Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL draft is where you start to see teams take need rather than just taking the best player available. Their are some teams that can get maximum value out of these picks and , as always, there are teams that will make you wonder if a primate is running the front office.
Overall I think teams have done really well with this year’s draft and you haven’t seen as many teams drafting furure high picks for a player they passed on earlier. That could mean teams are getting better about it, or it could just mean the Raiders don’t have the fire-power to make those kind of moves.
Indianapolis Colts- Their draft was made with the pick of Andrew Luck. They got Luck-y to have Coby Fleener fall into their laps. Teams who draft a quarterback early should always get a tight end to help him out in the middle of the field. This worked out even better because they got the best one who has already played with Luck. Their other day 2 picks were spent on getting even more weapons with TE Dwayne Allen and WR T.Y. Hilton. Allen was the 2nd best tight end and Hilton can be a speedy slot WR that can help out in the return game.
Cincinnati Bengals- I believe they have had the best draft so far. They have gotten great value out of all their picks. In the second round (53rd overall) they were able to add DT Devon Still who was projected to go in the first round ahead of guys like Michael Brockers and Dontari Poe. In the 3rd they were able to add another 1st round talent in Mohamed Sanu, you should know the name because a lot of mockers had the 49ers taking him with the 30th overall pick. I liked Sanu better than A.J. Jenkins and with him lined up opposite A.J. Green the Bengals passing game is starting to get scary good. The Bengals also added DT Brandon Thompson late in the 3rd, a pick they received for trading back in the first round.
St Louis Rams- If they were able to get Fletcher Cox in the first round instead of Michael Brockers their draft would rival the Bengals. They opened up the 2nd round by taking WR Brian Quick who will be a matchup nightmare. Much like Sanu I liked him more than Jenkins. Speaking of Jenkins how about them taking CB Janoris Jenkins with their 2nd pick in round 2? He might be the most talented corner in the draft; the problem is he has a lot of off the field issues. Definitely a risk, but a great value pick if Fisher can get more out of him than he did Pacman Jones. They added RB Pead who will provide much needed depth behind Steven Jackson. They added another corner in the 3rd, Trumaine Johnson, which will help with the growing amount of top WR’s in the NFC West.
Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants
New England Patriots- They did great in the first round moving up and getting 2 defensive standouts. However this is grading day 2. After trading up in day 1 they only had 2 picks left for the entire draft, both in round 2. With their first they reached to draft FS Tavon Wilson. Their next pick they traded down, which they had to do with no picks thru rounds 3-7, but they didn’t get good value in the trade (traded a late 2 for a late 3 and 5). With the late 3rd they took DE Jake Bequette which I don’t understand because there were better guys out there. For all the love Belichick gets for his drafts moves I think he missed on these.
Oakland Raiders- Sure they only had one pick the first 2 days, but they put themselves in that position. They gave up their 3rd rounder for Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft and lost their first for the Carson Palmer trade. They lost their second when they traded the Patriots last year for picks. With all the players they got from all those picks let’s look at what they got. A washed up QB who was retired, a 3rd string QB, and a backup running back that will never be better than a #2. With their 3rd round compensatory pick (I think the league just threw them a bone), they drafted a tackle they could have picked up in the 5th round. With all the players they lost in free agency I think they will regress to a 6-10 at best team.
New Orleans Saints- Well they cost themselves their 2nd round pick, and I don’t feel sorry for them. With their 3rd round pick they took DE Akiem Hicks. For those who don’t know he couldn’t make it at LSU and went to Canada to play college ball there. Whenever a guy can’t make it at one school and has to transfer they normally means he’s not good enough. I think he is a project and I never like taking projects early, that’s what the late round picks are for.
Dishonorable Mention: Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns
Follow @SFNinerNoise on twitter for the latest news on the draft