Didn't have time to follow all three rounds of the draft? Want to know whom your team selected and how their draft plans fit into their overall philosophy? Today and tomorrow, we'll take a look at what each team did in the draft. First, the Arizona Cardinals through the Kansas City Chiefs; tomorrow, the Miami Dolphins to the Washington Redskins.
1.26 (26) Dan Williams (DT-Tennessee) 6'2"-327
2.15 (47) Daryl Washington (LB-TCU) 6'2"-230
3.24 (88) Andre Roberts (WR-Citadel) 5'11"-195
4.32 (130) O'Brien Schofield (DE-Wisconsin) 6'2"-221
5.24 (155) John Skelton (QB-Fordham) 6'5"-243
6.32 (201) Jorrick Calvin (DB-Troy) 5'11"-184
7.26 (233) Jim Dray (TE-Stanford) 6'5"-246
Arizona was fortunate to land the draft's best nose tackle with the 26th pick. The Cardinals play a hybrid 3-4 defense but always lacked that big body in the middle; Williams could help the defense remain solid despite losing Antrel Rolle to the Giants and Karlos Dansby to the Dolphins. TCU's Washington was considered better than his pass rushing teammate Jerry Hughes (Colts) by some scouts, and he was projected as a first rounder in more than a few mocks. Andre Roberts was a favorite of internet scouts and had been rapidly moving up draft boards. He may have only played at the Citadel but scouts love his potential. Some fantasy football players were disapointed to see a potential sleeper pick like Roberts land in WR-heavy Arizona. John Skelton was considered a poor man's Joe Flacco by most draft observers; he's got great size and a rocket arm, but his small school status means he's a project quarterback. Skelton became the first Fordham player drafted in over 40 years. The Cards passed on Clausen with the 47th pick, so we can assume they are content with Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson at the QB position; Skelton may be a long-term answer but he's not going to compete for the starting job in 2010. Arizona also signed Max Hall (QB, BYU) and Alphonso Smith (RB, Kentucky) after the draft.
1.19 (19) Sean Weatherspoon (LB-Missouri) 6'1"-239
3.19 (83) Corey Peters (DT-Kentucky) 6'3"-300
3.34 (98) Mike Johnson (OG-Alabama) 6'5"-312
4.19 (117) Joe Hawley (OG-UNLV) 6'3"-297
5.4 (135) Dominique Franks (CB-Oklahoma) 5'11"-194
5.34 (165) Kerry Meier (WR-Kansas) 6'2"-224
6.2 (171) Shann Schillinger (S-Montana) 6'0"-199
Weatherspoon filled a need for the Falcons and looks like one of the safer (if not flashier) picks of the first round. The Falcons added a lot of bulk to their team in the middle rounds, selecting over 900 pounds of beef for their lines with three straight picks. Last year's first round pick, Peria Jerry, missed nearly the entire '09 season with a knee injury, so grabbing Peters provides insurance against Jerry failing to succeed. Johnson and Hawley could be interior starters for the Falcons soon, as C Todd McClure is 33 and neither starting guard has a long-term contract. Atlanta signed Dunta Robinson from Houston in the off-season, but traded up for Franks in the fifth round. As a Sooner, you know he's got great athleticism, although some question his dedication to tackling. Atlanta did not do much at the skill positions in this draft, taking only Kerry Meier, a former QB who caught 102 passes last season. He'll be a WR/TE/H-Back in the NFL.
2.11 (43) Sergio Kindle (DE-Texas) 6'3"-250
2.25 (57) Terrence Cody (DT-Alabama) 6'4"-354
3.6 (70) Ed Dickson (TE-Oregon) 6'4"-249
4.16 (114) Dennis Pitta (TE-BYU) 6'4"-245
5.25 (156) David Reed (WR-Utah) 6'0"-191
5.26 (157) Art Jones (DT-Syracuse) 6'3"-301
6.25 (194) Ramon Harewood (OT-Morehouse) 6'7"-360
It's tough not to applaud drafting impact players like Kindle and Cody, who were among the main reasons their colleges had the dominant defenses that propelled them to the BCS Championship Game. Kindle took over Brian Orakpo's role in the Longhorns defense last season, although he's not as athletically gifted as 'Rak, a first round pick last year who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie for the Redskins. Cody's weight is a huge issue; he weighed over 370 at the Combine, and many (rightly) question Cody's work ethic and desire to play in the NFL since he didn't show up in shape for the most important pre-draft event. If you're 21 years old and can only play 30 snaps a game because of your conditioning, how much playing time will you be able to endure when you're 30? Kindle also comes with risk, as reports surfaced that he might need microfracture surgery on his knee in the coming seasons. Both are boom or bust picks, but are the sort of dominant, athletic players the Ravens have rolled 7s on for years. Along with WR Anquan Boldin, the Ravens addressed their positions of weakness and appear ready to make a Super Bowl run. Dickson and Pitta are similar players with good size, and should battle to one day replace Todd Heap. Either way, they'll make Joe Flacco happy as reliable targets over the middle. Reed doesn't have NFL athleticism but has a terrific work ethic that Baltimore coaches will love. Drafting Dickson, Pitta and Reed should improve the passing game, and with Boldin, Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, Donte' Stallworth and Todd Heap already there, Baltimore's depth chart at WR/TE should probably be written in pencil.
1.9 (9) C.J. Spiller (RB-Clemson) 5'11"-196
2.9 (41) Torell Troup (NT-Central Florida) 6'3"-314
3.8 (72) Alex Carrington (DE-Arkansas State) 6'5"-285
4.9 (107) Marcus Easley (WR-Connecticut) 6'3"-210
5.9 (140) Ed Wang (OT-Virginia Tech) 6'5"-314
6.9 (178) Arthur Moats (DE-James Madison) 6'0"-246
6.23 (192) Danny Batten (DE-South Dakota State) 6'3"-250
7.2 (209) Levi Brown (QB-Troy) 6'3"-229
7.9 (216) Kyle Calloway (OT-Iowa) 6'6"-323
Spiller is an instant playmaker for one of the league's most boring offenses. Surprisingly, Marshawn Lynch is still a Bill, which gives Buffalo three good running backs and little else on the team. Despite Buffalo's protestations to the contrary, I expect Lynch to be traded before the season starts. Fred Jackson rushed for 1,000 yards last season, and he's the one whose value took the biggest hit when the Bills took Spiller instead of an offensive lineman. Buffalo, like Arizona, passed on Clausen and McCoy, but Levi Brown won't be the answer for the Bills, either. With Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm, Buffalo (for whatever reason) thinks they're set at quarterback. Buffalo's second and third round picks reflect the organization's shift to the 3-4 defense. Troup dominated during the East-West Shrine practice week, and his stock soared in the past couple of months; still, it was a big surprise to see him among the first 50 players drafted. He was something of a need pick for the Bills, and drafting Troup will let Kyle Williams spend more time at end. Carrington was the Sun Belt DPOY in 2008, and has the perfect frame to be a 3-4 defensive end. He represents good value for the team as they changed their base defense, and should provide depth behind Williams and Marcus Stroud at defensive end. Easley was a walk on at Connecticut but turned into a very productive player; he's got NFL size and was very impressive at the Texas vs. the Nation game. Buffalo hadn't take an offensive tackle in the first 140 picks since drafting mammoth bust Mike Williams 4th overall in 2002; the Bills desperately needed a tackle after trading Jason Peters to the Eagles last season, but didn't address the position until pick 140 with Wang, a former tight end.
2.16 (48) Jimmy Clausen (QB-Notre Dame) 6'3"-222
3.14 (78) Brandon LaFell (WR-LSU) 6'2"-211
3.25 (89) Armanti Edwards (WR-Appalachian State) 5'11"-187
4.26 (124) Eric Norwood (LB-South Carolina) 6'1"-245
6.6 (175) Greg Hardy (DE-Mississippi) 6'4"-281
6.29 (198) David Gettis (WR-Baylor) 6'3"-217
6.33 (202) Jordan Pugh (DB-Texas A&M) 5'11"-200
6.35 (204) Tony Pike (QB-Cincinnati) 6'6"-223
7.16 (223) RJ Stanford (DB-Utah) 5'11"-180
7.42 (249) Robert McClain (DB-Connecticut) 5'9"-195
Carolina didn't have a first round pick, but got Mel Kiper's fourth best player with the 48th pick in the draft. Matt Moore played well last season, and projects as the starting QB in 2010 with Jake Delhomme now in Cleveland. But Clausen has a much better arm than Moore, and will certainly push him in training camp. Armanti Edwards was a four-year starter at QB for the Mountaineers; he was the man who guided them to the huge upset win over Michigan in 2007. Edwards rushed for 1,588 yards and 21 TDs as a sophomore, and it's that sort of athleticism that excited NFL scouts about his prospects as a wildcat QB and wide receiver. However, he was projected to be a 6th or 7th round pick; Carolina traded their 2011 second round pick to New England to move into the third round to take Edwards. Carolina took another QB late in the draft: Tony Pike has incredible size and had insane numbers playing for Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. Unfortunately, he's rail thin and struggled in the Sugar Bowl and at most of the pre-draft events. Either Moore or Clausen should like throwing to LaFell in the red zone, a big target with soft hands. He fell to the third round because he lacks speed and agility, and his production at LSU underwhelmed (but he was saddled with terrible QB play). Norwood was a near-dominant player in the SEC, and is a classic rush linebacker. Along with last year's second round pick (which cost Carolina their 2010 first round pick), Everette Brown, Carolina may have found a way to replace some of the production they lost when Julius Peppers signed with the Bears.
3.11 (75) Major Wright (FS-Florida) 5'11"-206
4.11 (109) Corey Wootton (DE-Northwestern) 6'6"-270
5.10 (141) Joshua Moore (DB-Kansas State) 5'11"-188
6.12 (181) Dan LeFevour (QB-Central Michigan) 6'3"-230
7.11 (218) J'Marcus Webb (OT-West Texas AM) 6'8"-328
There were no first or second round picks for the Bears, following the Jay Cutler and Gaines Adams (RIP) trades. Chicago's best pick might have been when they went local with Corey Wooten, a very talented DE who some projected to go in the second round. Chicago's first pick of the draft, Wright, gets my award for being the most excited draft pick. After hearing his name called, Wright told Chicago reporters: "I literally ran down the street and just lay in the middle of the road and started crying." Wright could start right away after leaving Florida as a junior. Chicago took two players that really caught my attention: I agree with Matt Waldman that LeFevour might project as the best QB in the draft after Bradford. LeFevour was dubbed the Rust Belt Tebow by the Dr. Saturday blog all year long; he ended his career combining for more passing and rushing touchdowns than any major college football player, ever. He also seems like a good fit for the Mike Martz offense, thanks to his great anticipation skills. Obviously Cutler's not losing his job anytime soon, but porous offense lines, Martz QBs, and injuries have gone hand in hand over the years. Chicago's other interesting pick was Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes, signed after the draft (as was his college QB, Tyler Sheehan, an UDFA pickup for the Texans). Barnes didn't even get a combine invite, and my buddy Sigmund Bloom thinks he doesn't have the skills or athleticism to make it; still, Barnes, a hig school QB, had 155 receptions last season, including an absurd 22 for 278 and 3 in a 36-35 win over Kent State. He broke the single-season receptions record in the Humanitarian Bowl against Idaho, where he caught 17 passes for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns, the last of which gave Bowling Green the lead with 32 seconds left. If nothing else, he could be a decent possession guy for the Bears.
1.21 (21) Jermaine Gresham (TE-Oklahoma) 6'5"-261
2.22 (54) Carlos Dunlap (DE-Florida) 6'6"-277
3.20 (84) Jordan Shipley (WR-Texas) 5'11"-193
3.32 (96) Brandon Ghee (CB-Wake Forest) 6'0"-192
4.22 (120) Geno Atkins (DT-Georgia) 6'1"-293
4.33 (131) Roddrick Muckelroy (LB-Texas) 6'2"-246
5.21 (152) Otis Hudson (OG-Eastern Illinois) 6'5"-312
6.22 (191) Dezmon Briscoe (WR-Kansas) 6'2"-207
7.21 (228) Reggie Stephens (OL-Iowa State) 6'3"-333
No Cincinnati tight end has hit the 350-yard mark in the last ten seasons; the Bengals have been desperately looking for a pass-catcher at that position for years. Last year, Cincinnati took Chase Coffman in the third round, but the former Missouri star struggled most of his rookie season and then needed season-ending surgery on his ankle. Dunlap is the typical superstar athlete that the Gators recruit, but his critics point to his laziness, his history of taking plays off, and his inability to drink, drive and stay awake. Bengals-haters can point to Dunlap as another problem child in the Queen City. Jordan Shipley was a superstar at Texas and has been compared to Wes Welker a zillion times. His drafting is bad news for Quan Cosby, a Longhorn and undrafted free agent who, like Shipley, lacked elite athleticism but caught everything thrown his way. Brandon Ghee was the last player taken from the green room, and provides depth to an already strong secondary. He has great speed (4.37 40) and shut down Demaryius Thomas in their head-to-head matchup in November. With Leon Hall and Johnathon Joseph, the Bengals have more quality and quantity than nearly every other team at cornerback. Briscoe was a very productive college player and gets a lot of yards after the catch. But he may have a hard time cracking the roster, as the Bengals are suddenly very deep at receiver (Ochocinco, Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell, Matt Jones, Jerome Simpson and Cosby, and now Shipley and Briscoe).
1.7 (7) Joe Haden (CB-Florida) 5'11"-193
2.6 (38) T.J. Ward (FS-Oregon) 5'10"-211
2.27 (59) Montario Hardesty (RB-Tennessee) 6'0"-225
3.21 (85) Colt McCoy (QB-Texas) 6'1"-216
3.28 (92) Shawn Lauvao (OT-Arizona State) 6'2"-315
5.29 (160) Larry Asante (SS-Nebraska) 6'0"-212
6.8 (177) Carlton Mitchell (WR-South Florida) 6'3"-215
6.17 (186) Clifton Geathers (DE-South Carolina) 6'7"-299
Haden was an obvious pick, the best player at his position at an area of obvious need for Cleveland. Where the Browns raised some eyebrows was when they passed on Clausen to take T.J. Ward, a low-rated prospect that figured to be available later in the draft. Fortunately, the Browns offense may finally be brought back to life thanks to their picks in the second and third rounds. Hardesty is a complete back; with his size, he can be an every down back and an inside runner, but he also has excellent agility and change of direction skills and is a good receiving back. With Jerome Harrison and last year's rookie running back, James Davis (who kept C.J. Spiller on the bench at times at Clemson), the Browns all of the sudden have a very strong stable of running backs (and that's excluding wildcat QB Josh Cribbs). Colt McCoy has had the spotlight on him for years, and McCoy backers compare him to Drew Brees (while the detractors question his size, arm strength and ability to play in a pro-style offense). Cleveland had an incredibly uninspiring outlook at the position with Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, and McCoy can at least give the fanbase hope. Lauvao can play guard or tackle, and came out after being a second-team All-Conference selection as a junior. Asante was graded as a better safety than Ward by some, and he was named first-team All-Conference last year. He was given a lot of responsibilities in Bo Pelini's great defense, although he won't be playing behind an Ndamukong Suh in the pros. Carlton Mitchell generated a ton of buzz in the scouting community, as 6'3, 215 pound WRs who run 4.40 40-yard dashes tend to do. Some mock drafts had him as high as the second round, making him a steal for a WR-starved Browns team. Last year the Browns added Mohammed Massoquoi and Brian Robiskie through the draft and traded for Chansi Stuckey; along with Cribbs, they're all that stands between Mitchell and a starting role. With the Browns last pick, they kept the Geathers brothers in-state: Clifton's brother Robert is a DE for the Bengals.
1.24 (24) Dez Bryant (WR-Oklahoma State) 6'2"-225
2.23 (55) Sean Lee (LB-Penn State) 6'2"-236
4.28 (126) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (CB-Indiana (PA)) 6'0"-207
6.10 (179) Sam Young (OT-Notre Dame) 6'8"-316
6.27 (196) Jamar Wall (CB-Texas Tech) 5'10"-204
7.27 (234) Sean Lissemore (DT-William & Mary) 6'4"-298
I'm on record as loving the trade for Bryant; Dallas was already one of the favorites to win Super Bowl XLV -- being played at the Cowboys new stadium -- and Bryant only makes their offense that much stronger. Jason Garrett's offense might have more talent at the skill positions than any other in the league. Sean Lee was a terrific linebacker in the typical Penn State mold. He was projected to go as a first round pick after an excellent 2007 season, but he tore his ACL in spring practice and missed all of 2008. Lee rebounded last season, wearing a brace on his knee, and has good upside if he can stay healthy. Owusu-Ansah was everyone's favorite sleeper at cornerback and is a huge upside pick in the 4th round. He definitely needs tutoring after playing against future school teachers in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. But he's a 6-1 cornerback who benched 225 twenty-one times at the Combine and ran a 4.31 40 at his pro day. Along with Wall, the Cowboys added some much needed depth in the secondary. Dallas signed FB Chris Gronkowski after the draft, whose brother Rob was a second round pick of the Patriots.
1.22 (22) Demaryius Thomas (WR-Georgia Tech) 6'3"-224
1.25 (25) Tim Tebow (QB-Florida) 6'3"-236
2.13 (45) Zane Beadles (OT-Utah) 6'4"-310
3.16 (80) J.D. Walton (C-Baylor) 6'3"-300
3.23 (87) Eric Decker (WR-Minnesota) 6'3"-217
5.6 (137) Perrish Cox (CB-Oklahoma State) 5'11"-195
6.14 (183) Eric Olsen (C-Notre Dame) 6'4"-306
7.18 (225) Syd'quan Thompson (CB-California) 5'9"-186
7.25 (232) Jammie Kirlew (DE-Indiana) 6'1"-260
The Broncos were the most talked about team after the draft, and Josh McDaniels' fate may turn on how Thomas and Tebow -- two very raw players -- develop. With Brandon Marshall gone, Tebow will at least feel comfortable donning the #15 in Orange and Blue. Denver's defense imploded down the stretch, but the Broncos haven't really addressed their defense in free agency or the draft. The biggest change they've made was getting rid of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and promoting linebackers coach Don "Wink" Martindale to replace him. One pick I did like was Eric Decker, the do-it-all wide receiver out of Minnesota. Decker took one of the most vicious hits of the 2009 season but didn't let that stop him. In 2008, he caught 84 passes for 1,074 yards and 7 TDs. In the first five games of '09, he caught 43 passes for 639 yards and 5 TDs, but missed half of the season with a Lisfranc sprain. He should be ready to go by training camp, and has been compared by many to Brandon Stokely, now a teammate. Decker's a possession receiver and more pro-ready than Thomas, so he should provide an instant boost to the offense. In McDaniels' offense, a good possession receiver is a must, and there's no shortage in Denver with Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney already on the team. With Casey Wiegmann now in Kansas City, the Broncos had zero centers on the roster. Many thought Denver might move down to draft Maurkice Pouncey, but instead they went with quantity at the position. Between Walton and Olsen, the Broncos should have their center of the future. Walton was a first-team AP All-American while Olsen gave up only one sack a senior. Denver also signed Chris Brown, who scored 21 touchdowns team with Sam Bradford at Oklahoma in 2008, after the draft.
1.2 (2) Ndamukong Suh (DT-Nebraska) 6'4"-307
1.30 (30) Jahvid Best (RB-California) 5'10"-199
3.2 (66) Amari Spievey (CB-Iowa) 5'11"-195
4.30 (128) Jason Fox (OT-Miami) 6'7"-303
7.6 (213) Willie Young (DE-North Carolina State) 6'5"-251
7.48 (255) Tim Toone (WR-Weber State) 5'10"-175
The Lions hit a home run with Suh, and I like the Best pick because it adds another dimension to the offense. Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Best should make Thanksgivings fun again for the rest of the country. Detroit's biggest need was at cornerback, and Spievey should provide an upgrade to the league's worst pass defense. Spievey is a tough player and a sure tackler, and along with former Falcon Chris Houston, could mean Detroit will have a new pair of starting cornerbacks in 2010. Fox has prototypical size for a left tackle, but fell in the draft due to a series of injuries. He'll provide immediate depth behind Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus, but could start in a few years. In addition to being Mr. Irrelevant, he'll stand out for being a white guy with dreadlocks, according to coach Schwartz. In addition to Houston, the Lions also shipped draft picks out for veterans, acquiring safety Ko Simpson, guard Rob Sims and defensive tackle Corey Williams. Along with free agent defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, the defensive line has been overhauled and could become a core strength of the team. The Lions also traded linebacker Ernie Sims in a three-way deal that netted them TE Tony Scheffler. The 2010 Lions should be significantly more talented than the '09 version.
Green Bay Packers
1.23 (23) Bryan Bulaga (OT-Iowa) 6'5"-314
2.24 (56) Mike Neal (DT-Purdue) 6'3"-294
3.7 (71) Morgan Burnett (SS-Georgia Tech) 6'1"-209
5.23 (154) Andrew Quarless (TE-Penn State) 6'4"-254
5.38 (169) Marshall Newhouse (OT-TCU) 6'4"-319
6.24 (193) James Starks (RB-Buffalo) 6'2"-218
7.23 (230) C.J. Wilson (DE-East Carolina) 6'3"-290
The Packers wildest dreams were fulfilled when Bulaga fell to them at the 23rd spot in the draft. Many viewed Bulaga as a top 10 pick, and he fills the Packers biggest need. He'll step in immediately at either right tackle or at guard. Neal will help bolster the defensive line, and projects as a defensive end in the Green Bay's 3-4 scheme. Along with last year's first round pick B.J. Raji, the Packers defensive line continues its transformation under their new system. Burnett raised eyebrows with a 4.42 40-time and a 39.5 inch vertical leap; he'll provide depth to a secondary that was exposed as thin by the Cardinals in the playoffs. Quarless was a very productive tight end at Penn State, and is a strong receiver; he also has a long history of off the field issues and is a classic boom or bust pick. Newhouse can play guard or tackle, and impressed scouts by running the 40 in just five seconds flat. Green Bay didn't find an outside linebacker in this draft, but may go after one now in free agency to replace Aaron Kampman (Jacksonville).
1.20 (20) Kareem Jackson (CB-Alabama) 5'10"-196
2.26 (58) Ben Tate (RB-Auburn) 5'11"-220
3.17 (81) Earl Mitchell (DT-Arizona) 6'3"-215
4.4 (102) Darryl Sharpton (LB-Miami) 5'11"-236
4.20 (118) Garrett Graham (TE-Wisconsin) 6'3"-243
5.13 (144) Sherrick McManis (CB-Northwestern) 5'11"-195
6.18 (187) Shelley Smith (OG-Colorado State) 6'3"-300
6.28 (197) Trindon Holliday (KR-LSU) 5'5"-166
7.20 (227) Dorin Dickerson (TE-Pittsburgh) 6'4"-226
The Texans filled a big need at cornerback in the first round, although some scouts think Jackson's production was inflated by playing in Nick Saban's defense. Tate is another player who some thought would be available later in the draft, but he had a great senior season, a strong combine and is a perfect fit for the Texans' zone blocking scheme. He's a one-cut runner who should provide a perfect complement to Steve Slaton. Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell is a local pick; he grew up in Galena Park. Sharpton was born in Coral Gables, attended Coral Gables high, and then attended The U. He had over 100 tackles last season, and has very good speed. For the second year in a row, the Texans took two tight ends in the draft despite having Owen Daniels on the team. Last year, Houston took Anthony Hill, a blocking TE, and James Casey, a jack-of-all trades star at Rice. With Daniels recovering from yet another torn ACL, Houston got more insurance with Graham and Dickerson. Mike Mayock once said that Dickerson wouldn't fall out of the second round, after he ran a 4.40 40 with a 43" vertical and had 24 reps. Dickerson also served as Pittsburgh's goal line running back from time to time, but Houston plans to start playing him at wide receiver. Holliday is a pure return specialist; while he's got out of this world speed and agility, some question whether a player so short can play at the next level.
1.31 (31) Jerry Hughes (DE-TCU) 6'2"-255
2.31 (63) Pat Angerer (LB-Iowa) 6'0"-235
3.30 (94) Kevin Thomas (CB-Southern Cal) 6'0"-192
4.31 (129) Jacques McClendon (OG-Tennessee) 6'2"-324
5.31 (162) Brody Eldridge (TE-Oklahoma) 6'5"-261
7.31 (238) Ricardo Mathews (DT-Cincinnati) 6'3"-294
7.33 (240) Kavell Conner (LB-Clemson) 6'0"-242
7.39 (246) Ray Fisher (DB-Indiana) 5'9"-185
The Colts know all too well that sick feeling in their stomachs when Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis are out: taking Hughes should provide valuable depth on the defensive line. He's a pass rushing specialist, and had 36 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks his last two seasons at TCU. Angerer was a middle linebacker at Iowa, who some viewed as too short, too light and too slow to play in the NFL. But he made a lot of plays for the Hawkeyes, and has been compared to Zach Thomas (you can guess what Angerer looks like). Both Angerer and Thomas probably could have been had later, but fit the Colts model of getting players for their system. Thomas has good instincts and is very athletic -- some had him rated as the #1 high school cornerback prospect in the country. But he suffered with injuries and only had three interceptions in his career with the Trojans. McClendon could replace Ryan Lilja at right guard; he's a huge lineman who fits into the Colts philosophy of getting beefier up front. Eldridge was a surprise pick at 162; he's a pure blocking tight end. He's a good in-line blocker and should help the Colts running game right away, but most thought he'd go undrafted. Then again, at least this wasn't Denver taking Richard Quinn in the second round of the '09 draft.
The Colts also picked up five UDFAs of note. Tim Hiller had an up and down career as a three-year starter at Western Michigan, and should compete with Curtis Painter for the backup QB role with Jim Sorgi in New York. Hiller was a hot prospect after having a strong junior season, but a disappointing senior season left him undrafted. My good buddy Cecil Lammey wrote a couple of weeks ago that Blair White was one of the overlooked gems of the draft; not only was White overlooked, but he went undrafted. Landing in Indianapolis is a great spot for a wide receiver who runs great routes and has good hands. White was a walk-on at Michigan State but eventually became the Spartans' best receiver. The Colts got some excellent seasons out of Edgerrin James; they picked up his cousin, Javarris, also out of Miami, hoping to cash in on the good bloodlines. The Colts also signed Brandon James, an electric return man for the Gators the past three years. Finally, Indy added Blair White's teammate Brett Swenson, who some viewed as the best kicker in the draft. No field goal kickers were drafted (although three punters were), but Swenson could replace the old and injury prone Adam Vinatieri and the really old Matt Stover. James and Swenson should inject some youth into the Colts special teams in 2010.
1.10 (10) Tyson Alualu (DE-California) 6'3"-295
3.10 (74) D'Anthony Smith (DT-Louisiana Tech) 6'2"-304
5.12 (143) Larry Hart (DE-Central Arkansas) 6'1"-248
5.22 (153) Austen Lane (DE-Murray State) 6'6"-276
6.11 (180) Deji Karim (RB-Southern Illinois) 5'11"-205
6.34 (203) Scotty McGee (KR-James Madison) 5'9"-190
The Jaguars actual picks take a backseat to the player they didn't take. Here's what Jaguars GM Gene Smith said about passing on Tim Tebow:
In fairness to him and because of our location, we live-scouted every game this year. We probably know as much about him as anybody. We certainly would have considered taking him in the draft ... I want to wish him the very best, but when we were picking at that slot, Alualu was the next pick. I'm so happy when I saw Tim get picked in the first round. He's so deserving of that. I felt he could play quarterback in the NFL.
Alualu, a 3-4 end in the Golden Bears defense, will play as a defensive tackle for the Jaguars. While he looks like a fantastic player, it will be hard for Jaguars fans to get over the shock of taking a guy few had projected in the top 25 with the 10th pick in the draft. Fair or not, Alualu will have a lot of pressure on him right away to prove that Jacksonville didn't goof; it will look even worse if Tebow has some early success with the Broncos. Alualu is a good player and fits a need for the Jaguars, but it wasn't the sort of pick that injected much life into a franchise some think is on their death bed. Neither did the rest of their picks: Jacksonville took three more defensive linemen with their only other pre-sixth round picks, all from small schools, and none of whom were particularly well liked by scouts. In the 2009 draft, the Jaguars took two tackles (Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton) high in the draft and two receivers (Jarrett Dillard and Mike Thomas) late; all four have good potential, and Jacksonville appears content to let them develop rather than spend more picks on offense. That's a fine way to develop a solid team on both sides of the ball, assuming all the picks -- in '09 and '10 -- work out. Karim is a big-bodied, stout running back who could be very good in short-yardage situations. At the least, the Jags hope he can punish defenses when they need to give Maurice Jones-Drew a breather. Jacksonville also traded for linebacker Kirk Morris, dropping from 108 to 153 in the draft to fill a big hole in the middle of their defense. After the draft, the Jags signed about 20 undrafted free agents. One of them was Kyle Bosworth, nephew of "the Boz." Another was Chris McGaha, wide receiver from Arizona, who some view as a good sleeper among the undrafted class.
Kansas City Chiefs
1.5 (5) Eric Berry (SS-Tennessee) 6'0"-211
2.4 (36) Dexter McCluster (WR-Mississippi) 5'9"-172
2.18 (50) Javier Arenas (CB-Alabama) 5'9"-197
3.4 (68) Jon Asamoah (OG-Illinois) 6'4"-305
3.29 (93) Tony Moeaki (TE-Iowa) 6'3"-245
5.5 (136) Kendrick Lewis (FS-Mississippi) 6'0"-198
5.11 (142) Cameron Sheffield (DE-Troy) 6'2"-257
The Chiefs front office apparently watched a lot of SEC football this year -- Berry, McCluster and Arenas were all on the All-SEC first team in 2009. Berry is the playmaking athlete the Chiefs desperately needed in the secondary, and was regarded by some scouts as the second best player in the draft behind Suh. He looks like a can't miss pick. McCluster was a RB/WR/Wildcat QB/Returner at Ole Miss, and he'll probably fill the same role in Kansas City. He was an outstanding college player, but at 5'9, 170, teams didn't view him as an everydown back. The Chiefs have already said they plan on listing him as a receiver, not as a running back, which makes sense given KC's depth at the position with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Asamoah was a four year starter for the Illini; he didn't have great combine numbers but he was viewed as one of the better guard prospects in the draft. Moeaki struggled with injuries for most of his career with the Hawkeyes, but could be a boost to the offense and Matt Cassel if he can stay healthy. Sheffield and Brandon Lang terrorized opposing QBs as edge rushers at Troy; Lang was the more heralded star, but Sheffield was the one who got drafted. Sheffield is probably just going to be a pass rushing specialist for the Chiefs; his ex-teammate Lang will now be his rival. Lang was signed after the draft by the Chargers.
Check back tomorrow for Miami through Washington.
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