It's always a bit of a letdown for me when the NFL Draft's first day comes to an end. In all honesty, I don't do much research past the third or early fourth round. I'd rather trust my beloved GM Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens) to find some gems. I'm sure he did this year... but I still don't know about them and probably won't for a couple of years.
But I do know something about the top of the draft, so let's do some grading, shall we?
3. Atlanta Falcons
There is one reason why the Atlanta Falcons make this list. That reason, naturally, is Matt Ryan, QB Boston College, picked number three overall. I didn't get many picks right in the first round, but this was one of them. The way for the Falcons to turn their franchise around is with a QB to replace Michael Vick. Some other teams not on the list had better all-around drafts (see New York Giants), but even if Ryan doesn't succeed, this was still the right pick.
2. Miami Dolphins
It's hard to argue with picking the best offensive tackle on the board with the number one pick. Add to that the truth that they've already signed Jake Long, and he can start practicing immediately... this was nothing short of fantastic. They got Phillip Merling to work with (or possibly replace, we'll see) Jason Taylor, which was a good move to get younger on the D-Line. Finally, they were lucky enough to nab Chad Henne that late in the draft. I won't be too surprised when he's starting by week eight.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Glenn Dorsey fell to the Chiefs at number five, and they were smart enough to take him. While he doesn't fill a dire need, some people had him listed as the top player on the board and he was certainly the best pick left on the board. Kudos to the Chiefs for going talent ahead of need. However, they also got Branden Albert at No. 15. I saw a few mock drafts with the Chiefs taking Albert at number five, so to get him midway through the round is fantastic.
3. Oakland Raiders
Similar to the Falcons' reason for being good, the Raiders have a single reason for making my bad list: they passed on Glenn Dorsey. I am not surprised to see McFadden to the Raiders, but honestly, they have Michael Bush and Justin Fargas already there. Even if McFadden lives up to the hype (unlikely, in my opinion) this was still the wrong pick with Dorsey still on the board. The Raiders could have made themselves, with one pick, an elite defensive team with a great run-stuffer and two of the best cover corners in the league. By the way, they didn't have a second or third rounder to add skill anywhere other than RB (like defensive tackle, for example).
2. Detriot Lions
*sigh*... You can't pass up Branden Albert at No. 15 for Gosder Cherilus at No. 17. Be realistic. Cherilus projects as a right tackle. A good one, but still just a right tackle. Albert projects as... anything. I would have agreed with their decision to trade down if they'd taken Rashard Mendenhall... but they didn't. Oh, and Jeff Otah projects as a left tackle, and he was still on the board when they picked Cherilus.
1. Tennessee Titans
No WR. What the hell are they thinking? I, for one, think they should have traded out of this pick. Even if they couldn't, they should have taken a WR, even if it was a reach. There comes a time where need trumps talent, and while Chris Johnson will probably be a good player, he probably won't be a great one. He was a luxury pick that the Titans couldn't afford. Hey Vince, this is a message. Demand a trade after another season of doing it all yourself.
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