It was very surprising that Gabbert was not the 2nd quarterback chosen in the draft, and the Jaguars benefited from him falling to them at #10. He will be able to spend time studying on the bench behind David Garrard, and will not be rushed into the starting role, something I don’t think any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft can handle. There are many needs on the defensive side of the ball, but when a potential franchise quarterback falls into your lap, you have to pull the trigger.
I can’t think of a single draft that had Fairley going to the Lions, but now that it has happened, it looks awfully good on paper. Lining up Suh and Fairley will give Qb’s nightmares for years to come, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay Cutler was already actively looking for a trade out of the division. The secondary still needs work, but may not be as big an issue if the opposing quarterbacks are constantly finding themselves on the ground.
New York Giants
Your Royal Highness, Prince Amukamara, fell farther than expected and the Giants couldn’t be more pleased about it. They get a very talented corner to help a defense that was toasted by both the Eagles and Packers which left them out of the playoffs. Solidifying the secondary to compliment an already elite pass rush is just what the Giants need to get them back into the Super Bowl.
No it’s not a mistake, the Bills this year actually managed to pick a solid 1st round choice. After the disastrous picks that were Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Maybin in 2007 and 2009 respectively, and the misguided pick of CJ Spiller to a team that already had two solid running backs in 2010, the Bills went with Marcell Dareus, who will shore up what was an awful defense last year. Perhaps most importantly, Dareus is a guy who can start right away, and without a lot of downside, which the Bills need considering their past draft failures.
After having the best record in the NFC and then embarrassingly trounced at home by the Packers in the playoffs, the Falcons made a knee-jerk reaction by trading so high up in the draft. Julio Jones is a fine player and a solid pick, but the price to get him was far too high, and he isn’t a player that is the difference between perennial playoff team and Super Bowl champion. Giving up 2 first round picks, a second rounder and 2 fourth round picks is way too much for someone who isn’t even the best wide-receiver in this draft. Patience is the key in the NFL, but the Falcons want a Super Bowl now, and it may be very costly to them in the future.
Easily the reach of the draft, Christian Ponder wasn’t predicted to go in the 1st round, but somehow finds himself a Viking with the 12th pick. The Vikings desperately needed a quarterback, but if they really wanted Ponder they should have traded down. Instead they have a quarterback who is far from a sure thing, as well as an aging team that could use youth at a lot of positions. Once one play away from the Super Bowl, the Vikings have taken quite a tumble, and look like they might be in the cellar of the NFC North for at least a couple of years.
Cam Newton is a very divisive person with about half of NFL fans believing he will be a star, and the other half thinking he will be the next JaMarcus Russell. You can count me as part of the latter half because I think there are just too many questions surrounding the character, intelligence, and ability of Newton to make him the top overall pick in the draft. To me it would have made more sense to either trade down, or go with Miller, Green, or Dareus, three players who can play right away and are about as close to sure things as you get with rookies. The Panthers just used a high draft pick on Clausen last year, and if they really feel like he isn’t going to pan out, just bite the bullet for one more year and get Andrew Luck next year, who is far and away better than any Qb in this year’s draft. I think this pick will end up setting the Panthers back for the awhile.
The Bears don’t find themselves in the “losers” list because of their draft picks, but because of the mess they caused with the Ravens. The Bears initiated a trade with the Ravens to take their spot, but somehow didn’t send anyone to inform the NFL that the trade had taken place, effectively making the Ravens run out of time and lose one spot in the draft. Not only will the Bears likely be faced with some sort of repercussion from the NFL, but it reflects terribly on them as an organization and could force some teams to shy away from trying to trade with the Bears in the future.