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Staff Commentary: Breaking down the NFC Draft

While some teams failed utterly (ahem Cowboys) and some took glory in their standings and draft picks (Vikings/Giants). Here is my hopefully unbiased analysis and grades on the NFL Draft over the weekend. To catch my AFC draft analysis. Stay tuned later this week for a update.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys Picks: LB Jason Williams, OT Robert Brewster, QB Stephen McGee, LB Victor Butler, DE Brandon Williams, CB DeAngelo Smith, S Michael Hamlin, K David Buehler, LB Stephen Hodge, TE John Phillips, CB Mike Mickens, WR Manuel Johnson

When your team has a “Pro Bowler” at every position, why the hell are you stockpiling 2nd day picks?  Seriously?  Do ANY of those guys have a shot at making the roster?  Sure, there might be a solid player in there somewhere, but there’s no need to have that many picks if you’re the Cowboys.  None.  And if you do have all those, move up for Christ’s sake…if the Browns were willing to move up for a 6th or 7th rounder, why wouldn’t you do that instead of selecting two guys who probably won’t make the team?
Grade: D

Washington Redskins Picks: DE Brian Orakpo, CB Kevin Barnes, LB Cody Glenn, LB Robert Henson, FB Eddie Williams

What is there to really be impressed with?  Orakpo?  Sure, he’s nice enough and a much better fit coming off the edge in a 4-3, but the draft isn’t the Skins forte, to say the least.
Grade: C

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Hakeem Nicks, LB Clint Sintim, OT William Beatty, WR Ramses Barden, TE Travis Beckum, RB Andre Brown, QB Rhett Bomar, CB DeAndre Wright, CB Stoney Woodson

The Eagles just spent a first rounder on THE EXACT SAME PLAYER last year…a super fast dude who can’t run routes and plays smaller than they measure with Jermemy Maclin.  I do like the pickup of Victor “Macho” Harris in the 5th round tho because that guy has NFL star written all over him, and if the Eagles like him, you know he’s gonna be good (note: only applies to DB’s).
Grade: C+

New York Giants Picks: WR Hakeem Nicks, LB Clint Sintim, OT William Beatty, WR Ramses Barden, TE Travis Beckum, RB Andre Brown, QB Rhett Bomar, CB DeAndre Wright, CB Stoney Woodson

Hakeem Nicks, William Beatty and Ramses Barden…damnit. I don’t like this draft, I love it!  All three of those guys are going to contribute right away, and Barden was a guy I was watching all draft long to see where he’d go. The dude is an absolute monster at 6′6″ who can move and jump…basically everything Plax was, only he went to a really good school and doesn’t try to do dumb things and shoot himself off the field. The Giants didn’t have a lot of holes on their roster to fill, yet they did a great job. And while I still think Braylon would’ve been a better option than either of these guys, the Giants went the value route and I’m more than confident one of those guys are going to be a bullseye.
Grade: A

NFC North

Detroit Lions Picks: QB Matthew Stafford, TE Brandon Pettigrew, S Louis Delmas, LB DeAndre Levy, WR Derrick Williams, DT Sammie Lee Hill, RB Aaron Brown, OT Lydon Murtha, LB Zach Follett, TE Dan Gronkowski

Again, Stafford was not the right pick. This Detroit team is no better than an expansion team, and No. 1 overall QB’s going to teams without an OL never do well because they have no shot. I don’t care if it was John Elway or Peyton Manning…QB’s need help, and a blocking TE in Pettigrew(whom I love btw) doesn’t cut it.  Now the Lions have a massive contract for a guy who’s probably going to sit for one year, and then have to wait on for two more while they rebuild the roster. Could be a disaster, but terrible will have to suffice.
Grade: B-

Chicago Bears Picks: DT Jarron Gilbert, WR Juaquin Iglesias, DE Henry Melton, CB D.J. Moore, WR Johnny Knox, LB Marcus Freeman, S Al Afalava, G Lance Louis, WR Derek Kinder

They got Cutler so that’s not bad in a trade, but the rest of their draft needs some serious redoing. Jarron Gilbert?  The pool jumping dude?  That’s nice and all, but what did he do on the field?  Don’t even try and answer that because I know you’ve never seen him play. Iglesias from Oklahoma? WHY ARE YOU DRAFTING A KICK RETURNER WHO CAN’T RUN ROUTES!?!?!?!? They did good with the Cutler trade but everything else that the Bears have to offer besides their already outstanding defense could use a wakeup call.
Grade: C

Green Bay Packers Picks: DT B.J. Raji, LB Clay Matthews, OT T.J. Lang, FB Quinn Johnson, OT Jamon Meredith, DE Jarius Wynn, CB Brandon Underwood, LB Brad Jones

I like Raji but don’t love the rest, Clay Matthews in particular.  Something just seems strange about a dude who gains 80 lbs. in 4 years after they’re done growing…well, that and the fact that he never beat a single
blocker in his career and didn’t do pass coverage all that well.  But aside from that?  Great!
Grade: B+

Minnesota Vikings Picks: WR Percy Harvin, OT Phil Loadholt, CB Asher Allen, LB Jasper Brinkley, S Jamarca Sanford

Best pick of the Vikings draft = Phil Loadholt.  Smart pick getting a road-grader who can fill a need at RT while being groomed to switch over.  Jasper Brinkley was another solid pick as every South Carolina game I saw, he was everywhere.  He’s big and fast but needs to learn the game more if he wants to be anything more than a guy who only sees the field on 1st and 2nd down. Oh, and who can forget the steal in Percy Harvin? Gotta love it.
Grade: A-

NFC South

New Orleans Saints Picks: CB Malcolm Jenkins, S Chip Vaughn, LB Stanley Arnoux, P Thomas Morstead

I have no idea about anyone the Saints drafted other than Malcolm Jenkins.  Fortunately, I saw Jenkins play on a weekly basis and I KNOW FOR 100% GUARANTEED FACT, that he’s going to be a multiple Pro Bowler.
Grade: B

Carolina Panthers Picks: DE Everette Brown, CB Sherrod Martin, DT Corvey Irvin, RB Mike Goodson, FB Tony Fiammetta, G Duke Robinso, CB Captain Munnerlyn

One word… Wow.  How do you give up next year’s first round pick to pick Everett Brown in the 2nd round?  Why would you do that unless you’re planning on moving Julius Peppers, which isn’t going to happen?  And Mike Goodson, another RB?  He’s a homeless man’s DeAngelo Williams, which is funny because you HAVE DeAngelo Williams, not to mention Jonathan Stewart.
Grade: D

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Picks: QB Josh Freeman, DT Roy Miller, DE Kyle Moore, OT Xavier Fulton, CB Edjuan Biggers, WR Sammie Stroughter

Moving up to take a guy who wasn’t going to get selected?  Why?  Of course, I don’t like/know anything about the guys the Bucco’s drafted, but I wouldn’t be shocked to hear about a few of them down the line.  Tampa is very underrated when it comes to the draft and they know what they’re doing outside of the first round (where they’re like a kid with ADD at a toy store).
Grade: B-

Atlanta Falcons Picks: DT Peria Jerry, S Williams Moore, CB Chris Owens, DE Lawrence Sidbury, CB William Middleton, OT Garrett Reynolds, LB Spencer Adkins, DT Vance Walker

William Moore and Peira Jerry are two solid picks. Moore especially could be awesome if he can get some good luck on the injury front. I dont think anyone will miss Michael Vick after Matt Ryan’s outstanding season last year.
Grade: B

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks Picks: LB Aaron Curry, C Max Unger, WR Deon Butler, QB Mike Teel, S Courtney Greene, DE Nick Reed, TE Cameron Morrah

Love the Curry pick, love the Unger pick, and I love the Deon Butler pick.  Hate the uniforms.
Grade: B

Arizona Cardinals Picks: RB Chris Wells, LB Cody Brown, S Rashad Johnson, CB Gregory Toler, G Herman Johnson, DE Will Davis, RB Larod Stephens- Howling, G Trevor Canfield

Another solid draft on paper, the Cards got the best running back in the draft in Beanie Wells (sniff…I’ll miss you Beanie) who will immediately make teams pay for keeping 6 in the box and cheating on the pass.  Seriously…on paper, it’s perfect…you have the most potent passing game in the league outside of Foxboro and Nawlins, with three WR’s who teams must account for and a gutty, vet QB, and the only thing missing is a giant bruiser RB, which Wells most certainly is.
Grade: A+

San Francisco 49ers Picks: WR Michael Crabtree, RB Glen Coffee, LB Scott McKillop, QB Nate Davis, TE Bear Pascoe, S Curtis Taylor, DT Ricky Jean-Francois

Wait, wait, wait, wait…the 49ers got Ricky Jean-Francois in the 7th ROUND?!?!?!?! Forget Crabtree,  and Nate Davis, a dyslexic QB, Francois made this draft class.  What an absolute steal…did NFL teams forget that this guy existed or did only the 49ers catch some mistake and not mention anything til they got their hands on him?
Grade: A

St. Louis Rams Picks: OT Jason Smith, LB James Laurinaitis, CB Bradley Fletcher, DT Dorell Scott, WR Brooks Foster, QB Keith Null, RB Chris Ogbonnaya

Do I have to talk about them?  Jason Smith is good enough but James Laurinaitis in the 2nd round?  Yeesh…did you not see the tape on him?  He was the most overrated LB in college football the past two seasons, and while he is solid in coverage, he isn’t athletic, can’t shed blocks and made a ton of mop-up duty tackles.  If he’s successful, great, but I don’t think we’ll be hearing much from James Laurinaitis in the NFL.
Grade: B-

*Image courtesy of the NFL*

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