Vikings Draft Grade - B-. In the first round, I was hoping for Cutler, Sims, or Greenway. Cutler and Sims were gone, and the Vikings took Greenway, so I'm happy there. In round 2, when White started to slip, I was hoping the Vikings would move up to take him, but they didn't. I was sure they would take Kellen Clemens from Oregon at #48, which I was totally on board with. He's got a good arm, he's mobile, he's accurate, and I was getting legitimately excited about him. They passed on him to take Cedric Griffin, a guy they probably could have had at #51. Then Clemens was picked #49. At pick 51, I kinda didn't know what I was hoping for anymore, but I knew that it wasn't a Center from New Mexico who most were projecting as a 5th rounder, but that's what they got. I've since become more optimistic about it, since Cook can probably play G or T, but still, it was disappointing. Then they traded both of their 3rd rounders to move up and get Tavaris Jackson from Alabama St. I don't know a lot about him, but I like what I hear. He's got a big arm, his accuracy has been improving, and he's atheletic. Ron Jaworski (more on him later) was raving about him. Phil Simms had this to say:
But there was one quarterback I saw, albeit very briefly, who really caught my eye. I saw two throws made by Alabama State quarterback Tavaris Jackson, and I was really impressed. Then I saw a few more throws from him on NFL Network from his workout at the combine, and to say I was intrigued is an understatement. Wow!All in all, about worthy of a B-.
It looked big-time. Not just okay or good. What little I saw looked big-time. Then I found out a little bit about him. He started out at Arkansas and transferred to Alabama State because he was going to sit behind Matt Jones and Arkansas wanted him to switch positions. So he was good enough to be recruited by a Division I-A school and he must be a good athlete if they were willing to move him to another position.
Jackson has good size, he's muscular, and has a fluid throwing motion, very fluid. He looked natural. We'll see what happens.
ESPN Guy I like the most - Ron Jaworski. I think he really knows his stuff, at least on the offensive players. He seems like he watches a lot of tape, knows the ins and outs of playing QB, and is easy to listen to. Of all the ESPN football experts, he's my favorite.
ESPN Guy I like the least - Merril Hoge. I swear, there is not one prospect Hoge likes. Listening to Hoge talk about Vince Young, I'm actually surprised the guy won any games in college. And that pink shirt, well, not so much Merril.
Team Whose Decisions I liked the least - Houston Texans. It's not that they didn't get good players, because they did. But I thought they could have done so much better. I already wrote my thoughts about passing on Bush. Then, in round 2, with a terrible OL that has basically been a sieve since the team came into existence, Winston Justice, considered by many the 2nd best OL in the draft, falls into their lap... and they pass on him to take Demeco Ryans. They partly rectified that with a nice pick of Eric Winston in round 3, but I'd take Bush and Justice over Williams and Ryan.
Best Day 1 - I think Philly, New England, and the Jets had the best day 1. Philly got Brodrick Bunkley, very possibly the best DT in the draft at pick 14, and then traded up to get Winston Justice, who they were considering in round 1, with the 39th pick. New England got Maroney, my #3 back, but a very talented back that should fit them well in round 1, and then traded up to get Chad Jackson, either the best or 2nd best WR in the draft. Very solid picks there. The Jets solidified their line by not succumbing to the more popular pick of Matt Leinart and going with D'Brickashaw Ferguson, the best sure thing in the draft, and then taking C Eric Mangold with their 2nd pick in round 1. In round 2, they traded up to get the 4th best QB in the draft in Kellen Clemens. In round 3 they got a LB Anthony Schelegel from Ohio St. that is another very solid football player. Got to like what Eric Mangini and Co. did with their first draft.
Best Trades - Denver moving up to get Jay Cutler and Pittsburgh moving up to get Santonio Holmes. I really like Cutler, and I think he's the 2nd best QB in this draft, with maybe the potential to be the best. Great pickup for the Broncos. As for the Steel Curtain, they moved up to get their man at WR to replace Randle El. I like Jackson a little more than Holmes, but Holmes should be a very good WR.
Biggest 1st Round Steal - RB Joseph Addai, Indy at #30. I really like Addai, he's quick, he has good vision, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. I think Indy will be able to plug him in right away and he'll be able to replace most of what they lost from The Edge.
Biggest 1st Round Bust - QB Vince Young, Tennessee #3. Given time (read: a couple of years to sit on the bench) I think he'll be good. But I don't think he'll be given enough time, and he is nowhere near ready right now. He has bad mechanics, he has no experience in a pro-style offense, etc. The tools are there, he has a strong arm and he's super athletic, but I really didn't like this pick for the Titans. I thought they'd be much better off reuniting Norm Chow with Matt Leinart.
Note: I wanted to take John McCargo who was picked by the Bills, but that seemed a little too easy.
Biggest 2nd Round Steal - RB LenDale White, Tennessee #45. I really don't know how he fell this far. Did teams not watch him play? He's had some bad workouts, and his attitude may not be great, but he's still an extremely productive football player. I think he'll be a very good RB for the Titans, which is why I was really hoping the Vikings would trade up for him. Honorable mention goes to Kellen Clemens, who I think will be very good in this league.
Biggest 2nd Round Bust - CB Davin Hester, Chicago Bears #57. I know he's very explosive and can be a great return man, but he doesn't really have a position, and he wasn't good enough to start on his college team last year. He's elusive as anyone in the draft, but I don't think he'll ever be anymore than a return man, and I think they could have gotten something more in round 2.
Biggest 3rd Round Steal - WR Maurice Stovall, Tampa Bay Bucs #90. He's had some trouble with his hands, but he's very tall, has decent speed, and really has improved. He feel further than I thought he would, and I think eventually he'll be a productive #2 WR in the NFL. Nice value pick here.
Biggest 3rd Round Bust - QB Brodie Croyle, Kansas City Chiefs #85. Hard to call a 3rd round pick a bust, but I can't see Croyle developing into a starter in the NFL. He's small, he's a little inconsistent, and he's a little fragile. I was very glad the Vikings bypassed him, because I'm really not high on him at all. We'll see.