Posts Tagged ‘NFL Draft’

Post-NFL Draft Predictions

April 30, 2012

The results are in, folks. The NFL Draft is OVER. I’m part thankful because I don’t have to listen to Mel Kiper blab about his “profession” anymore, but I’m also bummed. While I love baseball, this means no football until August at the earliest.

Oh, well. At least the Dodgers are still dominating. Here are my predicted standings for the 2012 NFL season with the newest additions to the teams:

AFC East:

1. New England Patriots

All the Patriots did over the weekend was address needs on defense. They finally traded up and now have a potentially good defense to complement the still-explosive offense. The Patriots are a no-doubt pick to win this division.

2. Buffalo Bills

Last year’s trendy pick to win the division got better, but still aren’t there yet. They might have a chance to challenge for the Wild Card after selecting CB Stephon Gilmore with their first pick and might have scored a sleeper in LB Tank Carder.

3. New York Jets

And, queue the angry Jets fans whining about my selection. To them, I say stop wasting time with Sanchez Dee and Tebow Dum and draft a real quarterback, because the rest of the team isn’t half bad. But getting a couple above average guys in this draft isn’t going to help much.

4. Miami Dolphins

I like some of the picks the Dolphins made, but Ryan Tannehill was both unnecessary and stupid. Matt Moore is a better QB right now than Tannehill ever will be in my opinion. This team is still in need of tons of help.

AFC North:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Steel City is back on top this season after fixing the one big problem they had. Ben Roethlisberger’s sore ass from being sacked millions of times. They got two great offensive line prospects early in the draft and will be much improved all around.

2. Baltimore Ravens

I’m actually very underwhelmed with what the Ravens did in this year’s draft. Fortunately, they didn’t have a ton of issues that needed fixing. They should cruise to a Wild Card spot in 2012.

3. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals got a LOT better through this draft. Considering they barely missed the playoffs last year, this could spell doom for any other Wild Card hopefuls next season. Could both Wild Card teams come from this division next seasons? I say yes.

4. Cleveland Browns

I love the first pick. Trent Richardson will be a ferocious beast for Cleveland. Then they went and ruined it by drafting a 28-year-old below-average quarterback in the FIRST ROUND. Kill me now.

AFC South:

1. Houston Texans

The Texans should run away with this division. They are competing with three teams who have Jake Locker, Andrew Luck and Blaine Gabbert at QB. Expect a full, healthy season from Matt Schaub and an easy division title.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags will be a little better, but not much. I do like that they went out and got Justin Blackmon in the first round, but the problem is less about Gabbert’s weapons than Gabbert himself.

3. Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker is not an NFL-caliber QB, and Matt Hasselbeck makes way too many mistakes to keep this team competitive. If they get a good year out of Chris Johnson, they MIGHT crack .500, but I doubt it.

4. Indianapolis Colts

Not only did Indy grab Luck with the first overall selection, but they used their next two picks on solid tight ends. Hello, Stanford! The Colts also nabbed an underrated running back in Vick Ballard late. They aren’t ready yet, but heading in the right direction.

AFC West:

1. San Diego Chargers

I know they are the kings of screwing the pooch, but the Chargers have the most talented team already on the field, and had the best draft in the division (although that’s really not saying much). I expect them to NOT blow it in 2012.

2. Denver Broncos

You can’t count out a team with a healthy Peyton Manning. But they aren’t a playoff team again until I’m assured Manning can actually take a hit. The defense is still overrated, but the offense should put up more points than people think.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Another underwhelming draft in this division, as the only REAL impact player they got was Dontari Poe with their first pick. And even that was risky. We’ll see how Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry bounce back. K.C. could surprise. Again.

4. Oakland Raiders

My god, what a mess. The draft was basically pointless for them, and they’ve been cutting salary and players for weeks. The Raiders, with their play makers on offense, could pull a few upset victories, but this is a 5-win team at best in 2012.

NFC East:

1. Philadelphia Eagles

I know, I know. They will figure it out this year, though. The Eagles added a lot of underrated pieces in this draft, and finally made some smart moves instead of just going for broke on star power. Look for a dominant triumph in this division next season.

2. New York Giants

The defending champs will probably still make the playoffs, because…well, don’t they always? But time will tell. They have a habit of putting their fans through cardiac arrest, and I don’t think they improved at all from a team that lost Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs.

3. Dallas Cowboys

And despite a pretty solid draft, the Cowboys still suck. Bummer. I especially like their first round selection of Morris Claiborne, but he’ll take some adjusting to the NFL game. I fully expect this team to contend…in 2013.

4. Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III is going to be exceptionally fun to watch, and he’s already better-liked than Donovan McNabb was. Funny what a little humility gets you. The rest of the draft was a little puzzling, especially the selection of another QB, Kirk Cousins.

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay’s draft was a snoozer, but they did make a couple good picks getting Jerel Worthy and Nick Perry to shore up the defense. This team still has Aaron Rodgers, so I’ll be shocked if they don’t win the division.

2. Chicago Bears

Sorry Lions fans, but the Bears really improved. First of all, they will have their healthy QB back. Don’t forget that’s the only reason they missed the playoffs last season. Plus, they get to pair Alshon Jeffery with Brandon Marshall. Poor opposing DBs.

3. Detroit Lions

While Daaaaa Bears will snag a Wild Card spot, the Lions are going to be sitting at home wondering what the hell went wrong. I’ll tell you – Jim Schwartz can’t control an immature team, no matter who they draft. I’ll put the over/under at ten for Lions suspensions next season.

4. Minnesota Vikings

They are actually on the way up, just not quick enough. I liked their draft, though getting Harrison Smith late in the first round was quite a reach. You have to like Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder, but the Vikes still come up very short.

NFC South:

1. Atlanta Falcons

I really don’t think the Falcons are a contender, but they will win this division by default. Carolina’s defense still isn’t ready, the Saints don’t have coaches, and the Bucs still need help. I like getting Peter Konz in the draft, but the rest of the picks were just questionable.

2. New Orleans Saints

Call me crazy, but the Saints will still squeak into the playoffs with the second Wild Card spot. They still have some dude named Drew Brees and an offense capable of putting up 50. Unfortunately, they barely helped themselves through the draft.

3. Carolina Panthers

This division is going to be VERY competitive. I like the Panthers trying to help their defense through the draft, but they didn’t do it aggressively enough. I think Luke Kuechly was a big reach that high for a position they didn’t necessarily need.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If Josh Freeman can turn his shit around from a horrendous 2011, the Bucs could surprise people. I think they had the best draft in the division, nabbing Mark Barron in the first round and guys like Doug Martin and LaVonte David later on.

NFC West:

1. San Francisco 49ers

Okay, obviously this is my team. But the 49ers won free agency in the offseason, put together the best draft in the division, and are the favorites by a mile to win this division. If any other team goes .500 I’d be surprised. The 49ers have a shot at another 13-3 season.

2. St. Louis Rams

I actually really like what the Rams did in this draft. They scored Michael Brockers in the first round, but made really nice picks at receiver with Brian Quick and Chris Givens. They aren’t ready yet, but could scare some people for the Wild Card in 2012.

3. Seattle Seahawks

Prove to me that Matt Flynn isn’t a fluke, and I might say this team is .500-worthy. But until then, they have no QB as far as I’m concerned. I think the Hawks had the worst draft in the NFL, although they may have stolen QB Russell Wilson on Day Two.

4. Arizona Cardinals

Okay, everyone. That’s enough. Stop singing the Cards’ praises just because they drafted Michael Floyd. Yes, they now have the best receiver in the game (Larry Fitzgerald) and a guy with huge potential in Floyd. Who’s going to throw them the ball? Kevin Kolb? Thanks for the laugh.

That’s all I have for now! Thanks for reading, tune in tomorrow, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

NFL Draft: Grading Round 1 – The Confusion Chronicles

April 26, 2012

So, the first round of the 2012 NFL draft has ended. Needless to say…WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED? I’m pretty sure 29 of the 30 picks were defensive linemen, and what is Brandon Weeden doing going to Cleveland already? I’m just utterly confused and amazed at what just took place.

Rather than do the typical grading that all analysts do, I’m just going to grade based on how confused the pick made me. An “A” means not confused, an “F” means flabbergasted. Hah. Funny word, flabbergasted. Read on:

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Well, duh. It’s been known since the day the Colts clinched the worst record that Andrew Luck would be Peyton Manning’s successor. Confusion Grade: A

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Well, duh. It’s been known since the day the Redskins traded for this pick that Robert Griffin III would be the next QB in Washington. Confusion Grade: A

3. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The Browns need all the help they can get. Getting a game-changing runner like T-Rich is a no-brainer for an offense that lacked so much punch. Confusion Grade: A

4. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Poor Christian Ponder needs a little protection, and I’m not talking about in the bedroom. The Vikings made the obvious choice, getting the best lineman on the board. Confusion Grade: A

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

I mean…okay. Blackmon has a ton of potential. That’s great. But, the Jags wanted him so bad that they traded up to get him? Jacksonville better hope this works out. Confusion Grade: C

6. Dallas Cowboys: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Anyone who nabbed Claiborne in this draft was going to score high, Wonderlic test be damned. I just hate that it had to be the Cowboys who got him. Confusion Grade: A-

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

The Bucs reportedly wanted Barron all along, and that’s why they moved back to get him. So good for them! I just don’t know why they are so enamored with Barron. Confusion Grade: C-

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

It doesn’t matter what the Dolphins do, because Matt Moore will be better than this guy, and this guy won’t be Dan Marino. Sooo…wow. Confusion Grade: D

9. Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Obviously the Panthers need some defensive help, but the only reason this move makes sense is that they don’t believe their two solid inside LBs can stay healthy. Confusion Grade: F

10. Buffalo Bills: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Sure, why not. The Bills are another team that needs tons of help, so why not go for the play making defensive back that every analyst loves? Confusion Grade: A-

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

And so it begins. The run of defensive lineman is longer and messier than the runs down my pants after eating Taco Bell. Which is actually a better decision than drafting Poe here. Confusion Grade: F

12. Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

The Eagles traded up to the 12th slot just to get Cox? Seriously? Why not go with someone who is actually going to make a difference in the NFL? Confusion Grade: F

13. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

HAHAHA. I’m so happy this happened. Now the Cards have an elite wide receiver and one with the potential to be an elite wide receiver! Not sure how Kevin Kolb will throw to them from his back though…Confusion Grade: F

14. St. Louis Rams: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

This dude is an absolute beast. Six foot five, 322 pounds of pure muscle and grit. Too bad none of the weight is devoted to his brain. Waste of a pick. Confusion Grade: F

15. Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia

Irvin is a really great story, but once again, Pete Carroll proves himself to be an absolute idiot. Enjoy 6-10, Seattle. It’s happening again. Good luck with Matt Flynn as your QB. Confusion Grade: F

16. New York Jets: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

I actually love this pick by the Jets. But I hate the Jets. Mostly because they have Mark Sanchez AND Tim Tebow. Which means forget the defense, draft a QB. Confusion Grade: F

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Fantastic pick. I still think they could use a little more firepower on offense, but Andy Dalton and A.J. Green should be one year better and smarter in 2012. Confusion Grade: B+

18. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

I like this pick for the skill they are getting, but is the defensive line really their biggest problem? How much longer until Philip Rivers is replaced? Confusion Grade: B-

19. Chicago Bears: Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State

Now we’re just starting to get desperate. Is this seriously the first-round defensive lineman the Bears wanted? I highly, highly doubt it. Confusion Grade: F

20. Tennessee Titans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

He went a little earlier than most people expected, I think. But Wright has a ton of speed and a lot of analysts are high on him. Unfortunately, the Titans have nobody good to throw him the ball. Confusion Grade: B

21. New England Patriots: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

The Patriots traded up for once and absolutely stole this guy from the rest of the league. The fact that so many other D-Linemen went before him is a straight travesty. Confusion Grade: A

22. Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State

I thought this was a joke at first. He won’t play until he’s 30, if he plays at all. And Skip Bayless likes the pick, which should spell doom for Cleveland. Confusion Grade: F———–

23. Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

The fact that Reiff was available this late is just stupid. How many teams wasted a pick before this that could have ended up with the second best tackle in the draft? Confusion Grade: A

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Okay, yeah…what? Great, incredible, ridiculously good pick by the Steelers. Because DeCastro has the talent to be a top-10 pick. But he fell way too far. Confusion Grade: A-

25. New England Patriots: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

I love to hate the Patriots, but damn if they didn’t steal two future stars in the first round of this draft. After snagging Jones from Syracuse, they got the best inside linebacker on the board. Confusion Grade: A

26. Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

The Texans are one team that didn’t have a ton of changes to make. They already have a top-rated D, and with a healthy Matt Schaub, could be the best team in the AFC. Confusion Grade: A

27. Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Zeitler, C, Wisconsin

Um. Who? ‘Nuff said. Confusion Grade: F

28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE, USC

This monster of a lineman had been shooting up mock draft boards, but I’m still surprised he slipped this far. This could make the Packers’ D a lot better. Confusion Grade: A

29. Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Smith, FS, Notre Dame

Well that makes no sense. But at 6 foot 2, maybe Smith is a sleeper pick…still many different moves that should have been made for Minnesota before this one, though. Confusion Grade: D

30. San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois

This may just be the greatest first round pick in the history of any sport. With the speed of Steve Smith, the hands of Larry Fitzgerald and the heart of a lion, Jenkins is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer. Confusion Grade: A+

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

Not bad, Tampa Bay. Not bad. Other than the Patriots, the Bucs might be the biggest winner of day one. They grabbed a change of pace back here to go with LeGarrette Blount. Confusion Grade: A

32. New York Giants: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

I hate it. I hate that the G-Men made such a good move. Wilson is going to be an absolute steal. I don’t know if he’ll lessen the hurt of losing Brandon Jacobs, but it’ll be close. Confusion Grade: A

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