2011 NFL Draft: Observations from Round 1 and What to Expect in Round 2

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIApril 29, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Observations from Round 1 and What to Expect in Round 2

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Cameron Jordan, #24 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York Cit
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The 2011 NFL Draft is fully underway, and the1st round has officially come to a close with the 2nd round just a few hours away. We've already seen some intriguing moves and I'm sure we've got a lot left to go now with the remainder of the picks.

    That said, here are some of my observations from Round 1 and what we should expect to see in Round 2

The Broncos Still Have Interesting Draft Strategies

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell greets Von Miller, #2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos, during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Don't get me wrong; Von Miller is a phenomenal player. But I simply don't see how he translates inito their 4-3 defensive scheme. Is a severely undersized defensive end or is he a SAM linebacker who will only be able to utilize his greatest asset which is getting after the quarterback on a sparing basis? Not to mention, if you thought it was tough to learn how to cover and defend the run as a 3-4 OLB imagine how difficult it'll be in a 4-3. 

    Questionable move, in my opinion, and the trend continues back from last year's Tim Tebow turnout. 

Blaine Gabbert May Not Have Been the Best Prospect but He May Be the Best Pro

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissoner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Blaine Gabbert, #11 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo b
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Nine teams, six of which needed a quarterback, passed on Blaine Gabbert. So maybe he wasn't such a great prospect going in.

    However, in the ideal situation hes' in down with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he can sit and develop for a few years so that's he's prepared when he goes out there may in fact ultimately make him the best pro.

    As Todd McShay said, five years from now he could be the best of the class. 

Minnesota Vikings Take Biggest Risk of the Draft

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    TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles throws for a first down during a game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The Minnesota Vikings selected FSU QB Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick last night, and it may as well have been the riskiest move yet.

    He's not ready to start from day one and if he doesn't pan out then it could set them back.

    They'd be much better off with Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, or Anthony Costanzo.

    What makes matters even worse is that the run on quarterbacks they expected never happened.  

Atlanta Falcons Want to Win Now

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Ph
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Well, I think that was known before as well but when you trade five high picks including a 1st and 4th from next year's draft for a wide receiver I think you mean business.

    While I strongly disagree with the move, they apparently think its just what they need to get one step closer to a Lombardi Trophy in which case it'll be worth it. 

Good Teams Draft Good, Bad Teams Draft Bad

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    TAMPA, FL -  JANUARY 1: Lineman Gabe Carimi #68 of the Wisconsin Badgers sets to block  against the Tennessee Volunteers in the 2008 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on January 1, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  The Volunteers won 21 - 17. (Photo by Al Mess
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    If you take a look at my draft grades, then you'll see that I gave every team with a record above .500 an A except for 4 (3 of which were B's). What does that tell you? That good teams draft well and perhaps maybe that's why they win games.

    Not only do they fill needs but they do so with quality value.

    They don't add guys that don't fit a system (Broncos) and don't reach for 2nd round talent (Vikings and Seahawks). 

Someone Will Trade Up for Da'Quan Bowers

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Da'Quan Bowers #93 of the Clemson Tigers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    If it weren't for a legitimate long-term concern involving his knee, Da'Quan Bowers would have probably been a Top 5 pick and may have even gone No. 1 overall.

    However, he's still available in Round 2 and I think the smart teams will recognize that and swipe him up. At this point, he's worth the risk.

    So watch out for a team to trade up. 

A Run on QB in Round 2

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks to pass against the Wisconsin Badgers during the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Just like Bowers, I was a bit surprised that quarterbacks like Andy Dalton, Colin Capernick, and Ryan Mallet dropped to the 2nd round.

    I'm not by any means saying they're 1st round players but when so many teams needed new signal callers and after the Vikings stretched for Christian Ponder I was almost certain that someone would go up and grab the others especially towards the end of the round.

    But nobody did and I expect at least one, if not all three of them to go early today. 

Marvin Austin Could Fall

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 7:  Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels warms up before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Did you see how Robert Quinn fell to pick No. 14? I could see the similar fate occuring for his teammate Marvin Austin who was also suspended and has some off-the-field issues.

    Only a few teams are willing to take risks on players like that and righftully so.