2009 NFL Draft Grades: NFC Winners and Losers
Yesterday, my picks for the AFC's winners and losers of the 2009 NFL Draft came out.
Now it is the NFC's turn.
While the Detroit Lions chose Matt Stafford, who many experts project to be a bust, the Lions stand in neither of these lists.
Some teams on the list made the list for surprising moves, reaches, drops, and other reasons. Unlike the AFC, I chose three winners and two losers.
Winner: Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers' biggest weakness coming into the draft was their defense against the run (131.6 ypg). So, what were their decisions in the draft? They were NT B.J. Raji and LB Clay Matthews in the first round, and in later rounds they added depth to the offense and defense.
The move for Raji will help their defense, but getting Matthews could also help LB Aaron Kampman move back to the DE position. Their moves help their defense dramatically. They should've gotten a CB like D.J. Moore, who dropped two rounds in the draft into the fourth round.
Winner: New York Giants
While the New York Giants did not trade for an Anquan Boldin or a Braylon Edwards to replace the recently cut Plaxico Burress, they might've gotten better. They got WR Hakeem Nicks, who is considered the most ready WR in the draft, and a fairly unknown Cal Poly WR in Ramses Barden.
Barden is 6'6" and 230 pounds (see photo). He also possesses the solid speed (4.5 40 time) to exceed in the NFL.
The Giants even got Clint Sintim for depth at LB and OT William Beatty in the third round, who could've been picked in the first round. Also, RB Andre Brown was chosen in the late fourth round, despite being projected as a second rounder.
Winner: San Francisco 49ers
The dropping of Michael Crabtree due to the ignorance of Al Davis really helped the 49ers in the one main aspect that they needed. They got Crabtree, who will probably start immediately and will learn from one of the greatest WRs ever, Issac Bruce.
They also got an underrated QB in Nate Davis, who would've been higher had he not had a slow release. Crabtree's so-called diva attitude won't go well with head coach Mike Singletary, who will man him up, so to speak.
I didn't like the Glen Coffee pick because I think that he is overrated due to OT Andre Smith.
Loser: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys didn't get any first round activity due to the Roy Williams trade and a trade of their second round pick to the Bills for a third and fourth round pick. So the Cowboys didn't do badly—they just didn't have the opportunity to do well.
But their first pick, OLB Jason Williams, was a big reach in the third round. QB Stephen McGee was a reach and surprise considering that he only started three games his senior season. Also, they have Tony Romo. PK David Buehler was a good pick, but they should've gotten a good WR or CB earlier.
Loser: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last year, the Bucs got a young, developing QB in Josh Johnson in the fifth round. This year they got another QB prospect in the first round. It was a bad mistake—they didn't get any pieces to immediately contribute to the team.
So, in light of all this, they are the biggest loser of the NFC. While I like the Sammie Stroughter pick, he will take time to develop, and I don't think that Freeman has what it takes to be a productive QB in the NFL. No picks were made that impressed or helped the team's needs.