosophies used in the NFL today are the West Coast, Erhardt-Perkins, and Air Coryell. The West Coast offense is the most complicated of the three. Ironically, 60% of the NFL is running the West Coast or some variation of it despite the complexity of it. They say that it takes a quarterback and the rest of the team four to five years to fully grasp the system. When you think about every quarterback that has run the West Coast offense, it’s usually in year four that he and the team become explosive offensively. Walsh created the West Coast offense while he was an assistant in Cincy under Paul Brown. Brown wasn't a fan of neither Walsh nor the offense, but used it because the Bengals were lacking talent on offense and couldn't move the ball. Cincy went on to become one of the best if not the best team in the league with the offense. Once Brown stepped down, he didn't hire Walsh as the head coach, so Walsh went to San Francisco and created a dynasty.

The offense utilizes short, horizontal passing plays to stretch the defense, which then enables them to have bigger run plays and longer passes. Typical plays happen within ten to fifteen yards of the line of scrimmage. By the quarterback taking short drops, it makes the defense focus on the intermediate short routes & not on the running backs coming out of the backfield. The term "West Coast" is a term that Bill Parcells gave the offense back in 1985 after the Giants beat the 49ers in the playoffs. As people know, Parcells believes in hard nose football and tough defense over finesse football which everyone said the 49ers played finesse football back then. Parcells exact comment after the win to a reporter was "What do you think of that West Coast offense now ?” The offense today isnt considered to be a "finesse" offense, but it does have its short comings which seem to be universal no matter what team runs it. Usually the inability to run up the middle is something that plauges the offense except for when Gruden ran his version in Oakland and Tampa.

The Air Coryell offense is one that is being used by a handful of teams in the league today. Oakland and San Diego use it, New Orleans runs a variation of it along with some Erhardt-Perkins, and Chicago will be using it this year now that Mike Martz is the offensive coordinator in Chicago. It’s an offense that was created by Sid Gillman back in the 60's while with the Chargers. Later Don Coryell perfected it or made it what it eventually became remembered for while with the Chargers in the 70's and 80's. Another notable name to be associated with this offense is none other than Al Davis who was an assistant under Sid Gillman and took the offense to Oakland. The offense is based on timing and precession with the emphasis being on deep passes to stretch the field, and make the defense over commit to certain aspects of the passing attack. This offense isn't as complicated as the West Coast offense as noted by the nomenclature that it uses. An Nomenclature is the terminology in which a offense calls its plays. Air Coryell uses a naming system with routes for wide receivers and tight ends having three digit numbers, and the running backs have a different system. So a pass play in the offense would be "Slant Left 787 check swing, check right". It’s an efficient way to call many different plays with minimal if hardly any memorization. The West Coast uses a much complicated system which requires a lot of memorization, but gives a lot of freedom to the players on offense to add lib. Their formations are typically named after colors (ie,"Blue Left").

The last of the three core NFL offenses is the Erhardt-Perkins offense. This offense was created by Ron Erhardt and Ray Perkins back in the 70's while with the New England Patriots. The teams who have made this offense famous are New England, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Carolina, Kansas City, and recently Denver. New Orleans runs a variation of this offense also along with a variation of the Air Coryell. The system is known for its multiple formations and personnel packages that vary on a core number of foundation plays. Each formation and play is separately numbered, words can modify the plays. A typical play you would see in this offense is the first play Weis called in Super Bowl XXXVI as noted on the NFL films New England Patriot Super Bowl video. (Zero Flood Slot Hat, 78 Shout Tosser) In the beginning it was known as a run oriented, smash mouth type of offense when the Patriots of the 70's, and the Giants of the 80's under Parcells. The offense started to evolve in the early to mid 90's into what we see today with the Patriots, Broncos and to displeasure of Steeler fans, the Steelers. It’s become a spread type of offense at times with the ability to run the ball. Out of all of the offenses, this is the one offense that when ran well, it can dictate to the defense better than any offense out there. The evolution of this offense happened when Ron Erhardt was the offensive coordinator with the Giants and Steelers in his last few years in the league. After that, every diciple that had learned or played under him went on to other teams and implimented this new evoluted offense.

Charlie Weis can be credited for installing the heavily modified version of this offense that we see in New England and Denver. His version of the offense became the complicated, very intricate and versatile passing attack that we have witnessed over the past ten years. He even went as far as to run five wide out sets a lot during the course of a game which was unheard of back in the day when Erhardt and Perkins created this offense. Weis left for Notre Dame which open the door for the young protege Josh McDaniels to run what he had learned under Weis as the QB coach in New England. Josh took it to another level back in 2007 with Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth. He made the offense almost exclusively a spread offense that teams weren't ready for nor knew how to stop with Moss & Welker needing to be double teamed. In leau of the expanded wide open passing attack, he was able to keep the running game portion of this offense a key component in the Patriots record breaking season. Josh has since then moved on to Denver and has implemented the same offesive philosophy there. Last year the Broncos got off to a 6-2 start with this offense, and Kyle Orton put up career numbers that no one expected from him.

So as you can see, the offenses that are being run in the NFL today are offenses that have been passed down through generations. As mentioned earlier, it’s not a "copy cat" league; it’s incestuous when you think about it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We Are All Witnesses Now

Man oh man oh man! What did we just "WITNESS" from supposedly the best player in the NBA? I need all of the Lebron fans and supporters to take your Lebron rose colored glasses off before you read the rest of this and be honest with yourself. Lebron is a great player who is highly skilled and physically gifted, but that's where it stops. He lacks the drive and mental toughness that all true NBA superstars have had and displayed in their career during the regular season, playoffs and especially in close out games. Despite what Magic Johnson, ESPN and NBA fans love to say loud and proud, Lebron is NOT the best player in the NBA. In order to be called the best player in the NBA, you must be the complete package which Lebron isn't. Scoring a triple double at will, having a shoe deal, endorsements, a movie and wearing number 23, doesn't make you the best player in the NBA. Kobe Bryant is still the best player in the NBA and will be until Lebron proves that he is a true superstar and not just look like one. He is what he is folks.............a great player.

Two years straight Lebron has led the Cavaliers to the best record in the NBA, won the MVP award, and has come up short of the NBA Finals and a NBA championship. Last years lost was more excusable and understandable than this years. The Orlando Magic were a better all around team than the Cavaliers and due to the fact that Mike Brown isn't a very good coach, they were able to close out the Cavs. This years playoff series/team is a different story.......They had a really good team, one that many said was the best team in the NBA, and a team that people were instantly putting in the NBA Finals after the Jamieson trade. I never considered the Cavs a championship team because despite the trades and additions, they were offensively, defensively and mentally the same team. Even though they may have had talent, they still had short comings that typically get exposed in the playoffs during a seven game series. In the first round of the playoffs things looked fine, but once the real playoffs began, the real Cavs were shown to the world. Mike Brown got out coached, Lebron didn't show up and do what superstars do, and the team as a whole gave up which is a reflection of what their leader (Lebron) did.

I can understand getting beat, that happens in sports, but mentally checking out as many people have reported is inexcusable. After game five there were many reports by many media outlets that during timeouts he wasn't listening and he was starring off into the crowd and Shaq was the one encouraging the team to man up and play. Not only did he not pay attention and seem disinterested during timeouts, but it showed on the court. You would have never seen nor heard of this happening with Stockton, Malone, Ewing or Barkley who are former NBA superstars that never won a ring, but gave it their all to try and win anywhere, anytime.............. especially in the playoffs.

As a Cavs fan and as a Lebron fan, you have to really be upset and disappointed of what you just witnessed over the past five days. Now Cavs/Lebron fans have three months of wondering where and when will Lebron sign a new contract, and if it will be with Cleveland or another team. Personally I really don't care because in my book, once a quitter always a quitter and no matter where he goes he will do this again. Maybe quit is a harsh word, but I cant put faith in someone or call them "the best player in the NBA" who I know wont fight tooth and nail to the end. His legacy hasn't been written in stone yet, but he is seven years in of his NBA career and year seven has ended in a very foul way that leaves us with a lot of questions. Enjoy your summer Cleveland and enjoy the NBA Finals and make sure to "Witness" what the true #1 player in the NBA does. I am sure Lebron will.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Draft Grades and Analysis

Draft Grade: C
Notable Picks: Dan Williams, Daryl Washington, Andre Roberts

Analysis: The Cardinals were hit hard this off season by free agency and retirement which left them with alot of holes to fill. They started out well in the draft by getting Dan Williams and trading up to get a "run and hit" linebacker in Daryl Washington. After that they reached alot instead of trading back and acquiring more pics to fill needs especially in the secondary. Then they traded Bryant McFadden which weakened their secondary even more. SMH!!...... Andre Roberts could be a "reach" pick that may become the hidden gem of the draft.

Draft Grade: C
Notable Picks: Sean Witherspoon, Dominique Franks, Mike Johnson

Analysis: Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta...... Sean Witherspoon, Dominique Franks and Mike Johnson are all great to good picks, but they still didn't address the need for a pass rusher in this draft. I realize that they didn't have many picks, but that's not excuse for any GM or coach to have going into nor during a draft. Sean Witherspoon is really the only stud that they drafted, which in a division with the Saints...........You need to come out of the draft with more than one top player.

Draft Grade: A
Notable Picks: Terrance Cody, Sergio Kindle, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, Art Jones

Analysis: The year that Baltimore does NOT have a great draft, is the year that Ozzie Newsome is either retired or dead. The Ravens had a great draft despite the fact that they didn't have a first round pick since they traded it away to recoup picks that they gave up for Boldin. They were already pretty loaded coming into the draft, now they have made themselves into an very deep and even more talented team especially on defense. Terrance Cody and Sergio Kindle alone will make that Ravens defense scary to go up against week in and week out. Only issue I have with their draft is that they didn't address the secondary which got exploited routinely last year. If they can shore up their secondary, they are the team to beat in the AFC North without a doubt.

Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: C.J Spiller, Alex Carrington

Analysis: Chan Gailey's first draft as the Bills head coach was good but not great. I almost gave him a "C" but I cant fault him for drafting for need, although he did wait til the 5th round to address the LT position with a "prospect" type of LT. The C.J. Spiller pick was a head scratch er, but there is no way you don't draft the next Marshall Faulk/Chris Johnson even with RB not being a need. Alex Carrington and Troupe are great fits for the 3/4 defense that Buffalo will be running, but Troupe is a reach for where he was drafted and who was still left. Some wonder why they didn't draft a QB higher in the draft like Clausen or Colt. Truth be told, the GM in Buffalo used to be in San Diego during Drew Brees last two years in San Diego. One year Brees lead them to a 4-12 record, then a 12-4 record the next season. The only thing that had changed was the talent around him and him getting better. So they think they have a starting QB in Buffalo and weren't gonna waste a high pick on a QB.

Draft Grade: C-
Notable Picks: Jimmy Clausen, Eric Norwood, Brandon LaFell

Analysis: The Panthers draft could have gone better than it did and actually ended badly when you look at the fact that they gave up two picks next year. Clausen was a no brainer pick once it came time for them to pick. Despite having other pressing needs, they do need a franchise QB because we aren't sure if Moore is that guy. Eric Norwood is an very underrated linebacker that has the skill set to be a very good player for them. Brandon LaFell is a big WR that is a great compliment to Steve Smith and gives them a nice duo at WR. Now the Tony Pike pick and the trading away of picks are the things that make you wonder whats going on in Carolina. John Fox is already on thin ice so why draft two young QBs to go along with Moore when Fox may not even be there after this year to develop them? That was a wasted pick and could have been used to fill another need.

Draft Grade: C+
Notable Picks: Major Wright, Corey Wooten, Dan LeFevour

Analysis: Chicago had a pretty decent draft considering that they didn't have many picks at all. Major Wright is a perfect fit for that "Tampa Two" defense that Chicago runs. Corey Wooten is also another great fit to play on the other side of Julius Peppers. The Dan LeFevour pick was a great value pick, but not a need since they just gave up two number ones for Cutler last year. That pick should have been used on Dan's teammate Eric Decker or Carlton Mitchell who both would have been excellent targets for Cutler.

Draft Grade: A
Notable Picks: Jermaine Gresham, Carlos Dunlap, Jordan Shipley, Roddrick Muckelroy, Geno Atkins

Analysis: Marvin Lewis possibly had his best draft ever as an head coach in Cincy. Gresham and Shipley will help bolster that offense which will help them stay in games in this "pass happy" league that the NFL has become. Muckelroy and Atkins are great additions to help that defense which struggled due to injuries last year especially on the defensive line. Carlos Dunlap is the key defensive addition to that side of the ball because they need pass rushers badly. The Bengals have solidified themselves as a contender in the AFC North, although i don't see them making the playoffs this year.

Draft Grade: B
Notable Picks: Joe Haden, Colt McCoy, Carlton Mitchell

Analysis: Mike's first draft as the HNIC in Cleveland went well, but he reached with his first pick on Joe Haden. Sorry, Haden is good but there were other corners who were better than him available in the draft. I cant see how you spend the number 7 pick on a corner who doesn't have speed. A corner who goes in the top 10 needs to have all of the tools not just some. Mike should have traded back and picked up more picks and he still could have gotten a top corner. T.J. Ward is another player that was a reach and the browns should have traded back again. The Colt McCoy pick is a perfect fit for the browns and their west coast offense, and he will become the "face" of the Cleveland Browns franchise. One tidbit to remember, Joe Montana who had the same skill set as McCoy was also drafted in the 3rd round and was coached by none other than Mike Holmgren. Carlton Mitchell is someone that you need to remember. This guy is tall, big and fast and has the ability to stretch the field vertically. Colt and Mitchell will be causing major headaches for defensive coordinators for years to come.

Draft Grade: C-
Notable Picks: Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah

Analysis: Jerry Jones moves up three spots to get Dez Bryant and then he took the rest of the weekend off, or so it seems. No one besides wishful Cowboy fans really thought that Dallas would have a chance to get Dez, and the fact that it actually happened makes me wanna go play the state lottery tonight. Sean Lee is a good pick but wasn't really a good fit for that defense when there were better 3/4 linebackers still available. Akwasi is a great corner for their defense and helps bolster a secondary that looked great last year until Favre ripped them in the playoffs. They did address the offensive line, but with a player who may not become a starter for another couple of years. They need a LT like NOW!! If Dallas cant keep Romo off the ground or running for his life like Aaron Rodgers was last year, it wont matter is they have Dez Bryant or not. Cowboy fans, don't start buying super bowl tickets just yet...........if you do, don't get your hopes up too high on the Boys playing in it.

Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: Demaryious Thomas, Tim Tebow, Eric Decker, Zane Beadles

Analysis: Lets be honest here.......4 years from now, this draft is and will be graded solely on one player.............Tim Tebow. All the other pics Josh made were solid picks that filled needs as he continues to rebuild this team in a very efficient way. Josh's ego seems to get in the way of some of the things that he does during the off season, and for the second year in a row we saw it happen again. I think Tebow will become a good QB and I also feel that Denver is the best place for him. I just don't understand the logic of passing up picks that address needs for a player that wont be ready to play for another 3 years and isn't a position of pressing need. This pick may get Josh fired if Tebow doesn't pan out in 3 or 4 years. Tebow should not have been drafted in the second round at best. As mentioned earlier, all the other pics were solid picks who can contribute right away. Parrish Cox and Eric Decker are great hidden gems that will excel in Denver on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball respectively. Demaryious Thomas could end up being a bust though.....the kid has a handful of question marks concerning his skills and whether or not they will translate to the pro game.

Draft Picks: A
Notable Picks: Ndamukong Suh, Javid Best, Amari Spievey

Analysis: The first round pick was a no brainer, anything other than Suh would have been a absolute crazy pick. Suh is hands down the best defensive tackle in this draft, he is the complete package and its not even up for discussion. Them moving up to get Javid Best at the bottom of the first round was a great move to assure that they get the most instinctive runner in the draft. Javid has C.J. Spiller/ Chris Johnson skills and will give Stafford another option in Detroit. Amari is a good physical corner who is an great addition to that defense and helps give them a solid corner in a secondary that is short on playmakers. For the second year in a row Detroit put together another really good draft. They have turned things around in Detroit quickly through the draft and through smart free agency moves.

Green Bay
Draft Grade: C-
Notable Picks: Bryan Bulaga, Morgan Burnett

Analysis: Green Bay ended up being the benefactor of alot of first round trades with teams moving back and forth in the draft to grab highly coveted players. One of those players though wasn't Bryan Bulaga which fell to the Packers at number 23. Now Ted Thompson has a reputation of drafting the best player available on the board except for last year and this year. Bulaga fills a need that the Packers severely needed to address. Morgan Burnett who they got later in the draft is a safety with ball hawk skills who will be the starter from day one. He simply is just better and more athletic than anyone that Green Bay has at safety now. The Packers secondary has some issues and they didn't draft a corner this year, but putting a guy like Burnett at safety will help that secondary. Mike Neal is a talented DT but he is more suited for a 4/3 defense which the Packers don't run a 4/3. He could possibly play the 5 technique DE position for them, but he doesn't really have that skill set nor ever showed it in college. The rest of the Packers draft was less than impressive, but i have never seen a Packers draft that ever was. Somehow, they keep being a contender year in and year out despite not being aggressive in free agency or the draft.

Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: Kareem Jackson, Ben Tate, Dorin Dickerson

Analysis: Texans are a team that typically draft for need and don't ever go with the best player available on the board in the early rounds. If they do then they need to fire their scouting department, because even though I love Kareem Jackson.....Kyle Wilson has a better skill set. Kareem will be a great asset to the Texans secondary which is the Texans achilles heel along with a run stopping DT. The Ben Tate pick is one of the many steals of the draft along with Dorin Dickerson, which Kubiak needs to send Josh McDaniels an gift basket for not drafting Dorin. Josh traded up to get two more picks in the seventh round which one was before Houston and they passed on Dorin who is a Shannon Sharpe clone. Houston plans to convert him to a wide out which is cool, another big wide out with 4.4 speed to go with Andre Johnson will cause match up problems for teams. Tate is a big physical, one cut runner who runs with authority and power and has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He ran a 4.37 at the combine but according to some, he doesn't always play at his combine speed. Another thing that Houston did was draft another tight end from the Wisconsin which makes you wonder if they are concerned about Owen Daniels knee.

One thing that pissed me off about Houston's draft is their inability or reluctance to trade up or trade back in the first round of the draft. Sometimes I wonder what they are thinking when they take a player like Kareem Jackson over Kyle Wilson or Dan Williams in the first round. If Kareem was their man, why not trade back and get additional picks? Kareem is a great kid, but he had a second round grade and the other top corners rated ahead of him (Wilson and McCourty) were still on the board. So he would have been there later in the draft. All in all the Texans did well as usual in the draft, they just do things that make you wonder whats going on in the war room.

Draft Grade: C
Notable Picks: Jerry Hughes, Pat Angerer, Brody Eldridge

Analysis: As usual, the Colts had a quiet draft that people ignore til the season starts and they have unknown players routinely making big plays. Jerry Hughes is a great pick for them but I wasn't too crazy about it. I felt they could have gotten a player who could become a full time starter and make a bigger impact than what Hughes will. Hughes is no doubt one of the top 25 players in the draft, but he plays a position that Indy already has pro bowlers at. Instead of drafting Hughes, they could have gotten a starting corner to replace Marlon Jackson who they lost in free agency. Pat Angerer doesn't do anything special that makes you notice him immediately, but he is a Zack Thomas type of LB that is solid and can make plays. Brody Eldridge is a blocking tight end who is a bruiser and very physical at the point of attack. He will give the Colts some physicality in their run game. The rest of their picks were ho-hum, but come October I'm sure they will prove their worth. They did a pretty good job of filling needs.

Draft Grade: F
Note able Picks: Tyson Alualu, D'Anthony Smith

Analysis: I am starting to wonder if Jacksonville wants to be a playoff team and a super bowl contender or not. They are a middle of the road team with average talent on both sides of the ball and they didn't do anything in this draft to change that. They have a history of drafting small school players, some they have hit on and many they have not hit on. They need to change their draft strategy if they want to become a winner and I am sure the fans wish they do also. Tyson Alualu is a really good player, but not a top 10 draft pick type talent. Once again you have a situation in which a team reached on a player when they should have traded back and acquired more picks. D'Anthony Smith was a good addition to that defensive line that they are trying to rebuild as evident by their draft. Jack Del Rio is gonna wish that he took that job at USC, because I don't see him being in Jacksonville after this season. They still don't have talent to compete in a tough AFC.

Kansas City
Draft Grade: A-
Notable Picks: Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Jon Asamoah, Tony Moeaki

Analysis: Scott Pioli did something out character and took a safety with a 1st round pick. I don't blame him though, Eric Berry is the real deal and you can pass on the next Ed Reed or Troy Palamalu. McCluster will be a valuable weapon for Charlie Weis to use in his offense and gives them a play maker on the offensive side of the ball which they don't have many of. Asamoah fills the void that they have on the offensive line and Moeaki is a really good blocking tight end that will help in the run game. Javier Arenas is a corner from Bama and like most Bama players, he knows how to play defense since Nick Sabin runs a pro style defense in Bama. They didn't get any linebackers which is a need of theirs, but they may be able to get some through free agency to hold them over til next year.

Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, Reshad Jones

Analysis: Miami made some great selections in the draft, but at times you wondered what was going on with them because it wasn't a typical Parcells type of draft. There draft was an all defense draft which is very Parcells like. There first selection of Jared Odrick is a solid pick for them to play the 5 technique in their 3/4 defense. Koa Misi is a speed demon DE is possibly the fastest DE in the draft this year and is one of those "tweener" type of DEs who end up being OLBs in a 3/4 defense. Reshad Jones is a safety who is an explosive hitter with exceptional ball skills and will help solidify that shaky secondary. Miami filled every need except they didn't address the WR position, but I'am sure that will be addressed before the season starts.

Draft Grade: C
Notable Picks: Chris Cook, Toby Gerhart, Everson Griffen

Analysis: Minnesota is a team with very few needs and did what most teams in their position do during the draft, trade back and acquire future picks. Their second round pick of Toby Gerhart is a questionable one. He is a bruising running back with a versatile skill set, but isn't a good compliment for Adrian Peterson in that offense. The thing that made the Vikings so dangerous last year was that Taylor could do everything Peterson could do and more. I cant say that Toby can do everything Taylor and Peterson can do even with his all around skills. Chris Cook isn't the best corner that was available when the Vikings picked him, but he is a rangy cover man that will excel in the Vikings zone scheme. Everson Griffen dropped further than expected and may end up being a steal if he can be consistent and keep his nose clean which is something he couldn't do at USC. The Vikings didn't do anything stupid and didn't do anything that made you take notice except for the Toby pick. Very solid draft for an very solid team. Now the question that we will hear for the next few months is whether or not Favre is coming back.

New England
Draft Grade: A+
Notable Picks: Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunnigham, Brandon Spikes, Taylor Price, Aaron Hernandez, Zac Robinson, Brandon Deaderick

Analysis: My boy Bill Belichek did what he always does and showed exactly why he is one of the greatest coaches of all time. Bill came into the draft with 12 picks and did some serious damage and made several trades to acquire future picks. Every need and even needs that they didnt even have were addressed and were done so with picks that were perfect fits for that team and their system. Devon McCourty fills a void in the secondary that got exploited way too much last year. He is a cover corner who many thought was the best pure cover corner in the draft over Joe Haden. The two tight ends of Gronkowski and Hernandez are players who have versatile skill sets that will give Belichek and Brady multiple ways to torture defenses. Brandon Spikes is a typical Belichek tpe of linebacker with a nasty streak who is physical and a great run stopper. His only problem is that he may get exposed in coverage. Taylor Price is an speedy, athletic wideout with big play ability. Jermaine Cunnigham wasnt a big name at Florida becasue of all of the stars that team had, but he is a solid player with a veratile skillset and the typical hybrid type of Patriot player. Zac Robninson was a really good pick also who fits that offense to a T and will end up being the second string QB behind Brady and eventually the starter once Brady leaves. New England was New England in this years draft and I would have to say this is possibly their most complete draft class ever.

New Orleans
Draft Picks: A-
Notable Picks: Patrick Robinson, Charles Brown, Jimmy Graham, Al Woods, Matt Tennant

Analysis: The super bowl champs didnt have many pics and traded away some pics but they found a way to address all of their needs. Patrick Robinson gives them depth in the secondary and a defense that was ranked 25th in the NFL. It also allows them to move Malcom Jenkins to safety which is is best suited for and may also be the end of them resigning Darren Sharper. Jimmy Graham was an intriguing and really good pick up for them. He is extremely atheltica nd will give them another weapon in the red zone this season and years to come. Matt Tennant and Charles Brown are two highly rated offensive linemen who give more depth to that offensive line and will compete for starting jobs. The Al Woods pick was a pick that will help them be able to stop the run since they had a hard time doing that last year. Now lets see is these draft picks help them to repeat as super bowl champs this year.

New York Giants
Draft Picks: B+
Notable Picks: Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph, Chad Jones, Phillip Dillard, Mitch Petrus

Analysis: The Giants have become back page news in the city of New York and somewhat of an forgotten team around the country thanks to the Jets making headlines every week. Their draft was the same way, they made some really good selections but they were quickly ignored once the next team after them was on the clock. Pierre-Paul is a freak of an athlete who is very raw but his upside is extremely high. Mnay people compare him to Javon Kearse which he very well could end up becoming the next Kearse. One thing that the Giants couldn't do last year was stop the run, well Linval Joeseph will fix that major issue. He is the classic nose tackle with the strength and power to command double teams and hold up at the point of attack. Chad Jones adds talent to their secondary and he has the skillset to be a ball hawk given his range and athletcism. Phillip Dillard is an athletic linebacker who should compete for the starting job and will be a good replacement for Pierce. Petrus is an very strong guard who should allow the Giants once again become a dominat running team. My only issue with the Giants draft is they didnt pick up another running back or any help for a shaky seecondary.

New York Jets
Draft Grades: C
Notable Picks: Kyle Wilson, Vlad Ducasse

Analysis: The Jets have had a great offseason, but their draft isnt anything to write home about. They didnt have many picks and only filled one need whick was with the selection of Vlad Ducasse. Vlad will be moved to guard which he is best suited for with his skill set at this point and time and he is a developmental prospect. Kyle Wilson was a great value draft pick whick will give Rex even more flexability with his defensive scheme. Overall their draft wasn't impressive, just ok and they didn't get what they needed. It seems as if Rex doesn't understand that you build through the draft and put the finishing touches on your roster through free agency.

Draft Grades: A
Notable Picks: Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston, Jared Veldheer, Bruce Campbell

Analysis: Intelligence, Patience, Poise and Restraint was something that the Raiders showed during all three days of the draft. I wonder if part of the Randy Moss trade with New England was for Bill Belichek to run the 2010 draft for the raiders. Their draft was New England like minus the trades to pick up extra picks. Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston are solid defensive players who will strengthen that defense up the middle for years to come. Jason Veldheer who is highly underrated LT and Bruce Campbell are two offensive lineman that will solidify that offensive line and give Jason Campbell the protection he needs. The raiders were already a very talented team and they just got even more talented on both sides of the ball with this draft and with the trade for Jason Campbell. As I mentioned on day 2 of the draft on twitter, the raiders are the second best team in the AFC West now.

Draft Grade: A
Notable Picks: Brandon Graham, Nathaniel Allen, Trevard Lindley, Clay Harbor, Ricky Sapp, Riley Cooper, Charles Scott

Analysis: I know Philly fan isn't too pleased with the eagles draft, but we are talking about Philly fan here and not degreed professionals. The eagles had a great draft also and to be honest it is almost just as good as the New England Patriots who had possibly the best draft class in his draft. The eagles made lots of trades and picked up additional picks while acquring really good talented players along the way. Brandon Graham, Ricky Sapp, Nathaniel Allen and Trevor Lindley are all really good draft picks which will fill holes and add depth to a defense that was less than stellar last year. Clay Harbor and Riley Cooper will give Kolb a couple of big pass catching offensive skilled athletes to make Philly's offense more diverse than before. The addition of Charles Scott is huge and I hope Andy Reid will call more than his customary 5 running plays a game. Scott is a big, bruising, punishing one cut runnig back that will bring a physical style of running game that the eagles have never had but have needed. Philly fan, you guys need to chill and let this young talented team flourish and do what they have the talent to do. Win games and possibly championships.

Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: Maurkice Pouncey, Jason Worilds, Emmanuel Sanders, Chris Scott, Jonathan Dwyer

Analysis: Steeltown had a very productive draft by adding five very players who should be highly prodcutive for them, and several players who give them depth. Some questioned why they selected so many OLBs, but as anyone who knows about football will tell you. It takes 2 or 3 years for college DEs to convert to OLBs in the NFL. Harrison, Porter, Woodley are just some exapmles of that, plus in the 3/4 defense you cant ever have enough OLBs. Jason Worlids is the prize of the OLBs that they drafted. He is one of those "tweener" DEs that has the perfect, violent skillset to be a OLB in a 3/4 defense. Maurkice Pouncey and Chris Scott are two interior lineman who will help keep Big Ben upright just as long as he doesnt hold on to the ball too long as he normally does. Jonathan Dwyer is a big physical type of running back like Barry Foster who along with Mendenhall will bring a punishing, physical style back to the steelers running game. Emmanuel Sanders is an explosive wide out who is a big play guy and will flourish in their wide open pass attack. Now we will see how they put all of these pieces together and get through the Big Ben suspension this season.

San Diego
Draft Grade: C
Notable Picks: Ryan Matthews, Cam Thomas

Analysis: I dont really understand what the chargers were trying to do in the draft his year besides get a franchise running back which they did that. Ryan Matthews is a franchise running back who runs alot like Ladanian Tomlinson. The chargers had to move up ahead of Houston to get him because there was no secret that Houston wanted Matthews. As soon as they announced that the chargers had traded up, I knew who they were going for and I think everyone knew who they were going for.....Ryan Matthews. Cam Thomas is the prototypical 3/4 DT which helps them fill the void. At the end of the day though, they didn't draft anyone that I can see helping them anytime soon, nor did they fill any other needs.

San Francisco
Draft Grade: A
Notable Picks: Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Taylor Mays, Navarro Bowman, Anthony Dixon

Analysis: Mike Singletary is putting his finger prints all over this team and franchise, the are no longer the forty-niners of old. Through the draft this team has become a physical, no nonsense type of team that will be dominant in the NFC for years to come. Anthony David and Mike Iupati are two offensive lineman that will give the forty-niners a dominant offensive line that will impose its will on teams. With 6th round pick Anthony Dixon being an powerful, lip busting type of running back running behind that offensive line along with Frank Gore, they are gonna be soething serious to deal with. Navarro Bowman is a really good linebacker who had a 1st round grade but fell to the 3rd round possibly due to some off the field issues at Penn State. Taylor Mays is pissed at Pete Carrol and now will get to remind Pete just how good of an NFL player he will be despite his short commings. The forty-niners had one of the best drafts this weekend and their haul of talent makes them the team to beat in the NFC West.

Draft Grade: A+
Notable Picks: Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate, Kam Chancellor, Anthony McCoy

Analysis: Pete Carrol's first draft since coming back into the NFL was an success, especially if you look at him getting LenDale White and Leon Washington for low picks. To be honest, I am not surprised that Pete was able to do what he did this past weekend. Pete has always been able to get talent going all the way back to his head coaching days inth NFL before he left to coach USC. The question is will his rah rah attitude work with the players this time around, last time it didnt. Okung and Earl Thomas are the gems of the seattle draft, no need explaining why. Anthony McCoy and Golden Tate are good additions to the offensive side of the ball to go along with T.J. McCoy is an highly skilled tight end that needs to keep his nose clean, but Pete may be the right guy to help him do that since McCoy played for Pete at USC. Getting Kam Chancellor to go along with Earl Thomas gives them two really good safeties who are both ball hawks and will make it hard for QBs to get away with mistakes.

St. Louis
Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: Sam Bradford, Rodger Saffold, Mardy Gilyard, Jerome Murphy

Analysis: Selecting Sam Bradford was a no brainer despite my personal feelings on him and his potential pro career. The rest of their draft was solid but wasnt anything to write home about. Saffold, Murphy and Gilyard are good picks for them, but I felt that they could have gotten better players at the time that they drafted those guys. If anything they should have traded back and aquired more picks. This is a team that doesn't have any talent on either side of the ball besides Steven Jackson and Chris Long on defense. So additional picks for either this year or next would have been great.

Tampa Bay
Draft Grade: B+
Notable Picks: Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Arrelious Benn, Myron Lewis, Mike Williams, Dekoda Watson

Analysis: Tampa Bay had a really, really good draft that gives that young team alot of talent that will help them become a good team very soon. Gerald McCoy and Brian Price are two great draft selections that will give them a DT combination similar to Warren Sapp and Booger McFarlane back in the day. Dekoda Watson is a fast, aggressive, athletic OLB that is a great fit for that defense and Myron Lewis is the cover corner that Tampa has been missing and will need to replace Barber. Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams are two wide outs who are gonna both be great wideouts in the league and give their new young QB Josh Freeman some talent on offense along with Cadillac Williams. The Bucs came out looking nice after this draft, they are a young rebuilding team who has taken advantage of a very deep draft this year.

Draft Grade: B-
Notable Picks: Derrick Morgan, Damian Williams, Myron Rolle

Analysis: Every year the titans draft the exact same players at the exact same positions and sometimes from the exact same schools. Getting Derrick Morgan was key for them since they lost Vandenbausch, but everyone knows that they wanted Pierre-Paul. Rennie Curran is a linebacker who will make a huge impact on that defense with the loss of key players at the linebacker position leaving this off season. They gave Vince Young another weapon at the wide out postion by getting Damian Williams who is an extremely athletic and fact WR who can also help in the return game. He doesn't do anything special, but he will cause problems for many defenses if they ignore him. Myron Rolle is a nice addition but he will have to make his impact in the NFL on special teams becasue he doesn't have the skill set to really make an impact as a starter in this league.

Draft Grade: C
Notable Picks: Trent Williams, Perry Riley, Selvish Capers

Analysis: Shanny had a nice weekend filling needs on the O-line with the selections of Trent Williams and Selvish Capers which is what they severly needed. Two tackles to protect McNabb and can excel in the zone blocking scheme that Washington will run to open holes in the running game. Perry Riley is a nice linebacker for them to have to insert into that 3/4 defense they are gonna be running now. I think they could have done better with that selection, notice I said that he was "nice" not good or perfect. When you look at Washington's draft, the first thing you notice is that the only thing that they addressed was the O-line and nothing else. Im sure they will be fine on defense since they have a very talented defense, but runnng a 3/4 defense with 4/3 players doesn't always go well like it did for Green Bay last year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

1st Round/Day one Overview

Wow!! What a first round! I have never seen an round of a NFL draft that was so crazy, fast, intriguing, head scratching and surprising as last nights. Hell! the Raiders actually made a logical, smart pick, when has that ever happened in the last 5 years or ever? I seriously doubt that there is anyone who has a mock draft that was more than 60 percent accurate, and didnt look like this years NCAA tounament bracket after day two. I did two mocks and between them I got about 40 percent of my picks right. For example, in my first mock I had cincy taking Jermaine Gresham, then I had them taking Dan Williams in the second one. I had Arizona NOT taking Dan Williams in my first mock, then I had them taking Dan Williams in my second one. San Diego was another example, first mock I had them taking Ryan Matthews, second one Taylor Mays. I could go on and on but you get my point.

Last nights draft will be remembered for Tebow at 25, Dez at 24....... It will also be remembered for all of the trading back and up teams did to get players that made u scratch your head (49ers, Denver). Denver moved back and back on damn near every other pick to accumulate picks and litterly put on a clinic on "How to trade back in the NFL draft". In the end though, they traded most of those pics back to draft Tebow with Clausen, Colt McCoy and Sergio Kindle still on the board? As one guy on twitter told me last night, Josh drafting Tebow was a ego pick. People are quick to call him a QB coaching genius which is bullshit, and he is trying to prove it or is believing it with that Tebow pick. Dont get me wrong, Tebow will be a decent to good QB in the NFL, but not worth a first round pick when there are higher rated players still left on the board that fill needs that Denver have. All in all the draft went according to plan with a few exceptions of Buffalo surprising people by taking C.J. Spiller, Cleveland taking Joe Haden and Jacksonville taking Tyson Alualu. One of those players belong in the top ten and two dont nor were ever considered to be either. The forty niners, seahawks and lions really drafted well last night which doesnt surprise me too much. Those franchises seem to be heading in the right direction with smart football people in the front office that havent made many mistakes this off season or the draft so far.

Today is where teams really build the depth of their roster and find hidden gems in the draft. Many NFL people will tell you that rounds two through five are the most important rounds of the draft, not the first. Its easy to pick a good player out of the top 32 players in college football in the first round, it takes a keen eye to find players who really fit your team to fill out your roster. Lots of guys and marquee name guys are still available and should make this draft a very interesting one today and tomorrow. Questions for today is how far will Clausen and Kindle fall ? Where does Taylor Mays go? I expect Clausen to keep falling to the middle of the second round maybe even late second. Taylor Mays could go in the top of the second round, I see Tampa, Vikings, or Eagles drafting him. I dont think you will see many reaches in the rest of the draft, not even from Josh McDaniels. I fully expect Jacksonville to further confirm that they dont know what they are doing and they will always be a middle of the road team. The Patriots, Eagles and Texans will draft at least two players that will make you applaud them, and two picks that will make you say "Who or What the fuck was that"? But if you check these teams draft histories, they dont miss much on draft picks. The Texans 2006 draft is possibly one of the best drafts in the past 10 years. Lets see who will end up with the best draft class after this weekend...........

You can hit me up on twitter with your draft questions at @TheBlackAriGold...........