The NFL Draft has come to a close and when that happens, all the experts and analysts start to give their draft day winners and losers. Well I am here to give out my biggest winners and losers of the draft.
St. Louis Rams- The Rams were probably a close second for the biggest winner in the NFL Draft. Scary for the NFC West too because last season the Rams were 4-1-1 in the division, so do not sleep on these guys next season. They are a big winner because they addressed several needs and did so with quality players. WR Tavon Austin was definitely the biggest splash they made, trading up to nab him before he possibly fell to the Jets. He is the most explosive player in the draft and we will see that early on. LB Alec Ogletree was their other first round pick and although he has issues off the field, the Rams feel they can get that straightened out and that he’ll be fine once he’s apart of their organization. WR Stedman Bailey and OL Barrett Jones are two later picks that were also wonderful. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin played together in college and know how to compliment each other on the field. Barrett Jones knows how to play all lineman positions and oh yeah, he was a 3 time National Champion for the Alabama Crimson Tide, winning. All those guys say big winner for the Rams in my book.
San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers are one of the best teams going into next season and they were the biggest winner in the NFL Draft, that’s not good for everyone else. They started out by trading up in the draft to grab FS Eric Reid to fill the void left by former FS Dashon Goldson. Reid played in the tough SEC and knows how to tackle, cover receivers and make plays on the ball. He’s a great addition to their secondary. The 49ers would then use their 2nd round pick on DE Cornellious “Tank” Carradine, a guy that has first round talent but because of health concerns fell to the second round. He can instantly come off the edge for San Fran and make an impact on defense. WR Quinton Patton was drafted in the 3rd round and some scouts gave him a first round grade because he has some of the best hands in the draft and knows how to go up and get the ball. He will certainly come in and help the offense right away. Their luxury pick, RB Marcus Lattimore is certainly a first round talent himself that fell because of health concerns. If he can stay healthy, he’s got a chance to be great. The 49ers drafted A+ value with pick after pick and could very well be the best team going into the next season after this draft.
Dallas Cowboys- Big D, probably the grade I would give them, they started off their draft with one big head scratching. They first chose C Travis Frederick with their 1st round pick. This guy may have good talent and be a starter, but at this pick, there was way more value out there than him. They could have waited on this guy until probably like the second or third round. Their next pick was TE Gavin Escobar, a good talent and has potential but if they wanted a TE they could have landed Tyler Eifert in the 1st round if they didn’t trade back and then they still could have gotten Frederick later. Instead, they pounced on Frederick and had to settle on Escobar instead of getting a dominant force like Eifert or even TE Zach Ertz. After that it got a little better, they picked up Terrance Williams who is a good receiver but it wasn’t really a need for the Cowboys, they should have gone defensive front 7 at this point. Their one true bright spot and true need met was their second 3rd round pick in safety J.J. Wilcox. Wilcox can come in immediately and challenge for a starting spot. He was one of the better safeties in the draft and certainly showed everyone that at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. The value and need was perfect at this point for the Cowboys and was truly their one big all around hit in the draft, everything else, they should’ve not listened to Jerry Jones.
Cleveland Browns- My biggest loser of the NFL Draft, congratulations to the Cleveland Browns, you had a high pick because you were bad and you did not help yourself that much at all. For starters, they only had 5 picks and then they would precede to do very little with them. Their first pick was DE Barkevious Mingo and although Mingo projects to be a really good pass rusher on the outside and an all around defensive player, picking him at 6 overall was a bit of a reach in my opinion. they have a need at corner and could have drafted the best corner in Dee Milliner at that point but instead went with Mingo. Another thing that makes me iffy on Mingo, name me the last LSU pass rusher to turn out to be anything good in the NFL? Yeah, not a great pedigree. Their next pick was corner Leon McFadden, not a bad player but a this late, taking a corner doesn’t really help your need at corner as well as Dee Milliner would have. They should’ve flipped these picks, taking a corner early and a DE or DT later. The defensive line talent was much more deep in this draft. Their last picks were 6th and 7th rounders that will have to do their best to make the practice squad, so nothing special there either. Browns should’ve at least considered a QB as well because Weeden is not the future of the Browns, no matter how bad they may want him to be. A failed draft because they didn’t consider value at any pick and just failed to address it with better selections.
So there you have it, my draft day biggest winners and losers. Let me know what you think and who you thought were the biggest winners and losers. No matter how your team did or how people think they did, remember we can’t really tell how good or bad a class is until the guys get on the field, but this is just my initial thought about how I thought things went. Until then, we’ll really have to wait and see.