The NFL draft is a careful balancing act between the decision makers. Ultimately, the decision falls on the shoulders of the general management. Good or bad, the GM needs to live with the decisions made and players selected.
There is going to be several GMs that make poor decisions and cost the franchise years of struggles. Sometimes the problem surrounds the decision to make an aggressive trade to land the top player on your board. As I mentioned, it is a dangerous balancing act with jobs on the line.
The Jacksonville Jaguars might have an opportunity to draft a quarterback in the first round two years in a row. If things fall just right, Jacksonville could be selecting in the top five of the 2012 draft. This might put Jacksonville in the position to draft Baylor's Robert Griffin III.
Last season, the Jaguars traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert in the first round. Gabbert's rookie season has many questioning his potential as a starting quarterback. He showed very little promise and development. It appears that he is still struggling with the same problems that he did in college.
It will be very difficult Gene Smith to justify selecting a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back drafts. However, Griffin III possesses more upside than Gabbert and would be worth the risk. The NFL is a league decided by quarterback play.
This season's play of Cam Newton shows that finding the right quarterback can spur a quick turnaround. Gene Smith will ultimately decide to not draft another quarterback, which will impact the future of this football team.
For years, everyone has showered Bill Belichick with the label of genius. They continually discussed how well he manipulated the draft by acquiring extra picks. However, not many of those extra draft picks have panned out. There are the success stories like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
However, there are mistakes like Ron Brace and Darius Butler have set this defense back. Belichick will do like he always does and look to trade one of his two first-round picks. However, it would make more sense to package those picks and move up.
The New England Patriots defense needs to add elite talent not a handful of extra draft picks.
There is a very good chance that the St. Louis Rams will land the top overall pick. They need a win from the Indianapolis Colts versus the Jacksonville Jaguars and a loss of their own. Landing that top pick will force GM Billy Devaney to make a very tough decision.
He currently has Sam Bradford as his starting quarterback. Bradford is coming off a poor season, but still has plenty of promise. The Rams have also invested a lot time and money into him, which will make it difficult to part ways.
However, Bradford Sophomore slump is a cause for concern. This combined with the fact that everyone feels Stanford's Andrew Luck possesses greater upside means that St. Louis should consider drafting Luck. There will be teams like the Washington Redskins who would be willing to to make a trade to acquire Bradford.
If he lands the top overall pick, Devaney will likely hang on to Bradford and trade the pick. The trade will bring a lot of assets, but if Bradford doesn't rebound those assets will mean nothing.
The Buffalo Bills orchestrated a better than expected season, but this team still has plenty of holes. General manager Buddy Nix needs to follow the same blue-print he used last season. The addition of Marcel Dareus greatly improved the play of this defense.
Adding another top-notch defender is what this football team needs to improve. However, this management group might have another C.J. Spiller pick up their sleeve. Everyone felt that adding Spiller was a mistake because the Bills already Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch.
However, my biggest concern is that Nix will avoid selecting a much needed pass-rusher because of the failure of Aaron Maybin. This disappointing selection will keep Nix from adding a potential pass-rusher like Alabama's Courtney Upshaw or North Carolina's Zach Brown.
The Seattle Seahawks late season surge could trick management into believing they are close to contending. However, the fact is that Tarvaris Jackson is nothing more than an average quarterback. He doesn't possess the skills necessary to carry a team to a Super Bowl.
John Schneider and Pete Carroll seem dead set on avoiding using an early draft pick on a quarterback. Avoiding to add a young quarterback of the future will only hold this franchise back. Their best option would be to aggressively approach a quarterback in this draft.
The Seahawks have the assets needed to move up and make a play for Robert Griffin III. Schneider will not be willing to pay the price to move up, but that will be a mistake. Griffin III has the potential to make a major impact in the NFL.