Saturday, May 16, 2009

NFC NORTH--Draft Impressions

Green Bay Packers—It is smart strategy to draft needs based on division rivals’ strengths. That is exactly what the Packers did this year; and good that they did because the rest of the division has some serious offensive weapons. They tightened up their defense with B. J. Raji, a DT from Boston College. We are talking about a guy who is going to “light it up” in that new 3-4 scheme. Jk. Versatile OLB Clay Matthews from SC can really impact their rush defense. They also got some secondary depth with Brandon Underwood, a CB/S from Cincinnati. But you have to question any team that passes up on Michael Crabtree. Which team do you think Crabs makes better? The 49ers who don’t have a clue who the starting QB is? Or the Packers, who have an experienced starter? Don’t the Packers run an offense with lots of slants and screens? Hello?!! Texas Tech!

Chicago Bears—Da Bears didn’t have any first day picks. Those went to acquire Jay Cutler, so already you have to consider them winners. I felt the Bears didn’t target one specific area, but grabbed the best player available. Their first pick was in the 3rd round which they used get to Jarron Gilbert, DE fom San Jose St. He's considered a boom or bust type of athlete. But you have to believe that someone who can JUMP OUT OF A POOL can provide some explosion. I love WRs Juaquin Iglesias and Johnny Knox for Cutler. One gives you polished routes and reliability and the other blazing speed. Complementary players like Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal were for Cutler. Please Lovie, get Hester out of that offense. Considered a first-round player, D. J. Moore, CB from Vanderbilt is a value pick in the 4th. Marcus Freeman, an Ohio St. LB, can eventually develop into a good athlete.

Detroit LionsAny upside to going 0-16? Can’t go anywhere but up. But I have to be honest; I was impressed and very pleased about the Lions draft. The Lions land their franchise QB in Matthew Stafford from Georgia. They really can’t afford to miss on him. We’re talking $42 million guaranteed. But I find myself rooting for him; he did get Troy Aikman’s support after all. Plus! You need a QB with a rocket arm for Calvin Johnson right? We all thought they would use their second first round pick to get Michael Oher, a tackle who could protect Stafford, or go defense, but no. They instead went for some insta-offense with TE Brandon Pettigrew. He’s an outstanding pass-catching TE with great blocking skills. A rookie QB’s best friend. 2nd round stud Louis Delmas, a S from Western Michigan, can maybe make the impact Bob Sanders has for the Colts. He’s a hard-hitting ball-hawk. No pressure, but Delmas needs to single-handedly give that defense an identity. Derrick Williams is a shifty WR from Penn St who can also add a return dimension. The rest of the picks are developmental players who can contribute to Special Teams. Plus, a team that went 0-16 needs to start getting rid of the lower part of the roster. In sum, they added some offense to get fans back, got an awesome safety, and got quality backups. They didn’t however; get some instant impact players on the offensive and defensive line. Ouch.

Minnesota Vikings—This team has question marks ONLY at the QB position. When that is settled, these draft picks are only pieces to that puzzle. First round pick Percy Harvin reminds me a lot of Steve Smith. He might be the one to finally take advantage of the way defenses approach Adrian Peterson. You have to ignore character issues though. But still, use him like the Saints use Reggie Bush. Screens, hitches, reverses, and returns. Jarius Wynn , OL from Oklahoma shows their commitment to making some monster lane for Adrian Peterson. This guy is all power. CB Asher Allen from Georgia can come in and cover the slot. There weren’t many picks for this team (5), but this team felt that they are already Super Bowl ready. And why not? ADRIAN PETERSON. Nuff said.

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