2010 NFL Draft Grades: Which NFL Teams Aced the Draft?
The NFL Draft is gone, done, and over with. But the effects of what took place in the historical three-day event won't show themselves completely until August, and in many cases, not for a couple of years.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams used the first pick in the draft wisely, nabbing Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. However, few of their picks the rest of the way were eye-popping.
They landed a solid offensive tackle in Rodger Saffold in Round Two, while also beefing up their depth at corner with Jerome Murphy.
The addition of Cincinnati star receiver Mardy Gilyard was easily their best pick after Bradford, because they got great value and a tremendous steal in the fourth round.
They addressed a lot of areas and put their whopping 11 total picks to solid use. They could have used an upgrade at running back to give Steven Jackson a breather every now and then, but overall they covered all the bases, got their franchise passer, and added some offensive weapons.
Detroit made great use of their first two picks, nabbing the best overall player on the board with the second pick in the draft, and giving them a defensive tackle to rely on for the next 10 years in Ndamukong Suh.
With Corey Williams brought in earlier in the off-season, the Lions suddenly have a very aggressive defensive line.
They then traded up out of the second round to steal California's Jahvid Best, giving them insurance at running back behind still-recovering Kevin Smith, and also making a splash in the return game.
Best could even turn out to be an eventual starter, but at the very least he will make an impact in the return game and as a situational playmaker.
Their final four picks were spread out for positions of need, as Detroit did a solid job of filling up some holes.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay had an excellent draft, grabbing the best available player with the third-overall pick in Gerald McCoy, who gives their sad defense something to look forward to.
They continued filling holes in the second round, giving McCoy a running-mate on the line with Brian Price, while also replacing the departed Antonio Bryant with Arrelious Benn. Both Price and Benn could easily have been first-round picks, making them outstanding value picks, and relative steals.
The Bucs didn't stop there, as they proceeded to snag Myron Lewis and Mike Williams in the third and fourth rounds, while grabbing Florida State linebacker Dekoda Watson in the seventh.
Tampa Bay really had its drafting cap on straight throughout the three-day event, as it grabbed some great impact players and addressed all of its major needs. It's entirely possibly that at least seven of their nine draft picks make the final roster, and about half of them could have a significant role in 2010.
Trent Williams may not necessarily have been the best choice when the Redskins still had Russell Okung and Bryan Bulaga to choose from, but he's definitely no pushover, either.
Washington still did a fantastic job with their first pick in admitting that offensive tackle was a huge need, and they addressed it by grabbing a guy who, arguably, could be the top offensive tackle, and at the very worst was in discussion as among the top three.
Washington went through the second and third round without any picks because of prior trades, and didn't make a tremendous impact with their final five selections.
They could have used another shot of talent at receiver, as well as a young, fresh body in the backfield.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City faced a dilemma at the fifth spot and made the right decision by taking the ultra-athletic and versatile Eric Berry. They could have easily went for a stud offensive tackle, and could have even considered going after Jimmy Clausen, but very few people will argue they made the wrong choice.
Kansas City did a solid job, grabbing fairly under-rated talents in Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas, adding depth to their offensive and defensive backfields.
McCluster can help the return game right away, possesses the hands and athleticism to work out of the slot as a receiver, and has the experience and vision to operate out of the backfield.
The Chiefs also got some really good value with Jon Asamoah in the third round, as well as Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki.
They could have used a little more help on the offensive line, but the Chiefs still added an immediate impact defender, a corner who can help their depth, and three offensive players who can compete right away for significant roles.
Seattle had very arguably the most success in this year's draft, both with big trades, as well as excellent picks throughout the draft.
They made the right call with their first pick, snagging meaty offensive tackle Russell Okung, who could have been taken as early as the third pick in the draft.
Pete Carroll and Co. continue their stellar draft by passing by Taylor Mays and grabbing Earl Thomas, a more well-rounded and reliable safety.
The Seahawks then found Golden Tate falling into their laps in the second round, grabbed USC's Anthony McCoy for some elite tight end depth, and also snagged Kent State's athletic phenom, Jameson Konz.
Tate brings an immediate presence at receiver and in the return game, while McCoy gives Seattle another pass-catching tight end that can be paired with John Carlson in two-tight end sets.
Konz is listed at tight end but has the build, speed, and athleticism of a very versatile player. He doesn't yet have a set position but has so much versatility and potential that he could play anywhere from running back, fullback, wide receiver, or tight end, to even on defense.
Throw in Seattle's trades, where they landed excellent running-back depth with Lendale White and Leon Washington, and the Seahawks completed an overhaul, suddenly making them look very balanced and competitive on paper.
Cleveland went after a stud corner, despite having Sheldon Brown and Eric Wright as their starters. However, by nabbing the best corner in the draft, Joe Haden, they could either go into 2010 with an elite secondary, or try Brown out at safety.
They also took Oregon's T.J. Ward as a sound addition to their defensive backfield, giving them another versatile option to work with.
Cleveland waited until the third round to get possibly one of the best deals of the draft, as they snagged Texas quarterback Colt McCoy after passing on him in the second round on two occasions.
McCoy is an athletic, intelligent passer who has great experience and production, winning 45 games and losing just seven times at the college level. The Browns actually should lose points for waiting so long to bite on him, but they got him in the end, giving them someone to work with as their quarterback of the future.
The Browns addressed some needs the rest of the way, but didn't land anyone that is likely to make a significant impact in 2010 with their final four picks.
The fact that they were even considering pulling a Mike Ditka and trading half of their picks to get Sam Bradford is extremely disturbing. And while landing running back Montario Hardesty in the second round was a solid pick, it was a disappointment that Cleveland didn't do more to improve its offense.
Many people had to be pretty impressed with the way Al Davis resisted drafting Bruce Campbell or Taylor Mays with Oakland's first pick, while equally impressed that the Raiders actually drafted a quality, elite defender in Rolando McClain.
They basically traded off by shipping Kirk Morrison out of town and drafting McClain, but they got younger and more athletic in the middle of their defense, so it has to be considered a solid move.
Oakland continued to go against its gut (as in past years) and added some outstanding talent in the second round in defensive tackle Lamarr Houston, while also grabbing tackle Jared Veldheer in the third round.
The Raiders waited until the fourth round to go after a "measureables" guy, and got the guy they probably were tempted to grab in the first round, Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
Adding another speed demon at receiver in Clemson's Jacoby Ford , as well as wrapping up the draft by addressing needs, helped Oakland wow the NFL world with a very respectable draft, overall.
Their restraint from the beginning was very impressive, but Oakland also impressed with solid picks and good decision-making throughout the draft.
Adding Jason Campbell via trade also took care of their issues at quarterback. Well, at least it provides a temporary illusion that it does.
Buffalo didn't work any magic in the early rounds of the NFL Draft, only coming away with running back C.J. Spiller as an immediate impact player. Spiller will make Marshawn Lynch even more expendable and will give the Bills another electric option in returns and a playmaker on offense, in general.
Alex Carrington (defensive end) and Marcus Easly (wide receiver) were solid additions in the third and fourth rounds, but are no locks to be significant contributors in 2010.
Snagging Iowa offensive lineman Kyle Calloway in the seventh round was a tremendous steal. He has the size and work ethic to be a starter in 2010, and was easily Buffalo's best value pick.
Buffalo needed to address their defense more, and could have used another pick or two geared toward beefing up an offense that was dreadful in 2009. Levi Brown is not a potential franchise passer, leaving the Bills with no answer at quarterback heading into the 2010 season.
Jacksonville reached tremendously for defensive end Tyson Alualu, when it still had the option of taking either Derrick Morgan (more complete) or Jason Pierre-Paul (more athletic and versatile).
Unless Alualu ends up creating a storm on defense in 2010, this draft might go down as a complete waste. The Jaguars were way too focused on their defensive line, didn't spread their picks out well enough, and did nothing with their receiving corps.
They also could have picked up a future passer to replace David Garrard, and, while it would have been nice to try to upgrade at tight end, waiting until the sixth round to give Maurice Jones-Drew some help in the back-field was quite disappointing.
In the end, the Jaguars had the right idea by drafting for defense more than offense, but with three defensive ends and four defensive linemen in their six total selections, they did not do a great job of attacking all of their weaknesses. That, and they simply didn't acquire elite talent at the positions they drafted for.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers could have gone in so many directions with their two picks in the first-round, but in the end, they made excellent decisions by drafting two stud offensive linemen.
Anthony Davis is an excellent, athletic tackle who will be able to step-in immediately, while Mike Iupati has the athleticism and versatility to player either tackle or guard, and should also be able to help stabilize the 49ers' offensive line right away.
With their line now able to protect their quarterback and get the ground game going, the 49ers switched to defense, landing Taylor Mays in the second round, a relative steal.
Mays has the athleticism, versatility, and range to be an elite safety, while also having the size and strength to play linebacker. He's a fantastic addition to a Mike Singletary defense.
San Francisco continued on, grabbing Penn State linebacker Navarro Bowman in the third round, and then getting some great value by picking Mississippi State running back Anthony Dixon in the sixth round.
Overall, Mike Singletary did a terrific job of solidifying his offensive line, while also adding key players to his already growing defense. It would have been nice to see the 49ers nab a corner that could step up and play right away, but that's just nit-picking.
San Diego Chargers
Getting a replacement for departed legend LaDainian Tomlinson was priority number one, and the Chargers found the exact guy they wanted in Ryan Mathews. Mathews has great athleticism, vision, and strength, and was easily the most complete back in this draft. He'll fit in perfectly and start from Day One.
San Diego was quiet in the rest of the draft, but actually made several sound additions, and did so with great value picks.
The Chargers added fantastic depth to their line-backing and secondary corps with the selections of linebacker Donald Butler and safety Darrell Stuckey, while also getting a steal after landing mammoth defensive tackle, Cam Thomas.
They also got a competent back-up and quarterback to groom behind Philip Rivers, after finding Jonathan Crompton in Round Five.
The Eagles had arguably the best draft of all 32 teams this year, as they accumulated 13 picks (several through trades during the draft), and proceeded to add several players who have the talent and potential to make an immediate impact in 2010.
Grabbing DE/OLB Brandon Graham in the first round was obviously a great move, giving their pass-rush a boost, while then addressing this again with an excellent pick in the fifth round, when they drafted Clemson's Ricky Sapp .
Sapp is another guy with outstanding athleticism and versatility, and he's a guy who was being mentioned as a first- or second-rounder, and the Eagles got him in Round Five.
Philly also added Riley Cooper in the fifth round, a big target with speed at receiver, adding solid depth to a position that is already a strength.
The Eagles added more great depth along the way, snagging linebacker Jamar Chaney (a mid-round prospect) all the way in the sixth round, while also grabbing Mike Kafka to beef up their depth at quarterback in the fourth round.
Throw in the athletic Nate Allen at safety in the second-round, and the Eagles addressed every major need on both sides of the ball, and got tremendous value with the majority of their picks.
They even added LSU running back Charles Scott as a tough runner to pair with LeSean McCoy.
It'd be incredibly difficult to argue any other team orchestrated a better draft this year.
New York Giants
The Giants weren't flashy and didn't land a ton of impact players, but they did land one of the best defensive players in the draft in Jason Pierre-Paul.
Pierre-Paul can play on the line or move outside to linebacker, because he has excellent speed and athleticism, and has the size and frame to work in several spots. The Giants desperately needed a change-of-pace defender, and that's exactly what Pierre-Paul brings to the table.
They were also able to add some sound depth at the safety position, as LSU's Chad Jones is actually a guy with enough talent to fight for a job right away.
The Giants also grabbed offensive lineman Mitch Petrus in the fifth round, arguably a huge steal.
New York had some major questions at linebacker, and there's question as to whether Nebraska's Phillip Dillard (fourth round) is the guy that has all the answers.
A decent, but not overly inspiring draft. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph was a bit of a reach in Round Two, as well.
Tennessee did a solid job, bouncing around its needs during all three days of the draft, while getting some solid guys that can step up right away.
Derrick Morgan is obviously a huge pick, as the Titans were lucky to even breathe his name at their spot. He gives them an instant presence as a pass-rusher, something they desperately needed to address in this draft.
The late-round pick of safety Myron Rolle is a great value pick of a class-act guy who can really play, and has just been under-hyped.
Getting Vince Young a potential stud receiver in Damian Williams in the third round was another solid value pick, while Jeff Fisher and Co. really did a wonderful job filling holes on defense across the board.
Their draft class isn't very flashy with big names after Morgan, but it could end up being one of the better ones down the road.
The Steelers brought in an extremely athletic and versatile center/guard in Maurkice Pouncey, who will play a big role in bringing back the Steelers' grind-it-out rush offense, as well as improve their overall pass protection.
Pittsburgh also made a solid pick in the second round by grabbing Jason Worilds , a versatile and athletic defensive end who will almost certainly switch to the outside at linebacker in their 3-4 scheme.
One of their best picks came in the sixth round, however, when they nabbed the dynamic Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer brings decent speed and athleticism to the table at running back, and should be able to step into a back-up role and assist Rashard Mendenhall in the running game.
If he can do that, he'll end up being an excellent addition for that late in the draft. The Steelers also added solid depth across the board, and added youth and talent on defense.
Atlanta finally addressed its need at linebacker with the drafting of Sean Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon brings solid versatility in addition to great athleticism and instincts, and he has the potential to play on the outside or become the full-time replacement for Keith Brooking in the middle of the defense.
The Falcons didn't make many splashes after Weatherspoon, but did manage to stumble upon cornerback Dominique Franks in the fifth round, which was a fantastic value.
Franks is a solid corner who had second-round potential, but slipped through the cracks.
Kerry Meier is another guy the Falcons picked up who can bring something to the table because he has the athleticism, size, and versatility to play tight end, or could trim down a bit and be used at receiver.
Meier was an extremely reliable and effective option at Kansas, where he recorded 199 receptions in his final two seasons combined. For a fifth-rounder, he's a quality addition.
Overall, Atlanta had a decent draft with no major reaches or mistakes, but it wasn't jaw-droppingly positive, either.
Houston went after its major needs effectively, coming out of the 2010 NFL Draft with no major holes left to fill.
The Texans replaced departed cornerback Dunta Robinson on the first day with Kareem Jackson, while getting help at running back in the second-round with Auburn's Ben Tate.
They even prepared for the eventual (possible) loss of tight end Owen Daniels , as they picked up Dorin Dickson in the seventh round, and Garrett Graham in the fourth. Like Daniels, Graham came out of Wisconsin and is a very solid pass-catching tight end. He also has the build and versatility to play fullback, if needed.
The Texans covered all the bases with a stellar draft, and came out better than they were going into the draft.
The Bengals had an excellent draft, getting loads of talent in rounds later than they should have gone.
It started with going after a tremendous need, as Cincy grabbed tight end Jermaine Gresham with their first pick. The jury is still out on last year's pick, Chase Coffman, and considering Gresham is the top tight end in the draft, the Bengals really could do no wrong with this call.
The Bengals kept it rolling by drafting Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap in the second round. Dunlap has the talent to have gone earlier, and has great size, strength, and athleticism. He'll help get the Bengals defense to the next level with a solid pass-rush.
Cincinnati grabbed two more relative steals in the third round, picking up Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley and Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Shipley may find it difficult to carve out a role with Matt Jones and Andre Caldwell in front of him to start, but ultimately, Shipley is the ideal candidate on the Bengals roster to operate out of the slot. Shipley also brings excellent vision and speed to the return game.
Brandon Ghee in the third round is another great addition that could have been a first-round pick. The Bengals wrapped up a stellar draft by nabbing Dezmon Briscoe in the sixth round, giving an aging receiving corps even more youth and depth.
Denver replaced Brandon Marshall with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas with their first pick, giving them a playmaker with good size and great character.
The Broncos continued drafting talent with great character when they traded up back into the first-round to get Florida's Tim Tebow. While no one can doubt Tebow's character and work ethic, there's also no arguing that Denver definitely reached to get him, and gave up some solid picks in the process.
Denver kept the ball rolling after that with positive additions at great value, nabbing center J. D. Walton and wide receiver Eric Decker in the third round, two guys with immense talent who could have been drafted earlier.
Josh McDaniels and Co. also found cornerback Perrish Cox fall to them in the fifth round, and happened upon Notre Dame offensive lineman Eric Olsen in the sixth round.
The Tebow pick may be unsettling for some Denver fans, but McDaniels has a vision and idea in mind in regards to Tebow as a quarterback in the NFL. I agree it's a reach, but I think it's actually a good pick, because Tebow can contribute in other ways as he grows as a quarterback from the sidelines.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers would have loved for Brandon Graham to slip all the way to their spot in the first-round, but probably enjoyed seeing Bryan Bulaga fall to them even more.
Bulaga was regarded by many as the second- or third-best tackle in the entire draft, and somehow he slipped all the way down to the 23rd pick in the first-round. He'll be a staple of the Packers' offensive line for the next 10 years, while learning behind Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher for a year.
Ted Thompson and Co. went on to have a very mediocre draft. They nabbed Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal in the second round, along with Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett in the third. These were solid additions, but neither are locks to make significant impacts in 2010, and no player beyond the third round was really worth mentioning.
The Packers waited until the sixth round to go after a running back to pair with Ryan Grant, and didn't draft one cornerback, which, because of the age of their starting corners, was a huge need.
In a Randy Moss-esque fall, Dez Bryant fell to the Cowboys. This was more based on Bryant's off-field issues, and nothing to do with the Cowboys' actual drafting ability.
Dallas did have the presence of mind to snag Penn State linebacker Sean Lee in the second-round, before drafting a few players who are likely long-shots to even make the final roster.
Lee could be a great addition to an already solid linebacker corps, because he has the athleticism and instincts to be able to carve out a role in his first year.
Dez Bryant should be a huge addition on offense and could also make Roy Williams expendable. Well, at least many Cowboys fans hope.
The Cardinals got better on the inside of their defensive line, as well as on the outside pass-rush, with solid picks in the first two rounds.
Dan Williams will be able to step in relatively quickly in the middle of the defensive line, while Daryl Washington can take the spot opposite of Joey Porter and give the Cardinals a lethal pass-rush in 2010.
Andre Roberts is a solid addition at receiver in the third round as well, while John Skelton is a quality quarterback on the cheap, as Arizona was able to snag him in the fifth round.
The Cardinals attacked two major needs on defense and added some depth on offense, but still came away from this draft needing some help in their secondary and on their offensive line.
The lack of concentration on their secondary is especially interesting considering they traded away Bryant McFadden to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arizona made some sound additions in the first three rounds, but still have some big questions.
New England Patriots
The Patriots put all 12 of their picks to excellent use, from shoring up their secondary with the addition of Devin McCourty, to giving themselves a solid quarterback to develop in Zac Robinson (seventh round).
New England also got excellent value in-between those two picks, landing two of the best tight ends in this draft, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, solidifying its questions at tight end, and giving it excellent depth at the position in the process.
The Patriots also were able to land two high-level defensive players, both from Florida, in defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and middle linebacker Brandon Spikes .
Cunningham could be a perfect fit on the outside of the Patriots' 3-4, while Spikes should be able to find a nice role in the middle of the defense. Both are great additions, and relative steals in the second round.
The Patriots also added Ohio receiver Taylor Price, ensuring they have some extra talent at the position if Wes Welker struggles to make it back to the field in 2010.
Miami has been doing a terrific job of letting go of aging talent and acquiring talent to fill holes, so it's not surprise that they had a solid draft.
Miami went after a big man in the middle with their first pick, snagging Jared Odrick , an athletic and versatile big man who can work inside or battle on the edge of the defensive line.
The Dolphins continued to improve their defense with their second pick, selecting Koa Misi to work outside on their line-backing corps, as well as Iowa's A. J. Edds. Both linebackers are tackling machines with great instincts and NFL-level athleticism, making them solid additions to a line-backing corps that lost Jason Taylor and Joey Porter.
Miami also addressed it's safety position with Georgia's Reshad Jones, although he's no lock to push for a starting spot.
New York Jets
New York has already accomplished a lot in the offseason by landing Santonio Holmes, signing Jason Taylor, and trading for Antonio Cromartie. Because of this, it didn't necessarily need a lot from the draft, nor did it have all the picks they would have liked.
However, the end result was a mediocre draft.
Still, the Jets added even more depth to their secondary with a potentially elite corner in Boise State's Kyle Wilson, while then adding another potential-ridden player in offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse.
After trading away injured running back Leon Washington, the Jets suddenly had room to add Joe McKnight, who was still available in the fourth round, and was simply too good to pass up.
The Jets only had four picks, and still came away with three guys who could end up having some sort of an impact right away in 2010. However, a mere four picks can only have them being graded so high.
The Colts always have fun during the NFL Draft, knowing full well that they rarely need many offensive upgrades and simply need to add depth all around.
That's mostly the case this year, and they added a few key pieces that could both help out off the bench, and possibly even take over a big role in 2010.
Indy took the versatile and athletic Jerry Hughes out of TCU in the first round, giving them a big, mobile body to line-up on the edge of their line, or rush the passer from the outside of the linebacker corps.
The Colts added another fierce linebacker in the second round, bringing on Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer, who can play just about anywhere in the Colts' linebacking corps, as he (like Hughes) has great versatility, to go with sound instincts and good athleticism.
Indianapolis also added some depth to their shaky secondary by adding USC's Kevin Thomas. The Colts had solid production from their secondary for the most part in 2009, but injuries left them banged up, making it a priority to add some talent for insurance.
The Colts didn't land any other big-names or guys that will make an impact right away, but they added some defensive depth, while also addressing the offensive line in the fourth round by picking up Jacques McClendon.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is fresh off a Super Bowl win, so even if they had the worst draft in NFL history, they'd probably still be solid contenders to repeat.
However, they had a solid draft, reaching for cornerback Patrick Robinson a hair early, and catching offensive tackle Charles Brown in the second round (steal).
Brown should be able to step-in immediately if needed, while Robinson has the speed and range to be an impact player this year, even if it ends up being as a nickelback.
The Saints also grabbed developmental tight end Jimmy Graham out of Miami. Graham has an excellent blend of size, speed, and athleticism. He's a solid value/potential pick, but is he going to unseat Jeremy Shockey and/or David Thomas , or will he have to wait? Regardless, he's a nice addition in terms of talent.
Matt Tennant was an absolute steal at center in the fifth round, while Sean Canfield is a solid passer to develop behind Drew Brees for the next few years.
The Saints could have used some more help on their defensive line, if only for some youth and depth. They also should have looked for a replacement for Darren Sharper, especially if they don't plan on bringing him back. Linebacker was another area of concern they didn't address.
Still, they got two guys who can have a nice role this year, and another with loads of potential. Considering they don't really need that much improvement, we'll give them a break.
Considering Chicago had a lot of making up to do without a pick in the first two rounds, it came up lame in this draft.
They did put their first pick (in the third round) to good use, however, as they grabbed Major Wright out of Miami to compete at safety. They had loads of issues with their pass defense last year, so if Wright can step up like scouts think he can, he could be a huge fine.
Chicago continued working on their defense by bringing in Corey Wooten, a solid defensive end who could help alleviate the loss of Alex Brown, who could be out the door.
Adding Dan LeFevour was a bit questionable, especially when they already have two developmental-type passers behind Jay Cutler. Then again, if the current regime is slightly worried about Cutler turning into the quarterback they need him to be, this could be a sign that they're protecting themselves.
The Bears did more in rounds three through five than many figured, but this draft still has to be chalked up as a loss.
Minnesota may have been looking at a stud corner in the first round, but traded back into the second because they didn't want to reach. That had Chris Cook falling into their lap, and while they still might have been reaching a bit, they still came out with a solid corner with their first pick.
Cook will team-up with Antoine Winfield and Lito Sheppard to form a suddenly respectable secondary, while Benny Sapp works off the bench and Cedric Griffin recovers from an injury he sustained in the postseason.
Minnesota then traded up to land Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, a perfect complement to Adrian Peterson. Ever since losing Chester Taylor to free agency, the Vikings have been discussing adding a stud running back, and Gerhart's toughness and under-rated athleticism was the perfect match.
Gerhart should be able to play on third downs and in short-yardage situations, giving the Vikings a potentially fearful two-headed wrecking ball backfield.
The Vikings didn't find a lot of gems in rounds five through seven, but ran into a talent they couldn't pass-up in the fourth round, as USC defensive end Everson Griffen fell farther than anyone thought was possible.
Griffin gives the Vikings tremendous depth and versatility on the line, while also providing insurance in case Ray Edwards finds his way out of Minnesota.
Minnesota replaced a hole in its backfield, began repairs to its secondary, and boosted an already elite pass-rushing group.
The Ravens are another team (like the Saints) that didn't really need a whole lot of improvement, but like the Seahawks, Jets, and Bengals, they killed in this draft.
It started with their first selection, bringing an excellent outside rusher in Sergio Kindle to the line-backing corps. Ray Lewis did a strut on his way up to announcing the pick at the podium, so we have a good feeling Kindle will do just fine.
The Ravens then grabbed Terrence Cody, who just got done eating a house. He may be huge and have some weight issues, but Ray Lewis and Co. will get him in check and help him become the player the other 31 teams are afraid he can be.
Todd Heap is aging, regressing, and injury prone. And L. J. Smith is, well, L.J. Smith.
Dickson is bigger and stronger, but Pitta has better hands and runs better routes. They both have the control and athleticism to be very good tight ends, and at the very worst, will help the Ravens forget about the tight end position for quite some time.
Baltimore already has its quarterback, a set back-field, a stout defense, and a sick receiving corps (thank you, Anquan Boldin). They took hold of this draft by getting an elite pass-rusher, a hog in the middle of their line, and waved their tight end problems good-bye.
We're sure the Panthers are comfortable with Matt Moore as their franchise passer, but just in case they had any worries, they now have Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike to fall back on.
This just in: Carolina drafted two guys who were former first-round prospects. Moore is on shaky ground.
Any time you can grab a quarterback in the second round that was in contention to be a top-10 pick, you're doing OK. Especially when the best quarterback in your franchise's history was Jake Delhomme.
Carolina didn't stop there, though, as the Panthers actually rounded out a very solid draft, nabbing several other players who dropped down boards.
They landed Brandon LaFell to be one of their receivers of the future, and also grabbed converted quarterback Armanti Edwards, who will likely do most of his work on returns and in the slot.
Eric Norwood was another guy that fell into their lap, as they were able to grab the former South Carolina linebacker in the fourth round. Then they grabbed defensive end Greg Hardy, who could easily have been drafted in the first three rounds, in the sixth round.
Carolina did a great job going after their main needs, while also grabbing the top player on the board.
Hardy was a late-round pick, but could easily contend to replace Julius Peppers, while their new group of receivers can compete with Dwayne Jarrett and Muhsin Muhammad to go to work with Steve Smith.
Clausen holds this draft all together, as the Panthers finally made that move for a franchise passer that they haven't made since the days of Kerry Collins. This is a move that ties John Fox to the Panthers, especially if Clausen can find himself starting and winning games in 2010.
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