Thursday, April 26, 2007

Guest Columnist - The Maverick gives his take on the first 16 picks

Today we have another guest columnist....he is not a blogger but a long time friend and fantasy football opponent for the last 11 years......I give you - The Maverick.....The Maverick is from Cortland, Ohio, but now lives in Warren, Ohio.....in late March, his wife gave birth to a baby girl - Meliah....today he will discuss the first 16 picks of the draft with the remaining first round picks as part of tomorrow’s column....

The 2007 Draft ushers in a new wave of talent, and an element of hope for struggling franchises and wounded fans alike. This year’s draft seems to be strong and deep at the defensive end and wide receiver positions, but is lacking at quarterback. Trade rumors are rampant as some teams look to gain value and others simply quantity. However, taking away the trade variable, these are the optimal first round selections for each franchise.

1. Oakland Raiders - QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU - This is a risk-reward pick for the Raiders, but Russell’s upside is off-the-charts and answers Al Davis’ dream of a vertical passing game. Russell is big, strong, and smooth with an 80-yard hose, but still needs some polishing. Poor JaMarcus, the Raiders gave up 72 sacks last season, they better add a few more linemen later on in the draft.

2. Detroit Lions - QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame - Brady Quinn is the perfect candidate to run a Mike Martz offense. He carried an over-rated Irish team on his shoulders and is still knocked for not winning the big game. People used to say that about Peyton Manning & Bill Cowher. Quinn has "it" like ebay. The Lions offensive line yielded 63 sacks in 06, see Raiders. I think the top qb prospects of 2007 are over-rated, however Oakland and Detroit are that desperate for a franchise qb and their respective skills are the perfect match for their prospective teams.

3. Cleveland Browns - OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin - The Browns are in a good position and can let the draft come to them with options at qb, rb, wr, and ot. The Browns have a solid receiving corps and have taken measures to bolster the o-line. Savage & Crennel will still be looking for instant offense to protect their jobs. Since 1999 the Browns have passed on rbs James, Williams, Tomlinson, McGahee, L. Johnson, and S. Jackson. The responsible thing to do here is pass on Peterson as well and select freak ot Joe Thomas. You can’t build a house until you have laid the foundation.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech - Johnson is a physical freak in terms of size and ability. He is also a rare wr with a Jerry Rice-like work ethic and no character issues. He is just what the doctor ordered for a pathetic offense which ranked 29th overall averaging a paltry 175ypg.

5. Arizona Cardinals - FS LaRon Landry, LSU - The Cardinals defense showed some signs of life last season, but still lack playmakers to disrupt an offense. The Cardinals front seven was average producing 38 sacks and yielding 118ypg on the ground, but the secondary had a forgettable campaign in 06 finishing 30th in the NFL. Adding Landry will help with some of their coverage issues and add another dimension to run support with two solid and versatile safeties. Whisenhunt learned the value of having a versatile strong tackling safety in Polamalu and should have no problem making this selection.

6. Washington Redskins - DE Gaines Adams, Clemson - The Redskins have proved that you can’t build teams through free agency, Adams will be a nice defensive cornerstone to wreak havoc in opposing backfields. There is no doubting Adams’ athletic ability, but his lack of stats leave me reluctant to declare him a Pro Bowler. In any case, there is plenty of room for him on the right side in a defense that registered only 19 sacks last season. No misprint, they only had 19! Don’t be surprised to see the Skins trade down from this spot and try to grab a few extra picks since they won’t pick again until the 5th round.

7. Minnesota Vikings - RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma - At a glance, Chester Taylor’s1200 yards in 06 seems formidable, but Minnesota has one of the elite offensive lines in the NFL. Taylor recorded only 4 100-yard games last season, and should be viewed as a run-of-the-mill rb. Plug in a dynamic inside runner who can get the tough yards, move the chains, and score from anywhere on the field, and the Vikings may not have to worry so much about their wr short-comings. That being said, Tavarious Jackson has no business starting in the NFL. Childress better find another option.

8. Atlanta Falcons - OT Levi Brown, Penn State - Enter Bobby Petrino, a talented throwback coach who prefers a power run game. Drafting a solid ot like Brown is the first sign of things to come. I wonder what is in store for Vick?

9. Miami Dolphins - DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville - The Dolphins are franticly trying to sign a qb to replace the oft-injured has-been Culpepper. Look for them to trade-up with Washington if Quinn drops to #6. However, this19 year-old phenom tore up The Combine showing off his speed, strength, and agility. He will also be a timely replacement for Keith Traylor who turns 38 in September.

10. Houston Texans - CB Leon Hall, Michigan - You would think that draft day would be easier on a team with so many needs, but that was not the case last year. The huge hole at right cb will be upgraded by Michigan star Leon Hall.

11. San Francisco 49ers - LB Patrick Willis, Mississippi - The Niners front seven is arguably the weakest in football. Their biggest need is at dt but Willis is the better choice with Branch’s wavering character and work ethic. Must take Willis here.

12. Buffalo Bills - RB Marshawn Lynch, California - Lingering back injuries and character issues are a concern with Lynch but talent is not. Perhaps the most complete back in the draft, he is a great inside runner with breakaway speed and a threat as a receiver. A perfect fit for a cold weather team whose #1 back is Anthony Thomas.

13. St. Louis Rams - DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas - Anderson is a sack artist with long arms and a powerful burst to penetrate into the backfield. If he lacks anywhere it is strength, but he makes up for it with excellent technique. Anderson will join the likes of Leonard Little, Jimmy Kennedy, and LaRoi Glover rounding out a solid d-line.

14.Carolina Panthers - TE Greg Olsen, Miami - Here we go again, another Miami te moving up in the draft. Olsen wooed all at The Combine posting a blazing 4.51 for his 6'6" 254lbs frame. He will take the heat off of Steve Smith by adding an intermediate dynamic to the Panther offensive attack. By adding this weapon to the Panthers, this could be a make or break year for Delhomme.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers - OLB Paul Posluszny, Penn State - This just seems too obvious. A blue collar lb from the the Keystone State who will ring in PSU folklore for years to come (remember Jack Ham) and a big hole developing at olb for the Steelers with the loss of firecracker Joey Porter. Hmmmm, maybe Kevin Colbert saw this opportunity on the horizon.

16. Green Bay Packers - DT Alan Branch, Michigan - Needs: see Houston. Questions about Branch’s work ethic has hurt his draft position. He can take over a game, but he will also disappear as he did vs. Ohio State. There is no doubt he is a force up the middle at 6'6" 324lbs and recording 33 reps on the bench. If Branch matures and lives up to his ability, he will make an already sack happy d-line a dominating force.

37 comments:

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

i see detroit taking quinn second too. not sure why that's not the consensus. heard that detroit really wants to win NOW, where a QB would take some developing.

Anonymous said...

Maverick, unlike the previous poster, I don't see the Lions taking Quinn. It's been reported, but it could be a smoke-screen, that Martz feels he doesn't need a great QB to win. Just give him a semi-decent one and he can win. Remember, he is a genius. I think they take Calvin Johnson or Joe Thomas. Quinn goes to Cleveland.

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