Day 1 of the 2010 NFL Draft is in the books. It was an interesting day to say the least at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. There were surprises galore throughout the evening, particularly around picks 9-15. Tell me a year though where things do go 'according to script'?
Some thoughts on the day's happenings:
Picks I Liked:
- Obviously the first three picks were 'chalk' - just as we thought they'd be. Congratulations to Sam Bradford for being the #1 overall draft pick of this year's class. Not sure exactly what to think of his prospects but I do know this - any struggles he may endure over the course of his career won't be because of a lack of preparation or competitive moxie. I never liked him because I tangentially root for the Longhorns each year, but bottom line is the kid is an amazing young man off the field and a pretty damn good football player on the field. Will he be able to sustain the violence of the NFL? That remains to be seen and is always a question mark.
- At #4, the Redskins offered up a touch of a surprise, but not really much of one when they drafted OT Trent Williams out of Oklahoma. Reports had stated in the days leading up to the draft that Washington would take Williams over Okung if both were available. They both were and that's just what they did. Pretty crazy how much Oklahoma struggled last year considering how they had three guys go in the top 5 of this year's draft. Losing your Heisman Trophy winning quarterback will do that to you I suppose. I like this pick simply because of the fact that I think Williams is a little 'nastier' and competitive than Okung. Seen both of them plenty and I think Williams will remain a little less satisfied with himself than will Okung once both realize how much money they have in the bank. Particularly because Okung will be in Oakland while Williams will be in the hotbed that is the NFC East where every game is a battle and malaise is not tolerated.
- I think Tennessee will get solid productivity out of Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan. The Titans have lacked a consistent pass rush from their DEs the past year and half. No Titans defender had more than 4 sacks last year. That's not going to cut, and Morgan was most likely drafted with that thought in mind.
- I think Sean Witherspoon will be a nice addition to the Atlanta Falcons defense at OLB. Witherspoon's not the biggest or strongest of the crop, but his speed to the ball and experience defending the pass should serve him well on the fast tracks of Atlanta and New Orleans in the NFC South.
- IF Jermaine Gresham can stay healthy throughout his career, he's going to be a load to handle for any linebacker or safety. The Bengals needed a tight end and got the undisputed most talented one of this year's draft. I do wonder if Gresham will respond well to seeing guys like Ryan Clark looking to lay the lumber over the middle of the field, but if he proves to be courageous in the seam, look out opposition.
- Seems like Jerry Hughes, the DE/OLB from TCU, will fit in just swimmingly in Indianapolis. Fast off the ball, low center of gravity, great balance and quick in open space - perfect for what the Colts like to do on defense. Read: fly to the ball and take advantage of playing indoors on turf 8 games a year.
- I think the Houston Texans will enjoy the play of Alabama CB Kareem Jackson just fine. Not sure he's a perennial Pro Bowl talent, but I think he'll be one of those guys you hear signing a hefty longterm deal when his rookie contract is up.
- Arizona's rush defense just got a whole lot stouter for the next 5 years or so with the addition of Tennessee NT Dan Williams.
- Not a huge fan of the Jason Pierre-Paul pick by the New York Giants at #15. The South Florida product carries plenty of question marks about him due to his lack of experience playing against elite competition and the durability of his admittedly impressive frame. Just not sure a Florida kid with limited exposure to the physical, violent grind of life in the trenches is going to make it in the NFC East. He may make a splash at some point - perhaps early on in his career - but I have a hard time seeing him being healthy and productive for the Giants for any sort of prolonged period of time.
- With all the holes the Buffalo BIlls have on both sides of the ball, not sure why'd they take Clemson RB C.J. Spiller at #9. Who knows, if he can stay healthy and is as explosive as reported, then sure, the pick could work out just fine for the Bills. But I still see holes on both sides of the ball, and oh yeah, a little problem at that slightly important QB position.
- Not sure what to think of Jacksonville's pick at #10. The Jaguars pulled an Al Davis there, drafting Cal DE Tyson Alualu. Guess they love what they saw out of him compared to some of the other pass-rushing DEs still available (Brandon Graham, Derrick Morgan). Can't say I know too much about Alualu, but the Jaguars definitely need to improve on their horrifically paltry sack numbers from a year ago.
- Ah good old Tim Tebow! Finally we get too everybody's favorite franchise and world savior. Okay, kidding aside, I don't wish Tebow anything but success, but wait, yes I do know. He's on the Denver Broncos, who shocked the world by drafting the former Florida Gators leader at #25. If I were a Broncos fan I'd be furious. Josh McDaniels' ego is single-handedly destroying any chance Denver has of fielding a competitive team year in and year out for the remaining years of this decade. To me, this move just reeks of ego and 'look at me and what I can do'.