Okay, rants done time for my top five drafts. Let me say this, I view a draft successful based on a few things; A. Did you address immediate needs. B. Did you select players that fit your scheme and that play your style of football. C. Did you amass value, whether it be through stock piling picks or finding draft steals.
5. Panthers- The reason I put them here is because I feel every player they drafted has a chance to play now and with a respectable amount of respect. Ron Rivera was the defensive coordinator for years in Chicago with Brian Urlacher as the premier piece of his defense, now he has Luke Kuechly who is in my opinion the best defensive player in this draft. More importantly, Ron knows exactly how to utilize this kids skill set and he will be a game changer from opening day the same way Cam Newton was on the offensive side of the ball. Anytime a franchise drafts players back to back years that have the ability to be a top 5 talent for 10+ years at their position, you have to consider the draft highly successful. Outside of the Kuechly pick, they went out and got Cam a new toy in Joe Adams, if Adams can stay healthy look for him to come in and be an instant deep threat ala Desean Jackson.
4. Bears- For the past few seasons it seems as if the Bears offense has been trying to catch up to the fire power of the Packers, Lions, and even at one point the Vikings. They finally landed a franchise QB in Jay Cutler, and Matt Forte developed into a 3 down back, but the wideout position was still suspect. To help remedy this the Beats front office went out and pretty much stole Brandon Marshall from the Dolphins (off the field issues taken into consideration), which makes the addition of South Carolina wide out Alshon Jeffrey that much better. Both are big body receivers who can cause match up issues outside on an island, allowing Devin Hester and Johnny Knox to kick back inside and operate from the slot where they should excel more. On defense they increased the pass rush fire power by adding Shea McClellin who will get a lot of one on one match ups since he will be playing opposite of Julius Peppers. Brandon Hardin will be a starter for a long time if he can stay healthy. Isaiah Frey and Greg Mccoy both are traditional two deep cover scheme corners and there is a good chance on of these guys will be a long time starter.
3. Eagles- We already know the Eagles have a ton of playmakers on offense; Vick, Shady McCoy, D.Jax, Maclin, and Celek. The defense was very suspect last season, but it wasn't due to a lack of talent, it was just growing pains. I feel like the Eagles arguably have the best 4-3 defensive line in the league after Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry to go along with Jason Babin, Trent Cole, and Cullen Jenkins. With Namdi and DRC on the outside providing quality coverage this team is going to rack up a lot of sacks. DeMeco Ryans will man the inside and help stuff the run, while rookie Mychal Kendricks provides support for the run and pass from the outside. Offensive line was also an issue last season for the Eagles and they went out and grabbed up a tackle and guard with good value in Dennis Kelly and Brandon Washington. Running back Bryce Brown is a big strong inside power runner and will be a great change of pace from Shady. I think the best selection was Nick Foles, based on his measurable alone. At 6"5, 243 pounds, I can see Foles sitting for a few years and developing into starter material and then either A. Becoming a pro-bowl quaterback or B. Being traded for a top 100 draft pick and a pro bowl corner...
2. 49ers- I know you all are thinking "homer" pick here, and maybe I am guilty here, but I know my team and I know we have a stud GM. We stayed cool the whole draft and stock piled players who fit not only our system but they were all smart quality players with no off the field issues. A lot of people turned their noses up at the Jenkins pick, but after doing my research I think we got the second, possibly third best wideout in the draft. Then to know that the Rams was targeting this guy big time only makes it that much better. LaMicheal James will help transform out offense and give us that x-factor we never had, and if what our scouts say is true he could possibly be a eventual replacement to Frank the Tank. Cam Johnson in the seventh round is highway robbery and not only can he give us depth but we can rotate him into the game on pass rushing situations to help us now. Trent Robinson will flourish under the wing on Donte Whitner and will service as not only depth but a cheap replacement and possible upgrade if Dashon Goldson jets in free agency. Not only did we address pretty much every need we had, but we added depth and a stock pile of picks for next years draft to do the same.
1. Colts- If Andrew Luck is everything he is advertised to be, and if the NFL is quaterback driven as the "pros" say it is, then how could anyone argue that obtaining this one player isn't more important than any other moves made during the draft. We saw what happend when Peyton went down, football in Indy was not the same. Sure it's unfair to compare Luck's genesis to Peyton's storybook history in Indy, but I promise you Lucas Oil Field will be packed with people wearing number 12 jerseys next year and not number 18. To sweeten the deal, the Colts lucked up and drafted Luck's go to man Coby Fleener in the second round, that's the type of transaction we could call "unrealistic" if we saw it in the movie. Dewayne Allen will reek havoc at the other TE spot, and T.Y. Hilton will electrify in the slot receiver spot and return game. Mississippi St. running back Vick Ballard will give the Colts a change of pace and someone who can pick up those short first downs to take some pressure off of Luck. Along with some nice defensive pick ups, I think the Colts made moves to severely shorten the process of "rebuilding" and this team will be able to win 6 to 8 games this upcoming season if not more.
Notables; Bengals, Vikings, and Bills.
[ Edited by 24plus25er on May 11, 2012 at 1:48 AM ]