Teams Draft Weapons in This Year's NFL Draft

Dino NicandrosAnalyst IApril 27, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Jeremy Maclin #9 of the Missouri Tigers carries the ball during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Arrowhead Stadium November 24, 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The 2009 NFL Draft has officially concluded.

Now begin the months of analysis and prediction-making leading up to the first pre-season game this summer.

One may have noticed during the two-day, 16-hour long draft that day one moved much quicker than day two.  One might also notice that many of the mock drafts developed before draft day were off the mark.

The Chiefs selection of LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson at the No. 3 spot was definitely a surprise, as many expected Aaron Curry to be a top three pick (Curry went at No. 4 to Seattle).

The Raiders actually passed on Texas Tech phenom Michael Crabtree, opting to go with the tall and athletic Maryland receiver, Darrius Heyward-Bey (Al Davis never got a clocked 40 time on Crabtree). 

What was most interesting about this draft, however, was the desire by many clubs to draft special weapons that they could implement into their offenses.

The Philadelphia Eagles moved to the 19th spot by way of trade with Cleveland and selected Jeremy Maclin.  It was very surprising that Maclin fell this far, as he was projected to be a Top Ten pick.  Receiver wasn't a necessity for the Eagles, though.

In last year's draft, the Eagles took Cal receiver DeSean Jackson, a decision that a year later seems to have paid off.

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Jackson provided the deep threat that Donovan McNabb had been craving since T.O.'s departure.  Jackson was also a pretty good kick returner as well.

Maclin is almost the exact same player.

At a shade over 6'0, Maclin is explosive off the line and has the burst to get past defenders after the catch.  He is most dangerous in the open field where he can weave in and out of defenders with ease.  Like Jackson, he can return kicks effectively.

The Eagles got a good player in Maclin, but what they really needed, if they felt the need to draft a receiver, was a tall, possession receiver like Rutgers' Kenny Britt.

Minnesota added a new toy to their arsenal with Florida's Percy Harvin.  With a depleted receiving corp, this was a pretty good pick for the Vikings.  Harvin provides the explosiveness at receiver and is a viable threat out of the backfield.

Injuries plagued Harvin during his college career, and many NFL scouts were concerned about his ability to stay healthy at the next level.  It will be a lingering issue long after draft day, but Brad Childress has to be happy with the new toy he has.

The Dolphins' selection of West Virginia quarterback Pat White was one of the more interesting selections of day one.  Many scouts had White projected as a receiver in the NFL, but the Dolphins plan on White playing all over the field.

The wildcat offense made its debut in Miami last season and was extremely effective.  Ronnie Brown scored eight touchdowns out of the backfield and even threw for one. 

Imagine what White, an excellent collegiate quarterback, could do with the ball in his hands in the wildcat.  His incredible run/pass combination will be used to the maximum in Miami.

Skipping down to the fifth round, the Houston Texans got hold of an interesting athlete in Rice's James Cacey.  He played tight end at the college level, but was used as wildcat player like no other. 

Casey played out of the backfield as a quarterback and running back, flexed out to the slot and split end positions, and of course played on the line as a tight end. 

He is incredibly fast for his size, but he is a tweener.  He can't block effectively enough to play tight end in the NFL and he isn't quite fast enough to be a starting receiver.

Gary Kubiak has played it pretty conservatively in recent years, but look for him to open things up and include Cacey in a wildcat-like offense.   

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