As a particularly exciting draft continues, it's time for another gut-based, totally instinct, and utterly premature draft day numero dos review!
I said this last time, and I'll say it again, I would love comments about how wrong I am. The beauty of gut-based draft reviews which are written within mere hours is that they can either hit on something smart, which is interesting, or they can be proven to be just so totally wrong, and thus entertaining to read. Clearly, I want to write a smart article. It would be nice. But when it comes to draft reviews, that just doesn't happen. It just doesn't.
As I did yesterday, I'm going to give you all three winners and three losers. When in doubt, or when I thought teams were pretty equal / even, I included next year's opponents. It never hurts to do a little scouting here and there, am I right?
Follow me after the jump for some hard-hitting analysis.
It pains me to say it, but I think the St. Louis Rams made huge strides today in getting back on track. I'm already a touch afraid of this team because of Sam Bradford's potential. Just two years ago, he was making a strong case for why he is a worthy starting QB in the league. Now, the Rams have manipulated trades so well. It was just masterful, I thought. Most importantly, though, this gave them an abundance of picks and allowed them to draft players with huge upside, knowing that if they don't pan out, then it's just a drop in the proverbial bucket. I particularly like the Janoris Jenkins pick. The CB from North Alabama has some obvious character issues. That said, his play on defense is ferocious. He was a guy that I thought the Niners might take a look at. The additions of WR Brian Quick from Appalachian State and electric RB Isaiah Pead from Cincinnati all make the second round look like a home run. (Yay for mixed sports metaphors!). Trumaine Johnson, the CB from Montana, also looks like a solid third round pick, with some mocking him as high as the second round.
Again, another one which pains me to admit, but I think the New York Giants had a nice day as well. After drafting a RB at the end of the first round to compensate for the loss of Brandon Jacobs, the Giants pulled a similar move and drafted WR Rueben Randle from LSU with the last pick in the second round (#63). This was a guy who could have gone as high as the first round, so snagging him at the very end of the second is good work on their part. He should be able to come in and take over Mario Manningham's spot. Not only that, but Randle, a deep threat type of guy, really compliments the aerial assault New York already employs. On the other side of the ball, the Giants drafted CB Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech with the 94th pick. This guy was a sort of draft crush for me, so I might be a bit biased, but I thought he would be gone by the end of the second round. The only major problem he will face is playing with taller players. At only 5'10" Hosley will have to adapt his game in order to be successful.
Finally, I thought the Green Bay Packers had an excellent draft. Recognizing that poor defense is less an Achilles' heel and more like an Achilles' lower body, they used day two to shore up some big defensive needs. With pick 51, the Packers took DT Jerel Worthy from Michigan State. Though he is a bit weak on the pass rush side of things, I think this is great value in the second round, as some thought of him as first round talent. To compliment this pick, the Packers also added Casey Hayward, the CB from Vanderblit. Hayward, chosen with the 62nd pick, has starter potential, especially if he can smooth out his backpedal and hip movements.
I actually had a hard time with the loser category as I feel drafts need a few years before judgment. As such, I went with a couple obvious flubs and an NFC West opponent for good measure. Let's start with the Jacksonville Jaguars. First off, I do actually like the OLB from Clemson, Andre Branch. This was a good pick, as his pass rush potential is totally needed on the lackluster Jags. But, seriously? A punter in round three? Look, P Bryan Anger from Cal is going to be good. But Anger is going to anger a lot of people (lol /low hanging fruit'd). This is the reach of forever. Okay, that's dramatic, but still. This isn't the same as picking an every down player 15 spots early. That can be frustrating, but if he's your guy then you have to draft him. I don't mind that. What just seems silly is picking a guy at least two rounds too early. Especially somebody who won't play every down, and especially especially when you desperately need other weapons on offense.
Just to keep the low hanging fruit branch as devoid of fruit as possible, let me criticize the Oakland Raiders. I don't want to go over how bad of a trade the Carson Palmer dealio was, but anything short of a Super Bowl victory with Palmer at the helm makes this an instant failure. What is so bad, moreover, is that when they finally have a chance to make a pick, it turns out they already have. On QB Terrelle Pryor from Ohio State in the Supplemental Draft. So basically, they just drafted the backup to the QB they sold the farm for. Eh, not the most ideal scenario. Their other pick, the 95th, was actually a pretty nice one. They took Tony Bergstrom, the G from Utah. He has shown marked improvement over the last few years and can be a good starter for them on the o-line.
Finally, to wrap things up with the Arizona Cardinals. Not having a second round pick really hurts them, I think, as they have a few holes which could have been filled with high end talent (/obvious statement is obvious). But what would really upset me, if I were a Cardinals fan, is the use of a third round pick on CB Jamell Fleming from Oklahoma. Don't get me wrong. This player can be helpful to the Cards; if he is nothing more than a nickel back, then a third round pick isn't too bad (see: Culliver, Chris). That said, I seem to recall that they recently drafted a cornerback at some point last year. Also, when you have an o-line, or lack thereof, like the Cardinals, it practically behooves you to collect ‘em all. Linemen, I mean. Not Pokemon.