I apologize for being M.I.A but after draft weekend I needed time to digest everything that happened and see where everyone landed. Now we can start to prepare for a slower time in football and the wait until camps get rolling in mid-July. Before we take any real break, I wanted to point out some players that didn’t necessarily go in round one but should make a significant impact on the team’s success very early in their career.
While first round picks have been diagnosed to death and the fact that I think giving a grade to unproven players is pretty much like trying to rank college recruiting classes (oh wait some people actually do that) I want to just share a little insight on some of these guys who stand out to me as a real steal for each team.
1. Buffalo: James Hardy …Big target the team desperately needed. Should make a huge impact for the Bills especially in the redzone.
2. Miami: Kendall Langford ….Same school prospect that with the proper coaching he’ll receive should be a starter by 2009.
3. New England: Shawn Crab le...Perfect spot for both player and team. Crable will thrive in their system.
4. NY Jets: Erik Ainge …At best may be long term answer for the Jets or at worse be the game manager needed for this team.
5. Baltimore: Tavares Gooden …Another perfect spot for player and team. Gooden will replace Lewis as the leader of the defense in a few years.
6. Cincinnati: Andre Caldwell …This teams needs to cut ties with Chad and getting Andre will make that much easier.
7. Cleveland: Paul Hubbard … The perfect eventual replacement for Joe Jurevicius in their scheme.
8. Pittsburgh: Tony Hills …This team needs offensive lineman and Hills could be a starter by the end of the year if not for certain in 2009.
9. Houston: Frank Okam …Massive player to clog up the middle of the line for them. Benefits staying in Texas to play pro career.
10. Indianapolis: Mike Hart …With the resigning of D. Rhodes, Hart will have to show good in camp but should secure a roster spot and contribute this season somewhere in the NFL.
11. Jacksonville: Trae Williams …Talented corner who was overshadowed by M. Jenkins but in their scheme should develop into a starter in the next two years.
12. Tennessee: LaVelle Hawkins …Another player overshadowed by a teammate, D. Jackson, but with the improv skills of Vince Young and the fact they need wide receivers Hawkins should get plenty of playing time earlier this season.
13. Denver: Carlton Powell …With the lack of talent on the line Carlton could hit the field early and often.
14. Kansas City: Kevin Robinson ….Should provide that kick return threat missing since Dante Hall was dumped to St. Louis.
15. Oakland: Tyvon Branch …With the holdout of Nnamdi Asomugha , the combustible DeAngelo Hall, the trading of Fabian Washington and the slightly overrated Stanford Routt you might see Branch getting a lot of time on the field earlier next year.
16. San Diego: DeJuan Tribble..a steal at the point they were able to get him. San Diego realizes that you can never have enough top quality corners.
Read Part II at footballdialogue '