Witty's Impulsive I-Grade-Like-A-Third-Grade-Teacher Review of First Round 2011 Draft

The values I assign to the picks are completely arbitrary and are in no way based on reality, facts, or future potential.  So there.  Read on...

1.  Panthers - Cam Newton, QB Auburn

While this draft opened as one of the widest in years - would Carolina trade down?  would they go with CB or DT first to fix that horrid defense? - in hindsight this isn't so shocking.  When in doubt, always draft a marquee QB.  Now, will Cam Newton pan out?  (I had Gabbert going here) Depends entirely on the coaching and patience they're going to need to give this guy.  GRADE: B-


2. Broncos - Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M

Denver needed defensive help.  Miller's the top-rated linebacker of the draft.  Bit of a surprise as I thought D-line help was more a need and with Dareus sitting there... Well, anyway, this is as much a no-brainer as any pick this night.  GRADE: A

3. Bills - Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama

I figured Defensive End for the Bills here - mostly because I had Denver taking Dareus.  But apparently Dareus was a better value pick.  Buffalo did have a verrrrry bad defense: solidifying the D-line helps in a big way.  GRADE: A

4. Bengals - AJ Green, WR Georgia

Team had gone with veteran WRs the last 3-4 years and guess what?  Needed fresh legs.  This one I got right.  Then again, everyone who didn't think Cincy was trading Carson Palmer and drafting a rookie QB probably got this right.  GRADE: A

5. Cardinals - Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

Arizona was tricky to figure out, but I thought OLB was a big need and didn't think CB had a gap to fill.  Anything to help with the defense, though, and Peterson may be the guy who locks down one whole side of the field for the next five years (before he flees via FA)...  GRADE: A-

6. Falcons (Traded w/ Browns) - Julio Jones, WR Alabama

First big shocker of the night.  Not that Atlanta went with Receiver (they need to free up Roddy White).  Not so much that Atlanta traded up... but that Atlanta traded away SO MUCH (four picks including next year's First Rounder!) when they could have traded to a later spot... I don't think there were teams looking to trade up for Jones, and that few of the teams between here and the 27th spot would have taken Jones (I had Jones falling to the Rams at 14)  Falcons could have traded to Washington's spot and given up far less in the deal by the look of things.  The only logic here is that Atlanta's convinced they'll win it all this year, so next year's draft is something they can trade away.  But I swear the price looks too high.  GRADE: for the player, I'd say an A-.  for the trade, pure D for Dumb.

7. 49ers - Aldon Smith, DE/OLB Missouri

San Francisco did have a need for OLB, which Smith can play well.  The scouting was more on his potential than anything, but after Miller this guy was the best value pick.  GRADE: A

8. Titans - Jake Locker, QB Washington

Mostly because I had Cam Newton still on the board, I figured Tennessee would get the next marquee guy for QB left: Gabbert.  Locker was a total surprise because for what I knew his stock value had slipped to Second Round.  I'm still not sold on Locker's skills as a passer, but he seems to fit the Vince Young mold of scrambler and without the emotional baggage Vince had.  GRADE: B

9. Cowboys - Tyron Smith, OT Southern Cal

Ooh.  I got this one right.  :-)  Knew Dallas needed OT, just wasn't too sure which OT they'd gamble on.  GRADE: A

10. Jaguars (traded w/ Redskins) - Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

Maybe it's me, but with every draft move Jacksonville makes now I'm that much more convinced the Jags are moving to L.A.  Well, that and the fact that few other teams seem easiest to move to Cali (Vikings?  Please, that would screw up the whole Norris division).  I didn't even see QB as a need this year, and part of me still wonders why the Jags didn't get Tebow last year when they had the chance and the locals pumped for it.  The best thing about getting Gabbert is that Jacksonville paid very little to trade up this far: compared to Atlanta, who paid too much, the Jags paid too little...  GRADE: for the player, A-.  for the trade, S for Smart

11. Texans - JJ Watt, DE Wisconsin

Well there goes the first pure DE (c'mon Kerrigan slip to Tampa!  CMON...).  Bit of a surprise for me as I figured Houston needed to fix that weak secondary.  It seems the guy I had for them (Harris) was a bit of reach.  Also thought DT was a higher need as well.  Weird thing is, Robert Quinn is still on the boards at this point, and I'm pretty sure 99 percent of the scouting had him as a better value pick...  GRADE: B

12. Vikings - Christian Ponder, QB Florida St.

WHOA!  WHOA!!!  Did ANYBODY have this guy higher than the Second Round?  Sure, the Vikes felt they needed QB in the Post-"Stay Retired Favre!" era.  But was ANYBODY ELSE going to take this guy this high?  Or at 30?  Or at the start of Second Round?!  For the love of Dog, Minnesota could have traded this pick down (there were teams still eager to trade up, considering guys like Fairley, Quinn and Prince were still on the boards and the next 6-8 teams would have gladly taken either three), snagged extra mid-round picks where the real value players are, and still had gotten Ponder.  For example, Minnesota could have traded this pick with New Orleans, who'd take DE Quinn at this spot, and the Vikings could have snagged Ponder at 24.  This pick REEKS of Reach.  Also, Bust.  At this point I was getting reminded of the QB Daft (yes, mispell is intentional) of 1999...  GRADE: D- fills a need, maybe, but at the worst possible value.

13. Lions - Nick Fairley, DT Auburn

Is this even fair?  Or, is this even allowable?  I mean, after all SUH! can play both DT positions at the same time and STILL get 20-30 sacks a season at this point.  To be honest, getting CB here (I had Prince going) would have given the Lions a more balanced defensive attack (either die by Suh's hand or have Prince intercept your throw).  While this makes Detroit's D-line the scariest since the 1985 Bears, I doubt this fixes the rest of their defensive needs.  GRADE: B-

14. Rams - Robert Quinn, DE North Carolina

I think he slipped a lot because of the weird QB drafting (I had neither Locker nor Ponder as First Round guys), but I was shocked he fell this far.  But at the time, I felt great because it meant a good pass-rush style DE was bound to slip to Tampa at 20 (remember, ALL my draft wishes are geared to what I feel is best for the BUCS.  the rest of you all can draft punters for all I care).  GRADE: A

15. Dolphins - Mike Pouncey, G Florida

I don't have him listed as a Center because as a Gator alum I have seen this guy snap the ball.  HE SUCKS!  HE STINKS!  HE KEEPS PULLING HIS SNAPS TO THE LEFT!  NO, HIS OTHER LEFT!  GAAAAH!  Miami pulls what I feel is a questionable pick here since I saw them needing RB more than OL.  There's also the question about their QB situation, but with Mallett as the remaining value pick (HA) for a First Round QB I didn't see that happening.  As long as they slide him into the Guard spot, it'll work.  But if he's snapping the ball, Dolphin fans... just, don't even waste money on the game tickets okay?  Just... oy...  GRADE: C

16. Redskins (traded w/ Jaguars) - Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue

NOOOOOO!  Damn you SNYDER!  Now I have another reason to hate Washington.  Kerrigan IMHO is a solid pass-rusher and I'd have loved to seen him get picked by Tampa Bay.  Damn...  GRADE: A

17. Patriots (traded w/ Raiders) - Nate Solder, OT Colorado

Bit of a surprise here, thought New England would go for an OLB or RB.  But Solder's a solid draft pick, a decent Left Tackle, and one should never sneeze at drafting a good LOT.  GRADE: A-

18. Chargers - Corey Liuget, DT Illinois

Another shocker, as I thought San Diego needed DE more than even the Bucs did.  And I worried that they'd be taking the DE (Kerrigan) we'd needed.  'Course, Washington took Kerrigan so I feared another good DE pick like Cam Jordan was going to get snagged here.  So, huge relief for me at this point.  Liuget helps the Chargers with their D-line, so it's a decent pick for them.  GRADE: A-

19. NY Giants - Prince Amu... Ama... Amat?  Amukamara!  CB Nebraska

Part of me was relieved because I knew the Bucs fans were getting divided over "DE or CB" arguments the further Prince slid down the board.  I thought New York would look to OT to help fix what had hurt them last season - a passing game throwing up too many INTs - but their CB need was pretty high too.  GRADE: A

20. Buccaneers - Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa

With Prince off the board, I knew Tampa Bay would go full Defensive End here.  It made the most sense: Bucs needed to upgrade their pass-rush big-time.  There were a few value DEs left on the boards: Cameron Jordan obviously.  Da'Quan Bowers had slid down this far due to major concerns over an injured knee and a prolonged rehab.  There was one other name and that was Clayborn.  The reason Clayborn slipped this far is because of a palsy, a birth defect that pretty much affects one whole upper side of his body from the shoulder down the arm.  The argument in his favor is that even with this palsy, Clayborn was a dominant DE for most of his college career.  I'm concerned it's going to limit his ability to pass-rush, which we needed real bad.  I'm not a huge fan of this pick: it fills a need, but I don't think it's with the right player.  GRADE: C

21. Browns (traded w/ Chiefs) - Phil Taylor, DT Baylor

After trading down, Cleveland then trades back up a bit to snag Taylor.  Cleveland needs help along their entire D-line, so hopefully this guy fits one major spot in the middle.  Not sure if he was a First Round caliber pick though.  GRADE: B-

22. Colts - Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College

Protect the Manning.  GRADE: A-

23. Eagles - Danny Watkins, G Baylor

Bit of a shocker for me, as Philadelphia needed a Corner IMHO.  But the offensive line needed help too, and after Pouncey (DONT SNAP THE BALL), Watkins was the next best Guard.  GRADE: B

24. Saints - Cameron Jordan, DE California

While I had New Orleans needing RB up the wazoo due to injuries their roster had all last season, and with Ingram still on the board (Whoa), this was a bit of a shocker pick.  But the Saints needed help with the D-line... and Jordan is a guy I liked the Bucs taking, so I can't argue much with the decision New Orleans made here.  GRADE: B

25. Seahawks - James Carpenter, OT Alabama

I didn't even think Offensive line was a need for Seattle, at least not this high.  They had question marks with WRs above all.  Worse, I don't think Carpenter was that highly scouted an OT.  Guys like Sherrod and Carimi were still on the board.  This pick feels way off, even though this violates one of my cardinal rules: never sneeze at a chance to upgrade your OT (that's because I doubt this is an upgrade).  GRADE: D

26. Chiefs (traded w/ everybody and this was actually the 27th pick but Ravens picked too slow) - Jon Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh

This is always fun: a team fails to make a decision before the timer goes off, and then the next drafting team rushes up in order to beat the slow team to pick a caliber player.  But this is late in the First Round, so there's little difference in value anyway, so this isn't as fun as say a 6th overall pick going late with the 7th and 8th teams rushing up to the podium with their draft cards, hee.  Oh, about the pick itself?  Amazingly enough I had Baldwin going at 27 (but to the Falcons!), so this is a bit freaky.  Kansas City did need WR, so I shaln't blast the pick.  GRADE: A-

27. Ravens - Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado

I figured Baltimore needed Offensive Tackle as their offense still needs better pass protection IMHO.  Also not too sure if WR shouldn't have been considered as well.  GRADE: C

28. Saints (traded w/ Patriots) - Mark Ingram, RB Alabama

I'm always surprised by two things: 1) people are willing to trade with the New England Patriots, considering how the Pats seem to demonically use every draft to their diabolical advantage (guys, a deal with the Hoodie, uh Devil, is no deal at all), and 2) teams don't draft RBs at their proper value.  It seems as though running backs are seen as interchangeable, and easily to plug into a system, when most often they're really not.  A great RB shouldn't ever slip this far.  Emmitt Smith did, and look what happened (Dallas had a dominant team for most of his tenure).  And Ingram compares favorably to Smith.  That the Saints traded back up into the First Round to get him says a lot, and is a way better pick than their getting Jordan at 24.  GRADE: A

29. DA Bears - Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin

I had them taking OT.  This was pure no-brainer.  That offense had more holes than a Green Bay cheesehead hat.  And Da Bears are supposed to HATE CHEESEHEAD HATS!  GRADE: A

30. NY Jets - Muhammad Wilkerson, DT Temple

Figured the Jets needed DE more than DT.  I've been told otherwise since then.  But I also figured the Jets ownership would make a pick that would force the fans in attendance to BOO their lungs out, so there's that.  GRADE: B

31. Steelers - Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio St

If there were any DEs I dreaded more that Bucs could have wasted a pick on, it was Heyward.  Mostly because he plays more like DT than DE, and we had DT covered.  If Pittsburgh is thinking of shifting him into the middle of the line, then this should work.  Otherwise, he's too slow for pass-rush and they better keep him on the run-stop side of the D-line as much as possible.  I'm also convinced the Steelers needed CB help due to the fact that their secondary was hideous during the Super Bowl (and that the other teams who beat them during the regular season tested that backfield over and over as well, hint hint).  GRADE: C

32. Packers - Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi St

OT Rule applies: never sneeze at a chance to upgrade your OT spot.  Especially with a guy who scouts better than Carpenter.  GRADE: A-

So, what do you think sirs?

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