by user David J. Cohen
Day 1 of the draft was ceratainly intriguing to say the least. Several teams stood out, and the Bills left us all scratching our heads. Here are some teams that did well today.
New York Jets - I had to start with my team, the Jets. Outside of Reggie Bush there were three people I wanted to see in Jets uniforms by the end of the day and all 3 were selected by the Jets. In the 1st round the Jets get 2 starters to improve the offensive line: OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and C Nick Mangold. In the 2nd round the Jets take the third leg: QB Kellen Clemens, who could be the best QB to come out of this draft when it's all set and done. Clemens is accurate and poised, and is a natural pocket passer with a good arm. He is also great at reading coverage. In the third round the Jets get ILB Anthony Schlegel to add to the linebacking core (and you can't go wrong with a name like that in NY) and S Eric Smith, who had over 100 tackles last year for Michigan State. The Jets had a lot of picks and used them wisely to get quality players while accumulating picks for the later rounds through trades in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
New England Patriots - The Pats continue to draft well. They took RB Lawrence Maroney in the first round, a solid workhorse back who will help their running game as Dillon declines. In the second round the Pats steal WR Chad Jackson, a quick and talented WR who was projected as a mid-first round selection. In the third round they took TE David Thomas, who has the potential to be a great balanced TE.
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags didn't have a lot of picks but did their best with what they had. In the first round they got a solid passing target in TE Marcedes Lewis to provide some firepower alongside WR Jimmy Smith. In the second round the Jags took RB Maurice Drew, who is very quick, has good hands for a RB, and can be a home-run threat on special teams. In the third they took ILB Clint Ingram, who could be a nice addition to their defense in the future.
Tennessee Titans - The Titans had two picks and made them count. In the opening round the Titans took the best player in the Rose Bowl in QB Vince Young, who is a project but has the biggest upside in the draft and is a proven leader and winner. In the second round the Titans took the second best player in the Rose Bowl in RB LenDale White, who has surprising agility for his size and is an explosive back between the tackles. If they can whip him into shape he can have an immediate impact. The pairing of Young and White could easily be the next Steve McNair - Eddie George duo in Tennessee.
Denver Broncos - The Broncos might be the winners of Day 1. In the first round the Broncos traded up to take QB Jay Cutler. Cutler seems to be a perfect fit for the Broncos and has that perseverance in him that bring up images of Elway. He has a cannon for an arm, terrific composure, and won't be surprised by anything on the field. The Broncos used their second round pick to pick up a Pro-Bowl quality receiver from the Packers, getting WR Javon Walker. He is a perfect fit to go alongside WR Rod Smith, moving WR Ashley Lelie to the slot, which is where he belongs in the NFL. In the third round they selected Tony Scheffler, a promising receiving target to add to the offensive scheme.
Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles might have done the best job in day 1 of drafting for need while getting great value with all of their picks. In the opening round the Eagles took DT Brodrick Bunkley, who is physically a beast and quick for his position. He fits in perfectly with the Eagles defense. In the second round the Eagles took OT Winston Justice, a top 15 caliber player who fell because of character issues. He is a solid player who greatly helps the Eagles in protecting McNabb. I think his character issues will be dealt with and won't be a serious problem. In the third round the Eagles took DE Chris Gocong, a talented player who is very smart and from a small school. He has the football IQ Coach Andy Reid looks for in a player.
Detroit Lions - The Lions surprised us all when they didn't select a WR in the first round. Instead they took OLB Ernie Sims, an explosive, instinctive player that could become a Derrick Brooks type player. He should start right away. In the second round the Lions took S Daniel Bullocks, a proven playmaker who should also start immediately. In the third round the Lions took RB Brian Calhoun, a steal at the position with his combination of speed and toughness, along with his catching ability. He could be the best back outside of Bush to come out of this draft.
St. Louis Rams - The Rams did well on day 1. In the first round they selected CB Tye Hill, a talented, promising player that could provide huge dividends early for the Rams. In the second round the Rams took TE Joe Klopfenstein, a solid receiving TE with servicable blocking ability. The Rams did well in getting value with their trio of third round selections. DT Claude Wroten is a first-round talent who could be a big player in the future, and is worth the risk with a third rounder. OLB Jon Alston can develop under the veterans in the Rams linebacker core. TE Dominique Byrd gives the Rams a threat in the passing game. If Byrd and Klopfenstein line up together it could cause issues for opposing linebackers if both are involved in passing plays simultaneously.
These 8 teams stood out in a good way on day 1. Other teams might be the major players on day 2. We'll just have to wait and see.
Sat 04/29/06, 9:57 pm EST