Well more like the Good, the Bad, and the Questionable because draft picks aren’t “ugly”, but regardless.
The NFL draft is finally over. And I mean finally. I love the draft as much as anyone, but the NFL needs to find a way to shorten it. This year’s draft was spread out over three days and took more than 15 hours. It feels like Eric Fisher was drafted four months ago.
San Diego Chargers
I think the Chargers had the best draft of any team this year. Their first three picks (D.J. Fluker/Manti Te’o/Keenan Allen) were all players with first round grades. Allen was once rated the top receiver in this class, Te’o was once a top five prospect, and Fluker has shot up draft boards. Not only did the Chargers draft good players, but they drafted players that fill needs for their team.
Tyler Eifert at 21 may be the steal of the draft. Eifert is going to be a stud in the NFL, and I didn’t see a single mock draft that had him falling that far. Giovani Bernard is the perfect complementary back to Benjarvus Green-Ellis. Bernard is more of a scat back and is very effective catching the ball out of the backfield. Margus Hunt is a bit of a project, but he has potential through the room. The rest of their picks filled needs too, especially on defense.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams needed, I mean needed a wide receiver, and they traded up to get Tavon Austin, the best receiver in the class. The Rams’ linebackers aren’t great, and Ogletree is a playmaker that will step in and contribute immediately. The Rams also drafted Barrett Jones, the center from Alabama in the fourth round, and I think he ends up becoming a very solid lineman. He played guard, tackle, and center during his career at Bama, so he’ll add valuable depth to that group.
The Star Lotulelei pick was a great one. They needed a defensive tackle, and he was the best player available at that point. I don’t get the rest of the draft though. Their other two major holes were at CB and WR, and they didn’t address those two positions at all. Cam Newton can’t do it all by himself.
The Bears needed help on the offensive line, and they got that in the first round in Kyle Long, the tackle from Oregon. However, they passed on Tyler Eifert. Brandon Marshall was the Bears passing attack last year. He had no help at all. The Bears brought in Marcellus Bennett from the Giants this offseason, and he helps, but Eifert could have come in and taken a lot of pressure of Marshall and Cutler. Marshall can only carry the team so far.
The Colts drafted Bjoern Werner, the DE from FSU in the first round. While he was worth the first round pick, he doesn’t fit their defensive scheme. Werner played a 4-3 end at FSU, and Indianapolis plays a 3-4 defense. Werner is too small to play a 3-4, so I’m not sure what their plan with him is.
When we look back at this draft in a few years, the first thing we’ll talk about is E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills. Did they draft him way to high? Yes. But if he turns out to be a stud, who cares where they drafted him. If Manuel becomes a stud, the Bills front office will look like geniuses. If he ends up being a bust, they’ll look like idiots.
New York Giants
I don’t like to question Jerry Reese’s draft strategies because he has been sooooooo good with his picks. If he really liked Pugh, then I’m all in. However, Tyler Eifert and Alec Ogletree were available when the Giants picked, and might have been better value. Reese is as good as it gets when it comes to drafting, but Pugh wouldn’t have been my choice there.
New York Jets
I liked the Jets first pick. Dee Milliner is a good fit. Sheldon Richardson at 13 though? Not so much. The Jets had other needs I felt they should have addressed instead of a DT. I’m not sold on Geno Smith as an NFL QB, especially in New York where there is already a media circus with Sanchez and Tebow. He could turn out to be a great QB, or he’ll fall into the media pressure and crumble like Sanchez.
Written By: Mike Lucas