Friday, 30 April 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly

By Rob Staton
Universally the Seahawks have received praise for the way they drafted in 2010. But what about the rest? Who made the smart moves to get their franchise moving? Who didn't do enough to arrest a slide? Who's headed in the wrong direction? Here's my take:

You can view each team's draft by clicking their name.

The Good

Oakland Raiders
This was a masterful performance from Oakland who finally snubbed their desire to just draft pure athletes and went with smart moves across the board. Rolando McClain was a wise choice at #8 as a tone setter on defense. Lamarr Houston is a great interior pick up who offered supreme value in round two. It's hard to pick faults with any of their picks and they didn't reach for any of the prototypical Al Davis athletes.

Best pick: Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama)
With the top two offensive tackles off the board, the Raiders didn't draft the flashy running back (Spiller) or reach for the athletic combine star (Campbell). They just went ahead and drafted a guy who will be their defensive leader for years to come.

Worst pick: N/A
Putting a name here would be a token gesture and just unfair. They made the typical Raider picks later on, but they didn't reach for any of them.

I think the Raiders put themselves back on the road to recovery with this draft. They suddenly have a defense worth talking about and the trade to get Jason Campbell was a master stroke. It wouldn't surprise me if they pushed San Diego this year.

The Bad

Cleveland Browns
I have no issues with the Browns taking Joe Haden at #7, it's a solid choice. After that though, it's a confusing collection of picks. T.J. Ward was a reach at #38. I'm a big fan of Montario Hardesty, but his injury history worries me for a round two selection. They wasted a pick on Colt McCoy in round three and spent their other third rounder on a backup lineman. I just wasn't that impressed with any of these moves.

Best pick: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
I don't think Haden will ever be a shutdown corner, but he's a very talented football player who fills a big need for Cleveland. A solid choice at an important position.

Worst pick: Colt McCoy (QB, Texas)
It didn't surprise me that McCoy fell into the mid/late third round. What did surprise me is that he didn't slip even further. He has two strings to his bow - short five yard pass and a QB draw. I bet Pittsburgh and Baltimore are quaking in their boots. I have never met McCoy, but he comes across a little petulant (see this video). Future franchise QB? No.

There's not a great deal of direction here, just a collection of supposed filled needs without much consideration to value. If they truly believe McCoy is the future then they're going nowhere fast.

The Ugly

Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have a ton of needs on both sides of the ball and I'm not sure any were truly filled in this draft. They have a playmaking safety now, but what about up front at nose tackle? What about finding that big presence at inside linebacker? They filled neither spot. On offense, they aren't going to scare anyone with just Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster. They reached on both round two picks and put all their faith in Matt Cassel again.

Best pick: Jon Asamoah (OG, Illinois)
Asamoah could start as a rookie and is the typical good-value interior lineman you can find in most drafts.

Worst pick: Dexter McCluster (WR, Ole Miss)
Ole Miss wanted Percy Harvin, but McCluster made too many mistakes in a multi-purpose role so he went back to running back. Does he have more success in that role in the NFL? I'm not convinced. He's too small to be a pure running back. There were better options available at #36.

In two drafts, I still don't really understand the direction Scott Pioli is taking this team. The AFC West will be a tougher division this year and KC are a good tip to be picking in the top five again in 2011.


myjackrebel said...

did al davis hire help this year? he had to.

Anonymous said...

Seeing Colt McCoy's mansion and the success he had at Texas (with tons of surrounding talent) makes me wonder if he's ever had to face any sort of adversity in life. What's going to happen when that happens in Cleveland? So glad we didn't pick him.

A-R-N-F said...

If Holmgren liked him, don't be surprised when he's playing in a pro bowl 3 years from now.

Rob Staton said...

How many pro-bowls have David Greene and Seneca Wallace been to? Holmgren isn't even coaching (yet)... though I anticipate a complete mess evolving in Cleveland over the next few years as this situation plays out. McCoy's inability to start in the league will be a mere sideshow. Simply put, he hasn't got anything like the kind of ability to make that team compete. In three years time, I would predict he's on the brink of being cut.

Matthew Baldwin said...

BUF had the worst draft IMO. They needed a QB and a LT and they didn't address either.

Their GM came out this week and said their QB problems last year were a result of o-line probs. Makes sense (see Hass 08 and 09), but that only begs the question: if the line was the prob, why didn't you address it???

And what good is Spiller with no line??

jah said...

I was pulling for the Seattle to pick up Rolle in the late rounds, but alas, no nice.

akki said...

Although the Raiders had a good haul of players picked at reasonable spots, they failed to address a major need - either a nose-tackle or a 1-tech tackle depending on whether they're going with a 4-3 or 3-4. Tommy Kelly can't play it, Lamarr Houston can't play it, the guy they used last couple years (Gerard Warren) couldn't play it either. They basically play two 3-tech tackles and stick a pass-rush specialist at LDE, and then scapegoat the linebackers (e.g. Kirk Morrison) when they perennially can't stop the run. I guess the draft is good, but the scheme they're drafting for is questionable.

While admitting this is all premature speculation, I'll second Matthew on Buffalo for worst draft. For all our fretting about our OT situation last year, Buffalo's was actually worse, and they chose to remedy the situation with Ed Wang?

Rob Staton said...

But you have to appreciate Buffalo's situation really. At #9, the top two OT's are gone. They have to decide whether they want to gamble on Anthony Davis and chose not to. They clearly didn't like Clausen, which is not a surprise (not a Chan Gailey type). They took BPA with Spiller according to their board. This is a team switching to a 3-4 on defense too, so I actually quite liked their next two picks. When a team has a lot of needs, they'll not answer all of them. Ed Wang is worth a punt to start one day. But I'm not sure, given their position, how they would have solved their LT and QB situation. I saw some method in their drafting, and I don't think they reached anywhere. They'll pick early again next year and fill other holes.

Kip Earlywine said...

I think its highly probable that Davis had some help, probably from a brilliant young personnel guy. That draft was not just beyond Davis' capabilities, it was anti-Davis in much of its approach. The project picks later on (like Campbell) I thought were a clear token gesture of appeasement to Davis. Again, just my opinion.

Kip Earlywine said...

I'll defend Holmgren's draft, kind of. I thought it was semi-solid.

Haden: BPA at #7 IMO and fit a need. Very Good (lay-ups are easy but still count) pick- and this pick probably matters more than the next three after it combined.

Ward: Reach.

Hardesty: If not for the injuries, Hardesty may have crawled into the late 1st round. He's a perfect fit for zone and thrived after the switch last year. He's well rounded and has the frame to be a 300 touches RB if he stays healthy. He's a little old, but the rule with RBs is they have "6 good years" and that's exactly how many Hardesty has before turning 30. I think when you factor the injuries and then counter-weigh it against the lack of 300 carry zone RBs in this draft, a late 2nd grade is appropriate. I wouldn't call this pick a reach personally. The only part I don't like is that Cleveland doesn't run zone, so they would have done much better to trade up a touch earlier for Tate.

McCoy: This pick is a long shot, and in many ways it reminds me of the David Greene pick. That said, we can't say for sure how much of McCoy's extreme short passing tendencies was physical limitations or just the scheme Brown implemented for him. From what I've read, McCoy profiles extremely similar to Jeff Garcia and though his arm is weak, its probably stronger than a young Matt Hasselbeck's was and we know what Holmgren did with him. One big reason I'm not counting out McCoy just yet is because he'll be playing behind one of the best young OL in the game, and have a decent RB to hand off to. That's about the softest possible landing spot he could have had, and his lack of arm strength, etc. will fit well with Holmgren's strengths. And even if he bombs, its only a late 3rd rounder. Only about four or five 3rd rounders amount to anything most years. So its a low risk move with solid upside. Really hard to criticize. He could have maybe been had later, but it would have been a risk and the difference between a 3rd round pick and a 4th or 5th is not all that big.

I'd probably give the Browns draft a B-. Didn't love it, but it was solid I thought.

Rob Staton said...

I just cannot envisage McCoy winning games in the NFL - ever. It's not even the arm strength, it's his total inability to make sufficient reads, his complete reliance on one receiver. When he sees that one read covered... if he doesn't just throw it anyway, his second option was to resort to a scramble. In the NFL, he'll be punished on both levels. Sure, that was college and this is the pro's. He runs a different system now. However, I don't see anything to suggest he has the sufficient skills to translate into that new system. He's not that accurate and physically he's nothing special. I don't think he's the great leader he's sold to be and he's never really faced adversity or been told he's not up to it in life. In my opinion, he's one of those guys that was great in college but put him in the pro's, and he's way out of his depth. Personally, I wouldn't draft him. If at all, it'd be amongst the late round guys eg Canfield who went in the 7th I think. It was a wasted third round pick, but then he's a big name who had some high profile people plugging him (Kiper, King) and a team bought into it. I truly believe in four years time he'll be doing something other than football. To pass on Clausen in R2 to reach on a safety and then take McCoy in R3 was ridiculous for me.