Who knows, maybe these iffy picks will pan out into superstars. Maybe E.J. Manuel will become the new Jim Kelly in Buffalo. Or he will end up as the next Trent Edwards?
It is all speculation at this point, but a few picks stood out as being reaches, strange fits or missed opportunities.
Dallas Cowboys: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
This was not a bad pick because Frederick looks like he has bust potential. In fact, he may turn out to be the best center in the draft. And god knows the Cowboys need some help protecting Tony Romo.
The problem here is that the Cowboys traded down to the 31st pick and came up with a player who definitely was not the best on the board at that point.
They could have probably gotten him in the second round and used that pick on another need, like a safety or defensive tackle. In fact, if they had kept the 18th pick instead of trading it to San Francisco, they could have landed Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and made everyone happy.
Instead, the Cowboys reached and came up with a player who may or may not be first-round talent. It is an inauspicious start to the draft for Dallas.
Which of these first-round picks is the most questionable?
Chicago Bears: Kyle Long, G, Oregon
The Long pick was surprising because the Bears had been linked with Manti Te’o (h/t Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com). In fact, it was supposed to be a fight between Chicago and the Minnesota Vikings for Te’o. Considering that the Notre Dame linebacker is still on the board, obviously that did not happen.
The Bears certainly needed help on the line, but Long may not have been the best choice. The man is athletic but inexperienced, only starting four games for the Ducks last season.
The Bears could have traded down if they had no intention of getting Te’o, making this pick more justifiable. As it stands, the Bears took a project instead of a proven first-round talent. Hopefully that gamble pays off for them.
New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson is definitely a first-round talent, no question about that. He does have a lot of question marks attached to his name, though.
His shoulder surgery earlier this year and one-game suspension for ignoring a team-ordered punishment for skipping class do not bode well for his NFL prospects. Those are not even the biggest reasons why this pick could have been better.
The Jets already have a defensive front of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples. Are they just planning on letting their first-round pick spend the year on the bench?
Then there is the fact that the Jets have one of the worst offenses in the league and were in desperate need of playmakers. After taking Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with their first pick, they could have drafted either a quarterback or top wide receiver.
Instead, they took a player who might not be able to find a spot in the starting lineup right away. Typical Jets, always making their lives more difficult than they need to.