Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NFL Draft Review

I loved the Eagles' draft.

Maclin was one of the two elite playmaking WRs in the draft, and should have been off the board by pick #10. Instant impact as a returner, and should see the field in a handful of personnel groups as a rookie. Finally the Eagles have a WR who can catch a slant and take it 80 yards - something that every decent West Coast offense has.

Shady McCoy was another great value in the second round, and he fills a glaring need. Considered by many scouts to have the best lateral quickness and short burst acceleration in the draft, these natural abilities combined with his receiving skills make him a perfect fit for this offense. He'll contribute as soon as he learns to block, which is not something he was asked to do often at Pitt.

Cornelius Ingram is a pass-catching TE from Florida who was on track to be a second-round pick before he blew out his knee. Possibly the most athletic TE in the draft, he should be healthy enough to participate in the team's first mini-camp. This was another need, and Ingram has a chance to be an impact player, not just a back-up.

The trade for Ellis Hobbs was low-risk/high-reward, and the front office should be commended for it. Two fifth-rounders are a miniscule price to pay for a starting CB, but New England didn't need him anymore after drafting a CB in round two. He's only got one year left on his contract, so the Patriots realized his value was only going to get lower if they held on to him. The Eagles get a proven player for a year, and some insurance against Sheldon Brown going in the tank.

I'm not going to pretend to know anything about the other 5th-7th round picks, because I don't. But the first three selections were great values at areas of need. All three have a chance to make an impact this year.

Not every team was so successful.

The Detroit Lions bought a $42 million lottery ticket at the top of the first round, selecting Georgia QB Matt Stafford, in spite of an 80% failure rate for junior QBs. The Jets then traded three players and three picks to Cleveland for the right to pay another junior QB tens of millions in signing bonus. Denver and the Raiders made a mess of their drafts as well, locking up another three seasons for the Chargers atop the AFC West. Basic decision-making skills were ignored by experts in their field who analyzed every available player for months, while the perenially good teams made solid decisions across the board.

Is it September yet?


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