THE 2010 NFL DRAFT – Grades and Awards
THE RAVENS WIN BUT STRIKE OUT
Don’t let the title of the blog fool you…the Ravens may have had the best pull in the entire NFL Draft from top to bottom based on grading systems. The bad news…the Ravens failed to address what was easily considered their No. 1 need heading into the 2010 season, which is in the secondary. Almost ironic is the fact this team played the same exact hand just a year ago in the Draft where receiver was the obvious pressing need. The Ravens failed to address the position with a single pick and before November arrived, most of us here were already crying the blues. Ultimately, one has to ask how in the world could the same fate fall upon these so-called Draft gurus in the Owings Mills War Room? Because mark it down, and boy it would be grand to be proven wrong with a few “I told you so’s”, but come November Raven fans will be crying the blues again. This time about the secondary and you can see it coming from a mile away.
Once again however, the Ravens may have pulled off the nation’s No. 1 ranked Draft Class these past three days. That would be according to the same draft grades many of the paid experts in the scouting world utilize. The first question that comes to mind is,”Who will block Ray Lewis now?” with these giants plugging holes and taking up blocking space. If there is more beef on the interior of a defensive line in this league, I don’t want to see it. Terrence “Mount” Cody (who weighed in at 400 lbs. at one August Tuscaloosa camp) combined with Haloti Ngata makes this front the elephants of the Sunday Circus. And if Sergio Kindle can continue to play like he did just last January in the BCS National Championship Game where he spent the entire evening in the Bama backfield, the Ravens may have found their pass rush. His long-term questionable health is a story for another blog. The same can be said for DT Arthur Jones out of Syracuse.
I am not going to throw a wet blanket of negativity on this Ravens Draft because after all, I would be bucking the statistical ratings big time. But I personally felt there were better options than Dickson and Reed, two players who will be heavily counted on to provide QB Joe Flacco with some more options in the passing attack immediately. Such a statement certainly should be left open for great debate where only the next 2-3 years will tell the story, but I cannot for the life of me understand how they ignored the most pressing need…replenishing an aging and ailing secondary. Maybe, hopefully, there is more to come…
DRAFT WINNERS AND LOSERS
TOP WINNERS – Ravens, Broncos, Chiefs, Steelers, Patriots
– The Broncos had nine picks and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them was a special college player.
– The Chiefs first three rounds were the best of the entire draft. Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Asamoah and Moeaki…oh my!
– The Patriots hauled in 12 picks, the most of the draft. And even scored more picks for next year. Getting three of the Urban Meyer Gators on board is never a bad thing as championships go. Granted their multiple 7th round choices were questionable, but the rest were solid.
– Few understand the draft better than the Steelers from a college standpoint. ESPN says one thing and the Steelers do the other. Their third day draft choices were all amazing, basically players that had no business falling that low despite what the Ron Jaworski’s of the world believe. Stick to watching football on Sunday Ron.
THE WORST – Jaguars, Colts, Redskins, Vikings
– Should have known the Jags were going to stumble through this draft from day one when they took Tyson Alualu from Cal. This kid can play but I had him projected to still be on the board when the Ravens picked late in the second round. The Jags have determined he was worth a No. 10 overall selection. Other than Tyson, I dare anyone to tell me they have actually heard of their next five selections without looking them up. The Jags were by far the worst.
– The Colts were productive on the first two days of the draft getting players that fit their system like a glove with DE Jerry Hughes and LB Pat Angerer. Then with five picks on Draft Day No. 3 the fingers completely fell off the glove. All of them are projects that likely won’t be in the NFL in the near future.
– The Redskins has one first round selection and then sat and waited until the fourth round for their next choice, which meant they had to make their final day choices wisely. They did not and wind up with a group of young men that were not even that worthy at the college level.
– The Vikings from top to bottom failed to pull in a game changer. Other than their 2nd and 3rd project selections of Stanford RB Toby Gerhart and USC DE Everson Griffen, the rest are sub par. The best draft choice may have been QB Joe Webb from UAB who will wind up playing catch with Favre from the receiving end. The Vikings passed on a ton of good players with each pick.
THE RAKE AWARD
Given to the team that chooses wisely on the last day of the draft (rounds 4-7). Teams build up their number of selections in the later rounds and some have learned to make a living off of this group finding big time values that fall.
The 2010 Rake Award goes to the Pennsylvanians…the Steelers and Eagles. Philadelphia got the third day rolling with Univ. of Kentucky all-time pass break up leader Trevard Lindley at CB in a draft where CBs went like hotcakes. From there they just started reeling in big time college football award winners and ending the day with the 7th round selection of safety Kurt Coleman from Ohio State, who by the way is a very legitimate All-American.
Likewise, the Steelers started the third day hauling in Ohio State DE Thaddeus Gibson who came out early after his junior season for good reason only to fall into the fourth round and just down one of the Three Rivers. How former ACC Player of The Year Jonathan Dwyer fell to the Steelers this low is anyone’s guess. He is a perfect, powerful fit for this ground attack. Crezdon Butler and Antonio Brown will both contribute on this squad and the Steelers continue to show why they know college football and how the pieces fit behind the Steel Curtain.
WORST PICKS OF THE DRAFT
– As mentioned, the Jaguars 10th overall pick of Tyson Alualu was by far the First Round Shocker if not the biggest shocker of the entire draft. Don’t get me wrong. Alualu is a good player just not near 10th overall. The Jags will pay for this draft down the road.
– When the San Diego Chargers selected Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton I literally almost fell over in the chair. With the Cincinnati Bearcats pro-style QB Tony Pike still on the board, as well as Ole Miss signal caller Jevan Snead, this pick is insane. Crompton was not even the best QB on his own dismal Vol squad. Having seen the Vols in person, watching tomatoes grow in the summer proved more exciting. It was literally that bad at times in Knoxville with Crompton under center.
MY PERSONAL TOP UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
How did these guys not get selected?
QB – Jevan Snead – Ole Miss (should have stayed in school son) On similar note…nine collegiate players that declared early for the NFL went undrafted.
RB – Chris Brown – Oklahoma, LeGarrett Blount – Oregon (I don’t care that he punched a guy and the camera caught it), Michael Smith – Arkansas, Javarris James – Miami FL (surely the name would have carried a little weight)
WR – Freddie Barnes – Bowling Green (he is only the All-Time NCAA single season record holder for receptions), Naaman Roosevelt – Buffalo (don’t let the MAC receivers fool you)
TE – Cody Slate – Marshall
OT – Ciron Black – LSU, Adam Ulatoski – Texas
OG – Brandon Carter – Texas Tech (mental issues), Sergio Render – Virginia Tech
C – John Estes – Hawai’i (how he got left in the cold is almost unbelievable)
DT – Vince Ogkobaase – Duke (must be the uniform or that he is too smart)
MLB – Joe Pawelek – Baylor (a tackling machine).
CB – Donovan Warren – Michigan