If you were one of the teams that picked in the top ten of this year’s draft, like my Buccaneers, your team was pretty wretched last year. You would figure teams like the Rams, Lions, Browns, Raiders and Bills, who are perennial top 10 drafters would get tired of doing it year in and year out.
So, with that in mind, will these teams, and others, get off the snide and add some new additions to this dubious list? If new draftees and free agents spring eternal hope for these teams in the upcoming 2010 season how will these top ten teams “Dodge A Top 10 Draft Pick in 2011?”
St. Louis Rams
With the overall number one pick of quarterback Sam Bradford and the pick of a first round talent in OT Roger Saffold to help keep Bradford upright, things may be looking up for St. Louis. Well, not exactly. Bradford will sit behind A.J. Feeley and the Rams were not major players in free agency. Look for the Rams to be back in the top ten in the 2011 draft.
The Lions drafted a playmaker on the defensive line, running back and defensive back field. This is possibly the Lions second good draft in a row. This may be the year that the work the Lions are doing with their high picks will pay off.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs used their first two picks on defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. They got a penetrating three-technique beast in McCoy and a space-eating nose tackle in Price. The Bucs need to speed up the development of 1st year quarterback Josh Freeman to keep up in the NFC South. Supplying Freeman with two wide outs, Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams, is a good start for the Bucs. With a softer schedule and a defense run by Head Coach Raheem Morris in his second year, look for the Bucs to be vastly improved. Odds are that they will pick in the top ten next year.
Washington traded for quarterback, Donovan McNabb who may have a say in the Redskins chances of playing their way out of the top 10 selections next year. With a new head coach and coaching staff and learning a new defensive scheme, look for Washington to be back on this list while the talented Cowboys, Giants and Eagles fight for the top spot.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs had so many needs to fill, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it seemed like they drafted the best player available during their draft call. Eric Berry may save them a dozen or so touchdowns and Dexter McCluster may keep defenses honest from stacking the box for Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. With the possibility of three additional wins that Berry, Jones and McCluster may supply, the Chiefs may still have a Top Ten pick next year.
Every post draft analysis that I read believe the Seahawks have a chance to win the NFC West this season. I don’t buy that. Although their draft filled some specific needs with the picks of Russell Okung, Golden Tate and Earl Thomas to go along with the acquisition of LenDale White and Leon Washington, It will be a rebuilding year in Seattle. Just like in Washington, Seattle’s new head coach Pete Carroll and coaching staff, will have some growing pains and will probably have a top ten pick next year as well.
The Browns acquired CB Sheldon Brown from the Eagles, and then used their first pick on Joe Haden who was considered the best cornerback in the draft. Earlier during the off-season they acquired Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace and in the third round drafted Colt McCoy. If one of these three quarterbacks step-up, and after finishing strong helping to secure head coach Eric Mangini’s job, there seem to be some stability in Cleveland, but look for them to pick in the Top Ten next year.
The Raiders know they won't have a top-10 pick next year, because they dealt their 2011 first-rounder to New England for Richard Seymour. Drafting Rolando McClain, two offensive tackles, releasing quarterback Jamarcus Russell and acquiring Jason Campbell is a good start for moving down in next year’s draft. (New England that is)
The Bills came into the draft without a quarterback and left without one. They did however pick up a dynamic running back in CJ Spiller. Given their glaring needs at quarterback and on the offensive line, it's hard to see what the Bills are thinking, or how they plan to break their streak of 11 straight years without a playoff appearance.
The Jaguars record three quarters into the season stood at 7-5 and was in the hunt for a playoff slot in 2009 but something happened on the way to the post-season. The Jaguars lost their last four games to tumble into this year's draft top ten.
With the signing of Aaron Kampman, trading Quentin Groves to the Raiders and the use of their top two picks on defensive linemen, tells you what they think the problem was. They had just 14 sacks all year as a team.
So, my Northern Florida brothers picked Tyson Alualu? At No. 10? Given the Jags' financial concerns, Alualu is a pick that makes you think they know they can sign him at a discount -- not one that makes you think they can escape the top ten.
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