In 75 years of the NFL Draft, NFL fans have come to expect to experience the full range of emotions: joy, disappointment, shock, and surprise. The 2010 version of the NFL Draft wasn’t any different.
The 2010 NFL Draft was split up into three different days for the first time in history, so from the start NFL fans were already experiencing something new. Unlike EA Sports popular Madden Football games (which will be graced with Drew Brees’ presence this year), the NFL teams making their picks won’t immediately know their draftee’s player ratings.
With this in mind, I’m going to take a brief look at a couple of teams I find winners, and a couple I find losers. Each team will receive a grade for their picks and I will quickly discuss how it will affect their upcoming 2010 season.
2010 NFL Draft Winners
#48 QB Jimmy Clausen, #78 WR Brandon LaFell, #89 QB/WR Armanti Edwards, #124 LB Eric Norwood, #175 DE Greg Hardy, #198 WR David Gettis, #202 DB Jordan Pugh, #204 QB Tony Pike, #223 DB R.J. Stanford, #249 DB Robert McClain
If I could sum up the Panthers 2010 draft in two words, I’d say “bargain shoppers”.
The Carolina Panthers didn’t enjoy the luxury of having a first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, but the Panthers did some work in the following rounds. The 48th overall pick Jimmy Clausen was subject to a freefall out of the first round and right into the hands of the Carolina Panthers. In Clausen, they’re going to be getting first round talent for a second round price. WR Brandon LaFell was widely regarded as one of the best receivers coming out of college, and he’s a nice pick for the Carolina Panthers. The Carolina Panthers also picked up QB Armanti Edwards (a great “wildcat” option), who led perhaps the greatest upset ever in Appalachian State upsetting Michigan in the Big House. The Panthers also picked up LB Eric Norwood who dominated SEC play with the South Carolina Gamecocks. He’s drawn comparisons to James Harrison. QB Tony Pike drew some Heisman talk his senior year, and he could make a stellar backup quarterback in the NFL.
Overall Grade: A
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#3 DT Gerald McCoy, #35 DT Brian Price, #39 WR Arrelious Benn, #67 CB Myron Lewis, #101 WR Mike Williams, #172 P Brent Bowden, #210 LB Cody Grimm, #217 LB Dekoda Watson
I know it’s easy to be called a “winner” when you’re blessed with a top 3 pick in the NFL Draft, but Tampa Bay had a lot of work to do on their team. I think this may be the draft that helps turn it around.
DT Gerald McCoy was touted just as highly as DT Ndamukong Suh, and could have just as easily gone 2nd overall to the Detroit Lions. Instead, Tampa Bay will get to enjoy his successful NFL career to-be. Tampa Bay’s second round was the round that really made me say “Wow!” though. Tampa Bay is looking to shore up a defensive unit that needs some help, and they’ve got some big “anchors” if you will with Price and McCoy. I guess Tampa Bay really does miss Warren Sapp. McCoy might not be a Sapp right off the bat, but he’ll be one outstanding player this season and for many seasons to come. Price will probably take a little pressure off McCoy so he could be a “sleeper” for the 2010 NFL season. WR Mike Williams (not to be confused with the bust the Lions selected a few years back) was the Buccaneers first offensive selection.
Overall Grade: A
#43 LB Sergio Kindle, #57 DT Terrance Cody, #70 TE Ed Dickson, #114 TE Dennis Pitta, #156 WR David Reed, #157 DT Arthur Jones, #194 OT Ramon Harewood, # 253 DE Erik Lorig
It’s pretty strange that I would include two teams that didn’t have a first round pick in the “winners” category, but nonetheless, here it is.
The Ravens got an absolute steal in getting LB Sergio Kindle in the 43rd spot, as this kid has first round talent. I grew up in Texas playing high school football and I got to hear all about this guy from high school sports magazines and colleges. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be a tremendous fit to help out LB Terrell Suggs. Look for him to make an immediate impact. Another steal the Baltimore Ravens got was DT Terrance “Mount” Cody. Between him and current DT Haloti Ngata, there’s a combined weight upwards of 700 lbs. Yikes. There have been concerns over Cody’s weight (he’s listed around 350 lbs. but that’s probably being a little conservative), but he could have very easily gone in the first round. Instead, Baltimore got to snatch him up in the late second round. Baltimore selected consecutive tight ends with Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, out of Oregon and BYU respectively, and both have the ability to make good NFL players. OT Ramon Harewood is an immense player (6′ 7″ 360 lbs.) and can potentially be a huge pick.
Overall Grade: A-
2010 NFL Draft Losers
I initially thought the San Francisco 49ers were a loser, but because G Mike Iupati basically landed in the 49ers hand as a steal I think they managed to salvage their first round. Iupati should make an outstanding interior lineman. Instead of picking the 49ers, I felt the following two had a much worse draft.
#10 DT Tyson Alualu, #74 DT D’Anthony Smith, #143 LB Larry Hart, #153 DE Austen Lane, #180 RB Deji Karim, #203 KR Scotty McGee
Jacksonville took a gamble on DT Tyson Alualu as he was projected to be a later first round/early second round pick. Jacksonville could have selected DE Derrick Morgan from Georgia Tech, as he would have fit in perfect and made a great player for the Jaguars. Don’t get me wrong, Alualu is a good player (I still like the idea of him playing with Aaron Kampman), but the Jaguars went out on a long limb to draft him, so we’ll have to see later this season if that proverbial limb breaks. The Jaguars traded their second round pick to the Patriots which probably wasn’t the best decision, seeing how they need quite a bit of help as quickly as they can get it. Jacksonville still needs some help in the WR department on the offensive side of the ball, so we’ll have to see if they make any other moves this offseason to fill that spot. About the only pick I like is Scotty McGee, who has blazing speed (4.37 40 yard dash) and could produce some plays from the KR position.
Overall Grade: D-
New York Giants
#15 DE Jason Pierre-Paul, #46 DT Linval Joseph, #76 S Chad Jones, #115 LB Phillip Dillard, #147 G Mitch Petrus, #184 DE Adrian Tracy, #221 P Matt Dodge
New York is current afflicted with a case of “We really need defensive ends”. They’ve had great luck with their defensive ends (Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Michael Strahan, etc.) but they’ve already got great depth at the position, why waste a first round pick on another one? And why waste a pick on one that’s still got a lot to prove at that? Aside from Alualu and Tebow, this pick was probably one of the most befuddling ones. The Giants later selected DT Linval Joseph with the 46th selection, a prospect from the Eastern Carolina University. About the only pick I like from the Giants “repertoire” is G Mitch Petrus, and that’s only because he benched 225 lbs the most out of anyone at the combine (an amazing 45 times). Overall, this is a weak draft for the Giants, and only slightly better than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Overall Grade: D+
Draft picks can be viewed at http://www.mynfldraft.com/2010/round1/ and http://www.nfl.com/draft/2010/tracker#dt-by-round-input:7/dt-tabs:dt-by-team