We nailed it with every pick. Even the punter was arguable the best in the draft.
The problem with saying that we got three picks in the first three rounds like most teams do is that if we didn't make the trade, we'd have 4 picks in the first 3 and 6 in the first 4 rounds.
I'm really not worried about what other teams did or who they drafted. We went in needing a WR, CB and DT and we got those and got good players rather than reaches as well - that works well for me :D
Personally, I don't think there should be a draft grade for 2 to 3 years down the road. Time will tell who had a great draft or busted. I do like where we stand with our picks though, ALOT!
People People People, don't let our good friend Kevon get you all spun up. He has always contended that Spielman sucks at drafting in the late rounds and contends even more that our coaching staff sucks at developing those players just because we don't have 100% success with everyone of our picks.
As I said in another "Draft" thread.....
Heard one of the analysts on Sirius this morning talking about "Grading" the draft and dumb it really is to try and say one team did better than another based on were a "Internet" site had players set at.
Truth of the matter, even though I agree with him, you can take it one step further and say that it is even dumber than that because each and every "Internet" site has the players graded/ranked differently.
Then reality sets in and each and every team has the players ranked differently.
In the end, I think the Vikes did pretty good based on the following:
a. They added talent at the top that should be instant starters or at least provide significant help in a rotation.
b. Each of the players selected at the top fit the scheme they are coming into.
c. Each of the players selected at the bottom seemed to have played multiple positions (MLB, OLB/1 Tech, 3 Tech etc) which should make it easier for the coaches to get them ready to play at the level expected this year.
Might not mean they will be a starter, it means they might just be asked to play on ST's and learn the role they will eventually step into after a year, or three based on their development.
Sharif = Has played all 5 of the DL positions. Seems to be a disruptive force no matter were he lines up. Should be able to line up at the 1 tech right away and start to eat doubles that are now being faced by the 3 and 5 tech. A bit undersized to play the 1 tech but should be able to add weight to do it at the next level. Needs to work on rushing the passer from the inside positions but should eventually figure that out......Grade - Hell Ya.
Rhodes = Is a perfect fit for the "press zone" we are trying to run. Big enough to physically route receivers into the zone based on the pre-snap alignments. Disengages from his coverage responsiblity to help limit YAC. Does a good job supporting the run. Has some problems playing man (draws alot of penalties) but we don't play man now do we?....Grade - Hell Ya.
Cordarrelle Patterson - Can get separation right off the line. Works well in traffic and can body up against defenders and box them out which makes him a threat in the red zone and when the chains need to be moved. Very fluid and fast for his size. When the ball gets into his hands he makes something happen. Is a natural hands catcher but will get caught out of position on his routes with will cause the ball to arrive in his body instead of out in front of him. Has to learn how to run the route tree to alleviate that problem especially for teams that run variants of the WCO were timing is critical. Will get caught pushing off at times. I think the staff will focus this years growth to the 3, 4, 5 and 6 routes which is were he will be the most dangerous and were we need the most help. Grade - Not Quite a Hell Ya. But close.
OLB Gerald Hodges - Started out as a S, finished as a OLB who has played some MLB when needed. Gives the staff some flexibility in were he can line up and play because of that experience but I suspect he will stay an OLB, probably the WILL. Gives the staff the option of moving Erin into the Mike role if necessary which could make him a starter this year. Because he has already added 30 to 35 lbs when he made the move from S to OLB, I don't think he can add the weight needed to play the Mike. Assumption on my part is he will see lots of reps on ST's and fill in on the rotation if called upon. Grade - Very Nice Project/Possible Starter after some development.
Jeff Locke - Ranked at the top of the nation in punting his whole career. Provides a booming leg on kickoffs if Walsh starts to get dinged. Has worked as a holder before. Makes Kluweless expendable and not because of his off field stuff either. Guy has been going down hill for 3 years. Grade - Not Quite a Hell Ya. But close.
Jeff Baca - Extremely physical but undersized G who excels in run blocking but is will need work in pass protection. Is a bit slow of foot when pulling but will get the job done. Projected as a G but I think he was drafted to add depth on the OL especially at C incase Sully isn't ready to go or has a set back. Grade - OK project who can make the cut.
Mike Mauti - Projected as a OLB even though he has played the Mike. Player who gets by on instincts more than talent who is a good but not great athlete who out works his competition. Knee injuries caused him to slip or he would have gone higher. If everything works out, he could be your camp starter at the Mike position. Grade - Very nice "Roll of the dice" pick/Possible Starter.
Travis Bond - Projects as a G at the next level but has played RT, LT, RG and LG in college. Has trouble with his weight but if he can keep it in the 330's he could compete for a starting job. Not as quick of foot as you would like so I assume they will work him out at the G position with him possibly challenging to start at the RG spot. Grade - Not Quite a Hell Ya. But close mostly because he out hit a truck.
Everett Dawkins - Quick off the line and very powerful even though he has short arms and is a bit undersized to play the position, should evolve into a good 3 tech if he can add some weight and learn to use his hands as well as some additional counter moves. Is a great (above average) run diffender who always seems to find the RB before he can get into his gap. Grade - Not Quite a Hell Ya. But close.
One thing to remember about all of these players. They can all play multiple positions whithin their own position and make us better in more ways than just one.
Over all grade........Grade - Not Quite a Hell Ya. But close. :)
In the end, could we have added better LB'rs if we wouldn't have given up the picks for Patterson? Sure, just like we could have added better OLmen as well but instead we got a very dynamic play maker that should help us on punts, kickoffs, passing attack and even the running game if your coaching staff can figure out how to use him that many ways.
He even said his numbers were down because he unselfishly played so many different positions last year.
I, for one, can't wait to see him and Floyd, Ballard and Floyd, Guion and Floyd lined up in the middle with a rotation of JA, Griff and Rob on the outside.