Posted on: April 26, 2009 10:17 am
Good morning to everyone...
Well, Day one is in the books and Day two begins in just a few moments. Expect the picks to come pretty fast and furious to start things off as the teams have had all evening to sift through the notes, digest what happened yesterday and react today.
Some of the initial surprises I had yesterday was the run on wide receivers, dropping of offensive tackles, the Oakland Reachers, and the Denver Blowups.
Certainly no one can fault the Giants and Titans for finishing the first round with receivers Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt, given their needs -- and many had forecasted the clubs would pick precisely who they picked -- but it was still a bit of a surprise to some veteran scouts to see those two clubs take wideouts in the first round. The Giants and Titans had historically stayed away from the position in the first round.
With receivers and pass rushers taking up so many picks, a few of the top rated offensive tackles slipped down the board. I saw the writing on the wall a bit with Eben Britton and William Beatty in a few late conversations with clubs heading into the draft, which is why I dropped each from my final mock, but I was surprised to see Phil Loadholt slip out. It did not surprise me at all, however, to see the Vikings end up with Loadholt. According to my sources, he was in strong consideration with their first pick, but the team couldn't pass up the opportunity for a playmaker like Percy Harvin.
I'm annually stunned by the some of the selections that come from the Oakland Raiders... I was among those who projected Heyward-Bey to the Raiders at #7. My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter was the first to make this projection, I believe, and correctly forecast it among our 5 Bold Predictions, as well. However, the selection of the safety Mitchell in the second round sent shockwaves throughout the league. Interesting player with a lot of upside and certainly was moving up the board, but the two teams I polled immediately after the pick had him pegged in the 6th and 7th rounds, respectively.
And those Broncos... Wow. Don't get me wrong, I love the Moreno pick. Love it. But after that, things started to slip and then snowball terribly. Ayers at #18 didn't surprise me, but I'm lower on him than many are. I was stunned by the decision to trade next year's first round pick to the Seahawks for #37 overall. Only a few picks later, the Seahawks traded back into the 2nd round with Denver with their 3rd and 4th rounders. Not only did the total points from the 3rd and 4th round picks not equate to the value of Denver's second (so Seattle won this trade, according to the chart), by flipping 2nd rounders, the Seahawks essentially gave up a 3rd and 4th round pick for the Broncos 1st next year. Considering the Broncos finished last season 8-8 with Jay Cutler, this could turn out to be a historically bad trade for the Broncos.
It certainly puts a lot of pressure on the Broncos to draft well with the 3rd and 4th round picks acquired for this draft.
Have fun today...
Posted on: April 19, 2009 4:58 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2009 12:28 pm
A personnel director kind enough to occasionally read my articles and provide some constructive criticism recently told me that I'm missing three relatively safe players from my most recent article posted on NFLDraftScout.com.
The article, which you can read, by copying and pasting the URL address below, identified Wake Forest OLB Aaron Curry, LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson, Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, Cal center Alex Mack, Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno, Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew and Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie as the safest picks of the draft.
The personnel director pointed out three other players that he thought I should have listed, Connecticut running back Donald Brown, Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt and Missouri defensive tackle Evander "Ziggy" Hood. Each, he feels, willl be taken in the first round.
Brown, as he explained, "is the last of the top backs. He's pro-ready, a hard worker and has some juice to him." The longtime scout felt that there was a "significant" dropoff from the top three backs -- Moreno, Ohio State's Beanie Wells, and Brown -- to the next tier of backs.
I was the most surprised by his claim that Sooner tackle Loadholt is among the safer prospects of the draft, as I, personally, don't feel he's athletic enough for the left tackle position and may even struggle on the right side. I also question if he's too tall to be moved inside to guard. The personnel director, however, feels Loadholt is an easy fit at right tackle and could surprise at the blind side. "Rare size. Physical. A competitor. The top tackles everyone is in love with are better overall athletes, but I'm looking for football players."
Missouri's Ziggy Hood is a player I've been high on for quite awhile, and was the least surprised by his inclusion in the scout's list. "He's not a world-beater, but he plays his ass off and worked out a lot better than we thought he would. If you need a [defensive] tackle, you'd better go get him in this draft."