Friday, April 23, 2010

2010 NFL Draft: Round One Thoughts

Like any draft, the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft was full of surprises, head-scratchers, and potential home runs.  Of course, it's pretty hard to evaluate how well a team has done less than six hours from when they made their selection, but I think you can judge how they did based purely on a value scale.  One thing this first round showed more than most (I assume, but that could just be the recency effect wreaking havoc on my mind) is how one team's move can affect pretty much every other selection in the round.


1. Oakland taking an actual useful player (Rolando McClain) with their first pick, instead of their usual reach for the fastest or most physically impressive athlete.

2. The Bills taking C.J. Spiller, which I would assume means the end of the Marshawn Lynch era in Buffalo.

3. Jacksonville taking Tyson Alualu at #10, which even Alualu didn't see coming.  More on this later.

4. Earl Thomas falling to Seattle at #14, but after Jacksonville passed, nobody else between 10 and 14 needed a safety. 

5. Kareem Jackson (#20 to Houston) getting selected before Kyle Wilson (#29 to New York Jets), as well as Demaryius Thomas (#22 to Denver) going before Dez Bryant (#24 to Dallas).

6. Bryan Bulaga falling to the Packers at #23, going after Rutgers Anthony Davis (#12 to San Francisco).

7. Tim Tebow going in the first round (#25 to Denver), while Jimmy Clausen fell out of the first round.  Well, this was a surprise to everyone but me.

8. Dan Williams falling to Arizona at #26; Williams was considered the premiere nose tackle prospect in this draft.


1. Jacksonville taking Alualu at #10.  I liked Alualu coming into the draft, and was hoping the Browns would snag him in the second round, but the key phrase there is "second round."  Perhaps Alualu will become a big-time player and people won't care where he was drafted, but I have to believe the Jags could have traded down and still got their man.

2. San Francisco gives up a fourth round pick (#113) to move up from #13 to Denver's #11 slot.  The 49ers took Anthony Davis, which isn't a terrible pick (they badly need a tackle), but the problem I have with it is who was going to take Davis at 11 or 12?  Denver doesn't need a tackle, Miami (if they kept the pick) were looking for help in their defensive front seven, and San Diego (if Miami traded their pick) obviously were targeting Ryan Matthews.  The only way this trade is justifiable is if the 49ers got wind of a tackle-hungry team offering an enticing package to Denver or Miami to move ahead of San Fran, which I doubt since Denver dealt their pick to the 49ers and Miami traded with San Diego.

3. Denver giving up San Francisco's fourth round pick (#113) to move up from #24 to New England's #22 slot.  Denver took Demaryius Thomas, who I can't imagine the Patriots had any interest in.  If the Pats were going to go receiver, they would have taken Dez Bryant, and since Green Bay had no need for a receiver at #23, Thomas would have been there for Denver at #24.  Perhaps Dallas would have traded ahead of the Broncos into New England's #22 slot, but they would have taken Bryant (as they ended up doing at #24).  Just a really unnecessary trade by the Broncos.


1. Rolando McClain in Oakland.  The Raiders actually have a pretty stout linebacking corps now (McClain, Kamerion Wimbley, Trevor Scott, restricted free agent Kirk Morrison).

2. Ryan Matthews in San Diego.  Matthews will provide the thunder to Darren Sproles lightning in what should be one of the top 5 offenses in the NFL next season.

3. Maurkice Pouncey in Pittsburgh.  Yes, he's a boring old center, but he should solidify what has been one of the worst interior lines in the NFL over the past few seasons.

4. Dez Bryant in Dallas.  With Bryant and Miles Austin stretching the field on the outside and Jason Witten working underneath in the middle, the Cowboys are going to be a nightmare to cover.

5. Kyle Wilson in New York (Jets).  It is a little superfluous to draft the next Darrelle Revis when you have the real one on your team already, but the additions of Wilson and Antonio Cromartie should give the Jets the best secondary in the league.


Chain Reaction 1:
1a. Washington takes Trent Williams, and
1b. Kansas City takes Eric Berry, which leads to...
2a. Seattle taking Russell Okung, and
2b. Cleveland taking Joe Haden.

Chain Reaction 2:
1. Buffalo takes C.J. Spiller, which leads to...
2a. Jacksonville scrambling to find a pick and taking Tyson Alualu, and
2b. San Diego trading up to #12 to take Ryan Matthews.

Chain Reaction 3:
1. Denver takes Demaryius Thomas, which leads to...
2. Dallas trading up to #24 to take Dez Bryant.

Chain Reaction 4:
1. Denver takes Tim Tebow, which leads to...
2. Minnesota trading the #30 pick to Detroit (who select Jahvid Best).


1. Joe Haden is a solid selection at #7.  With Eric Berry and the top two offensive tackles (Trent Williams and Russell Okung) gone, Haden was the only option left worth a top 7 pick (although I'm sure the Browns tried like hell to trade down).  Haden fills a need (despite the trade for Sheldon Brown), and the thought of a Eric Wright-Joe Haden corner combo for the next 3-5 years is pretty comforting.

2. More than likely, the Browns will be able to get a quarterback in the second round.  As Terry Pluto points out, the teams scheduled to pick ahead of the Brownies (St. Louis, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Philadelphia) don't really need a quarterback, and even if Minnesota decided to take a QB-of-the-future, whoever they didn't pick would be sitting there for us.  Buffalo or San Francisco could always trade ahead of the Browns, but what if both Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy are sitting there when the Browns pick?  Which one do they take?  Or do they trade back (ideally with Buffalo, who pick 3 spots after the Browns) and hope one (preferably McCoy) survives until their new pick?  And what if McCoy is there at 38, but so is Taylor Mays?  Do the Browns take their potential QB-of-the-future, or do they solidify their secondary with a much-needed impact safety?  Quite the conundrum, I know, but knowing the Browns, they'll pass on Mays, Clausen, and McCoy for Tim Hiller, a second-team Academic All-American QB out of Western Michingan (who I actually did draft in Madden, and was pretty happy with).    


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