Take a look at how Doug thinks the NFC did in the 2011 NFL Draft. Agree or Disagree?
Dallas Cowboys: C+
The Cowboys played it safe in round one taking the offensive lineman with the greatest upside with the 9th overall pick. They took a risk in round two with Bruce Carter when they possibly should have taken the safer route by taking the next best CB available. DeMarco Murray is a head scratcher, if he can stay healthy he’ll be an effective back in the NFL, but with an already crowded and talented backfield, where does he fit in? I liked the late picks of Josh Thomas and Dwayne Harris. The Cowboys obviously felt the same way the Patriots did about this year’s 3-4 DE prospects.
New York Giants: B
I was shocked that the Giants didn’t grab an offensive lineman in the first three rounds, but they did a great job of making value picks. I didn’t love Amukamara as a top ten pick, but I really like him as the 19th overall pick. I was a huge fan of Marvin Austin throughout the draft process. He may have been inconsistent in his time at North Carolina before being suspended, but no one showed up more impressive at the combine. Da’Rel Scott could be a steal in the 7th round if he can develop skills beyond his speed.
Philadelphia Eagles: B-
I didn’t love the Danny Watkins pick. The Eagles typically won’t typically hold onto a lineman more than 5 or 6 years anyway, but I’m not sure how long Watkins will be able to stay in the league. He doesn’t have the same longevity you’d like out of a first round pick. Jaiquawn Jarrett should be able to step in right away and start at strong safety and I’m sure the Eagles hope Curtis Marsh will be doing the same at cornerback. I hate teams using anything more than a late round flyer on a kicker, so I wasn’t a fan of the Henery pick, but I liked taking Jason Kelce, Brian Rolle and Greg Lloyd with consecutive picks.
Washington Redskins: B
The Redskins did a very good job of improving their team, but I have to take some points off for not selecting a QB. Kerrigan will help out Orakpo with the pass rush and Jarvis Jenkins is a great run stopper. Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Niles Paul, Evan Royster and Aldrick Robinson will be able to come in and help out Rex Grossman or whoever is starting at QB in 2011.
Chicago Bears: B
The Bears must have been thrilled to find Gabe Carimi available at 29. That filled their biggest need along the line. Paea will be a disrupting force against the run and Chris Conte was one of my favorite safeties in the draft.
Detroit Lions: B+
I loved the Nick Fairley pick, great value and the presence of the Lions defensive line should help out their secondary. The fact that they took Mikel Leshoure over a CB or S didn’t make any sense to me though. I never loved Leshoure as a prospect in the first place. Titus Young should be a great no. 2 receiver for Matthew Stafford, but I would have liked to have seen the Lions take an offensive lineman earlier than 209th.
Green Bay Packers: A-
The Packers got steals in rounds 1 and 2 and filled big needs in the process. Sherrod will be able to take over for Chad Clifton and WR was a need with Driver aging and James Jones being inconsistent. Alex Green is a nice sleeper pick who should see time in a backfield with James Starks and Ryan Grant. I loved the selection of D.J. Williams. The Packers now have two very solid pass catching tight ends.
Minnesota Vikings: B
Can I have a minute to gloat? Who mocked the Vikings taking Ponder no. 12 overall way back in February? As Jon Gruden would say, “THIS GUY.” That being said, I liked the pick. Ponder was the most NFL ready QB in the draft and that’s exactly what the Vikings needed. After possibly reaching for Ponder, the Vikings got great value out of almost every other pick. Rudolph should pair up nicely with Vicanthe Shiancoe, Ballard was a great value in the 4th round, Brandon Burton should be a solid nickel back and Ross Homan could help out right away in a rotation at outside linebacker.
Atlanta Falcons: B-
I love Julio Jones, but I don’t think a WR is worth giving up the house for, especially in a draft that’s relatively deep with WRs. The Falcons got got values with their later round picks, especially Rodgers and Cliff Matthews.
Carolina Panthers: C+
I have more faith in Newton that most seem to. I think with his athleticism and arm strength he could be a very solid NFL starter. He’ll need to work on his accuracy. I think Terrell McClain was a nice pickup in the third round, he’ll help shore up the defensive line. Brandon Hogan adds some depth to the Carolina defensive back core. Sione Fua was a bit of a reach, but I liked the Panthers 7th round selection in Lee Ziemba.
New Orleans Saints: B-
The draft looks nice on paper with two first round draft choices, but they gave up a lot for Ingram. RB was a need, but they still have Chris Ivory and Reggie Bush. Cameron Jordan was a nice value at 24 and Martez Wilson was a very nice value at 72. I didn’t think Ingram was worth a first round pick this year, let alone a first and second round pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B-
The Bucs took a huge risk here taking Clayborn and Bowers first and second. Yes, it will be an A+ draft if both hold up, but what if neither do? This is a team that needs players now and they’re a team with needs at positions other than defensive line. If Bowers’ knee really is bone on bone, they’ll only wind up getting about five years out of him. That’s worth a second round pick, but it’s questionable when Clayborn was the first pick. I really liked the Foster pick, Stocker and Black were great values and Allen Bradford was one of my favorite sleeper RBs in this draft. The Bucs needed RB depth with Cadillac always being an injury concern and Blount still having character concerns.
Arizona Cardinals: B
I loved the Peterson pick. Lining him up across from Rodgers-Cromartie will further help stop the putrid passing games of the NFC West. I actually liked the Ryan Williams pick. When your starting running backs are Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, you’re not in good shape. I thought Housler was a reach, but Sam Acho, Anthony Sherman and Quan Sturdivant were all nice grabs.
San Francisco 49ers: B
I saw Aldon Smith as a bit of a reach. I preferred Robert Quinn. I really liked the Kaepernick pick. I don’t see how he’s a lower rated prospect than Andy Dalton. All draft season I’ve been saying whoever Harbaugh takes has the best chance to be a top tier QB. Kaepernick has all the skills to be that guy. I loved the value of getting Kendall Hunter in the 4th round. He’ll add to an already stout 49ers running game.
Seattle Seahawks: C+
I actually didn’t mind the James Carpenter pick. If that’s who the Seahawks valued highest at tackle available, I trust them. I liked taking Mark Legree at 156, but there wasn’t a ton of value in this draft. K.J. Wright might wind up being the best pick here.
St. Louis Rams: B-
I loved taking Quinn first, the Rams were very lucky to find him available there. I liked both Pettis and Salas coming into the draft, but they don’t seem significantly better than anyone they already had and they’re both very similar players. I’d expect the Rams to look for a running back among the undrafted rookie free agents.
Check out Doug’s AFC Draft Grades as well.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft