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Thoughts On The 2010 NFL Draft

There’s only one thing that generally smells worse than a day old diaper in the garbage can: a mock draft a day after he real thing has gone down.

A close second is handing out grades for a team’s draft class 24 hours after the selections are made.

But newspapers, magazines and websites are filled on Sunday with evaluations of the 32 teams and their 255 selections in the 2010 NFL Draft. Not a single one of those players has actually played a snap, so it never made sense to me how a team could pass or fail with its picks.

About the only set of grades that I seek out after a Draft are those from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. Believe me when I tell you that nobody in the media prepares more and has more information about the NFL Draft each year than Goose. When he posts his list of top 100 players each year, it’s the most stolen from post on the web by other football writers and broadcasters.

Here’s a link to his grades for the ’10 Draft, but here’s a summary:

  • He ranked the Chiefs No. 1 with an A+ grade.
  • Four other teams got grades of A – Denver, New England, New Orleans, Seattle.
  • There were two D grades – Jacksonville and Washington.
  • Every other team got a grade of B or C.

Understand Gooselin’s grades are based strictly on the quality of the selected players and their value based on what position they were drafted. The grading scale is not based on whether or not a team filled its needs with their selections. It’s also not based on who the team could have drafted rather than those that they did.

Here’s what Rick had to say about the Chiefs 2010 draft class:

“The Chiefs drafted the NFL defensive rookie of the year in Berry – and a slew of other good players. Arenas was the best returner in the draft, and McCluster will give the AFC matchup problems at both running back and receiver.”

A quick glance at other graders had the Chiefs receiving everything from B+ to C-. That’s pretty typical with this process where one man’s garbage is another man’s diamond.

So expect no grades here, but there is something to say about each team and the quality of the talent they added over the three days in April.

AFC DRAFT CHOICES

BALTIMORE (7 picks) – The Ravens traded out of the first round and on paper made it work. They added three defensive prospects that all came with dents and scratches: OLB/DE Sergio Kindle (knee), NT Terrence Cody (weight) and DT Art Jones (knee). If those guys pay off, Baltimore will be very well served. Keep an eye on 4th-round TE Dennis Pitta out of BYU; he could be the guy who replaces the oft-injured Todd Heap.

BUFFALO (9) – Taking RB C.J. Spiller with the first pick seems like a luxury choice for the Bills, although he’s one of those weapons that offensive guys like head coach Chan Gailey love. The emphasis on the rest of the draft was on the defensive line as four of the nine picks played on the front. Keep an eye on 3rd-round choice DE Alex Carrington out of Arkansas State.

CINCINNATI (9) – Without a doubt the Bengals went out to get some playmates for QB Carson Palmer with 1st-round TE Jermaine Gresham, 3rd-round WR Jordan Shipley and then later Kansas WR Dezmon Briscoe in the sixth round. Keep an eye on 3rd-round CB Brandon Ghee.

CLEVELAND (8) – The Browns added three defensive backs: in first-round CB Joe Haden and second-round and fifth-round safeties T.J. Ward and Larry Asante. Grabbing QB Colt McCoy in the third is a perfect set up for the young man. Keep an eye on 2nd-round RB Montario Hardesty out of Tennessee. He’s a big, bruising back, perfect for Cleveland in November and December.

DENVER (9) – Say this for Josh McDaniels: he’s got guts. Trading back into the late first round to get QB Tim Tebow was a bit an unorthodox move and he also paid too high of a price. Tebow along with 1st-round WR Demaryius Thomas basically fit in the holes in the roster created when McDaniels dumped QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall. Keep an eye on 3rd-round WR Eric Decker out of Minnesota. He dropped in the draft because of an injury suffered at the Senior Bowl.

HOUSTON (9) – Four of the Texans’ top six picks went to the defense, including 1st-round CB Kareem Jackson; he fills the hole created when Dunta Robinson left as a UFA and signed with Atlanta. Keep an eye on 6th-round RB Trindon Holliday, the little guy out of LSU who will return kicks with his outstanding speed.

INDIANAPOLIS (8) – The emphasis of the Colts was defense, as six of their eight selections went to that side of the ball. The group is led by 1st-round DE Jerry Hughes out of TCU, who is very much in the Dwight Freeney-Robert Mathis mold when it comes to rushing the passer. Keep an eye on 5th-round TE Brody Eldridge out of Oklahoma. He’s big and tough, and athletic as well.

JACKSONVILLE (6) – Obviously the Jaguars decided it was time to rebuild their defensive line as the first four choices all play at tackle and end. First-round DE Tyson Alualu was considered a reach, but he’s a versatile and talented player. He’s also much more mature than the average Jaguars player that we’ve seen on the police blotter a lot over the last few years. Keep an eye on 6th-round DB Scott McGee of James Madison, one of the best returners coming out of college football.

MIAMI (8) – Defense was the focus for the Dolphins as seven of their selections came on the line (2), linebacker (3) and secondary (2). 1st-round DT Jared Odrick and 2nd-round OLB Koa Misi figure to move into the starting lineup. Keep an eye on 5th-round safety Reshad Jones out of Georgia.

NEW ENGLAND (12) – When all of his wheeling and dealing were done, Bill Belichick ended up with a dozen players. The choices were spread out amongst the offense, defense and special teams. Three of the first six were all from the University of Florida. Keep an eye on 3rd-round WR Taylor Price from Ohio University. QB Tom Brady will fall in love with this guy pretty quickly.

NEW YORK JETS (4) – There hasn’t been a team more active in off-season moves than the Jets, but the draft produced just four choices. Keep an eye on 2nd-round OT Vladimir Ducasse out of UMass who is raw, but an athletically gifted blocker.

OAKLAND (9) – Generally, the Raiders would have used their early choices on workout warriors and sprinters wearing helmets and shoulder pads. Instead, this year they waited until the fourth round to select those types of players. This allowed them to pick up two potential defensive starters earlier: LB Rolando McClain and DT Lamarr Houston. Keep an eye on 3rd-round OT Jared Veldheer from tiny Hillsdale College in Michigan. He’s a huge, talented but raw blocker.

PITTSBURGH (10) – The Steelers are always finding linebackers for their 3-4 defense and they got three more in this draft: Jason Worilds, Thaddeus Gibson and Stevenson Sylvester. Getting RB Jonathan Dwyer in the 6th-round was a nice value choice. Keep an eye on 3rd-found WR Emmanuel Sanders out of SMU; his talents have the chance to replace the departed Santonio Holmes.

SAN DIEGO (6) – This draft saw the Chargers at times reaching to fill holes in their talented roster. They did that with RB Ryan Mathews in the first round and LB Donald Butler in the third round. Keep an eye on 4th-round S Darrell Stuckey out of Kansas. If he can handle the mental end of the San Diego defense, he could make a quick contribution.

TENNESSEE (9) – It was defense for the Titans, as six of their nine selections went for defenders, including 1st-rounder DE Derrick Morgan. Keep an eye on 6th-round S Myron Rolle. The Rhodes Scholar’s draft stock dropped this year due to his spending the fall in Oxford, England instead of visiting possibly Oxford, Mississippi. He can make up for a deficiency in speed with his smarts.

NFC DRAFT CHOICES

ARIZONA (7) – The Cardinals drafted to fill the holes in their roster, grabbing LB Daryl Washington in the second round to replace Karlos Dansby and WR Andre Roberts in the third round with veteran WR Anquan Boldin gone. Keep an eye on 4th-round DE O’Brien Schofield, who is recovering from a knee injury suffered at the Senior Bowl. Before that injury he was considered a first-round choice.

ATLANTA (7) – Defense was on the Falcons mind with their first two choices of Mizzou LB Sean Weatherspoon and DT Corey Peters. They also grabbed a nice 5th-round cornerback in Dominique Franks out of Oklahoma. Keep an eye on 3rd-round C Mike Johnson from Alabama; he’s a battle tested inside blocker who is strong, athletic and smart.

CAROLINA (10) – The Panthers did not have a first-round selection and they had three of the first 123 selections, but six of the last 80 choices. Carolina certainly got their quarterbacks worth, grabbing Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen with the 48th pick, Armanti Edwards out of Appalachian State at No. 89 and Cincinnati’s Tony Pike with the 204th selection. Keep an eye on 4th-round LB Eric Norwood, a talented tackler out of South Carolina.

CHICAGO (5) – It was a very quiet draft for the Bears, who had only one of the first 100 choices, that not coming until No. 75 with Florida S Major Wright.

DALLAS (6) – GM Jerry Jones got things done with his first three choices, drafting WR Dez Bryant, LB Sean Lee and small-college CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. The Bryant choice was a typical Jones move, one that will continue to draw headlines and had people talking about the Cowboys. Keep an eye on Owusu-Ansah out of Indiana University of Pennsylvania; he’s got NFL speed and athletic ability.

DETROIT (6) – The Lions made so many crazy and bad draft choices for years under GM Matt Millen that it’s hard to know how to react when Detroit gets the job right. They scored on their first four choices, topped by the best player in this year’s draft, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh. Keep an eye on 7th-round DE Willie Young; he’s a talented but under achieving player out o f North Carolina State.

GREEN BAY (7) – Top picks OT Bryan Bulaga and D Mike Neal give the Packers are pair of very big bodies to develop in the new two years. The rest of their class was fairly nondescript. Keep an eye on 5th-round TE Andrew Quarless out of Penn State.

MINNESOTA (8) – Underachievers filled two of the Vikings first three draft spots with CB Chris Cook out of Virginia and Southern Cal DE Everson Griffen. Overachiever Toby Gerhart is a nice pickup but where he fits with Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Keep an eye on 6th-round QB Joe Webb out of UAB; he’s not so much a future QB as an offensive weapon as a receiver, runner and wildcat QB.

NEW ORLEANS (6) – Drafting at the bottom of each round as the Saints did is tough, but they were able to get two potentially good players in CB Patrick Robinson and OT Charles Brown. Keep an eye on 3rd-round TE Jimmy Graham, the basketball player out of Miami. If he continues to progress like he did in his only season of college ball with the Hurricanes, Graham will be contributing very quickly to the Saints offense.

NEW YORK GIANTS (7) – Defense was the name of the game for the Giants, especially on the defensive line where three of their seven picks line up each week. First-round DE Jason Pierre-Paul remains raw, but he has very good pass rushing skills. Second-round DT Linval Joseph is a big body inside to stop the run. Keep an eye on 3rd-round S Chad Jones out of LSU; he’s got a big upside.

PHILADELPHIA (13) – The Eagles were thinking defense in this Draft, with their top five picks and nine of 13 overall coming on that side of the ball. LBs Brandon Graham and Keenan Clayton figure to get the first chances to play, along with DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. Keep an eye on DE Ricky Sapp out of Clemson, who was a good value pick at No. 134.

SAN FRANCISCO (8) – This was an interesting class put together by the 49ers, as three of their first four picks are players with first-round physical ability, but production or character issues. Second-round S Taylor Mays from Southern Cal and 3rd-round LB Navorro Bowman out of Penn State are boom or bust type players. Keep an eye on 6th-round RB Anthony Dixon out of Mississippi State; he’s a big body running back who can provide power to the San Fran offense.

SEATTLE (9) – In their first draft together John Schneider and Pete Carroll were very active in what they got done and added some important parts to the Seahawks with OT Russell Okung, S Earl Thomas and WR Golden Tate. Keep an eye on 5th-round S Kam Chancellor from Virginia.

ST. LOUIS (11) – The Rams needed so much help and added it across the board on offense and defense, topped by QB Sam Bradford and one of his protectors OT Rodger Saffold. Keep an eye on 7th-round DE George Selvie out of South Florida. He was considered a second-round talent last year, but was lost in ’09 in the dust of teammate Jason Pierre-Paul.

TAMPA BAY (9) – In year No. 2 post-Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen, the Buccaneers look like they did a good job with their top four choices, getting a pair of DTs in Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, then WR Arrelious Benn and finally CB Myron Lewis. Keep an eye o n 7th-round LB Dekoda Watson from Florida State; under-sized impact tackler.

WASHINGTON (6) – The Redskins had only one of the first 102 players drafted, which is never a good thing for a team that went 4-12 last season. First-round OT Trent Williams should start immediately on the left side. Keep an eye on 7th-round OT Selvish Capers out of West Virginia; he may end up starting on the right side.


16 Responses to “Thoughts On The 2010 NFL Draft”

  • April 25, 2010  - Mike in MO says:

    Did I read this correctly: An A+ for the Chiefs? I’m a devout Chiefs’ fan, but never in a million years would I rate our draft as an A+. That being said, I figure this Goose guy in Dallas knows a helluva lot more about the players than I, so I’ll defer to him. A+ it is!!!


  • April 25, 2010  - Jim Lloyd + says:

    Mike in Mo

    You must be new to Bob’s webb work–Gosslen is the top and last word to some of best insite in the NFL on Sunday’s !


  • April 25, 2010  - boomer1110 says:

    I agree with your stance Bob. It’s ridiculous to really give a grade at this time, though I do like what RG does in Dallas, not because of the A+ but the way he approaches it. It’s clear Pioli and Haley thought that last year’s run defense was more a product of coaching rather than talent…as with all new players…time will tell! Hey, good job on all the draft profiles. I’m sure that was not an easy task and I went into this experience with a better knowledge base of the players!


  • April 25, 2010  - SG says:

    We appreciate the great thoughts in there Bob.

    I’ll go ahead and throw out a preliminary draft grade…a solid “D.” We traded away Tony Gonzalez and got Javier Arenas. Javier is a good player on a great Alabama team. But, seeing as how our team’s offense was EXPOSED in a significant way by TG’s departure and we continue to not benefit from his presence going forward, I can’t praise that selection. I really like the pickup of Berry and also like Asamoah and McCluster, but unless the Arenas move ends up being a home-run, the downward grade is obvious. Round 5 was also crazy. We could have had Cam Thomas, we missed out on Tennant from BC. In addition to missing out on Tate, Mt. Cody, and other players…and trading up to get a TE?


  • April 25, 2010  - el cid says:

    Might be a tad early to grade the Chief’s draft and I know Gosslien is outstanding but come on A+? Clark must have dropped off a check.

    This draft was Pioli all over. He see a need and works on it but SAFELY. Berry was SAFER than Okung, so we get Berry. Team speed was a SAFER taking a chance. “Character” (whatever that really means) is SAFER than a talented stud. By the by, 52 boy scouts with character, if that were possible in the NFL, how many super bowl would they win or would they even have a winning record. Trey Hillman, mgr KC Royals, today said he had many players with a burning desire and lots of character. If they continue at their current rate, they will lose over 90 games in 2010.

    Look at last years draft and this year, it says SAFE picks are more important than talent or blue chip quality. Pioli is all about the SAFE choice.


  • April 25, 2010  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    I think it’s interesting that many people are acting like the Chiefs traded Gonzalez with several productive years ahead of him for a for Javier Arenas. They traded a 12 yr. veteran (future HOF TE) away with only a couple years left for the chance at selecting a player who will hopefully be a difference maker on the team for the next several years. Disagree with the trade if you like, as all trades are a bit of a gamble…but it shouldn’t be that hard to see their logic.


  • April 25, 2010  - Jason says:

    SG: You’re serious right? You mean the mighty offense in 2008 WITH Gonzalez that won a whole TWO games? They won TWICE as many games without him as they did their last year with him. AND there’s more money to sign some other guys besides a HOF TE. Gonzalez is good, yes. But no team has ever won a SB by building their team around a TE. Hasn’t happened and the Chiefs weren’t going to be that team.

    BTW, how did that offense with Gonzalez look in Trent Green’s first year here? Also, Atlanta finished better in 2008 WITHOUT Gonzalez than they did WITH him in 2009.

    Chiefs will look more like a football team this year. Better speed, better athleticism. Running game will be quite good next year.

    This team has been devoid of talent for a while. Carl wrecked this thing like Billy Joel on a weekend bender. It’s going to take Pioli some time to rebuild it. It won’t happen in one draft.

    Personally, I like the draft. I see the reasoning behind some of the picks. Arenas addresses a HUGE need in the return game, also gives a third CB to help slow down SD passing game and other passing games we’ll see this year, such as Arizona, SF, Indy, Houston. There will be a LOT of good offenses the Chiefs face this year and they throw the ball.

    Besides, judging a draft the day after it’s over is like judging a baseball season after the first inning on opening day.


  • April 25, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Jason
    SG was probably there when no one else could or would catch the ball in K.C. and watched Tony Gonz. catch every pass thrown with in his zip code. He bailed us out on more third downs than I care to remember.

    Our defense was on the field because of three and outs runs neck and neck with that in the tops of the league. Tony Gonzalez’s production is unmatched. Terrel Owens is going to be 37 years old. Tony was 31 when we traded him. I like to think Tony took just as good of care of himself as T.O. who almost produced 1,000 yards last year.

    Javier is a good pick but a pick in the late third or early fourth round is were he was graded by most. I love the excitement of the return game as much as any. That said no one has answered my question yet.

    WHO IS GOING TO GET TO THE QB CONSISTENTLY OUTSIDE OF TAMBI HALI


  • April 25, 2010  - SG says:

    “Disagree with the trade if you like, as all trades are a bit of a gamble…but it shouldn’t be that hard to see their logic.”

    Very logical. And thanks – I do disagree with the net result of their trade. :-)


  • April 25, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    I thought that they would have grabbed a NT in the draft and a higher graded LB than what they did.

    This is the second draft for Pioli and Haley to make this team better, i can’t believe Pioli actually pulled the same move as he did last year to pickup a TE, that’s rediculous…


  • April 25, 2010  - SG says:

    “Running game will be quite good next year.”

    Some good thoughts Jason. One thought though…Yes, unfortunately Denver, San Diego, and Oakland will continue to have better running games against us than they deserve. I don’t get the feeling Mr. Arenas is going to modify that problem a whole lot. I absolutely abhor the fact that Mount Cody will be a Raven. All the while, the QB really benefits from the 2nd round O-linemen they didn’t pick up.


  • April 26, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Rick Gosselin is widely felt to be the tops when it comes to the NFL. Like you, Bob, he is an alum of the Star.

    We’re glad you are still plugging away and grateful for the reminder that Rick’s thoughts are available to us.

    “TG for Arenas” is a pointless argument . The Chiefs got a draft choice. Whether it was used wisely remains to be seen but it is unfair to TG and to Arenas to put it as one for the other.

    Mount Cody might be a force at NT but the likelihood of his having a constant weight battle
    would not set well with Todd Haley.

    RG and Scott Pioli know more about football than most of us mortals so for the time being this reader will wait, however impatiently, with some anticipation for OTA’s.


  • April 26, 2010  - Larold says:

    Gosselin’s score was high because he, unlike other draftniks, understands the Chiefs biggest defensive problem was at safety. If you take away long touchdowns given up by poor safety tackling last year, the Chiefs win 6 games at least. Safety is the last line of defense and it is the weakest link for Chiefs. Berry was the best safety available and he will start. Sporting News had Kendrick Lewis ranked the fifth best safety; he could conceivably start before the year is over. This fantasy most people had about Chiefs offensive tackles; where did that come from? Yes, they gave up 40 sacks. But count how many of them came before they discovered the run game with Charles. Once Charles ascended, sacks declined dramatically. The Chiefs o-line problem, in my opinion, was greater on the inside from guard to guard. They addressed that in both the draft and free agency. So the two biggest problems, in my view, were addressed. I agree they did not draft a bona fide pass rusher at outside linebacker until the fifth round but I’m not concerned about that. They addressed nose tackle in free agency. To me, the draft and free agency addressed all the team’s shortcomings and they added three playmakers in the draft. They only had one last year in Charles. Wait until you see Dexter McCluster with the ball in space. He seems twice as fast as Charles. He’ll start at slot on day one and will get some carries in the backfield. He’s a two-time MVP of the Cotton Bowl and dynamite. Javier Arenas is a playmaking cornerback in addition to being a great kick returner. He’ll be the starting nickel back this year, a position of weakness for Chiefs for several years. I don’t understand all this talk about Chiefs having a bad draft. To me, this draft addresses many of the most pressing needs.


  • April 26, 2010  - SG says:

    Some good points on the selections. The other part of “what we don’t know” is how actively they’ll address the “need spots” through the remainder of FA. We got Chambers half-way through the regular season 2009, so it’s very possible there will be more of those moves coming.


  • April 26, 2010  - Danny W says:

    The Pats just released Adalius Thomas an hour ago. I think thats a no brainer.


  • April 29, 2010  - Jason says:

    My hope is that none of those needs will be addressed “midseason” like Chambers. While he helped, I would much rather see the team build some continuity. The Bobby Wade move did little.

    Danny: Thomas was a problem for the Patriots. If he was a problem there, do you really think he’d want to come to a team run the exact same way?

    In addition, third down is going to be better – in theory – with the addition of McCluster. If he is able to be the weapon this team needs, we’ll see better third down conversion – which was clearly a big problem for this offense.

    But the addition of Jones helps too, because he will help the Chiefs get to 3rd and 3, 3rd and 2 rather than 3rd and 11 that we saw them in early in the season with LJ. I can’t say how much better this offense will look with a legitimate running game.




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