The NFL 2010 Outlook - Post Draft
With three running backs now at their disposal, did anyone think about who was going to throw the ball? And since Chan Gailey was able to nearly make a Pro Bowler out of Tyler Thigpen, shouldn’t they at least be looking at JaMarcus Russell?
Quite possibly the loudest offseason with the signing of Karlos Dansby and the trade for Brandon Marshall, but then the quietest draft as five out of their eight picks were either defensive linemen or linebackers. Still, an effective draft.
New England Patriots
What’s scary is that with the Patriots scouting and four out of the first 62 draft picks, it almost can’t be a bad draft. Especially when you draft your greatest need at corner in the first round, and give Brady another weapon in the second and then draft the playmaker Spikes with your third 2nd round pick.
New York Jets
So the Jets bring in LT, Cromartie, draft a cornerback in the first round, and draft the number one player coming out of high school three years ago (RB McKnight). It looks like it has become clear what the game plan is; don’t let the other team pass on you, and keep it out of Sanchez’s hands.
Already a good team last year, it is suddenly a Super Bowl favorite. Bringing in Boldin was huge and gives Flacco a legit person to throw to. As well as stealing linebacker Kindle and defensive tackle Cody in the draft, this team can quite possibly run the tables this year.
A team that could quite possibly have been a fluke last year added some pieces with tight end Gresham and the highly talented but not so motivated defensive end Dunlap. The team has to continue pursuing the goal they have had for several years now - win more games than number of players arrested on the team.
The only thing saving the Browns at this point is the hope that Holmgren knows what he’s doing. Colt McCoy has to be thrilled he gets to start, but has to be disappointed that the team’s idea of improving the receiving corps (their "best" receiver caught 34 catches last year) was to not draft a wide receiver until the 6th round.
The idea that the Steelers could become "America’s Team" would be more likely if their fan base wasn’t as torn as Americans are on Obama. The general feeling is to get rid of Big Ben; a further parallel to the "America’s New Team" movement.
The Texans continue to tease us by letting us think we can trust them to get to the playoffs this year. They have a good team on paper, but can’t for the life of them win a big game. Once again, this year could be no different. Also, the Texans might be a little worried with holdout Andre Johnson about to start his own ‘Pay the Man’ campaign here pretty soon if he doesn’t get a new contract.
It is always a good sign when you are drafting from the bottom of the first round, but the problem is that you have to continually replace talent with less talented guys. The Colts always find a way to do it and continued to do so in this year’s draft. The only problem looks to be that as they try to rebuild the line this season, it should be interesting to see how Manning handles getting sacked a few times a game.
Oh, this was an ugly offseason, and made absolutely no sense. There were needs all over the place and the Jags decided to spend their first four picks in the draft on defensive lineman. Their big offseason signing was Aaron Kampman who is a good, but a defensive lineman. Say it with me now, "There are other positions, coach."
The Titans, after a terrible start, won their last 8 out of 10 games and gave people in Tennessee another reason to cheer for Vince Young. Young shows he is a winner; he has won wherever he goes. The Titans need a winner since it was otherwise such a quiet offseason. We will have to wait and see if their first round pick Morgan will be the next freak in Tennessee.
Maybe McDaniels is going to play a different type of offense that no one has ever seen before, but why do you draft Tebow when you just traded for Quinn and have Orton?? Still, all three combined at this point are not as good as Cutler was. This was also a mistake because they passed up the best wide receiver on the board at the time (Dez Bryant). This kind of reminds me of another team in this division. Move over Al Davis, there is a new idiot in the AFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs
There were so many holes in this team that it was hard to start in one place. It was clear that they needed playmakers, and this is exactly what they got with their first three picks. The front office also made good offseason acquisitions, giving Cassel and running backs a good offensive line. The Chiefs might not win the division this year, but they certainly are going to be fun to watch.
This year’s draft picks couldn’t possibly have been the work of Al Davis; it was too logical. Oakland picked the best linebacker in the draft, which was a good start. Subtract the Jamarcus Russell disaster and add Jason Campbell who has more weapons in Oakland than in Washington. Also, some good offensive linemen were taken in the draft; the Raiders might not totally be terrible.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are trying to find the next LT. They might be disappointed that Matthews will probably not be LT, but he is probably a decent running back. The problem becomes that this defense is the same and not getting any younger. Couple that with the fact that Turner doesn’t have a clue what to do with a talented football team (let alone a talentless team), and this could signal the decline of the Chargers.
The Cowboys always have more talent than most teams know what to do with. Take their best offensive players from the last five years, and add another talented player in Dez Bryant and you have a scary offense. Add to that two good picks on defense and the only question marks are the offensive linemen. If people can stay healthy, cross your fingers. (Just not your pinky finger, if you’re Romo.)
New York Giants
If your team was continually picking up their jock straps last year, you might be the New York Giants. It makes sense that their first four picks were on defense. What makes little sense is when they take their first round strong 3-4 defensive end and think maybe they can turn him into a linebacker – probably making him even worse at that whole tackling thing.
Well Eagles fans, you got your wish and drove McNabb right out of town. Now you’re left with Kevin Kolb…ouch. He might still be good; he has plenty of tools around him and will get the ball a lot more since the first 5 picks were on defense. It’s going to be most interesting to see how many of those 13 draft picks actually work out.
There must be a sign posted on the front lawn that says, "We take all running backs nearing social security," because that’s what it looks like when you have Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker. And then they bring in Westbrook for a visit! McNabb has to be thinking about retiring after the next season.
The coaching staff and front office is just trying to keep their heads above water before the plug is pulled on them. This is sure to be another subpar season; Cutler still has no one to throw the ball to, and even Forte won’t be able to find a hole to run through. The Bears might have to ask if the defense can score a few more times to help out the crappy offense.
It seems as though the Lions have been picking from the draft’s top ten as long as they have been playing on Thanksgiving Day. We all hope this maybe the year they get out of the cellar. It might have happened already if the Lion’s defense could get to an opposing quarterback before he figures out that everyone on his team is open. Sometimes it’s like no one is even trying to cover the receivers downfield.
Green Bay Packers
I picked this team last year to make the playoffs after winning just 6 games the year before. They didn’t disappoint - winning 11 games - but Rogers is still picking teeth off the ground after getting sacked 50 times last year. That in mind, the pick of offensive lineman Bulaga in the first round probably has Rogers going to the general manager and personally thanking him for saving his career. Let’s see if this puts Green Bay over the edge.
As much talent as the Vikings have, the biggest challenge is to keep the people you have and add depth. With the fate of Brett Farve’s decision riding on whether the Southern Mississippi baseball team makes the college world series, the Vikings probably have a few umpires on the pay role as well this season. This is what they did when Chester Taylor stepped out from under Peterson’s shadow and left Minnesota - the Vikings got Toby Gerhart to replace him, which is an improvement. However, there was no improvement at quarterback. On a side note: Colt McCoy would have been a good pick in a later round, but the Vikings straight up stole fourth round pick Griffen - he is second round talent.
The 2008 Falcons’ eleven win season was a fluke. In 2009, they did win nine games, which was better than expected, but still kept them out of the playoffs. After a draft that added depth to the roster and nothing special, this team could wind up the same place as last year. It’s a little unfortunate since they really need a playmaker on defense. Weatherspoon is solid, but not the playmaker they need. They will be missing the playoffs this year and wondering what ever happened to that magical 2008 season.
Last year the Panthers had one playmaker on the team: Steve Smith. Now they have someone to actually throw to him. Clausen has to be one of the biggest steals in the draft. On top of that, Carolina added some solid pieces as they picked up a big wide receiver in LaFell and also a slot wide receiver. Sadly, after that, Carolina’s draft was rather poor, getting another quarterback and a linebacker who doesn’t fit in their system at all.
New Orleans Saints
The biggest obstacle for the Saints is that they live or die depending on whether they can create momentum. If they get on a roll, they can’t be stopped. So it’s good that they picked a corner in the first round for those times that they need a stop on defense. The Saints also took a very talented tackle in the second round which helps protect the man who turned this organization around (Drew Brees).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This team needs weapons on offense, but instead they waste their first two picks on defensive tackles. This is fine if you didn’t have needs in almost every other area and a second-year quarterback who needs some help. Don’t think that Benn is going to be that answer. No offensive line means that Freeman will be picking himself off the ground several times a game or running after the other team once they intercept the ball.
We will get to see how special Warner really was when Leinart takes over. He has even less to work with now that Boldin is gone and the best player on defense went elsewhere. It remains to be seen if the Cardinals can win their division. It won’t take much; the division is so bad that eight wins could do it.
San Francisco 49ers
This is the team that everyone needs to look at and consider for making the playoffs. They did some great things in getting Ginn for peanuts, practically. San Francisco also got a great safety in the second round with Taylor Mays, and two offensive linemen in the first round which will help get this offense going. The only question is whether Alex Smith can put this all together and just not mess it up. There are enough quality players around him that he doesn’t have to try and win the game by himself anymore.
Here is another team that might have taken enough steps to throw in its hat into the field of mediocrity which is known as the NFC West. Seattle had a great draft and added some depth at running back. With head coach Pete Carroll at the helm, this team has a chance – yes, a chance - to make the playoffs. But then again, that pretty much applies to every team in this heinous division.
St. Louis Rams
Oh wait, that chance might not be available for the Rams, who are, kindly put, rebuilding. They have started well with a new quarterback, a good offensive line and one of the better running backs in Steven Jackson who finished 2nd in the league in rushing yards behind Chris Johnson. However, the big problem on offense is that there is no one to catch the ball, which could spell trouble for Bradford in his first year. At least until they figure out they don’t want the next Cutler on their team – a quarterback with great talent, but no way to show it off.