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Team

My Picks: 

(U)- Unofficial

Key Needs:

Team Moves:

1.

Miami

Grade: A

Best Pick:

Chad Henne QB

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Jake Long OT 

Needed a QB.

NT/DT, ILB, TE, CB, WR, CB, S

F.A. Signings:

Justin Smiley OG

Ernest Wilford WR

Josh McCown QB

Keith Davis ST/S

Charlie Anderson LB

Reggie Torbor LB

Michael Lehan CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Zach Thomas ILB

L.J. Shelton OT

Trent Green QB 

Marty Booker WR

Keith Traylor DT

The Team: Did well addressing needs, but still have a lot of needs left. I like the Combo pick of Long and Henne, and have questions for years why teams would spend millions on a First Round pick and/or a young QB and not draft a player they played with in college to help with the transition to the NFL. I actually like Jake Long better as a player then Henne, but I put him as the Worst Pick because they should have taken Matt Ryan. I love the picks of Merling and Langford, who I think match their defense better then they would in a 4-3.

$ Jake Long- OT Michigan, 6-7, 313- Signed, sealed, and delivered. I still think they should have taken Ryan.

Long has terrific hands and feet. He already looks like an NFL LT in his techniques and sets. He blocks with arms extended and punches well with both hands. Then he drives in and grabs shirt with both hands, inside the shoulders (which is NFL legal) and continues shoving violently, and all the while keeping his feet moving, driving, and tapping along for power and balance. He sets his hands in the ready position exactly the way it is coached in the NFL. His footwork is textbook. He does everything the way coaches teach technique. He is clearly one of the most coachable players in this years draft. The more I watch him play the more I think he could be a Left Tackle. He has been compared recently to Jumbo Elliot. Elliot was a power LT who Parcells drafted in the Second Round out of Michigan. He struggled with speed sometimes (but let's be honest here, what LT doesn't struggle with speed sometimes?), but more then made up for it in the Running game. That could be a very apt description of Long, who I consider be the best Run Blocker in the Draft. Plus, he only gave up two Sacks starting for four years at Michigan, I think that amazing stat gets over looked too much. Long doesn't have the classic machinegun feet of a classic LT, but he uses his feet like a tightrope walker to stay in perfect balance. It just never appears that he is out of balance, except when he pulls outside sometimes, and the closer he gets to the left sideline the more uncomfortable he looks. He does have negatives. He doesn't always look smooth moving backwards. His kick-step is good, but not machinegun quick like Chris Williams. But he uses his long arms and great hands perfectly in pass protection to more then make for an imperfect kick-step. And you know, GMs and coach around the league are smiling when they see how mean and nasty he is on the field, and even I was smiling when I saw him interviewed, and he was smiling and laughing as he bragged about how much he enjoyed destroying defenders and driving them into the ground and jumping on top of them;-)  

Monster run blocker. Huge man who makes D-Ends look small and weak. I think Long can step in at Right Tackle where he is better suited. Long has great size, strength and toughness, but I question his feet. If you can't dance you can't play LT in the NFL;-) Looks fierce, graceful, and natural when moving forward into defenders. Can block multiple players on running downs. Is the strongest run blocker in the draft. Can collapse an entire D-Line by driving the D-End into the D-Tackle. Does not look natural moving backwards, his backpedal is not what one would call elegant. Loses all grace when pass blocking. Quicker then he looks, and is never off balance. Doesn't look natural when he pulls to the outside, and struggle the further outside he goes. When he moves off the line straight, he is a wonder to behold. He can punch the D-End and still rush straight forward and eliminate the middle Linebacker or Safety. He is so big and strong, and when he gets his giants mitts on a defender, they are defeated. Doesn't look natural moving backwards. However, he does get back faster then it looks, there appears to be a bit of a hop in his kick-slide, and he uses his long arms and gigantic strong hands well. Only gave up 1 Sack in his super impressive Senior season.

Phillip Merling- DE Clemson, 6-5, 270- I was not the biggest fan of Merling and felt he was miscast. He is not a great passrusher. However, I really like him as a 3-4 D-End. He is a good passrusher as a 5-technique DE. Has the size and strength to be be very efficient against the run, and looks like he could add more weight.

Is really rising and some think he was a guaranteed first rounder until hernia surgery. Had an impressive 78 Tackles his senior year, leading all D-Linemen on his team, and led his team with 17 TFL. Had 7 sacks, and was able to pressure the QB consistently. Was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week 3 times. I watched his game against Florida State this year where he had a terrific game and was named ACC D-Lineman of he week. Then I saw him dominate against B.C. He had Two Sacks and looked unblockable at some points. Still, I hate placing D-Ends in the First Round who are not great Passrushers. Merling is not a great Passrusher, he only had 7 Sacks last season (2 against BC, 2 against Florida State, and only 3 in the other 12 games), and only 12 career Sacks in three seasons. However, he is a high motor player with exceptional size, and is excellent against the run. May be better off adding weight and moving inside to DT like Cory Redding. 

$ Chris Henne- 6-3, 228, QB Michigan- Another pick I got right. I question how good he can be as a Pro. Looks like he got worse each season, but he did finally win a Bowl Game as a Senior.

Henne has a very strong arm, and throws a nice looking ball. However, the further he throws it the more his accuracy suffers. He is a tough guy to scout. He was surrounded by a lot of talent, but he struggled in big games. He was 1 and 3 in Bowl Games despite almost always having superior talent. He appears to me to have regressed. You could argue his best season was his Freshman season and his worst was his Senior season. However, he is a good leader, and his teammates seem to like him. He is smart, hard working, and has a lot of the intangibles you want your QB to have. I am not a person who sees him as a First Round talent, and I question if he can do it in the NFL. 

Kendall Langford- 6-5 3/8, 287, 4.8, 31", 9'5"- Great pick. I had Langford in the Third Round, but couldn't find a 3-4 team to put him on. Fit the system perfectly. Looked like a 5-technique D-End at Senior Bowl. Reports have him now up to almost 300 pounds, and Parcells may use him as a NT?  

Really played well at the Senior Bowl where he showed he had a good motor. He played physically, stood up well at the point of attack and still had enough slipperiness to get to the QB. Showed he could be an excellent 5-Tachnique DE. Reminds me of Bobby Hamilton. Showed up at he Senior Bowl at  270. The at the Combine at 272, and he grew to 287 by his Proday. Has a great blend of strength and quickness. 

Table from NFL.com:

Jake Long OT 6'7" 315 Michigan
Pick Analysis: With contract negotiations completed before the draft on a five-year deal worth $57.5 million, the Dolphins see Long as the answer to their most pressing of multiple needs. He started 40 games over the past four years at Michigan and should be able to make an immediate impact at tackle for Miami. His best traits are work ethic, power and toughness.
Phillip Merling DE 6'5" 272 Clemson
Pick Analysis: Merling is recovering from a sports hernia. He started 26 games over the past two seasons with 12 sacks. In continuing the roster overhaul, Miami liked his competitiveness and quick first step.
Chad Henne QB 6'2" 225 Michigan
Pick Analysis: Most predict Henne to begin his career as a backup, but thrust into the uncertain quarterback situation in Miami, the rookie will have every chance to compete for a starting spot with the likes of John Beck and Josh McCown. Considered a tough quarterback, the Dolphins get some good value with a late second-round pick, regardless of where Henne ends up on the depth chart.
Kendall Langford DT 6'6" 295 Hampton
Pick Analysis: The Dolphins continue to address the line of scrimmage. Using their second choice on the defensive line, Langford is a player that has good size at 6-foot-6. Bill Parcells is more a traditional 3-4 defense and Langford fits that defensive scheme.
Shawn Murphy OT 6'4" 320 Utah State
Pick Analysis: The Dolphins traded up to get Murphy. This is a good, solid pick at this point in the draft. He's versatile on the offensive line. Murphy is mature and has great size. In Miami, they are going to want to pound the ball and he is not only strong but tough, smart and can change direction. He could be in the league a long time.
Jalen Parmele RB 6'0" 224 Toledo
Pick Analysis: Parmele is really more of a fullback, but a combination player who can occasionally carry the ball. He ran well and was a three-year starter with Toledo.
Donald Thomas OG 6'4" 303 Connecticut
Pick Analysis: A walk-on discovered on campus working out in the gym, Thomas only got 14 starts in college, but he has excellent measurables and great size. He is a practice squad player right now and at best will probably see the field around 2010. He does have athleticism and can be turned into a valuable guard down the road with patience.
Lex Hilliard RB 5'11" 228 Montana
Pick Analysis: Hilliard could have been taken higher without concerns over a knee injury and is more of a bruising type player in the backfield. He's a stout back with some ability.
Lionel Dotson DE 6'4" 296 Arizona
Pick Analysis: Dotson has decent size for a defensive tackle. He's not very fast, but he can play inside with leverage. He's more of a project player that is not in a position to contribute right away.

2.

Rams

Grade: A

Best Pick:

John Greco OL

Has a Chance at LT.

 

Worst Pick:

Chris Long DE

I liked Dorsey.

CB, TE

Key F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Isaac Bruce WR

The Team: They did a great job addressing their needs, leaving only two needs on my list- a second CB and a TE. I put Long as their worst choice, because of a very minor disagreement- Dorsey was the Rams and my Best Player Available. Otherwise,  I thought they made good decisions all down the line. 

$ Chris Long- DE/OLB, Virginia, 6-3, 275, 4.71(U)- I would have went with Dorsey, but Long looks like the real deal as well.

Long is a terrific football player who can play D-End in a 3-4. Long looks like a great hybrid player in a 3-4, and he can play in the 4-3. Had amazing Senior season. Acquiring 14 sacks, 75 Total Tackles, and 19 TFL as a 5-Technigue D-End playing in a 3-4 is unheard of! Relentless, and I mean Relentless passrusher. In his Bowl Game against Texas Tech, Tech throw the ball 69 times! Long rushed relentlessly on nearly ever single pass, he dropped back into a coverage a few times and was on the bench for a few plays in the First Half. Amazingly, he got the most pressure in the Forth Quarter where he got his hands on Harrell at least twice and almost sacked him twice, but he lost he balance and was falling down and wasn't able to hold on. That is the definition of relentless.   

His coach Al Groh said (and I'm paraphrasing because I did not write the quote down), (He is) "afraid Long might wear down as a D-End in the NFL, and that his most natural position would be as a Mike Vrabel-type OLB." Oh yeah he also said, and I quote, "Clearly, there's no better player in college football than Chris Long. He performs like a star but doesn't act like a star." Sounds like a Patriot to me. First-Team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association. First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Donnie AveryWR Houston, 5-11 1/8, 192, 4.33, 36" 10'2"- Nobody would be questioning this pick if Thomas and Sweed had been taken in the First Round like they should have. Had an outstanding Senior season in a system that doesn't translate well to the NFL. Has a great Senior Bowl, Combine, and Proday. Leaving only the question of how well he can transition from the Run an' Shoot into the Rams offensive system.  

A quick hiccup and he's gone. Has the speed that scares Defenses. Reminds me of a stronger built David Patton. Doesn't cut as well as you would like for a shorter receiver, but he knows how to get open deep as well any WR in this Draft. Had a great senior season, caught 91 balls for 1,456 yards and 7 TDs. Returns Kicks as well. Played in a spread offense that doesn't always translate well to the NFL. Earned a starting position at Senior Bowl. Not the most physical WR. Can be jammed at line of scrimmage, but if the CB misses, he is gone. Plays with his timed speed.

John Greco- OT/OG Toledo, 6-4.75, 310, 5.2- I had him as the Pats pick in the Third Round, so you know I liked him. I liked him more as a O-Guard, but he has the Atticism and measurables to play LT. If he can develop next to Pace at Left Guard for a few seasons, I believe he can step over one spot to LT when Pace is gone.    

Greco is a late developing O-lineman, who has a good chance to be a legit O-Tackle in the NFL. He is still more promise then production. He often struggled at Toledo, but seemed to really take to Pro coaching at the East-West Game. He also displayed the size and athleticism to play Tackle in the NFL at the Combine. He turned a lot of heads this off season, and he should easily go in the Third Round.  

*Justin King- CB Penn ST, 6' 193, 4.31- Has everything you want physically in a CB, but needs a lot of work on technique and upstairs. A hot and cold player who looked like a Second Round pick, was a steal in the Forth Round.

Super fast, super athletic Corner who can turn and run with any receiver. Sometimes looks great and sometimes for terrible. His inconsistency seems to be a matter of his lack of physicality. Not a physical player and doesn't seem to like that aspect of the game. Has everything needed to be a finesse Corner, but wasn't taught to backpedal at Penn. He will need time to adjust to NFL and learn proper footwork and technique. Will be over drafted because of speed and will be seen as a disappointment because he will take some time to develop. But, in a year or two, he has the talent to develop into an excellent finesse Corner. 

Roy Schuening- OG Oregon ST, 6-3.5, 306- A rough and tumble OG, who I could not put in the First 3 Rounds because he looks too much like Artie Lang. However, he was a steal in the Fifth Round.

A wrestler who plays low and dirty. Mean, tough, and physical, everything you want in an O-Guard. He lost nearly 20 pounds during his Senior season, playing with Walking Pneumonia! What more can you say?

Table from NFL.com:

Player Pos Ht Wt College
Chris Long DE 6'4" 275 Virginia
Pick Analysis: For the second straight year, the Rams go with a defensive lineman in the first round. Long played as a true freshman in 2004 and started 37 games over the past three years at Virginia. His best traits are strength and a quick first step. He will be used as an edge rusher in the 4-3 scheme employed by the Rams.
Donnie Avery WR 5'11" 186 Houston
Pick Analysis: Few had Avery as their No. 1 wide receiver, but Scott Linehan loves speed. Avery ran really fast at his pro day (4.34) after a slower time at the combine because he was dealing with an injury. He should be a good fit for the system in St. Louis.
John Greco OT 6'5" 320 Toledo
Pick Analysis: The Rams are looking to get more physical up front, and in Greco they get a guy with a lot of potential. He performed really well at the Senior Bowl. He's somewhat under the radar, coming from a smaller school, but has shown solid promise.
Justin King CB 5'11" 192 Penn State
Pick Analysis: King is probably the fastest corner remaining and is a good value at this point in the draft. He'll probably play as a nickel back in St. Louis.
Keenan Burton WR 6'1" 200 Kentucky
Pick Analysis: Burton is a fast player and has good size. His measurables are strong and he was productive at Kentucky. The Rams are known for producing good receivers and Burton has a chance to join the list.
Roy Schuening OG 6'4" 308 Oregon State
Pick Analysis: Schuening made 50 college starts, but played most of this year with pneumonia and couldn't shake it, going in and out of IVs. He did not play particularly well against Sedrick Ellis, but had a good career at Oregon State and is a very solid player.
Chris Chamberlain DB 6'2" 226 Tulsa
Pick Analysis: Tulsa had a large crowd at its pro day because of quarterback Paul Smith. However, Chamberlin was the guy who ended up wowing scouts with his incredible workout. His measurables and skills are impressive. He has a chance to compete for a roster spot and should be a good special teams player.
David Vobora OLB 6'1" 236 Idaho
Pick Analysis: Vobora projects as a linebacker. He had a great workout and fits at the will position. He could find a place in the league based on his talent and athleticism.

3.

21.

Falcons

Grade: A++

Best Pick:

Matt Ryan QB

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Sam Baker OL 

Needed a LT.

 

 

DT, OT, DE

F.A. Signings

Chris Redman QB

Michael Turner RB

Ben Hartsock TE

Erik Coleman S

Von Hutchins  CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Rod Coleman DT

Demorrio Williams LB 

Alge Crumpler TE

Warren Dunn RB

Joey Harrington QB

Byron Lwftwich QB 

Wayne Gandy OT

The Team: I gave them the ridicules A++, because KC had an A+ and I wanted to signify that I they had a better Draft. Their needs transcended just players. And, unlike Miami, KC, and Oakland last year, they needed to do more then just reboot their Franchise. They had to exorcise the unspoken specter that was living in their Franchise. The ghost in the their machine, was the specter of Michael Vick. It was haunting the Falcons like nothing we've ever seen. His over inflated memory was a ghostly virus eating at the very core of their thought processes. They were in a unique situation, now that the Michael Vick had turned from star to ghost, and a ghost to a virus, they needed to eliminate the associations completely. They had quarantined the virus Vick had become, now they to remove any doubt of his return, and repair all the damaged player files. Starting with the QB position. I have said all a long that Drafting Matty Ice was their number one priority. As for the Draft itself, they addressed all their needs, except D-Line and a second O-Tackle. But, most importantly they address the desperate despair their Franchise has been locked up in. I have been been mercilessly critical of Brad Blank. But, insisting they stick at Three and take Ryan, is a Franchise changing decision. They went off their board, and didn't take the horrid Best Player Available decision- Dorsey. They took the player that would help their Franchise the most. This was not just a great Draft, it was a Franchise changing Draft. Almost everybody and their brother had KC as having the best Draft, but they are wrong. This was the best Draft. I heard idiots from Atlanta on the radio, okay one idiot, as late as last month saying that Vick was going to get out of prison and led the Falcons to the Super Bowl. This Draft separates them from Vick, even in the alleged minds they idiotic Vick fans. Without Matty Ice, they are still Vick's team, and now they are not. They also took a lot of Linebackers, which could signal a switch to the 3-4. They also got 3 later Round picks I really liked: Harry Douglas Slot Receiver, Thomas DeCoud SS, and Thomas Brown RB. 

$ Matt Ryan- QB BC, 6-5, 230- Ryan is the anti-Vick, he is a team first player, not a me first player; he is not going to have explosive runs, but will come through in the clutch with the big pass; and he won't be on the cover of any video games, but he will just keep winning. Many Draftnics like to forge that he almost had B.C. in the BCS Championship Game! Are you kidding me? B.C. has no business of being considered in the Championship Game. All's he does is win, with lesser talent, and much slower players. He had no WRs who will be in the NFL. He had one RB who might, just might get drafted in the 7th Round. He had Cherilus who will be Drafted in the First Round, and that was it. He had Jolonn Dunbar, DeJuan Tribble, and Jamie Silva; Now I am not meaning to degrade these players, because they were great, and I mean great players at B.C., and were the heart and soul of their defense, but none of the three will be First Day Picks. This is the team he almost brought to the Championship Game.

Matt Ryan has all the intangibles that teams want at QB. He reminds me of Matt Hasselbeck, only he is far more advanced now then Matt was when he came out of BC. Would you take Matt Hasselbeck with this pick if he was a Rookie?  He is super tough and smart. As intelligence becomes more and more important each year, I think Ryan has a shot at number one. Loves to hang out after practice and do film work with coaches, an absolute must to succeed as a QB now-a-days. His coaches and teammates rave about him. Plus I have heard Draftnic raving about the Pro-Style Coaching that Brain Brohm has received? And while he has received Pro-Style coaching, Ryan was coached by Pro Coach, Jags was Offensive Coordinator in Green Bay for three seasons. So while Brohm played in a Pro-Style Offense, Ryan played in a Pro Offense last season. He is the most NFL ready QB in this Draft. Miami will live to regret passing on Ryan. 

$ Sam Baker- OG/OT USC, 6-4.5 309, 5.5, 29 Reps, 28.5", 9"4'- I had Baker going to Atlanta in the Second Round, so I don't want to be to critical. He looks like a beast moving forward, and looked labored and natural moving backwards last season, but he suffered from Hamstring injuries all season. With when I look back, all that awkwardness he had in his Kick-Step could have been caused by the bad Hamstrings. Plus, it's never a reach if it's a Left Tackle. My only problem is that they gave up a LOT to move up. I have been comparing him to Matt Light, and he better be a LT to justify the all the picks they gave up to get him. 

The more I watch him the Less I like him. Doesn't have elite feet or size for a Left Tackle. Has short arms, 32-inch arms makes playing LT in the NFL very difficult. However, he reminds me of Matt Light, who I still think would be better on the Right side. 3-Time All-American. He can pull and hit the Linebacker on the Second Level with consistency. Thumper, who like to hit. Can knock his man down when he is right in front of him. Is a Work out Warrior, who by all reports love to work and lives in the weight room. I believe he will succeed in the NFL, I'm just not sure it will be at Left Tackle. 

Curtis Lofton- ILB Oklahoma, 6' 235, 4.6- Lofton is a player I like. I think he will fit in great with this team.  

Lofton is most often classified as a "Thumper". Best hitter in the draft. Down hill Inside Linebacker with great Production. Last season he has 157 Tackles, 10.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 5 PBU, and 3 INTs. Lack of height will hurt him, but he take on O-Guards better then expect. Terrific in pass coverage, maybe just the Player the Pats are looking for. A little tight, doesn't always look natural changing direction. 

Chevis Jackson- CB LSU, 6-0 1/8 192, 4.57, 40" 10' L.J.- A player I liked. He has everything you want in a DB except pure speed. He will play for a long time in this league.

Terrific Corner with terrific hips and cover skills. Can twist out of his backpedal and into a full sprint smoother then any DB in this years Draft. Lacks elite speed and will need help over the top. Physical player who loves the game. Looks the part. is well built and has long arms. Heady player who understands what he is suppose to be doing on the field. Could be a steal for a Tampa Two team as he is very smart and understands zones and zone concepts. Super smart  Corner who lacks big time speed. He can get beaten deep because of speed, but plays the position so well it doesn't happen often. He has excellent short area quickness, and really exceptional hips. Is excellent in run support and offers some extra value as a FS. Would probably be better off with a zone heavy team.

Harry Douglas- WR Louisville, 5-11, 180, 4.5- Another player I really like. Compares favorably to Deion Branch. He will be a slot receiver in this league for a long time.

Underrated WR, who has the exceptional quickness and change of direction talent to be all but uncoverable in the slot. In 2006, he garnered 70 Receptions, for 1,265 yards and 6 TDs. Last season, he garnered 71 Receptions, for 1,159 yards and 7 TDs. He is small, but super tough, super competitive, and will fight anybody for the ball. He is smart and knows what he is doing on the field. The more I watch him the more I like him.

Thomas DeCoud SS- 6-1, 207, 4.5- Another player I like. Looks long, thin, and smooth and has the speed of a FS, but he cannot play FS in the NFL, as he has very questionable Ball Skills. However, he excels in the box, and is a ferocious tackler who will hurt ball carriers. 

A Strong Safety who looks likes a Free Safety. He is a naturally smooth athlete. He is excellent against the run and really struggles with the pass.  He has1 Career INT. He started only 4 games as a Junior, and garnered 45 Tackles, 3 PBU, 1 TFL and ZERO INTs. Last season he garnered, 116 Tackles, 5 PBU, and his only career INT. He is a Downhill tackler who can really hit through ball carriers. Very aggressive and really excels in the box. However, he can really look lost in a zone, and for all his exceptional athleticism and speed he does not cover the deep Center Field well at all. He will be a very good player for a very long time, if he used correctly. If however, he is miscast as a FS, and expected to play Centerfield like Eugene Wilson, he will fail. But, if you play him like a SS, and ask him to do what Marvin Harrison does, he will excel. 

Thomas Brown- RB Georgia, 5-9, 205- Another player I like. He reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew. He is short but not small. Built like a granite statue. Has excellent character, and is the type of person everybody wants on their team. Has great quickness and is a tough as they come. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, and is already adept at pass blocking. Also has Kick Return experience. Should make this team, even if only as a Special Teams guy, and stick for a long time.    

Table from NFL.com:

Pos Ht Wt College
Matt Ryan QB 6'5" 224 Boston College
Pick Analysis: Looking for a face of the franchise, the Falcons went with a quarterback. Ryan started 32 games over the past four years at Boston College. He will compete for the starting job in 2008 and is expected to lead the offense for years to come. The two-time captain is known for his character, leadership and intelligence.
Sam Baker OT 6'5" 312 Southern Cal
Pick Analysis: To compliment their quarterback of the future, the Falcons traded up to take someone who will protect Matt Ryan. Baker allowed just 4.5 sacks on his last 889 pass plays at USC. Baker battled injury problems the last two years and missed time because of it.
Curtis Lofton LB 6'0" 238 Oklahoma
Pick Analysis: After going offense with their two first-round picks, the Falcons took Lofton. With a nose for the ball, he had 197 tackles in 39 games at Oklahoma, including 19 starts. He gives the Falcons a strong inside presence, where he will go a long way to helping stuff the run. Where he struggles is getting outside and changing direction.
Chevis Jackson CB 6'0" 188 LSU
Pick Analysis: Jackson is known as a tough and instinctive cornerback, who lacks top-end speed. He's not afraid to play press coverage with his long arms or get involved in supporting the run. The Falcons traded DeAngelo Hall leading up to the draft and needed to address the position.
Harry Douglas WR 5'11" 176 Louisville
Pick Analysis: The Falcons get a weapon for quarterback Matt Ryan. Douglas makes up for a small frame with good speed and has been productive at Louisville with Brian Brohm throwing him the ball. He had an exceptional three-cone number at 6.75, which indicates that he has great ability to get in and out of breaks. He is a good route-runner and can pile up the yards after catch.
Thomas DeCoud FS 6'2" 196 California
Pick Analysis: The Falcons use a second third-round pick on the defensive backfield. DeCoud had solid production at California. He has exceptional special teams skills and good coverage ability. He even has the quickness to play cornerback at times. He is not real big, but has shown a willingness to come up for run support.
Robert James OLB 5'11" 219 Arizona State
Pick Analysis: James is willing to give up his body in order to make a tackle. He should be a special teams contributor early in his career. Considering his size, he could move from linebacker to safety at the next level.
Kroy Biermann OLB 6'3" 242 Montana
Pick Analysis: Biermann started four years at a very good program. He'll be a middle linebacker in the NFL. He played a lot with his hand on the ground in college, but at the pro level he'll be used more in space and has the speed and athleticism to do so.
Thomas Brown RB 5'9" 204 Georgia
Pick Analysis: Brown is an experienced starter at Georgia who shared the load his senior season. He has good speed and can break tackles. He was inconsistent and needs to work on his steadiness and ball security.
Wilrey Fontenot CB 5'9" 171 Arizona
Pick Analysis: Fontenot started four years at Arizona. He actually started one more game than Antoine Cason and was part of a record-setting relay team in high school. He has sprinter straight-ahead speed more than lateral quickness. His cover skills are questionable.
Keith Zinger TE 6'4" 270 Duke
Pick Analysis: Zinger had a solid workout at LSU's Pro Day. He's a prototypical blocking tight end who is not much of a weapon in the passing game. Zinger's not fleet of foot.

4.

Raiders

 

Grade: D+

Best Pick:

Tyvon Branch WR

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Sam Baker- 

Needed a LT.

 

OLT, DT, LB, DL, OL, DL

F.A. Signings:

Javon Walker WR

Drew Carter WR.

Kwame Harris OT

Gibril Wilson S

Tyler Brayton DE

William Joseph DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jerry Porter WR

Barry Sims OT

Josh McCown QB

Chris Clemons DE

The Team: Terrible off season. This team is in complete disarray. Jevon Walker was given a 6-year deal, and he could play last season because of his knee. Tommy Kelly given 6 years, and he could play last season because of his knee. They took Darren McFadden, even though they are loaded at RB, and Glenn Dorsey was on the Board. I like McFadden, and I think he is going to be a dynamic Pro, but when you can't stop anybody from running up the middle, and the most dominating D-Tackle is still on the Board, you take him. It will be another long season in Oakland.  

Darren McFadden- RB/QB Arkansas, 6-2, 217, 4.27(U)- McFadden is a super dynamic RB, but they had so many other needs. How much will he really upgrade the RB position, certainly not more then Dorsey would have upgraded the DT position. I'm a McFadden guy, and I always say you should help your young QB, but this was a mistake.

If McFadden reminds me of anyone he reminds me of a faster Marcus Allen. Now, what separated Allen from other backs of his skill level was his amazing toughness. I'm not saying McFadden has his toughness, so very few NFL players do, but when I watch him run he just looks like Allen. Allen was a long lean upright runner, who had this amazing ability to suddenly duck under the pads of an incoming defenders at the last second, and hit him rather then the other way around. It was great to watch, he would be striding along, and bam quicker then you can see he had lowered his shoulder pads right into the defenders gut. McFadden has that same knack for striding along and then bam almost diving into the defender. The comparisons to Reggie Bush are ludicrous. Bush's problem is that he now tries to bounce it outside on every single block. I can't tell you how many times I saw a blocker on his team with inside shade, and the defender holding the edge, and if he just cut inside the blocker he was gone. Instead, he fakes inside and runs right into the defender holding the outside, every single time, and defensive players now know it. If he would just learn to read his blocks he would be a great weapon again. McFadden doesn't bounce it outside on every single block. He will lower his pads and hit the hole where he is suppose to, at least enough to keep the defense honest. Now at Arkansas they ran outside a lot. Duh, with McFadden and Jones in the backfield you want to use that speed to the outside, not pound them into the big fats guys who can't catch them. McFadden reads blocks well, and will lower his pads and hit the hole between the Tackles when he is called to, unlike Bush, who is bouncing himself right outside the league if he continues to not follow his blockers.    

McFadden is a super- fast slick RB. His instincts and intelligence are amazing. I think he is the second best player in this draft. But, I also think the comparisons to Adrian Peterson are weak. McFadden looks and runs nothing like Peterson. Peterson is stronger, shiftier, and quicker, while McFadden has more straight-line speed. Plus, McFadden has no injury concerns. He runs upright in the open field, but does a good jump getting his pads low when he needs to, and is almost miraculously quick at getting his pads low when someone is about to crush him. Incident at night club has hurt his reputation. Was forced to take a Paternity test by an unscrupulous moneygrubber. Neither of these incidents worry me. Also, has fumbled more then makes me comfortable,  23 times in 3 seasons. Two time Doak Walker award winner. Very impressive young man in person. Has the smarts to play QB as well as RB. Articulate and intelligent in interviews. Dealt with the media very well at Combine. Second all time rusher in SEC history with 4,590 yards. Had a very impressive 2,310 all purpose yards and 16 TDs last season at Arkansas. Ran an amazing 4.27 at 211 pounds at the Combine.

Tyvon Branch- CB/S/KR Connecticut, 6', 204, 4.33, 33"- Branch was an excellent pick, at another non-need position. He would develop into a nice Nickel Corner for this team, if he can ever get on the field.

A track guy playing Corner. Has the pure size and speed combo that makes GM's drool. Still struggling with instincts and ball skills. Tested as one of the top five Corners in the Draft. Plus, he is very smart and a good student. Has more straight line speed then quick cutting quickness, which can hurt him in the NFL. Has the size and toughness to play FS. Has played Special Teams, and some already see him as a special teams maven. He is already an excellent Gunner and cover man. Is actually an excellent Tackler who has been amazingly productive over the past two seasons. In the past two season he has garnered 168 Tackles, 15 TFL, but only 1 INT. He also is an excellent Kick Returner who averaged almost 30 yards a return.  

Table from NFL.com:

Darren McFadden RB 6'2" 210 Arkansas
Pick Analysis: Arguably the most talented player in the draft, McFadden brings a big-play threat to Oakland. He will offer a compliment to quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who was the first overall pick in 2007. In three years at Arkansas, he carried 785 times for 4,590 yards and 41 touchdowns. He has exceptional acceleration and upper body strength.
Tyvon Branch CB 6'0" 204 Connecticut
Pick Analysis: Branch is strong, fast and has started for four years. His measurables have been exceptional. Branch's strong workout numbers compare to only five other players at his position and four have played in the Pro Bowl, while the fifth is a quality contributor in the NFL.
Arman Shields WR 6'1" 194 Richmond
Pick Analysis: Shields did not have as good a senior year as he did as a junior, but he's still tall and he's fast. He ran a 4.37 40 and also had impressive cone drill numbers. He's a guy who can amass yards after the catch and make plays.
Trevor Scott DE 6'5" 256 Buffalo
Pick Analysis: Scott is a tall defensive end, with speed. He has great workout numbers, but his production on the field was somewhat lacking. He needs to demonstrate on the field the talent that his workout numbers indicate he could be capable of.
Chaz Schilens WR 6'4" 208 San Diego State
Pick Analysis: Schilens excites people because of his exceptional size and speed. Due to his pure athleticism, he will have a chance to make the roster. He still needs some polish as a receiver.

5.

17.

Chiefs

Grade: A+

Best Pick:

Glenn Dorsey DT

To good to pass.

 

Worst Pick:

Will Franklin 

Don't know don't care.

OT, DB, WR, DE, OL, OL, QB, RB, OC, QB, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Demorrio Williams LB

Oliver Hoyte FB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Ty Law CB

John Welbourn OL

Eddie Kennison WR 

The Team: Chiefs get lucky and Dorsey falls to them, and they almost blew that. They were on the phone for five minutes with the patriots trying to trade this pick to the Pats. They Pats finally said no, and they made the pick. However, they moved on from their to have arguably the best draft. I have Atlanta having the worst Draft, because of their dire circumstances, but player for player this was the best Draft. I had Will Franklin as their worst pick, I never heard of him, and don't know if he is a good player or not. However, when your worst pick is in the Forth Round, and the seventh player you have selected, then you had an excellent Draft. 

Glenn Dorsey- DT LSU, 6-2, 300- Dorsey was a great pick. Getting the top player in the Draft at pick Five is huge. Their needs appeared to be more at D-End, but getting a Defense changing D-Tackle is always a great pick. 

Dorsey can display almost inhuman strength sometimes. He can grab onto O-Lineman and shuffle his way sideward until the RB appears, and then throw the O-Linemen aside and crush the RB, like Reggie White. He can burst threw the line with 3-Tcchnique explosion, and just throw the OG to the ground.  He reminds me a little of Reggie White, in that he flashes White's Hulk-like strength every now and again, and can just toss an off balance O-Lineman aside like yesterdays trash. Dorsey is not an immovable object in the middle, but he is big, quick and plays under most other players. He get low and shots the gap as well as any D-Linemen ever has. When he stays low, he can drive an O-Lineman 3-5 yards backwards with amazing power and prejudice. He was double-teamed, grabbed, and held on almost every play, but can still made plays. I would like a little more slipperiness out of him. He gets stalemated a little too much, which is a little unfair to say because he gets so much attention from the O-Line. He can shed and really punished the Ball-carrier inside, as well as any D-Tackle who has ever played.

Brandon Albert- OG/OT Virginia, 6-5, 305- O-Tackle was clearly a huge need for this team, and most people project Albert to Left Tackle. I still see him more as an O-Guard. He still blocks better on the move, and hold down the Left Tackle spot will be difficult for him. Even worse, word out of KC is that they are planning on mving him to Right Tackle. So not only are they planning on making him make the very difficult transition form inside to outside, they also are going to have him make the very difficult transition to the opposite side, the side he has never played. Risk move, making this more of a risky pick then they needed to. Now KC's typical mismanagement is starting to show. 

I'm not sold on Albert being the second best O-Tackle in the Draft. He started two games at LT last season and played okay. When you are projecting O-Linemen to change positions, normally they move inside where the degree of difficulty is less. When you project an O-Guard to move outside to Left Tackle, you better be real careful. That is a very complicated and difficult move for a player to make. I think Albert is NFL ready to play Left Guard, but Left Tackle? I would be very nervous. However, this team does have grave concerns at Left Tackle, now that I can understand. 

Okay I think I'm finally coming around on this guy. The more I watch him the more I like him. Was recruited as a LT, but with D'Brickashaw Furguson many that spot, he slide over to Left Guard, and made that position his own. He was suppose to move back, but they had another young stud LT Eugene Monroe, so they felt it would be less disruptive to keep Albert at LG. He has very long arms that he uses very well to punch, pop, and keep D-Linemen off balance. Pulled a lot in his role at Virginia, and even pulled on Pass Downs sometimes. Plays better on the run, and can be devastating when pulling and hitting defenders on the move. Looks like a LT plays like a LG. Started all 37 games since he step on the campus as a Freshmen. Was named All-ACC all three years at Virginia. Has the natural feet, athleticism, and Quickness to play Left Tackle.   

Reminds me of Ruben Brown the old Buffalo O-Guard who played last season in Chicago. Has a large rounded body like him, and very long arms. Looks like an O-Tackle, and most people think he can play O-Tackle, but he is an O-Guard, and it looks like he should be a great one, like Brown.  

*Brandon Flowers- CB Virginia Tech, 5-10, 195, 4.54, 4.08 S.S., 6.72 3CD- Another risky pick, but another good one as well. His lack of pure speed will hinder him at the Corner position, but his toughness and physical play is hard to not like. He is the best tacking and run supporting CB in this Draft, and as such I wonder if playing a Bob sanders type Free Safety is not his best position, where his speed is an asset and not a liability. 

Small guy with freakish strength and punishing style. Some see him as a First Round Pick, but I see him more as a late Second or Third Round pick. His best position as a Pro might be at FS, like Eugene Wilson. He has below average speed and good coverage ability, but will get beat consistently deep as a Corner. However, he has good speed for a Safety, and great coverage ability. Plus, his greatest asset is his superior tackling, physicality, and his ability to sniff out the run faster then anyone on the field. If he reminds me of anyone, it could be that he has the potential to develop into a Bob Sanders-type FS. 

Jamaal Charles- RB Texas, 5-11 1/8 199, 4.36, 10'2", 6.8 3CD, 4.22 20-YS.- Speed, speed, speed. Charles is one of the fastest RB in this Draft, and tests out athletically as well as any Runner in this Draft. But, he does still have some issues: he is a track guy, he fumbles, and their are whispers about attitude problems. However, as far as pure runner and pure athlete, their are few who can match him, maybe only McFadden and Chris Johnson, both of whom went in the First round.  

Elite runner who had great career at Texas. He is a track guy playing Running Back, who looks better and better each season. He has elite speed and athleticism. Has gotten bigger and tougher the past few seasons. Has everything you want in a runner except size. Has some character concerns. Fumbles the ball more then lets you feel comfortable. Has elite speed, burst, and acceleration. Can find the hole, cutback, and take it to the house. Can really accelerate out of cuts, and has elite change of directions skills. Is good in the passing game and has excellent hands. Needs to work on blocking, but gives good effort picking up the blitzer. Slight size and proneness to fumbles make me question whether he can be a starter. He will be better off as a change of pace back, but can't be a Third down Back until he improves blocking for his QB, but he has improved in this area and shows the willing to work on his blocking. With all that being said, he is one of the top three pure runners in this Draft, but carries baggage along with the ball. 

Brad Cottam- 6-7.5 269, 4.6, 24 Reps, 36.5" 4.27 S.S.- Cottam was a great pick. He has as much potential as any TE in the Draft. He is still more promise then production, but as far as physical tools he is up there with Dustin Keller, the only TE to go in the first Round. His problem is not talent, it is staying healthy. So going to this team could be the best thing that could happen to him. He can sit and learn form Gonzales, and hit the weight room and get his fragile body into Pro shape. He was the best TE at the Senior Bowl, where his physical talents really stood out. His problem is staying healthy. He may is already the best blocker of the top TE (there are some blocking specialist), besides maybe Bennett.   

Super smooth athlete who is a freakish blend of size and speed. Has the size and the will to be an excellent blocker, he just stays a little to high sometimes. Must get lower more consistently, but with his height that will always be his biggest challenge.  

DeJaun Morgan- SS North Carolina ST, 6.25, 203, 4.53, 21 Reps, 37.5", 10'- Morgan has is all physically, he just needs experience and Pro coaching. I had him going in the Second Round, so getting him in the third sis another nice pick. 

Morgan is really moving up the charts. He has good size, speed, and can cover. Some think he can play some Nickel Corner. He looks a little stiff in hips to play Corner to me. However, he is good in coverage and has good balls skills. He has played only 2 seasons on defense, so he is still learning, and his best days are ahead of him. Two seasons ago, his first on defense, he had 59 Tackles, 2 INTs, and 5 PBU. Last season he led his team in tackles with 98, and had 3 INTs, and 6 PBU. He is a player on the rise who already has displayed excellent instincts and smarts, despite playing his first two seasons in college on Offense. 

Barry Richardson- OT Clemson, 6-6, 245- He is a risky pick at LT, but to get him in the Sixth Round is another great pick by this team. He certainly have a better chance at Right Tackle. He doesn't have the niftiest feet, but with his colossus like size and long arms he can be a mountain to run around. 

Huge man with very long arms. Good run blocker, who ca really use his monstrous size to engulf defenders. Struggles with speed to the outside.     

Table from NFL.com:

Glenn Dorsey DT 6'2" 316 LSU
Pick Analysis: Dorsey's dominance should go a long way toward helping Kansas City rebuild its defense. He should command double-teams and the Chiefs become better up the middle instantly. There were some concerns about problems with Dorsey's tibia stress fracture, which may have been the reason he was still on the board at this point. His best traits are outstanding agility and a great motor.
Branden Albert OG 6'6" 309 Virginia
Pick Analysis: Albert has the versatility to play guard or tackle in the NFL. He finishes blocks down the field and in space. He started 37 games (35 games at left guard, two at left tackle) for Virginia over three years. Has great overall athletic ability for a big man and could develop into the best offensive lineman in the draft.
Brandon Flowers CB 5'10" 189 Virginia Tech
Pick Analysis: With better speed, Flowers would have been a much higher pick. He plays the game faster than his timed speed indicates (4.55). Best traits are good instincts and physical play.
Jamaal Charles RB 5'11" 200 Texas
Pick Analysis: The Chiefs take a guy that is likely the best player on their board right now in Charles. He likely fell to the third round due to his lack of strength, but when it comes to speed, he's a break-away back. His playmaking ability makes him a potential situational player that can also catch the ball.
Brad Cottam TE 6'8" 270 Tennessee
Pick Analysis: Cottam's problem was the fact that he only started 10 games in five years at Tennessee. He has very impressive size and skills for a tight end to go with speed in the 4.6's. The Chiefs may be looking for a future starter with Tony Gonzalez nearing the end of his career.
DaJuan Morgan S 6'0" 205 North Carolina State
Pick Analysis: Morgan was a one-year starter and raw, but has good athletic ability and potential. He is the type of player who can get better in the pros with good coaching, because of his measurables and potential to develop. He is an excellent special teams player who originally made his mark in the kicking game.
Will Franklin WR 6'1" 214 Missouri
Pick Analysis:At over 6-feet and 214 pounds, Franklin has impressive speed (he ran a 4.3 40) for a guy his size. He is extremely explosive and was generally graded as a third rounder, so Kansas City gets good value in the fourth round.
Brandon Carr CB 6'0" 207 Grand Valley State
Pick Analysis:Carr went under the radar as a Division II All-American for Grand Valley State. He has good size for a cornerback, but looked more like an athlete than a football player at times. He needs to work on his technique.
Barry Richardson OT 6'7" 320 Clemson
Pick Analysis: He's a huge guy who runs well and has talent, but it has been said he lacks passion for the game. If a coach can motivate him and get him excited about playing football, he may well wind up being a find at the guard position.
Kevin Robinson WR 6'0" 190 Utah State
Pick Analysis:Robinson is the best return man in the country out of Utah State. The competition isn't great in the WAC and it could be tough for him to adjust to the pro game. Still, he's very good at what he does and is an excellent special teamer.
Brian Johnston DE 6'5" 276 Gardner-Webb
Pick Analysis:Johnston put on considerable weight in his time at Gardner-Webb and has the ability to get even bigger. He has good balance, body control and active hands in the pass rush.
Mike Merritt TE 6'3" 270 Central Florida
Pick Analysis:A prototypical blocking tight end, Merritt has good size and strength. He is not a threat in the passing game, but can be utilized in jumbo packages.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com