Browns Move Up One Spot to Select Trent Richardson
Before the draft even officially started on Thursday evening, the Cleveland Browns moved up one spot (from 4th to 3rd) swapping picks with the Minnesota Vikings. The Browns had coveted Richardson all along during the draft process, however they felt it necessary to move up one spot to make sure they nabbed their guy (there were rumors that Tampa Bay was trying to move up to select Richardson). Richardson will be asked to rejuvenate an absolutely abysmal Browns rushing attack. The Browns were the 28th ranked rushing attack in the league last season (95.7 yards per game) and 31st in yards per rushing attempt with 3.7. Consequently Richardson has the opportunity to make an immediate impact.
Vikings Get Line Protection for Christian Ponder
In selecting USC tackle Matt Kalil (4th overall), the Vikings got well needed protection for last season’s first round draft pick Christian Ponder. The Vikings offensive line ranked near the bottom of the league in quarterback protection in 2011. The Vikings surrendered 49 sacks (5th highest in the league), as well as 76 hits on the quarterback (16th highest). By simply moving down one spot with the Browns, the Vikings were also able to stock pile draft picks later in the draft (obtained the 118-4th round, 139-5th, and 211-7th round).
Let’s Make a Deal
Shortly after the Redskins announced the selection of Robert Griffin III, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys both traded up in the first round. The Jaguars traded with the Buccaneers (going from #7 to #5) to land Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Jacksonville needed some type of offensive presence on their roster besides Maurice Jones Drew, especially in the receiving department. With rookie Blaine Gabbert under center last season, the Jaguars aerial attack was nonexistent and Mike Thomas led the Jaguars in receiving last season with a paltry 44 receptions and 415 yards. The selection of Blackmon will allow Jacksonville the opportunity to determine whether or not Gabbert is the team’s future.
Having coveted Blackmon and with the wide receiver off the boards, the Rams opted to trade out of the sixth pick striking a deal with the Dallas Cowboys (obtained the Cowboys 1st & 2nd round pick). Dallas turned around and used the selection on Morris Claiborne of LSU. The talented defensive back will be a welcome addition to Rob Ryan’s defense which surrendered over 4,000 total passing yards per game last season (25th).
The Jaguars Fanbase Reacts to the Selection of Justin Blackmon
The Dolphins Roll the Dice Selecting Tannehill at #8
Tannehill represents the first time the Dolphins have selected a quarterback in the opening round since Dan Marino (1983). With so many other positional needs, it’s hard to believe Miami would reach on Tannehill at pick eight. No disrespect to Tannehill, but there were better options for the Dolphins at this slot. After all, Matt Moore did look fairly impressive in the final nine games of the season (15 TD, 5 INT, 97.8 QB rating). This could end up being a disastrous pick for a franchise that just can’t afford to more bad news.
Cardinals Grant Larry Fitzgerald his Draft Day Wish
Earlier in the week, Larry Fitzgerald let it be known that he wanted the Arizona Cardinals to select Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd with the 13th overall selection. Perhaps Fitzgerald indeed has some pull within the front office, as Arizona did in fact take Floyd with their pick. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, their offensive line is still horrendous and Kevin Kolb remains their starting quarterback. Arizona had big time protection issues last season, surrendering 54 sacks (2nd highest in the league) and 86 quarterback hits (6th highest in the league). The Cardinals would’ve been wise to address their offensive line concerns. Instead, they opted to keep their All-Pro receiver happy.
Will the Cardinals Regret not Addressing their Offensive Line Woes at Pick 13?
The Patriots Trade….Up?
After years of trading back and stockpiling picks, the New England Patriots decided to trade up (not once but twice) in the first round. The Patriots struck deals with the Bengals (moved up to pick 21) and the Broncos (moved up to pick 25). Perhaps losing another Super Bowl to New York combined with the fact that New England was the 31st ranked total defense last season finally motivated Bill Belichick to address the team’s issues on defense. The selections of Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones and Alabama inside linebacker Don’ta Hightower brings hope of a defensive resurgence in New England, but will the price paid be worth it as the Patriots have only two remaining picks in the entire draft (48-2nd round & 62-2nd round).
Brandon Weeden=Starting Quarterback in Cleveland this Season?
Pretty simple, you don’t select a 28 year old quarterback in the first round (22nd pick overall) unless you expect him to start from day one for your franchise. I for one, have my doubts that he will beat out Colt McCoy for the starting position during training camp. In my opinion McCoy simply has better intangibles, but it will be interesting to see which quarterback in given the majority of the snaps during the preseason.
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