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NFL Draft: Team Strategies

Edward KendrallaContributor IApril 18, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners drops back to pass against the Brigham Young Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This article is from the sports satire site Down to Clown, where everyday is a moustache kind of day. 

For more from Down to Clown click here  

NFL Draft: Team Strategies

By: Edward Kendralla and Eric Weinheimer

AFC East

New England Patriots

The Patriots are at a cross roads. They are a team with a lot of veterans and a lot of very young players. And with a league-high 12 picks in this draft, they will be adding even more youth.

I expect the master overthinker mind Bill Belichick to be going after immediate impact players, especially on defense.

Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker are not getting any younger and the Pats need to improve now before the gate...errr...window of opportunity closes.

First Pick: No. 22

Moustache Approves: OLB Sergio Kindle, OLB Jerry Hughes, G/C Maurkice Pouncey, TE Jermaine Gresham 


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New York Jets

The Jets were like a guy on a heater at a blackjack table this offseason. In light of their success from last season, they let it ride this offseason.


They traded for headcase Antonio Cromartie, jack of all screwups and recently suspended Santonio Holmes (although as Steelers fans we remain grateful for XLIII) and signed LaDainian Tomlinson, RIP, to replace Thomas Jones.


Where does this leave them for the draft? They could use another pass rusher at OLB since the former top-10 pick Verrnon Gholston experiment failed or never happened or something (he sucks, that's really all you need to know), but they are in talks with Jason Taylor, who they think will solve that need.


A safety might be nice, too, but the pickings will be slim at the end of the first round. The Jets are clearly going for broke through free agency this year, something the Washington Redskins will tell you, rarely works.


But nonetheless, the draft is a luxury to them, and with only 5 picks, they should look to take the best player available (regardless of position) with all of their selections. 

First Pick: #29

Moustache Approves: DE Jared Odrick, S Taylor Mays


Miami Dolphins 

Last year the Dolphins had a nice young offense that executed the Wild Cat with high efficiency. Read: The Dolphins had little experience at key positions and used the Wild Cat to mask their deficiencies at quarterback and wide receiver.

 

Clearly underwhelmed by the kick returner masquerading as a wide receiver they went and traded Ted Ginn Jr. and acquired Brandon Marshall and solved their biggest need while solidifying a key offensive position to beef up the air assault.


Now the Dolphins should be looking to their defense, and considering Bill Parcells is the guy buying the groceries for the Dolphins, you can bet that is what they are thinking as well.


A linebacker to strengthen a group that lost Joey Porter and Jason Taylor would be nice or a nose tackle to anchor the 3-4 defense in a draft rich of them makes the most sense.  


First Pick: #22

Moustache Approves: LB Rolando McClain, DT Dan Williams

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are in a world of hurt. The top two QBs on their roster are from Stanford and Harvard, and unless one of them is named John Elway, they are in serious trouble.


It doesn't help that their division is shaping up to be one of the toughest in the whole league. At least they won't have a chance to lose another Super Bowl, right?

 

Most indications are that they'll go O-line, which they need in the worst way. But this team needs excitement and hope more than a fat guy to protect their astute yet awful quarterback(s).


So as much as we hate Jimmy Clausen for both looking like a douche and his bust potential, he also has some rare skills that make him an intriguing prospect. And when you're bad and hopeless....intriguing is good.  

First Pick: #9


Moustache Approves: QB Jimmy Clausen, OT Bryan Bulaga, OT Trent Williams



AFC South


Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are in the same situation they've been in for the past decade in that they will be picking at the end of the first round and need interior lineman and secondary help.

They were a Manning-face-inducing interception away from a Super Bowl title last season and they should take the AFC South pretty easily...again. 

First Pick: #31

Moustache Approves: CB Devin McCourty, OT/G Rodger Saffold, DT Brian Price



Houston Texans 

This is a team on the rise and after taking a baby step past mediocrity last season they are ready to compete with the big boys. They let Daunte Robinson walk this off-season, so corner is definitely a major area they need to address.


But to compete with the Colts, you have to be able to score points and possess the ball.


Last year's No. 1 fantasy team assassin Steve Slaton needs serious help in the running game, or even replaced, so a guy who can tote the ball 20-25 times a game would be a huge boost to an already dangerous passing attack. 


First Pick: #20


Moustache Approves: RB Ryan Matthews, CB Kyle Wilson,  CB Kareem Jackson


Tennessee Titans

Vince Young is the projected starter for the Tennesse Titans, as is Matt Leinart for the Arizona Cardinals. 2006 called...they would like their quarterbacks returned.

Regardless, Young, for as uneven as his play on the field and bizarre behavior off the field has been, has been a winner in the NFL. And with all-world running back Chris Johnson running behind him, this is not an easy offense to defend.  

The Titans need to reload on defense though, especially on the defensive line after losing Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch in successive years.

First Pick: #16

Moustache Approves: DE Derrick Morgan, DE Jason Pierre-Paul




Jacksonville Jaguars

This team is in a really tough spot. They are struggling financially and have needs everywhere. Their D-line is improved (finally) with the addition of Aaron Kampman but unfortunately that's the position where their best options might be with the 10th pick.

Other than that, Earl Thomas at safety and running back C.J. Spiller might be the best players left when it's their turn to select, but they've been burned at safety before, and RB isn't a huge need.

They could make a splash at WR with Dez Bryant as well, but memory of Reggie Williams and Matt Jones makes that a "too soon" idea. How about a relatively safe pick at linebacker who can quarterback your defense for the next 12 years? Yes, pleeeeease. 

First Pick: #10

Moustache Approves: LB Rolando McClain, S Earl Thomas, DE Derrick Morgan



AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have done a complete 360 in terms of roster makeup in the past 5 years. They have gone from a felon-ladened team who throws the ball around and plays little to none defense into a felon-ladened run-the-ball and defensive type team.


That having been said, Carson Palmer is still a franchise QB and needs someone to throw to other than the wide receiver who wears the number 85.


They would be elated if Dez Bryant was there at 21 when they pick. A low-character guy and the top player at a position of need....it's a match made in uhhh....well anyways.


If Bryant is not there, they could consider top TE Jermaine Gresham or someone to help on the O-line.


First Pick: #21

Moustache Approves: WR Dez Bryant, TE Jermaine Gresham, OG/C Markuis Pouncey



Baltimore Ravens


Here is a roster transformation NO ONE is talking about, except for us, naturally. The Ravens are quietly becoming an offensive minded team. No, seriously.


Joe Flacco continues to improve. Ray Rice is the next Maurice Jones-Drew. And now they have Anquan Bolden. This team should be very dangerous on offense.

 

But let's talk about the large elephant in the room. This defense may be on the verge of being as bad as its been since the team moved to Baltimore. Ray Lewis is still good, but nowhere near what he used to be.


Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata are getting up there as well. The secondary is average at best. Seriously...why should anyone be scared of this defense anymore?


The Ravens would do themselves a service by not living in denial and going after an impact defender. If the Ravens defense can play at the level it did last year, they will be the favorites to win the AFC North.  

First Pick: #25


Moustache Approves: DE Jared Odrick, CB Kyle Wilson, CB Kareem Jackson, CB Devin McCourty

Pittsburgh Steelers


To avoid things being broken and numerous profanities beings used, the transgressions that have scarred the Steelers offseason will not be covered here. You understand.

The Steelers sit at No. 18 with needs at corner, offensive line and wide receiver. If Joe Haden somehow slips to them, he is the no-brainer pick.

And if Dez Bryant was still there, they'd at least have to think about it. Otherwise they probably should and will take an interior lineman. 

First Pick: #18

Moustache Approves: CB Joe Haden, OG Mike Iupati, OG/C Maurkice Pouncey, CB Kareem Jackson, CB Kyle Wilson, WR Dez Bryant


Cleveland Browns

Phone call that needs to take place if it hasn't already between Cleveland Cavs Executive Dan Gilbert and Browns President Mike Holmgren:

Dan Gilbert: Hey Mike, Dan Gilbert of the Cavs here. I want you to consider drafting LeBron James with the 7th pick. Now hear me out. Any player you draft at #7 will not stop you from sucking next year but if we can offer LeBron James a max contract and an NFL contract, there is no way he can can leave for another city.

If he stays, then the city of Cleveland has a chance to survive and maybe eventually turn into a mediocre city.

Once we win a championship, we'll even let you have him play a few games at WR every year. It seems to be the best long-term decision for both the Browns and Cavs. 

Mike Holmgren: I think you're absolutely correct. I haven't a clue who we should take otherwise so I've had to act like I've been sending out mix signals purposefully. This makes my life a lot easier. Thanks, Dan. 


First Pick: #7

Moustache Approves: F LeBron James


AFC West


San Diego Chargers

LT is gone and now this is officially Phillip Rivers' team. We know this team is just going to go out and throw the ball down the field to receivers tall and athletic enough to be NBA lottery picks and and run off of that. That having been said, Darren Sproles is not a number one running back. He's a very good third down/change of pace back. If the Chargers can get a running back, in particular Jahvid Best here, they will go into next season with a top-3 offense and good enough to mask a vulnerable defense. Of course none of this will matter come the playoffs, when no offense can mask the Norv Turner effect. Alas.

First Pick: #28

Moustache Approves: RB Jahvid Best, DT Brian Price, DT Terrance Cody


Denver Broncos

This team overachieved last year and without Brandon Marshall they will be taking a big step backwards. There is no way in the deepest depths of hell Kyle Orton plays as well as he did last season. In fact, Brady Quinn may be starting before season's end. Regardless of their starting QB, this team needs to be concerned with building themselves in Josh McDaniel's image for the future and not about this season because...you know...the whole Kyle Orton is their starting QB thing. So be smart Broncos, take Dez Bryant if you must, but I would recommend a defensive player to continue the transformation into a 3-4.

First Pick: #11

Moustache Approves: DT Dan Williams, LB Rolando McClain, CB Joe Haden, S Earl Thomas


Oakland Raiders 

Things you already know about the Raiders:
1. They have a poorly run front office from Al Davis' corpse down to Head Coach Tom Cable, future WWE star. 
2. Jamarcus Russell is obese, lazy and a mostly incompetent quarterback.

But here is something you might not know. They have some real talent on both sides of the ball. Nnamdi Asomugha is a top-2 corner in the league. Richard Seymore can still bring it. The duo of Michael Bush and Darren McFadden is very dynamic. Zach Miller is one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the whole league, despite being forced to catch passes from the aforementioned Russell and Bruce Gradkowski. You get the point. This team is not the total disaster that you might think...once you get past the whole quarterback issue, which is not something they can do a whole lot about now. Russell's contract is almost as fat as he is; they are stuck with him. 

So here is our "how to be (semi)successful plan even if Jamarcus Russell is your quarterback" plan for the Raiders: Draft the best offensive lineman available at #8 and then go defense the rest of the draft. Then next season just run the absolute shit out of the ball and let Jamarcus Russell throw screen passes, seam throws to Zach Miller and play action passes. And then play defense. That's it. Take simplifying the offense to a whole new level. We'll even call it Jamarcus Russelling your offense. This team could compete almost every week if they stick to that formula and if Russell doesn't eat himself. I promise.

First pick: #8

Moustache Approves:  OT Trent Williams, OT Bryan Bulaga, OT Anthony Davis, S Earl Thomas

Kansas City Chiefs

You always hear that teams would love to move down in the draft. Well the Chiefs would really love to move down. They are a young team still trying to plug a bunch of holes. If they stay at #5 then I think the pick has to be Eric Berry. He may be the second or third best player in the draft. You can always find a decent offensive lineman later, but playmakers like Berry are very rare. Of course the Chiefs will probably play it safe and take the offensive lineman and we'll probably blame new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis for the decision. Just how it goes. 

First Pick: #5

Moustache Approves: FS Eric Berry


NFC


NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Tim Tebow seems like a very intriguing possibility here. Sorry, just saw the Jerry Jones TMZ video. The Cowboys actually have very few holes and if they want, can just take the best player available. Their biggest needs are offensive line now that Flozell "False Start" Adams has been released and upgrading the secondary. If I were them though I would jump on pass rushing linebacker Jerry Hughes from TCU, the guy is a manimal.

First Pick: #27

Moustache Approves: LB Jerry Hughes, OT Roger Saffold, OG/C Markuis Pouncey


Philadelphia Eagles


It's hard to believe the Donovan McNabb Era is over in Philly. They loved him so much there!....sometimes. Regardless, the youth movement in Philly has been completed and Andy Reid will attempt to execute his pass-happy offense through new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb. Yeahhh....we're skeptical too. But that is the direction they have chosen to go. In the draft, this team needs a cornerback to replace recently traded Sheldon Brown. At #24, they should be taking the best cornerback available. 


First Pick: #24

Moustache Approves: CB Kareem Jackson, CB Kyle Wilson, CB Devin McCourty 


NY Giants

In what could be the final year of the Tom Coughlin Regime, the Giants have a lot of holes to plug, particularly on defense. They could use players at every defensive area so the strategy is simple, take the best defensive player on the board.

First Pick: #15

Moustache Approves: LB Rolando McClain, LB Sean Weatherspoon, CB Joe Haden, S Earl Thomas


Washington Redskins


Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan or Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn. If anyone would rather have the latter combo we will literally hunt you down and force you to watch the WNBA. For everyone else, the additions of McNabb and Shanahan have vaulted this team back into contention. Most indications are they will take Russell Okung here which we can't argue with. Part of us still thinks Eric Berry is simply too good to pass up and could be an immediate contributer on a team that has playoff aspirations. But It's never a bad idea to protect the first franchise quarterback you've had since Brad Johnson (and yes we're being generous). 


First Pick: #4


Moustache Approves: OT Russell Okung, FS Eric Berry

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

The Champs! When you are the champs you get to do what you want, which usually means taking the best player available. Here is a plea to the Saints to pick LB Jerry Hughes if he is still on the board (we are not Hughes' agents, we promise). They could use help at linebacker as it is and this would just make sense. Other options include defensive tackle Brian Price and offensive tackle Charles Brown.

First Pick: #32

Moustache Approves: LB Jerry Hughes, DT Brian Price, OT Charles Brown


Atlanta Falcons

When you play in the same division as the Saints, you absolutely have to be able to put some pressure on the quarterback and stop perimeter runs. The Falcons have been looking for another defensive end to compliment John Abraham for a while now. Not a ton of options here, but apparently they like Brandon Graham from Michigan. We think Everson Griffen from USC is a good fit too. Or a hitman to take out Drew Brees. One of those guys. 

First Pick #19

Moustache Approves: DE/LB Brandon Graham, DE Everson Griffen, LB Sergio Kindle

Carolina Panthers

Gonna let Hubie Brown take this one:

So here you are. You're the Carolina Panthers. You get rid of Jake Delhomme after last season because there were questions of whether he could actually be that bad without actively trying. That's a good move. But then you fail to make a move for Donovan McNabb when given the chance and now you are stuck with Matt Moore as your starting QB. If you are trying to get John Fox fired, okay, I see it, otherwise it may be a good idea to run the ball on every down this season.

Thanks Hubie

First Pick: #48

Moustache Approves: DE Carlos Dunlap, S Chad Jones, WR Mardy Gilliard


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

The Bucs have the easiest pick in the first round. They take whichever defensive tackle the Detroit Lions don't.  They literally cannot screw this up. Hear that Bucs? You CANNOT screw this up.

First Pick: #3

Moustache Approves: DT Gerald McCoy, DT Ndamukong Suh



NFC North


Minnesota Vikings


We would bring up Brett Favre's NFC Championship losing across-the-body interception or how he is doing his typical offseason dance that will eventually lead to him coming back in the middle of August, but we're above that at Down to Clown, plus it doesn't seem related to their draft plans. This team will be bringing almost everyone back so this pick defines the term "luxury pick." If Jahvid Best is available he would be a great addition to replace the defected Chestor Taylor. If not a cornerback or defensive lineman may make the most sense.

First Pick: #30

Moustache Approves: RB Jahvid Best, CB Patrick Robinson, DT Brian Price


Green Bay Packers

Report out of Green Bay is that Aaron Rodgers will be in New York as the representitive for the Packers to hand in their draft card to ensure the Packers select an offensive lineman to help keep him on his feet with their first three picks. We like this strategy.

First Pick: #23

Moustache Approves: OT Anthony Davis, OG Mike Iupati, G/C Markuis Pouncey


Chicago Bears

The Bears don't pick until the third round but they should probably be looking to take the best available wide receiver. This also seems like a good time to mention that it's almost a lock Terrell Owens will end up playing for the Bears this season. The Bears front office is under a ton of pressure, like a Rex Ryan and Andy Reid sitting on you at once kind of pressure, to win this season and need to take some risks. And when Devin Hester is your #1 receiver, that means T.O. type risks.

First Pick: #75

Moustache Approves: WR Brandon LaFell, WR Jordan Shipley


Detroit Lions

Last year they found their franchise quarterback when Stafford came jogging off the field with a dislocated shoulder after throwing a touchdown. Now they need some impact defenders and no one is more impactful than Ndamukong Suh (and yes impactful is now a word thanks to Suh's level of impactfulness). The guy is a monster and does everything well. Slowly but surely the Lions will find respectability and put the fat ghost of Scott Mitchell behind them. 

First Pick: #2

Moustache Approves: DT Ndamukong Suh, DT Gerald McCoy

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Due to the fact that Kurt Warner loves God and puppies (and maybe his family) more than football, Matt "Hot Tub" Leinart will take over the reigns as the Cardinals starting quarterback. Not sure how good he will be, but the offense will certainly have a different feel and pace to it. The Cards biggest needs are at safety and inside linebacker. Doubtful Earl Thomas or Sean Weatherspoon will be available but they are the pick if so. Otherwise they can just take the best player available and start praying Matt Leinart is competent. 

First Pick: #25

Moustache Approves: LB Sean Weatherspoon, TE Jermaine Gresham, OT Anthony Davis, OT Charles Brown


San Francisco 49ers

This pains us dearly but you are about to get a second endorsement for Jimmy Clausen. If he is still around at #13, the 49ers have to take him. He's a California kid and, sorry 49ers, but Alex Smith is not and has never been the answer. With two first round picks this year, it's worth a gamble to upgrade the QB position in what will be a ghastly division (that's merely a negative way to say "winnable"). 

First Pick: #13 (Also have #17)

Moustache Approves (#13): QB Jimmy Clausen, CB Joe Haden

Moustache Approves (#17): OT Anthony Davis, OG Mike Iupati

Seattle Seahawks

The Pete Carroll Era in Seattle begins with a huge need for playmakers on both sides of the ball (hopefully someone reminds Pete that boosters can't buy them in the NFL). The absolute ideal draft scenario for the Seahawks would be for Eric Berry to fall to them at 6 and then take either C.J. Spiller or Dez Bryant at 14. Bryant seems like the better option considering the Seahawks have paper-thin depth at wide receiver. 

First Pick: #6 (Also have #14)

Moustache Approves (#6): FS Eric Berry, OT Trent Williams, OT Brian Bulaga

Moustache Approves (#14): RB C.J. Spiller, WR Dez Bryant


St. Louis Rams

The only question with the Rams is whether someone is going to Ditka them an offer for the #1 pick. It seems like they are willing to listen which may mean they like Jimmy Clausen just as much as Bradford (NOOOOOOOOOOOO!). But if no one comes calling, Bradford will be the pick and they should be happy with that outcome. Bradford's accuracy and arm strength will make him a star and he doesn't appear to enjoy hanging out at bars and taking advantage of younger girls. He also didn't go to Miami of OH, so it makes sense. 


First Pick: #1

Moustache Approves: QB Sam Bradford