2011 NFL Draft Grades: 4 Teams Who Blew Golden Opportunities to Vastly Improve
The draft has come and gone and it was an exciting three days for all NFL teams.
Some teams had very solid drafts that will pay huge dividends in the new season next year, while others just did not seem to know what they were doing.
These teams will hopefully have a great free agency plan.
Here are four teams that blew an opportunity at a great draft:
St. Louis Rams
The Rams had a great first round pick with defensive end Robert Quinn, who is one of the five best players in the draft, but I was not enamored with their other picks.
Their number one goal was to find Sam Bradford explosive weapons, but they selected two possession receivers with Austin Pettis and Greg Salas.
I like both those receivers, but the Rams need an explosive deep threat. Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola fit the mold as possession receivers.
In the second round, the Rams reached for a tight end with Lance Kendricks. Kendricks is a good athlete, but he will not translate to an explosive weapon for Bradford.
The Jaguars found their quarterback of the future with Blaine Gabbert, but with David Garrard, couldn't they have just held off and selected a top rated defensive player?
The Jaguars narrowly missed the playoffs and had major needs on the defense.
It seems like the Jaguars accepted they would not be contenders by drafting Gabbert. It sends a message to the rest of the football team with the drafting of a quarterback in the top 10, when Garrard made the Pro Bowl.
Gene Smith ignored many of their Jags major defensive needs, and in a division with Matt Schaub and Peyton Manning, he will certainly regret that.
The Seahawks wanted to upgrade their offensive line, but they drafted a late second round prospect in the first round with James Carpenter.
He will have to improve his footwork to even be considered a right tackle.
Carpenter translated more to a guard, but he was more of a finesse player at Alabama.
He was overpowered at times by bigger lineman and was beat by quick fast ends.
The 'Hawks did not address their defensive needs especially in the back end of the secondary.
Not to mention, Matt Hasselbeck will probably not return, and the Seahawks did not find their quarterback in the draft.
For a team that made the playoffs, the Seahawks lost an opportunity to improve.
New England Patriots
The Patriots had one of the most explosive offenses, and yet most of their picks were spent on offense.
They upgraded their offensive line with Nate Solder which was a solid pick, even if he is still developing.
The Patriots though spent back to back picks on running backs with Shane Vereen and Steven Ridley in the second and third round. They needed a running back for depth, but why spend two high picks on the position.
The Patriots needed to upgrade an average pass rush and they had many opportunities to do that, but passed on that opportunity. They had the chance of drafting guys like Jabaal Sheard and Brooks Reed in the second, but passed on them.
They even spent a pick on a blocking tight end, even though they have the best depth of tight ends in the NFL with Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Alge Crumpler.
The Pats had a chance to ascend to the top with a great draft, but failed to do so.