A NFC Breakdown of the First Day of the Draft

NFC East:

New York Giants:

29. Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
45. Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia
60. William Beatty, OT, UCONN

Analysis: The Giants one glaring need going into the draft was clearly at WR, and they used their first pick to address it. Nicks was considered by many to be the most NFL ready of all the wideouts, and should be able to step in right away. Sintim is an interesting pick because he played in a 3-4 in college, and was considered to be more of a fit in that scheme. The Giants must believe that he can help them at LB, even though he can’t cover whatsoever. With all the credit the Giants offensive line gets, it is an aging unit, and Beatty has potential to be an NFL left tackle.

Philadelphia Eagles:

19. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Mizzou
-traded no. 21 and no. 195 for no. 19
53. LeSean McCoy, RB, Pitt

Analysis: The Eagles had a very nice first day, moving up to grab the most explosive WR in the draft, and filling a need at running back. Maclin is just a big play waiting to happen, and gives them another excellent return man. McCoy is great value at 53, and can step in and spell Westbrook, who has been overworked the last few years. Although they didn’t fill the void at TE, there are still many good ones available on day two.

Dallas Cowboys:

-traded no. 51 for no. 75 and no. 110

Analysis: The Cowboys had only one pick on day one because of the Roy Williams trade, and they decided to trade it for more picks. The Cowboys have a pretty talented roster as it is, so this isn’t a huge deal, and they must feel that there is more value later on in the draft.

Washington Redskins:

13. Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Analysis: The Redskins had only one day one selection after moving their second rounder for Jason Taylor. When their selection rolled around, they were very quick to turn in their card because Orakpo was still on the board. As good as their defense was last season, it was near the bottom in sacks. Now they have maybe the draft’s best pass rusher to go along with Haynesworth, which could equal a huge jump in sacks this season.

NFC South:

Carolina Panthers:

43. Everette Brown, DE, Florida St.
-traded 2010 1st round selection for no. 43
59. Sherrod Martin, S, Troy

Analysis: The Panthers were without a first round pick due to moving up last year to select Jeff Otah, and they proceeded to give up next years first round pick again. However, this time it was for a second round pick, which turned out to be Everette Brown. Clearly, John Fox and the general manager are feeling the heat. Brown was once considered a mid first rounder, but he slid to the second, and the Panthers jumped all over him. This also signals that Peppers is probably done in Carolina. The Panthers have yet to replace the impact of Mike Minter on defense, so their hoping Martin can help out in that cause.

Atlanta Falcons:

24. Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss.
55. William Moore, S, Mizzou

Analysis: The Falcons filled a big hole at DT with Jerry. This pick went over very quietly, but Jerry could have one of the biggest impacts out of all the rookies this season, and is a very talented player. Moore could be another steal, as he was once considered a lock for the first round until some nagging injuries caused him to have a poor senior season. Another great draft so far by Dimitroff.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

17. Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas St.
-traded no. 19, and no. 191 for no. 17

Analysis: The Bucs made sure they got their man by trading up two spots to take Josh Freeman. Freeman gives them the franchise pivot that the organization has never had. He will take some grooming, but has a big arm, great size, and athleticism. He needs to work on his accuracy and at reading defenses if he wants to be a starter in the NFL.

New Orleans Saints:

14. Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio St.

Analysis: The Saints continue to build up their defense by taking arguably the best defensive back in this year’s class. Jenkins may have to move to safety, but wherever he plays, he will have an impact. I still think he can play corner, as he has succeeded playing in one of the nation’s biggest programs, going up against some of the best talent in the country.

NFC North:

Minnesota Vikings:

22. Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
54. Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma

Analysis: If Harvin can stay healthy, he might just be a steal here because his big play ability has seen him compared to Reggie Bush. Harvin not only can play wide receiver, but he also lined up in the backfield a lot in college. A backfield featuring him and Adrian Peterson is just downright scary. Loadholt gives the Vikes the right tackle that they have wanted to replace Ryan Cook.

Chicago Bears:

-traded no. 49 for no. 68, and no. 105

Analysis: The Bears were another team that decided to wait until day two to make a selection. However, they did acquire Jay Cutler for their first rounder, and that has to be factored in when analyzing their draft.

Green Bay Packers:

9. B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
26. Clay Matthews, LB, USC
-traded no. 41, no. 73, and no. 83 for no. 26

Analysis: Usually it is the Packers trading back in the draft, but this year they moved back into the first round, obviously really liking Matthews. They are transitioning to the 3-4 defense, and Raji gives them the stud NT that the scheme requires, while Matthews is excellent coming off the edge from the OLB position.

Detroit Lions:

1. Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
20. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma St.
33. Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan

Analysis: The Lions took their new face of the franchise in Stafford, and now he has to earn all of that guaranteed money he is making. They’ll probably work him in slowly, and we might see him come in towards the end of this season if the Lions are out of it. Pettigrew is an excellent blocker, and a very talented receiver as well, and is a safe pick at 20. Delmas has a nose for the ball, and will always come up to deliver the big hit, he should be a starter from day one.

NFC West:

Arizona Cardinals:

31. Chris Wells, RB, Ohio St.
63. Cody Brown, DE, UCONN

Analysis: It was pretty obvious going in that the Cardinals were going to take a running back early, and they didn’t surprise anyone by taking Wells at 31. If he can stay healthy, which he hasn’t in the past, he gives an already outstanding offense an added dimension. He is a downhill runner, with excellent speed for such a big man, and can deliver a devastating stiff arm. Brown is another hybrid DE/OLB pass rusher that their defense desperately needs.

San Francisco 49ers:

10. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
-traded no. 43 for 2010 first round pick

Analysis: Crabtree at 10 is an absolute steal, and I love this pick because you could tell that he is going to have a chip on his shoulder after sliding, as well as he gets to learn under one of the NFL’s greats in Isaac Bruce. The Niners also managed to pick up an extra first rounder next year for their second this year, which is robbery in my mind.

Seattle Seahawks:

4. Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
-traded no. 37 for 2010 1st round pick
49. Max Unger, C, Oregon
-traded no. 68, and no. 105 for no. 49

Analysis: The Seahawks grab arguably the drafts’ best player in Curry with their first rounder, and then parlay their second round pick into a first rounder next year. The addition of Curry gives the Hawks one of the league’s top linebacking corps, while Unger in the second is a guy that can play multiple positions on the offensive line and who played his college ball in the Northwest.

St. Louis Rams:

2. Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
35. James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio St.

Analysis: When you grab two starters with your first two picks it has to be considered a success. Smith has some big shoes to fill, replacing Orlando Pace, but he is definitely capable, while Laurinaitis can play middle linebacker and lead the defense for at least the next ten years.

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One Response to “A NFC Breakdown of the First Day of the Draft”

  1. Eric says:

    Excellent article, Ian. The NFC just got geared up for battle.