With the draft now over, and the focus of everybody’s thoughts changing to the new season, it is time to have one last look at some serious questions that remain from last week’s draft.
Will Jaguars' Shock Pick Help Jacksonville?
The first draft surprise was Jacksonville’s decision to take Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick.
There were rumours that the Jaguars were looking to trade down, but that trade never materialised. Was that because they were unable to find a trade partner?
Both Denver and Miami traded out of the 11th and 12th, so there was surely a willing franchise ready to trade up. However, Jacksonville might have just decided to go a different route. If that is the case, nobody expected them to go this route.
There was considerable shock around the league when they took Alualu. He is a good defensive tackle, but selecting him so early now puts a lot of pressure on him to perform. Jacksonville must be commended for acting decisively on their convictions, but it is a huge risk, and there was not much sense or value in selecting Alualu there despite his talent.
They could have secured him later in the first round, or even in the second, while gaining extra picks in a deep draft, through a trade. They most certainly didn’t help the situation with the franchise either, as they are under real pressure to fill seats and keep the franchise in the city. A relatively unknown defensive tackle doesn’t do that, and neither did the rest of their draft. Even if Alualu performs well, he surely can’t help them stave off the threat of a move to Los Angeles.
New York Jets Too Content to Trade Away Great Draft Opportunities in Favour of Egos?
The Jets were happy to trade away picks for players, but was that wise in such a deep draft?
Holmes and Cromartie come to New York with questions surrounding their character, and Holmes already faces a four-game suspension.
Perhaps their willingness to trade away picks might come back to haunt them as such great talent was available throughout the draft. Using the picks they lost could have cost them starters with a whole career ahead of them. Instead, have they traded for egotistical talent whose time in New York will be blighted with suspensions and unreliability?
Furthermore, they released Thomas Jones, and replaced him with the less productive LT, which was a questionable decision at best.
Finally, the release of Alan Faneca was a really surprising move that has upset some of the locker room. Will Vladmir Ducasse be able to fill the huge void created by Faneca’s release? While the answer to that question is unclear, Ducasse certainly won’t have the same impact on the dressing room, and some Jets players are clearly unhappy with the move.
Now the Jets need to control the huge number of egos in the side, and control substance abuse issues, as well as the sexual tendencies of their players. Could their desperation for a Super Bowl cause real problems inside the camp? Certainly they have a chance at success, but should they fail, what price will they pay?
Will Tennessee Stump Up the Cash that CJ2K Wants?
Tennessee didn’t fill many of their needs during the draft, and there are now issues over Chris Johnson’s return. He hasn’t reported for their training camp, and wants a new deal.
With Kevin Kolb securing a new $12m extension with Philadelphia, surely CJ2K deserves more than $700,000 a year after a 2,000 yard season. He is vital to the Titans, and they must address the issue and secure his services long term if they want to move forward.
His unhappiness will be a real concern in Tennessee, and you have to wonder whether they would be better served if they just pay the man.
Will Dez Bryant Become a Responsible and Controlled Force in Dallas?
Dez Bryant is happy to be a Cowboy, but will Dallas be able to keep him in check.
He has been making moves to put his career on the right track, and wants to be a success, but with so much money coming his way, do the franchise trust he can stay motivated and keep out of trouble?
Hopefully Bryant will prove to everybody that any pre-draft concerns surrounding his character were over the top, and he is a hard working, sensible young man.
If he doesn’t prove that, then Dallas might soon be regretting their pick.
Luckily for them, Bryant wants to succeed, and he wants to be a Cowboy. That might just be enough to keep him on the right path and help him become a great.
The Tebow Experiment
Finally, Tim Tebow.
Denver gave up a lot of picks to secure his services, but will it be worth it?
Everybody knows he is a winner and was an outstanding player in college. But can this translate into success in the NFL? Until he hits the field, nobody knows.
He will bring leadership and great personality to the team, and that will be a big plus for Josh McDaniels, but at the end of the day, if Tebow doesn’t perform on the pitch, he will be remembered as a failure.
The Tebow selection will define Josh McDaniels’ tenure in Denver too, so the risks were huge. He could be a bust. He is playing under a lot of pressure, and his throwing motion still has a lot to be desired in the NFL.
However, he was deemed worthy of a first round pick by the Broncos, and is desperate to repay their faith. If he can translate his performances at college into performances in the NFL, then he will be a future Hall of Famer.
While he could be a bust, his upside was just too good to pass up. According to some reports, he has the opportunity to become a starter right away, so he is getting all the support he needs from the franchise and coach, as well as from his family.
Now, Tebow must show he is an NFL calibre quarterback.
So here goes. The Tebow experiment begins. Best of luck to him.