We haven’t had a ton of NFL Draft coverage here on VFT this year (though Rahim’s Raiders work has been very good). However, I am a huge draft nut and have been following the process, so I’ll try to coalesce my opinions on the Draft into this post. As a general rule, I don’t grade teams’ drafts, but I do rank them, so that serves as a good general idea of where teams fall.
1. Kansas City Chiefs– Simply put, I was blown away by what they did. Instead of getting jumpy and making big moves to dump some of their excess picks, they made smart moves when they had to and produced a very important class for their long-term success. Dorsey was one of my favorite guys in the draft, and Brandon Albert’s versatility on the line will work wonders for a team with as much in flux there as the Chiefs. He can play Guard or Tackle and will be put in the best place to help the team. Beyond the First Round, KC got players I really like in Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles, Brad Cottam, and a few intriguing guys in Brandon Carr and Barry Richardson. Fantastic, fantastic draft.
2. Cleveland Browns– This will surprise alot of people, considering the Browns didn’t pick until the Fourth. However, it is only fair to consider trades involving their draft picks as relevant to the draft, and their moves were spectacular in that context. In effect, they walk out of the 2008 Draft with Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers to go along with their underrated Day 2 haul in Beau Bell, Ahtyba Rubin, and Martin Rucker (among others). Cleveland didn’t need developmental talent as much as they needed ready to roll players and they used the draft to do exactly that.
3. Dallas Cowboys– While I stand by my assertion that they could have gotten Felix Jones with their second First and just picked Mike Jenkins there instead of trading up, Jerry Jones did a very good job. Those two guys will be put in the right situations for them, and Orlando Scandrick could end up being a difference-maker in the long term as well. Guys like Martellus Bennett and Tashard Choice were solid selections as well. Some are criticizing them for not drafting any WR’s, but this year’s class is terrible and I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a few bigger contributor WR’s available down the line who fit the profile a little better….
4. Pittsburgh Steelers– They were put in a fantastic situation because they have the personnel to make taking the Best Player Available a valid strategy, made much easier when guys like Mendenhall and Sweed are up for grabs in R1 and R2. Both should be significant contributors and natural fits, and I really like Bruce Davis, Tony Hils, and taking a flier on Dennis Dixon.
5. Philadelphia Eagles– This starts first and foremost with the Panthers trade. Regardless of how it turns out (my projection: Panthers are one of the best non-playoff teams), having that extra first rounder next year will pay dividends. That could be in the form of the pick itself or possibly as a great piece in a potential WR trade. From there on, they made smart picks from Trevor Laws and DeSean Jackson (who fills both the slot WR role and the PR necessity) to the underrated Andrew Studebacker and the risky but talented Jack Ikegwuonu. Continue reading