Saturday, April 26, 2008

2008 NFL Draft Day 1 Recap

And we have reached the end of Day One. Lots of interesting events today.

  • 12 Trades in the first round. 9 trades in the 2nd round.
  • No WRs picked in the first round, with teams instead choosing to pick 9 offensive lineman and 7 defensive lineman. HALF of the first round was for players in the trenches.
  • The WR rankings that most sites and mock drafts were going by were also completely turned on their heads. Donnie Avery was the first WR picked, and the WR that most people thought was #1, Limas Sweed, was the 9th WR off the board, with Donnie Avery, a guy most people projected in the 4th or 5th round, was the first WR off the board at #33.
  • Because of the way players fell, I think that the Steelers really lucked out in this draft, landing Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed, both players who were once consider out of their reach at #23 in the first round, much less landing both of them.
  • The new 10-minute format kept an aura of suspense around everything in the draft, instead of seeming slow and drawn out like the draft from last year. I gotta say I really loved that.
Now, onto the evaluation of the Florida team's drafts. We'll start with Miami.

Miami Dolphins

Rd 1 - #1(1) Jake Long (OT) Michigan
Rd 2 - #1(32) Phillip Merling (DE) Clemson
Rd 2 - #26(57) Chad Henne (QB) Michigan

You can read below on why I liked each of these picks. I think that Long filled a huge need and will be a team leader. Merling fell to us to be an absolute steal at #32, and filled another need. Henne was a decent pick for that late in the 2nd round, but I don't think he was a huge need for us. Again though, it's not a bad pick because of intangibles, and he may beat out Beck in camp and prove me wrong. Finally, we got a 4th round pick in exchange for Lorenzo Booker. I gotta say, if it wasn't for this trade, I would probably grade Miami's first day as an A, but I think we really lost a lot of potential when we gave up Booker for a lousy 4th rounder, so that hurts them.

Miami's Day One Grade: B+


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rd 1 - #20(20) Aqib Talib (CB) Kansas
Rd 2 - #27(58) Dexter Jackson (WR) App St

I questioned Tampa Bay passing on Devin Thomas and other receivers in the first round to pick up Talib, but it seems that later on they got the WR they wanted anyways. According to ESPN's "Hashmarks" blog, Talib had this to say:
"(Gruden) told me that I reminded him a lot of (former Oakland defensive back) Charles Woodson,'' Talib said. "He said that if he had an opportunity to coach a player like Charles Woodson again, he didn't want to pass it up.''
And then they picked up Dexter Jackson, the fastest player from the combine, and apparently want to bring him along slowly under the guidance of Joey Galloway. Defensive Tackle was probably the Bucs' biggest need, but the DT class simply wasn't deep enough for them picking at #20.

Tampa Bay got who they wanted and addressed their next two biggest needs. Aqib Talib was considered by many to be one of the best CBs in the class, and Jackson, while ignored by many, is certainly the fastest.

Tampa Bay's Day One Draft Grade: B+


Jacksonville Jaguars

Rd 1 - #8(8) Derrick Harvey (DE) Florida
Rd 2 - #21(52) Quentin Groves (DE) Auburn

I said it all last year, the one thing separating the Jaguars from taking control of the AFC South away from the Colts was a better pass rush. Needless to say, I think they nailed that here. The Jags made a bold move to go all the way from 26th to 8th to pick the guy they coveted most: Derrick Harvey. In order to do this they had to surrender the 26th, 71st, 89th, and 125th to move up. According to the draft value chart, the Jags got a steal here, giving up 1,127 points for 1,400 points. Even if you use the new chart, the Jags only gave up 1,127 for 1,505 from the Ravens. Some people will say that it was too much, because 4 draft picks for just moving up in a round looks expensive, but I actually admire the Jags going out and getting exactly who they wanted.

I really like the Derrick Harvey pick for reasons mentioned before, but Quentin Groves is also a huge steal for the Jags at #52. Groves is a player that can stand up and play OLB for the Jags, and is going to be a pass rushing force. With these two picks, Jacksonville adds two speed-rushing players who will, at least in my opinion, take the Jaguars to that next level they've been chasing for years now. Getting past the competition in the AFC will be tough, but at least they're better suited for it now. The only way to stop Tom Brady and Peyton Manning is to pressure them, and now the Jags have the tools to do that.

Jacksonville's Day One Draft Grade: A+


And that is going to about wrap up my draft coverage. I will be at work for all of Day Two, so someone else will be taking over the live coverage of the draft for tomorrow. I'll post one more wrap-up/grade blog after everything is said and done, either late Sunday or early Monday.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

ASponge said...

Give yourself a big pat on the back. Excellent coverage all day long.