Sunday, April 29, 2007

1st-Round Grades: Clement-Style

I’m nowhere near qualified to go any deeper than Day One for any type of substantial analysis. While I’ll have a complete round-up of grades, reactions, and brief predictions by Tuesday night…tonight is all about brief reactions and awkwardly-hypothesized grades for the 1st Round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Note: I won’t assume any trades should’ve happened when I talk about who should’ve been taken.

The Top 16 will be posted on Sunday night. The bottom 16 on Monday evening.

1. Oakland Raiders select JaMarcus Russell [LSU, QB]
Analysis – Russell appeared head-and-shoulders the better franchise-QB selection than Notre Dame’s QB. Despite plenty of talent at sexier positions, it’s clear the Raiders needed a new QB to lead them into the future.
Should’ve TakenJaMarcus Russell [QB, LSU]
Grade: A. [They finally have a legit, young QB to build around.]

2. Detroit Lions select Calvin Johnson [WR, Georgia Tech]
Analysis – Shortly before shipping problem-child Mike Williams to Oakland, the Lions took their fourth wide receiver in five years in Johnson. The highest rated player in the draft, the Lions felt they could address QB needs in the second round.
Should’ve Taken –Joe Thomas [T, Wisconsin]
Grade: C+ [Talent is great, but this team won’t improve substantially because of this pick.]

3. Cleveland Browns select Joe Thomas [T, Wisconsin]
Analysis – Surprising a few, they selected the mammoth Badger-tackle with the 3rd selection in the 1st round. Simply not in love with Quinn or Peterson at the 3-spot, the franchise tackle was the easiest selection available.
Should’ve Taken – Adrian Peterson [RB, Oklahoma]
Grade: B+ [Even before they got Quinn at #22, Thomas rated too highly too dismiss.]

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Gaines Adams [DE, Clemson]
Analysis – With their hearts broken not landing CJ and Thomas, somewhat surprisingly, going a pick too early…the easy money was on Gruden and co. selecting the talented bookend.
Should’ve Taken – Gaines Adams [DE, Clemson]
Grade: B [Won’t help them win-now, but he will be there to dominate later.]

5. Arizona Cardinals select Levi Brown [T, Penn State]
Analysis – As much fun as it would’ve been to add Peterson to Edge in the backfield, the Cards clearly had Brown rated high enough to be worthy of this pick. Franchise tackles for young QBs are an absolute must in the NFL today.
Should’ve Taken – Levi Brown [T, Penn State]
Grade: B+ [Lineman have a tradition of not working out well for the Cards, but he may become the exception to this rule.]

6. Washington Redskins select LaRon Landry [S, LSU]
Analysis – It was smart not to mortgage future drafts to move up unnecessarily. However, he isn’t the best combo next to Taylor and honestly, this team needs a ton more help on the defensive line. Dominant safeties can’t fix a complete lack of a pass rush.
Should’ve Taken – Jamaal Anderson [DE, Arkansas]
Grade: C [It’s most likely going to be a suffocating secondary, which may be overworked for a rookie to truly excel right away.]

7. Minnesota Vikings select Adrian Peterson [RB, Oklahoma]
Analysis – With their proven offensive line and an emerging defense, Peterson will team nicely with Chester Taylor as a 1-2 combo for the Vikes. While Quinn was lingering, it’s obvious this team has put all of its marbles with one Tavaris Jackson.
Should’ve Taken – Brady Quinn [QB, Notre Dame]
Grade: B [It’s hard to knock tabbing Peterson at seven; yet a franchise-QB is a hard thing to pass up.]

8. Atlanta Falcons select Jamaal Anderson [DE, Arkansas]
Analysis – With Landry & dreams for CJ both long gone, the Falcons had to replace Patrick Kearney immediately. This was plenty of upside at that position.
Should’ve Taken – Jamal Anderson [DE, Arkansas]
Grade: A [They didn’t have any other choice than to grab the talented bookend.]

9. Miami Dolphins select Ted Ginn [WR, Ohio State]
Analysis – As a Jets fan, I love the pick. He isn’t the right blend for the team nor is he even 100% healthy. They could’ve used Quinn (a franchise QB), Willis (a young stud-ILB), or even secondary help before this rather disturbing selection.
Should’ve Taken – Brady Quinn [QB, Notre Dame]
Grade: D [Nobody feel sorry for Ginn, he made a ton of bank being picked so early. As for the Phins, blast away at them. Please.]

10. Houston Texans select Amobi Okoye [DT, Louisville]
Analysis – While a new cornerback or a partner for Ryans (Willis) was attractive, this was the type of upside-pick even Texan fans should appreciate. This 19-year old could be a force in 2-3 years much alike Kevin Williams of the Vikings is currently.
Should’ve TakenAmobi Okoye [DT, Louisville]
Grade: B [With a few people not slipping to them, this remained a solid selection at #10.]

11. San Francisco 49ers select Patrick Willis [LB, Ole Miss]
Analysis – Click clack. The 49ers are becoming an incredibly legit up-and-coming squad. Knowing that DJ was coming from Seattle sooner than later, the 49ers bolstered their defense by adding one of the few real 1st-round talents at ILB.
Should’ve Taken – Patrick Willis [LB, Ole Miss]
Grade: A [This is the type of guy, like a Vilma, you build your defense around.]

12. Buffalo Bills select Marshawn Lynch [RB, California]
Analysis – I still think Losman isn’t the guy for Buffalo. Yet, with Willis gone, this team had to take whomever was graded highest on their board between Lynch, Reeves, & Hall. Obviously the Cal RB won out.
Should’ve Taken
Grade: B [If he hits, it’s a golden pick. Yet, this guy worries me at times with his discipline on and off the field.]

13. St. Louis Rams select Adam Carriker [DE, Nebraska]
Analysis – Obviously trying to bolster their rush defense and attacking the QB, the Rams nabbed one of the several hybrid DEs/OLBs available in the 1st round of the draft.
Should’ve Taken – Darrelle Revis [CB, Pittsburgh]
Grade: C [While it’s obvious this team needed interior line presence, I feel that a more pressing need was to solidify the secondary with higher rated CBs like Reeves and Hall.]

14. Carolina Panthers traded their pick to the New York Jets who selected Darrelle Revis [CB, Pittsburgh]
Analysis – Making the first of soon-to-be several first-round trades, the Jets snuck up ahead of the Steelers (and potentially the Pats) to tab their top rated CB in the draft. Corner was New York’s biggest need and an added boost to an already strong return game helps as well.
Should’ve Taken – Darrelle Revis [CB, Pittsburgh]
Grade: B+ [It might’ve been a 50/50 toss-up with Hall for most, but the Jets clearly realized that at #25 they wouldn’t get close to one of the two shutdown potential CBs in the draft. Remember, Thomas Jones was basically acquired for a 2nd round pick. Quality over quantity is what I wanted from this Jet-draft.]

15. Pittsburgh Steelers select Lawrence Timmons [LB, Florida State]
Analysis – Needing a lot of help at this position, the Steelers tabbed the only 1st-round selection from FSU. However, I wonder if a Leon Hall or perhaps a Jarvis Moss-type selection wasn’t needed more?
Should’ve Taken – Leon Hall [CB, Michigan]
Grade: C+ [You can lose a lot betting against Seminole LBs. Yet, this really wasn’t the best spot to take him in my opinion.]

16. Green Bay Packers select Justin Harrell [DT, Tennessee]
Analysis – First off, taking Brady Quinn would’ve been a nightmarish decision. Next, the wideouts here were the better option (even if you trade down potentially). While Harrell fills an obvious need, you have to wonder if in fact the Packers shouldn’t have looked at Greg Olsen or one of the available wideouts a little harder here.
Should’ve Taken – Robert Meachum [WR, Tennessee]
Grade: C+ [I won’t sell this pick down the river yet; DTs are hard to stockpile. While another young wideout isn’t Brett’s favorite option, it’s probably his best.]

So there we have it. The first sixteen picks of the 1st round. Some seemed to get people up and pretty excited whereas others were brought down to their knees in digust.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Paymon said...

Where's the bottom 16? I'm anxious to see your thoughts on Anthony Gonzalez and Craig Davis being taken in Round 1?

Seems a steep price for a #3 receiver in at least one case.