I’m a fan of the new streamlined NFL draft. Thanks to the new time limit, I was able to watch the entire first round while still sober.
Which, I have discovered, makes it much easier to report on the draft after that fact.
There’s no good way to judge a draft the day after it happens.
None of us know how these players are going to turn out. Sometimes the worst picks on draft day end up being the best picks on game day.
But like our contemporaries over at ESPN (and in every sports section of every newspaper at every newsstand tomorrow morning), that's not going to stop me from jumping the gun and declaring the winners and losers of draft weekend.
The Biggest Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were able to pull off a coup in the first round of the draft.
First, because the St. Louis Rams went against their draft board and took Chris Long, they were able to land the best overall player in the draft in Glenn Dorsey.
If that wasn’t good enough, they were also able to draft the third best offensive line prospect (and the most versatile) in Branden Albert.
Those two picks immediately filled glaring needs for Herm Edwards' crew, and alone would have made for a fantastic draft. But they found a way to make it even better.
Brandon Flowers in the second round is a great pick. Some people felt that Flowers was the best cornerback prospect in the draft—if not that, than certainly at least a first round talent.
DaJuan Morgan is a steal in the third round. Some had him going to the Giants in the first round, and very few had him dropping past the second round.
The Chiefs were able to draft what I feel will be four immediate impact players. No other team was able to accomplish that feat over the weekend.
Kudos to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fantastic draft.
Other Draft Winners: Oakland Raiders (McFadden made their draft), Miami Dolphins (great first draft for Parcells), New York Giants (I agree with John Fennelly), Dallas Cowboys (landed both of the guys they wanted in the first round), and Pittsburgh Steelers (I love when teams stay true to their draft boards).
The Biggest Loser: St. Louis Rams
I’ll start with the good.
Justin King is a steal in the fourth round. He has potential to contribute right away in nickel and dime packages. He was a solid second round talent, and they were able to get him in the fourth round.
Nice job there. Now for the bad.
Chris Long is a fantastic player, but they passed over the best player in the draft to take him. You can’t bypass the next Warren Sapp to take a hard working, big motor type.
Long will be a fantastic NFL player, but Dorsey will be a game changer. You don't bypass game changers to fill positional needs. That's how bad teams stay bad.
But at least Chris Long was arguably chosen in the right spot. Donnie Avery? Donnie Avery couldn’t have imagined being selected 33rd overall. Nobody could have imagined it.
They bypassed all of the good wide receiver talent to select a guy who’s undersized, doesn’t run good routes, and most people had going in or after the fourth round.
Give me a break.
Other Draft Losers: Jacksonville Jaguars (trading the moon for Derrick Harvey?), Tennessee Titans (somewhere, Vince Young is crying), and Baltimore Ravens (Joe Flacco at 18?).