Time to Pontificate - Who made a big splash and who "kissed the donkey"
BEST PICK (Not best player, otherwise Luck would simply be #1)
1) Dallas Cowboys Morris Claiborne CB LSU
The entered the draft selecting 14th and ended up with the #2 player on my board by shipping a mid second round pick to move up 8 slots with St. Louis. Their defensive backfield just got tremendously better with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. The surest way to turn around a losing or mediocre franchise is - to get good at something. Dallas just got very good in man coverage in one off-season and in three years will probably have the NFL's best CB tandem.
2) Cleveland Trent Richardson RB Alabama
Hard to argue that Richardson was not a special player worthy of a high pick. Better for the Browns rather than move up with a high pick they shopped three late picks, after coming into the draft with 13 total picks. You can't keep 13 rookies on your team so parting with those picks is not a huge blow to the Browns. In return the get someone I'll go on the record and predict will be the offensive rookie of the year. Only question is will Cleveland's less than old school head coach know how to maximize Richardson?
3) Phildelphia Fletcher Cox DT Mississppi St.
If you want to play a wide 9 defense you'd better have some guys in the middle who can plug holes, not only can Cox do that but he can also provide a pass rush in his own right. Clearly the #1 DT in this draft I don't care what Scott Piloi and Kansas City think. In terms of production he was the best, in terms of workout he only fell behind 350 lbs Dontari Poe who has yet to justify being considered more than a solid play maker. They also traded up just far enough to nab him with St. Louis grabbing Michael Brockers two picks later.
4) New England Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama
Where have you gone Junior Seau and Teddy Brusci? New England's defense was horrid last season and Hightower gives them an instant impact defensive player, particularly in their scheme. The trade up was dynamic and the pass rush would appear to be back in Boston. Maybe Brady won't need to throw for 5,000 yards next season in order to play deep into the postseason.
5) Indianapolis Andrew Luck QB Stanford
I've given him my highest rating ever, the Colts didn't deal the pick and I simply can't argue with them for not doing anything dumb. That's not a great team in Indy but hey QB of the future with an upside like Manning and a downside like Phillip Rivers...thats an awsome spread.
Honorable Mention: Reilly Reiff OT Detroit
5 Worst Picks in Round 1
1) Seattle Bruce Irvin DE/OLB W. Virginia
Where the heck are they going to play this guy in Seattle? He's way to small to hold up against the run in a 4-3, has MAJOR off the field character issues and is strictly a pass rush specialist. Why on earth , if your that smitten with him, didn't you trade down again? And don't say teams weren't looking to trade, tons were , he was a 2nd round guy on most boards and a 3rd on some. Pete Carroll needs to stick to recruiting drafting is not his organizational forte.
2) San Francisco AJ Jenkins WR Illinois
Workout Warrior. Immature player with blazing speed but highly inconsistent. Better value as a KR but Devin Hester he's not. I've heard of , if you can't tie a knot , tie it alot. i think thats the 49ers theory on WR's , maybe Michael Clayton should call them for a tryout.
3) NY Jets Quentin Coples DE North Carolina
Far be it from me to argue with Rex Ryan on a defensive player...ok I will. Seriously hit and miss player I had him way down on my board and for good reason. He's been inconsistent at best and made most of his sacks last season against tomato cans (FCS and non BCS FBS schools).
4) Cleveland Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma St.
Spread system QB, inflated stats because of Justin Blackmon. 29 on opening day...better point was Colt McCoy really your problem last season, maybe, but is Weeden better, I don't think so from day 1. Weeden has never had to call plays in the huddle before all plays came on his wrist from the sideline - to me he's a 29 year old project player.
5) Miami Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M
I called him a career backup in my draft guide, I stand by that assessment. He's a thrower at this point and more so he's not a leader. I have not heard anyone do anything but make excuses for A&M's blown leads this past season. Give me a guy like Brock Osweiler who has a WR drop a potential game winning touchdown and comes out after the game and says its my fault I should have given him a better ball to catch over a guy who becomes a sheep when the game is on the line anytime. ASU's season fell apart Osweiler took responsibility each time, Texas A&M had the consistency of play-doh , I never saw Tannehill step up and say anything to rally his teammates.
TOP 3 Post - Day 1 Lies
1) Jeff Ireland Miami "I had Ryan Tannehill as a first round pick two years ago"
----BUPKISS , when after 7 starts or as a WR?
2) Cincinnati Front Office "We had Kevin Zeitler and David DeCastro in a virtual tie"
---Really, in terms of what, they were both listed at Guard? I like Zeitler and don't have a problem with the pick but talk about fluff.
3) Rams FO "We traded back for Michael Brockers"
--Michael part I buy ...but I'm thinking Floyd was really your want
Bonus History Lesson
This is the 4th Time in Franchise History that Tampa has used two first round picks. The others:
1985 : RB Bo Jackson S Gordon Jones (Both pretty epic fails)
1995: DT Warren Sapp LB Derrick Brooks (Much Love for McKay from this draft really turned around the franchise)
1997: RB Warrick Dunn WR Reidel Anthony (One hit one miss, but Anthony was at least not an epic bust)