Last night I weighed my TV alternatives last night and opted to watch the NFL Draft. I did catch a bit of the NBA Playoffs but nearly enough to go in depth about it. The first round of the NFL draft aired in primetime this past Thursday and it was filled with all the surprise, drama, and intrigue that everyone would expect from an event of this magnitude.
I don’t know wether or not the commissioner expected this or not but, he got booed. And loud. He couldn’t even speak to start the draft. Commissioner Goodell was able to get things started but, not after chants of “we want football!” drowned him out for a minute or two.
When the draft started things went more or less as everyone expected. Carolina took Cam Newton with first overall pick in the draft, then Denver took Von Miller, and so on. It was around this time that rumors started circulating about a possible Atlanta leap from pick 27 to 6 in a trade with the Browns. Cleveland looked like there were people with more than two functioning brain cells between them running that draft board. They made off with a slew of picks as the Falcons traded up and got the 6th pick and used to get Alabama’s Julio Jones to play along side Roddy White. Cleveland traded down and picked up a slew of picks in the process. They got Atlanta’s 27th overall pick, their 2nd and 4th pick this year, and Atlanta’s 1st and 4th pick in 2012.
In the draft there is always the guy that doesn’t get picked where he ought to be picked. The are guys that slide. This is a natural and expected occurrence but there are guys that slide and guys that slide. The Tennessee Titans opted to take Jake Locker from the University of Washington, fulfilling there quarterback needs that way. This caused Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert to slide all the way to number 10 where the Washington Redskins, another team with quarterback issues, traded down to the 16th pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars would pick up Gabbert and the Redskins would to Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan. Guys that slid extremely far include Ryan Mallet, Andy Dalton, and Ryan Williams. These guys to this point haven’t been drafted yet and are likely to go at some point in the second round.
The Ravens passed on their pick. Most likely because they took too long and didn’t get their card with the pick they had turned in on time. They ended up getting Jimmy Smith of the University of Colorado.
Another thing that surprised me that the Patriots who had two picks in the first round opted to go with Colorado’s Nate Solder who, while being extremely strong, athletic, and coachable, has some issues that might need a quite a bit of ironing out. Far be it from me to doubt the great Bill Belichick but, I have to question what he was thinking here. Hey, this man has 3 Superbowl rings for a reason. I’m interested in seeing where that goes and how Nate Solder develops going into the future.
Other picks that I really liked a lot:
I liked the Bengals pick up of A.J. Green. I think that this might be able to move them out of the ‘Ochocinco Era’ and into the future, with or without Carson Palmer. The Cardinals taking Patrick Peterson of LSU to play in their defense was a great pickup because he helps to shut receivers down.
Rams- Robert Quinn gives them a nice speed rusher with good strength.
Redskins- Ryan Kerrigan scouts are comparing this guy to Minnesota’s Jared Allen. They say he can start right away.
Lions- Nick Fairley gives Detroit someone to play opposite Ndamukong Suh