The 1st Day has come and gone, and all the way from the busy ass streets of Rome, I found enough time to put some Euro into an Internet room and right up a little analysis of Round 1. The rest of day 1 and a quick review on day 2 may take a little more time, but I figured now was as good a time as any to get this out for all you draft nuts out there. Let the possibility and speculation begin!
- Oakland – Russell, JaMarcus, QB, Louisiana State
Crazy, the Raiders picked arguably the player with the most upside in the entire draft. JaMarcus Russell has monstrous size combined with a rocket arm, and leadership intangibles that make him all Al Davis and the Raiders could ask for with the first pick of the draft. This was a good pick, this was the right pick, and this was the only pick the Raiders were ever going to make.
- Detroit – Johnson, Calvin, WR, Georgia Tech
Finally, Matt Millen did something right. Calvin Johnson was the best prospect in the draft, and a perfect compliment to Roy Williams and Mike Furrey. I don’t think the Lions needed a receiver, and I do think they needed a lot of other things, but the bottom line is, Calvin Johnson was this year’s Reggie Bush, and if you can get that guy with the 2nd pick of the draft, you do it. The Lions did it, congratulations Detroit. It looks like they’ll keep him.
- Cleveland – Thomas, Joe, OT, Wisconsin
The Browns passed on Adrian Peterson and Brady Quinn (for now) to go with a guy that should pave roadways for whomever has the ball in Cleveland. Seeing as Jamal Lewis still has some run in him, and the fact that solid running backs come out often, I think Cleveland made the right move, as cornerstone left tackles don’t come around all that often. Plus, if anything, the most recent free agency period showed us that running backs can be had at a much more reasonable price than years’ past.
- Tampa Bay – Adams, Gaines. DE, Clemson
Tampa Bay didn’t get their hands on Calvin Johnson (unless they trade with Detroit, possibility) just as I had suspected. So, they took the best defensive player on the board, which I think will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Sure, Johnson is a great prospect, but the Bucs needed help on defense desperately. With Adams, they’ll get help everywhere on D, as his elite pass rush will help solve problems in the secondary as well. And at the 4th pick, in a league where defense wins championships, the Bucs took the best defensive player college had to offer.
- Arizona – Brown, Levi, OT, Penn State
Arizona may have reached for Levi Brown here, but they know what they need, and that is definitely offensive line help. You add that to the fact that they couldn’t have traded down and still picked the big offensive tackle, plus the truth that they rated Levi higher than super offensive tackle, Joe Thomas, and this pick starts to look like a great move. They have a franchise quarterback, great receivers, and a possible hall-of-famer at running back; surely they needed a great offensive line prospect to help them all. Good pick.
- Washington – Landry, LaRon, FS, Louisiana State
Oh, the Redskins might have something in line with this pick, but honestly, for a team that needs lots of help on defense, why not take the most instant impact defensive player in the draft. Everyone loves Landry, and if the Redskins pull their heads out and decide to keep him, maybe they’ll realize why using a top draft pick on a top young talent is such a good move. But I doubt it.
- Minnesota – Peterson, Adrian, RB, Oklahoma
Adrian fell a little farther than he had imagined, but I think he’s a nice fit in Minnesota. After one season, the Vikings brass realized Chester Taylor wasn’t the starting powerful rusher they had hoped for, so they took Peterson, one of the top 3 offensive difference makers in the draft. I wouldn’t be surprised if Peterson, given the carries, makes a solid run at rookie of the year, especially behind a very good left side in Minnesota, and a young passing game. But now what to make of Chester?
- Atlanta (from Houston) – Anderson, Jamaal, DE, Arkansas
I’m not sure the Falcons made the most of their move up to 8, but things didn’t work out they way they had planned, Landry was gone, their big back, Peterson, was gone as well, and thus Jamaal Anderson will make the absence of Patrick Kerney be less of a hit. Anderson has all the skills, and many had him rated above Gaines Adams, so the price was decent at 8.
- Miami – Ginn Jr., Ted, WR, Ohio State
I love Ginn’s talent and ability, but I don’t like this pick by the Dolphins. With Chris Chambers as a number one, and a few solid contributors in the passing game already, I’m very surprised to see Ginn go here, especially with so much needed in Miami. It will be interesting to see how Ginn works out with the Dolphins; maybe Cam Cameron has big plans for the young speedster.
- Houston (from Atlanta) – Okoye, Amobi, DT, Louisville
Houston made the perfect pick. Okoye will be solid next year and great in the future, giving them two elite prospects to build their defense around, solid guys on the line nonetheless. I couldn’t think of a more perfect fit in Houston than Okoye… Great pick here!
- San Francisco – Willis, Patrick, ILB, Mississippi
I think the Niners reached a little for Willis, but as he was the best linebacker in the draft, I like the selection. As everyone has seen, the Niners were destroyed because of their defensive struggles, and while Willis won’t eliminate that problem, he is a step in the right direction, especially in a conference that has so many playmakers offensively. Nice move in San Fran.
- Buffalo – Lynch, Marshawn, RB, California
Trading Willis McGahee basically forced this pick to be made. The Bills left themselves with Shawn Bryson as their number one, and while JP Losman and Lee Evans have built a nice tandem, giving them another option on the ground will help the team continue that growth. Lynch is very complete, both as a runner and a receiving threat, but I think this pick was definitely need driven, and a bit of a reach.
- St. Louis – Carriker, Adam, DE, Nebraska
While I’m a bit surprised by this pick, it doesn’t surprise me that the Rams went defense here, and it seems as though Carriker was the most complete defensive lineman around. He’s got the size to dominate in any front, move around, and cause problems with his motor, speed, and size. Just like the Niners, the Rams realized that defense was where the problems were in St. Louis. Carriker is a nice firm step in fixing the trouble.
- N.Y. Jets (from Carolina) – Revis, Darrelle, CB, Pittsburgh
The Jets saw an opportunity to move up and take their top rated corner back in the draft, and they did just that. Revis is a top talent, and shut down type guy. His speed and more importantly his attitude and awareness should help the Jets get to where they need to be to compete with the Patriots in the AFC East.
- Pittsburgh – Timmons, Lawrence, OLB, Florida State
(Be prepared for sarcasm) Wow, this pick is a real stunner. The Steelers and coach Mike Tomlin went defense with this pick, a perfect outside linebacker for Tomlin’s 4-3 system, and a nice replacement for the 3-4 oriented Joey Porter. Timmons is a perfect player to get the Tomlin era up and started in the Steel City.
- Green Bay – Harrell, Justin, DT, Tennessee
Reach? Maybe the Packers have something here, in fact, as my readers well know, I like Harrell, but surely 16 is pretty high for this young talent. While Justin battled injuries in TN, his skill level while on the field of play would definitely put him in the top 16, but I just don’t know if he quite belongs here. Once again the Packers left Favre out to dry in the 1st round, but if Harrell can stay healthy, this young Packer defense will definitely continue to impress.
- Denver (from Jacksonville) – Moss, Jarvis, DE, Florida
I think Moss is a perfect player for the Broncos who are constantly looking for ways to attack the passer. With elite corners, and some solid linebackers, the Broncos felt strongly enough about Moss’ game to move up to get him, and very rarely do the Broncos fumble when they move up to snag someone. Good pick by Mike and his goons.
- Cincinnati – Hall, Leon, CB, Michigan
I had Leon Hall ranked right at the top of my list of Corners, so snagging him with the 18th pick is one of the first round steals thus far. Hall has the makings of a shut down guy, something the Bengals could definitely use, as their defense had a knack for giving up the big play. Hall comes up and hits, and draws praise from competition. Even USC stayed well enough away from Hall in their bowl-bashing of Michigan. Hall seems to be a solid character guy as well, as far as corners are concerned, so good all around by the Bengals.
- Tennessee – Griffin, Michael, FS, Texas
I’m not sure what to make of this pick. See, I like the pick, as Griffin has proven to be a playmaker in every sense all throughout is college days, but I think he’s a bit of a reach here as well. I’m not real big on downgrading teams because they picked a guy early, especially a guy with all the intangibles like Griffin. So, with Pacman on the shelf, I’ll say the Titans selection of Griffin was solid.
- N.Y. Giants – Ross, Aaron, CB, Texas
The Giants continued their stout drafting methods by taking Aaron Ross before the rest of the best got their hands on him. Ross is a playmaker, has been throughout his entire career, and will be in a Giants uniform as well. New York has struggled on defense of late; so adding a cover corner like Ross, one whom also likes to make a tackle here and there, will turn out to be a good move.
- Jacksonville (from Denver) – Nelson, Reggie, FS, Florida
The Jaguars made some solid moves today. Their first was trading down to acquire more picks, and still getting their man, Reggie Nelson. Seeing as the likelihood of the next few teams taking Reg was slim, Jacksonville played their cards perfectly, moved down 4 spots, only to pay the guy they finally picked less than they would have paid him in the first place. Plus they added a 3rd and 6th round pick, knowing damn well that you build through the draft. Brilliant work by Jax on Day 1.
- Cleveland (from Dallas) – Quinn, Brady, QB, Notre Dame
The Browns couldn’t help but feel that they let one slip through their fingers by letting Brady go in Round 1. So, instead of sulk their tears away, they traded next years’ 1st and this years’ 2nd to grab the guy they almost picked 3rd. I like Brady Quinn and think he has more upside than any quarterback coming out next year, which makes his selection here a risk worth taking. But was a 2nd and a high 1st (assuming they don’t kick butt next year) worth a 22nd overall this season? We shall find out.
- Kansas City – Bowe, Dwayne, WR, Louisiana State
The Chiefs made good on my prediction and took Dwayne Bowe as the 3rd wide receiver overall. Bowe’s playmaking ability, his strong body, and willingness to lay it on the line to get the job done will make him a perfect target for a chiefs offense that relies too much on Tony Gonzales in their air attack. I think Bowe could make an instant impact in KC.
- New England (from Seattle), Meriweather, Brandon, FS, Miami
It has to be nice to realize, that with the right coaching, any player and their problems can be molded into a perfect citizen. The Patriots can take any player, as shady as his past may be, and make it work in New England. Meriweather isn’t the problem child everyone thinks he is, but the Patriots took advantage of their own coaching ability, and took a guy everyone else was shying away from.
- Carolina (from N.Y. Jets) – Beason, Jon, OLB, Miami (Fla.)
The Panthers got the goods from the Jets for their 14th overall slot, (a 1st a 2nd and a 5th) and they got a hard-nosed, undersized linebacker with the explosive hips and difference making ability that should give the Panthers defense the kick in the butt they needed to get back on track, and make a play at the super bowl next season. Honestly, they’re just a player or two away.
- Dallas (from Philadelphia) – Spencer, Anthony, DE, Purdue
Dallas had some fantastic wheeling and dealing going down on Day 1, adding a 1st round pick in 2008 from the Browns (sure to be a top 10 pick) and all they did was move down 4 spots and lose a 3rd round pick. Anthony Spencer will be another tool off the edge for the front 7 loaded Cowboys. No wonder Wade Phillips took this job; he gets all the weapons he wants.
- New Orleans – Meachem, Robert, WR, Tennessee
Despite quarterback troubles in Tennessee, and a team that was a little inconsistent, Robert Meachem had one hell of a year, popping him all the way into the 1st round, and to a team that loves to spread the ball around. I’m not sure the Saints used this pick too wisely, as their were many defensive needs that could have been answered, but Meachem will ease the loss of Joe Horn, and give Brees yet another weapon to toss for 4,000+.
- San Francisco (from N.E.) – Staley, Joe, OT, Central Michigan
Do I think Joe Staley has tons of upside and will help the 49ers greatly in the future? You bet! Do I think they gave up way too much for the 28th pick in this years’ draft? You better believe it. Next years’ 1st round pick… And a 4th rounder this season? That’s way too much. Next year’s 1st rounder, despite a miracle, will surely be in the bottom 25 and probably around 20. They may have thought the world of Joe’s upside, and thus given a lot to get the big tackle, but his trade could definitely backfire.
- Baltimore – Grubbs, Ben, G, Auburn
The Ravens picked up the best guard in the draft with the 29th pick. In the past, this may have been looked down upon, but what a great move in a league that has free agent guards going for 50 million dollars, and being plucked out of free agency as early as possible. Grubbs has all the tools to help pave the way for new running back Willis McGahee. Nice pick in Baltimore.
- San Diego – Davis, Craig , WR, Louisiana State
I’m not so sure Craig Davis was the best receiver available here, but it’s hard to argue with the Brass running Charger ball. Canning Marty was the wrong move, but it’s rare to find trouble with San Diego’s draft tactics. However, it will be interesting to see if Davis has a more productive career that Gonzalez, Steve Smith, Dwayne Jarrett, and Sydney Rice, all of whom the Chargers passed on to take Davis.
- Chicago – Olsen, Greg, TE, Miami (Fla.)
The Bears managed to take the very best tight-end prospect in the draft, and they desperately needed a boost in speed at the position. Once again, the Bears have found a playmaker that is sure to step in and add to a team good enough to get to the Super Bowl. Olsen’s speed and grabbers should help Rexxy improve in his second year as a starter.
- Indianapolis – Gonzalez, Anthony, WR, Ohio State
The Colts made a great move, taking Anthony Gonzalez with the last pick in the 1st round. Gonzo has all the tools to do all the dirty work the Colts love to do from the slot, taking the spot left vacant by Brandon Stokely’s departure. In fact, Gonzalez, in my opinion, is an upgrade at the spot, possibly transforming into Marvin Harrison’s successor, something Stokely would never become.