The First Round of the NFL Draft kicked off last night in primetime on ESPN.
Many questions loom over the NFL in general about labor talks and such, it was great to see a form of business as usual with the draft. But tonights questions surrounded the rookies being drafted to their new NFL homes. Who would the Panthers select as the overall #1 pick. Who is the top QB in the draft, does Cam Newton scare NFL teams, would he fall?
Here is my best and worst of the first round of the NFL Draft.
Even though there was much speculation, I don’t think anyone was shocked that The Carolina Panthers took Cam Newton with the overall #1 pick. In my opinion Carolina had no other choice. Especially with a new head coach in place with Ron Rivera. The QB Rivera decided to move forward with in his first few year as head coach would be forever linked to Ron and he decided he would rather put his faith in Newton rather than Jimmy Clausen. Many people thought Carolina could use some defense in their lineup, but there were no sure fire studs on the defensive side of the ball. Cam Newton was the only choice. I give Carolina an A for taking Cam and not over thinking their pick.
The Cleveland Browns traded their 6th overall pick for 5 draft picks including a 1st round pick next year. This is a Belichick type move. The Browns made a great trade acquiring all that potential talent. They did however trade away 1 of their picks to move up and select Phil Taylor, D Lineman out of Baylor. Many people are scrating their heads wondering why The Browns would draft a nose tackle when Cleveland is changing over to a 4-3 Defense. But this guy is a big body and a run stuffer and when facing teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore who run the ball quite a bit, it’s not a terrible pick. Maybe they didn’t have to trade a pick to get a good D lineman, but thats why their grade is B- after making an A+ type trade. But Cleveland is moving in the right direction.
The Lions get MAD PROPS after taking the STEAL OF THE DRAFT Auburns DT Nick Fairly. He was taken 13th overall after being touted as a possible #1 overall pick. The Lions are pairing Fairly with last years #2 overall pick Ndomakong Suh and NFL veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch. This will be a great situation for Fairly as he’ll fit well in the system and hell have great mentors in the locker room. That D line will be nasty next year. NFC North QB’s beware. Lion get a solid A+ for landing this guy.
The Falcons – They gave away too many draft picks to acquire Wide Receiver Julio Jones. We’ve seen many, many Wideouts never pan out in the NFL. The Falcons also have a HUGE need on the Defensive side of the ball. They could have waited and still taken a good player in their original spot, and not lost all those draft picks. Now that being said Jones could turn out to be the next Randy Moss or Terrell Owens and at that point the trade will have made sense. But they sure did take a gamble and that gamble gets them a C. The best grade of The Worst
The Vikings – Minnesota took Christian Ponder, QB out of Florida State with the 12th pick. Talk about a reach. The Vikings sure need a QB for sure but could addressed another need while trying to acquire a QB during free agency….OR GETTING PONDER IN THE SECOND ROUND!!!! The Vikings aren’t one of the NFL’s elite teams but they sure could contend. They could try and go after McNabb or Kolb via trade instead of going to a complete rebuild type QB in Ponder. Maybe they will get a starting QB in Free Agency and let Ponder sit this year. BUT THEY STILL COULD HAVE GOTTEN HIM OR EVEN RYAN MALLET IN THE SECOND ROUND!!!! D-
The Ravnes – Their pick was solid, but they get a C- for….PASSING? They let the time clock expire without having a draft pick ready. They thought they had a trade in place with The Bears, but it was never made official. So the clock expired and Kansas City got to move up one spot.