With the draft dust settled since Saturday and some healthy, natural sleep finally accomplished, we’ve had some time to look back and assess the successes and failures of each team, and react more thoroughly to some picks that we loved and hated beyond the first round.
Below is the latter, and later on this afternoon we’ll start breaking down the draft division-by-division.
I like these guys
1. DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (Ravens, 35th overall): We begin with an obvious pick, but an important one nonetheless. While there’s still some lingering feeling that the Ravens should have pursued Peter Konz to have a solid replacement for Matt Birk a year from now, the value for Upshaw at No. 35 was far too irresistible, and so was the urge to pair him with Terrell Suggs (14 sacks in 2011) to create an intimidating tandem.
2. RB Isaiah Pead (Rams, 50th overall): St. Louis had to grab Steven Jackson’s successor early, and they were likely hoping that Doug Martin fell a few more spots so that he was available in the second round. But the smaller Pead (he’s 5’10″, 197 pounds) is still a fine grab in the middle of the second round after he had 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Bearcats last year. How quickly Jackson’s time as St. Louis’ starter ends will be determined by the speed of his deterioration, but the presence of an early pick behind him could lead to a swift decrease in the 29-year-old’s touches.
3. WR Mohamed Sanu (Bengals, 83rd overall): It was poetic justice when Sanu still went to the Bengals after some jerk who smelled deeply of douche prank called him during the first round. He’s another piece in what was a masterful draft for the Bengals, and he’ll continue the infusion of youthful targets surrounding Andy Dalton. The Bengals have now drafted three receivers in the first three rounds over the past three drafts (Sanu, A.J. Green, Jordan Shipley). There’s a cliché about items coming in bunches of threes that fits well here.
4. WR Devon Wylie (Chiefs, 107th overall): There’s a run on receivers in our top five because there was tremendous value often found throughout the draft due to the position’s depth. And as our own Alen Dumonjic wrote back in late March, Wylie could be Wes Welker lite, and for a team with plenty of deep threat ability between Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston, a complementary possession receiver who can thrive in the slot is an ideal asset in the middle rounds.
5. WR DeVier Posey (Texans, 68th overall): Andre Johnson is still a stud, but he’s aging, and he’s incredibly fragile. That’s why the projection for the Texans in this draft was to get a wide receiver early, and it was mildly surprising that they passed on Stephen Hill’s upside in the first round. However, Posey still brings promise after he had two +800 yard receiving seasons for the Buckeyes before sitting out most of last year due to a suspension. Between Posey and fourth-round pick Keshawn Martin, Texans fans have likely seen the end of Jacoby Jones.
I don’t like these guys
1. QB Kirk Cousins (Redskins, 102nd overall): I won’t repeat my angry rant from Saturday here, but there’s one portion that deserves repetition, and a lot of it. While the need for competition at every position is vital, the Redskins’ best case scenario for Cousins is that he never plays a meaningful snap in Washington. That’s not the ideal outcome for any pick, but especially not a mid-round pick who was selected just 100 picks after a franchise quarterback who came at a significant price.
2. RB Lamar Miller (Dolphins, 97th overall): I like Lamar Miller the player. I’m just unsure of Lamar Miller the Dolphins draft pick. Yes, Reggie Bush isn’t young anymore, and even though his career carries have been very limited (2011 was the first season he had more than 200), he’s still played a full 16-game season only once in his career. That leads to the need for depth, but Miller was drafted as an early fourth-round pick after a year in which Bush had 1,385 all-purpose yards, and 519 rushing yards over just his last four games. Joe Philbin has also said that his role in the passing game will be expanded, and meanwhile Daniel Thomas was a second-round pick last spring, and he’s firmly entrenched as Bush’s backup. At a time when Wylie, Nick Toon, and Travis Benjamin were still on the board, more depth at WR to support Ryan Tannehill and recover from the loss of Brandon Marshall was the far more pressing need.
3. OT Mitchell Schwartz (Browns, 37th overall): Perhaps this hair is being split a bit too far, but although offensive line fortification was a need with a new quarterback in Brandon Weeden and after a year when the Browns surrendered 39 sacks (18th), a wide receiver was more ideal here too. The three needs atop Cleveland’s wishlist were a quarterback, a running back, and a wide receiver. The first two were addressed quickly in the opening round, but then the Browns waited until the fourth round to take a WR, passing on Hill and Reuben Randle.
4. WR Ryan Broyles (Lions, 54th overall): Trying to minimize repetition again here, but this list isn’t complete without Broyles. With such a massive, glaring need in the secondary, it’s incomprehensible why the Lions would take a wideout who’s recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, and will at best be fourth on the depth chart next year.
5. G Cordy Glenn (Bills, 41st overall): Another pick where the player and value is fine, but the need isn’t, and another beef about priorities and the hesitancy to dip into a talent rich wide receiver pool. The Bills lost Demetress Bell, so they were then seeking some kind of bulk up front early, even though Bell is a tackle and Glenn is a guard. However, this is still an offensive line that allowed a league low 23 sacks last year, while Buffalo’s average reception was only 10.8 yards long (28th). Wideout T.J. Graham was added in the third round, but dipping into the second tier of wide receivers to complement Stevie Johnson by taking either Hill or Randle would have been both a better upgrade, and a better practice in position priorities.