I take a great deal of pride at looking at where no one or almost no one does. I found it more than interesting which teams “killed the draft” and which teams were mediocre. Let us take a look at teams which I thought did fantastically well.
Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, and New Orleans.
My take on this draft was that Cincinnati won the day. They got Andy Dalton who offensive coordinator Jay Gruden called the perfect quarterback for his system. They got A.J. Green, without question, the number one wide out in the entire draft. Round three was my most exciting pick. As I am on record saying that Dontay Moch would become the player who would be outstanding as an OLB. I loved the guy and as a third rounder the Bengals got a steal. Moch runs a 4.4 forty almost unheard of for a linebacker. And he brings toughness, a strong work ethic, and a desire to excel for the Bengals.
Cincinnati is about to lose Carson Palmer. With a little luck, good coaching, and a little patience drafted the next Drew Brees. Three terrific choices that will transform a near playoff team to a higher level. No thugs this year- Goodbye Ocho Cinco and Terrell Owens.
The Detroit Lions were next with the addition of Nick Fairley. Fairley will play next to Suh. Suh is probably the most dominant player in the past decade. Since Suh is so driven, Fairley will have no choice but to play all out. Detroit overnight has arguably the most dangerous pass rush and a team with but one way to go. That direction is way up! They added a few other players who will improve them and may win this year but if not will be a spoiler. The Lions will be presence. Something they have not been in a long time. If Stafford can stay healthy and Calvin Johnson gets on board, this team will challenge everyone and maybe more.
I was further enamored with the draft in Cleveland and New Orleans. I feel the trade for Julio Jones was brilliant as the Browns picked up a one and a four to join Watson who will engulf everything they send at him kind of like a black hole for a long time. They upgraded elsewhere and with those two picks in 2012 they will be strong.
Some will disagree with my thoughts on the Saints. But I think taking Cameron, in my opinion, the best defensive end at the tail end of the draft and then trading up for Ingram was brilliant. I think Ingram is an excellent and potentially dominant running back with a bum knee. He would not be the first to play through an injury and do well . The Heisman trophy winner in 2009 has incredible agility and burst. He is not a threat to break one often if at all but he is so quick and powerful that he can make the defense change their game plan. He can catch and bust a run 10-15 yards any time. If he plays as he showed at the combine, he will become a legendary back picked by an incredible coach when it made sense.
Cincinnati did more as did Detroit, Cleveland, and New Orleans. They turned lemons into lemonade and added running backs and others that me and Wonder both liked a lot.