2011 NFL Draft Grades and Results: The 5 Biggest Winners of the 2011 NFL Draft
Are the Detroit Lions the Biggest Winners of the 2011 NFL Draft?
The 2011 NFL Draft Grades are quickly rolling in as the NFL Draft is nearly completed. There have been a lot of head scratching picks in this year's draft, while there have also been a lot of great picks.
With the draft nearly completed, let's take the time to review the 5 teams that will come out as the biggest winners of this draft.
1. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions had a phenomenal draft. They come out of this draft as the biggest winners, without a doubt. They have a lethal backfield now, combining big-play RB Jahvid Best, with every down back Mikel Leshoure.
The Lions desperately needed to bring in a No. 2 WR to complement Calvin Johnson and were able to do that in the second round with Boise State WR Titus Young.
The biggest steal of the draft may also go to the Detroit Lions, as Nick Fairley fell down the board to them,
2. New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints started their first round off with a bang by selecting versatile DL Cameron Jordan and RB Mark Ingram Jr. Ingram should greatly improve the running game for the Saints, and Jordan should be able to stop the run and rush the passer.
The Saints continued to make quality selections later in the draft by bringing in CB Johnny Patrick in the third round, as well as OLB Martez Wilson.
The Saints have the players they need on the offensive side of the ball and needed to address the defense in this year's draft. They did that, while still being able to add the top-rated RB.
3. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans had a dynamite offense last season, but their defense let them down early and often. They used their first five picks on the defensive side of the ball in an attempt to get the players in place for Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme.
J.J. Watt was easily the best five-technique in the draft, and Brooks Reed is one of the elite pass rushers, who should fit in well at OLB.
They followed that up by addressing their biggest need, getting Miami, FL CB Brandon Harris with their third pick. Shiloh Keo and Rashard Carmichael were also selected later in the draft, who should also help improve the Texans secondary.
4. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts had a gameplan coming into this draft and executed it perfectly. They needed to bring in help on the offensive line as they struggled to protect Peyton Manning last season.
Anthony Castanzo can come in and start from Day One, Ben Ijalana may be able to come in and start at the guard position, or even the right tackle position.
They also needed to bring in a DT and they brought in a stout DT in LSU star Drake Nevis. He is a great run-stopper and should really improve a defensive line that has struggled to stop the run. They also added a goal line back in Delone Carter, who should be able to plunge in a few TDs for the Colts next season.
5. Denver Broncos
John Elway's first draft appears to be a success. He landed the best OLB in the draft in Von Miller with the first pick, and was still able to address some of the other needs for the Broncos.
Their secondary struggled last season so they brought in safety Rahim Moore with their second round pick. The Broncos OL also struggled last season, so they addressed that need with OL Orlando Franklin who is very versatile.
All three of these players will significantly improve this team and should contribute next season. The Broncos also got a great value player in the seventh round as they selected TE Virgin Green. If not for medical concerns, Green would have been a third or fourth round pick.
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