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Old 11-18-2011, 09:25 PM    (permalink
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Top Two Round Analysis
by Draftologist Mel McShayock

Biggest Steal: DT Devon Still, Pick #37 to Carolina
Still had no business till being on the board this late. The big DT out of Penn State has practically lived in the opposing backfield this season, being a major disruptive force and raising the level of play for the entire defense. I had this guy as a top 20 prospect, so for him to be available in the 2nd round is just unbelievable. The Panthers got a great talent here.

Honorable Mentions:
Alshon Jeffery, Pick #19 to the Jets (projected top 10)
Dont'a Hightower, Pick #45 to the Chargers (Projected late first round)
Dwayne Allen, Pick #59 to the Giants (Projected late first/early 2nd round)


Biggest Reach: CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
This one left me scratching my head a little bit. I didn't even have Hayward in my top 100 and viewed him as a mid-rounder at best. Plus, even if the Eagles trade/cut Asante Samuel, they still have two other quality CBs on the roster in Nnamdi and DRC. (Though both are having serious down years that may improve if their scheme is changed.)

(Dis)Honorable Mentions:
Vontaze Burfict, Pick #13 to the Chiefs (Projected late first rounder)
Mark Barron, Pick #29 to the Texans (Projected mid-late 2nd rounder)
Michael Brewster, Pick #49 to the Cowboys (Projected just inside top 100)
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:38 PM    (permalink
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Been a while since I did one, updated best available:

1. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
2. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
3. Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
4. Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh
5. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
6. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
7. Sean Spence, OLB, Miami (FL)
8. Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
9. Trevor Guyton, DE, California
10. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:35 PM    (permalink
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Raiders Add Dline Depth

Jake Bequette DE Arkansas

With the 94th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas. The Senior Razorback has led the Arkansas defense the past 2 seasons as their top sack artist, and has displayed the ability to hold the edge against the run. At 6'5 270lbs, Bequette has NFL ready size and expierence, and according to Head Coach Hue Jackson he could see the field early in his career.

"We plan to use Jake as a rotational DE, likely playing behind Lamarr [Houston]. His motor, production and first step really appealed to us, and I'm excited to see what this young man can do for this football team."

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Old 11-20-2011, 05:30 AM    (permalink
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By TitansInsider Drew Foust


!@#$ YEAH WHITE PEOPLE


CasteFootball gives it an A+; Demands more carries for Toby Gerhart.


The first three rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft are over, and it looks like the Titans roster is on it's way to being cleansed...of inferior football players.

In a fairly surprising outcome of events, the Titans have gone offense with their first three selections in what appears to be an effort to create an environment conducive to their young franchise QB Jake Locker's success.

After missing out on David DeCastro, the player they were rumored to be most interested in, the Titans selected C Peter Konz. While seen as a slight reach at 20th overall, Konz was still taken later in his respective draft than past elite pivots, such as Mike Pouncey (15th) and Maurkice Pouncey (18th), and just one spot ahead of Alex Mack. The Titans have now hopefully sewn up the position that'll be snapping the ball to Locker for years to come, and in addition to protecting the QB, he'll improve over Eugene Amano in the rushing game. The last time the Titans had an elite run-blocking OL, they had an all-time great in Kevin Mawae manning the middle.

With their 3rd pick, the Titans selected TE Coby Fleener, which is Gaelic for "the same color as your bathtub." Fleener was a great value in the mid-3rd Round, and provides an all-around dimension at TE that the Titans lack with Joker TE Jared Cook and inline blocking TE Craig Stevens. Fleener will provide not only an outlet for an inexperienced QB, but also helps the over-the-middle intermediate passing game, and while he may not be able to manhandle DE's by himself, he's an edge setter in the run-game, which will also help Chris Johnson by allowing him to get to the corner quicker while not tipping the offense's hand by thinking the defense is stupid enough to believe Jared Cook is going to block anyone.

Something something Rueben Randle.

There is still the 4th Round left to go, and it'll be interesting to see if the Titans continue their plan of surrounding their young QB with talent, adding another lineman, whether offensive or defensive, or will they finally address the inside linebacker or safety positions. Stay tuned to MTSU News for up to the minute coverage of the Titans 2012 NFL Draft!

Update! As punishment for Eugene Amano breaking the NFL's conduct policy, Roger Goodell has given Amano the option of letting him sleep with Amano's wife or letting Leroy Harris die.

BREAKING NEWS! Leroy Harris is dead.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:31 AM    (permalink
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NFC North Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Minnesota Vikings
1-4-CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
2-35-DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
3-66-OT Zebrie Sanders, Florida State
4-101-CB Shawn Prater, Iowa

Analysis - The Vikings would have really liked Matt Kalil to be there at 4, but the Cardinals traded up to #2 for him. The Vikings still got a very good consolation prize in Claiborne at another position of huge need. Worthy in the 2nd round carries good value and also fills a need in the DT rotation. Sanders in the 3rd may not be an immediate starter, but should provide depth and could be a starter at one of the tackle positions down the line. Prater in the 4th adds more depth to the struggling secondary.

Grade: B+ Major needs filled, depth added

Chicago Bears:
1-12-OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford
2-42-DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
4-122-OLB Nigel Bradham, Florida State

Analysis - The Bears started off with 4 picks in the first 3 rounds, but traded up twice. The first time was for Martin, who should instantly replace J'Marcus Webb at LT and pair up with a hopefully healthy Gabe Carimi to give the Bears a pair of quality bookends. The second trade up in the second round for Jenkins was a little more questionable. While it was a need, I don't know if the trade up was completely necessary. Finally in the 4th round, the Bears went back to the Seminole well taking Bradham for depth at LB. Could develop into a future starter.

Grade: B- Coming away with Martin is good and wins points, but I expected more with 4 picks in 3 rounds.

Detroit Lions:
2-44-OT Nate Potter, Boise State
2-55-OLB Bruce Irvin, WVU
3-79-C Ben Jones, Georgia
3-86-S Antonio Allen, South Carolina
4-124-OG Joe Looney, Wake Forest

Analysis - The Lions traded out of the first round to pick up a handful of picks from the Chiefs, and then proceeded to draft depth/future starters all across the board. Potter and Irvin could be the heir apparent to Backus and Raiola respectively, or could possibly switch to guard and work into the starting lineup sooner. Looney should also provide some depth there. Irvin and Allen sure up weak areas on defense, but are doubtful to be impact players right away.

Grade: C+ Meh. The Lions acquired a lot of depth players, certainly, but even if a few of these guys end up starting sooner rather than later, none project to be impact rookies.

Green Bay Packers:
2-39-OLB Vinny Curry, Marshall
2-43-DE Jared Crick, Nebraska
4-128-CB Asa Jackson, Cal Poly

The Packers did some moving around after trading out of the first round. Draftnik favorite Vinny Curry is a solid 2nd round pick who could develop into the pass rusher they need opposite Clay Matthews, while Crick figures to work into their d-line rotation while becoming a starter down the line. Jackson is an athletic, developmental depth pick from a small school.

Grade: C+ Slightly above average draft. Will be looked at more favorably if Curry pans out well.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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NFC East Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Philadelphia Eagles:
1-16-LB Luke Keuchly, Boston College
2-38-CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
2-40-WR Dwight Jones, UNC
2-64-OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
3-70-OT Matt McCants, UAB
4-102-QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
4-108-S Winston Guy, Kentucky
Trade - LB Geno Hayes, Tampa Bay
Trade Loss - CB Asante Samuel

With a good number of draft picks, the Eagles had a chance to make major improvements. After trading out of the top 10, the Eagles landed an impact MLB in Keuchly. With a trio of 2nd round picks, the Eagles then selected Hayward, Jones and Zeitler to provide depth. Hayward may have been a bit of a reach though. The team continued to add depth to the o-line in the 3rd with McCants, and then drafted Kirk Cousins to develop at QB. Guy will add some safety depth. The Eagles also sent CB Asante Samuel to Tampa Bay for a 4th round pick and solid LB Geno Hayes.

Grade: B A pretty solid draft class made easier with a plethora of picks. Getting some value in the trade of Samuel was also a plus. Keuchly should start form day 1 while the rest of the guys provide depth.

Washington Redskins:
1-11-OG David DeCastro, Stanford
2-60-WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin
3-73-ILB Audie Cole, NC State
3-91-QB Nick Foles, Arizona
4-104-CB Jamell Flemming, Oklahoma
4-117-OT Brandon Mosely, Auburn

In a rare year of actually having a lot of draft picks, the Redskins didn't disappoint. With the top QBs off the board, the Redskins moved to address their o-line in the first with the draft's top guard DeCastro. A trade down in the 2nd round netted the Skins even more picks. Toon will add to their very lackluster WR corps as a quality possession receiver and Cole should be a future starter at ILB. Foles isn't my favorite prospect at QB, but the value isn't too bad in the late 3rd and should compete for the job in the future if the team doesn't make an immediate move. Flemming and Mosely will add depth to their respective positions.

Grade: B- Solid draft with a lot of picks. Should get immediate impacts out of DeCastro and Toon.

Dallas Cowboys:
1-18-CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
2-49-C Michael Brewster, Ohio State
3-80-S Aaron Henry, Wisconsin
4-116-ILB Jerry Franklin, Arkansas

The Cowboys didn't do much moving around, instead preferring just to stay put and take who was available. Jenkins is a definite first round talent at a need position. Brewster fills a need but was a definite reach in the 2nd round, I had him more of a late 3rd/4th type of prospect. Henry is solid safety who should provide depth and play special teams early on while developing as a starter down the line. Franklin is in a similar spot to Henry.

Grade: C Jenkins is likely a nickel guy to start off and I can't see anyone else making an early impact. Add in the reach on Brewster and it's a very "meh" draft.

New York Giants:
1-28-LB Manti Teo, Notre Dame
2-59-TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson
3-90-OT Andrew Datko, Florida State
4-121-DT Kheeston Randall, Texas

The Giants were another team that chose not to do much moving around and ended up well off for it. Teo is a slight steal that late in the first round and should immediately start in the Giants LB corps. Allen is also a steal by nearly a full round, as I felt he was a late first round prospect. He should pair up with Ballard as the type of TE combination that is in vogue in the league right now. Datko looks like the team's RT of the future with McKenzie struggling and a free agent to be. Randall should add depth to the DT rotation.

Grade: A I really like this draft. They got two decent steals with their first two picks and filled needs at the same time. That's exactly what I like to see a team do.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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NFC South Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Carolina Panthers:
1-6-CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
2-37-DT Devon Still, Penn State
3-74-WR Brian Quick, App State
4-99-CB Trumaine Johnson, Montana

The Panthers started off by trading down from 2 to 6 with the Cardinals for an extra 3rd this year and a future 2nd that could become a first. Then, the Panthers still got an elite talent at a need position in Kirkpatrick. In the 2nd round, the Panthers may have gotten the steal of the draft in Still who I had as a legit top 20 talent. In the 3rd and 4th round, the Panthers added some small school developmental players in Quick and Johnson.

Grade: A Holy damn...trade back, get at least a 2nd next year, AND come away with two top 20 talents at need positions? Great draft. Kirkpatrick and Still should make impacts day 1.

Tampa Bay Bucs:
1-15-LB Zach Brown, UNC
2-46-RB LaMichael James, Oregon
3-93-S George Iloka, Boise State
Trade: WR Jacoby Jones, Houston
Trade: CB Asante Samuel, Philly
Trade loss: LB Geno Hayes

After hitting on Mason Foster last year, the Bucs added some more talent to the LB position with Brown. James in the 2nd is a bit of a steal, though his weak elbow may be a problem sooner or later. Regardless, his speed will make for nice compliment to Blount, also an Oregon Duck. Iloka in the 3rd adds depth and may be a future starter for the Bucs who are weak at safety. The Bucs also sent LB Geno Hayes out of town and brought in veterans Asante Samuel and Jacoby Jones.

Grade: B- Nothing flashy, but it should help a young team continue to develop.

Atlanta Falcons:
2-52-OG/T Keleche Osemele, Iowa State
3-83-CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia

The Falcons didn't have much to work with due to the Julio Jones trade last year, but still came away with a few solid pieces. Osemele could play a variety of positions on the o-line and should find a home there, starting sooner rather than later. Boykin also adds depth to a secondary currently lacking it.

Grade: I did them and I'm not grading two picks.

New Orleans Saints:
2-58-LB Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
3-89-LB Keenan Robinson, Texas
4-120-DT Brett Roy, Nevada

Like the Falcons, the Saints didn't have a first rounder due to a trade last year, but came away with a solid draft. The LB position has been a weakness for the Saints, and I'm sure you know the saying, "there's no kill like overkill." Between Lewis and Robinson, the Saints should find a way to patch up that leaky LB corps. Roy will add some depth to the d-line rotation.

Grade: C+ Didn't have a lot to work with but came out fairly average nonetheless.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:01 PM    (permalink
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NFC West Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

St. Louis Rams:
1-5-WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
2-36-LB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
3-67-WR TY Hilton, Florida INTL
4-98-RB Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M

Outside of Stephen Jackson, the Rams badly struggled to get production out of their talent on offense. The Rams looked to address that in round 1 by adding Blackmon who should instantly be their #1 WR. In round 3, the Rams took another talented WR in TY Hilton who can also contribute as a return man. In between those picks, the Rams addressed the LB corps with Lewis. Then, in nthe 4th round, the Rams took a compliment/backup to Stephen Jackson in Gray.

Grade: B The Rams set out to find playmakers on offense and did just that. If Sam Bradford doesn't pick it up with theses additions, he may never do it.

Arizona Cardinals:
1-2-OT Matt Kalil, USC
4-118-SS Kenny Tate, Maryland

The Cardinals traded most of their picks in this draft plus one next year to address their biggest area of weakness with Kalil. Bold move, but that is a lot to give up. With their only other pick, they drafted athletic LB Kenny Tate out of Maryland who they hope to convert to a SS.

Grade: C+ They got Kalil, but gave up a lot to do so. Tate is also a major project.

Seattle Seahawks:
1-10-QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2-41-DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
3-72-WR Joe Adams, Arkansas
4-103-RB Doug Martin, Boise State

QB was a major need for the Seahawks and they addressed that right away with Griffin, who has probably has the highest ceiling in this draft class. Pass rush was another major need, so they took Mercilus in round 2 to add to that. Adams should add some depth to their WR corps while Doug Martin gives Seattle a solid-all-around RB to backup/spell Marshawn Lynch.

Grade: B They filled their biggest needs with players who have a lot of raw talent.

San Francisco 49ers:
1-30-CB Chase Minnefield, Virginia
2-62-OG Ryan Miller, Colorado
4-126-LB Emmanuel Acho, Texas
Trade: WR Louis Murphy, Oakland

The 49ers started off filling a need at CB, although with a slight reach in Minnefield. Miller is also a solid but unspectacular pick to add o-line depth and possibly man one of the guard spots in the near future. Acho will add depth to the LB corps which is currently lacking. The trade for Murphy is a little puzzling though...Jacoby Jones was traded for less than this and is a superior receiver. That is one I don't like.

Grade: C- Meh, not a fan of this draft. A couple of needs were filled but the value isn't great, and I'm not a fan of the Murphy trade.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:54 AM    (permalink
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AFC North Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Cleveland Browns:
1-7-QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma
1-9-RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
3-71-WR Juron Criner, Arizona
3-75-CB Donnie Fletcher, Boston College
4-106-WR Jarius Wright, Arkansas
4-114-LB Miles Burris, SDSU

The Browns had quite a few extra picks in this draft thanks to their trade with Atlanta last year, and immediately put them to work. Though Colt McCoy hasn't been outright bad, he hasn't been very good, so when the team had the chance to select a QB with true franchise tools in Landry Jones, they did. A few picks later, after packaging some of their picks in a trade up, they also landed RB Trent Richardson to give them an impact rusher. The Browns added some solid developmental pieces to their WR corps with Criner and Wright, then also added some depth to their defense in Fletcher and Burris.

Grade: B+ Very solid draft. Richardson should be the day 1 starter and primary ball carrier while Jones could be if he wins the training camp battle with McCoy. The others should all provide some nice depth.

Cincinnati Bengals:
1-21-CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
1-23-RB Lamar Miller, Miami
2-54-OT Matt Reynolds, BYU
3-92-WR AJ Jenkins, Illinois
4-123-OG Senio Kelemete, Washington

Thanks to the Carson Palmer trade, the Bengals had an extra first rounder which they used to select Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard. He should find a lot of playing time right away opposite Leon Hall. Two picks later, the Bengals added another young building block to their offense in Miami RB Lamar Miller who should take over as starter from free agent to be Cedric Benson. In the 2nd, the Bengals added another potential starter in BYU OT Matt Reynolds. The Bengals then added to their WR corps in the 3rd with Jenkins, and again added some o-line depth in the 3rd with Kelemete.

Grade: B+ The Bengals should come away with at least 2 immediate starters in Dennard and Miller, with Reynolds also a possibility. A good draft for a young developing team.

Baltimore Ravens:\
1-25-OT Mike Adams, Ohio State
2-34-S TJ McDonald, USC

While Bryant McKinnie was a nice scrap heap pickup, he's not a long term answer at LT. So, the Ravens selected Adams who, between he and Michael Oher in one order or another, should baton down the tackle spots for years to come. Then, the Ravens traded all of their remaining picks to move up to the top of the 2nd round where they selected USC safety TJ McDonald who figures to start along side, and possibly eventually replace, the aging HoFer Ed Reed.

Grade: B They didn't have many picks but the Ravens attacked two of their top needs aggressively. I'm not a big Adams fan but he's solid enough and McDonal fills a huge need.

Pittsburgh Steelers:
1-31-OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia
2-63-DT Josh Chapman, Alabama
3-95-ILB James Michael-Johnson, Nevada
4-127-S Trenton Robinson, Michigan State

The Steelers o-line was a major problem area throughout the past two seasons. While part if it was injury related, an overall lack of top end talent was also a factor. The Steelers looked to address this early in big OG Cordy Glenn. In the 2nd, The Steelers took who they hope to be their NT of the future in Chapman. James Michael-Johnson in the 3rd should backup and possibly replace the aging James Farrior and Larry Foote down the line. Finally, in the 4th, the Steelers added safety depth behind the aging Polamalu and Ryan Clark in Robinson.

Grade: B- While Glenn should be an immediate starter, the other guys will provide depth and could develop into long term starters down the line.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:15 AM    (permalink
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AFC East Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Miami Dolphins:
1-3-QB Matt Barkley, USC
2-56-OT Levi Adcock, Oklahoma State
3-69-DE/OLB Andre Branch, Clemson
3-87-TE Michael Agnew, Missouri
4-100-WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

While the Dolphins found themselves out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes thanks to some mid-season wins, they still landed a quality franchise caliber QB in Matt Barkley. In the 2nd, after a trade down, they got some protection for their QBotF in Adcock. With a pair of 3rd round picks, the 'Phins addressed their pass rush with Branch and added a weapon at TE in Agnew. Finally, in the 4th, they took a flier on prolific-but-injured WR Ryan Broyles. If he regains form, he projects to be a very solid #2/#3 type option down the line.

Grade: A I really like this draft. They finally took their first franchise caliber QB since Marino and acquired a good amount of offensive talent to surround him with. I also like the flier on Broyles in the 4th round. He could be an absolute steal at that point if he regains form. He probably would have been an early 2nd round pick he if didn't get hurt.

Buffalo Bills:
1-17-DE Quinton Coples, UNC
2-48-DE Cam Johnson, Virginia
2-61-CB Coryell Judie, Texas A&M
4-125-DT Kendall Rayes, UConn

The Bills late-season collapse was due in large part to a lack of overall talent due to years of early round draft pick busts. The Bills aggressively attacked the defensive side of the ball starting in the first with the draft's top pass rusher in Coples. In the 2nd, still on that d-line, they selected Cam Johnson out of Virginia. Then, they traded up from the 3rd round to snag Judie to provide them with some CB depth. In the 4th, they went back to the d-line in Kendall Reyes.

Grade: C+ There's no kill like overkill, and the Bills felt that way about the d-line. The team definitely had other needs, but felt that adding to the d-line would have a greater impact overall. We shall see.

New York Jets:
1-19-WR Alshon Jefferey, South Carolina
2-47-DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
3-81-OG Lucas Nix, Pitt
4-112-CB Leonard Johnson, Iowa State

The Jets missed the playoffs for the first time under Rex Ryan, and needed an infusion of talent in order to get back into the AFC race. They got a great steal in the first in WR Alshon Jefferey. He's falling in the minds of some draft picks, I suppose because they expect he'll test poorly and likely in part because his QB situation sucks. Well he's a great pick at this point and should be a stud #1 WR for the Jets, something Mark Sanchez sorely needs. Going back to the Gamecock well in the 2nd, the Jets selected Melvin Ingram. He's sort of a DE/OLB tweener for the 3-4 at over 270, but Rex Ryan will find a way to use him. In the 3rd, the Jets moved to address their struggling o-line in Lucas Nix. Then, adding some CB depth, the team took CB Leonard Johnson whose stock has been on the rise since playing well against Justin Blackmon.

Grade: B+ Very solid draft for the Jets. They got some nice talent in this one.

New England Patriots:
1-26-OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
1-27-DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson
2-53-S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State
2-57-WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
3-88-DL Jaye Howard, Florida
4-119-C David Molk, Michigan

The Pats had a ton of picks after years of trading back in the draft, and decided to use them all this time around to help their team now. With back to back first round picks, they looked to address their pass rush with Upshaw and Thompson. In the 2nd, the Pats addressed their ailing safety position with Martin and then selected a field-stretching WR in Wright. In the 3rd, Bill Belichick went to his favorite Florida well for Jaye Howard. In the 4th, the Pats drafted their center of the future (if there is such a thing) in Molk.

Grade: B- It's a solid draft which added a number of youngsters thanks to the sheer amount of picks. I don't know they got any true impact players here, but the team depth overall stands improved from it.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:47 AM    (permalink
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AFC South Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Indianapolis Colts:
1-1-QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
2-33-DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington
3-65-WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
4-97-LB Levonte David, Nebraska

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Colts took their QBotF in Luck first overall. Regardless of what happens with Manning, this is the pick they had to make as no overwhelming trade offers came in. In the 2nd, the team moved to address their swiss cheese DT rotation with Ta'amu . With Reggie Wayne slated to hit free agency and most of the other receivers on the roster products of Peyton Manning, the Colts selected talented if underachieving WR Jeff Fuller to develop. Finally, in the 4th, the Colts selected Levonte David who, while he doesn't bring the size the Colts have lacked to the position, plays bigger than he is and should be a solid contributor.

Grade: B They made the one pick they HAD to make (Luck) and got some guys who should be solid contributors at other positions of need.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
1-8-WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
1-32-WR Mohamad Sanu, Rutgers
3-96-TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
4-107-CB Ryan Steed, Furman

The Jaguars knew their biggest area of weakness, hitting it early and hard. That position is at WR where they selected Notre Dame's Michael Floyd. Then, they addressed it again, trading up to the very bottom of the first round for Rutgers standout Mohamad Sanu. In the 3rd, the Jaguars started to get their small school prospect fix with Ladarius Green who figures to backup the regressing Merceded Lewis. Again going to the small school ranks in the 4th, the Jaguars took Furman CB Ryan Steed as a developmental prospect.

Grade: B+ While I for one am not a Blaine Gabbert fan, the Jaguars are stuck with him so they provided him with as much help as possible in the first round with Floyd and Sanu, as well as Green. This could be a "boom or bust" kind of draft class for the Jags.

Tennessee Titans:
1-20-C Peter Konz, Wisconsin
2-51-WR Rueben Randle, LSU
3-82-TE Coby Fleener, Stanford
4-113-DL Malik Jackson, Tennessee

Despite Chris Johnson's collapse, the Titans were better than expected in 2011 yet with room to improve. Better o-line play would help the offense in general, so the Titans went that way in the first round with Konz. With Kenny Britt returning from injury, the Titans needed to add some more depth at WR which they did with LSU's Rueben Randle. In the 3rd, the Titans added Andrew Luck's favorite target from Stanford in Coby Fleener. Finally, staying in the home state, the Titans added DL prospect Malik Jackson.

Grade: C+ This draft won't blow you away, but it isn't bad and addressed most of the Titans needs. Nothing to get too excited over though.

Houston Texans:
1-29-SS Mark Barron, Alabama
3-68-DE Billy Winn, Boise State
3-77-WR Marvin McNutt, Iowa
4-105-OLB Shea McClellan, Boise State
Trade loss: WR Jacoby Jones
Though finally making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, the Texans were not without their areas of concern. One area was at safety which the Texans looked to address in the first round with Mark Barron. Perhaps a very slight reach, Barron should nonetheless be a solid in-the-box type safety. Making up for that after trading back and then trading up, the Texans got a slight steal in Boise's Billy Winn who figures to pair with JJ Watt as 3-4 DEs. The Texans traded Jacoby Jones to the Bucs, so they needed to replenish depth at the position,which they did by selecting McNutt. Finally, in the 4th round, the Texans added to their LB corps depth with another Boise State product in McClellan.

Grade: C Meh. Barron fills a need but I'm not a huge fan. I do like the acquisitions of Winn and McClellan, though I don't expect them to be much more than solid. Essentially trading Jones for McNutt also feels like a wash at best, if McNutt develops. I can see where they were going but the overall result is a bit lacking to me.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:51 AM    (permalink
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I have to say I like the Colts draft. Obviously picking at the top of each round helps, but they got solid value on every player and each seems like a nice fit. Didn't hit every need, but always tough to do.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:16 AM    (permalink
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AFC West Draft Grades
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Kansas City Chiefs:
1-13-LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
1-24-QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
4-110-RB Isiah Pead, Cincinnati

The Chiefs fell from first to worst in that division in a hurry, helped along by catching the INJURIEZZ bug this year. In an attempt to sure up their defense, the Chiefs chose ILB Vontaze Burfict with their first rounder. Opinions vary wildly on Burfict, everything from "the next Ray Lewis" to "overaggressive penalty machine." It'll be interesting to see how he performs next to Derrick Johnson. The Chiefs then traded back into the late first to select their QBotF in the talented by raw Ryan Tannehill. Then, later in the 4th, the Chiefs added some RB depth in versatile Bearcat back Isiah Pead.

Grade: B- A few days ago, I would have given this draft a lower grade, but there's no denying the raw talent the Chiefs acquired with their first two picks, so I warmed up slightly to it. Still, there is massive bust potential here.

San Diego Chargers:
1-15-OT Riley Reiff, Iowa
2-45-LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
3-76-OLB Brandon Lindsey, Pitt
4-111-RB Jeff Demps, Florida

The Chargers finally collapsed this year as Phillip Rivers could no longer carry the team. A big part of that was a lack of blocking, so the Chargers addressed that in round 1 with Reiff. He projects to be an upgrade at RT, though could swing to LT should Marcus McNeil's neck injury prove career threatening as has been rumored. In the 2nd, they got a bit of a steal in Alabama thumper Dont'a Hightower. At the very least, he should help solidify their run defense and be an effective blitzer. The Chargers stayed in the LB corps in the 3rd round with pass rusher Brandon Lindsey. In the 4th, they selected speedster RB/slasher Jeff Demps who will provide the offense with a big play threat.

Grade: B+ I like where the Chargers went with this draft. Reiff and Hightower should be immediate starters and upgrades, while Lindsey and Demps should contribute in situational roles at first, possibly expanding down the line.

Denver Broncos:
1-22-DT Dontari Poe, Memphis
2-50-CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
3-78 RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin
3-84-OG Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State
4-109-QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
4-115-RB Chris Rainey, Florida

Owing to a couple of trade backs, the Broncos had a fair number of picks in this draft and didn't disappoint with them. In the first, the Broncos took humungaloid DT Dontari Poe of Memphis who will surely beef up the team's run defense. In the 2nd, the Broncos stopped the fall of talented CB Stephon Gilmore who should definitely be a starter down the line. In the 3rd, the Broncos took solid-all-around RB Montee Ball of Wisconsin whose lack of game breaking speed caused him to fall, but he should be a fixture in John Fox's offense. In the 3rd, the Broncos took a flier on small school guard Amini Silatolu. With their first of two 4th rounders, the Broncos added quality but older-than-usual QB Brandon Weeden who could see a chance to start if (when) the Tebow offense fails out. Finally, with their final pick in the 4th, the Broncos took speedster back Chris Rainey who could be the lightning to the previously drafted Ball's thunder.

Grade: A I feel this is a very good draft in which the Broncos just kept adding talent in whatever form it took with their picks. They should get a number of contributors from this one.

Oakland Raiders:
3-94-DE Jake Bequette, Arkansas
Trade loss: WR Louis Murphy

Due to trades for Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell and the selection of Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft, the Raiders originally didn't even have any selections in this draft. However, they managed to fleece the 49ers out of a 3rd rounder for Murphy, acquiring one pick which they used to selected DE Jake Bequette. His stock had been on the rise and he should make for a solid piece in Oakland's d-line rotation.

Grade: Incomplete. Yeah, it's hard to grade one pick. They should get an A for effort just getting back into this draft. But still....
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