Finishing up the other end of the last post, the drafts I didn’t like or didn’t really understand. I will try to keep this one shorter.
First up on drafts that confused me are the Falcons. They broke the bank to get Julio Jones last season and by all indications it was a good pick. But they have no depth behind him, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. They did a great job in the short term of locking up some of the expiring contracts on defense but did lose Curtis Lofton and have very little depth across the board really. They start without a first or fourth round pick from the Jones deal and then begin by drafting 2 offensive linemen and a full back. I like Jonathan Massoquoi in the 5th round but don’t think he is the answer to take over from John Abraham. They finish with late round depth players. This team has Super Bowl plans and yet could finish last in their division.
The Saints are missing their first two draft picks, coaches and players to suspensions and Drew Brees has yet to sign his tender. They make this list entirely based on their situation but I wasn’t a big fan of their picks either. A Canadian defensive linemen, depth wide receiver, small school corner who probably shifts to saftey and late round offensive line depth.
The next team on my list is the Colts. I did love parts of what they did and the team is going through a massive overhaul. On the surface the draft seems great, the best quarterback prospect in years, able to go from one franchise quarterback to the next. The get Andrew Luck and surround him with his college tight end and a second tight end with great receiving ability and two wide receivers described as both fast and quick. They added a tough power running back in Vick Ballard and heck, even got a backup quarterback as well. With Reggie Wayne still in place, it looks like the offense might be able to produce this season. Now we get to my problem with the draft. This is a team coming off a terrible season, has a new coaching staff and had a bottom 5 defense last season. After Freeney and Mathis, can you honestly name 2 other starters on their defense? I didn’t think so. Good luck (no pun intended) trying to score 30 points a game just trying to stay in it.
I also wasn’t a big fan of what the 49ers did in the draft. I’m not even going to tear apart the AJ Jenkins pick, if he is your guy, go for it. Even with the additions of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss I’m fine with that pick. For me the biggest question mark is the 2nd round pick of LaMichael James. You already have Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon at running back and just signed Brandon Jacobs. But LaMichael James will bring an added dimension to the offense. No he won’t, Kendall Hunter is already there, same size and build with a 4.2 yard per carry average and 12.2 yards per catch last season on over 120 total touches. I think this was a total waste of a 2nd round pick unless he is going to be a pro bowl return man and doesn’t muff 2 punts in the playoffs. Oh wait, they still have Ted Ginn for that position too. After James they took a bunch of depth guys and their best value was 7th round pick Cam Johnson.
The Dolphins are last team on my list of drafts I didn’t like. I think Ryan Tannehill was the right pick at 8. He has potential and pairing him with his college coach was just a perfect fit. Even their other picks were nice, Jonathan Martin was a good value pick in the 2nd round and Oliver Vernon was a good fit in the 3rd. I think Michael Egnew could develop into the tight end they have been trying to find for a few years now and Lamar Miller was a steal in the 4th and will have time to develop behind Reggie Bush, eventually pairing with last years big back Daniel Thomas. My problem with the Dolphins is how they did everything. They still have Matt Moore, a serviceable starter at quarterback but they also signed David Garrard. Ryan Tannehill should sit behind both these guys for the entire season but being picked 8th overall makes that hard to envision. The bigger problem is regardless of who plays quarterback, who are they throwing the ball to? Brandon Marshall was all but given away and they have no one to replace him. Davone Bess is an solid slot receiver and should return in that role but your other wide outs are: Rookie 6th round pick BJ Cunningham, rookie 7th round pick Rishard Matthews, speedster unknown 2nd year Clyde Gates, and veterns Legedu Naanee and Brian Hartline who last season had 10 starts a piece and combined for just over 1000 yards and 2 touchdowns. Maybe Tannehill will be moving back out to wide receiver.