Recap from the first hectic day of the 2011 NFL Draft:
Browns – I don’t like the Phil Taylor pick as much as what they did at 6. The Kings ransom they wrangled from Atlanta for Julio Jones should set them up nicely. They got a 1st next year in what should be a better draft, picked up 2 more picks this year, and even another 4th next. Phil Taylor fills a need, and certainly they need to start stopping the run in Cleveland, but I think there might’ve been more talent on the board. Still, everything else is gravy once you hit on that jackpot.
49ers – I don’t think people expected Aldon Smith to go that high, but he was my 2nd best 3-4 rush linebacker on the board, and I don’t think its a reach. Certainly not many people saw Jim Harbaugh taking a shot at him, but he’s got elite skills for a 3-4 team.
New England – Another great first round. They secured a 2012 1st round pick that should fall in the back end (which I think is where New England likes to be because its easier to trade there), grabbed another 2nd round this year, and then snagged an elite pass protector to groom behind their veteran line. Solder is perfect for him because he doesn’t have to step in day one and can still be effective.
Jets – Muhammed Wilkerson is a fantastic pickup. He’s violent on the end, which Rex loves, and his play looks a lot like a guy Rex has coached for awhile – Trevor Pryce, which should allow him to coach him better earlier and shorten his development time.
Saints – They took great value in Cameron Jordan. Gregg Williams mixes it up between 3-4 and 4-3 so he’ll fit nicely in that wacky scheme, provide a pass rusher, and is a great character guy for New Orleans. They may have given up too much for Mark Ingram, but he ought to thrive in that system and score plenty of TD’s, not to mention take some pressure of Drew Brees.
Seattle – James Carpenter projects as a G. I know they wanted to get out of that pick but that wasn’t much of a fall back pick. Wilkerson, Carimi, Sherrod, Heyward, Baldwin, Jimmy Smith, Bowers – all on the board and they reach for a 2nd day prospect in Carpenter. I like Carpenter, and he looks like a mediocre LT, but I’ll wager he’ll slide in eventually next to Okung.
Chargers – Corey Liuget looks good, but I don’t think he’s a great fit in a 3-4 scheme and with Cameron Jordan on the board, I feel they’re trying to fit a player into a scheme instead of drafting players that will thrive in a scheme.
Atlanta – I understand they wanted Julio and he makes their passing game elite, but Cleveland now owns their draft this year and half of it next year. They better hope he comes out elite (and I think he could be) because if he doesn’t provide them with the talent to get over the hump they’ve set themselves back.
Vikings – Ponder is a late 1st at best prospect for me. I know how this happened and their GM even said that they were looking at where they could get a signal caller later and couldn’t figure out a point. The Vikings screwed themselves this year by picking up Randy Moss for a team that wasn’t making that playoff run and have no reached massively for a quarterback because they couldn’t move down. A lot of value was wasted for them unfortunately.